When it comes to doing business and garnering customers in the post Web 2.0 universe, internet marketing has to evolve beyond making cold calls and word of mouth. The online marketplace needs to reach the broadest consumer spectrum as quickly and effectively as possible. Besides e-mail marketing lists, another conducive strategy is article marketing. Article marketing is particularly hot right now in this current era of intense internet research. Hundreds of millions of users log on to the web each day, searching for valuable info on various subjects. Whether writing a school report, looking for do-it-yourself tips, or skimming product reviews, any web surfer can become a potential customer. It’s unrealistic to try and reach them all individually, but carefully placed articles written in-house improve a company’s chances of visibility.
Companies use article marketing to take advantage of free press space. They may publish articles on their own products and services, but the most common subject matter of article marketing contains general knowledge about the industry. For example, a company that produces and sells software will most likely commission articles to be written on the general subject that concern that software. Usually there will be what is called a resource box at the end of the article which includes an active hyperlink back to the company’s website or simple written text crediting the company. By publishing general articles, companies highlight their expertise and knowledge while imparting valuable information to help consumers make decisions.
These articles are usually written by professionals in the industry who work in-house with the company or are hired via any of the reputable telecommuter agencies. Writers carefully research their topics to ensure credibility and a high degree of professionalism. The completed articles are sent out in batches to be distributed to various media publications all over the web including social networking sites, blogs, messageboards, and a variety of websites. Of course, the smart business owner will already have a company or product website set up with e-commerce capabilities where shoppers can purchase goods and these are prime spaces for articles. However, distributing articles to external sites doesn’t require the company to seek out readers. Instead, readers find the company by simply reading content off the websites they visit daily. At the end of the article, readers can click on the hyperlink in the resource box. Once again, the content must be intriguing and well written—otherwise there won’t be any further clicking.
Blog posting is one of the most recent and lucrative means of article marketing because it gives readers the assurance that the information is coming from a live human being who has first-hand experience with the product, service or subject. It’s like getting the scoop from a good friend. Research shows that readers trust bloggers and are compelled to check out the goods they write about. However, companies don’t have to spend time designing and writing a blog, although if they have the manpower they certainly can. Companies should tap into bloggers’ built-in audiences—already established niches of readers with a high rate of return.
Companies can also turn to customer approved product review websites which generate high volume traffic, if they want to distribute articles about their specific products. Product reviews, however, still only reach customers who are already looking for that type of product. Article marketing works best when companies spend time distributing general batches of articles which can be credited back to the company, blanketing a variety of websites with content.