If you want to take your content from meh to marvellous, you just need one little tweak: start including interviews.
Why do interviews make your content more authoritative?
So many reasons.
- Interviews give your content more credibility and colour
- Original quotes elevate your brand and help create content people trust
- A skilled journalist or copywriter can save you lots of time creating marketing materials
- Including interviews can naturally lead to more shares and traffic from different audiences.
Here’s why you want to start including interviews in your copy or content.
#1 – Interviews with your leaders can be turned into credible, convincing content and help position your brand as an authority
People want to work with people. That’s a fact.
And chances are, there’s someone in your company with expertise and knowledge they should be sharing with existing and potential customers.
That kind of helpful content does two things: it turns followers into fans AND it gives your brand authority. In the case of a CEO or company head, it allows people a peek behind the scenes of the business.
You might use interviews and quotes with company leaders in your…
– blog posts
– LinkedIn newsletters
– thought leadership pieces
– social media galleries
– YouTube videos.
As an example, at Rachel’s List I often share tips or tricks for freelancers keen to build a thriving business. And last year, we did a competition with Rounded sharing business tips. This was one short gallery (of many) which I did, sharing my own business tips. The entire collaboration led to lots of engagement and quite a few new followers, which was a real win-win for our brand.
The sky’s the limit with this kind of content. And if you’re not able to create it yourself, a ghost writer (such as a journalist, copywriter or content strategist) can easily do the heavy lifting.
They can create or follow a strategy, interview your leaders regularly (or relevant experts), and turn those interview transcripts into regular, valuable content for your blog or socials.
#2 – Case studies which use interviews help you convert customers and sell more stuff (yep, really)
Case studies are essentially customer success stories – and feature-style case studies can be a powerful form of social proof.
We know that simple testimonials on your website can increase conversions by up to 34 percent – and case studies are essentially an expanded form of this. According to Hubspot, a whopping 88 percent of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Plus, people crave stories – and that element, combined with the right data, shows other potential customers, ‘Look! We did this for X customer, and our product / service could help you, too’.
Here’s an example of a case study I wrote for a client, Frontline Recruitment Group, from an interview with a candidate and her experiences using their services to help find a job.
Don’t forget, interviews can be repurposed in heaps of different ways, giving you waaaay more bang for your buck.
A video interview with the customer can be turned into a text-based case study, or edited for your Youtube channel or an Instagram reel. The opportunities are endless – and it’s a relatively easy way to create content people trust and use to make their own buying decisions.
#3 – Expert quotes give heft and credibility to your content marketing (and more importantly, dial down the boredom factor)
Different voices, expert views, a pithy quote or three – it all brings credibility and interest to your content. When using interviews to create content people trust, the piece will be more authoritative, usually offer genuine value – and it’s easier to weave in a storytelling element.
For example, I did a story for Westpac’s Ruby Connection about how to have tough conversations around Christmas time when you’re a bit cash-strapped. It could have been a desk research piece, but I knew including the right expert would make it far stronger and more sharable.
I interviewed finance journalist and author Jessica Irvine for several reasons: 1) she’d just released a new finance book; 2) I knew she’d probably share the content with her networks and 3) she was really good talent for the Westpac / Ruby brand to associate with.
(Hot tip: journalists usually have a very plump little black book full of the best sources and experts – and can save you oodles of time trying to think up the right people to interview.)
Plus, the client re-purposed some of Jessica’s tips into this social gallery for their Facebook page. Smart, right?
Okay, I get it… but surely research-based content marketing is just as good?
There’s some great, in-depth and super-valuable content marketing out there, you’re right. And of course, writing content without having to interview anyone is faster and easier (and cheaper) to produce.
But the trouble with traditional content marketing is that most of it is created from online research – so you end up with a piece of content that fits the brief, but doesn’t stand out. (Or, dare I say it, is so boring it puts you to sleep.)
Add an expert interview or two – and things shift. You’ve got people’s attention again.
And, you’ve got a piece of content that’s unique, based on expert knowledge, and far more useful to your customers. Immediately, that content has an edge over anything research-only based.
Wait! Isn’t there a way to automate interviews with AI?
Nope. The robots may be here and shaking up the content world, but they’ve got nothing on a skilled journalist, copywriter or content producer.
Whether that changes in the future remains to be seen, but right now, you’ll want an accomplished writer to do your interviews (definitely NOT a bot).
A shy or reluctant CEO, a customer whose only responses are yes or no, an expert with specialist knowledge you want to incorporate into a content marketing piece … all of these are situations a skilled journalist will excel at.
Why? Because journalists know how to draw people out, build a rapport, ask the right questions and get those people talking.
What it costs to commission interview-led content
I won’t beat around the bush – it DOES cost more to include interviews in your content.
This is because the writer has to often track down the right source, prepare questions, conduct the interview, transcribe and select the right quotes to use in the story, all of which takes extra time.
But it’s not a HUGE investment to include interviews and the ROI you’ll get from doing so will far out-weigh the additional costs.
As a ballpark, a desk-based research piece that costs you $500 might cost you $750 with 2 x interviews – depending on the writer, the word count and the complexity of the interviews and the piece itself.
Here’s why you’ll never go back to research-only content
I’ve had many clients agree to switch from research-based content marketing to articles that include interviews – and I’ve never had a client say, ‘Nah, not convinced; let’s just go back to research-based posts’. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Clients I work for who have switched to interview-led content love it because:
- the articles are instantly more trustworthy and far more interesting to read
- experts usually offer unexpected insights and value for your customer / audience
- interview-led pieces are likely to be shared and help you tap into new audiences.
Let me say that again: if you choose the right experts to interview, they’ll often share it with their own networks. This expands the reach of the piece, builds brand awareness and draws new audiences to your website.
No matter why you include interviews in your content, it’s always going to be a win-win for your brand. And it’s an easy, cost-effective way to ensure you stand out in a crowded market.