How to build content that helps your buyers

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The value of content is in its capacity to answer questions and objections before a potential buyer (even existing customers) ever have a conversation with your business about a sale. It gives your point of view and context around what makes you different from other companies that have similar offerings.

The best content is useful and helpful to the person reading or viewing it without giving a hard sell. And it’s not hard to do. You’re already doing it every single day, but you aren’t calling it content creation. It’s just part of your everyday routine.

Here’s how you can turn day-to-day interactions into a source of content:

1) Answer questions.

Customers, prospects and even your staff ask questions all the time. But does your website answer your most frequently asked questions? If not, this is a great starting place. Don’t build a FAQ page either. Take a deeper dive and write a blog post, record a video or collaborate on a podcast. Answering questions can be done in a variety of ways, from instructional content to best practice guidance to informed opinions. And it’s okay to answer the same or similar questions more than once. After all, you learn more over time and there’s always a different perspective to consider.

2) Answer objections.

If you’ve been involved in the process of making a sale, you’ve had to answer objections. The objections people make to your offerings can be a goldmine of useful tidbits for content. The more you can address objections through content, the easier it is to have conversations when a customer transitions from their research to having conversations. Sometimes objections are sensitive so you need to delicately weave answers to those concerns into your content. Other times you can address it head on. And just like the questions you answer, give fresh answers to objections to reflect changes in your offerings and the market.

3) Tell your point of view.

You can’t be everything to everyone. But a lot of companies really try. One way you can stand out from similar companies is to take a stand. The best approach is to share your point of view on your industry. Maybe you have a somewhat controversial view: write it down and share why you feel that way. It might help you eliminate calls from outside your target market that won’t be worth your time.

4) Share relevant information.

What’s going on in your industry? News? Trends? Upcoming developments? Share it with your audience, even if it’s coming from another source (credible news sources are okay, competitors aren’t). Maybe you’ve been quoted in content or had your content published on another site, it’s great to promote this kind of content when it complements your messages and helps support your goals.

5) Promote community. 

It’s much harder for brands to grow communities now than it was even 5 years ago. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t try. The biggest promotor of community is being present and engaging on social. Reply to comments and messages on social sites. Share content with sources tagged and include relevant hashtags. Give time and attention to social content so it doesn’t sound rushed or too promotional. Social media is where your organization’s personality can shine.

What are some of your favourite examples of useful content?

Get curious and stay curious

How many times a day do you ask yourself or someone else a question about how something works? Or maybe it's a question about whether some idea you have exists.

Do you ever attempt to answer the question for yourself? Is your favourite search engine a regularly visited website?

I was reading a book about freelance writing several months ago and the author stated that writers often have broad knowledge bases because they have to do extensive research to authoritatively write about subjects that are outside their area of expertise.  (I wish I could cite the source - I've forgotten where I read it because I've read quite a few in that time!) 

Knowledge is power

I've always absorbed tidbits of information (not usually trivia-type info - you don't want me on your Trivial Pursuit team) easily. I am often stunned at the random recall I have at times when I need seemingly random information. I'm even accurate in my recollection often enough that I'm impressed with myself. Just don't ask me to remember the plot of a movie I've only seen once, or a TV show even two days later. Those details are probably gone.

I realized that I related strongly with that and, yes, I have this tendency to learn a little about a lot. When you look at my work experience, it jumps from law firms, to doctors offices, to government, to not-for-profits, to private industry, and that's just on the surface. I've studied music education, web design, computer programming, graphic design, marketing, and database design. It's been an asset to have a better than basic understanding of a wide variety of topics.

Curiosity is good

I was reading Brené Brown's Rising Strong (affiliate link) recently and had a little AHA moment when the book started talking extensively about being curious. I realized I am genuinely a curious person, regardless of what they say about it killing cats.

It's one of the things that has continually spurred me to write. I learn, I think, I write to share what I've learned and thought about. 

Want more content ideas?

I've always advised clients to write down the questions that customers and clients ask them and use their blog/vlog/social media channels to answer those questions. But you don't have to restrict that practice to the questions from others. Answer your own questions on your platform too! 

Make that search engine your best friend online. Get curious. Do research. Share your knowledge. 

You never know where it will lead you.

What question will you research today to learn more and stay curious?