TLDR; You can use interviews for more than vetting prospective hires. When you integrate informational interviews into your content process, you can:
To become an authority in your niche, you need to know what you are writing about first. Gaining valuable insights and extensive background knowledge about the topics you want to cover is essential for conveying a deep understanding and establishing your authority.
But, content creation and technical expertise don't always go hand in hand. The subject matter experts (SMEs) on your team may not have the writing skills to create engaging articles, while the content writers on your marketing team may lack the knowledge to create an authoritative piece. And, unfortunately, when it comes to writing with authority, "fake it until you make it" doesn't really work.
At Beacons Point, we work with clients across highly complex industries, and it's crucial the content we produce is well-informed, insightful, and answers their audiences’ pain points.
Instead of looking up how to become a subject matter expert in all industries, we employ a journalistic approach to creating marketing content. We figure out who our client's subject matter experts are and we interview them throughout our content process to gain a deeper understanding of each topic and create high-quality content that resonates.
(Listen to this podcast episode while you read through the blog)
How to Use Interviews in Your Marketing and Content Process
When you first start, conducting interviews for your marketing and content creation can be intimidating. As with most new things, however, practice and planning make perfect.
To help make your content interviews a success, you need to set a game plan. We recommend the following:
- Choose an intention and end format
- Compile and ask the right questions
- Rephrase and polish for publishing
One of the main benefits of utilizing interviews for your marketing is they’re incredibly versatile, and you can use them for multiple purposes. Let’s explore a few of them.
Creating Multiple Types of Content
You have several content formats to choose from when it comes to marketing content. Instead of overwhelming yourself by trying everything under the sun, we recommend choosing formats your audience prefers. That may be:
- Blogs: From listicles to how-tos, blogs give you a lot of room for creativity.
- Podcasts: Does your target audience listen to podcasts on their commute to work or during lunch? If so, podcasts may be a great option for you. This format is highly conversational, and educational, and can help establish your brand's voice.
- Webinars: Similar to podcasts, webinars are highly conversational, however, they allow you to utilize visuals in addition to audio. They can also help you reach a more niche audience and answer industry-specific questions.
- Thought leadership: You can turn your interviews into thought leadership content, such as eBooks, pillar pages, or webinars.
- Videos: Video content allows you to humanize your brand and show your audience aspects of a topic you can't necessarily capture in writing. Videos can also help you increase your engagement, conversions, and revenue.
- Interactive content: If you want to drive more engagement with your content, you can turn your interviews into surveys or quizzes.
Building Buyer Personas
Industry experts and your customers have a deep understanding of the challenges they face. Conducting buyer persona interviews will allow you to get to the heart of your prospective customers’ needs and better address them in your content.
Networking and Warm Outreach
The more industry experts you interview, the more you expand your network. This can help you reach leads more organically and nurture them into clients or partner with them to create more content.
The Benefits of Interviewing for Content
Finding the time to interview the SMEs on your team may pose a challenge, but the benefits are well worth it.
1. Allow Subject Matter Experts to Contribute More Easily
If you've tried to get the experts on your team to write an article or even review a blog draft, you’re probably familiar with months-long turn-around times.
The technical experts on your team are extremely busy and may struggle to find time to sit and write an article. They may also not know how to write digestible content for a marketing audience.
By interviewing the SMEs in your company, you can gather all of the information you need to create an accurate and engaging piece of content on a reasonable timeline.
2. Scale Content Creation
Instead of waiting for an SME to write a blog post every month, you can interview a few of your team members and gather enough information for several different types of content. If you play your cards right, you can repurpose one interview into a video, blog, infographic, and more.
3. Grow Your Bank of Knowledge
The more you interview your SMEs, the more you learn about your organization's processes and offerings. As your bank of knowledge grows, you can begin asking your experts more informed questions and spending less time asking them about the basics.
4. Grow Your Network
If you host a podcast and reach out to experts in your niche regularly, you will slowly grow your network. As mentioned earlier, this can also help you capture some warm leads and expand your reach further.
5. Hone Your Conversation Skills and Develop Empathy for Other People's Experiences
Consistently conducting interviews will help you improve your conversation skills, but there's more to this benefit than meets the surface. By learning how to truly listen, you will develop the ability to see things from other perspectives, build empathy, and meet people where they are in that moment. These qualities will help you be a more well-rounded person while creating better content that resonates with your audience.
Taking a journalistic approach to creating content can be a challenge at first. But, it can help you gain a better understanding of your company's processes, create multiple types of content, and expand your reach. Just remember to start small, be consistent, and don't judge your progress.