Answer the question and own the story

In 2011, Google produced a study titled ‘Zero Moment of Truth (ZMT)‘. The central concept of the report was that a revolution (the authors’ word not ours) had occurred in the way consumers make purchasing decisions – and that the internet had caused it.

The argument was simple. Google claimed consumers were making instant decisions in response to questions posted online. Suppose someone typed into a search engine: “I need a drill that can cut into steel?”. By and large, the first brand to answer got the deal.

Five years on and it appears ZMT rings even more true than ever. And perhaps the growth of content marketing over the same period is more than a coincidence.

Without doubt, it is hard to argue that the two are anything other than a good fit. Ultimately, surely all content marketing should be about answering people’s questions, whether they want to buy DIY tools or spend millions on IT infrastructure.

A good grounding for content marketers then, but the study provides another important lesson. Content overload is one of the sector’s main challenges, followed closely by idea generation. By looking at ZMT and how those crucial purchasing decisions are made, might it be more effective to aim for evergreen content that answers niche questions?

If your brand can own such queries, then you’ll be able to own the story for your sector.

Answer the question and own the story
is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.