What are they and how can they help your business?
Feature articles are newspaper and magazine editorials that are about a specific topic (eg your industry) or your business. Today, feature articles are also widely distributed on the Internet via a business’s website and other article sites.
They typically range from 500 to 2000 words in length and are often accompanied by high quality photos.
How can they help you?
Articles allow you to publicise your business to your target audience. They are more effective than advertisements (except editorial style advertisements) because more people read them and believe them to be true. They also increase a business’s credibility and its standing in the eyes of its customers and potential customers.
When should you have one?
Feature articles have not until recently been an everyday marketing communications tool. In magazines and newspapers, unless you purchase the space, it can be difficult to get them published in their entirety. If you submit one on-spec (without it being requested), you run the risk of part of it being used in a larger article, and the rest discarded. However, editors regularly receive queries about on-spec articles and will quickly let you know if your article is to be used.
Thanks to the Internet, articles are now part of many companies’ online strategy. They can be posted on a company’s own social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc), placed on their websites (also case studies are more common for use as a sales tool) and submitted to article sites in order to gain a wider audience and build profile.
How do you get one?
Unless you are a skilled or professional writer (and have the time!) a feature article really needs to be written by a journalist, or in the case of the Word Wizard, a copywriter with a strong background in journalism and publication editorship. There are certain rules and formats which article writers must adhere to in order to have them accepted and you will save yourself a great deal of time and money if you contract this work out. The Word Wizard has been writing feature articles almost since she was out of nappies and has a portfolio of them available.