Content Marketing Tools: The Interview
There are many different kinds of content that you can use to market your business. One in particular that can be extremely effective is Interviewing. Simply identify influential people in your business and industry and conduct an interview with them. There are a number of benefits to using interviews, and I will also review some best practices when it comes to presenting interviews as part of your content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Tools: Benefits of Interviews
First, by conducting an interview, you save yourself the trouble of having to come up with an research a blog topic. For this article, I needed to decide that I wanted to write about interviews, and then I read quite a few other articles and blogs to freshen up my knowledge of interviewing. Had I simply interviewed an expert on interviewing, all I would have needed to do was ask some questions and let them answer them.
Second, interviews can be done over and over again. One of the key issues facing content marketers in 2013 is going to be creating enough content, but most every business should have plenty of potential interview candidates. Just like when you're brainstorming blog topic ideas, start creating a list of people you can interview and that will give you plenty of people to call on throughout the year.
Third, by conducting interviews, you will begin to establish better and better relationships with those individuals. Networking is an invaluable technique for growing your business and establishing a steady flow of incoming sales leads, and letting someone else talk about themselves for 30 minutes will really help you get to know them. If you portray them positively and potentially send them some business, they'll be quick to reciprocate if they can.
Fourth, you will improve your own status and credibility through your interviews. Each time you interview an expert, you will be publicly associating yourself with that person, and by allowance, they with you. When your customers see you interviewing someone really cool, they'll assume you must be really cool too. I think my friend Tara has one of the best jobs in the world. She works for MLB.com out of New York and gets to conduct interviews with Major League Baseball players. She attends games and events, including the All Star Game and World Series, and also interviews celebrities and musicians who get involved. We see pictures she posts on Facebook and think, "wow, that's so cool!"
Fifth, interviewing an expert is an excellent way to further educate yourself! It's likely that only a portion of the interview will actually be published as you may decide to cut out some questions or portions of answers for the sake of your written interview, but you will have been a part of the larger conversation and will likely gain far more than your readers will.
Content Marketing Tools: Interview Best Practices
- Ask your interviewee for 30 minutes and try to keep within that timeframe
- Do your homework ahead of time and understand who you're interviewing, what they do, and what questions you're going to ask
- Ask for further explanation if you don't understand a response
- Listen carefully to everything that's said
- Don't talk too much - let your interviewee do most of the talking
- Listen for opportunities to ask follow-up questions to dig deeper into the subject
- Try to be comfortable and friendly so as not to create an awkward situation
- Record the interview using your iPhone or Android recorder for future reference
- Consider editing the recording as a podcast
- Consider video interviews - particularly if the expert is remote - using Skype, FaceTime or Google+ Hangouts
- Say Thank You!
The image above is a screenshot from Voice Record Pro, a free app for the iPad that will allow you to easily create a new voice recording, using various levels of quality, and as soon as you stop recording, you can immediately play, email and save it to Photo Albums, Google Drive, DropBox or even SkyDrive.
If you put these techniques in place each time you conduct an interview, you'll be well-positioned to have a fun, successful conversation with an industry expert that you can publish. Your readers will appreciate the shared information and be fascinated not only by the expert and interview, but by how you conducted it.
Would you like more hands-on assistance with your content marketing strategy? Please contact us for a free initial consultation.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."