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How finding the right interviewee can make or break your content

You’ve written another flawless, grammatically correct and succinct article, but it’s not getting the engagement you want. So what’s the problem? It could be your content is missing that crucial ingredient: a unique angle.

This is where interviewing a subject matter expert (SME), influencer or authority figure can pack the punch your article needs to stand out.

A new outlook on an old topic

Many companies turn to content marketing to encourage consumer interaction with their brand, which often means finding topics that haven’t already been done to death – and that’s a challenge. Sourcing an interesting interviewee who knows what they’re talking about, and has an interesting perspective, is a great way to bridge this content gap.

Every man and his dog has read a blog on saving tips for first-home buyers. But how many of those blogs include insights from a former first-home buyer debunking saving tips with real-life advice? Firsthand accounts from a knowledgeable source can inject your content with credibility and tackle an unexplored angle.

Types of interviewees: SMEs versus influencers

While not all SMEs are influencers and not all influencers are SMEs, it is possible to be both. Let’s break it down. While an SME could be a prominent financial advisor or psychology professor, an influencer could be someone who has built a following by reposting popular articles along with humorous commentary.

The benefit of using an SME who is also an influencer is that they will have a large follower base to share your article with once it’s published. This is a powerful way to amplify the reach of your content and generate conversations around your brand.

Don’t settle for good enough

One of the worst mistakes you can make when searching for an interviewee is settling for someone who is inexperienced or has a non-existent following. Good candidates are passionate about what they do, so they will have a wealth of industry knowledge and (for bonus points, but not always essential) a strong online following.

So what are some tips, tricks and tools for sourcing the most promising interviewees for your content?

Turn to your customers: I’m talking about the loyal consumers who live and breathe your business. Their firsthand accounts of your products or services can lend authenticity to your content, which potential customers can relate to.

Search social networks: Simple keyword searches will help you find influencers who publish the kind of articles you want for your content. Online tools such as Twitter trends are additional aids that can pinpoint the content getting the most engagement, and who’s posting it.

  • BuzzSumo: This useful online tool has a tab entirely dedicated to finding influencers. Use keyword searches to find relevant influencers and vet them based on their page authority and number of followers.
  • Google News: Don’t overlook the power of a classic Google search. The News tab is a great place to find topical content and see who’s publishing it.
  • SourceBottle: This free online resource allows you to post call-outs for expert commentary or interview subjects. This is particularly useful for technical topics that require an expert voice to cut through the jargon.

Never underestimate the clout of an interviewee’s two cents when it’s from the right person. Coupled with a strategic content marketing plan and the right amplification, your interviewee could give your content the edge it needs.