Many businesses aren’t necessarily worried about the ability to create content. They have anxiety when it comes to knowing or deciding what to write about. They have the knowledge, but they don’t know how to go about writing articles to share that knowledge. The hard part is coming up with the initial idea.
In this blog post we’re going to take a closer look at the ways in which businesses can overcome this obstacle by providing 12 ideas or types of articles to jumpstart their content marketing program.
1. Articles that provide information on buying
How-to-buy information addresses the biggest challenges that keep prospects from buying, which is fear of making a mistake. By showing prospects how to make an informed buying decision, businesses build their confidence and increase the chance of making the sale.
Examples of how-to-buy articles would be:
- 11 Things to Look For When Shopping for Car Insurance
- Follow These 5 Steps to Ensure You Hire a Professional Mover
How-to-buy articles also offer an easy way for businesses to educate their target audience about the quality they offer and differentiate them from the competition.
2. Articles that tell people what questions to ask
Buyers often default to price as a standard of comparison because they don’t know what else to look for or how to evaluate value and quality. Creating articles around “questions to ask” shows a business’s interest in helping customers make the right decisions.
Potential topics could include:
- 10 Questions to Ask When Getting a Home Loan
- 8 Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney
The more they listen to customers, the easier it will be to craft articles from their target audience’s point of view.
3. Articles that discuss mistakes to avoid
Businesses can also take a good look at their prospects and current customers. What separates success from failure? What are the biggest mistakes they see being made over and over again? They can write articles around identifying the most frequent mistakes their customers can make, and the ways to avoid them.
Examples of “mistakes” articles would be:
- 6 Common Mistakes Made by New Business Owners
- Top 10 Landscaping Mistakes
Once a company identifies the main theme and lists the mistakes, it’s usually pretty easy to write “mistakes” articles providing recommendations that demonstrate expertise and show an interest to help prospects and customers make the right decisions.
4. Articles about trends
A business can identify the latest developments in its industry, such as changes in regulations, demographics, or technology that its target audience is currently dealing with, and also how these trends are creating threats or opportunities prospects and clients must address.
Examples of articles on trends would be:
- 5 Ways the New Healthcare Changes Will Impact Your Business
- 8 Ways the New Energy Efficiency Regulations Affect Appliance Manufacturers
These types of articles help keep customers informed about industry issues and how they can anticipate changes and make the adjustments they need to remain successful. The best part of writing articles on trends is that their target audience will begin to think of them as an informed insider.
5. Articles about symptoms
“Symptoms” articles address the warning signs or signals customers and prospects should watch out for to avoid falling victim to a business challenge, or missing out on a key opportunity. Describing indicators that customers or prospects might not be aware of, and offering steps they can take to either minimize negative consequences or take maximum advantage of positive situations, can help raise a business’ profile as a trusted adviser that cares about its clients’ success.
Examples of “symptoms” articles:
- 5 Signs You’re Missing Out on New Business
- 6 Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Laptop
6. Articles about strategies
“Strategies” articles describe recommended courses of action for achieving goals and handling specific situations. Content that focuses on strategies can be used to reduce customers’ and prospects’ fear of the unknown while giving the business an opportunity to promote their expertise and the range of solutions it offers.
- 5 Steps to Improve Your SEO
- 9 Ways to Reduce This Year’s Business Taxes
7. Articles that provide definitions
In these articles a company defines and clarifies the meaning of the words most frequently used in their industry. To get started, they can identify the terms and buzzwords customers and prospects must know, or use articles to demystify commonly misused or misunderstood words in their field.
Examples of articles that provide definitions:
- 8 Terms to Know Before Applying For a Bank Loan
- 10 Accounting Terms You Need to Know
8. Articles that provide resources
Another way a business can project an image of knowledge, credibility, and helpfulness is to identify and recommend the best books, tools, or most useful websites in their field. These types of articles reflect a company’s understanding of the industry landscape and the most relevant offerings in their industry. It also gives them an opportunity to demonstrate that their business is qualified to make recommendations.
Potential articles could be:
- 5 Best Keyword Research Tools
- Top 7 Books All Writers Must Read
9. Articles that discuss qualifications
Businesses can also consider the skills their target audience must have to achieve its goals. Qualifications can take many forms, such as attitudes, budget resources, experiences, knowledge, tools, or training.
Some examples on the qualifications idea:
- 5 Skills You Must Have to Remodel Your Office
- 6 Things You Must Know If You’re Going to Lead a Sales Team
10. Articles about enhancements
Because they don’t know all of the possible options, many prospects and customers may not have purchased a total solution to their problems. If the company didn’t fully describe all of the available options, or because the customers’ needs have changed, they may not be getting the full benefits from their original purchases.
In these types of articles, businesses provide valuable information by describing ways customers can obtain more satisfaction, such as:
- 9 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Investments
- 3 Ways to Protect Your Company From Litigation
11. Articles about best practices
Best practices differ from strategies and other types of articles because they provide more opportunities to include stories and specific examples. Best practices communicate selectivity and a focus on achievement and efficiency, such as:
- 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Achieve a Work/Life Balance
- 8 Keys to Sustained Business Growth
12. Articles concerned with metrics
Metrics businesses share to help their target audience evaluate and improve their current efforts with quantifiable data. By showing what’s working, and what’s not working, metrics highlight areas in which prospects and customers can improve with the help of the products and services a business offers.
Potential article topics would be:
- 5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics to Track
- 7 Ways You Know Your Email Marketing Is Working
All of these types of articles have several things in common:
- They are evergreen topics, so the subject matter will always be relevant.
- They cover familiar ground: Each topic is based on information your business already knows.
- They’re relevant: Each type of article addresses important issues for your target audience.
- They’re list-based: Each topic includes a number, which makes it easy for you to identify the main ideas in your article and organize them into the right order. We all like lists so these types of articles are usually well received.
- Format: Instead of coming across as advertising, each article topic shares your expertise in an editorial format.
Ready to Start Your Content Marketing Program?
Developing and executing an effective content marketing program is all about providing valuable information for your clients and prospects. By building your reputation as an expert, you’re establishing yourself as a trusted resource. Even if a prospect won’t buy now, he can subscribe to your blog and come back regularly for more tips to help his business and, when he is ready to buy, he’ll likely buy from you.
To stay organized and on-track, you will want to create an editorial calendar to plan all of this out in advance. An editorial calendar is a topic for another day, but basically you will want to schedule and assign all of your specific articles to be written and published on a certain date.
Why did we pick 12 ideas? Now you have article topics for your blog for an entire year. So, if you do four articles on each of these types of articles you will have written and published one article per week for the entire year.
Sure, this will take quite a bit of time and effort, but the results will definitely be worth it. If you’re able to consistently create quality content that your target audience wants, that content will have a huge impact on your lead generation and pay off many times over.
Want help implementing a content marketing strategy for your company? From developing the editorial calendar to writing all of your articles to distributing your articles online, Novo Writing’s content marketing program does everything for you so you can focus on your core business.
Visit www.ContentMarketingProgram.com for more information and call 310.792.8888 to setup your free consultation.