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Who on Earth Bit Beyoncé? Why Your Content Should Focus on Answering Questions

Who bit Beyoncé? Take a party in Los Angeles that includes power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé on the list of attendees as well as Girls Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish. Add a controversial incident – such as an unidentified actress that allegedly bites Beyoncé’s nose at the party in question. Rely on an outspoken actress building a reputation for blunt honesty (i.e. Tiffany Haddish) to mention the incident during an interview with GQ magazine and what do you get? #WhoBitBeyonce.

It did not take very long at all for that simple question to flood social media and the Internet as well as send media outlets, news feeds and pop culture fanatics into a frenzy. You may not be a Beyoncé fan or care at all about the identity of who may (or may not) have bit her nose. However, within the world of content marketing and SEO, there is a much more important lesson taught by this episode of “GIFs, Memes & Viral Hashtags.” What is it?

The Value of Search Task Accomplishment

You need to view Google as an online store that gives away answers for free. All you need to do is “insert your question here” (like putting a coin inside of a slot machine). Clicking “search” or pressing the “Enter” key is like pulling the lever and waiting to see what comes up. When focused on publishing content, your top goal is to generate traffic. Instead of being too focused on the message that you want to relay to the world, pay closer attention to the messages that your audience wants to read.

What questions does your content answer? Are those questions generating a substantial number of searches? If so, then you are paving the path for high-quality search engine optimization and organic exposure. As a virtual store of answers, Google strives to please its customers – matching questions with answers and problems with solutions faster and faster each day. If you want to be on the “top shelf” of your respective department, you need to ensure that your content is ready to disburse those in-demand answers like free samples in a popular grocery store.

Questions Create Traffic Congestions

Car accidents on the road slow down traffic. However, what seems to congest traffic is when the vast number of other drivers passing by on the road slow down just enough to get a good look at the scene. Why? They are interested in answering the question, “What happened?”

The flow of Internet traffic is based on a similar principle. An unexpected “crash” of chaos, controversy or even confusion can cause people driving along on the information superhighway to slow down just long enough to answer, “What happened?” This is proven every time you scroll down your social media feed with one specific goal in mind, but then find yourself taking detour after detour based on whatever chaos or controversy pops up “on the side of the road.”

You may not be able to remember what else you were searching, scanning or sending online when you first encountered the “Who Bit Beyoncé?” headline. The key takeaway is that you noticed it. How can you use this to drive more traffic to your content?

Visual Imagery Adds Intrigue to Mystery

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In addition to the words and phrases you intertwine within your content, you should also complement it with well-placed and appropriate images that add to the intrigue.

With #WhoBitBeyonce, the intriguing image on everyone’s mind was a selfie that could have been easily overlooked beforehand. In the now-viral selfie, Beyoncé appears to be hiding her face behind Tiffany’s head. In the caption, Tiffany mentioned that “Beyoncé was telling me that my wig was slipping… but for real she told me to have fun and I did!”

Fast forward to a few months later and the “Who Bit Beyoncé?” caused people to take another look at the same photo in a different light. Was Beyoncé playfully hiding behind Tiffany’s head to whisper in her ear? Or, was she cleverly featuring herself in a selfie without revealing her recently-bitten nose? Do you see how many new questions now emerge just by reexamining a 3-month old Instagram post? Wouldn’t you like to create a seemingly endless list of questions with your own content?

Blend content with media to keep your readers engaged, keep the mystery alive and spark even more questions than your headline and keywords.

Find the Waves that Last the Longest

As you strive to identify questions that your content will answer, it is best to focus on the long-term questions that consumers will continue to ask for months (and even years) after you post the content. This will create an ongoing stream of traffic and exposure that short-term trends simply cannot do. Whether you want to believe it or not, the wave of “Who Bit Beyoncé?” will eventually die down and fade away. It will eventually get to a point where hardly anyone asks that question anymore.

Tiffany Haddish essentially popped her own balloon by stating that she has an NDA in place that forbids her from identifying the alleged nose biter, which means this is a question that may never be answered. When planning your content strategy, do not place too much focus on questions that do not have well-defined answers. Keep in mind that Google is in the business of matching questions with answers – not inquisitive minds with wild goose chases. You must maintain a proper balance to take full advantage of using searchable questions to effectively drive traffic and engage your audience.

But, all else aside, who did bite Beyoncé?

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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