The importance of the interview
In a world where everything is ‘Google-able’, the key to creating sharable, clickable content is to be original.
This is not the era to rehash what everyone else is saying.
Today’s customers are savvy – they can see through a cut-and-paste job. And so can Google. If you or your client wants those all-important Google rankings you have to work smarter. You need to have a point of difference in order to have your voice heard.
So often I see companies simply duplicating what is already on the net. They are just filling blank space in their blog template, or their LinkedIn profile. No new insights, nothing fresh.
And this is why interviewing skills are so important. It’s a mistake to think that interviewing people and including quotes in your article is old-fashioned and time-consuming, because it really does make a difference.
When I write a blog post, or an article for a client, I try and include quotes from an original interview whenever possible. The interview subject could be an industry expert, a product manager, or even a customer – someone who understands the subject and can speak to it. This keeps the content fresh, relevant and up-to-date.
It’s not rocket science, it’s… gasp, just good journalism. I will admit it takes time to source good subjects, to interview and transcribe, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that interviews are just for journalists – they work for commercial content too. I have written stories about housing trends for a large building company that have includes quotes from architects and designers. They offer insights that I just couldn’t get elsewhere, plus they gained a greater understanding of my client’s products along the way. Classic win/win.
Clients also find it a great way to reach a larger audience for their content. Whenever possible, I try and choose interview subjects with a decent social media following – and when the article is live, I send them the links to the story with a view to them sharing it with their audience (always including my tags and those of my client).
Essentially, interviews and comments from experts helps to take word of mouth online and develop advocates for your brand – and third-party endorsement. I see it as modern-day collaboration.