What Is the Big 5? Your Foolproof B2B Content Marketing Strategy

June 11, 2024 | Blogging, Content Marketing, They Ask You Answer

Have you ever wondered what topics you can write about on your website that would capture buyers’ attention when they’re actually buying? B2B content marketing can be incredibly effective, but without a solid strategy, your efforts could fall flat. That’s where The Big 5 content marketing strategy comes in. 

You need to attract your ideal customers right when they are ready to make a purchase. In B2B sales, it’s crucial to answer their questions at the right time. But what if they never call you? Where are they finding their information? If it’s not on your website, your prospects may turn to competitors.

According to Marcus Sheridan, 80% of buyers have already made up their minds before they even speak to a sales representative. This means that if your website doesn’t answer their questions, they’ll turn to a competitor’s site that does.

80% of buyers make decisions before contacting sales

That’s why the most effective B2B content marketing strategy builds trust through content. As a small business that serves other small businesses, we understand the confusion in knowing exactly what marketing tactics will work. That’s why we take a strategy-first approach to everything we do.

If you’re frustrated with your content marketing efforts or if you want to start and don’t know where to begin, we’ve got you covered. With years of experience helping businesses like yours succeed, we’ve identified five key topics that will ensure your content reaches your customers in their buying moments. Let’s walk through these topics together so you can confidently capture and convert your audience.

Understanding the Big 5 Content Marketing Strategy:

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s set the stage. Think about something you’ve bought in the last year—something of value that you took the time to research. Maybe it was a car, a hot tub for your house, or a major software purchase for your business. What were some of the questions you asked during your research? These questions form the foundation of the Big 5 content topics.

The Big 5 content marketing strategy is part of a larger marketing system called They Ask, You Answer, developed by Marcus Sheridan. This framework revolves around five critical topics that buyers focus on:

  1. Cost
  2. Problems
  3. Comparisons
  4. Best of lists
  5. Reviews

By addressing these topics, you can attract buyers who are actively seeking information and ready to make a purchase.

Read More: What is They Ask, You Answer (TAYA)?

Topic 1: Cost

One of the first things potential customers want to know is the cost. How much does a product or service cost? Is it something they can afford? Transparency in pricing builds trust. When customers visit a website and can’t find pricing information, it leads to frustration. Compare this to the relief and trust that builds when they find clear, straightforward pricing.

Transparency in pricing builds trust.

For example, when you’re considering hiring an accounting firm, knowing the cost upfront helps you decide if it’s within your budget. If the pricing information isn’t available, you might feel hesitant or mistrustful, wondering if there are hidden fees. However, if the website clearly lists the costs, including any potential add-ons, you’re more likely to feel confident in reaching out.

We understand that not every business can post exact pricing due to the variability in services and products. In such cases, we recommend discussing how services are priced in your industry and what factors influence the costs. Providing a pricing range can help set expectations and build trust with potential customers by offering transparency about what they can anticipate.

If you’d like to see a Big 5 “cost” post in action, take a look at how we answered the question “How Much Do Marketing Agencies Charge?

Topic 2: Problems

Customers also want to understand potential problems or challenges associated with a product or service. By discussing the pros and cons, you provide a balanced view that builds credibility. For instance, what are the problems of hiring a financial advisor? What challenges might you face if you outsource your financial planning (or your marketing)?

When you openly discuss the downsides and challenges, you position yourself as a transparent and honest resource. This approach helps to set realistic expectations and shows that you understand and can address potential issues.

Topic 3: Comparisons

Comparison content is crucial as buyers often want to know how different options stack up against each other. Whether it’s comparing two competing products or evaluating the benefits of different marketing strategies, comparisons help buyers make informed decisions.

For example, comparing outsourcing your IT services versus keeping them in-house can highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each option. This kind of content helps your audience weigh their choices and decide which option best fits their needs.

Topic 4: Best Of Lists

“Best of” lists are highly attractive because they compile the top options in one place. Customers looking for the best financial advisors in your area or the top CRM software can find valuable insights in these lists. Such content positions your brand as an authority in the industry.

Creating a list of the top content marketing tools can help potential clients see the best available options and why you recommend them. This not only provides value but also showcases your expertise.

Topic 5: Reviews

The final topic in the Big 5 content marketing strategy is reviews. Reading other people’s experiences plays a pivotal role in your potential customers’ decision-making process. Potential buyers want to hear from others who have already used your product or service. Honest, unbiased reviews help build trust and guide customer decisions.

Including reviews of the tools and services you use or offer gives prospective clients a clear picture of what to expect. Detailed reviews can address common questions and concerns, helping customers feel more secure in their decisions.

Potential buyers want to hear from others who have already used your product or service. 

In addition to customer reviews, this includes posting reviews of industry-relevant tools, processes, and services such as CRMs, financial planning software, and accounting systems. As a marketing company, we could review frameworks like StoryBrand, and They Ask You Answer, as well as tools like QuickBooks for accounting or Salesforce for customer relationship management. These types of reviews provide valuable insights and help establish your business as a knowledgeable resource in your field.

