Getting Website Content from Management

It’s true, the struggle to get content for your new website from people within your company is really difficult. Each department leader gives you a list of what they want on the site, but when you ask for the resources necessary to develop the content for their list most of it never comes, no matter how much you nag them for it. The answer is simple: Don’t do the whole list they gave you.

The #1 most important thing for the website is to provide what your PAYING customers are looking for. Think of every piece of content from this standpoint: “Is this something we KNOW our customers are looking for?”
If you can identify ~70% of what your customers want from the website (in content or functionality), then that’s where you should focus your efforts. There can even be greater harm in trying to gather 100% of what you think people are looking for because you will end up with too much irrelevant content for users to have to scan/filter/read through, and it will increase your bounce rate. You might have more “SEO friendly” content (you’ve got all the right keywords and crap), but what good is that if the people coming to the site as a result are not your customers, or even if they are your customers they get lost in the content and just leave. Instead, you should be making your site more “customer friendly” by giving them what they want.”
Take the content you know to be what your real customers want, and list that according to priority. Content customers are looking for that:
  1. Brings the most money into the company (services you sell with the highest profit margin)
  2. Helps them make better buying decisions (enough explanation to give them confidence, not too much)
  3. Enables them to serve themselves (faster customer service)
  4. Educates them on everything you can offer (services cross-selling)
  5. Proves you are the authority in the industry (accreditations, awards, etc.)
  6. Encourages them to share your services with other companies (builds community, social stuff)
  7. Shows them you are proud of your company (this is the history, team, about pages)
Once you have this list of content you will quickly be able to identify what you should, and should not spend your time on pulling together. I think you’ll find that it’s the less valuable content to the customer that takes the most effort to gather from within your company. If people internally feel their content or resources is highly valuable to increasing the profitability to the company you will not have a hard time getting the content from them (unless they are just slackers). 🙂
I hope this helps you navigate what to spend your energy on for gathering content for your website.
For insight into how to strategically develop the content and publish it I would recommend following the likes of Scott Pierce, Tiffani Brown, and Brian Crouch.