They Ask, You Answer: The Big 5 explained
To establish yourself as the most trusted resource in your industry and attract your target audience in the digital age, you must be utilising the Big 5 blog topics on your website.
At the core of the "They Ask, You Answer" methodology, the Big 5 are questions that enhance your ability to connect with active buyers and increase sales. So what are these time-tested topics and how can you take advantage of them?
By accounting for your customers’ priorities, preferences, and concerns, this article will help you to plan an effective content strategy that drives growth. We outline each of the Big 5, how to write them, and how to leverage them for your industry.
The basics of They Ask, You Answer
The "They Ask, You Answer" method is about creating content to answer your customers’ most pressing questions. It is an effective inbound marketing strategy to attract new leads who are actively looking for information about your products, services, and industry.
The Big 5 are relevant regardless of what you sell, and how you sell it. They get to the heart of a customer’s needs when making a purchase and give you a framework to create transparency and trust. Your sales team answers these questions every day but you’ve probably never noticed how prevalent they are. So what are they?
The best customer-centric blog topics
Writing about topics that are relevant to your target audience will make your blogging more effective. Not only will it attract readers to your site in the first place but it will also demonstrate to customers that you understand their needs, wants, and concerns. It builds trust because you’re freely giving information of value that sets you apart from your competitors.
The following five topic categories outline the key questions on the minds of your potential buyers, particularly as they look for a solution that you can provide. By answering these questions proactively in your blog content, you can intercept qualified leads at the decision stage.
The Big 5 topics include:
One key piece of information consumers search for is the cost of a product, solution, or service, and therefore how much they may need to spend. Whether in reference to a small purchase or a major investment, they want to know the full cost before taking the next step.
When consumers are unable to find clear and transparent information about costs or pricing on a company's website, it can negatively impact their perception of the business and their confidence in the company. Despite this, many companies are hesitant to discuss costs on their website for fear of it deterring prospects or revealing prices to competitors. Another common reason is when their products or services are custom-designed for individual situations.
However, to build trust and invest time in your best-fit customers, you need to be transparent and honest about your pricing.
- What factors influence the price?
- What are the price ranges for each category?
- What is the price based on?
- Are there any financing options available?
You don’t have to directly share the price of something, but understand the impact not doing so may have. Think back to your own purchasing journey. Did you want to know how much you’d need to pay? How did you feel when you couldn’t even find a rough price estimate? Could that emotion have been something resembling frustration?
Now ask yourself whether you’re making your leads feel frustrated when they are trying to research the cost of what you offer.
Examples of cost blogs:
How much does it cost to build a website?
HubSpot software pricing explained
Consumers are driven by problems and solutions, and will often search for the disadvantages of a product before investing. As a brand, it is vital to maintain transparency and honesty in your response.
Problems articles are your opportunity to discuss any potential issues with your product, service, or industry, and then present solutions. By addressing these potential problems, you not only set the record straight and build trust with your audience, but also help to filter out potential customers who may not be a good fit for your business.
While it can be daunting to expose the negative side of your products, problem blogs are the most effective way to identify your good-fit clients. Additionally, you’ll avoid bad-fit customers and therefore get fewer negative online reviews.
- What situations are your products not suited to?
- What are the drawbacks of your product or service?
- Does your product solve a problem in your industry?
Your product or solution simply isn’t right for everyone. Think about the type of person that might be frustrated if they bought from you and found that what they had didn’t solve the issue they were experiencing. That person has a problem with your solution — it’s the wrong one for them.
To stop more people from feeling frustrated, be transparent about the applications for which your offering isn’t suited. For example, if someone is looking for a cheap, low-quality product, your premium product won’t be suitable for them.
Examples of problem blogs:
Problems with customer feedback management software
Problems with Review Tui customer feedback software
During the research phase, your potential customers will likely want to compare various options and determine the most appropriate solution for their specific situation. Comparison blogs are one of the most effective ways to target these buyers and offer your product as a viable option. These articles tend to highlight the pros and cons of each solution and discuss how they compare in different categories.
