Quick question: The last time you wanted to know how to do something (replace a part in your washing machine, make a souffle or teach your dog to stop barking at the mailman, for example), how did you go about learning?
Chances are very good that you typed a�?how to (insert desired activity here)a�? into your favorite search engine. From there, you either read an article, scanned an infographic or watched a video on how to master this new skill. Depending on what you were trying to do, you might have been referred to a professional (not many of us can completely rewire a house after watching a YouTube video, after all), or you might have felt confident enough to tackle your problem on your own.
No matter what type of business you own, providing how-to content to your clients and customers is an excellent way to build credibility, increase the number of visitors your website or social media accounts get, and, ultimately, boost your sales. Here are some tips on creating good how-to content.
Consider What Your Customers Tend to Ask You
If you find yourself answering the same types of questions over and over again, a large number of people are probably searching for those same answers. For example, if you have a septic cleaning business, you are probably asked, a�?how do I know when I need to have the tank pumped?a�? nearly every day. If you own a shoe store, parents of young children may approach you regularly to ask, a�?How can I tell if my toddlera��s shoes still fit or if he needs a bigger size?a�? Writing a how-to article or making a video explaining concepts like this can bring in a lot of traffic.
Keep It Simple
Dona��t go too overboard in providing a million details or trying to address every potential complication. If your readers or viewers cana��t get through your piece in a few minutes, what youa��re trying to explain is probably too complicated. Remember that not everything your customers ask can be addressed in a simple how-to article, infographic or video.
You might need to narrow your focus. Instead of, a�?how to plan and prepare for a dinner party,a�? focus on a�?how to properly set a formal table.a�? This allows you to be specific and give useful information that goes beyond vague generalities (i.e. make a guest list, come up with a menu, send out invitations, etc.).
Include a Personal Touch
Rather than making your piece a�?strictly business,a�? find a way to incorporate some of your personality into it. Most people dona��t want to read or watch something dry and humorless. Be conversational and, if youa��re using photos or a video, be sure to show what youa��re doing. Feel free to cite a few fun facts or share a short anecdote.
Dona��t Forget a Call to Action
Your call to action, or CTA, is an important part of your how-to article or video. You dona��t want your piece to be too salesy, but you also dona��t want to neglect to inform your readers or viewers how to get in touch with an expert (you!) if they need more help than your tutorial can provide.
How-to content is a great way to reach out to your potential clients and customers. For more help and suggestions, give us a call or drop us an email!