Why in content marketing you need to rely on expert sources of information
What is common between a journalist and a marketer who is working to promote a commercial website using content marketing strategy?
At first glance, nothing. But by and large, a good marketer in an environment where content marketing is becoming the most effective promotion strategy simply cannot be a specialist, far from understanding the principles of the work of a professional journalist. He should have an idea not only about the unique trade advantages of the promoted service or product, not only the nature of traffic and effective channels of content promotion, but also about what mechanisms are used to create materials that have a tendency to self-replication (everyone needs repost with reference to , likes, retweets, etc.). Such content can be created only by relying on expert content and the correct presentation of the material.
Finally, let's say the main thing: the approach to collecting information when creating web content should be the same as in journalism. And this is one of the conditions for generating content that has the potential to become viral.
Here are the three main features of such content:
- He talks about what's really interesting to the audience.
- It provides expert level information.
- It creates trust among the audience.
The approach to creating texts and obtaining information from all authors is different. Now the late Helen Thomas, a journalist at the White House Press Club, loved provocations and uncomfortable questions. And the legendary Hunter S. Thompson, a writer and creator of gonzo journalism, believed that objectivity is a myth: it happens that a made-up fact and a vivid image work for the idea of a text that is much better than truth — a writer, what can you say. The audience is interested only in the result of the author’s work. It does not matter what you do with the information obtained, how to shuffle the collected facts, under what sauce to serve and how to interpret in order to create a good text that gives rise to a high degree of audience interest. Only one thing is important: you cannot give a cool result to the audience if you have not done a thorough work on studying the topic. To convey to copywriters who write texts for your audience, the importance of thinking about the serious work of gathering information is an important task.
Source - a journalist relies on it. This is his starting point. The main source of the author working on content for the web can only be a subject matter expert. The Internet, of course, provides great opportunities for obtaining information. But this is a secondary source.
The text can bring the maximum benefit to the reader only if a thorough preliminary work was carried out with the main source of information - an expert on the subject. Interviewing experts before writing each article is not only useful, it is necessary. Without obtaining expert information it is impossible to write material of expert content.
Here are some "journalistic" tips that will help you work effectively with experts:
- Interview by e-mail only if all other options are excluded. Telephone, Skype, Google-talk and other instant messengers with the possibility of voice communication and audio recording are a great option. Personal meeting - perfect.
- Do not initiate an interview until you have a clear outline of the material you have to write in your head. An interview without such a plan runs the risk of becoming a spreading gruel out of a lot of unnecessary information and random facts. It will be difficult for you later, when writing the text, to collect a complete picture from these information puzzles.
- Begin the interview with a joke, a compliment, a discussion of the latest news - with irrelevant details that give rise to a spark of positive between people. Fifteen minutes - to talk about pleasant things. Then smoothly transfer the conversation to topics that interest you.
- Go to the interview prepared as an excellent student - for the exam.
- Do not read the questions on the leaflet. Generally hide it and keep your questions in your head.
- If you interview live, remember: the voice recorder of many people is unnerving. An effective way to relieve the tension arising from the sight of this gadget is to warn the interlocutor immediately: before publishing, the material will be coordinated with you, and you can make any necessary corrections from your point of view in the text.
- Arrange a conference with the participation of two to four interviewees. By saving time, you can learn the opinion of several experts on issues of interest to you.
- Surprise the interlocutor. For example: tell him a story about an unusual fact from the biography of an authoritative person for him, give him an interesting fact that he did not know (take the time to search for such information). He will treat you as a professional and more willingly open up before you.
- Smile Your partner is worthy of positive emotions: do not forget, he hopes that you are an excellent author and write a cool article. Doesn't this fact please you? So smile.
- Smile even if you are interviewing by phone or Skype without video recording. Most hotline specialists tend to think that the interlocutor at the other end feels that the operator is smiling while talking to him (it is hard to say how, but this is a fact).
- Let the other person know that he is interesting to you. Do not be afraid to spend time on a few clarifying questions that will lead you away from the main topic and reveal the person’s identity (even if you don’t intend to describe the interlocutor in the article, and you are only interested in his expert opinion). There is no need to get involved in digressions, but a couple of questions showing your interest in the fate and personality of the interlocutor will give you a loyal interviewee, ready to answer in detail any of your questions on the topic of the article.
- Do not trust the popular belief that you should save the time of a business person who has agreed to give you an interview. Be a reasonable egoist in this matter - you need information, your interlocutor - useful for his business content, it is he who expects from him, agreeing to an interview. Spend just as much time as you need to resolve your questions satisfactorily. And not a minute more.
- Try to make sure that the length of time spent with you becomes pleasant and useful for your interlocutor. In the future, he and his staff will easily agree to talk with you.
- Control the situation and be able to delicately return the interlocutor to the main topic of the interview. There are two types of interviewees. The first take the conversation into their own hands - they speak vividly, at length, go aside, answer not only your questions, but also questions that they come up with for themselves right there, on the go. The second is waiting for the initiative from you. In the first case, you only need to correctly direct the person in the right direction with the correct leading questions. In the second case, ask the person as many clarifying questions as possible, trying to turn the interview not into a “question-answer”, but into a live conversation.
- Never interrupt the interlocutor. By doing so, you knock him off his thoughts, from the rhythm that he took, from a certain mood.
- Train your memory. Sometimes you are given important information at last, when you turned off the voice recorder or a program for recording via Skype.
- And the most important thing: if you use in the article quotations of the person with whom you had a conversation, or even more so if your article completely represents an interview with him - do not bring everything verbatim. An interview is the same copyright material as everyone else. The interviewee’s speech needs to be edited and processed as you see fit (without distorting the meaning, of course).