Should Your Inbound Content Use Provocative Questions?Using questions for content titles (like in blog posts) in inbound marketing are all the rage these days. Videos and blog posts across social media channels sport dramatic titles such as, “Should you switch service providers immediately?” or “She received terrible, last-minute news from a supplier. What did she do next?”.

These approaches can be effective ways of grabbing attention, but just flipping a statement into a question isn’t necessarily the best way to get people to pay attention and click.

Here are three ways to ask questions that get more clicks and social shares without irritating your customers.

1. Don’t Be Vague

Not only do vague question titles (such as “Can you believe this?”) set up expectations your content can rarely meet, they also demean the intelligence of your audience and undermine your effort to provide good, helpful information.

Vague questions may get you more clicks, but people rarely find information they are looking for. Unless your company has come up with a cure for cancer, odds are your potential customer will click away from your content within seconds and leave with a diminished impression of your brand.

Pro tip: When you decide to use a question as a title for a blog post or other form of content, be specific about the topic. Your reader will know what to expect from the article and it is more likely to rank for specific searches in Google.

2. Don’t Overuse Questions as Titles

We’ve said here in the past that you should make note of customer questions and write about them on your website. Just as you change up your content to balance short and long pieces, text-based and visual, informal and inspirational, you should also balance your titles using lists, titles with statistics, and others. Diversity keeps people’s attention sustained over time, not drama.

Pro tip: While titles are important, it’s really the substance of what you’re writing and the relevancy to your prospective customer that matters most.

3. Give Your Question a Good Answer

Just like your title shouldn’t be vague, the content of your article, video, infographic or other form of content shouldn’t either. If your title is “Should you switch service providers immediately?”, the answer should address customer frustrations, doubts or issues that might cause your prospect to ask the question in the first place. You might include five ways to know if your current service is sub par, just mediocre, or truly business-threatening.

Pro tip: Help your customer answer their question using your own expertise, stated in your voice. If you pose a question with your title, by all means provide a thorough answer that’s likely to be as relevant as possible to your customer. One way to provide relevant answers is to get to know your customer and document their needs using customer personas.

The human brain is hardwired pay attention to certain things, and good questions are certainly one of them. By keeping your questions specific, answering them with useful information, and balancing those questions with other forms of engagement, you can drive inbound content marketing conversions higher without alienating your customers or diminishing the reputation of your brand.

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