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How to Leverage In-House Experts to Create Original Content

By Angelica Fierro on

If you're just googling a topic, collecting the information and then putting it into a blog, you're wasting your time. You've got access to experts, use them to make your content better than your competitors.

If you want your content to stand out in the crowd, you need to bring unique thought leadership to the table. On this episode of The Marketing Cave, Carter talks through the importance of leveraging your in-house experts to create the best possible content. He also walks through tactical ways to extract that information to infuse your content marketing strategy with truly valuable and distinct insights.


 

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Here is the transcript: 

Carter: 
Hey, everybody, Carter here, welcome back to another episode of the Marketing Cave. On today's episode really diving into how to leverage the experts within your company to create original content. So on this episode, we really want to talk about why that's important. And then we're going to go through a few steps of how to actually go about doing that. So let's just go ahead and jump into this one. 

So why is it important to leverage the experts in your four walls or within your organization when creating content, and there's a few simple reasons for that, you know, it's really not enough to just be googling a topic and combining and finding and looking for all this information. And then just putting it into a blog post, there's nothing unique or different about what you're finding on the internet, there's really no reason for you to do that when someone you're trying to create content for could just go out and do that same search and combine and find all that information. So the reason that you really want to have your your experts involved, right is because that's what's going to make your content unique, or, or different, or stand out from what everyone else can find just by googling. So you know, don't get me wrong, you do need to do your research, you need to see what other people are talking about on a topic, you need to understand if there are studies available or other actual data that you can pull in to make the content more compelling. 

But really, if all you're going to do is Google a topic, combine a bunch of stuff you find, all you're doing is just regurgitating the internet into another place, there's really no value in that or any unique perspective that you're adding to it. So really, you know, if you're not infusing that, that subject matter experts perspective on your content, you're really missing out on being original and you're in, you're not distinguishing why your product, your service, whatever it is that you do is any better or different than your competitors. And it really, you know, can really breathe some life and some depth and some really good authenticity into your content, when you have your own take your own twist on the topic that you're talking about. And what that does is that really, truly will establish you and your company as a thought leader in the space, right?

 If you're really bringing a set of ideas or concepts or perspective that no one else has, obviously, that differentiates your content from everyone else's out there. So if you want to be seen as a thought leader in your space, you need to be able to provide that thought leadership that's actually unique. So that would really give your your content a you know, a competitive edge, if you will, when you're when you're tapping into that insight within your own company. So like I said, You're definitely always going to need to do that research, right, you're going to want to go see what else is out there that you can find that can help support whatever it is you're talking about. But no amount of Google searches are really going to be able to replace the really the true genuine insights of someone within your company who does this day in and day out and really has an in depth understanding of your product and why it's different and how they can explain that. 

So don't feel like you know, as the marketer, you don't have to know everything, you don't have to be able to speak in depth to every single topic or every single aspect of what you guys do. I think it's a little short sighted to think that that you shouldn't leverage or shouldn't be tapping into all that knowledge within your company. And that can even extend to just brainstorming content, right? If you want to get all of them in a room and say, hey, I want to talk about these five topics, what do you guys think that can blossom into a full content strategy. So really, you want to leverage those people's expertise, their career links worth of knowledge that they've got, and then really infuse that into your content, you really want to take advantage of plugging that in making sure that you are highlighting the differentiators and the things that your experts have that they bring to the table. And another thing to think about when you're dealing with these, you know, subject matter experts, what we call SMEs, they don't have time to sit down and write an entire blog, they don't have time to go go through and type it all out. And maybe they're not even good at writing or good at putting words together. But it's very easy for them to sit down for 30 minutes and just like stream of consciousness, tell you all the stuff that they know about what they do every single day. So just keep that in mind, as we're going through kind of the next steps of like how to execute is you really don't want to take up a ton of this person's time they've got a full job to do and other responsibilities. 

