We’re all under pressure to create compelling content that is good enough to attract links. But creating that of quality can be time consuming and expensive. Video interviews with recognized experts in your industry are a terrific and affordable way to create outstanding content with the potential to attract many links.
Getting experts to agree to an interview is not as difficult as it might seem. Also the technology required is quite simple:
- Skype or Google Hangout
- A recording device
- Software with minimal editing functionality
This is the model used by Mixergy.com, whose founder, Andrew Warner, has published interviews with over 1,100 entrepreneurs. For this article, I interviewed Warner about his approach.
First, let’s look at the type of links that interviews can earn.
What Sort of Links Do Video Interviews Attract?
From an analysis of the links that point to interview websites, it’s possible to see a pattern in the types of links they attract. The links fall into five major categories. Here’s a brief description of each.
1. Links from the Experts Themselves
The experts that are the focus of interviews are probably reasonably proficient at self-promotion – and that can work to your advantage.
It’s highly probable that they regularly survey and keep track of everywhere they’ve been published on the Web. If you do even a half decent interview with them, they’ll want to link and share the interview with others.
2. Links from the Interviewee’s ‘Tribe’
Experts have their own large following or tribe. Members of that tribe write about and link to content regarding their heroes.
Seth Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, describes this best when he says an expert “assembles a large and influential tribe of people who look to him for leadership.”
That means they’re interested in anything that is published about their “leader,” and will often rush to be the first to share the latest news. This could ultimately result in some very nice links for you.
3. Links from Journalists Writing About an Entrepreneur
Journalists have to work quickly under pressure, and they desperately want to include quotes from the people they’re writing about. However, it’s not always possible for a journalist to track down entrepreneurs at the right time, especially if they’re under deadline pressure. If unable to get direct quotes in time, often journalists will search to find previously published interviews given by the person of interest. They can refer to the interviews found online for more quotes.
Here’s an example from an article in Entrepreneur in which an interview with Steven Boal of Coupons.com is quoted. Notice that this includes a link to the original interview source:
4. Links from Resource Sites
Once you get some popular interviews in your portfolio, you start to appear as a valuable resource able to attract those who compile lists of industry resources. The secret to becoming a resource is to publish interviews consistently – but you don’t need a top notch expert every time. You can look into getting interviews with predicted up and coming stars that are currently hungry for the attention.
5. Links from Many Different Niche Sites
Links can come from surprising niches that are not particularly part of your market focus. Links are a statement of interest – someone links to you because they like what you offer. So if your interview attracts links from an unusual source, it may suggest a niche that you can further exploit in your link-building.
So expert interviews attract some great authority links, but what is the most effective process for production?
How to Create Expert Interview Videos
1. Start with People You Know
Building up the courage to get your first interviews can be daunting. So the best thing to do is to start with people that you know already – even if just vaguely. You’ll be surprised at just how open many people will be to the idea.
2. Do Your Research and Prepare Well in Advance
Don’t ask the obvious questions. Spend time researching what your expert has written about or said in the past. Look for details that you can expand upon, and think of questions your audience would like you to ask.
3. Keep the Technology Simple
You don’t have to meet exacting production standards to start publishing engaging video interviews. The value is in the content, not the standards with which they are produced. Recorded Skype calls or Google Hangouts are entirely acceptable.
4. Don’t Edit Out Mistakes
This may seem counterintuitive. Surely you need to execute the best production job possible – right?
This is an incorrect assumption. Editing to omit minor mistakes can soak up hours of work, and usually results in marginal improvement in the end product at best.
Warner advises not to edit out small errors – or even worry about them. “Any interview you see on TV looks perfect, but behind the scenes it’s never like that. They just edit all the mistakes out, but leaving mistakes in gives an authentic feel.”
5. Concentrate on Quickly Getting Footage Live
The sooner you get your interview live, the better.
You want your interview to remain fresh in the mind of your expert. Allowing an interview to remain idle may cause it to fade from your expert’s memory, and they may not give you the same level of promotion they otherwise would have done.
6. Have a Process for Generating Interviewees
Experts are busy people regularly faced with navigating many demands in limited time. If they reject your proposition for an interview, it’s probably because they are busy at the time you ask. In many cases, getting an interview from an expert – especially at the start – comes down to luck: it’s just coincidence that they are available during the time you ask.
Therefore it would be wise to send multiple requests for possible interview times. One is simply not enough – you have to get into the habit of regularly sending out two, three, or even five requests each week. You will inevitably receive many refusals, but you’ll also get enough positive replies to keep you going.
You can’t get better at conducting interviews merely by thinking about them – doing interviews is the best way to improve this skill set. The more you do, the more you will improve. This approach will allow your audience to develop a better appreciation for your content, which will be reflected in the frequency of their sharing and linking.
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