Updated: Apr 2, 2018
Content Marketing or Article Marketing is an indirect form of marketing. Articles are written to provide readers with information or entertainment. Readers are more likely to share these interesting articles with their social circle. Remember that these articles never deliver a sales pitch.
We are constantly being bombarded by advertisements in our daily lives. Although direct marketing still works, for most of the population, our brains have evolved to block of these messages. People are also less likely to share these advertisements with their friends and family.
Coupled with SEO, having a content strategy can be an effective marketing tool. Your business can benefit from improved visibility, linking and brand recognition. Focus on being a thought leader and increase your reputation in your industry. Compared to other forms of marketing, content marketing is cost effective as writing articles to address a specific topic helps you pre-qualify readers and increases your click through rate.
1. Writing Engaging Content
The first step to a great content marketing strategy is content writing. Content should be unique, fresh and high quality. You should use relevant keywords in your article and include links to your website. Encourage user generated content such as comments will help you engage your visitors. And finally optimize your blog and website for search engines to easy index information.
2. Avoid Duplicated Content
In 2011, Google launched its Panda algorithm to penalize sites with low quality and duplicated content. Aggregating sites or syndicates often stealing content from other sites will be demoted in their website ranking. To avoid being penalized, content marketers should write and post original content.
Some features on your website can result in duplication of content without you knowing. Search toolbars, Content Management Systems (CMS), e-Commerce applications can generate multiple URLs for the same content. These applications create new URLs for search queries, member pages and product filters with the same content. And you can get penalized for them.
How do I remove these duplicated URLs? Firstly, use Google Webmaster Tools to locate duplicate title tags, meta description tags and identify duplicated content. Then, instruct search engine spiders to ignore URL parameters. Either use 301 redirect to forward all extraneous URLs to the primary URL or block all secondary URLs from being indexed in your robot.txt file. Alternatively, use the rel=”canonical” tag in your HTML code to pick the best URL (usually for homepages).
3. Distribution Strategy
A great article that no one reads is the best kept secret. Having an effective distribution strategy for your articles is vital for reaching your audience and content marketing.
You will need to find websites within your niche or industry that will post your articles. Some of these sites includes blogs, press release sites, news sites and social media.
Blogs can be a good way to get your article published. There are different types of blogs, niche (e.g. luxury handbags) or industry (e.g. finance blogs). Choose a blog that is relevant to your business and ask to be a guest blogger. Bloggers are constantly looking for interesting content for their blogs to increase their followers. Write an article in exchange for a link back to your website. It’s a good way to build dofollow backlinks and reach your target audience.
Press Release Sites or Syndication are content distribution networks. They release content in bulk to the masses for the purpose of increasing the chance that mainstream media picks up the story. Some common PRS websites include, PR Newswire, ReleaseWire, PR Web and BusinessWire.
Since the inception of the Google Penguin algorithm, links from such press release sites are “nofollow” and will not help your website ranking. And the popular view is that reporters and editors get so many unsolicited stories that they have little time to scour press release sites.
Does this mean that press releases are ineffective? A press release is still a good way to get the word out and get referrals to your website. And news agencies often rely on press releases to gather or verify information for their articles. Unlike mainstream media, you don’t have to be a large corporation to benefit from press releases. In terms of costs, a press release is a few hundred dollars compared to tens of thousands for a full-page newspaper advertisement.
Use social media content to support your content marketing efforts and increase website traffic. With so many social media platforms to choose from, select those that work for your business. For example, if you sell cupcakes, twitter, Pinterest and Facebook will be the platforms that your prospects are likely to use.
Similar to other content marketing channels, post regularly and link the social media content to your website or business blog. With social media, titles and content have to be summarized and use relevant keywords for tagging. Read more about social media marketing.
Start Your Content Marketing Strategy
With content marketing, your business can see 7.8 times more website traffic, reduce marketing expenses by up to 62% and generate 3 times as many leads (from Neil Patel). Start writing today! If you are starting to use content marketing, read our article on How to Start a Business Blog.
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Content Marketing Solutions For Small Businesses
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