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Quantity versus quality. Everyone wants quality content, but quantity is crucial too. The data continues to show that a consistent volume of content is a key factor in driving traffic to your site – and more content correlates with greater lead generation.

Ideally, of course, you want both: high quality and the optimum amount.

And theoretically, for investment marketers, this should be easy to achieve. Your company has a fund manager with a fantastic new investment theme, plus a product specialist who’s done groundbreaking new research, not to mention a brand new female director who wants to encourage women to invest. But there’s just one problem… none of them wants to write for you!

(Indeed, in our recent survey, ‘gaining commitment from fund managers’ was cited as the number one obstacle to producing thought-leadership content.)

And even if someone does finally agree, how do you help them shape their writing into the insightful, thought-provoking, downright stimulating piece of content that will resonate with your audience?

Find out why they’re saying no

 

If you know exactly why people aren’t willing to write for you, you’ll be in a better position to overcome their reluctance.

Maybe one of your would-be authors thinks it’s a waste of time to craft copy that’s just going to be shunted into some dark outpost of the research and resources section. In which case, take the time to explain why the piece is important to the fund manager’s own objectives and how you plan to promote it and measure its effectiveness. Your own analytics and market research can be persuasive here, as can pointing to peers who are blogging regularly and growing their influence.

Perhaps your expert is spooked by the prospect of admin work and compliance issues. If so, make it clear that you will help, or even take the lead on this.

If, after all that, the reluctance is simply because they don’t like writing, or don’t know what to write about, here are some more ‘hands on’ suggestions to help.

 

Be specific and add a time frame

 

timeframeSome potential writers may struggle to work out the best way to approach a topic. So, suggest an angle to them; let them know how the article could be slanted or framed.

If you’ve got the ESG expert in front of you, don’t say “we’d love an ESG-themed piece from you”. Instead, tell them how interested you are in the new product that screens for companies with greater gender equality. Then, if possible add a time incentive: “Wouldn’t that make a great piece for International Women’s Day next month?”

 

Offer some hands-on help

 

If these approaches still don’t work, fear not. It may be that your intended cover star is a whizz with spreadsheets and charts, or dazzling behind the podium, but not very practised with pen and paper. Offering some practical help may be the best way forward.

You could try: ‘How can I help you to create an article about this? Why don’t I send you some questions to help with the structure and get your writing started?’

Then, if you carefully consider how you’d like the piece to flow and what points you’d like to cover, it should be straightforward to come up with thought-provoking, open-ended questions that create a natural framework for the article.

 

 

The intro

Every piece of writing needs a good intro, ideally, a storytelling kind of opening, or a fascinating fact that will capture a reader’s attention. These questions might provoke your writer to come up with one.

  • What first got you interested in this?
  • What’s the first thing you tell people about it?
  • What’s the most interesting or surprising thing about it?

 

The main content

These are the kind of questions (also covered very well here) that should help to get your writer’s words flowing.

  • What have you learned in the time you’ve been involved with this?
  • How do you explain it to people who ask?
  • What’s exciting about it now?
  • Has your thinking changed since your involvement with this?

 

The wrap up

At the end of the article, the writer should go over what’s been discussed and, if required, make an appeal to the audience to take action. So, to encourage a thoughtful ending, try asking:

  • How would you sum up what you’ve learned about this?
  • How would you encourage people to get involved?
  • How do we make a call to action for our clients on this?

If your prospective writer sits down to think about and compose answers to the above questions, their words should begin to flow. Then, hopefully, it should be quite straightforward for you or the writer to create an article by weaving these answers skilfully together.

 

Still no takers?

vintage cassette player

If all your requests, encouragements and offers of help are still met with a blank, it’s time to arm yourself with a recording device. Then, you ask the questions, you record the answers, and after some transcribing and careful wordsmithing, you should finally have the article you want.

Hopefully, the star performer will be so pleased with the ghost-written end result, that they’ll sign up much more willingly next time.

Carmen Reid

An author and journalist, Carmen specialises in customer-facing content. A committed wordsmith, she enjoys a good debate with the Copylab grammar geeks.