Content marketing makes your business more attractive to prospective buyers by eliminating questions that stand in the way of them engaging with your company.
Thus, when thinking about selling products and services, it’s smart to first consider the most relevant questions that need to be addressed.
Have the mindset that social media puts your company in the answers business.
Questions have to be answered to engage buyers on a web where more than 50% of all consumers go for answers to their most relevant problems, needs, or desires.
Following are 3 reasons why your business should be asking and answering more questions.
Learn to leverage this practice to engage new buyers, build trust with them, and create the alignment that makes your business memorable.
#1 – Asking Questions Engages Buyers
Consumers are often afraid of asking questions, or they simply do not know which questions they should be asking. This is something I discovered by accident when I launched the landscape business that I operated for over two decades.
Before entering an industry that was then new to me, I conducted extensive research to learn about standard practices, which surprisingly were seldom followed by many local landscape businesses.
So, I asked questions that got prospective buyers thinking, and then provided answers that got the phone ringing.
When the truth hit the streets it spread throughout the communities we served; and in a short period of time our previously unknown business was the talk of the town. This was before the Internet, so we were using print media to reach our target audience.
Questions are differentiators. They show you understand your small business and its ideal customers.
Use questions to engage your social media communities. It is a practice that is a vital component of successful social marketing.
#2 – Asking Questions Builds Trust
For consumers and businesses alike, it is easy and therefore common to follow the crowd. However, when your business asks good questions it soon becomes apparent to your buyers that you honestly want to help them make better decisions.
For example, what is the question that is on the mind of every prospective buyer: What is the price?
This is the question that most companies dread, when in reality it is one that opens the door to let the buyer into your world of truth and trust.
Price is much more than a number. There are short-term and long-term costs associated with price. Those long-term costs are not always evident, and smart buyers intuitively know to ask about it. When they don’t, you have to ask for them.
When you ask your buyers if they want to know why your price is higher, you will get their attention. People are curious and your willingness to be transparent will be refreshing.
Nobody wants to pay the higher price, but educated buyers will when you validate your price with evidence that suggests other companies are taking short-cuts that will cost the buyer more over the long term.
Content marketing educates buyers about a practice known as “lying by omission.” If something should be included but isn’t, you have instantly eliminated that company as one that is not trustworthy.
#3- Asking Questions Shows You Care
Traditional marketing in the form of advertising was the business telling the marketplace what they thought they needed to know.
Today consumers have a voice and they expect to be engaged in a productive dialogue. Your questions will bring up more questions that will feed that conversation, and more important, demonstrate that your business cares about them.
When you care enough to ask you humanize your business, thereby building the trust that is essential for prospective buyers to step forward and take action.
Even if they do not buy today, you will have planted the seeds for them to come back after they have done more research.
Have you ever gone to a website where the “support” or “help” is packaged within a short list of FAQ’s – frequently asked questions? Often you cannot find the question that thoroughly responds to your particular concern.
This is why the practice of content marketing is so powerful. Answering questions in a narrative format creates familiarity. It helps the buyer see their situation in the solutions you have provided for your customers.
Your job as a content marketer is never done, because the most relevant problems are chronic. You have to keep doing this again and again to learn more, while serving up more relevant solutions to the most commonly asked questions.
Your sales team is providing relevant solutions every day – and so is your content marketing. This is one reason why social marketing is the new relationship selling.
Ready to get started?
If you would like to get the full story of how I used content marketing to launch my landscape business, read the Introduction to my new book: Built-In Social, by downloading it and Chapter One for FREE right here.
Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)