Don’t overlook the humble article as a means of generating business. When used intelligently, articles can more than pay for the time or expense of writing them. Here are a few ways they can benefit your company.
Don’t overlook the humble article as a means of generating business. When used intelligently, articles can more than pay for the time or expense of writing them. Here are six ways they can benefit your company:
Becoming an author is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert and build credibility for your business. Articles are by far the fastest and easiest way to get published.
Nothing beats free publicity. Articles are great publicity generators, especially if they get picked up by a major news source or local publication.
You can use articles to promote a product, or as part of a new product launch. Why not post a copy of your published article prominently in your place of business, or use it as a trade show handout? People are more likely to read and believe articles than sales copy. Just stick to good, useful, informative content and steer clear of hype.
You can often re-use an article on your blog or in your company newsletter. Be sure to mention where it was first published, or just write up a little summary and link to the original article.
Use articles to gauge popular interest. When you hit upon one that generates a lot of response, leverage it into more opportunity – for instance, a speaking engagement on that topic.
If you would like better search rankings and online traffic, articles can do that for you, too. Each time you publish an article online, the site it’s published on should include your bio and a link to your site. (You can often include links within the body copy, too, where appropriate.) Google likes backlinks, and rewards you with higher rankings. They also provide another way for people to find your site!
Over time, article marketing can outperform traditional advertising in terms of ROI. This is especially true when used as part of a well-thought-out inbound marketing strategy.
The big drawback to article writing? It takes time. It also takes writing skill. But don’t worry – if the thought of writing makes your skin crawl, you can still reap the benefits of article and other content marketing without spending the time and effort. Just drop me a line – I’ll be happy to help!
Green building is on a roll. TimeBusiness recently identified green construction as one of the top 10 fastest growing industries in America, with an average annual growth of 28.9% from 2002 – 2012, and sustained growth of 22.8% projected through 2017.
Now that green initiatives are included in over 25% of all new constrution, has it become too mundane to interest the press?
Not at all, says Joan Stewart, a.k.a. the Publicity Hound. A former newspaper editor, Stewart is a publicity expert par excellence. Hers is one of the few email newsletters that I can really recommend as being worth following. (And she doesn’t pay me to say that, either! You can sign up for her newsletter on her blog.)
The key word there, I believe, is “how,” and I would also add “why.” Just the fact that you’re building green no longer makes you stand out from the crowd (with the possible exception of the higher levels of LEED certification.) But nearly every green material or initiative represents innovative problem solving. If you can tell a story about your green building that illustrates how you’re solving a problem or introducing a benefit to your community, you’re well on your way to piquing the interest of the media.
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Ever stand around scratching your head, wondering what on earth to do with (fill in the blank with your own biggest disposal problem)? Nearly every business has such a problem: those odd byproducts of existence that pile up in our offices, warehouses and yards. Like used sandpaper, worn out bike tubes, or leftover bits of soap.
Most companies simply throw them away. But conventional waste disposal can be costly, and it’s certainly not sustainable. A better option is to figure out some way to put the items to use.
The question is, how? If you have a problem like this, you’ve probably already spent a lot of time racking your brain for a solution. In the mean time, the stuff just keeps piling up.
Fortunately, there’s a new application which may be able to help. It’s called EcoApprentice, it’s very easy to use, and (for the time being at least) it’s free. (Founder Richard Halpern says, “My expectation is it will always be free for schools, non-profits, and small businesses.” Cool.) You just sign up as a member (there’s no charge for this) and post your problem as an EcoChallenge.
It’s also a good idea to offer a prize for the winning solution. This doesn’t have to be anything huge. Most businesses offer something that’s easy for them to give. For example, Truce Designs, LLC is offering one of their tote bags as a prize for whomever can help them sustainably dispose of their scrap fabric and foam. Balch hotel owner Sandra Irwin offered a night’s stay and breakfast, or a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies to the winner of her challenge to figure out what to do with little bits of leftover soap. And (attention students!) waste-reduction company TerraCycle is offering an internship to whomever can come up with ways to effectively recycle used sandpaper.
Once you’ve posted your challenge on EcoApprentice, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the solutions to roll in. The time this takes can vary according to the difficulty of the problem. When someone suggests a solution you like, you declare them the winner!
Of course, there are winners all round. You win by finally getting rid of that gnarly problem (and perhaps a whole pile of accumulated waste.) Depending on the solution involved, your community or another business may win by making profitable use of your unwanted stuff. And the planet enjoys a lightened load and the spreading of eco-awareness.
Speaking of awareness, extend your winnings by using your EcoApprentice.com experience to generate publicity for your business. Journalists are always looking for newsworthy items, and innovative waste-reduction solutions certainly count – especially if they benefit the community, too. Be sure to send out a press release (contact me if you’d like assistance), and let your current customers know, too, that your company has just turned a shade deeper green.