So you’ve decided to start implementing inbound marketing for your team's lead generation goals. You’ve determined that creating content that answers people’s questions and helps them solve their problems is going to be a key aspect of your inbound marketing program. Now, where will all that content come from?
You most likely have experts from your field right within your office. Their knowledge is a perfect source of content! But when you begin to ask them to start blogging or writing eBooks, you get the dreaded moan and groans of “But, why?” “I’m busy!” and “I’m not a writer!”
That reaction is understandable; these people are great at what they do, but they’re not marketers. Ideally, you’ll want to combine your own talents with theirs to generate the kind of content that will provide value to your audience. In order to help you do so, here are some tips to reduce the friction that may come with creating quality, informative content:
1. Give Them All the Details
Before you even ask team members from your company to start blogging for you, I highly recommend giving them the key background information on why they are going to be so influential and important in your marketing efforts going forward.
You all work for the same team, but employees often ask for resources from other departments without fully explaining the goal of the project and why it is so important to the organization’s overall business objectives. Once the experts understand their role in this new initiative, they will typically be more open to learning about how the process will work and carving out some time in their schedule for content creation.
2. Create a Workable Schedule
Keeping a schedule of your content marketing plan will not only make your job easier, but it will also help in setting timeline expectations with your experts. Your content schedule can then be matched with the availability of your experts to ensure that your content is getting created with more than enough time for editing, image creation, and promotion to be completed before your go-live date. Be courteous of their schedules and try to avoid booking content creation on their to-do list during really busy seasons for them; instead, schedule these items well in advance of your due date and their busy seasons.
3. Make “Writing” As Easy As Possible
No, I am not recommending that you buy all your writers candles and classical music to get their creative juices flowing, but I am recommending that you encourage them to communicate with you about their area of expertise. They probably already talk to you or other team members about what they do, and using these discussions to fuel content creation can be very simple if it is done in a casual and authentic way.
Some subject matter experts are not going to be writers, and that’s okay. Your content creation efforts offer you the opportunity to help your subject matter experts get their thoughts out of their head and onto paper (or a computer screen), after which the grammar and editing can be left up to a copy editor. By creating several different paths that you and your experts can follow together to accomplish your content creation goals, you can reduce some of the overwhelming feeling that comes when someone is faced with a blank page.
Determining which process works best for your experts may take some time, but in the long run, this time will pay off greatly. The main thing to keep in mind when you are creating these different processes that can be used internally for content creation is to ensure that you are understanding the best methods for each of your experts. These methods may include interviews with questions that you send them beforehand, casual conversations that you hold on a regular basis while working together to take notes, or content that they write followed by several rounds of editing to help guide their writing. Whatever the case may be, keep each of your individual experts in mind and meet them half way in overcoming any anxiety or stress that may come with this new task.
Pro tip: Make sure you factor the approval process into your content creation methods. All writers should have the time to approve their content before it goes live, but try to make this process as easy as possible for them.
4. Keep Them Updated
If you are implementing inbound marketing in your company, then content creation is going to be an ongoing concern. In order to ensure that you are creating a long-term content plan and keeping your experts engaged, make sure that you keep them updated on the fruits of their labor. There is nothing worse than writing a lengthy blog post and never hearing back about how it performed or if your audience liked it. It’s important to be honest and transparent with your experts and help them understand the direction of your content plans, even if this means sharing changes to your game plan. You’re on the same team, after all, and you want to help everyone understand not just what content you are creating, but why you are making those decisions going forward.
These are just a few of the ways that you can easily start incorporating industry experts into your content creation. If you are looking for more specific strategies for your company, please feel free to get in touch or leave a comment below, and we can chat more about how to make these tips work for you.