The blogging landscape is changing.
There’s a new wave of mass content production with AI leading the charge.
And then there are content mills working overtime, following a workflow you’re quite familiar with:
- Open Google.
- Research the topic (without leaving the first page).
- Create the content and submit it.
This process is quick but since that’s how most people write, readers are met with regurgitated content at every turn.
So, how do you stay relevant and create content that’s unique?
That’s where interviewing experts come in.
Interviews bring authenticity and diversity to your piece, providing values readers can’t find elsewhere.
It’s an art and we’re going to give you an overview of how we do it over here at Minuttia.
But first, let’s talk about why it’s important.
Why Conducting Interviews is Important for Content Programs?
To begin, we need to establish a fact:
More people are posting articles online like never before. And there are two main reasons for that—they wanna rank and get more visibility.
While that’s great, their strategy of just churning out content isn’t.
Because in the long run, there’ll be nothing separating them from content mills or their competitors.
- A better strategy is to ensure that any article you put out:
- Meets the needs of your audience at different stages of the marketing funnel.
- Positions you as an authority in your industry.
Provides value that’s useful to readers and will keep them coming back for more.
Now, how do you do that?
Enter: Original content.
This refers to content that’s unique and can help you become an authority figure in the industry. This can be done through personal storytelling, surveys, data storytelling, and, of course, interviews.
Now, interviews are quite useful in content creation, especially for a niche industry. You’ll get access to information that can help you create a unique connection with your audience.
It also helps writers tell a story through the lens of the interviewee (expert).
But beyond that, here are other reasons why conducting interviews is good for business.
Adds value to the readers
Using the information experts give you during an interview, you can create high-quality content for your audience.
Think of it as legal insider information and that can be the turning point for your content program.
This way, your readers can always count on you for exclusive insight. And you become their go-to plug anytime they need helpful info.
In-depth analysis of technical information
Writers are great researchers. There’s no doubt about that. But sometimes, being able to craft words and hook the audience isn’t enough, especially if the target audience is CEOs, CFOs, or experts in their fields.
In such situations, only expert knowledge can do the trick. And what better way than to hear from the horse’s mouth? When interviewing experts for your blog, let them walk you through technical information. Then, you can further simplify it for your audience.
Enrich blog content inventory
Want content at scale? Interviewing industry experts is one way to do that.
You get to speak with different experts on several topics to create content and transform the conversations into different content formats. From podcasts to social media posts, blogs; the whole works.
For blogs, you can create content in different ways. You might decide to write the blog in the expert’s voice or use the extracted information to create storytelling or contrarian content.
Interviewing experts for content would place your blog on a whole new level in your industry. More specifically, it would help you build credibility.
When you publish content featuring well-known industry experts, you’re letting your audience know that you’re different. After all, experts would only associate themselves with people who know their stuff.
Overall, interviews help you thrive in a highly competitive SERP by creating original content your audience can rely on.
So, how do you start interviewing experts?
Here’s the general approach we follow at Minuttia.
The 4 Phases of Interviewing Experts
Interviewing shouldn’t be that hard right? You just find a renowned expert, schedule a meeting with them, and you’re good to.
If only that was true.
Interviewing experts is an art that you need to master. It involves asking the right questions in the most conversational manner.
Here are four phases we follow during interviews.
Phase #1: Research
The first thing we do is give ourselves homework by doing a deep dive into the industry and the topic we wanna interview on. We call it the preparation phase.
At Minuttia, we take this phase seriously, like we’re getting ready to write a piece.
So first, we embody the topic and familiarize ourselves with industry trends, analogies, or terms. Basically, stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the industry.
Secondly, we try to understand the pain point of the audience.
What’s a general problem they are dealing with?
Finally, it’s important to know what to ask and talk about during the interview. There’s no way of knowing this if you don’t do your research.
Here’s what one of our content team leads had to say about this phase:
Sometimes, researching might also mean using a product to see how it works. Then taking notes of observations or questions we can use during the interview.
Overall, researching helps us identify gaps in our existing knowledge so we know how to approach the interview.
But then we have to be smart about it. When interviewing, we try to be the middleman between the readers and experts.
That means, not letting the knowledge from our research turn the interview into an intellectual standoff. Instead, we use that knowledge to learn about what readers need and ask the subject matter expert to explain it in simple terms.
Phase #2: Conversation
After we’re done with the research, there are always loads of questions in our notes.
And if we’re not careful, the interview can quickly turn into live competitions where we’re just throwing questions at the interviewee.
But not to brag, we are careful. So, instead of the lawyer-witness kind of questioning, we have conversations with interviewees.
Pretty much like what you see on The SaaS SEO Show. If you’ve never seen an episode, here’s your chance to go watch one.
We bring different experts and have conversations on multiple topics.
Does that mean we don’t ask questions?
We do but questions are used as prompts so we don’t go off topic.
