Inbound marketing is all about creating good content and getting it seen – however, once a your content is found you will find that there are some clear winners when it comes to the types of articles that get results. These are the articles that generate attention, garner natural inbound links and showcase you and your business as an expert in your industry. The following are the types of articles that do that best:
This is where you let your knowledge shine. You find something complex and you break it down as it applies to your industry. Your insight will help to grow your thought leadership amongst your target audience.
An example of this would be our article on the recent changes to Google Places and how they effect small businesses. Take a deeper look at a topic and give your perspective on the topic. This not only helps to give your company a unique voice, it can also lend credibility to your company based on knowledge of topics that interest your prospective customers.
Introduction to… / Glossary type articles
Hey, we were all beginners once, right? You can build out a pretty decent amount of content if you can teach those who are just starting out a thing or two about your products or services.
For example, we like to answer the “what is” questions for those marketers and business owners that are just starting out. One of our clients who owns a garden center does a fantastic job talking about various soil types on his blog and as a result, his newsletter signup rate is phenomenal. If you can prove through your articles that you know what you’re talking about, people will want to see more where that came from!
Best of / Top # articles
Everyone wants to cut to the chase without digging through page after page of search results, they would rather have someone else weed out the garbage on a topic for them – that’s where you come in. Pick a topic that answers a common question prospects ask and give them the cream of the crop.
An example of this, is, well you’re reading one now! Our inbound marketing prospects are trying to make sense of how to get new customers by generating content online. You know your industry best, so save your prospects time by getting down to the brass tacks – they will appreciate you for it.
“How to…” articles
Everyone likes to learn new things. These days we’re all trained to head for a search engine when we want or need to figure something out. Who better than you to explain how to best solve a problem that’s related to your industry. You don’t have to give away every last piece of information on the topic, but supply enough to answer the question “How do I ________________” (you get bonus points if you include visual examples).
For example, another of our clients writes great content on how to plan and hold various types of fundraising events – this supports their goal as non-profit consultants. As a result of their wilingness to share their knowledge, they get a steady flow of new people to their fundraising workshops.
This is the place to talk specifically to your prospective customers by using a past case as an example. Case studies are generally longer than the average article and include lots of detail and supporting imagery (photos/reports/etc.).
An example of this on our site is this church web design case study, as old as it is, we leave it up because it proves that we have years of experience and can answer a specific need for a specific type of client. Another example is from one of our clients that runs a landscape design business. She shows before and after’s that are jaw-dropping and you almost can’t stop yourself from looking through her work. There are so many ways you can show off what you do with a case study by showcasing how you solved a customer’s problem – just think through the past few challenging scenarios your business worked with and detail how you helped them.
In all of these examples, you are proving one thing: You are an expert.
You know what it takes to get the job done, whether you’re a fashion designer or a roofer, you have experiences that no one else has and can solve problems in a unique way. It’s time to capitalize on it by writing quality content that showcases your business as a thought leader and expert in your industry.