In 2016, Any marketing plan will be termed incomplete, if it does not include a solid content marketing plan and that’s why an effective content marketing strategy should always be a part of your digital marketing plan.
Let me back the above fact through the below statistics provided by content marketing institute.
“88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy” – Source
“37% of B2C Marketers Have A Documented Content Marketing Strategy” – Source
Given the importance of content marketing for all industries alike, I want to talk about asking questions as a content marketing strategy. It is an easy to implement strategy and very effective.
Look at the below screenshot for a “content marketing” term search, there are 2.6k questions on this topic alone and more than 31.4k followers.
Asking questions can be an effective marketing strategy, if you use it strategically.
If I have to simplify it, here is the flow,
1. Ask a question
2. Let others try to answer.
3. Let the conversation build up and engage.
4. Introduce your product/service spinned around the context of the question.
5. Repeat at other channels.
Simple right? Let me explain each one of the steps in more details along with a few interesting facts.
Ask A Question
A few years ago I noticed a post “Is Email marketing dead? This question itself created a lot of storm, because it was a controversial question, many marketers got involved with their individual opinions and takes.
A Google search for an exact match term “is email marketing dead” still fetches more than 57,000,00 search results.
Check it out below
Let Others Try to Answer
This one is simple, you have stirred the controversy or you have poked everyone with a raging problem through your questions.
Now, you just have to wait, watch and analyze. You have to wait for the answers to start pouring in, you have to then watch how other people react to the answers posted. Once you have done this, you are just waiting for the right moment to join the discussion.
Let The Conversation Build Up
Once you have received a few good responses, you can then try to ask further questions related to the responses, or, add your opinions and thoughts to the answers provided by others earlier. This helps build up the conversation flow and helps garner more attention from others.
Introduce Your Product/Service Spun With The Context Of The Question.
Once you have got a good number of responses, you can then try to introduce your product or service in a very subtle way.
Here is an example from one of the LinkedIn groups I am a member of, though the question itself makes it easy to pitch in the product/service, still you can check how people are easily pitching in their services and recommendations.
It’s an easy opportunity for someone who offers related email marketing services to pitch in their product or service.
Let us look at a few other examples, this one from Quora is again an easy one to nail.
If you have related product or services, you can easily pitch them.
So, with the above example, I am sure that you will get the idea of how you can ask a question and build up a discussion.
To do your research, or I can better say, to find answer worthy questions, you can go to forums and discussion boards in your niche and look at questions, which have previously got a lot of attention and then tweak them to create your own.
Repeat at other channels
Once you have tried the above strategy on one of the channels, you can then further repeat this on other channels. e.g. If you have asked a question on Quora, you can further ask that questions or a related one in either a LinkedIn group, on a FaceBook fan page/group, google plus groups, Reddit or any other discussion boards and forums in your niche.
To find forums in your niche, you can simply try the below string on google
“Niche + forum”
Here is a screenshot for nutrition + forum search results
Hope you liked this post, do try this strategy out, and let me know about your results. Also do not forget to hit the subscribe button for more on content marketing strategy and, content marketing advise.
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