Content Creation

Every Marketer's Secret Weapon: The How-To Article

Content creation is key to create a pipeline and foundation for form-based lead generation. One easy way to help feed this content need is to create a small library of evergreen how-to articles. Read on for instructions and a successful sample.

Looking for an easy content creation idea to feed your website and other download opportunities? One very simple approach is to create a “how-to” article.

These articles provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your brand’s knowledge and dedication to customer support. Simply ask yourself (or one of your subject matter experts) to answer the following questions:

  • What is a common misstep seen in the purchase (or use) of your product?
  • If you could give 3-5 suggestions for folks to improve what they’re doing, what would they be?
  • What positions your company well as an expert in this area?

Voila! You have the building blocks for a how-to article.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to using this approach just once. The same format can be used for many different articles. Below are a few ideas to help you brainstorm.

“How-To” Topic Ideas

How To Identify Need for a Product. What are early signs of existing equipment/process breakdown that may go un-heeded, and how can you teach readers to identify that they have a product need? For example, can you help machinery users learn to spot early signs of equipment wear?

Or can you help a CPG company learn how to assess if there’s a better packaging material they should be using? Or can you teach a plant manager how to determine if automation or better integration of machinery communications would provide sufficient ROI benefit?

How To Properly Invest in a Product. What are some common oversights that occur when companies are making their case for investment, and how can you teach readers to get better value from a purchase? For example, can you help a machinery user recognize factors that affect total cost of ownership? Or can you help a prospect recognize differentiators around need when deciding whether to go with one level of product versus another?

How To Smooth the Product’s Introduction. What are common missteps in implementing the solution, and how can you help readers avoid these pitfalls? For example, can you help a brand manager understand key factors that will affect timeliness of implementation? Or can you help someone assess what type of training approach will work best over time?

Before you know it, you’ll be building a library of resources that appeal to those researching purchases in your particular market—and you’ll be well on your way to being positioned as the supplier of choice given folks’ trust in your expertise!

Project Sample: How-To Article

To see a sample of a well-written article from someone who has taken this how-to approach, see “Project Sample: How-To Article.”

Every Marketer's Secret Weapon: The How-To Article

Written by

Sarah Loeffler

Sarah Loeffler is Director of Media Innovation and Marketing Insights at PMMI Media Group

sloeffler@pmmimediagroup.com

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