It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, your buyers want to answer as many of the questions they have about a product, service, or options as possible before they buy, so they can feel confident they’re making an informed purchasing decision they won’t regret later.
More importantly, your buyers want to be able to find those answers easily online without having to speak to you or someone on your sales team. That is what your website blog is for.
I published a blog post last year about the importance of having a website blog for your business. From that, it is very clear why most small businesses must have an active website blog, especially if getting clients or customers online is the goal.
You need to get into a habit of publishing at least 1 new blog post every week on your website blog to answer as many of your prospects’ questions as possible. But how do you start implementing this?
1. Create a Word Document for Brainstorming Blog Post Topics
Before you start brainstorming, the very first thing you need to do is create a document that will be the home for the entire backlog of questions and topics you will write about on your website blog.
By creating this document in advance, you’ll have a complete content marketing editorial calendar for blog articles, videos, and more by the end of this process.
2. Make Your Own List of Buyer Questions
Think of every question you’ve been asked by your prospects or customers, with a special focus on questions that are rooted in fears, concerns, or potential problems. Then, write them down on the brainstorming word document you just created
Do not reword, reframe, or paraphrase those questions. Write them down exactly as those prospects or customers would ask them while searching online.
However, I know you may not remember or know all their questions top of mind right now. That’s fine. Write the questions that come to mind now and since you will always have this brainstorming word document you can always add more questions over time as you remember or come across them.
3. Talk to Your Customer-Facing Employees & Teams
This step only applies to you if you have a person or people working for you already that interact directly with your prospects or customers.
Write an email to your prospect-facing team members (sales, customer service, etc.) and ask them to write down the 20 questions they’re asked by your buyers about your specific products and services.
Your email should:
- Include a deadline by which they need to respond — a few days, at most.
- Make it clear from your message that this is a leadership priority.
- Tell them to write down those questions in the exact words of your buyers. Tell them not to reword or reframe those questions as you (the business) would ask them.
- Tell them not to include questions that are specific to your company — hours of operation, contact information, etc.
Educating your team (even briefly) on the three big categories of topics that are most profitable long term can help them more easily brainstorm or recall the questions they’re asked by your customers and prospects.
Resource: Blog Topics Brainstorm Example
Shava Consulting is a website design and digital marketing company. So, keeping the helpful hint above in mind, here are examples of the questions you might find in our content brainstorm document:
- How much does website design cost in South Africa?
- How much does it cost to work with an SEO marketing agency?
- What are the most common problems when hiring a website design company?
- Why am I not seeing the results I want with my website?
- In-house marketers vs marketing agency
- Insourcing your content vs outsourcing your content
Now you and your team are ready to get started, and you’ve got a massive list of brainstormed topics for content in front of you. What’s next?
The first 30 to 90 days will be an exciting time for you. However, it’s also going to take a lot of work as you will be transitioning your company to that content marketing culture you’ve all agreed you want to establish.
(Even positive change is hard.)
To make sure you start off on the right foot with content marketing and set yourself up for success in the long-run, there are three commitments you need to make right now:
- You will produce at least two new pieces of content per week (videos, blogs, etc.) at the bare minimum.
- In that context, everyone in your company will go out of their way to truly address the most common questions your buyers are asking about cost, problems, reviews, and comparisons, even if they would not have done so previously.
- Finally, everyone — from sales and marketing to leadership — must know exactly what your overall mission statement is and be committed to full participation.
Next, you need to create and stick to an editorial calendar — and no, the big list of topics you created is not your editorial calendar.
Your editorial content calendar should be owned by your content manager (or you if you don’t have one yet), but they come in lots of different shapes and sizes.
Most companies create theirs in shareable spreadsheets like Google Sheets.
The important thing is that you have one, regardless of what it looks like. In our experience, the companies that create an editorial calendar and stick to it are the ones who are able to establish a smooth-running content “machine” within their first 90 days.
If your company hasn’t created any content before now, you may be tempted to frontload your editorial calendar with “top of the funnel” content — broad educational content.
However, I recommend starting at the bottom of the funnel with content that helps facilitate decision-making (cost, comparison, etc.).
You’re more likely to see results quicker by addressing the more challenging questions your competitors may not be addressing.