Question: We know there are a lot of articles with how to and tips, but can articles (for business) sometimes be more thought provoking and inquisitive and still be useful?
You are absolutely correct in your observation of the volume of content designed to provide tips and guidance on how to do things.
I think your question is a timely one and like so many good questions, it doesn’t have one simple answer, but I will give it my best shot.
The bottom line for most businesses that use content marketing to build relationships, communities and ultimately to sell more “stuff,” is that their content needs to be useful for the target audience. This means that knowing your audience, is the information you are providing of some type of value that will help them build any of the above (relationship, community) or want to buy.
Having said that, the answer in my opinion is that you can absolutely write content that drives people to think rather than just how they can do things. I think the important thing for most marketers do distinguish is why they are creating those kinds of pieces. In fact, sometimes when you write content to provoke thought or even an emotional response it winds up being more valuable in building brand awareness and affinity because it stays in the customers mind. Furthermore, the how-to type content tends to be more valuable when the reader knows what they are looking for so perhaps the best time to use the more thought provoking content is when you want to get them to that stage in the buyer’s journey?
It may sound a bit like a broken record when I say this, but there really isn’t one way to do content marketing and there are a wide number of strategies that different brands have followed when creating articles and other content for clients. It is okay to mix it up and test the waters. Just pay attention to what is working and what isn’t so you don’t head down a path that leads to nowhere.
What kinds of content and stories are you telling your customers and prospects?
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