Combine the Big 5 Blog Topics for Maximum Impact

Often, these topics will naturally intersect with each other, enriching your content and providing a comprehensive resource for your audience. For example, a blog post reviewing the top 5 CRMs can simultaneously address ‘best of’ and ‘reviews,’ offering readers a detailed comparison and evaluation of each option.

This crossover enhances the depth of the content, making it more valuable to potential customers. Additionally, discussing the pros and cons of each CRM within the same post touches on the ‘problems’ category, further broadening the scope of the information provided. By integrating multiple aspects of the Big 5 framework, you can create multifaceted content that thoroughly addresses your audience’s needs and questions.

Bonus Topics – What Is and How To

In addition to the Big 5, two more topics are crucial: “What Is” and “How To.” These topics are especially helpful for customers new to a product or industry. For example, “What is cash flow management?” or “How to choose the right accounting software?” Addressing these questions can educate and guide your audience effectively.

It’s important to note that these topics are particularly valuable for buyers who are in the early stages of the buying process. From a marketing strategy perspective, these buyers could be at the “top of the funnel” or maybe even outside of the funnel. At this stage, they are seeking to understand their options and educate themselves before making a decision.

Using the Big 5 content topics to provide clear and comprehensive information on these subjects can help guide them toward your business as a trusted resource.

5 Reasons Why Implementing The Big 5 Content Marketing Strategy is Essential for Your B2B Business

When we present the Big 5 to new clients, it’s not uncommon to encounter some initial resistance. Small business owners might feel uncomfortable talking openly about some of these topics. After all, why do we want to reveal our pricing or acknowledge potential challenges? If this is you, keep this in mind: transparency builds trust, and trust wins customers. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes – how do you feel when you’re looking for an answer and can’t find it? And how do you feel when you finally find a website that gives you honest answers? Who are you more likely to trust? The company that answered honestly or tried keeping you in the dark?

Transparency builds trust, and trust wins customers.

If you’re feeling nervous about giving this a shot, check out these responses to common objections to the Big 5 framework:

Objection 1: “It’s Too Time-Consuming to Create So Much Content.”

Creating high-quality content that addresses cost, problems, comparisons, best-of lists, and reviews can indeed be time-consuming. However, the investment in time is well worth it. Each piece of content you create has the potential to attract and engage customers for years to come, driving consistent traffic and generating leads. Don’t feel overwhelmed by this. You can enlist the services of an outsourced marketing agency you trust or train existing staff to do this internally with a marketing coach. Conveniently, we can help you with both of those options. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more. But whatever you do, don’t sleep on content marketing. It will drive traffic to your website.

Objection 2: “I’m Not Sure How to Write About The Big 5 Topics Effectively.”

Not every business owner is a natural writer, and that’s okay. The key is to focus on providing honest and valuable information. You can start by documenting common questions your customers ask and building content around those queries. If you have a sales team, ask them what questions they hear from prospects – start there. Additionally, hiring professional writers or utilizing AI content creation tools (like ChatGPT) can help ensure your content is well-written and optimized for search engines.

Objection 3: “My Industry is Too Unique for Standard Content Marketing Strategies.”

While every industry has its unique aspects, the Big 5 topics are versatile and can be tailored to fit any business; it is especially effective for B2B. Whether you’re in a niche market or a broad industry, potential customers have similar concerns—they want to know the cost, potential problems, comparisons, best options, and reviews. Adapting these topics to your specific context can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and address their specific needs.

Objection 4: “I’m Worried About Sharing Too Much Information.”

Some B2B businesses fear that being too transparent about costs or potential problems might deter customers. However, transparency builds trust. When you openly share information, you position your business as honest and reliable. Customers appreciate transparency and are more likely to choose a provider that offers clear and straightforward information over one that appears to withhold details. And think about how much time you waste on unqualified prospects. How many of them could have filtered themselves out of the process if they had information on the front end, like price ranges?

Objection 5: “I Don’t Have the Resources to Implement The Big 5 Content Marketing Strategy.”

Implementing the Big 5 content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Start small by focusing on one or two topics that you can address well. Over time, as you see the benefits and perhaps allocate more resources, you can expand your efforts. Additionally, there are many affordable tools and services that can assist you in content creation and marketing.

By addressing these objections and understanding the long-term value of the Big 5 content marketing strategy, B2B companies and small business owners can make informed decisions and leverage content marketing to drive growth.

The Big 5 in Action: What You Need to Remember

Implementing an effective B2B content marketing strategy is crucial for attracting and engaging your ideal clients. By focusing on the Big 5 content marketing topics—cost, problems, comparisons, best of lists, and reviews—you can create content that attracts and engages potential customers.

This approach not only helps drive traffic but also fosters long-term relationships, ultimately leading to increased sales and business growth. Incorporate these strategies into your content plan, and you’ll start seeing tangible results. The key is to consistently create valuable content that addresses your audience’s needs and concerns.

Ready to take your content marketing to the next level? Schedule a free discovery call and let us help you harness the power of the Big 5 content marketing strategy for your B2B business’s success.



