There are endless stats out there that prove the value of producing content to increase site traffic, convert (and nurture) leads, and provide support to existing customers.
For example, one report cites that “small businesses that blog get 126 percent more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog” – and you can find plenty of supporting statistics to this same effect across all sizes of businesses and industries. So it’s natural to assume all businesses are eagerly on board the content bandwagon, fast-tracking themselves to growth and success.
However, this isn’t the case. In fact, only 30 percent of companies have a documented content strategy. This is most likely because blogging sounds like a dream come true to marketers at first glance: short, easy posts created and delivered essentially for free. What’s not to love? But once a company starts trying to keep up with the demands of maintaining an active, relevant blog, the fairytale slips away.
If you’ve found yourself in this scenario, you’re not alone. Coming up with compelling topics, finding the time to write about them, edit them and share them is far more time and energy-intensive than it may sound. But we’ve found a solution you can start using right away to get back on track and spend less time and resources doing so – interview-based blogging. Here’s what we recommend.
SME Interviews are Gold
Within your company, you have a host of subject matter experts (SMEs). But trying to get them to put pen to paper about all of their ideas can be like trying to lasso a tornado. So instead of asking them to write, schedule a short interview with each of them once a month.
During this interview, ask them some probing questions about trends in their role, their insights into what’s going on in the industry at large and their best tips for customers facing a specific problem. Ask them if you can record your interview, and then focus on getting as much information from them on a variety of topics as possible.
Once done, you can enlist the help of your own in-house writers (or even freelancers through a service like Fiverr) to extract as many blog post topics as possible and write a first draft of each. You can then send this draft to the SME and invite them to make any changes needed.
Not only will conducting interviews like this save a lot of time for the SME, but it also helps the person doing the writing to actually hear the SME’s voice (and be able to match it in writing). And by getting as much information as possible in one, recorded conversation, you should have enough content ideas to generate multiple blog posts before having to ask more questions.
This practice also means that your blog posts are being written by true writers, rather than SMEs who likely have brilliant ideas but haven’t necessarily mastered the finesse of writing.
The Beauty of Guest Interviews
Another way to run with the idea of interview-based blogging is to invite guests to participate in a similar interview process and be featured on your blog. Try to choose individuals who are influential in your industry (or who your clients would be interested in), and ask them if you can have a quick conversation. Record it, and then transcribe it – then send to the guest to review before posting.
Or, if your guest doesn’t want to have a phone call, you could send them a quick list of four or five questions and ask for brief responses (and the liberty to expand upon their answers). Again, you should get their written approval before posting their thoughts, but this type of content can be relatively easy and quick to put together – and yield great returns. And with an interview like this, you can often leave it in a Q&A format so all you need to do is add a quick introduction and give it a review for grammar and typos before calling it final.
So… what do you think? Is your inner journalist being inspired to hit the interview trail? We hope so. It’ll help you translate great ideas into blog posts that can help you attract, nurture and convert leads into happy customers.
If you need help or have any questions, please contact us. We’d love to help you produce content to help drive traffic to your website and reach your marketing goals.