Video: What is plug and play content development?

You know how when you engage a freelance copywriter or content writing agency, and all of a sudden you're swamped with invoices for individual jobs?

We've been on the receiving end of that too. We remember how it feels to track and make sense of content feedback via email, and to spend more time on administrative tasks than on getting content published. 

For smaller organisations, or those without robust task and content management processes, these issues aren't a big deal. But in industries like professional services, they're a real headache.

We've been thinking a lot about how we can make content development easier for our clients. How can we make writing and publishing content as seamless as possible? 

The answer: plug and play content development.

In episode 3 of Mint Conversations, James and I:

  • Explain what plug and play content development involves
  • Outline how it differs from traditional content agency engagement models
  • Discuss why plug and play is a smart choice for professional services firms and IT companies. 

As always, have a watch or read the transcript below, and let us know what you think in the comments. 

Video transcript 

James
Hi, I'm James from Mint Content.

Amy
I'm Amy from Mint Content. Today we're going to introduce a new approach to working with content agencies. It's called plug and play content development.

It's really good if you are a professional services firm or an IT or software company because it takes advantage of the systems and technologies and processes that you already use, so you can get started and start getting content out the door really quickly.

Because you are working with systems that you already know, you can focus on getting work done instead of figuring out new processes.

If you've ever worked with a content writing agency or a freelance writer, it usually works, you engage them project by project.

You know, ask them to do a blog post every week or to produce a white paper for you, and each of those is a separate job and they invoice for it separately, it's a lot of paperwork.

Or there's a monthly retainer package and so they're doing a set number of hours work for you every month for a set rate.

Both of those are fine ways to work, but we've found in our work with particular types of industries, that a different approach can work better in terms of getting content developed and produced quickly and with as little fuss as possible. Which, at the end of the day, is something that most companies want.

James, I might hand over to you to talk a little bit about what makes plug and play content development different to what else is out there.

James
Sure. Let's start with product and engagement types. Most firms need to scale their content development up and down depending on their needs. Some months are busier than others, so that makes retainers generally the wrong approach, whether it be a set number of hours or a set number of products that have been agreed on beforehand.

To address this, prepaid hourly burn down packages are suitable if you need to meet fluctuating content development requirements.

One month you might need a white paper completed, the next you might need a series of blog posts or a large tender response completed. Having the ability to burn down out of a set amount of hours that have been purchased is really flexible and is really great for the client.

This brings us the next point which is adapting and plugging into client internal systems. Most content marketing agencies use email as the main way to communicate with clients. This causes a lot of information to be lost, lots of inefficiencies, lots of overheads. For example, when you need to email a draft document around to multiple people, feedback can be lost.

With professional services firms it's great to leverage existing internal systems that are already in use for business as usual activities and it's great to be able to jump in and adapt to those systems at hand. Many firms use collaboration tools like Atlassian's confluence and tasking tools like JIRA, other Wikispace products, even social tools like Yammer and Tibco's tibbr.

If you don't already have these products or processes established within your firm we can build them for you. We can create simple workflows and tasks for reviewing and approving content if they don't already exist in your firm. You can even leverage the tools in environments we use to help you.

That's probably enough from me on plug and play content.

Amy
Basically, on that last point, it's really good, even if you don't have the kind of system or the environment built up to plug and play straight away, we can really get up and to that point really quickly. 

Then you can, if you want to, build that out to other parts of the business. That's another way that it could add value, especially in these types of organisations and especially if you're a small one just starting to grow.

James
That's right. We'll go into depth in a future video about the types of processes that we use and how you can leverage them for your business as well.

Amy
Yes. The key points, I think, about the plug and play, is basically, it's great because you can get up and running really quickly.

It's a different type of engagement model, it's a bit more convenient than some of the other ways that content writing agencies might work with a client, and it's also easier in terms of the technology that they use, rather than relying on email, which is what a lot of people do.

Certainly in these instances it's not always the best solution.

James
Correct.

Amy
I think that's everything from us today. Thanks for watching.

James
Thanks for watching.

For a FREE 30 minute consultation about how Mint Content's plug and play approach to content development can work for your business, contact us today