Q: How can content marketing increase website traffic?

Q: What are the best strategies to generate leads through content marketing?

A: The Big 5 blueprint is essential for generating leads through content marketing. You build trust and authority by transparently discussing cost, addressing potential problems, making comparisons, listing the best options, and providing honest reviews. This approach not only attracts visitors but also nurtures them through the buying process, converting them into leads. Detailed comparison posts and clear pricing information are particularly effective in guiding prospects toward making a decision.

Q: What are effective B2B content marketing techniques for small businesses?

A: B2B and other small businesses can benefit greatly from the Big 5 content strategy framework. Start by answering common questions about cost and comparing your offerings with competitors. Addressing potential problems your customers might face and providing best-of lists helps build credibility. Reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers also play a critical role in establishing trust. This comprehensive approach ensures that your content meets the needs of your audience, driving engagement and conversions.

Q: How can content marketing grow my business?

A: Implementing the Big 5 content marketing strategy can substantially grow your business by attracting and engaging your target audience. You can build trust and credibility with potential customers by consistently addressing the key topics—cost, problems, comparisons, best-of lists, and reviews. This strategy drives traffic and helps convert visitors into loyal customers, ultimately increasing sales and fostering long-term business growth.

Q: What are the top content marketing strategies to attract more customers?

A: To attract more customers, focus on the Big 5 content marketing strategy by Marcus Sheridan. Create transparent content about the cost of your services, address common problems and solutions, make comparisons with competitors, compile best-of lists, and provide detailed reviews. This strategy positions your business as a trusted resource, attracting more visitors and encouraging them to become customers.

Q: How can I use content marketing to boost my online presence?

A: Boosting your online presence involves creating content that answers the Big 5 questions your audience is asking. High-quality, informative content that addresses cost, problems, comparisons, best-of lists, and reviews can improve your search engine rankings and attract more visitors. This increased visibility helps build brand awareness and establish your business as an industry authority.

Q: What are proven methods to drive traffic with content marketing?

A: Driving traffic with content marketing requires a strategic approach. By leveraging the Big 5 content marketing strategy, you will create content that resonates with your audience’s questions and needs. This includes transparent pricing information, solutions to common problems, comparisons with competitors, best-of lists, and comprehensive reviews. Such content is more likely to rank well on search engines and attract targeted traffic to your website.

Q: What are the top content marketing strategies for lead generation?

A: Use the Big 5 content marketing strategy for effective lead generation. This involves creating detailed posts about the cost of your services, comparing your offerings with competitors, addressing common problems, and providing best-of lists and reviews. This strategy not only attracts visitors but also guides them through the decision-making process, converting them into leads.

Q: How does content marketing improve customer acquisition?

A: Content marketing improves customer acquisition by building trust and credibility. By using the Big 5 content strategy framework, you address key concerns and questions your potential customers have. This includes discussing the cost of your services, solving common problems, making comparisons, listing the best options, and providing honest reviews. This comprehensive approach helps attract and convert more visitors into customers.

Q: What are the steps to develop a successful B2B content marketing plan?

A: Developing a successful content marketing plan involves following the Big 5 content marketing strategy. Start by identifying common questions and concerns your customers have. Create content that addresses these topics: pricing information, potential problems, comparisons, best-of lists, and reviews. Consistently publishing this content helps drive traffic and generate leads, ultimately contributing to your business’s success.

Q: How can small businesses implement content marketing?

A: Small businesses can effectively implement content marketing by using the Big 5 content marketing strategy. Begin by creating content that answers common customer questions about cost, compares your offerings with competitors, addresses potential problems, and includes best-of lists and reviews. This strategy builds credibility and trust, attracting and engaging potential customers.

Q: What are the key benefits of content marketing for business growth?

A: Content marketing’s key benefits for business growth include increased website traffic, higher lead generation, and improved customer acquisition. By addressing the Big 5 topics—cost, problems, comparisons, best-of lists, and reviews—you create valuable content that attracts and engages potential customers. This approach helps establish your business as a trusted resource, driving long-term growth and success.

Q: How can content marketing help with business expansion?

A: Content marketing can play a crucial role in business expansion by consistently addressing the Big 5 topics. Creating content that answers common customer questions and concerns will attract more qualified leads and build stronger relationships with your audience. This approach drives traffic, generates leads, and ultimately supports business expansion.

Q: What are the essential elements of a B2B content marketing strategy?

A: An effective B2b content marketing strategy should include the Big 5 topics: cost, problems, comparisons, best-of lists, and reviews. By focusing on these essential elements, you create content that addresses your audience’s needs, builds trust, and drives engagement. This comprehensive approach helps attract and convert potential customers, contributing to your business’s success.

Q: How do you measure the success of content marketing campaigns?

A: Measuring the success of your B2B content marketing campaigns involves tracking key metrics related to the Big 5 topics. Monitor website traffic, lead generation, customer engagement, and conversion rates. Tools like Google Analytics can provide insights into the performance of your content, helping you identify what’s working and make data-driven adjustments to improve your strategy.

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