Article Marketing - Building Your Business on a ShoeString Budget
Whether you are a solo business operator or a multinational corporation, writing articles is still one of the best forms of low cost, high impact marketing around.
There is a secret formula of how you can turn an article for an electronic newsletter into a media release that has the potential to generate international, national and local print and radio exposure. Articles need to have currency, timeliness and be newsworthy. Importantly, electronic articles can help you dominate for keywords out of the first 10 rankings on Google. The key is to build relationships with your leads, prospects, customers, clients and advocates.
As one of my wise mentors once said “people buy from people they trust”. He says you need to turn strangers into neighbours and neighbours into friends and friends are the easiest people to market to. So how do you do this, especially in a competitive, crowded and cluttered marketplace?
A well written, well targeted article helps you stand out from the crowd. It builds expert power which creates reputation capital. Articles, like those where you can express your expertise helps do that. So you can also turn a media release, which originally came from an article, back into an article. This is true leverage of expert power.
But there is a secret way to give a newspaper article a few powerful tweaks to make a compelling piece for an electronic newsletter. First, re-read it and add more depth of content. This will make it fresher and more impactful. Then ask: how can you turn this into a measurable marketing activity that has the potential to increase sales?
The media will never run a story from a news release about a free or even new eBook - no matter how well written or controversial. It doesn’t have the credibility or news value of a hard copy book by a recognised international publisher. But an authored article does provide a platform to promote your free eBook. This in turn provides an incentive for readers of the newspaper article to give permission for you to market to them.
So here’s the kicker. Because of a good relationship with the newspaper editor, he wanted my media release, not as a story, but as an authored article. This gave me permission at the end of the article to add value to readers by pointing them to my website and allowing them to download my free eBook.
And, this builds my expert power and reputation capital with complete strangers.
Plus I got the bonus of a well laid out article with a great graphic that added enormous value to my original words. This leverages even further the value of the original article.
And when the article was published in the newspaper it was read by more than 52,500 people – far more prospects than I could reach in a speech, direct mail out or even through this article you are reading now.
So traditional media still has greater reach and impact than emerging media like blogs and ezines. Plus it is tangible, providing a lasting record. People still like to feel ink between their fingers and not just electrons on their eyeballs!
Here are five amazing ways to grow your business through articles:
1. Choose a Newsworthy Topic
Choose some big news and that may have been speculated upon for months and months prior to the official announcement.
2. Make Sure This Topic Matches Your Area of Expertise
My area of recognised authority status is branding at a corporate, internal and personal level. And, I’ve had more than 20 years’ experience working in the media. Plus, my media experience covers periods as both an on air personality and as a Senior Executive in a leadership role. So that background gives me a lot of expert power and credibility because I’ve been there and done that.
3. Identify a Problem
Most people have aspirations, whether that is to be more attractive, to be more influential or to have more money. That is a universal challenge across all demographics and applies to all areas of your career, business or life.
4. The Content of the Article Solves a Problem
Provide a solution to people’s problems and then you have a sustainable business, career or life.
5. Have a Strong Call To Action
Make sure readers take action after reading your article.
By Thomas Murrell
Thomas Murrell is a multi-award winning broadcaster, international business speaker, author and advisor who is a recognised authority in public speaking, investor and financial relations. He has more than 26 years experience in media, marketing and management.
Contributed by Marketing Institute of Singapore