When comparing your products and services to competitors, it is crucial to be transparent. Consumers will pick up on any biases you have, so it’s better to disclose them from the beginning, stating that your assessments will be objective and honest. This will help maintain trust with your audience and maintain your credibility as an industry expert.
- What are the strengths of your product or service?
- What are the weaknesses of your product or service?
- What sets your product apart from the alternatives?
Comparison blogs are a great way of turning your problems blogs into sales opportunities. You can compare your product to alternatives and explain why your solution is better. You can even explain why someone’s preconceptions are incorrect and put forth your point of view.
Examples of comparison blogs:
Best of blogs
Did you know that 36% of people prefer list-based headlines? To target those readers, we recommend writing listicles that highlight the leading solutions in your industry. By creating content that highlights the best options on the market, you can assist your audience in making informed decisions and position your business as a trusted resource.
Common “best of” blog types include best competitors, best in category, best practices, and best applications.
- What are the leading brands in your industry?
- What are the most effective products in your industry?
- What is some advice you can give your customers?
Best competitors: A list of the top vendors in your industry will help potential customers research their options. This will benefit your brand by attracting them to the resources on your site and highlighting how your products compare. You’ll also feature competitor keywords on your website which could help your SEO ranking for their brand.
Best in category: Creating "best of" lists for the products or services you offer can be a valuable marketing strategy. Lists are most effective when you use frequently searched adjectives such as "warmest," "most durable," or "highest rated."
Best practices: You can create content that highlights practices that yield the most successful results from your products. That way, when a customer searches for advice, they’re more likely to find your helpful resource and spend time on your website.
Best applications: Be specific about which solution is best for different scenarios. This helps you rank for industry terms and explains why certain products are not suited to some people’s situations where they might be perfect for someone else’s.
Examples of best of blogs:
Top 10 customer feedback management platforms
Best practices for creating Facebook videos
When consumers are considering making a purchase, they want to know the experiences and feedback of those who have made similar purchases before them. By providing honest reviews of the products or services you sell, you can connect with more potential customers and assist them in making informed decisions.
Research indicates that a significant portion of buyers, around 95%, read reviews before making a purchase. Therefore, providing content with honest reviews can influence their decision.
- Is there a recently launched product you can evaluate?
- What are the costs and benefits of your product?
- Does your product meet customer expectations?
You can review your own products, comparing them to the previous generation or a similar offering. Try to be objective and honest. Be open about when this product is the perfect solution, or when it’s not a good fit.
Examples of review blogs:
An Honest Review of HubSpot Video
Most Reliable Appliance Brands for 2019
Does content marketing work?
With the introduction of the internet, consumer habits have evolved significantly over the past decade.
- 53% of buyers research a product or service before purchasing it.
- 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
- B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not.
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to a 1.7% close rate for outbound leads (including direct mail and print advertising).
To generate leads and close sales, you need to adapt your marketing and meet prospective customers where they are. The key is knowing which topics to cover and how to utilise SEO strategies to attract the most qualified leads. Fortunately, that’s where the Big 5 topics come in.
The Big 5 blog topics are a proven method for establishing your brand as a trusted resource in your industry and attracting your target audience. By understanding your customers' priorities, preferences, and concerns, and utilising these topics in your content strategy, you can drive growth for your business.
Are you ready to elevate your marketing strategy and generate more sales? Download our 20 inbound marketing examples to see how real-world companies have successfully leveraged the Big 5 topics in their own content. Or contact us to discuss how our marketing services can attract and convert your ideal customers.
Download our 20 inbound marketing examples
When paired with strong SEO, the Big 5 blog topics have a powerful way of attracting traffic to your website. For inspiration, see our list of 20 inbound marketing examples that demonstrate how to rise above the competition and generate growth.Download now