How to Use Powerful “How To” Articles to Attract Qualified Scientific Customers

Bees are crucial for helping plants reproduce. 

To make a seed, a flower needs to be pollinated. And pollen from one flower is carried to another flower through bees. This process of transporting pollen can’t happen without the bee. So… flowers and plants have to encourage these tiny insects to visit them and take their pollen.

How do they do this? Through attraction of course :). Flowers have colourful petals and an attractive scent, and some flowers also reward the bees with a sugary substance called nectar. It’s this attraction that draws insects like bees to the flower itself… which, of course, starts the whole pollination process. 


Attracting customers is just as important for scientific technology

No, you’re not going to do it with pollen. But you can do this with valuable content marketing… such as “how to” articles. 


Never underestimate the power of sharing helpful articles

They can have a significant impact on your marketing results.

Why? Because using “How to” articles, is pull marketing, not push. Scientific customers are drawn to you, rather than you pushing your firm’s brochures and sales literature on them. And one of the best features of these articles is how they help you leverage your marketing and sales efforts. Instead of making sales calls and meeting with prospects one-on-one, your article reaches tens, hundreds or thousands of people.


Let’s take an example… 

I did some work a while ago with a company selling high-performance scientific imaging cameras, as well as microscopy and spectroscopy systems.

I was asked to write a series of articles aimed at neuroscientists working in the field of optogenetics. One of the articles highlighted 7 key questions to ask when choosing imaging equipment for this type of research (almost like a mini special report or white paper). The article itself opened up with a quick introduction to the field of optogenetics:

Progress in technology, new scientific discoveries and even the birth of new fields are made possible, not only by the inquisitive minds of scientists, but also by the tools and technology at their disposal. 

But at the same time, research is often limited by this same technology.”


Notice that the article doesn’t start off by giving tons of boring technical info Instead, it engages readers by introducing the bigger picture, and also by stating a problem. This motivates the prospect to read on by giving real-world implications of the technology in question. This sets up the rest of the article, and effortlessly leads into the 7 questions. 


A final point: the article was advertised on www.photonics.com

You can read the introduction paragraph. But because the article is gated, any potential customers need to submit their contact information before they can read the full piece. 

You should do this whenever possible, because collecting contact information in exchange for an article, report, white paper etc. allows you to keep in touch regularly and build your audience of scientific prospects.


Here’s another example…

I wrote an article promoting a company and their line of liquid analysers (used to analyze hydrocarbons in water). The article was just over 900 words long and talked about how toxic CHCs in water samples are extremely hazardous to human health. It also mentioned how governments are looking for fast and affordable ways of measuring water pollution levels. 

The article was all about how FTIR spectroscopy is the ideal tool for analyzing these pollution levels. It then went onto position the company as the ideal provider.  


Again, the article opens by stating a problem 

It then moves on and gives the ideal solution to that problem, along with presenting a case study. This is a version of what’s known in copywriting circles as the “motivating sequence”. It motivates your reader to continue down through the article, all the way to the end.


There’s also a call-the-action (CTA) at the end of this article 

Having a CTA at the end of every marketing piece you put out is ideal, because it invites your reader to take the next step, and move further along your sales cycle. Sadly, many scientific equipment manufacturers don’t include a CTA in any of their literature.


So how do you write useful ‘how to’ articles that attract scientific customers?

The key with using ‘how to’ articles is to give your readers some genuinely useful ideas and tips that they can easily put into action. Just pick a common problem your ideal customers might have and explain how to solve that problem.  

For instance, a problem that some research scientists might have is choosing the right instrument for their specific needs. This is a legitimate concern, with so many options to choose from. And with all the information published every day, it can get overwhelming! So why not write an article on how to easily select the right instrument for a certain type of research? 

Use plain English – make it simple and easy to understand. And offer an easy next step for people to take if they’re interested in finding out more about your company and what you offer. 


To quickly summarise…

Articles can help your marketing and sales efforts by attracting scientific customers to your solutions. And a well-written article can become a valuable marketing asset for months (even years) to come. But make sure you’re engaging your readers and helping them solve genuine problems. 

And leave the pollen for the plants :). 


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