Margot and her team at The Word Factory are a content director's secret Swiss Army Knife when it comes to useful and thoughtful written content. She is a talented and well-connected journalist as well as a detail-oriented editor and cultivator of strong writers. At a time when many brands and sites settle for "unique" content to clear the lowest bar of SEO needs, Margot and her team deliver work of a higher caliber, full of credible sources, great data, stylish word-smithing and brand voice.
Shawn Peters, associate creative director, Vistaprint; former creative director, Staples
Your Virtual B2B & B2C Team
We fill staffing gaps; own verticals and content categories; and write, write, write so you don't have to.
Our team of working journalists and corporate communicators consults with and creates content for media organizations, global brands and small businesses to inform audiences, drive sales, build loyalty and trust, and advance performance. Scroll down to learn more about the different types of content we create for our clients.
We’ve been working in content since they called it copy (lead type, anyone?). Over the years, we’ve honed our journalistic skills to create engaging editorial in a number of formats and genres. Our speciality is is being generalists. Our newsroom and reporting experience means we learn new topics quickly and produce quality work on time. Need a source? Our extensive networks help us find experts on almost any topic in a flash.
Content clients include Staples, Match.com, Lionbridge, The Los Angeles Business Journal, The Vasculitis Foundation and the International Cinematographers Guild Magazine. We also have deep industry expertise in medical/pharma/healthcare and architecture/real estate/design.
Got the writing covered? Let us tackle that copy editing and proofing. We regularly edit white papers, articles and even books (like The Institute Way).
Clients bring us on board when they need to:
- Fill staffing gaps at the writer, editor and project manager levels
- Launch, resurface/update or complete verticals and entire content libraries
- Expand current in-house capacity or provide expertise unavailable internally
- Provide editorial leadership and guidance for brand newsrooms and content marketing teams and projects
Margot's brilliant understanding of the decision-making process makes her a top communicator of complex ideas that need to be polished for human consumption. Her word-smithing skills are second to none and her ability to engage her reader with both passion and information makes her the best at what she does. Would hire, work with, and recommend to anyone.
Brent Berger, president, Creative Studio B
Click on a bar below to check out our bona fides and peek at some work samples. Scroll a little further to learn how we use quality, reliability, speed and process to keep clients coming back.
Some of the world’s leading brands trust us to develop content, from articles to interviews and everything in between. (Don't believe us? See Infographics or Quizzes below).
To borrow a line, “we are professional grade.” Our team of professional journalists and corporate communicators brings professional researching, sourcing and writing/editing skills to your content project, whether it's a one-off assignment, ongoing initiative or a major undertaking.
For example, we produced a range of content for several of Staples’ business verticals. Check out the Education Resource Center — we wrote all the articles for the hub's launch.
Web copy, bios & company descriptions, slide decks and even news releases. We've been doing this stuff since before your favorite intern was born.
Philips Lifeline asked us to revise selected product and information web pages to be friendlier and more concise.
Lionbridge engaged us to write the testing section of its website.
Want a fresh set of eyes on your writing?
Need an interim or project editor?
Planning an update of existing or evergreen content?
Margot Lester, Taylor Sisk & Pete Andersen have been editors of newsletters, magazines, newspapers and books. We’ve got AP Style and Chicago Style down. Engage us to take a care of:
Content refreshing: Revising existing and evergreen content to give it a fresh feel and improve overall quality, including:
- Tightening. Revising to delete unnecessary words and phrases, to simplify complex sentence constructions, and to rework beginnings, endings and subheads.
- Updating. Replacing broken links and adding new contextual and related content links. Updating/verifying data citations to the most recent year available. Adding new search terms and crafting social media posts for up to three channels based on industry-standard parameters.
- Optimizing. Creating new meta titles, descriptions and excerpts using key words you provide, written to industry standards for optimal character length.
Example: We refresh existing content related to new campaigns or themes on the Philips Lifeline blog so these assets can be used as contextual or related links.
Content upgrading: Going beyond a refresh, we perform a more robust revision of content that includes refreshing, plus:
- Lengthening or Shortening. Increasing post length to reflect new research on optimal word counts for engagement with additional information such as quotes, examples and recent research findings based on background information you provide or additional research we perform. We also distill existing longer form content to assist with atomization initiatives to create more content types from one asset or to populate social media campaigns to resurface existing content.
- Advanced Updating. Undertaking new or additional research and reporting to update time- or data-sensitive content like best-ofs and review round-ups within original word count by doing background research and/or interviews with up to 2 SMEs you choose or we source.
- Diversifying. Collaborating with you to identify critical data points to illustrate and creating new charts, graphs or infographics or sourcing/creating illustrations, photos and other images to accompany the piece.
Development editing: Helping you develop ideas and identify problem areas (early stage) or offering comments and suggestions about ideas, concepts and other aspects of the copy to create a coherent and thoughtful work.
Copy-editing/Revising: Tightening and revising to ensure clarity, preserve voice and correct SPUG (spelling, punctuation, usage and grammar) and AP/Chicago Style errors. More than proofing, we work with you to make your content even better. Example: Margot edited the Balanced Scorecard Institute's first book, The Institute Way.
Proofreading: Correcting SPUG and AP/Chicago Style errors.
