- Search engines are now global question answering machines. When people need answers, they turn to the likes of Google.
- Cut through the noise – answer the questions your customers have.
- Be a teacher – aim to become a thought leader in your industry.
The way people purchase online is changing fast. Today’s internet users demand more and businesses need to earn their trust.
Gone are the days of glossy adverts and savvy SEO content writers.
Consumers are doing their own research about both the features and the benefits of future purchases, and this represents a fantastic opportunity for smaller businesses.
If you answer people’s questions, they’re much more likely to become loyal customers. This is because around 70% of a consumer’s buying decision has already been made before they speak with a sales professional or interact with an e-commerce store.
Step into the shoes of your target customer
What is your customer thinking when they’re looking for the right product?
What questions are they asking themselves? What’s holding them back from making a purchase?
All too often, businesses create content that focuses on their brand. They spend too much time telling people how great they are, and nowhere near enough time giving consumers the information they actually want and need.
By understanding your buyer persona you’ll be able to answer the questions being posed by your consumers, and the trust and confidence you develop in your brand will eventually lead to sales.
But what are those questions? And how do you create content that delivers the answers?
A lack of transparency can be fatal
Transparency is so important in today’s internet. If a customer can’t find the answer on your site, they’ll look elsewhere.
Imagine you’re selling winter coats. They’re made with wool and a selection of man-made fibres. But do they keep you dry as well as warm? And how do they react when wet?
If your customers are asking these questions — and they can’t find the answers — they’ll be reluctant to buy.
Worst still, they’ll turn to one of your competitors for the information they need – and may never return.
Draw on the experiences of the people you work with. Ask yourselves honest and hard questions. What persuades visitors to your website to leave for one of your competitors?
Whatever the reason for customers turning to your competitors, look for ways to persuade them to stay.
Here are the most common reasons and the solutions for them:
- Lack of product information. The solution to this is very simple — answer customer questions with more detailed descriptions.
- A perceived lack of value. Solve this by creating content that demonstrates the product’s benefits and your breadth of knowledge.
- A complex conversion process. If usability is the issue, create content that guides the customer through each step of the process, answer their questions about refund policies, accepted payment methods, security and other issues they might have.
Once you’ve removed all barriers to sales, you should see your conversions increase.
Do your research and read all feedback and reviews
For your search marketing strategy to succeed, your customers’ journey needs to be as frictionless as possible.
Speak to customers about their experiences — good or bad.
Run surveys, A/B tests, and get together with key individuals in your team who deal daily with clients (support team, sales, and marketing are good places to start) and brainstorm the questions being asked.
It’s vital that you review customer comments and reviews regularly. While this often makes for uncomfortable reading, it’s the only way to harvest precious information about how you’re doing.
Monitor social channels, Reddit, Quora, etc. There are also dozens of tools and resources that can help you create and grow your Q&A library. Platforms such as WikiShark, YouTube, Twitter, and Google’s “People Also Ask” feature can all help grow your list of questions.
Once you know where and how consumers are asking questions, you need to respond accordingly.
- What language do your customers use? Is it formal, informal? Answer any question in the language your buyers would use. Always aim to simplify.
- Are people searching for answers on YouTube? If so, provide them with a video.
- If people are searching via Google search, blog posts and pages could be effective ways to communicate your answers.
This way, you can create a broad marketing strategy that gets the right answers to the right people in the right places.
You know people are searching for products like yours. But why?
Try to understand the intent behind the intent. Why do my customers need my product or service?
Become a thought leader in your industry
At the end of the day, good content marketing is about one thing: answering people’s questions. Sounds simple, right? It is. It’s just a question of getting started and being consistent.
Your website should be a treasure trove of answers to frequently asked questions.
Content marketing is now all about teaching and problem-solving.
Aim to become a teacher in your space. A point of reference. Help people with valuable content, irrespective of if they buy from you. The long-term benefits always outweigh the short-term costs.
Get expert help for your Q&A content needs
Once you’ve completed a comprehensive list of FAQs, you have the blueprint for your entire content marketing strategy.
If you want to maximize results in the most cost-effective way possible, however, you might want to consider hiring a content marketing expert. Contact us today, and we’ll create a Q&A strategy that leverages content for increased leads and sales.