You have high-quality content that brings value to your audience, what’s next?
Share that content with the world.
Your fabulous prose, witty turns of phrase, and compelling connections can do more than rack up SEO bonus points on your website (though that’s good too). Sharing your content invites your current audience, prospects, and centers of influence (COI) to engage with your ideas.
But remember, content marketing goes beyond sharing your own thoughts and ideas to actively engaging with other’s thoughts and ideas as well. An excellent way to forge connections and become a thought leader within your industry and industries that hover on the periphery is to talk with other professionals via an interview.
Why is an interview a strong lead generation tool and how can you effectively turn an interview into a feature blog post?
Why Interviews Convert
When blogging, sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the sound of your own voice (or the tip-tapping of your office keyboard). Your writing voice is unique and special—it’s why your audience dutifully clicks on your new content each month (a writer’s dream).
But sometimes it’s best to broaden your and your audience’s horizons by interviewing a different industry leader to get their perspective on an event, idea, or situation.
Think about it like this. Remember when you had a guest speaker/teacher/lecturer come into your class and everything they said seemed to be profound and different, even if it was essentially the same information your teacher had been trying to drill into your heads all semester.
Hearing information from someone else’s vantage point is interesting and exciting—it’s why interviews do so well. Interviews also work because they inspire human connection, a central tenant of compelling content.
Let’s look at an example. Millions of viewers anxiously awaited the moment when Oprah interviewed Megan Markle and Price (or ex-Prince) Harry this past March. The two-hour-long special took people on a journey to learn about the couple’s life along with the trials, joys, and struggles that come with the royal titles—and viewers were riveted. The interview captured over 17 million views, making it one of the most-watched broadcasts of the year, behind the Super Bowl.
This example is meant to demonstrate that interviews can be attention-grabbing. When done right, they can also make a great addition to your marketing plan. Interviewing high-profile leaders in your industry or COIs can help expand your network and provide quality information to your audience.
Tips To Ace Any Interview
The audience’s eyes are just as much focused on the interviewer as the interviewee. Before you decide to conduct an interview whether on a podcast, webinar, video, or simply over the phone or via email, you should have all of your ducks in a row. Let’s take a look at some best practices to ace your interview.
- Do your research
- Have a good sense of who you’re interviewing so you can ask the most relevant and interesting questions for your audience. What’s their specialty? How can your audience learn best from this person? What are you hoping to gain from the conversation?
- Create an outline
- While some interviews benefit from less structure, more often than not, you should have an end goal in mind from the start. Begin by outlining the trajectory for the interview. An example could be: introductions, career path, career growth, future plans, conclusion. An outline will help keep you on track and give the interview focus and purpose.
- Lead and guide the conversation
- You should have a strong command over the trajectory of the conversation. Keep the conversation going at a good pace, and don’t be afraid to divert from your outline if it goes down an even more lucrative path. Sometimes, you can’t (and shouldn’t) avoid spontaneity.
- Listen more than you talk
- You want to hear your guest’s thoughts, so be sure to actively listen throughout the conversation. Adding commentary here and there could be appropriate, but it’s often best to keep the focus on the person you’re interviewing rather than yourself.
Now that you’re ready to tackle your interview with thoughtfulness and care, how can you turn it into a blog post your audience will return to again and again?
From Interview To Blog In 4 Quick Steps
An interview, like any other piece of writing, should have a point of view, connect with the audience, and provide value. While there are several ways to structure your interview/blog post, below is a clean and simple template you can use to present your interview compellingly and straightforwardly.
1. Write a click-worthy title
The first point of business here is to not confuse the term click-worthy with click-bait. What’s the difference? Click-bait is a tactic used to get readers in the door but the content often falls well short of the built-up expectations. This type of content over-promises and under-delivers, a cardinal sin of quality content.
The bottom line? Steer clear of click-bait. Instead, craft a title that’s descriptive and unique to the material. You want to capture your audience’s attention by giving them a taste of the material to come. Tips to make your titles more attractive to readers:
- Use numbers
- Numbers get people’s attention, so use them to your advantage in an interview title to get your audience in the door.
- Example: 5 Simple Marketing Tactics “X” Person Uses To Boost Customer Leads By Up To 80% (I’d read that blog)
- Ask a question
- Interviews are all about questions and answers, so why not use that formula for your title? A question intrigues your reader and invites them to explore the answer with you.
- Example: Is Your Marketing Strategy Hitting A Plateau? 5 Ways To Revamp It With Stellar Marketing Expert “X”
- Strategically write power words
- You’ve likely heard that power words increase engagement on posts. Why is this true? Power words inspire emotion and grab people’s attention.
- Examples of power words: Inspiring, Easy, Simple, Bold, Trend, Powerful, Incredible.
2. Introduce your guest and create a synopsis
Before diving into the Q&A, take a paragraph or so to introduce your guest. Perhaps they will request that you use a particular bio or you could write a quick one of your own. It’s also best to link back to their website so viewers can learn more about them.
Your introduction should familiarize readers with the subject matter you’re going to discuss and provide some critical ways that the readers will glean value from the information. Clue readers in on the “why” of the blog, but be sure that you don’t give away too much upfront.
This section doesn’t have to be exhaustive, just enough to set the foundation for what’s to come. That could be anything from a couple of sentences to a couple of paragraphs.
3. Dive into the Q&A
Now for the fun part! It’s time to write out your questions and their answers. Since you’re writing the blog after the fact, you can pick and choose the best questions and answers and link to the full interview should it be available for readers to access. If not, simply write the Q&A in the order that best suits the material.
For brevity and clarity, you may have to edit the conversation. Should you do this it’s best to send the edited version to the person you interviewed to make sure it’s accurate. You don’t want to alter the tone or message of the interview. Try to keep the information as original as possible. You can likely edit for grammar or clarity without any issues.
4. Provide a conclusion and key takeaways
Your interview had a purpose. It’s important to clearly highlight that purpose for your audience at the end of the post to help reinforce the points you want your audience to walk away with. It’s often best to create anywhere from 3-5 key points from your interview.
Bonus: Add a call to action for your website as well.
Share The Content With Your Audience
Now, you’re ready to tackle your next interview project and turn it into a blog post your audience will love. Once you’ve created your blog, remember to share it with your audience. Perhaps you and the person you spoke with will do a joint email or social media campaign. That way both of you can reach a broader network of people.
Creating amazing content is simply step one. Sharing and repurposing it is an ongoing element of your marketing strategy.
We love helping people connect with their audience by creating amazing content. Want to learn more about how original content and a tailored marketing approach can help you reach your audience? Set up a call with our team today.