So you try to get 30 to 60 minutes on their calendar. So we're going to go through how to make that call or or that meeting as effective as possible, and how to really get the best information out of that SME for this piece of content that you're creating. Okay, so we went through the why this is important. Now let's talk about how to actually go about, here's a few tips that we use internally, for getting the most out of talking to these these SMEs about specific pieces of content that they're the experts on. So the first thing that you want to do is you want to be prepared yourself, right. So you don't want to walk into this meeting, not knowing the terminology or not knowing some background of the subject matter that you're about to talk about. So you want to do a good amount of the heavy lifting before you ever walk into this meeting or get on this call with this SME, you want to educate yourself on the topic so that you can you can speak knowledgeably about it, you can understand that the references they're making, or like I said, the terminology, the lingo, the acronyms, you have to make yourself familiar with that. 

So they're not completely lost in the conversation, and also helps you to understand what they're talking about. I mentioned this earlier, you don't have to know every single detail if you knew that you wouldn't be taking the time to meet with us at need to get the actual in depth knowledge. And you don't have to spend the time trying to learn every intricate little piece about what you're talking about. You just want to know enough to be dangerous and guide the conversation and be engaged and understand where it's headed. And then the other thing This will allow you to do is it's not just you sitting there taking notes the entire time they're talking but it allows you to kind of engage in a conversation and prod and ask additional questions based on some of the familiarity you have with the topic. So it helps to be just enough well versed in the topic to make sure that it's a discussion that to make sure you kind of know what questions to ask and make sure you're guiding the conversation and not just being a one way street where they're just talking. And you're just listening. 

So we just talked about preparing yourself, obviously, a huge portion of that happens before you actually have a conversation with the subject matter expert. And in that same vein, you need to prepare that SME before the conversation happens as well. So you want to make this this process as efficient and as painless as possible, right, you're kind of asking for a favor, you're taking time out of their day where they should be spending on their actual job. And you just want to make sure that it's a seamless process, that it's not a headache, and they actually feel like it was an efficient meeting and was worth their time here a few tips for making sure that that SME is prepared for the meeting, and that you really maximize that time with them and getting the information from them, you always want to send over a summary of what the conversation is going to consist of whether that means bullet points or specific questions or just talking points you'd like them to hit, you absolutely need to send them over a summary. So they have an understanding of where the conversation is going, what they need to be prepared to speak about. And then also make sure that they know if there's anything that they'd like to add to that summary, if there's anything they feel like is missing, feel free to edit that document and add to it in any way that they see fit for the conversation. And then just a little pro tip for you for that what we found to be really effective when scheduling time with these SMEs who are extremely busy have a lot of other things going on, we will put that summary in the actual calendar invite. So when they see that calendar invite come through their email, it's in the description. 

And that's their first exposure immediately to okay, this is what I'm going to be talking about on this call, rather than having to send it in a follow up email or follow up slack they might not see or get to. So that's just a little tip that we've come up with where we're getting that information right up front in that calendar invite. So they see it as soon as it comes through. And then one of the things that you might think about adding into that summary is if you've written content about this topic before, or it's part of a greater content strategy that leads to a content offer, giving them that background knowledge of what you're trying to accomplish with this piece of content, where it lives within a greater schedule of content, and how you're actually positioning this this blog or this content offer within your greater content strategy. And then the other piece is if there is third party research that you found during the time that you spent researching or if there is data or studies that are relevant to the topic, you definitely should provide that as well in that summary so that they can take a look at that information beforehand and be ready to speak about it or maybe they disagree with the research. And that's a good aspect that we want to bring to that piece of content.

 And then the other thing that we figured out is like you really need to get into or hone in or be respectful of the way that this subject matter expert wants to communicate with you. We've had plenty of conversations with these SMEs. And they're all different. Each one of these SMEs kind of has their own way that they prefer to communicate this information. Some of them are take the time to type out all of their answers from that summary that you sent. And then you could probably just read through them get a quick follow up call to talk through anything that needs clarification, while other SMEs will look at it once not think about it again until they show up for that call or that meeting, they have all that information already in their head that they can just speak about really effectively without having to take the time to write out a bunch of bullet points or do research or anything like that. So really with these with these subject matter experts that are taking their time out of their day to meet with you just want to be respectful of the way that they prefer to communicate. And then next time you are going to meet with them, you need to remember that that's their preferred method of conveying that information to you. 

