Customers Are Searching for Answers

Yahoo! announced the global closure of “Yahoo! Answers” on 04 May 2021. Yahoo! Knowledge+ in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other places will also end at the same time. Why did Yahoo! decide to give up on a website that sees web traffic of 200 million per quarter? Perhaps you could try to ask “Yahoo! Answers” before it is closed down for good. Users and customers love to search for answers and solutions online. This is an indisputable fact. Apart from taking advantage of opportunities as they arise, marketers find that their campaigns are far more effective when customers are looking for solutions.

Blame It on Familiarity

I have some new clients who are very diligent in formulating their content strategy. Yet, I will still need to recreate the framework with my colleagues (who are initially very glad). It is not that we don’t trust our clients nor because we have a bone to pick with them. The reason is that brand clients oftentimes formulate content strategies based on their own thinking. And there are many mistakes commonly made when one is too familiar with one’s products and services. As an agency, it is also an opportunity to use the marketing expertise you have to create and think about proposals that stem from the perspective of consumers. Sometimes these changes may be small, but they can have a huge impact. It is easier said than done. What’s difficult is that even if the marketer is willing to accept the changes, the brand management may not follow suit. This may be because they already have their own stereotype in mind. In such cases where one pursues change in an environment that is stable, change represents progress. This is how I comfort my colleagues and myself, as well as our clients.

Get Into the Minds of the Masses

To grasp what the masses or customers want, you cannot simply rely on what those around you are saying or what social media propagates. This would be too much of an echo chamber. This explains why some people, even those in their 40s, are regarded as young and restless. From the management perspective, they are indeed considered young. However, if the brand wants to really know what the public likes, a good reference can be found using search engine tools. Yahoo! Hong Kong‘s hot searches, I think, have been edited – fortunately. Google Trends has been updated and can show you what netizens are searching for by region. Don’t just look at the list of top searches, but identify the keyword and browse the websites that contain the answer. This is the start of conducting research.

Pain Points and Solutions

Besides looking at the general trend, I also look for motivations behind a certain word. When coming up with marketing strategies for a brand, I look at the client’s products, as well as similar competitor products. I read the reviews and messages left by customers. I tend to focus on the negative reviews, rather than the positive ones. As long as the reviews aren’t focused on smearing the merchant’s reputation, they can serve as good material to understand the pain points of target customers. In the end, collating such information before formulating a content strategy helps to reasonably gauge the sentiment of netizens and consumers – much better than doing it from scratch and on your own.

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