Spring finally made its first appearance here last Saturday so I took the opportunity to buy a yard of topsoil to renovate the vegetable garden. I went to our local garden center and paid the cashier but it would ultimately require the assistance of someone operating a skid loader. As I waited by my truck I started to wonder if I had been forgotten, but eventually the owner of the business came out and apologized for my wait and prepared to load my topsoil. However before he fired up the loader he said, “People have so many questions for me, it takes all my time just to answer them.”
As the engine roared to life and he loaded my vehicle I thought about that challenge and the terrific opportunity his dilemma presents for content marketing.
Answer Your Customers Questions
Regardless of the type of business you are engaged in, when you peel back all the layers, at the core of every business transaction is trust. Consumers are taking a leap of faith with their hard-earned dollars and trusting that you will provide the value they are trading their money for. So the earlier you can establish a position of genuine trust with them, the earlier you will gain the privilege of providing them a product or service. But the modern marketing paradigm has left consumers skeptical of advertising promises and claims. The result has turned consumers into their own advocates who search for truth and answers at the end of a search engine query. So where does consumer trust begin? Answering their questions.
Most business owners and salespeople excel at this in person but where it is most important today is online. In the murky anonymous world of internet information and advice, making yourself available as a real person online to answer questions that your customers have will build trust and allow you to cultivate a relationship. It will also position you and your business as a provider of valuable information. That association puts you head and shoulders above your competition when consumers are ready to make a purchase.
Where to begin?
Write content for your site that answers common questions your customers already ask. When people realize they are speaking with someone who possesses the knowledge they seek, they begin to unleash a torrent of questions. Listen carefully and make note of the questions. You will begin to hear common questions from consumers. Write a few paragraphs about each of these common questions and turn them into articles.
For example most people want to know how much your product or service costs. Some are simply price shopping but others are seeking a basic understanding. Business owners are reluctant to roll their pricing out because a price is often more complicated than a simple number and it is intrinsically tied to the value proposition your business provides. So be honest, talk about real numbers and the things that affect the final price. By offering information that will help educate the reader you are building a better consumer who will be able to more clearly understand why your business is the best choice for them.
Every business will have a wealth of topics to choose from when they start thinking about the questions consumers have so be creative and most importantly, make yourself available. Enable comments on your posts and respond to questions personally and in a timely fashion.
At the end of the day consumers are looking for businesses to help them and they will reward those who do with their patronage. Don’t be afraid of your customers, answer their questions!