The trick when having conversations is to internalize it. Since you already know what readers want, you need to understand the expert’s opinion and see if it meets your audience’s pain point.
As a good rule of thumb, here’s what our team lead advises:
Experts are like tour guides in this case while you are a visitor.
Open the floor by telling them what you need and watch them take on an informative tour, giving insights you’d have never thought to ask. It’s much easier like this, as asking follow-up questions comes naturally.
This way, you can easily create content that’s very clear and detailed for the audience.
Key takeaways from here:
- Prepare questions based on research and the audience’s needs.
- Be fully immersed in the conversation so you can ask follow-up questions.
- Make experts comfortable by letting them express themselves.
Phase #3: Adjustment
Here’s one thing you need to know when interviewing experts:
They are experts with knowledge and experience. As such, they might not be able to arrange their thoughts in a way that’s easy to understand for users.
That’s our job.
Just because the interview was perfect doesn’t mean that’s the right flow for the blog.
We look for solid ideas from the conversation and develop a logical argument you can’t find elsewhere.
In the adjusting phase, you can either quote the experts directly as we did further up in Phase #1, or indirectly by just readjusting their statements.
Essentially, you’re conveying the experts’ insights or ideas in a way that aligns with your content strategy so readers don’t miss out on anything.
During this phase, here’s a sneak peek into some of the things we do:
- Transcribe the interview so it’s easy to adjust later on.
- Pick the key ideas from the conversation.
- Remove fluff that doesn’t support the content’s argument.
- Watch out for technical terms used so you can weave them into content.
Phase #4: Repurpose
Remember how we said interviews can enrich your content inventory?
Well, repurposing conversations is how that happens. In most instances, interviews are usually done over a video conferencing app like Zoom or Google Meet.
So with the interviewee’s permission, you can record the conversation. That gives you video content you can upload to YouTube or any other social media platform and audio content for podcasts.
A good example is our Content marketplaces and AI content with Carlos Meza’s episode for our podcast, The SaaS SEO Show. This was originally an interview for our audience.
But we repurposed it to create a YouTube video and an audio version of this episode.
That’s the good thing about interviewing experts, it’s usually packed with so much value that you can create blog posts, newsletters, or social media posts from it.
But then again, you can only repurpose high-value interviews, which is why researching is crucial to this art.
Our team lead put it correctly:
And it’s not just about being clueless but losing the chance to milk the interview like you ought to.
While interviewing experts can help you create original content for your blog, it’s not a walk in the park.
It comes with a few challenges which we’ll unpack next.
What are the Objections to Creating Content from Interviews?
If you’ve ever tried conducting an interview with experts before, chances are you’ve experienced one of these difficulties.
We know because, at some point, we were in your shoes, too.
Let’s see if you can relate to any of them.
Not knowing what to ask
You’re probably wondering how you won’t know what to ask in an interview.
“I’d have done my research and prepared all the questions I need to ask,” you say.
Well, imagine the interviewee answered all of them at the same time without you even asking.
Do you just say thank you and end the meeting after two minutes
And if you don’t believe that can happen, it did.
As an interviewer, that’s one of the worst things that can happen to you because it gives the impression that you’re not up to the task.
What’s the way out?
Carry out in-depth research or better yet, reach out to us to conduct interviews and turn them into content.
From experience, we know how crucial research is to an interview and we’ve learned never to go in unprepared.
Experts are unavailable
Sometimes, booking an appointment with experts can be difficult. They’re either at a conference, speaking at a webinar, or just being very busy like most experts.
However, the truth is there are still people who know how to get their attention. You know, like George from Minuttia.
Now, if the experts you wanna interview are internal and you’re having a hard time getting them on board, here’s what you can do.
Try to understand what they’re passionate about and explain how content can help them make that happen.
So, if it’s more sales, talk about how the content program can contribute to sales and why their input is needed.
Writers don’t know how to interview
As we said earlier, interviewing is an art. Not everyone is skilled at it.
If that’s the case, you’ve got two options:
- Train your in-house writers on how to interview.
- Collaborate with a content marketing agency like Minuttia.
The first option might sound nice but the truth is, it might take a while for them to master this art.
The alternative is partnering with people who have a proven record of interviewing experts and creating high-value content.
If you want, you can outsource content while training your writers on how to conduct interviews.
No experts on the team
Well, you don’t need to have experts on your team before you can interview them.
As long as there are experts in your industry, you can always reach out to external experts. They’d have good insight into what the audience wants and how the industry operates.
The aim is to create content that’s unique. So, internal or external doesn’t matter.
And that brings us to the end of this guide.
Let’s wrap things up with some parting words.
Now Over to You
Creating content that’s different from the competition is no longer an option, it’s a necessity if you want to scale your content program.
It’s definitely not gonna be easy, but if your program must work, you need to make some hard decisions. Like say—deciding to create unique content.
It’s going to be one of the reasons why your audience seeks you out.
Ready to take your content strategy to the next level?
Reach out to our team, let’s talk.