Content creation is core to marketing success, as form-based downloads feed newsletter lists and the beginning of sales outreach. But all too often, what stands in the way of maximizing content creation opportunities is the time involved in getting the right information from subject matter experts and overcoming the practical challenges associated with capturing this information.
To be more effective and ease this process, consider these five shortcuts when conducting your next interview.
1. Get Your Marketing Goals Straight Before Bringing in Your Subject Matter Expert. It’s tempting to simply set up your interview and go. But you’ll save time in the long run if you stop to first consider who your audience is, what their pain points are, which messages you will want to convey around these pain points and the types of content you will want to develop around these different messages. The clearer you are about what you want your output to look like, the easier it becomes to identify what you need out of the interview and work with the subject matter expert to efficiently capture it.
2. Always Review the Order of Your Questions. The flow of your questions affects not only your subject matter expert’s ease at being interviewed but also his or her level of recall. You’ll get far better anecdotes and examples—the stuff that makes for good content—if you avoid jumping too quickly from topic to topic and supply smooth transitions between questions.
3. Make Use of Technology to Capture Interviews On the Fly. A variety of apps can be used to record phone interviews, even when you are off-site. One example is TapeACall Pro (iOS, Android), which allows you to record and save calls as MP3 files. A yearly subscription ($24.99) provides unlimited recording and instant sharing options. In addition, all of your recorded calls can be backed up safely in the cloud to be retrieved at any time.
4. Avoid Slogging Through Transcription. Stop spending time on tedious note taking. With services like iscribed (www.iscribed.com), you can upload an electronic file and receive your interview transcription back within a day or two. (It’s not hugely expensive—a 30-minute interview is usually less than $25.)
5. Know the “Nine Magic Words” to End Your Interview. Always ask: “Is there anything else you would like to add?” Almost inevitably this phrase will trigger the interviewee to provide an outstanding quote or alert you to an important aspect of the topic that you may have overlooked.