Amanda E. Jackson
Think Like A Journalist When Creating Interview Content

These days, every B2B brand worth it’s procurement department is creating reams of print and video content to promote their services and products. But what type of content is authentic, quickly resonates and gets straight into hearts and minds of your chosen target audience? What makes them think “I have that problem too!” What kind of content is totally relatable and makes them reach out right away?   Interview content, that’s what.

Interviews that take a journalistic approach will play a key role in adding credibility, demonstrating expertise to your brand and is a powerful content marketing delivery mechanism for SMART information. We define SMART as; Sharable (Discoverable), Memorable, Actionable, Relevant, Trusted – content that readers want to read and engage. For B2B marketing, interviews are powerful spurs to commercial decision making.

Today, prospects are spending a larger percentage of the buying cycle researching online before they choose a partner, product, or supplier. Content in the form of interviews is a SMART way to educate and nurture them through their decision-making, problem solving process. Interviews also provide a human and semi-personal interaction with the interviewed person. It’s likely they have already experienced the business problem and have valuable advice and insights. The interview is a form of peer-to-peer connection.

Interviewing like a journalist requires lots of planning and a keen sense of curiosity . Having a firm definition of your target audience is most certainly the starting point. Start with social listening. If you can add some search intent modeling to find out what your audience likes to read, where they get their information, what topics are of interest, what their key barriers to entry are, and who influences them. This research will help you choose the most pertinent candidate/influencer to interview—a person who will appeal and invoke trust.

Your choice of interview style can make or break engagement success. Your style should be informed by the needs of the clearly defined target audience and how they best absorb content, product information, and service messages. Interview formats vary in digital and print. Choose from Q&A, feature article discussion, debates, expert guides, how-to, reviews or profiles.

Because of all your up-front research and planning, your final decision on the format type will be obvious. But based on our experience, do just a little more homework and dive into previous performance metrics of earlier interview types and formats. The journalistic approach includes knowing what works and what doesn’t. So, analyse them, benchmark, measure, learn and start the process again. Keep our visual summary below close to hand.

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