Drive Traffic to Your Site by Becoming the Wikipedia of Your Industry
As a marketer, you know that great content solves problems for your target audience. For this reason alone, you should use your corporate blog, email marketing and social media activities to attempt to answer every single question your potential customer base wishes to ask.
Understanding what these questions are is the first step in developing a comprehensive content-led marketing strategy. There are many places you can go to discover what these questions might be. These include:
- Your Sales and Customer Service Teams: These guys answer questions every single day when they’re attempting to close sales and keep clients happy. There probably isn’t a single question they haven’t heard about your product or service, so go to them for a quick list of frequently asked questions.
- Your Clients: Every marketer worth their salt should spend time speaking to their audience. It would be a catastrophic mistake to assume you know what their problems are unless you have personally walked a mile in their shoes. I always tell marketers: If you are ever struggling with marketing inspiration, pick up the phone and ask a client what keeps them awake at night. They’ll probably give you a list. Solve just one of these problems for one of your clients, and you’ll have content for hundreds, thousands or even millions more.
- The Social Web: The social web (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) is littered with millions of people asking questions. You’ll easily find these questions by joining targeted groups on Facebook or by conducting simple searches on Twitter using keywords relating to your business.
Side Project: Ask the Right People the Right Questions
Last summer, I developed a little side project that I’d been working on for a while. I wrote an eBook about cycling in Portugal (a great passion of mine and something I do every year). To help me plan the 2018 ride and finish the book, I called on the members of a handful of Facebook groups serving the needs of the expatriate population based in the Algarve region of Portugal. They helped me with hotel and restaurant recommendations, tips on places I should visit and several logistical challenges. I was astounded at the speed at which the group would help me. I’d ask a question, and typically it would be answered — sometimes in great detail — within minutes.
I wasn’t alone in asking questions in the groups. Virtually every conversation was started by somebody asking a question. These were typically about the challenges of expat life — residency, employment issues, healthcare, taxes, etc. And while there were also a lot of answers in the group, there was no single, fully trusted authority anyone could turn to. This really surprised me.
Note: The group also proved to be a lucrative marketing resource. The people who helped me research and write the book also bought the book and helped me promote it by sharing reviews with their wider social networks of friends and family.
The Content Marketing Q&A Challenge
So, I’m going to set you a content marketing challenge for the next 30 days. Use your corporate blog to answer a new question every day of the month. If you are struggling to find enough questions to answer, I would suggest you are not looking hard enough.
Some questions will be much easier to answer than others, but never assume that just because a question has an “easy” answer, it is not worth answering. Remember, you are an expert in your field. You might be answering questions for somebody who has never had to deal with the issues you solve on a daily basis.
Solving Problems — SEO
It’s also worth noting that you should never assume that your potential clients will just turn to Google for their answers. It might be the most obvious resource, but people don’t always follow the most obvious routes.
When you’ve solved a problem with a blog post, send a link to anyone who might find it useful. With a bit of luck, it’ll be shared widely and go viral, and this will do no harm to your search engine optimization (SEO) — helping you connect with those people who do actually use Google.
Note: It’s important that you put all this extra traffic to good use. Make sure your blog posts have relevant calls to action (CTAs) included on the page — and if you cannot encourage a visitor to buy immediately, you should, at the very least, encourage an email marketing subscription or social media follow (preferably both).
Your Own Mini-Wikipedia
Once you start identifying and answering questions, and then posting them to your blog, you’ll quickly learn how easy it is to produce useful and engaging content — so why stop there?
Before you know it, your blog will become a detailed, educational resource that attracts potential clients like a magnet attracts iron filings. Think of it as your very own mini-Wikipedia — a place that, no matter what your business does, people go to for answers. And the more questions you can answer, the more potential customers will land on your website.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.