You may have noticed that bloggers like Mark Schaefer (@MarkWSchaefer) and Steve Farnsworth (@Steveology) interview subject matter experts on a regular basis. Interviewing experts has got some advantages to asking them to produce content for your blog:
- You don’t ask much of their time – catch them at a congress if you want a video. Or ask them a specific question through any medium: e-mail, Twitter, or their own comments section.
- Visiting your SMEs may give you some opportunities to get video footage. If you don’t have much time, pick up the phone and get a few short questions answered.
- If there’s any writing to be done, you’re the one doing it. That’s an advantage if your SME is not used to writing for the audience you’re interested in.
Interviews can be a valuable part of your content strategy – if you decide to make the most of them.
SME interviews as part of your business content strategy
Remember those busy subject matter experts from my post about single versus multiple content creators? What if they’re your colleagues?
You could simply make a few phone calls or pick up your mini-cam and head over to wherever your SME is hanging out and interview them for the business blog or website. When you’re done, you tell them when you intend to publish.
Then publish and let your SME know, so that they can reply to any comments – if they want to. Or you can opt to have your SME post the video themselves in an online community. If you send them the video (or URL) via e-mail:
- Make sure your SME knows the procedure (see 2-5).
- Add instructions, starting with the publishing date. Inform your SME that if the video isn’t posted by [exact time on specified date] you will go ahead and post it yourself.
- Add a copy-paste text for them to use or edit.
- Check if it’s posted.
- If it’s not posted, post the video yourself and notify your SME. You can even invite them to reply. Add an example like “My personal favorite from this list is actually X.” This isn’t a must-do, but it can help.
How do interviews save you time?
The time-saving won’t work if you spend an entire day on an interview then share the results only once.
You may want to share the original interview soon after it takes place. But every interview can be ‘mined’ for later use. You can structure the content you’ve collected soon after the interview to have bits of content ready which you can integrate into new posts or save for a content emergency.
- You quote from the interview.
- Top tips from your SME for achieving a certain goal.
- Mining the interview to get ideas for related topics.
Getting strategic about your interviews
On the other hand, if you do a series of interviews in which you ask one or more identical questions, you can:
- collect the answers as you go.
- share the answers to a specific question in yet another piece of content. Or two. (Or three.)
This means you make collecting data from multiple interviews part of your business content strategy. I’ll admit it sounds like research 😉
This approach will let you (re)share parts of your content much later in a different context following the principles of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.