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How Customer-Centric FAQ Pages Can Improve Content Marketing Results

How FAQ Pages Drive Content Marketing Results

How FAQ Pages Drive Content Marketing Results Your prospects and customers have questions. And it’s your job as a content marketer to answer them. That’s why you’re continuously turning out content to inform, engage, and inspire action throughout the buyer journey. But wouldn’t it be great if you could answer many of those burning questions in one convenient, easy-to-use resource? It would. And it exists. It’s an early-internet favorite that’s not super top-of-mind these days: The FAQ page. FAQ pages have been around since before search engines, but the question is: Are you making the most of this often forgotten resource? Rather than an afterthought, FAQ pages can become a robust piece of content that directly serves the interests of your prospects and customers, helping accelerate the success of your overall content marketing programHere’s how you can make sure that your FAQ has “best answer” content that helps inform customers and prospects and move them along the buyer journey.

The Potential of FAQ Pages

#1 – Untapped SEO Value

Audiences are more self-directed than ever before in their research for solutions and answers to their questions. And of course, they often turn to search engines. But most searchers aren’t typing in broad queries these days. They’re being increasingly specific. In fact, half of all search queries today contain at least four terms and 280 million queries are phrased as questions each day. FAQ pages were born to be answer hubs. As a result, the opportunity is there for you to provide best-answer content that helps support rankings and match search intent. It’s also a fantastic cross-linking opportunity, seeding other more typical content assets. For example, precisely and concisely answering a question on an FAQ page allows you to crosslink to a more robust content resource. This not only gives your audience a better experience by providing them with a solid answer upfront, but also gives them the option to explore the topic more in-depth. Ultimately, this helps you tailor the experience and support the SEO value of other related pieces of content. [bctt tweet=”FAQ pages were born to be answer hubs. The opportunity is there for you to provide best-answer content that helps support rankings and match search intent. – @annieleuman #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

#2 – Reduces Friction in the Customer Journey

Attract. Engage. Convert. Retain. Advocate. As a content marketer, it’s your job to provide your customers and prospects with content that can help them navigate each stage of the customer journey — and the last thing you or your audience wants are friction points that slow the whole process down. As customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken recently told us, convenience is what sets rockstar businesses apart from all the rest — and one pillar of convenience is reducing friction. And what’s more convenient than having the solid answers to important questions in one easy-to-use, easy-to-find location? “Reducing friction is perhaps the No. 1 opportunity for marketers,” Shep states. “It’s simple. If you don’t know your friction points, you can’t improve the customer experience and build customer loyalty.”

#3 – Reinforces Trust by Reducing Anxiety

Concerns crop up when prospects are considering new technology, services, or products. They have doubts from neutral or less-than-stellar reviews. They have questions. Hesitation. Uncertainty. But if you can’t qualm those fears and establish trust, prospects aren’t likely to convert. FAQs afford you the chance to put some of those concerns to rest by giving information away, building trust and making it easier for prospects to convert.   There are your existing customers to consider, too. If customers encounter a problem with your product or service, they’re going to feel unsettled until the issue is resolved. Sure they can call you, but they might rather have a readily available resource to help them solve the issue on their own. If you put some effort behind your FAQ page, you have the opportunity provide customers with fast troubleshooting, how-to tutorials, and step-by-step guides that reduce their anxiety and reignite their confidence in your company.

3 Steps to Leveling-Up Your FAQ Game

Step 1: Improve the Navigation With Organization

According to Shep, the key to improving the customer experience is in creating convenience for your audience. You need to take the same approach to your FAQ page. This means making a page that is easy to scan, easy to navigate, and easy to learn from. FAQs can get long, answering every relevant question that may come to a prospect’s mind, and without organization, it can quickly get cluttered. To increase readability and avoid a page with an overwhelming amount of information, place the questions near the top of the page that are hyperlinked to the answers further down. Each question and answer should also have its own link (the FAQ URL + div tag) so you can easily link to it from other content.  If you have the capability, consider adding a search bar at the top of the page and batch similar questions together so users can quickly find what they’re looking for. Here’s a great example from YouTube:

