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How to Write Q&A Articles

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Posted 8th May 2014 at 11:00 AM by imarkedy

Learning how to write Q A articles is critical with establishing credibility of products and services, regardless of industry, with future customers and website-page visitors. Although many reasons can be put forth justifying the need to make this a key feature onsite, sales literature, email communications or other marketing vehicle, the following are most important;

1. Provides clarity of extent of services
2. Anticipates customer questions and answers before barriers to sales goal(s) are affected
3. Presents former customers or website visitors having asked the same questions. Put more simply; visitor and readers don’t feel as isolated and understand other customers have had the same questions
4. Removes profit impacting barriers to converting readers into paying customers, subscribers and/or any other goal to building brand presence momentum in targeted markets
5. Establishes credibility, expertise and partnerships

A question often asked is; “How important is having a Q&A page”? This can be answered, of course, but to give a broad, sweeping response may generate questions which are less important than this fact; Q&A pages, more than anything else, provides a sense of personal contact between business owners and site visitors which no other marketing effort achieves except personal intros by video.
It couldn’t have escaped notice we used the word ‘marketing’ when describing the question and answer page!

Q&A presentations are one of the most subtle forms of marketing which can be added to advertising campaigns. Here are basic functions of a website-page (using a simple 5 page structure);

1. Homepage; introduces company name, products, services and other key areas of ‘brand impression’
2. Services page; gives more in-depth details of products and services first introduced on homepage
3. About Us page; can introduce staff, accomplishments, testimonials or other company credibility messaging
4. Contact Us page; Provides website visitors the primary means to establish personal contact
5. Q&A page; answers either previously asked or anticipated questions and provides webmasters (company) with an opportunity to evaluate ‘value proposition’ messaging

One thing critical to establishment of effective Q&A messaging is viewing company services from an ‘end-user’ (customer) perspective. As was said previously, more than anything, this section is about creating effective marketing messaging with the chief goal of creating ‘buy-in’ from readership. As elementary as it may sound; without paying customer buy-in, no business would exist. Nevertheless; too often entrepreneurs and small business neglect this all important marketing tool in favor of the Wal-Mart model of attracting paying customers and sales leads which says – “Build it and they will come”.

With 14 years of Internet marketing, business building and success - here at the Small Business Development Center TV, we say with the utmost authority that every well-known brand started off with a need to establish credibility. For example, Amazon.com launched online in 1995 and really didn’t become the brand powerhouse known today until 2002. During those seven years, of course, the Internet was just gaining popularity however, its’ founder, Jeff Bezos understood one thing; marketplace credibility begins with the simple things being done well and only then will product and services offers become both credible and profitable. For those ‘in the know’, Amazon has the highest ‘sales close rate’ of any online company. Smaller online retailers would be more than satisfied with a visit to purchase rate of 3% (let alone higher) while Amazon consistently performs at more than 43%! It isn’t being either directly said or insinuated such smashing success can result from a Q&A page alone only that a section of any Internet platform must be focused on more than a value proposition. There exists a sub-section of online education and marketing dedicated solely to answering questions on thousands of topics; online forums. For the sake of clarity and using probably the largest of these, Warrior’s Forum as an example, millions can be earned by answering pressing questions.

When examining the five key website pages above, each (except Q&A) is focused on ‘selling’ brand credibility while the answers page focuses on customer concerns, questions and other areas which may create enough doubt for someone to seek services elsewhere. For those planning a website page, brochures or other sections to answer industry related questions, here are tips to consider;

- What is the most pressing concern someone considering buy-in may have and how do you most effectively remove it?
- Are answers given to questions, whether anticipated or asked by visitors, explained in a way and using ‘end-user’ language - easily understood?
- Once questions are both asked and answered, what next steps should visitors take? Is there a ‘direct call to action’?

Using written text is the most common method for creating Q&A section. With the widely acceptance and obvious of advantages of video marketing, entrepreneurs and small business should seriously consider implementing a more personal, video based approach. Regardless of industry, products and services, video based instructions onsite is almost guaranteed to not only increase engagement but will (not might) have an impact on achieving business goals.

This doesn’t have to be an expensive production because what is most important is for visitors to establish contact, although critical, with someone at the company. To many companies waste money on call-in centers and other much less effective methods of answering questions which could be accomplished with a video ‘interview’ or several lines of written text! Let’s take this strategy on step further in an effort to generate off-site traffic to products and services.

If video is the method – upload it to video sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh and others (by industry keywords), call for direct action of viewers and watch the traffic role in.

Brian D. Dale
Online Instructor
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