5 Simple Knowledge Base Templates to Rapidly Create Content for Your Help Center

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Cut your writing time in half with these knowledge base templates for help center articles and resources.

You’ve decided to create a knowledge base.

You want customers to start finding answers to support questions on their own (without having to email you).

Now what?

How do you actually create knowledge base articles for your help center?

Answer:

  1. Pick a knowledge base tool and set it up (you can do this in as little as 15 minutes)
  2. Start publishing support articles.

Easy, right?

Well…

Except for that pesky bit about actually writing those support articles.

Note: Every Groove account includes our easy-to-use knowledge base at no additional cost. Try it today—free for 120 days (no credit card required).

Use templates to rapidly create articles for your knowledge base

It may seem intimidating to put together a database of help articles.

Fear not.

If you can answer support emails, you can write knowledge base articles too.

And, if you use the templates we’re about to show you, you can create many of those articles in just a few minutes.

Just pick the knowledge base template you need, then fill in the blanks.

Here are the templates we’ll cover:

  1. Illustrated How-to
  2. Video Hybrid
  3. Getting Started Guide
  4. Product Overview
  5. User Basics

Template #1: The Illustrated How-to

This template is perfect for the vast majority of support articles.

An illustrated how-to article answers one question in detail, giving the reader illustrated steps for how to solve that one problem.

The article will closely resemble a response you would write as an answer to a support email, but with additional screenshots and illustrations included in the text.

A great starting point is to take an email you’ve already sent to a customer on this topic, then convert it into an illustrated how-to article that anyone can find and read on their own.

The template goes like this:

  • Title: Topic of the article.
  • Introduction: 1-3 sentences.
  • Body: Steps the user needs to take, including images to illustrate what the user needs to do.

Example from Groove’s Knowledge Base: Editing the Role of a User.

Template #2: The Video Hybrid

A video hybrid mixes a video into your help center article.

Importantly, a video doesn’t replace the text-based instructions you have in the article.

Instead, it gives people a choice to either read to find an answer or watch a video to get the same information.

We do this because we know that not everyone has the same learning style.

For example, a typical U.S. school classroom “will have around 29 percent visual learners, 34 percent auditory learners and 37 percent kinesthetic learners with around 30 percent students of mixed learning styles.”

In other words, some people prefer to read to find an answer to their problems.

Others prefer to watch a video or try to figure out a solution on their own.

Mixing a video into your help center article increases the chances that people will find the solution to their problem without having to contact you directly.

The video hybrid knowledge base template goes like this:

  • Title: Topic of the article.
  • Introduction: 1-3 sentences.
  • Body: Written description of the steps the user needs to take, including images to illustrate what the user needs to do.
  • Video(s): Embedded within the article. Can be one video or multiple videos.

Example from Groove’s Knowledge Base: Creating and Using Canned Replies.

Template #3: The Getting Started Guide

What do you send new customers after they’ve signed up for a trial or made a first-time purchase?

Instead of sending a lengthy how-to email, we send new users a link to a getting started guide on our knowledge base.

Getting started articles are usually much longer than a normal help center article.

Instead of answering one question in detail, you’re giving people a list of steps to take to get the most from their purchase or free trial.

We liberally include videos and animated GIFs in our getting started guide for the same reason we do in a video hybrid article—to give everyone reading the article the choice to read or watch—or both.

  • Title: Topic of the article.
  • Introduction: 1-3 sentences.
  • Body: A list of illustrated steps that will help the new user get started.
  • Video(s): Multiple videos included throughout the article.

Example from Groove’s Knowledge Base: 6 Steps to Get Started with Groove.

Template #4: The Product Overview

Most knowledge base articles are designed to answer questions from current customers.

Some—however—are designed for prospects—people who are considering your product or service and want to know more.

For this, we use a product overview article—a lengthy article that highlights key features and benefits of our products.

A product overview article is designed to support the sales process.

It’s one of the resources we can send people when they reach out asking for more information about our products.

And since this type of article is a sales asset, we include a call to action at several points within the article:

  • Title: Topic of the article.
  • Introduction: 1-3 sentences.
  • Body: High level features and benefits of the product
  • Video(s): Embedded throughout the video showing the best features of the product

Example from Groove’s Knowledge Base: Groove Inbox Overview.

Template #5: New User Basics

Finally, what happens when a customer needs to add a new employee to their account?

For example, in Groove’s case, we’re a B2B software solution, so we often have account admins who need to add users.

Users have different needs than admins or account owners. They don’t need to know all the ins and outs of account management.

They just need a guide for using our product, so we’ve created an article just for them.

A new user article will be helpful to anyone new to the product, but it’s written for regular users, not for admins or the owner of the account.

It’s designed to get your employees into the tool quickly and help them understand what they need to do to be successful with it.

  • Title: Topic of the article.
  • Introduction: 1-3 sentences.
  • Body: Written description of the steps the user needs to take, including images to illustrate what the user needs to do.
  • Video(s): Embedded within the article to show the same steps described throughout the article. Can be one video or multiple videos depending on the length of the article.

Example from Groove’s Knowledge Base: New User Basics.

Tools we use to create images and videos

Knowledge base software lets you easily add digital media resources directly into your articles. As you can see in the above examples, we do this often to make our articles as helpful as possible.

The following resources can help you create and host images and videos to add to your knowledge base articles:

  • CloudApp: A free tool for easily taking and sharing screenshots
  • Nimbus Capture: a browser extension for taking screenshots of a full webpage, including what’s “below the fold”
  • Loom: An easy way to record videos while sharing your screen
  • Camtasia: A full-featured video editing tool that we often use for screen recording and to create animated GIFs
  • Photoshop: For professional-quality image editing.
  • Wistia: Professional video hosting

How to get started (in 15 minutes or less!)

A knowledge base is a tool to reclaim your time.

The point is to empower customers to find answers to their questions without emailing you for help.

You don’t need thousands of articles covering every last problem a customer might have to see a positive ROI.

Even just 5 to 10 well-written articles can dramatically reduce the number of emails you receive through your support inbox.

If you want to reclaim some of the time you spend replying to support emails, we invite you to try Groove’s knowledge base software—100% free for 120 days.

Setup takes less than 15 minutes.

And with the above templates to help, you could be publishing your first few articles within the hour.

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Nathan Collier
Nathan Collier Nathan is a senior editor at Groove. He’s a former journalist who’s one part storyteller and one part data geek. His talents include writing, data analysis, automation, and the telling of really awful dad jokes.