There’s one key driver behind powerful, effective content marketing: the buyer. Identifying who your buyers are, what motivates them and what their priorities are enables you to create content that engages and builds a connection.
To find out their motivating factors, priorities, processes and criteria for buying you have to talk to them. It’s what you ask however, that is key.
Once you’ve identified the people you need to talk to, what questions should ask them? During the interview with your buyer, focus on uncovering the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their buying process. Why did they invest in your product or service, or your competitor’s? How did they determine it would help them be successful? What, if any, barriers stood in their way? Where did they look for information about your or your competitor’s product or service? Who had the biggest impact on their decision? Where were they (in their life, career, etc.) that triggered the search for a solution?
During the interview, your goal is to encourage your buyers to tell you about their buying journey. One way to encourage this is by asking open-ended and “how” questions. Be sure to listen with intent to each response to help craft your follow up question.
Some questions might include:
- When did you begin searching for this product/service?
- Was there an event or need that triggered the search?
- Where did you begin your search?
- What did you expect to find?
- How did you narrow the results? What criteria did you use?
- Did you find any online content (forums, blog posts, photos, reviews, etc.) that helped you make your decision?
- How did you compare each of the options?
- What information were you hoping to find, but didn’t?
- How did you take action after you narrowed your options?
Prior to interviews, develop your list of questions to serve as your loose script, but be flexible. Based on the interviewee’s responses, your next question may change. Use their responses to help shape your follow-up questions.
The goal is to gain as much detail and clarity as possible, rather than common, canned responses. You might find it takes a couple of minutes for them to warm up to you. If you aren’t getting detailed responses, consider turning your question into a “how” question.
For example, instead of “where did you search for information about this product or service?” you might ask, “how did you determine where to search for information about this product or service?” or “how did you find information about our product?”.
Uncovering these insights is like finding a pot of content gold. This process will help you shape your content, determine how to deliver it, and develop a ton of new ideas.