Business Blogs – Both Exploratory and Confirmatory

Always on the lookout for ways to improve our blog content marketing efforts on behalf of Say It For You clients, I regularly attend monthly luncheon meetings of the Indianapolis AMA .

At our table this month, the conversation turned to telephone surveys.  Fellow member Tim Ittenback (of the marketing research firm SMARI) used terms I hadn’t heard before, referring to questions asked of homeowners who answered the calls. Closed-ended questions, with consumers answering yes or no or ranking something on a 1-5 scale, for example, are “confirmatory”. Open-ended questions, where consumers respond in their own words, are “exploratory”.

I’m reminded of a favorite quote from Shawn O'Donaghue of the Central Indiana Women's Business Center: "Successful business owners understand that the product or service they are selling is the answer to someone's problem."

In creating content for SEO marketing blogs, we need to keep in mind that people are online searching for answers to questions they have and for solutions for dilemmas they're facing. But even if those searchers haven’t specifically formulated their question, I suggest to newbie Indianapolis blog content writers, you can do that for them by presenting a question in the blog post itself!

Now that I think about it, I realize the blog questions can be either confirmatory or exploratory, and could even take the form of a survey or quiz. Unlike marketing research firms, business owners or professional practitioners are not out to gather consumer data; they want to engage their blog readers and show that they understand the dilemmas those readers are facing.

“Suffering from eye strain after long hours in front of the computer? Is the opener for a LensCrafters™ advertorial, for example.

 “Did you know that 9 out of ten of your blog readers don’t get past the first line of your posts?” asks Problogger, explaining that the intent of that line is to have shock value and to “put a finger on the need we’ll be addressing.”

An Indianapolis Woman Magazine article a few years ago, contained a quiz, offering different options, multiple-choice style, for home buyers:

Your dream location is to live….

A. Downtown, in or near a big city
B. Close to the beach or in a rural area.
C. Doesn’t really matter if it’s in close proximity to others.

What you’re looking forward to the most about your home is…

A. Less cleaning. Your last place was too big.
B. Decorating. You can’t wait to get your hands on a paintbrush.
C. Meeting the new neighbors around you.

Business blog post questions can be confirmatory or exploratory – the purpose is to be engaging!





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