The Beauty and Logic of the FAQ

Smart reasons, and ways to leverage your Frequently Asked Questions

It’s stunning how few websites and companies for that matter, miss out on leveraging the power of  FAQs. When used the right way an FAQ offers your audience a fast and logical answer to support your messaging and brand strategy.
Let’s explore the beauty of the FAQ. Better known as Frequently Asked Questions, these statements need to be a critical part of your brand’s communications. In fact, I’d say FAQs are one of the essential elements of your web environment.

Were you a hand-raiser?

FAQ

Photo by sean Kong on Unsplash

Remember being back in elementary or middle school, and the fear of raising your hand in class when you weren’t sure of an answer? You thought others would think you were dumb or behind on the coursework for asking a question. And you may have feared it was too fundamental an inquiry. Classic school-age intimidation.

We’ve all been there. But do you also remember the relief you felt when another kid had your question also? You realized that you were not alone.  It was liberating.

As you grew older and more experienced, you realized that plenty of folks often share common questions and concerns. And that is the emotional strength of the FAQ. It’s just a collection of unknowns that get addressed quickly and functionally. Afterall, all of us are curious.

And FAQs work on another level because they help complete closure another psychological function that everyone’ mind is compelled to do. When you have blank areas of knowledge about a business or service, you want to close those up. You want closure.

Take your FAQs further

FAQs are valuable. So milk them. Let’s look at ways to extend your use of an FAQ beyond the traditional means.Consider FAQs for various places that support your brand and marketing:
  • landing pages
  • microsites
  • project pages
  • Topical subsections within your Sharepoint environment.

 

Also, use Frequently Asked Questions as a pull-down function anywhere you have content online. You’d be well-served by adding an FAQ section to your case studies and white papers. Heck, you can even add to your printed marketing collateral materials.

So why all the hub-bub about the FAQ?

Nick Fewings on Unsplash

All too often the FAQ is underrated and underappreciated. As you’ve seen thus far, the value of FAQs is enormous because it’s such an efficient way to communicate.

I believe an FAQ is a powerful way to get ahead of any hesitation, confusion or doubt your audience may have about your brand, products or services.

FAQs get to the heart of the issues fast and directly. They can also get those significant issues out on the table honestly and transparently.

Step back into your buyer’s shoes. You know, those personas you developed. Consider their perspective. Their four most common objections and excuses are often:

  1. Budget – we just don’t have money for that
  2. Authority – I can’t make a decision, let me talk to my manager
  3. Need – we love our current supplier, no thanks
  4. Time – we’re too busy to do this
So what answers can you provide to add comfort to their questions as they discover your brand?

Here are a few topics and issues to cover in FAQs:

What is your product or service?

Sounds simple enough but many brands have a hard time clarifying their core business advantage or strength. And don’t be afraid to say what you are not, it will clear away prospects you do not want and accelerate the journey of your ideal customers.

Who are the faces behind your brand?

People buy from people, not a company or brand. So reveal the quirks and characteristics that make your people unique. Done right, FAQs can be a memorable content moment for your prospects.

Who are your competitors?

FAQs can help you position yourself clearly in a niche or market segment while allowing you to stand out notably with your USP (unique selling proposition). Use bold language that distinguishes you from the pack. And don’t be afraid to mention the competition, as long as you define what makes you different. Remember different trumps better, because better is just too subjective.

Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

What are your prices?

Oh, this is always a sensitive spot. But you need to come clean and let people know what their financial commitment is for purchasing your product or service. And really, this is a great way to qualify your prospects. It’s a way to filter the people you want as prospects in your sales funnel. Be creative. Use ranges or terms like “monthly investment” plus it might be best to consider a three-tier pricing format.

What are you promising — Warranty /Guaranty?

FAQs are an ideal way to reveal any assurance promise of your product or service. Best advice here, instead of a money-back guarantee, try language like this: if you are unhappy for any reason, we’ll do our best to make it right.

Customer service contact info
FAQs are a logical place to have your support information for customers,  even if you have it elsewhere. And this can be a great way to start a dedicated Twitter relationship with your customers to encourage a support relationship. More and more companies are leveraging Twitter to handle their customer support requests. It’s pragmatic and can be very affordable. Another excellent format for customer service is Zendesk  https://www.zendesk.com/
Need more ideas?

Check out the last six months of your incoming email from customers. These correspondents will have all sorts of meaningful questions and inquiries. See which are most common and use them as FAQ content.

Remember, FAQs can change over time. New trends and concerns will become apparent in your business and marketing, so take advantage of these by updating your FAQs now and then.

 Bonus: The hidden FAQ value
All these words and phrases that are being discovered and used in your FAQ process may just be the most powerful SEO terms ever. That’s because they’re drawn from real, honest and candid conversations with your customers — the exact ways they are describing their problems, issues, concerns, and questions. So keep that in mind as you sell this FAQ to “the powers that be” in your company.

 

Posted on by paul in Articles

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