Did it work? Obviously, since you are now reading our blog. But why did you choose to read this particular post? There are three primary reasons you clicked this link, and they all directly relate to the power of “how to.”
1. Obvious headline. You knew exactly what this blog was about before clicking; there was no cutesy cliché or clever yet vague play on words. You clicked this link because you wanted to learn how to get people to read your blog. You asked, and you assumed based on our title that we would answer.
2. You are empowered. When you see a blog or video or book that is “how-to” focused, it means that you aren’t just learning about someone else’s product or service and how great it is, but you are going to learn how to best utilize that product or service. This empowers you to take the next step in executing whatever you are trying to do- whether it’s getting people to read your blog, or learning how to cook a pot-roast, or how to plant tomatoes. It’s no longer about the advertiser or speaker- it’s about you.
3. Keywords. Think SEO, SEO, SEO. “How to” is one of the most commonly searched phrases online. Google alone pulls up about 12,820,000,000 results in .20 seconds. How-to videos and articles are extremely popular online and there is a high likelihood that if you didn’t find this link directly from our Twitter or Website post, you found it through a “how to” search. Using strategic keywords in your online titles can have a direct, positive impact on your SEO and readership. Of course you still have to think sensibly about titles- not every article can start with how-to unless you want to tack it on as an accessory like “how to watch this cute video about kittens” or “how-to agency launches new campaign!”
How can you make “how-to” work for you? Simple. Just answer the question. Regardless of what your expertise is, whether it is in advertising/marketing or a particular industry, if you know how to do something, blog it or video it and you will watch your readership skyrocket. This tactic positions you online as an expert in your field. You become someone that others will go to for answers.
As for the reason you are still reading this post: How can you get people to read your blog? Write to them. Use less “I” language about yourself or your brand, and more “you” language about how your reader can best benefit from listening to what you have to say. Find their questions, and find an interesting way to accurately answer them. Become someone they want to hear from.
For an example of a successful How-To Campaign, check out this case study from OC Creative Media (now Sparkhouse).
Account Services Coordinator