How 101 Articles Can Help You Stand Out

When new technologies are flooding the market, so too is the 101 content surrounding them. By 101 content, we mean articles, blogs, white papers, infographics and other types of content that educate the industry at a very basic, “top of the marketing funnel” level on the benefits of a technology, solution or service. Think articles like “5 Ways 5G Will Change the World” or “3 Ways the IoT Can Improve Your Business.” They usually start with a number because somewhere along the way, someone figured out that readers like numbers (and odd numbers attract more opens than even ones, go figure!)

But for some reason, as a technology matures, 101 content about it begins to disappear, replaced more by articles further down the market funnel, in the consideration and purchasing stages. And while that’s where some of your customer base is headed, and you need content for them, you don’t want to lose out on 101-type content for those who are still in the discovery stage.

Let’s use the Internet of Things as an example. It’s maturing, that’s for sure, with research from IDC estimating there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices generating 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data in 2025. But according to the Vodafone IoT Barometer, only 34% of organizations are now using IoT. That means 66% are not and still need content that helps them understand not only your products but the industry around them. Why would you stop creating content for the 66%? In addition, the majority of IoT 101 content was created a few years ago, and the IoT market is much more advanced now. As buyers become savvier—and so does the technology—they want updated 101 content so they know they are getting the latest and best advice.

Need a refresher on how to create 101 content?

  • Start with the problem. At a basic level, what are the top three to five problems your early prospects face? Enumerate and give a good explanation of the issue. Cutting costs is an issue, but it needs background and perhaps even an example or two. Try to keep each problem to a paragraph in length.
  • Tell your audience how you solve the problem in your unique way. Not with product but through your company’s mission and value proposition. Again, your mission and value statements should be tight, so aim for a paragraph here too.
  • Introduce product only where appropriate
  • Use industry statistics where available and appropriate
  • Create a call to action that makes them want to read more. This could be access to a free white paper, to additional blogs on the topic or an infographic that they might find interesting. Always be leading them down a path you want them to follow and to content you want them to read.
  • Now take those three to five challenges and expand more on the solutions in additional blogs for each. Do that by building out on each challenge and each solution.
  • Determine if you can do the same for different vertical markets with enough differentiation to make it worthwhile.

101 content is easy to create, but also deserves a plan surrounding it. Make it part of your annual content plan and keep it up to date throughout the year. Make sure you throw in a healthy dose of search engine optimization and you’ll be well on your way to page views and engagements.

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