Why Writing Articles is the Best Online Marketing Strategy

In the era of web 3.0 and the ever increasing popularity of social networking it is still impressive that the most effective online marketing strategy is writing articles. The far reaching and long lasting marketing capabilities you get when you write an article are still unmatched by any other strategy online. By creating useful information and making it freely available you are developing credibility while also increasing your exposure. The only ‘drawback’ if you must call it that is that creating content does require an investment of time and effort. On the other hand however the benefits you do receive by writing articles makes your efforts oh so worthwhile.

Here are 5 compelling reasons publishing useful information online is so widely and popularly accepted thereby making this strategy so effective.

They Are in Demand

The internet is all about information and that is exactly what articles supply! Web masters, ezine publishers, bloggers, information product creators and a whole lot more of other sources are in continuous need of fresh content. Writing articles helps to feed these information hungry groups and organizations whereas this information is also counted on and used by researchers as well.

Search Engines Thrive on New Content

As previously mentioned the internet is based upon information. It’s no secret that Search Engines LOVE content, so if you supply it on a regular basis you are giving them a great reason to stop on by to take a look around your site increasing your chances of boosting your own rankings.

They ‘Linger’ Online

When you write an article that contains useful information it can remain in circulation for a long time online. This means the author gets continued exposure and traffic for their site and this is all the result of a one time effort on the part of the author.

Quick Path to One Way Links

Once articles are published the directory than has established a link back to your site. This is assuming you have placed a link inside the resource box. Most directories maintain a high page rank which tends to ‘boost’ the rankings of your site as a result.

Tremendous Viral Capabilities

Once any articles go live on the internet there is no telling where they may end up. People used them on their own sites and businesses may link to them as well. The manner in which this type of content is circulated can have it ending up in locations you would have never formerly thought of. The coverage therefore is very comprehensive and all for just a one time effort!

Probably the most effective online marketing strategy today is to write an article that is distributed freely all across the internet. The only deterrent for many with this particular strategy is the effort needed when creating content for circulation online. On the other hand when you consider the 5 benefits this strategy offers as reviewed above the effort seems all the more worthwhile.

6 Online Marketing Strategies That Are Essential For Success

The best online marketing strategies generate the highest degrees of success for any online business. The following 6 online marketing techniques are essential for your online business to survive.

1. Branding

Your website visitors need to see your business as a professional and reputable venture. They are less likely to stay or buy from a website if it looks cheap, unorganized and sloppy. A properly designed website helps to improve website conversions and also creates a good standing with the search engines, which in turn, helps for higher rankings. Important factors for website design include user friendly navigation, clear page design and style, good use of images and speedy loading times.

2. Content

Top quality content on your website keeps your readers interested, improves organic traffic from the search engines and encourages repeat visitors. Your content material should be useful, comprehensive and solve problems for customers. Incorporating a blog to your website is a great way of adding content on a frequent basis and your blog posts can also be shared on your social media pages.

3. Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization involves implementing a variety of online marketing strategies so that you can reach the highest search engine rankings for the keywords on your website. More than 90% of people searching online check out websites that are on the first page of search results. The essential elements of SEO include new content, content length, relevant keywords, tagging images, links, and font decorations.

4. Social Media

Social media has a significant role in online marketing strategies today. Social media websites have high traffic and user data which make it possible for businesses to connect with specific and targeted markets. Social media is an essential part your online marketing plans. It directly delivers traffic to your website and when people view and share your content on social media it is recognized by the search engines and will boost your search engine optimization.

5. Mobile

Over 25% of internet users only access the internet via a mobile device. If your website is not fully responsive to viewing via a mobile or tablet device it will affect your search engine rankings and your web traffic will drop. The significance of mobile marketing will continue to grow as online connectivity improves making it possible for more people to browse online with their mobile devices during the day regardless of where they are.

6. Video Marketing

Video marketing allows you to reach huge audiences who are searching for your products and services. Publishing appropriate videos to websites like YouTube and Vimeo can develop your online presence significantly. Video delivers the ideal interactive medium for your marketing messages.

How to Create an Online Marketing Strategy

If you’ve ever wondered how to create an online marketing strategy this post will provide you with some clear guidance as to where to start, what to analyse and how customers may arrive at your site or those of your competitors.

The first place you should start when developing an online marketing strategy is an analysis of the online marketplace. This process will also help you to identify any potential partners and affiliates that may be able to promote your product and to identify the potential range of search terms which may need to be purchase in a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign.

Here are the main areas you should research thoroughly in your marketing place:

Customer Segments

You may think this is obvious but it is imperative that you consider each of the segments that may consume your product or service and understand its buying behaviours, purchasing drivers, likely decision makers and what online media channels they engage with.

An example of customer segmentation for a business services company could be:

• Self-employed or freelance workers

• Sole traders

• Partnerships

• Limited companies with less than 10 employees

• Limited companies with over 10 employees

Each of these business will have different behaviours, drivers etc. as previously mentioned. You may also want to consider how internet savvy these segments are, their lifestyles, demographics etc.

Make a list of each of your customer segments and try to categorise them as best you can.

Search Engines used in your market

Make a list of each of the search engines that are relevant in your market. The main ones are typically Google, Bing and Yahoo. If you have a global business you will need to make a list of the key search engines by region such as Baidu which is major search engine in China and Yandex in Russia.

