Persuasive Website Content: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Chris Hawkins

Written by Chris Hawkins on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

Asking and answering the right questions with your website content is crucial, from your landing pages to your blog to the “About Us” page. In order to turn a visitor into a customer, you need to understand them. You understand them by knowing (or finding out) the questions they have, then answering them.

And ultimately, maybe not now, but sometime in the future, you want your visitors to take action. You can achieve action by influencing. And you can influence with persuasion and the questions you ask and answer.

Four Questions You Must Ask

TomSantBookIn Tom Sant’s excellent book Persuasive Business Proposals, he sums up the four steps of persuasion. And even though his subject is proposals, I’d argue the same evaluation can and should be made whenever you create your content.

In each of the following four questions, I’ve created “real” examples for a marketing manager at a regional credit union.

1. What are your potential customers’ needs?

Start from up high. What needs does your company fill? What problems do you solve? What pains do you alleviate?

Then get closer. For each piece of content you produce—blog post, landing page, video, social media post, article, etc.—ask, “What need am I trying fill?”  

Even if you’re sure you understand these needs, revisit them. What was a big problem last year may have shifted or become less important this year. Talk to your salespeople for insight on what they’re hearing on the ground.

Real-Life Example

A potential credit union member wants low fees, low rates on loans and mobile banking convenience among other perks. 

Develop content around these needs. If you’re having trouble finding ideas, talk to people in the credit union—tellers, loan processors, etc.

2. When these needs are met, what impact will they have?

    When we spend our time and money on a purchase, we need to know we’ll be getting the right value or an adequate ROI. Think of this as the motivation.

    Real-Life Example

    If your primary competitors are banks, how do you pull customers away from their banks? Show them what it means to be a part of your credit union. Motivate them.

    Create a “Why Us?” page or even a “Credit Union vs. Bank” page. Compare your offerings line-by-line to the banks in your area. Show them how much they can save using each of your services compared to using a bank. 

    3. What are my solutions?

      The solutions are your products, services, and deliverables that will solve the problem and deliver the desired outcome. In functional terms, how will this solve the client’s problem?

      Real-Life Example

      I’m a regional credit union. What if my customers move? Create a page of content called “Moving out of town? No problem.” Stress your easy-to-use mobile banking app, your network of free ATMs, and the ease of applying online and over the phone for loans.

      4. How do they know you can do the job?

        Now that you’ve identified your key customer problems, show them you’re the right company for the job. Provide evidence using case studies, product/service features, industry awards, product awards, employees’ resumes and testimonials. 


        Interview real credit union customers. To really crush it, use video and place it on your “Why Us?” page. Interview a long-time customer that values the relationship you’ve built; then interview a new client about why they left their bank. Interview enough customers so each pain point discussed in #1 is touched on. 

        And finally….

        All of your content may not always neatly fit within these four questions. That’s okay. The point is you’re always thinking about how you can help your customers by asking questions then answering them.

        Want even more questions to ask? Take an in-depth reflection on your business with the help of our free guide to getting started with inbound and content marketing.

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