Interviews seem like the type of content reserved for journalists, reporters, or similar professionals. After all, when we hear the word “interview,” we either think of a private job interview in closed quarters, or an interview published on a news channel. But interviews are far more diverse and far more practical than most people give them credit for, especially in the context of a content writing campaign.
When used correctly, industry-related interviews can be a major boon for your content marketing campaign, both in the way of improving your search engine ranks and increasing your perceived authority.
Interviews aren’t always easy, but they tend to develop a ton of content on their own. For every question you ask, your interviewee will provide a paragraph or more of original material that you can use as content on your blog. In total, every sentence you write will return at least another three or four sentences of material, making it an incredibly efficient means of content generation. Adding to that level of efficiency, you can re-use some of your questions for every interview, minimizing the effort you spend for the maximum return.
Interviews are a prime opportunity to reach out to influencers in your industry. It’s a free opportunity for some additional publicity, so most influencers are happy to get involved, even if you’re operating at a lower level of influence than they’re used to. When people see your company associated with these major influencers, they’ll view you as having a slightly higher authority. If you’re seen interviewing dozens of different major influencers, you’ll become a major influencer in your own right.
If you were interviewed by a company or a publisher, you’d want to syndicate that opportunity immediately. Once your interview goes live or gets published, your interviewee will naturally want to syndicate that material to his/her own followers, giving you both mutual publicity as you push it to your respective audiences. You’ll also get additional exposure to a new audience segment, which is a prime opportunity to grow your social following.
Of course, your interviews don’t have to—and shouldn’t—be exclusively in written format. While a written interview holds plenty of benefits for an SEO and content marketing strategy, video formats tend to attract more clicks, and audio formats (like podcasts) can easily grow a strong recurring following. Experiment with different interviewing mediums, and remember, you can always add a written transcript in addition to your audio or video post in order to capture the additional written benefits.
Interviews tend to generate original pieces of information and quotable tidbits that end up appearing on other sources. Any time another blogger wants to quote you or your interviewee, they’ll link to your original interview and use the quote you originated. As a result, one successful interview can yield dozens of new backlinks and tons of new domain authority. It’s a great, but time-consuming link building tactic.
Once you start interviewing, you can develop an ongoing content series, possibly connected under a recurring theme. If you do this, it will be much easier to retain and grow a sub-following that is committed to tuning into your ongoing interviews. These recurring audience members will grow to become loyal to your brand, and your company is going to reap the results.
Interviews aren’t just about bolstering the authority of your company or getting more organic or social traffic. Engaging with major thought leaders and influencers in your industry is a key opportunity to expand your own horizons and develop your own skills. By asking insightful questions and getting to know these people as individuals in the context of interviews, you’ll become a better-rounded professional, and you’ll be able to advance yourself as a thought leader.
If you’ve never conducted an interview before and you’re feeling nervous, don’t worry. Interviews are simple, and you don’t need to be an expert in order to conduct one successfully.
Find Great Interviewees
Your first step is to find great potential interviewees. Start looking for major influencers in your industry or community, and reach out to them using personal connections or social media interactions. In most cases, social influencers are more than happy to be interviewed—it’s a flattering request, more often than not.
Write Great Questions
Next, spend some serious time writing up critical and thought-provoking questions. Research what others have done in interviews before you, and make it a point to ask unique and practical questions. Be sure to include at least a few questions specific to your interviewee.
Practice Before Going Live
Before you conduct the actual interview, do a mock interview with a coworker or friend to practice your familiarity with the questions, your poise, and your pacing. If you’re just getting started with interviews, it’s a good idea to only post a written transcript once the interview is over. After you’ve had some practice, you can move on to audio or video interviews, and eventually move to live streams.
Circulate Your Material
Work to actively circulate your interviews once complete. Make yourself known as an interviewing authority. Your interviewees will offer significant help in this effort, but you must take it upon yourself to get the greatest visibility for your work.
Start integrating interviews into your regular content schedule immediately. Even offering one new interview a month will go a long way in boosting your other content and making your brand a greater authority in your industry. If your industry doesn’t have many companies implementing such interviews, your opportunity is even greater. Get an edge over the competition by offering a type of content that they’ve simply left on the table.