The “FAQ-Style” blog post: to-the-point answers must be data-driven
This FAQ-format blog post is a good idea when you want to create blog posts that answer “People Also Ask” questions on Google SERPs. If your answers are to the point, and just what Google believes matches searcher intent, there are good chances of your bolded first paragraph making it to the Featured Snippet ranking.
While answering questions, through FAQ-Style blog posts, it could be valuable important to include data-driven answers, so that even the short word count content appears packed with solid reasoning.
Another excellent use of such question-answer posts is to create a series that can become an email sequence … you can send FAQ answers by email to your prospective buyers to cover the ones people ask most often at the penultimate stage just before buying. If any one of your questions resonates with the potential buyer, the answer could help tip the scales towards sales for you.
When blog posts like these use consumer questions as their headlines, we have to be careful to use real consumer language – not a polished version of the question they ask. People use words that best reflect their emotions or problems or pains. Altering their questions would kill the emotion behind their words. We have to keep their questions as intact as possible, to best reflect the nuance of their queries and the angle of the answer they are seeking.
Note: Blog posts can be written for many purposes – specifically for SEO rankings or even otherwise for social media traffic or for guest posts, for example. They can be of a certain popular template, and of any length. The sample below is one such combination of purpose, template and length.
After you see this portfolio sample below, click here to get back to the Portfolio Index page.
“My Social Engagement Is High, But Why Are My Sales So Pathetic?”
Your social engagement rate and your sales are two entirely different things from a marketing perspective. The social media will drive sales only if you have aimed your social marketing at sales, and not mere engagement. Read on to see how to achieve this.
Most brand marketers make the elementary mistake of thinking that “getting enormous love” on the social media should equate to brand sales. But the whole question is about what goals you set for yourself when you set out your social media campaign. Did you start with a set of objectives for your social strategy or did you not even think of objectives and achievements and did you just jump into social posting? A lot of people do that, in fact even very big brands “aim at nothing” with social media.
Avinash Kaushik, the renowned Web Analytics Expert and Evangelist of Google, says that four types of social objectives should be set for the social media. I have set this out in another more elaborate article on social media metrics, but the gist of his goal-plan is here.
- Conversation Rate (i.e. number of Audience Comments or Replies Per Post). You can measure this easily for almost every social channel …your blog. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or even YouTube.
- Amplification Rate (which measures how far people go with every post e.g. how many retweets, how many shares, how many shares of shares etc).
- Applause Rate (which is the number of “likes” or “+1d” or “favorited” or other such symbols of expressed appreciation).
- Economic Value (which Avinash describes as the “Sum of Short and Long Term Revenue and Cost Savings”). It’s all very well to get loads of “love and gratification”, but in the end the ROI matters. And ROI cannot be measured unless there are clear calls to action that form part of the brand social campaign that can then be quantified in terms of real world target audience responses – such as queries, trials, purchases, referrals and so on.
In Avinash’s opinion, it’s the absence of this Economic Value calculation that makes all the rest of metrics too soft to rely on. The first three measures of “social engagement rate” are meaningless without the fourth one that measures the actual revenue gains and ROI for the investments you make in the social media.
Now if you have failed to set clear objectives upfront for your social media campaign, especially on the fourth parameter above, how can you hope that social engagement rate alone will drive sales? Social engagement will give you brand awareness and brand trust and brand goodwill – but “sales” is driven by some other levers entirely!
Sales is driven by marshalling and converting the potential buyer down the buying cycle by making his choices grow narrower and narrower till he decides to eliminate all other options and arrive at your brand as his best decision.
Brands that plan to use the social media for “buyer conversion” have to adopt entirely different social media tactics than brands that plan for “social awareness, trust and goodwill” alone.
Social media strategy can be about gaining goodwill, driving conversion and sales, enhancing post-purchase experience, prompting repurchases, social CRM and much, much more. You haven’t even scratched the surface of what social media can do for your brand if you are just trapped in the narrow happiness of a brisk social engagement rate!
You can achieve sales for sure from the social media – but only if you strategize for it!