Content creation is one of the key parts of Inbound Marketing, since providing your users with the information that they are looking for and the answers to their questions is what gets them to your site in the first place. It also helps you demonstrate that you are an authority in your area of expertise, and it improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by targeting the keywords that people use to find your site.
However, while marketers may be experts in creating and optimizing quality content, they’re not necessarily the experts in their company’s products or services. The real expertise often comes from other departments, whether they might be managers, coordinators, technicians, executives, salespeople, or other personnel who complete the company’s day to day work. How can marketers leverage the expertise of these people, who are often busy doing what they do and don’t have time to write blogs?
This can be a dilemma for marketers, who don’t want to force non-writers to do something they aren’t comfortable with, but still need to utilize their expertise to create content. It’s not helpful or beneficial to harangue people into writing blogs, but there’s a better way. Here are 4 tips for helping people outside the marketing department contribute the valuable content you need:
1. Combine Your Talents
As an online marketer, you’re an expert in things like content optimization and keyword targeting, while other people in your company are experts in the products or services you provide. You need their knowledge to demonstrate the value of those products and services to your customers, but getting that expertise in writing can be a challenge, especially for people who aren’t writers.
This is where collaboration makes all the difference. Combining your expertise in writing and marketing with their knowledge can result in great content that drives traffic to your site as people search for the solutions that your company can provide them. Letting your company’s personnel know that you want to work with them to help your customers solve their problems will give everyone the confidence they need to create the content that will bring you the success you deserve.
2. Perform Short Interviews and Use Bullet Points
So how do you get started working with your company’s experts to create content? After you’ve determined the topic that you want to write about, it’s a good idea to sit down with them (or talk to them on the phone) and ask them some simple questions about the topic. Take notes and ask for further explanations, getting the information you need to explain the topic in a way that provides value for your site’s visitors.
Rather than going into lengthy, in-depth explanations of the subject, try to simplify it into a list of bullet points and short explanations. This will allow you to convey the information in a way that people looking for answers to their questions will be able to read quickly and easily. As you discuss the topic, you might find areas that you can follow up on in more detail in later blogs, but keep it simple at first, and then make plans with them to write more blogs on the subject in the future.
3. Be Conversational
Depending on your company’s products or services, explanations that people provide about their areas of expertise might end up being somewhat dry or technical. In order to create content that will engage your customers, do what you can to make it more interesting by using conversational language and providing real-world examples. You know what kind of content is most engaging for your customers, so write with them in mind as if you are speaking to them directly. Translating technical explanations into a more informal format will help you best communicate your company’s expertise into content that can help them understand how you can solve their problems or provide what they are looking for.
4. Get Feedback
After you’ve taken your notes and bullet points and transformed them into a blog, send it to the person you interviewed before you publish it so they can do a quick review. They will be able to make sure everything is correct, and they might have some valuable suggestions for small changes or additional information that can clarify things and provide more value to your customers. This invaluable input will ensure that the content is error-free, and since they are the experts in the topic the content is covering, they will make sure it communicates what you want to say to your audience.
As you continue to work with people in all the different departments of your company, you will get a feel for the different voices that people have and how to take their expertise and translate it into the content that will fuel your inbound marketing strategy. This combination of knowledge and talent will result in a sum that is greater than its individual parts, and it is the key to bringing you success in your online efforts. Good luck!
Do you have any questions for us about content creation or inbound marketing? Please contact us, or leave a comment below.