Whether you call it digital marketing, a marketing strategy, inbound marketing or content marketing, there will always come a point in time where you’re thinking: “What do I write about?”
This is a very important question, because it’s important that your business distinguishes itself from the “useless fluff” that some people think of as content marketing, but also that you use your marketing to stand out from the competition.
Let’s backtrack a step. In order to answer the question “What do I write about?” we first need to answer the question of: “What do you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts?”
If the answer is drive traffic, leads and sales to your website and business, and ultimately position yourself as the most trusted voice of your industry, then what I’m going to share will give you the tools to do that.
Let’s start with an overview:
Best business blog topics
- Cost and Pricing
- Problems (theirs AND yours)
- Comparisons and Versus
- Best-of Lists (Best-in-Class, Best Practices, etc.)
Before we take a look at each of those in more detail, let’s first explore the origins of the “Big 5”:
“They Ask, You Answer”: A business saviour turned marketing philosophy
The story of “They Ask, You Answer” begins with Marcus Sheridan in the late 2000s. Marcus was the main salesperson at Virginia-based River Pools and Spas. In the run up to 2008, business was booming, with the year starting off with promise.
Then the financial crash happened. Pool deposits were withdrawn, losses were made, and River Pools and Spas went from a business with signs of promise, to a business on the brink of bankruptcy.
Faced with this overwhelming prospect, Marcus knew he needed to find a new way to generate leads and sales for the business. He knew the “old-school” ways of traditional media wouldn’t cut it, and did what we’ve all come to do: He asked Google!
In doing so, he realised that, when we consider buying something, we undertake a massive amount of research through the power of search engines, and when we trust a brand enough, we make that purchasing decision.
Faced with this, Marcus came to the realisation of: “Just answer people’s questions.” And “They Ask, You Answer” was born.
At this point, I always like to highlight a quote from the book, which is:
“Content marketing is simply the act of teaching and problem solving so as to earn buyer trust.”
The discovery of the “Big 5” blog topics
In publishing content around answering clients questions, Marcus made the discovery that buyer behaviour has changed. The digital age has created a shift towards research-based consumerism.
In fact on average, 70% of the buying decision is already made before a prospect gets in touch with a company. With this in mind, the discovery of the “Big 5” was that there were five categories of article topics that garnered the most traffic and leads.
What’s more, these five topics are completely industry-agnostic, meaning whether you’re B2B or B2C, the “Big 5” will undoubtedly drive huge growth if you use it to answer questions thoroughly and honestly.
If you’re smart enough to write “Big 5” content, you are guaranteed to increase traffic, leads and sales. So without further ado, let’s look at each in more detail.
1. Cost and Price
How many times have you been shopping for something online, only to NOT be able to find the price? It’s frustrating, right?
“Cost and price” is the number one topic people love ready about. That means if you’re serious about building trust with your audience, you absolutely must talk about pricing. For every product you sell, or service you offer, you need to be able to write an article that answers the question: “How much does this cost?”
It doesn’t matter if your competitors see what you charge, or if you have highly customised products, your audience will want to be reading the factors that influence costs. What’s more, this is content you can undoubtedly use in your sales process, meaning both sales and marketing departments benefit.
When it comes to products and services, there are two types of problems: “Theirs” and “Yours.”
“Their” problems refers to the problems that your prospective buyers may be experiencing, such as those that might lead them to buying from you.
“Your” problems refers to any problems that exist with a service or product you sell. With “problems”-based content, you have the power to disarm your audience and product content that relates to them, enabling them to self-qualify and make a decision for themselves.
As buyers begin to evaluate their options, they will start to look for blog articles that provide head-to-head comparisons between the choices they’ve shortlisted.
“Comparisons” content is a great opportunity to compare your products to those of others, including your competitors. After all, it’s better that your audience find out about your competitors from your perspective, than going to them instead and hearing their version!
We’ve talked about blog content for the earlier stages of the buyer journey, but what about when they’re considering making their purchase?
That’s where “reviews” come in. People love reading about how others rate a product or service. If something has rave reviews, the chances of them buying increase. By the same token, if there are many complaints to find online, your prospective buyer may avoid making that purchase decision.
If you can write honest reviews about products you sell (or even don’t sell), you have the opportunity to connect with more buyers looking to make that important purchase decision.
Think about the last product you researched before buying. I’m going to take a guess that you used words like “best” or “top” in your search terms.
“Best-in-class” blog articles can be extremely powerful blog content. It allows you to list out all the options to the prospective buyer, and educate them as much as possible about which is the best option they can go with.
How’s your “Big 5” content?
And there you have: The “Big 5” best blog and article topics based on the common ways people search and make their buying decisions. If you’re serious about writing blogs and wanting to drive traffic, leads and sales, then “Big 5” content is a must.