Step 2: Be Clear and Specific in Your Answers

Sometimes answers lead to more questions — one thing you don’t want your audience to feel. And in trying to thoroughly answer questions and provide every possible solution, that problem becomes exacerbated, creating a rats nest of information that’s hard to understand. To avoid this worst case scenario, your answers need to be clear, precise, and to the point. They need to be written in a way that informs prospects about your product or service instead of making it more convoluted and complicated. Avoid vague language. Provide step-by-step guides. And only answer relevant questions to prevent cluttering up your FAQ with answers your prospects don’t care about.   Here’s an example from Amazon S3, Amazon’s cloud object storage offering: Amazon S3 FAQ Page

Step 3: Encourage Action

One of the biggest benefits of an FAQ page is that it’s one of the few places your prospects go to intentionally learn more about your solution. As marketers, that’s a pretty powerful tool to wield. And when marketers use this tool to guide prospects through the buyer journey is when it’s most effective. But how can you encourage prospects to move from stage to stage? Guide prospects like you would on any other piece of content — with a CTA. Supplement your answers with links and calls to action that lead them to other pieces of the funnel. Provide your answers clearly, and link to a more in-depth resource like a video tutorial or user guide for more information. This increases the number of touchpoints on their customer journey, removing additional knowledge barriers and bringing them close to conversion.

You Have All of the Answers. Share Them.

From realizing they have a business problem to evaluating solutions to troubleshooting an issue, your clients and prospects have questions. And you have the answers. An FAQ page represents an unmissable opportunity for marketers to accelerate the buyer journey, build trust, and add SEO value. So don’t let the opportunity pass you by and take the above tips to heart. When it comes to being the best answer for your audience, you may wonder: Is short-form or long-form content better? Our own CEO, Lee Odden, walks you through the quandary.

The post How Customer-Centric FAQ Pages Can Improve Content Marketing Results appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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How to Intertwine Online & Offline Tactics to Cultivate B2B Influencer Relationships

Effective B2B influencer marketing is rooted in brands developing and nurturing relationships—relationships with individuals who have the relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance to align with the goals of the brand.

Of course, those relationships are often cultivated in the digital realm via social media, email, and audio or video conferencing. And that's OK. We've all gone digital.

But there’s simply no replacement for face-to-face communication—and B2B marketers may have more chances than they know to proactively facilitate interactions or take advantage of in-person opportunities as they arise.

It’s time to bridge the digital divide. How? When? Where? Let’s dive in.

#1 - Highlight influencers and/or their brands with live event coverage.

B2B industry conferences and events are marketing gold mines. Not only do events give you an opportunity to have facetime with customers, prospects, and industry experts and influencers, but also the opportunity to create insightful (and influential) content.

If one or more of your warm or targeted influencers or another representative from their brand are delivering a keynote address or are part of a learning track that’s relevant to your audience, plan to attend their sessions and amplify the insights they share via social media, blog content, or both. Giving influencers this kind of thoughtful attention benefits everyone, helping you:

  • Deliver your wider digital audience with credible, relevant, and valuable content.
  • Capitalize on event engagement and reach.
  • Deepen your connections with existing influencer partners.
  • Help grow your partners’ influence among your audience and within the industry.
  • Get on the radar of prospective influencer partners.
  • Provide additional perspective and insight into who your current and prospective partners are, helping you further vet or find new connection points.

[bctt tweet="Cutting edge B2B influencer marketing focuses on both online and offline engagements. @konstanze" username="toprank"]

#2 - Conduct on-site video interviews at industry conferences and events.

Co-creating content with influencers provides influential experts with a medium to share valuable insights and gives your audience a mix of perspectives—upping your brand’s storytelling capabilities and credibility. Industry events and conferences provide the perfect platform for capturing original insights—especially on video.

Set aside the fact that video is an increasingly preferred learning and entertainment medium for modern consumers and buyers alike. When it comes to working with influencers, video can help capture their essence as well as their expertise. This can add a new degree of authenticity and credibility to their insights and resonate more deeply with your audiences.

