If you’ve been wracking your brain trying to come up with ways to create good quality content for your content marketing program, think about conducting a few interviews.
Interviews are an extremely valuable but probably very underutilized source of useful content for your company’s content marketing program.
Think about it.
No matter what industry you’re in, there are experts, pundits and leaders with specific knowledge and opinions valued by your target audience. By conducting and publishing interviews about them, you’re creating original, specific content that will resonate with your audience, get shared, drive traffic to your site and improve your brand awareness.
Interviews are Original
How many times have you been reading a blog and gotten that "been there, done that" feeling?
That's because the author has probably just rehashed some article they found on the Internet and published as it original content. This kind of content marketing, while not desirable, is certainly understandable – especially if you’re a content marketer.
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge for a content marketer is coming up with unique and original content.
And interviews, by the very nature, are original. The words that come out of people’s mouths are unique. The conversation that you have does not exist anywhere else on this planet.
And your audience can tell the difference. Original content tends to get shared more on social media. Increased sharing improves rankings in search engines, driving more traffic and even more shares – a virtuous cycle.
Interviews are Specific
Too many times, I've read blog posts that espouse only high level platitudes:
“Engage with your audience”
“Content is King”
“Do Your Keyword Research”
But they don't go into the details about how to engage
with your audience or exactly why content is king.
Interviews, on the other hand, are specific. If you’ve done your research and thought about the questions you’re going to ask, the interview can be a rich exchange of opinions and ideas that will have the power to actually engage your audience. We’re verbal creatures at heart. We enjoy the back-and-forth of two knowledgeable people having a stimulating conversation. Your audience will not only learn but be entertained by the personal experiences and interesting anecdotes of the interviewee. In short, good interviews are compelling, must-see TV.
Getting Specific is Good SEO
Specificity has another advantage - improved SEO and conversion rates.
People search on very specific things these days. They’ll pose entire questions to Google hoping to find someone who’s had a similar problem and published a solution.
Here are three actual queries from Google (including the last one):
- “How to increase sales in my electronics stores?”
- "How to fix a HP C8180 Color Printer”
- “What if someone calls you at home someone called me about 4 times and I thought it was a prank call but then I called the number back and I told the person to stop making prank calls to me and I was really mad and upset and it turned out to be one of my husband’s employees making the call and I could not believe it and I just hung up should I have called the person back or not?”
If Google is doing their job and you’ve done your SEO properly, people will find your specific interview topic because it’s highly relevant to their specific query. You may not get large amounts of traffic but the traffic you do get
will be of high quality i.e. people who are very interested in your content and therefore…should I say it….actually engaged.
After that, selling to them is relatively easy. You’ve earned credibility and engaged them. Engaged people tend to buy from companies that have answered their question and improved their lives in some small way.
Interviews are Multimedia
The last great thing about interviews is that they span all the different medias. Whether your audience prefers to listen to audio, watch a video or read the text of an interview, you can publish it in one, two or all three mediums.
Audio & Video Interviews
These days, interviews can be easily recorded across the Internet and turned into an embeddable file to put on your blog. Depending on your subject matter, available bandwidth and your audience’s preference, you can choose to record a video (talking heads) interview or a simpler audio conversation.
Record an Interview on Skype
Skype remains a very popular platform for online voice communications and can be used for interviews as well. There are many different applications out there that will record your Skype audio conversations. Here are a few of the more popular ones:
Record an Interview with Go To Meeting
Go To Meeting (by Citrix) is a popular platform for holding all kinds of online meetings. The paid version allows you to record any part of an online meeting. You can even record the actions on your screen as you’re going through the interview. After you’ve finished recording, Go To Meeting automatically downloads the audio file in either a Go To Meeting format or in Windows format (.wmv file). Unfortunately, Go To Meeting doesn’t allow you to record from your webcam so a talking head video interview is not possible.
Create a Video Out of an Audio File by Adding Photos
After you record an audio interview via Skype or Go To Meeting, you still may want to add a visual element to the interview. An easy way to do this is to add photos or images of diagrams with simple video editing software.
You can add “pre-roll” graphics, photos of the interviewee or diagrams that augment the content of the audio interview. Your audience will welcome any type of imagery that adds another layer of visual information to the audio conversation they’re listening to.
Just fire up iMovie (Mac), Windows Movie Maker or Camtasia Studio. Then add your audio track, import the images, add them to the video track and boom! Now you’ve got a video that’s more engaging and informative than just simple audio.
Transcribe Your Interview to Maximize SEO Benefit
Despite all these technologies, search engines still have a hard time reading video and audio files. That’s why it’s a great idea to transcribe your interview and include the text below your audio or video embedded on your blog or web page.
A typical 15 minute interview may include 2,000 spoken words. That’s 2,000 words that Google can easily digest and index, ready to match up to a million different future queries. It’s an SEO win that you shouldn’t pass up.
Here are software and services that will transcribe your audio files. Your mileage may vary.
- Speechpad – Human generated transcription services starting at $1.00 per minute of audio
- Dragon Dictation – Leading speech-to-text transcription software
- Subply – Another crowd-sourced transcription service (they do translation as well)
- Fox Transcribe - $1.00 minute, claim 98% accuracy
- Speaker Text - $2.00 per minute; first 5 minutes are free!
Creating unique, original and specific content like interviews requires hard work – no doubt.
But frankly, do we as content marketers have any other choice? When you create an original piece of content that resonates with your audience, you’ve created a true marketing asset that pays off long into the future.
Conversely, when you create a piece of unoriginal, mediocre content it ends up being a waste of time for the reader AND the author. It ends up not being found on search engines or shared on social media. It doesn’t get read and quickly falls by the wayside.
So the question for you as a content marketer is: How are you going to spend your valuable time?