Interview marketing is more than a self-branding tool  used by the likes of Barbara Walters. It  is a powerful strategy that gives you free quality content and free quality links. If done right it, might place your site into top rankings without much effort. Interview marketing is clear-cut: You interview people, place these interviews on your site, and get link-backs from the interviewed individuals\’ sites.

However, this strategy isn\’t for everyone. It is only possible if interviews would be natural for your type of site – one good idea is to have some sort of   \”resource\” feature there. Interviews can be organically placed on blogs, article sites, reference lists, informational portals, etc. If your site is corporate or strictly commercial selling your services or products, this probably wouldn\’t work for you. Still, almost all commercial sites have blogs or resourceful pages (best practices, white papers, etc.) where you can put the interview.

The interview marketing process is as follows:

–  Decide who to interview. Search the Web for individuals with accomplishments in your field or related fields and study their personal and professional information.
–  Send an email introducing yourself, your resource feature (mention all the best things about it), and ask to conduct the interview with this person. Explain the benefits they\’ll get from the exposure, and add a \”call-to-action\” at the end of your letter;
–  If the person agrees, prepare unique interview questions for him or for her. It is also a good idea to ask for a photo of the person to run with the written interview.
–  When publishing the interview, don\’t hesitate to include links to their sites if they ask.
–  Let the person know when the interview is live, and give her/him a direct URL if he/she wants to let the world know.
–  The linkback is not always guaranteed, so don\’t push it. In most cases people would love to link to a page that is totally devoted to them.
–  Thank them for the interview, and establish a connection through a social network like LinkedIn or Facebook.

Now, what have you got?

–  You\’ve got high-quality content – interviews are always interesting to read, professionals usually share their wisdom, and so this form of content is usually short, useful, and encouraging. This high-quality content isn\’t written by your (you saved some time) and it didn\’t cost you a penny.

–  In most cases, you\’ve got a link to your interview page. If you tried optimizing this interview page, it might come up for your chosen keywords in search engine rankings. Many individuals with personal sites like to link to anything that is related to their personality; they often do it from their homepage, which in most cases is the highest ranking page of their sites.

–  You get more traffic from these interviews. This is good-quality traffic that will convert for you no matter what your aims are, if you stay within your niche in executing your interview marketing strategy. The traffic comes from these individuals\’ sites (if they linkback); from the possible ranking; and from other means, such as the interview subject emailing all contacts inviting them to read the interview.

–  You will slowly get a reputation for being a resource for your field. In time experts and professionals might ask you to interview them, or some will link just to your resource when it features high-quality interviews.

–  You get to make strong connections with the outstanding minds of your field.
Don\’t interview just anyone; make sure that the person is credible, reputable, and knows his/her craft. Don\’t do just text interviews – video interviews are quite popular now, so if possible meet with the person and video-record it. You can even do this with a webcam; just make sure the picture is clear and the sound is fine.

Interview marketing might not work right away, so be patient – not all people will have the time or the desire to give you an interview. Don\’t push; simply move on to the next person on your list.

Study the people you want to interview before you even approach them, and make sure the majority of questions you ask are specifically dedicated to their career and expertise. Don\’t ask the same list of questions over and over again. And when you publish the interview, be sure to include an introductory paragraph.

Before you know it, you’ll be the Barbara Walters of your field!

Shavkat Karimov
Internet Marketing Manager
mobileStorm, Inc.
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