How do you create great content that will attract an audience and build trust? For starters, you should feel comfortable writing and do it often. But the key to writing compelling content is asking the right questions.
Whether you’re working with a group of internal stakeholders or an external client to develop content, it’s crucial to ask “Why?” early and often.
This applies first to your content marketing strategy session. Sure, you’ve heard about content marketing and how critical it is to proving value, but if you haven’t considered the “Why?” for your business, stop what you’re doing and go back to the beginning. Do not pass “Go;” do not collect $200.
Determining why you’re doing content marketing and why it’s right for your business and setting goals to measure success will give you purpose and guide you through development and distribution. Every time you set out to write a new blog post or article, think about whether or not it relates to the purpose and will help you meet your goal. If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board.
After you’ve answered why you’re tackling content marketing, you can start developing the strategy around it.
With stakeholders at the ready, start asking questions: “Who are you?” “Who do you sell to?” “What do you sell?”
These questions are incredibly basic and will prompt your stakeholders to answer in the simplest terms. But drilling down is the important part. “Why do you sell your product?” “Why do customers buy your product?” You’re not looking so much for factual answers (“We’re a solutions provider for OEMs looking for widgets”); you’re looking to get to more human elements of business like trust and confidence.
Following up and asking “why” leads to a better understanding of exactly what the company does, what they’re selling, the industry and the customers. It’s a way to fill in your gaps in your knowledge. And it will make every piece you write stronger.
When you develop deep knowledge and understanding of what the business does and how it fits into a specific industry, it’s difficult not to also develop a keen interest in the business and a curiosity about what happens from day to day.
At Scribewise, we like to say, “We don’t have all the answers; we have all the questions.” Asking “why” helps us understand the nuances of our clients’ businesses, products, industries and customers. And it helps us develop and execute content strategies that actually move the needle.