Listen to my interview with Susan Bratton, CEO and co-founder of Personal Life Media and Host of the DishyMix Podcast, about her recommendations for what online video marketers can learn with doing "masterful interviews" using their own webcam.
7 Benefits Of Doing Webcam Interviews
I've been doing recorded webcam interviews for ReelSEO for several years now, and I've found them to have a lot of benefits for any business or professionally minded use, including the following:
- Quick content – they're the cheapest and quickest videos to make
- Showcase your expertise – whether you're the interviewer or interviewee, it's an excellent opportunity to give people helpful information in context with your market or industry.
- It's flexible – writing out an interview can be too long for people to want to reach through, but a recorded video and/or audio interview can be listened to while people are multitasking.
- Double-marketing – both people in the interview can promote themselves and share with their own audiences
- Multi-engaging – people who are naturally social and good conversationalists make for interesting content, and video lets audiences enjoy the nuances with audio and video in both speakers that provide for heightened engagement.
- Extra visibility – the audio from a recorded webcam interview and can be transcribed into text and summarized for SEO and usability purposes. (I also use my own interview show notes for the articles I do for ReelSEO as well.) And of course, the video clip can also be indexed by Google and other search and social media sites – either as a stand-alone or complimentary content to your article the video is embedded on.
- Personal experience. It's always good to let people experience you beyond just your expertise. They get a good feel of your personality, which resonates a lot better with remembering you for the information you share with others.
My 'Masterful Interview' Experience with DishyMix's Susan Bratton
Susan Bratton is the Chair Emeritus at ad:tech Conferences, CEO of Personal Life Media and author of Masterful Interviews and Talk Show Tips, and long-time host of and one of my favorite business podcast shows: "DishyMix: Success Secrets from Famous Media and Internet Executives." Along with 220 episodes of that series under her belt, her company also produces 40 weekly audio shows (podcasts) and companion blogs across a wide variety of B2B and B2C interests. She's also done a good number of video interviews which you can check out at the DishyMix YouTube Channel.
I had the good fortune of being a guest on Susan's DishyMix show earlier this year. (A double header actually, you can catch Part 1 and Part 2 on her site or on iTunes.) I was really impressed with the high quality production, along with Susan's "masterful" interview style. I particularly like that she prepped me for the interview with a Skype webcam call, so we could see each other beforehand and give ourselves a good visual before we got started.
While I've done a good number of my own interviews with guests, including a fair amount with a webcam recording both of us, I found it very helpful to get Susan's Master Interviews audio series. I highly recommend it to not just fellow interviewers, but people who are looking to create and promote engaging content out of any conversations they can do with guests – something that's highly important for both social media marketing and SEO.
Here's the audio of my interview with Susan:
Webcam Interview Tips With Show Host Expert Susan Bratton
I've combined Susan's tips with my own in this list I've put together below. I also encourage you to listen to the audio interview with Susan so you can get more in-depth information on these tips as well. Granted, some of these tips are certainly more for doing recorded interviews in general, and not specific to recorded web-camming. However they certainly all apply for any opportunities you do have to create or be involved in any way with recorded video interviews meant for online publication.
Tip 1: Be choosy
Susan says she now does finds it better to do fewer interviews that are of better audio and video quality, and with guests you have an opportunity to do a decent amount of research on, than something or someone that people may have a hard time watching and listening to.
Tip 2: Prep your guests
Susan does a great job with this part. I often give some talking points or questions of things I would like to cover. This isn't investigative journalism, so you're not looking for a "gotcha" moment. It works a lot better when you can have some of it for the guest in advance (so they can perhaps remember to include a special link or resource that they may not have otherwise thought of during the recorded interview); and at the same time, offer new questions that directly relate to the natural flow of the conversation.
Tip 3: Be prepared and concise
In other words, be respectful of your audience's time and make your interview only as long as it needs to be. People can see the video player show how long the interview is, so the longer you make it the more of an investment of someone's time you're expecting them to give. Here are some tips from Susan on how best to accomplish that:
- Have a quick intro – Susan says a common mistake she finds is show hosts going on way too long with an intro, including a long-winded way of introducing their guest that seems lifted right from their website bio copy. If you have a video intro, that can suffice as your introduction of the guest, which is what I do with my own "Legal Video Guys" show.
- Write out some advance questions and talking points. I never write a script, because I want it to stay loose. And I never feel like I have to get all my questions answered or in any particular order. I follow the conversation, but I know to be succinct with my questions. (This is a mistake I made often in the earlier years of my time in talk radio.)
- Time yourself. You can set up a timer on your screen, which you can also set up time marker points for each question. This will give you an idea of how long your questions go on average, and if you need to either make your questions more concise, or ask questions that allow for a more concise response. (If you're guest is long-winded, you can also ask them to summarize their answer. Remember, it's being recorded, so you can always do another take of a question or talking point, or just edit it for length.)
Tip 4: Watch yourself
While you're doing the interview, watch the webcam of yourself on your computer screen, and see how you appear. If you seem bored while the speaker is talking, it's likely that your audience will be, too. If you're reacting to something, chances are your audience will be as well. I also recommend a time stamp of when there's a highlight, or when you may need to edit out some of the content for length.
Tip 5: Do multi-track recording
When in Skype, set up any call recorder software to do to do remote-only video recording. (Both Susan and I use Macs and like to use eCamm call recorder software.) Susan also requests that the guest do their own audio recording, which she can then work with theirs and hers and two separate audio tracks that can be adjusted individually.
When doing recorded webcam video interviews, I find this works even better if your guest can do a video recording on QuickTime or any other stand-alone video recording software, and send that to you as a separate video file through a file sharing service. (I use YouSendIt for handling large files up to 2GB.) The quality is way better than something streaming live on Skype or any other live video stream, which will likely reduce the image quality and frame rate. Now synching up audio and/or video tracks does involve extra work, but it does product much better quality and makes you appear and sound way more professional.
If you really want to squeeze out as much good video quality as possible, do your master video recording on a separate camcorder. This way the webcam recording is just for the other person to see you while doing the interview, and you position the better camcorder right next to your webcam to record at the same time.
Tip 6: Be visual with your editing
Have a text or image graphic with your interview question or topic, and even a summary of their response. You can also offer the combination of some kind of visual and text graphic. I also recommend including links in your article that accompanies the recorded webcam interview to what you're referring to.
Tip 7: Have your guests do a video promo or testimonial
Whether you're doing a video interview or an audio-only main interview, try and have your guests give you a promotional video after the interview, where they talking about they show they just did and give a testimonial for you. Susan does this right on her landing page for her "Masterful Interviews" program. You can include a short clip of your self and/or your interview guest talking about either their experience doing the interview, or their upcoming interview. All of that certainly helps with extra visibility, and you can go the extra step of including all of those clips with interview guests in a special playlist on your online video channel on YouTube or anywhere else.
Want to Learn More About Doing Professional Recorded Interviews for Online Marketing?
For anyone who's already doing recorded interviews of any kind for professional purposes, or is looking to get into the field, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out Susan's "Masterful Interviews and Talk Show Tips." Susan provides excellent guidance and examples that can also be applied to doing webcam video interviews, either recorded or live streaming. Check it out at http://masterfulinterviews.com/
(Full disclosure: Susan provided me with a review copy of her program, hence the "review compliance" graphic I have here for FTC purposes.)