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The “Big 5” topics to drive leads and sales

The “Big 5″ outlines 5 topics that get the best results for blogging and content marketing. 

marcus sheridan

Marcus Sheridan talks about these topics in his book “They Ask You Answer”. Sheridan publishes his business philosophy to find the answer to what his customers are thinking.

Sheridan states that in his book his best piece of advice is to “publish articles answering every question your customers ask”. 

Background to Marcus Sheridan and the “Big 5”

Marcus and his partners wanted to save their business “River Pools and Spas” from the 2008 Great Recession. He concluded that traditional marketing wasn’t going to cut it anymore and that their brand should take a more digital approach. 

They decided to create an online blog to answer common customer questions about their products. Which did unexpectedly well? From this, they reviewed their top-performing content with the greatest amount of traffic, leads and sales. They all had something in common. They all fall in 5 different categories that the audience found value in. 

As a result, the Big 5 was born.

These 5 topics can be for anything content related. From blogs to social media and website content. It can give Marketers a guide to what people want and convert them to buyers. Furthermore, can help generate traffic, sales and leads.

The Big 5 topics are: 

  1. Price/Cost
  2. Problems
  3. Reviews
  4. “Best of” Lists
  5. Comparisons 

Let’s take a closer look at each topic.

1. Price/Cost

Generally, consumers research online for a good/service before purchasing.

Address the cost of your product/service. Many brands avoid specifically listing the price of their products. Don’t be afraid to explain your pricing, this is a crucial question customers want to know the answer to. 

“People want to know about pricing and they’re going to get the answers from someone, wouldn’t you prefer it to be you?”

Examples of price/cost articles:

  • How much does a pair of shoes cost?
  • How much is the subscription per month?
  • How much is the cost of designing a website?

2. Problems

Articles under this category should discuss their problems and your problems. 

Their problems

Explain common or possible issues that customers might face with your product. Talk about the symptoms of their problems and provide options.

Your problems

These articles will address problems with solutions. See if there are any challenges and limitations with the solutions. 

Examples of problems articles:

  • Why is my roof leaking?
  • Common problems with IT companies
  • I’ve booked an outdoor yoga lesson. What happens if it rains?

3. Reviews

Reviews are a common area consumers look for before making a purchase. They want to know if someone in a similar position has gained value in the final stage of the buyer process. 

Having honest reviews can help give consumers the extra push to convert them to a buyer. 

Examples of review articles:

  • Who are the best interior designers in the local area?
  • Garden shed reviews

4. “Best of” Lists

“Best of…” or “The top 5…” posts tend to capture the audience’s attention as its straight to the point and everyone wants to know what the best is. However, you would want to avoid talking about yourself, provide objective information and even touch on your competitors.

Examples of “best of” articles:

  • Top 10 interior designers for restaurants.
  • The best tents for camping under $100.
  • Best chairs for gaming.

5. Comparisons

Take 2 similar products and give a direct comparison and discuss the pros and cons. Make consumers life easier by helping them decide which is best for their situation. 

Examples of “comparison” articles:

  • Office 365 vs. G suite: A review/comparison. 
  • Acrylic vs. glass fishtanks: Which is better?
  • The difference between our marketing packages.

Address the questions your customers want answers to. Be honest and transparent. These articles encourage traffic and sales and demonstrate that you are willing to help customers with their issues. 

Using the “Big 5” topics as a guide for your blog or content creation can help provide value to your audience. Therefore, businesses should integrate it into their social media marketing strategies. 

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