Sorry. I’ve been toting this one around in my pack for a while now and haven’t yet shared it with you. Here you go, the most effective content marketing tip you can possibly ever hope to hear.
Answer your prospects’ top 30 questions.
That’s it. Do it and enjoy the magic.
I’ll expand on the idea ever-so-slightly…
Your prospects aren’t going to buy your stuff until they get the answers they seek. Listen closely to the questions. Write them down. Then make each question the title of a blog post and publish the answers.
If you can’t get to 30 in a hurry (I’m thinking 3 days max), ask for a hand from other people across your company. Go to sales and support first. They get the big important questions. But ask everybody. Everyone in your company answers questions every day. If they don’t, cut ‘em lose. What purpose do they serve?
Surpass 90% of the market in 90 days.
Here’s the beautiful appendix to the most effective content marketing tip ever. Call it the most effective content marketing ramp-up plan ever.
Create 90 pieces of content in 90 days based on the 30 questions.
- Create 30 blog posts. The headline is the question. The copy is the answer. Immensely simple. Ridiculously valuable.
- Make 30 videos. Same topics. You might change the title ever so slightly. A lot of people would rather watch than read. Don’t get all worked up about the fact you’re not a professional video producer. Select the person best qualified to answer the question, point your digital device at them and press record.
- Make 30 podcasts. Why? A lot of people choose to listen, rather than read or watch. If your videos are talking heads (professional video speak), your podcast can simply be the audio track of your video.
Go with this sequence : post, video, podcast. Repeat 29 times. Or go with this: 30 posts, 30 videos, 30 podcasts. Whatever floats your boat.
That’s 90 pieces of content I see you cranking out in 90 days—minimum. These 90 pieces of vital content could easily become 90 more in the form of eBooks, infographics, and the like. Also, they’ll inspire heaps and heaps of new content ideas. You’ll see.
Do you think your competition has pulled this trick off yet?
My guess is no. So when I say you’ll be ahead of 90% of the market in 90 days, I’m being conservative. You’ll probably be ahead of 100% of the pack.
But isn’t everyone creating content?
Okay, you might have seen one of the ten thousand articles about content overload. So you might be thinking you’re too late to the party or your voice will be drowned in the noise.
Get real and get on with it. For a great perspective on this, I’d like to welcome Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, content marketing teacher extraordinaire, and the guy I’ve stolen most of these ideas from. In a recent article, my friend Marcus just wrote:
Will this information overload prevent you from researching and making normal buying decisions?
- If you decide you want to buy a swimming pool, will you find the time to research it?
- If you decide you want to send your child to the best private school in your area, will you find the time to do the leg-work?
- If you’re looking for a job in your career field, will you find the time to search for it?
The point is customers will be going online to find answers.
This section of the “tip” post is even more simple than the tip.
What can you expect your prospects to do when they have questions? Survey says:
- Type them in Google or another search engine.
- Ask their phone’s voice activated concierge.
- Search YouTube.
What do you hope they’ll find. Your answers to their questions.
Is this stuff simple or what?
Be frank, Fred.
The first time I ever heard Marcus, the man, myth, marketer and future New York Times best-selling author, speak, he had to wrestle with quite a bit of resistance to this concept. Marcus knew what the audience was thinking and so he welcomed all the objections:
- We can’t give this information away for free.
- We can’t give away our secrets.
- We can’t talk about our prices.
- We can’t bring potential pitfalls about our solution to light.
- We can’t talk about our competition.
The list goes on. And the smart response to all of them is “bullshit.” Marcus would frame it nicer. He’d say, “You can and you must.” He answered all of his prospects questions regarding fiberglass swimming pools and transformed his dying company to the most trafficked website in the world in the industry. Yes, sales followed. Big sales.
Marcus likes to say, “They ask. You answer.” It’s the first and most important of his “33 Laws of Content Marketing Success,” presented handsomely in this slide deck he asked me to design for him.
I’m going to stop here. I don’t want to muddy the most effective content marketing tip ever with content overload. It’s not the least bit complicated.
90 pieces of content in 90 days? How could you create something of quality everyday? I’d rather create 2 outstanding pieces of content and promote those to the right audience. I like your concept of finding pain points but creating 90 pieces of content is unrealistic.
You could easily have 10, 20, 30 people do the posts, as in 1 each. Creating the videos and podcasts could almost be real-time.
You do it your way. I don’t disagree you must promote your content, but do disagree this strategy is unrealistic. It’s smart.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s no magic number. It’s the tip that’s magic. Answer your customers’ questions. If you don’t do that, I recommend you don’t create ANY content.
This is deliciously simple! I like simple. I’m going to try it!! I guess I’m one of the crazy ones who loves a challenge . Just the act of the 90 day timeline is great because it gives you a deadline and forces you to not overthink.
Cool, Lindsey. Don’t beat yourself up with the numbers. March down this path with the idea that by answering your customers’ questions you’ll be leading people to your site, teaching them the things you know and building your business.
Thanks for that great share on Google+.
Marketing Day: January 24, 2014 | CABizNews.com
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I agree with this strategy especially getting tons of video and podcasts
out. People love video and people love listening to detailed
descriptions of a product or service. It allows them to feel more
confident in what they are buying or the service they are paying for.
Plus getting tons of content out there will help you be seen. Just look at the statistics on how many people are watching video and listing to podcasts. It’s amazing how many people do it every day.
Barry, Good one. I like your first point Answer your top 30’s questions. It really very helpful in content creation.
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Davina K. Brewer
I was reading and reading thinking, wait.. did he just steal this from Marcus Sheridan? Ha.. He makes so much sense — people, customers are asking questions, they are searching. It means they need help or a solution, a fix for a problem or just something they want. They’re out there searching for answers (if not specifically for what you’re selling), so help them out. FWIW.
Great post! I thought I knew all that but I did learn something new from your post.I understand there is to value of Content Marketing
Barry, at a fundamental level it’s really is the best tip for creating content. It’s wonderful and simple! I am for instance starting a jewelry e-commerce business and I am doing this alone. Coming up with ideas is also not so much an issue as you suggested to answer top 30 questions of your customers. Brilliant! But how do I get 10-20 people to write for me and that too for free? I think that’s what people would love to know 🙂
If you do get 10 people to write for you for free, please come back and tell us how that’s done.
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