Another tip is just to make sure that you're focusing on the bigger picture. And by that I mean you need to make sure that this subject matter expert understands where this blog is going to live, what the intention of it is where it lives within your content strategy, like I mentioned earlier, in theory, the way that you should be creating your content is that each piece is kind of leading toward a bottom of the funnel conversion activity or there's it's trying to push someone down the funnel. So explaining to this this subject matter expert that hey, this is a very bottom of the funnel piece we can get really in depth here we can do really a great comparisons between us and a competitor or we can really get into the nitty gritty specifics of the of the topic. Or if it's top of the funnel, we need to say hey, this is this is an entry level piece, someone who maybe is just now finding out about us, we don't want to go too in depth into you know, our proprietary terminology that we use or diving into specific products that we have that they aren't aware of yet, you just want to make sure that they understand the bigger picture where this lives in the content strategy, who the audience is what we're trying to accomplish with the piece. And that should help them kind of frame the content and the insights that they're going to bring to this call. 

And then the last tip we have for you is to just get the most from the conversation. So you want to have that, you know, 30 minutes, 60 minute conversation, and we would recommend very highly that you record that conversation, you want to be able to go back and reference you want to be able to go in and pull exact quotes of things that they said as they're talking, you're taking notes you're trying to listen, you're also thinking about what's my next question, what's the follow up to this? Do we need to expand on this topic at all, you really want to have that recorded so that you can go back and reference that information later. Another trick or tip that I would say is will take that recording and plug it into a transcription tool, they'll actually then kick out the word. So by leveraging both the audio and that transcription tool, you really have two different ways to go back and dissect the information that you captured on the call, obviously, you can listen to it, or you can take that actual text and plug that in, we've just found it to be really effective to be able to go back and reference that and use that as a guide for actually writing the piece of content. 

And then the last tip we have is just to stay focused on the topic, when you're having an open conversation, a discussion with someone who's very knowledgeable on a certain topic, it's really easy to go on these tangents or down these rabbit holes that maybe aren't relevant to the actual piece of content that you're working on. That's not to say that those those tangents aren't valuable. That's a really good indicator of Okay, what's the next piece of content that we could be writing? Or where else can we fit these thoughts that they've just come up with into our greater content strategy. So there are benefits to letting them speak, letting them just kind of have a stream of conscious and go down a rabbit hole every once in a while. But you also want to know at what point have we gone beyond what's relevant to this piece of content, and we need to crowd them back into, hey, let's focus on what we're trying to accomplish for this blog or this content offer. But like I said, as they are speaking through these things you really want to want to take note of when they do go off on those tangents and say, Hey, great thought we really love that that's definitely something that we can do in another piece. But right now let's get back to this question. And this is something that's kind of an art form, right, it takes time to understand what is or isn't relevant to the exact piece you're talking about. And at what point have we crossed the line into talking about a completely different piece of content that should be done on a different call for another time.

So that takes time, it takes practice, it's taken us years to perfect, but it is something that is not exactly a science, it's really just a feel thing. And being more in tune with what this specific piece is trying to accomplish will help you know when things have gone past that line of Okay, this is not relevant anymore. let's mark this down for another conversation. So that's it. That's a quick fast one today just wanted to give you guys this insight of how to leverage these experts that are in your building or within your clients building if you're an agency and really getting into their brain and and leveraging that knowledge to bring a unique perspective to your content that you're creating so that your content doesn't just look like one of your competitors or a regurgitation of a bunch of Google searches that you've done. So take that run with it, use it, I guarantee you it will benefit you. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. And we'll see you guys in the next episode

 

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