How to Get Interesting Interviews with Your Influencers
One great way to involve your influencers in your content marketing initiatives is to interview them. Interviews give people a chance to share their expertise with a new audience. In exchange, you get diverse content to spice up your channels and the chance to reach your interviewees audience.
The Traackr Engagers series is an example. We reach out to people who excel at influencer outreach and ask them to talk about their perspective as one of Earth’s Mightiest Marketers. The series gives us a way to involve people who are important to the work we do, while giving these experts a place to express themselves.
Whether written, video or audio, interviews give you the chance to ask rich questions and really understand a person, their process or their take on a specific topic. The really great interviewers of our times (Charlie Rose, Barbara Walters…) find a way to make their guests feel comfortable while simultaneously asking deep, personal or tough questions.
A good interview can take longer to prepare than a blog post. To make an influencer interview successful, you need to take the time to craft compelling questions that make sense for the person being interviewed. Generic questions lead to flat, un-actionable answers.
To find the best questions, spend time researching the person. Read their posts, listen to previous interviews, explore some of their work. You don’t need to know everything; however, as you get to know their background more, good questions will bubble up to the surface because you will be able to get more in tune with this person’s unique experience.
When you ask someone to contribute to your content, you are asking them to do work. This works out best when the opportunity is mutually beneficial of course! But remember, you are asking them to help you. So demonstrate your respect and consideration for them by giving them a place to shine and express their uniqueness.
Lastly, when you are interviewing someone for your own content streams, you need to keep it simple for them. If someone is worth interviewing, they are likely to be busy! Be clear about expectations and timelines. I like to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible so all they need to do is fill in the blanks.
A Mini Playbook for Interviewing Well
- Do your homework. You must know their background, expertise and areas of interest. Read their content first. Review their profiles. Figure out what motivates before asking.
- Ask specific questions. If someone is an influencer, they’ve probably been interviewed before. Put as much time into the questions as you would if you were writing your own post.
- Make your interviewee feel special. Ask questions that let them express themselves and share interesting details about their life and experience.
- Make it as easy as possible for your influencers. Communicate expectations clearly. Do as much of the heavy lifting for them as you can.
Interviewing your influencers is just one way to align your content marketing and influencer strategy. Explore more ways to bring your content and outreach activities together in our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing & Influencer Strategy.
What advice do you have for interviewers? What makes an interview great in your opinion? Share in the comments!