In a previous post, 5 Content Marketing Questions: #1 What is The Problem?, I reviewed the content marketing questions that help you organize and simplify your Web writing by asking 5 important questions:
- What is the problem (pain, predicament)?
- Why hasn’t this problem been solved?
- What is possible?
- What is different now?
- What should you do now?
Question #2, Why hasn’t this problem been solved?, is a great opportunity to address the challenges your readers and potential customers face.
You have a chance to show you understand your readers well, and you have an expert’s understanding of the subject matter. You can delve into the history of the problem, providing insights they may have never thought of.
The answers to this question serves to build audience anticipation for a new solution you’re about to reveal.
- How is it they haven’t solved their problem?
- Why is it that traditional solutions aren’t working?
- Why are they still stuck?
- What‘s new about this situation that contributes to more frustration?
This is where you can really hook readers into your story. Yet so many blogs and email messages skip this step. It doesn’t have to be long, but discussing these points in a few sentences will get your readers to say, “Oh, right, I’ve experienced this. She understands me. What’s the solution, then?”
What’s your experience? Do you skip over this step when writing your own copy? Or, have you honed this question – or answer – to a simple sentence or two?
Another added bonus of including this step when writing for your business is that it forces you to periodically ask yourself this question. It can actually strengthen your confidence and help you focus, or if necessary, re-focus, your business. It’s a simple way to take a step back and look at the big picture, seeing the forest and the trees.
Next up: Questions #3 – #5 to ask when writing content for the Web that gets results.
Inspired by Maria Velosa’s Web Copy that Sells, a blueprint for creating simple copy that works to market your products and services