How to Write Targeted Articles

So I want to attract children’s party entertainers to advertise in my magazine. How can I do this?
Well I could write an article extolling the virtues of children’s party entertainers; how they make life easier and how anyone planning a children’s party would be mad to try to do it on their own etc. This is a very obvious article. Surround this by adverts for children’s party entertainers and you might spark someone to think, ‘Yes that’s the route I want to take for my child’s party.’
Now there is nothing wrong with this approach occasionally but be aware the chances are that the readers who respond positively to it are probably considering a children’s party entertainer already and this is the push they need to actually hire one.
In fact there are two problems with this sort of article. The first is a ‘Where do we go from here?’ sort of problem. Once the article is written and out there what do you run with next time? You want to continue to attract children’s party entertainers to advertise with you and you want to make sure that the sort of people who hire children’s party entertainers keep reading so they will see the adverts. Article after article banging on about how brilliant children’s entertainers are and how it’s the only way to run a children’s party might please the children’s entertainers but will be guaranteed to turn readers off. The second related problem is that most of us don’t like being told what we should do. We don’t like being told we’re not capable of running our child’s party, and even if deep down we suspect it might not be that easy, someone telling us we couldn’t manage it is akin to throwing down the gauntlet. We’re damned if we’ll hire a children’s entertainer…we’ll do it ourselves or die trying!
So as magazine publishers what do we do? How do we keep readers’ and advertisers’ interest over a number of months. Well there’s always the ‘How to choose a children’s entertainer,’ article. This is a softer sell than the first article because it empowers the reader, and readers are people, and people like to feel in control. Surround this article with children’s entertainer adverts and there’s a good chance that a reader might think, ‘Ok I now have the tools to choose the best entertainer for my child’s party…
Another approach and probably the most successful one seems also at first glance to be the most counter-intuitive. Running an article about how to host your own children’s party might seem like advertising suicide. Indeed your advertisers might even question why you’ve done this. It’s your job to reassure them that you know exactly what you’re doing and explain why. Remember most people who advertise with you will be experts in their own business NOT psychology. Their adverts will tell the world how brilliant they are (or they should, if not they might need to use a different advertising strategy!) Surprisingly though only a very few business owners really understand how the majority of people actually think. You can now enlighten them, adding further value to the service you provide.
An article explaining how to run a children’s party creates desire and desire is the cornerstone of all good advertising, ‘I want that,’ the reader thinks. In their mind’s eye they see their child bursting with happiness and joyful youngsters frolicking over the lawn on a sunny afternoon. Then they begin to reflect on how much effort will go into the preparation for hosting such an event. They realise their working week and busy life won’t allow for the shopping, the baking, the gift-wrapping of the pass-the-parcel presents...and slowly the terrifying realisation dawns that they are going to have to hold the attention of between ten and twenty excitable toddlers or tweenies or (Heaven forbid) pre-teens for two whole hours, and suddenly their imagination goes into overdrive as nightmare visions of jeering, tears and full-on fights dance in front of their eyes. At this point more sensible souls begin to wonder if there’s an easier option and, confronted by the surrounding advertisements, they are pretty much primed to sign on the dotted line.
The ‘general party’ article could be tweaked to be a humorous tale of how things went horribly wrong for the author, or alternatively how brilliant it all was. It might be a cautionary tale of health and safety, ‘What to do if something goes wrong,’ or 'Ten worst children's party disasters ever!' It might even be a ‘Great ideas for kids party themes on a budget,’ article.
Because don’t forget that for every reader who wants the easy life there will be those hardy souls who relish the challenge of hosting a unique party created by them for their child. And there are dozens of extra advertising opportunities here too with the article just mentioned: party shops, fancy dress shops; stationery shops; pocket-money gift shops, cake shops etc.
This idea of more subtly targeted articles holds good for most advertisers. Take garden designers: they might baulk at the idea of an article titled 'How to create your own rockery', but if someone is a died-in-the-wool DIYer they are NEVER going to hire a garden designer. However, the reader who thinks, ‘Oooh I’d love a rockery but Holy Moly that sounds like hard work,’ is EXACTLY the type of reader who is going to pick up the phone to the garden designer who has placed their advert strategically on the opposite page. Likewise a series of articles on, ‘What to do this month in the garden,’ will be of enormous benefit to amateur enthusiasts, who  may well choose to visit the garden centre advertising in the pages of your magazine, but they may also inspire another reader to phone the ‘garden maintenance company’ on  the next page.
In the context of targeted articles, the word ‘targeted’ can mean ‘very specific’ but should also be used as a multi-tasking word, one with as much across-the-board appeal as possible. A combination of both approaches is the way to generate customers for your advertisers and advertisers for your business.
If writing articles sounds like hard work then don't worry, The Content Club was set up with you in mind. Every month there are five fresh full page and three half page articles plus a recipe, book reviews, puzzles and a children's page for you to use in your magazine.
You get all this for just £15 per month!


Which means you can concentrate on running your magazine.

Back to the Articles Index

text menu area