Infographics are the fastest-growing content type, according to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks Budgets & Trends report.
We partner with a team of talented designers to produce infographics that show and tell--without requiring a magnifying glass or endless scrolling. Combining what we know about engaging copy, color theory and design, we build distinctive and informative graphics that are super-sharable.
Here’s an infographic we created for Staples for Walk to Work Week and another we produced for the Michigan Ross EMBA program.
One of your most important audiences is your own employees. Communicating effectively with them is the key to retention and high performance.
We've written and edited internal communications content for organizations as diverse as Golden Corral and Duke University Medical Center. Can your team make Kaiser rolls funny? We can.
Here’s an example of the employee newsletter we wrote for Golden Corral.
It’s true. Several of us are ink-stained wretches. Margot Lester & Taylor Sisk write for traditional media outlets, even in the age of dwindling column inches.
Our client list includes The Los Angeles Business Journal, Playboy, Click and the International Cinematographers Guild Magazine.
We’ve got your microcontent right here! As trained journalists, we’re used to writing and designing to tight space constraints. (Have you noticed how tiny your local newspaper is these days?)
We’ve written 75- to 100-word front-of-book pieces for Playboy, 33-word destination summaries for Go (AirTran’s award-winning in-flight magazine), developed slide content for Staples, and crafted Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn content for a pharma company. Here’s a short-form explainer we created for Architect magazine.
Back off, BuzzFeed. We’ve been doing quizzes since before they were cool. Back in the ’00s, we produced quizzes for Match.com, MSN.com, Yahoo! and AOL. And we’re still at it.
We produce a quick quiz logic that’s easy to import into whatever quiz software you use, or we can rock it old-school with a simpler approach. We bring the funny or play it straight, depending on your institutional voice and project purpose.
We created the What's Your Coffee Personality? quiz for Staples to drive sales of its coffee products and supplies. The quiz outperformed all posts that year and was the company's most efficient creative on Facebook with a 5.56% CTR and on Twitter with 1% CTR.
This quiz for Match.com was simply for entertainment purposes: Does Your Romance Stand a Chance?
Got a dense, highly technical content project? Don’t sweat it.
Our team intrepidly wades into these topics. We can digest and “translate” research papers and studies for lay people or conduct our own background research and interviews to produce articles and reports. We have direct experience producing technical documentation and working with medical and scientific terminology. We’re also skilled at interviewing big-brained experts and guiding them to plain-language insights that “real people” can understand.
Clients include UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Protochips and the Vasculitis Foundation. Check out this article on cancer genetics.
Sales materials aren’t worth much if they don’t address customer concerns and scaffold reps’ ability to close.
Brochures, catalogs, sell-sheets, slide decks and sales-support aides. We’ve done ’em all for a range of companies, including those in the heavily regulated pharma industry. Past clients include GSK, Talecris/Grifols and Baxter Healthcare. Learn more about our expertise in health/medical/pharma.
Blame all those pesky regs, but we don’t have permission to share samples of this work. References are available on request.
According to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks Budgets & Trends report, longer-form case studies (82%), white papers (71%) and eBooks (39%) are favored by content marketers who want to establish credibility and trust, and to support the buying process. But who has time to research and write them?
We do. Here are some examples:
A case study we researched and wrote for Parata on how small pharmacies improve medication compliance for patients.
A mini white paper we wrote for Square about using omnichannel marketing to reach Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
A white paper we researched and wrote for zSpace about using VR to increase student engagement.
An enormous eBook we wrote for Salesforce outlining their integrated solutions.
An eBook we researched, wrote and designed for NewsCred client First Republic Bank on how nonprofits can become more data-informed.
You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a content shop. When talent and ability are roughly equal, customer service is the key differentiator. And we do service better than just about anybody.
- Quality. Our clients appreciate that the content we file requires very little work on their part. We know that anything we do to make your life easier makes us invaluable. Our internal content management program ensures consistent quality from project to project.
- Reliability. We turn in content on time and give you early warning if we encounter delays or challenges. Since most of our team members come from daily or weekly deadline situations, we’re much better at this than people who’ve never had an editor breathing down their necks at press time. We know the downside risk of not getting content in on deadline and the upside of keeping clients in the loop. Our content workflow management process gives us visibility into your project so it stays on track.
- Speed. We’re fast. We’ve always had an operations focus, designing processes to create more high-quality content in less time. As a result, we’ve integrated principles from Lean, Agile, Scrum and Kanban—all those manufacturing processes—into our content management process. That means our content supply chain is more efficient and effective for you and us. Being transparent about the workflow and the progress creates buy-in and trust, and keeps us all on schedule.
- Process. Our approach to content marketing management dramatically improves the creative process from kick-off to turn-in, reducing the risk of pursuing the wrong angle or creeping away from the purpose. We work with you to articulate purpose, target audience, desired results and other details of your project before we do anything else. Beyond word count and style guides, we discuss models (“we want an article that sounds like this one”) and audience personae to nail down as much of the project as possible. These initial cycles save time later because there’s less revision and retooling. We do a lot of rapid iterations, creating minimally viable content that gives our team and yours plenty of opportunities to check off the project before making a huge investment in time and resources.
Want to know more about our creative process and content marketing management methods? Drop me a line.