If in Doubt, Interview, Interview, Interview

Updated on | By | Under the Category Content Marketing

Did you know that you can crowdsource authority content? I’ve written some suggestions on how to do this in some my previous posts. The key takeaways is that you should never underestimate the power of the crowd. Your audience is actually very, very smart. They know more than you. The problem is that this information is dispersed across a wide range of people. If you collect all this wisdom and all these intelligences and all these data, you can blow away your competition.

This is the promise and the power of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is all about having your audience do some of your content production work for you. It not only reduces your costs, but it also boosts quality. How? It boosts quality because when you ask your audience directly, you increase the likelihood that you will produce content that they will actually like. This is the key. When they in no uncertain terms tell you what they’re interested in, this is real power. Most of your competition don’t take the time to even ask your audience members. The key is when you crowdsource content intelligence and content idea formulation to your target audience you’re really gaining a massive competitive advantage. As powerful as crowdsourcing is for your target audience, did you know that you can also crowdsource influential people in your niche? Through the interview format, you can crowdsource authority content. Here’s how you do it.

Crowdsourcing Authority through Interviews

When you interview somebody, there are a lot of things going on. It truly is a win-win content format. The person being interviewed wins because you are going to be sharing the interview with your audience. The interviewee gets access to your audience through your interview. All that the interviewee needs to do to get this access is to grant you the interview. You on the other hand win because you get to leverage whatever authority and credibility the interviewee has.

Obviously, you’re going to interview people that are recognized and are industry leaders in your niche. The more authoritative and influential your interviewees are, the better your blog looks. Why? Their authority rubs off on your website. It really is that simple. If you conduct lots of interviews, all these add to the increased value perception of your blog. All these interviews add to the overall authority of your blog. It truly is a win-win situation. The best part of the interview content, crowdsourcing strategy is that there is no shortage of interviewees. You have to remember, authorities in your niche are always looking for new ways to reach audiences. In many cases, all you need to do is ask them and they would gladly give you an interview. This is what makes interview content so fun and easy that the interviewees are basically gladly handing you over the content.

The Key Problem

The key problem is that while the demand is there among the interviewees, we still have to figure out which person to interview. Let’s face it, there are many people in your niche, a lot of them are doing so well. A lot of them have a lot to gain from the interview than you do. Why? Their blogs don’t have traffic. Their websites don’t get much love from google. If you interview them, your blog doesn’t get much authority and in fact your traffic might poached by the people you’re interviewing. In other words, it becomes a one way street. You don’t benefit, but they do. This is the biggest problem with crowdsource interview content. You have to select the right people. This is how you ensure a true win-win situation. The best way to do this is to follow the steps below. These steps help you zero in truly influential people.

Find Influencers in your Niche via Social Media

It’s easy to find influential people on Twitter and Facebook. On Facebook all you need to do is join several groups that are focused on your niche. Chances are high, there will be people there that constantly post to those groups. Pay attention to these people. A large number of them will be spammers, so you can ignore those. There are some who post quality content. Pay attention to these people. Try to see if they have Twitter accounts or accounts at Pinterest or Google Plus. Most of the time, people who are active with social media don’t just focus on one particular platform. People who are active on Facebook groups are also active on Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. The key is just to get an initial pool of these people and everything will follow from there. Why? They either retweet or share content of other influential people in your niche. The key is to get an initial group of people and they will lead other influencers to you.

Find Influencers in your Niche via BlogCatalog

BlogCatalog is a blog community that is segmented based on niches or categories. Think of BlogCatalog as an online pub. This is a place where people hang out and let their ideas heard out. This is a place where there’s a lot of casual conversations. You can easily find influencers in your niche if you have a BlogCatalog because they tend to share information regarding your niche. Also, you can see by their blog that they are in your niche.

Find Influencers in your Niche via Forums

There are many online marketer forums out there. There are also many niche-specific forums. Pay attention to people who are actively posting content on these forms. Chances are good that a lot of people are actually reading and following the content that they are posting. The mere fact that these people post heavily without getting banned just shows you something about the high quality of the content that they post.

Verify the Influence of your Interviewees

Since return on effort should be your guiding principle, regardless of whatever you do online, you have to verify that these people that you are interviewing are actually influential people. You can use a variety of tools. You can use Klout, or you can check their profiles on Twitter and other social media platforms. You have to be comfortable with their social influence. If you are in doubt regarding their social influence, take them off your list. You only have so much time in a day to interview people, that’s why you have to make sure you focus your efforts on people who are worth interviewing. Make sure you focus your efforts on people who are so influential that people from social media would actually go to your blog just to read that interview. The good news is there’s a lot of people that fit this description. Your job is to look for them.

Use In-Depth Laser-Targeted Questions

The biggest problem with most interview articles is that they are very shallow. It only covered a few grounds, they basically repeat the same information again and again, also, they are so superficial that it is obvious that the main motivation of the interviewee is just to get a packlink. These interviews are also so obvious that it becomes clear that the blog publishing the interview just wants to leech off the social media influence of the people being interviewed. While this may look like a win-win situation, it actually isn’t. Why? The end user, your target audience, your blog visitors, your website visitors. They lose out when you produce crap. This is why it’s very important for you to publish real interviews. Real interviews are in-depth. Real interviews actually revolve around substance. Real interviews use laser-targeted questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Your focus should be how deep the interviews can be. The deeper the interviews, the more authoritative the content. The more authoritative your content, the more Google will love you, either immediately or down the road.

Use Pictures and Social Media Handles

Use pictures for each of the interviewees and include their social media handles. This way, if people reading the interviewee want to follow the person, they only need to click a button to follow that person on Twitter or like that person’s page on Facebook. The pictures really help because they put a face next to a name and an opinion. Showing pictures really personalizes your content and adds to the overall authority of your content.

Make no mistake about it, interview content is one of the most powerful content format you can use online. With the interview, there’s less work on your part and you get to benefit from the social media prestige and authority of the people you’re interviewing. However, you shouldn’t abuse this format and become lazy. A lot of the work is focused on figuring out which exact people to interview as well as crafting questions that can produce high quality interview content.

About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

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