Once you’ve made a list of the popular search engines it is advisable to consider the most popular and important keyword phrases in your market and the potential target audience for each keywords and key phrases.

As you develop your online business it is also worthwhile to track the amount of traffic your website receives for specific keywords and phrases against the market potential.

If like most businesses, Google is a major search engine used by your market then Google’s Keyword planner can help determine how popular specific keywords and phrases. The tool will also provide you with some ideas for any gaps in your keyword directory as the tool also generates keyword ideas for you based on some simple filters i.e. product or service type, the landing page URL, market segment, location etc.

It is also worth tracking how many of your visitors are searching with your brand name and URL. This is a good testament to the strength of your brand and customer loyalty e.g. in the personal insurance sector many customers are simply searching for the name of their favouring comparison site rather than entering a specific term such as “cheap car insurance”.

Potential Online Partnerships and sources of Traffic

There may be many websites in your marketplace capable of referring traffic to your site, either for free or from a paid advertisement, or acting as a paid affiliate where you reward them with a percentage of commission per sale.

Make a list of the various businesses in your sector in the following categories:

  • Niche news and Media websites

Make a list of all the news and media sites that your target audience may have exposure to. For some businesses mainstream media may be appropriate of for others they may be very niche and followed only by your customer segments.

Once you’ve done this reach out to the editors to set up a meeting. There may be several angles for your business to consider (depending on your budget) such as paid advertising, running a feature on your product or if you are an expert in your field there could be the opportunity for you to write articles and even become the expert when the publication needs some advice.

  • Trade bodies or industry associations

Depending on your sector there may be a number of trade bodies or industry associations serving your target market. When you have made your list, consider for each the potential for advertising, editorials etc. as already mentioned in news above. In addition the trade or industry association may become a valuable promotor of your business in return for an affiliate partnership and/or some form of value added service to its members such as a discount or tailored product or service.

  • Social Media Channels

I would recommend searching for your current and prospective customers on the most popular social media channels and record which channels your customers are active in e.g. do they target their own customers via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. If you can get a feel for the most popular channels used by your customers then mirroring this with your own online marketing campaigns in the same channels is likely to be successful.

If you trade business to business it is definitely worth considering LinkedIn as a method of engagement and prospecting, you may be surprised just how many of your business customers use this channel. LinkedIn is a useful sales tool as you can develop a pipeline of decision makers and send them an Inmail to introduce yourself plus lot more. This is a vast subject in its own right and will be covered in future posts.

  • Comparison Sites

Price comparison sites are springing up in many different sectors e.g. moneysupermarket for financial services products, Gocompare for insurance, uSwitch for energy and telecoms. If there are any comparison services in your sector it is certainly worth considering listing your product on them as they are likely to control a significant amount of the search traffic in your sector. The comparison sites are generally paid per sale but there are also many that are paid per lead sent to your business.

  • Niche Affiliates

Affiliates gain revenue on a commission share basis or a fixed amount from the business whom they refer traffic to. This is an important source of customers and you should consider building relationships with as many as these as possible – these could be bloggers, other businesses operating in your sector but not competing, people who network in your sector and some of the other channels already mentioned.

If your business has a digital product such as software, application or how to guide it may also be worth listing this as a product on the various affiliate networks out there such as ClickBank. as their members may actively promote your product in return for a commission if it fits their own niche.

  • Bloggers & Forums

These are generally individuals although some of the major authority blogs often run as a business with several contributors. Some niche blogs may received hundreds of thousands or even millions of visitors per month e.g. in the digital marketing and tech space Mashable.com has several million readers and is valued at several hundred million dollars.

It can be relatively simple to find the bloggers in your space, simple open Google and type in “Sector Name” Blogs and you will see a list of them. Have a look at a few and you will soon get a feel for how prevalent they are in your market by the number of posts they have, how regular they post and how many comments they get.

You can also use the same process to find online forums which may serve your sector where people gather to talk about the sector, review products, share ideas etc.

I would definitely suggest finding the main bloggers and forums and engage with them. You can do this for free by commenting on their blogs and forum threads although add value to them by commenting with useful insight or adding additional questions. Often these blogs will allow you to add your own website link to your signature or avatar so when you comment or post your brand is getting coverage and may result in free traffic back to your blog.

Just remember to always think about what value you are adding before interacting and your could get your comment seen by tens of thousands of people in your niche and this audience will only grow. For example a few years ago I wrote a blog post for business blogging site and it has received over 35,000 views and this number continues to steadily grow. All it cost me was a couple of hours of writing time.

Once you’ve pulled together your lists you will start to get a clear picture of what your online market place looks like. I would then suggest for each of the various websites listed in each category using the following free tools (both will have advanced paid for features):

  • Sharedcount.com -If you go to the site and type in the URL it will tell you how many social shares and likes a website is getting across the mainstream social channels.
  • Compete.com – which will show you how many unique visitors and ranking for a specific website.

Both of these tools will give good indicator of the quality of a potential partner based on their levels of engagement and search traffic.

I hope this post proves useful to you and welcome any feedback once you’ve commenced developing an online marketing strategy.

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Happy Digital Marketing!

Rob