Thought Leadership Resources

Keeping how-to articles relevant

Business professionals just love sharing their knowledge, and that’s one reason I love working with them. But there’s sharing … and there’s over-sharing. Sometimes, business professionals prepare content that is not of interest to the people they want as clients, although it is of interest to their competitors.

That can be what happens in the case of the “how-to” kind of content, which is an established journalistic archetype, telling how to do something. It could be a series of steps, or a list of success factors.

From a content marketing point of view, these only work if three conditions are met:

  • The intended reader actually cares about achieving the outcome described
  • The intended reader would be qualified and equipped to do it
  • The article is NOT about what the firm itself does for a living

An article I did for a consulting anthropologist in Johannesburg met these criteria. This consultant focused on helping resource companies maintain good relations with the people living near their projects. It is increasingly important for companies to take the initiative in securing improved outcomes for stakeholders. So, my author wanted to show his ability to help oil and gas companies avoid negative publicity and regulatory sanction, as well as just do the right thing, as regards local stakeholders.

I presented the idea to the editor of Oil Review Africa, based in London, who expressed interest in the concept. I then interviewed the author in Johannesburg, wrote a first draft and had it reviewed by the author and the marketing team in South Africa. This article was published and used in the company’s social media campaigns.

Learn more about how-to articles >>

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