Content Expert Interviews: A Time-Saving Writing System for Busy B2B Marketers (Part 1)
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:05PM
Thomas Clifford in Content expert interviews

Your next project is “in the can.”

You’re confident it hits the target.

You’ve shared it with colleagues and they love it.

However, did writing it feel like it took forever?

If so, you’re definitely not alone.

A 2014 Content Marketing Institute survey of trends and benchmarks in North America revealed the top challenge for B2B marketers:

Since lack of time is the biggest challenge B2B marketers face, I thought I’d show you a simple solution to speed up the content writing process—interviewing content experts.

Interviews: The heart of the system

The heart of the system uses interviews with subject matter experts so the content “writes itself.”

This system is based on my own copywriting process.

Using a system like this not only saves time, it’s a great way to create fresh, relevant and interesting material for your audience—without the jargon.

Interviewing content experts isn’t hard, but it does require three steps:

1. Planning and developing an interviewing/writing system to capture the right content for the final product
2. Preparing yourself and your guest for the interview
3. Directing the interview to create customer-friendly answers

It’ll take a little time to get your system finely tuned, but once you have it in place, you’ll have it forever.

“Listening” copy, not writing copy

Legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz emphasized that writing copy is a matter of “listening” it—not “writing” it.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

Part of Eugene’s writing process included interviewing content experts (or customers) and recording the conversation so the final copy would reflect the language and emotion the interviewee used.

Writing relevant copy means becoming a successful listener

And becoming a successful listener requires developing a dependable interviewing/writing system so you can focus on what’s being said and not worry about how to cobble all the pieces together later on.

So that’s where we’ll start in Part 2: How to create a dependable, repeatable interviewing/writing system.

In Part 3, we’ll cover two important steps to prepare the interview, including two checklists you can easily customize.

Part 4 covers a simple, powerful strategy to direct the interview in a way that captures ideas that will be relevant to the audience.

I developed this system from interviewing more than 1,500 content experts during a 25-year period

The ideas covered in the series reflect a scaled-down version of the system I currently use.

Feel free to adapt the ideas to suit your own needs.

Stay tuned for Part 2, because you’ll learn how to create a dependable, repeatable interviewing/writing system.

Don't forget to share this post with someone who could benefit it from it.

See you soon. :)

P.S. I'd love to hear from you on this content writing system idea.

Drop a note in the comments and let me know what you think. 

What did I miss? 

What questions do you have? 

What do you want to know more about? 

What feedback do you have to make this idea better or more useful? 

ThomasCliffordB2BCopywriter Google+ profile
Article originally appeared on B2B Copywriter | Hartford, CT (
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