Here’s an example from our own vault. While attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum in 2017, our team conducted a series of interviews with marketing experts and influencers, including MarketingProf’s own Chief Content Officer Ann Handley. The “Content Conversations” series covered top marketing learnings from the year, predictions for the coming year and decades, and tips and insights to finding success in the future.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kM1BMOSMpw[/embed]

*SAP’s video coverage of its own SAPPHIRENOW event is a fantastic example of how influencers can play an active role in bridging the real and digital worlds.

Working in partnership with SAP, Eric Kavanagh, CEO of The Bloor Group and a respected technology analyst, actually interviewed SAP’s own Chief Innovation Officer Max Wessel. This is just one of several unique examples from the conference.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IITUVS34cec[/embed]

[bctt tweet="If you want content to be great, ask influencers to participate. @leeodden" username="toprank"]

#3 - Host a VIP appreciation and networking event.

There may be no better way to create meaningful connections than over good food, drinks, and great conversation. Whether it’s a cocktail hour, leisurely lunch, or sit-down dinner, inviting influencers to come together for a couple hours of relaxed fun is a great way to show your appreciation for their partnership, nurture prospective partners, and connect influencers with one another.

This is a practice that is near and dear to our hearts. We absolutely love the work we do and almost always carve out time for this while attending larger industry events. And of course, you can chronicle your interactions on your owned digital properties to let your audiences in on the fun. Here’s a little shot from our dinner at B2B Marketing Exchange 2019, courtesy of our CEO Lee Odden’s Instagram.

B2BMX 2019 Dinner

This sort of engagement can certainly be planned independently of any industry conference, but it can be yet another way to make the most out of your trip to an event.

[bctt tweet="Companies should approach influencers as partners, not just as people that they can use for their marketing efforts and launches. @AmishaGandhi @SAPAriba" username="toprank"]

#4 - Play matchmaker when the opportunity arises.

There will undoubtedly come a time during your work with industry experts and influencers where you can help them connect with one another. Whether they’re looking for insight, a new product or solution, or you’ve discovered two people share a common hobby or interest, take the lead on introducing them.

Why? Because you have the opportunity to provide more value. The relationship you’re cultivating needs to be mutually beneficial to go the distance, and helping influencers solve problems or grow their network has value written all over it.

[bctt tweet="We pride ourselves on cultivating and nurturing long-term relationships with our influencers … which means we are always looking to establish a ‘give to get’ exchange where all parties come out ahead. @ranimani0707 @adobe" username="toprank"]

#5 - Embrace the “show, don’t tell” mantra when it comes to influencer appreciation.

Your online efforts to nurture, engage, and showcase the expertise of your influencer partners are incredibly important. Your prospects are online. Your customers are online. Your influencers are online. The world is online.

But there is absolutely an opportunity to add a personal, human touch to show your influencer partners you care about and appreciate them. New job? Send a handwritten letter filled with well wishes. New baby? Send a congratulatory gift basket. New campaign launch? Deliver a tasty treat or bit of swag to give thanks.

A couple years back, we helped our friends at DivvyHQ introduce the world to Grandma Gertrude, as well as easy-as-pie recipes for content planning. Following the launch, we sent pies to the influencers who contributed their thoughts and insights.

DivvyHQ Pie for Influencers

[bctt tweet="Grow your influencer network long before you need them. The day to create an army of influential advocates isn’t the first day of the war. Find common interests and develop rapport. - @leeodden " username="toprank"]

Build a Bridge to Stronger Influencer Relationships

Influencer relationships are often cultivated in the digital realm. But they can be nurtured and grown to new heights in the real world.

Take advantage of any opportunity to spotlight, co-create, or connect with influencers at industry events. In addition, go the extra mile to create valuable, memorable connections. Taking action here not only helps you strengthen relationships and generate content for the digital world, but also plant the seeds of partnership.

What’s on the horizon for B2B influencer marketing? Check out Lee Odden’s rundown of seven B2B influencer marketing trends to watch.

*Disclaimer: SAP is TopRank Marketing client.

The post How to Intertwine Online & Offline Tactics to Cultivate B2B Influencer Relationships appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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