Have you ever been asked for an interview? It feels great. It gives this awesome feeling that someone appreciates your work and loves it enough to care for your opinion on some topic.
And that is why interviews are such a great way of opening the conversation with strangers, influencers or people you want to get to know. Instead of barging in with a request or suggestion for cooperation or something you want from them, you open the conversation by appreciating their work and expertise.
And this perception of interviews gives a secret power to this form of content that you should not underestimate. What is more: You can utilize the power of interviews to give your content marketing efforts an extra boost.
You ask me how you can do that and what makes interviews so powerful for social media and content marketing?
Here are my 8 favorite ways interviews can positively impact your content marketing success:
1. Build connections
As said before, interviews are a great way of opening the conversation. It is quite easy to ask for them: You can tweet your favorite influencer or send a direct message and ask if they would be open to answer some questions. You can send an email. You can even comment on an awesome blog post or a Facebook post.
Don’t be put off if you do not get an answer, they may simply not have seen your request. But chances are high that you will get some reaction – and if it is not the first person you contact it may well be the second or third.
For instance, when we were still running our publishing platform exploreB2B, we had an interview series going on: We made contact via email or Twitter, and these contacts opened the door for us to guest posts on some of the most influential marketing blogs. We got on the radar of some famous marketers, and they mentioned us and our platform in some of their blog posts. Something we would probably not have been able to achieve so fast as a young startup company without the interviews as door openers.
2. Get expertise and value into your content
Interviews are a great way to get expertise (and credibility) into your content. Even expertise you may not fully possess for yourself. Interviewing experts can add great value and insights to your content – and your audience will appreicate your effort in getting it to them.
Even though the knowledge is not yours in the first place, this expertise will shine on you, too. At least you have the foresight to ask the right person to deliver this expertise.
3. Brand yourself as an expert
It is not only your own knowledge that brands you as an expert. Knowledge that you get into your content from other sources adds more value to your content and helps to brand you as an expert.
Also, showing that other experts and influencers are in contact with you help to showcase your own expertise and influence.
4. Get a new viewpoint into your content
A new point of view adds value, especially if it’s the point of view of an expert. You do not have to agree with everything that is said in the interview. Having the backbone to let others speak out even if they do not agree with your own views can show your self-confidence. Plus, a disagreement can help to focus on arguments and proof instead of mere claims. This may help with making the point even more clear and allowing your audience to form their own opinion.
5. Save time for content creation
Let’s be honest: One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is to come up with fresh content all the time. Interviews are a great way of letting others do the major work on the content creation. Sure, a great interview needs some thoughts on the right questions – and you will have to do some editing, maybe even some back and forth emailing with your interview partner. But the main work will go into the answers and these will be answered by your interview partner.
I have seen blogs that built their content almost solely on interviews – and that is totally legit. It would not be my way but it is a great way of coming up with a constant stream of interesting content.
6. Interviews are great to repurpose
The story of the interview does not need to be finished with publishing it. For instance, you can reuse the main statements from interviews, put them on images and repurpose them in social media – never forget to link to the complete interview.
Also if you have several interviews on related topics, why not make a write up of the main statements either as a guest post, or even a white paper.
For instance, when we had the publishing platform exploreB2B we had a series of interviews on SEO and Content Marketing. We repurposed some of the main statements from the answers into a whitepaper called „The Expert’s Guide To Online Marketing“ featuring opinions of some of the major marketing influencers.
Another great way to repurpose at least some of the interview content is to use a statement from the interview as the hook for a new article. For instance, I used a quote from Michael Brenner from his interview on exploreB2B as the hook in a guest post on Jeff Bullas’ blog:
7. Get more social shares
There are several ways to use interviews to get more social shares. Here are some ideas:
- Tweet the content and mention the interviewee’s Twitter account. Most interview partners will be proud of the interview and help you spread the word
- Add quote images to your content featuring some of the most important statements from the article. These images can be used for tweets, pins or even on Instagram and Facebook
- Add ready-made tweetable quotes into the interview – your audience may be happy to tweet these awesome statements if you just make it easy to do so
- Be creative
8. Get backlinks
This is not a given. No one will guarantee you that every interview you conduct and publish will also get you additional backlinks. But a great interview does offer several reasons for various people to link to it:
- If you do it right, the interviewee will be proud of the interview, and often they will use it to show their importance by linking to at least some of the interviews they have given
- If the interview offers great knowledge and some quotable statements, people may simply quote from the interview and link back to it. – I have done so in the past
- I have used a great quote from an interview on our website as a hook for a guest post, which allowed me to link back to the interview from the post.
Final Words on using interviews in content marketing
Interviews can come in many forms and various lengths. You can use written interviews, video or simply voice interviews for instance for a podcast. Some types of interviews need some adapting of the tips. For instance, in a podcast interview, you can only publish quote images in the show notes. But they can still work.
An interview can only be as good as the questions you ask. It is up to you to come up with great questions for the interview. Don’t go for interviews as a cheap way to produce content – do your homework. The better you do your job with great questions, the more high-profile people will be willing to work with you.
And the many benefits of interviews should easily pay you back for the work you have to invest into great interviews.