Quick wins in digital sales and marketing don’t have to complicated. In fact, the fastest path to a digital victory is probably the easiest, since it’s using the knowledge and resources you already have.
If you've read Marcus Sheridan’s book, They Ask, You Answer, you know that his best piece of advice is to publish articles answering every question your customers ask.
If your customers have questions they'd like to know about your products and services, answer them in blog articles.
It really is that simple. (Here's Marcus speaking at a past IMPACT Live about the power of educating our buyers.)
When reviewing the top performing content from hundreds of clients' websites, we found 5 article topics were consistently outperforming the rest (regardless of whether you're B2B or B2C).
These are The Big 5 blog article topics that drive the most traffic, leads, and sales:
"Best of" Lists
Let's dive in.
No matter what we’re buying, we want to know how much it costs. But then why is it still so hard for us to talk about the prices of our own products?
Here are some common (and probably familiar) excuses:
The excuse: Our product/services are custom designed for individual situations.
The solution:Yes, each project you do is different and there are several factors that go into the final cost.
It’s ok to say just that.
The right answer is to write about the factors that influence costs and at least give a range of possible rates. It's that simple.
The excuse:Our competitors would know what we're charging.
The solution: Chances are, you know what your competitors are charging, right? Then isn’t it possible they already know your pricing structure too?
Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing (unless they’re already talking about price on their website, then you need to catch up.)
Instead, focus on your buyers and making sure they have the information they need to make a good decision.
The excuse: Our prospects might get scared away before we can explain our pricing.
The solution:Not answering cost questions will drive more people away as they have to go elsewhere for answers.
You have a much better shot at getting someone to stick around just by answering their most pressing questions.
Honesty fosters trust. And people want to do business with businesses they can trust.
It’s natural that we want to protect ourselves from danger. Why risk saying something negative when we can focus on all the good we do? Here’s the problem with that: if you don’t address it, someone else will.
Your buyers are out there looking for information that can help them reach a conclusion. And we know they’re not only looking for positive reviews. They want the dirt, the difficulties, and the cons so that they won’t be surprised after the sale is made. Wouldn’t you rather they hear this from you than from somewhere else?
More importantly, wouldn’t you rather they get accurate facts (from you) than consume information that misses the mark, or worse, that’s purposefully misleading?
There are two major types of problems articles you should be writing about:
You can ease into your problems content by focusing on the problem your buyer is trying to solve. Put yourself in their position and make a list of the issues they have that would drive them to look to you for a solution.
In many cases, they might not even know they have a problem you can solve. It’s up to you to recognize their symptoms, identify the problem, and outline the options that are available to them.
The truth is, no single solution is the right fit for everyone. You’ll find much more success when you admit this to your potential buyers and show that, yes, there are some problems with the solution you offer.
Showing how your product may not be the best fit will save both your and your prospect valuable time.
Right around the same time folks are researching problems with the solutions they're vetting, they're going to want to see direct comparisons of those solutions.
Which one is best for their situation?
How can they decide between them?
Here you have an opportunity to discuss each of their options, the pros and cons of each, how they compare in different categories, and which ones are better under different circumstances.
Just make sure to be as honest as possible in your assessment. And let readers know outright which of those products/services you sell. They should know if you have a particular bias.
If you do have a bias and they find out later, you'll lose that trust.
4. "Best of" Lists
One of the most common ways people search is by looking for “best of” lists. There are a couple key "best of" article topics you should write about:
You may worry that writing an article listing all of your top competitors will steer prospects away from your business.
But let's be honest: they're going to find out about your competition anyway. If you write an article introducing them to all the vendors, they're at least reading the information on your site, and you have the first chance to convert them into a lead.
Best in Class
If you have something to sell or market (and that’s why you’re reading this, right?), writing best of lists will become your go-to content generator since you can write best of lists for every product you have.
Buyers want to dig into rankings and are probably creating their own best of lists as they do their research. Don’t you want to be the one to help them do that?
As buyers are considering making a purchase, they often want to know if those that shopped before them are delighted by their final choice or have remorse.
They want to know how others feel about the purchases they made.
If real people are raving about the purchase, they're more likely to buy. If others are complaining about the purchase, they may avoid it.
People love to crowd-source opinions. If you can write honest reviews of the products you sell (and even don't sell), you'll connect with more prospects looking for help making purchases.
Learn Exactly How to Execute the Big 5 at IMPACT Live 2019
At IMPACT Live, Marcus Sheridan will be walking through exactly how to develop The Big 5 content that drives revenue and deep diving into playbooks, activities, and pro-tips that will have you finally seeing the ROI you’ve been working for.
Over the course of two, fully immersive days, Sheridan and the IMPACT team, along with invited experts, will teach you the digital marketing and sales playbook that the most successful companies use to drive significant revenue growth and become true “inbound organizations.”
You’ll learn how to embrace an inbound culture of creating industry-leading content and video, making you the most trusted voice in your space.