Six Ways Articles Can Add Power to Your Company’s Presence

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.

Article published online
This article, published on green business site Padosa.com, scored me a sale. Article marketing can help power your business, too.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Nothing beats free publicity. Articles are great publicity generators, especially if they get picked up by a major news source or local publication.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Business: Where to share your eco-educational messages

There are as many avenues to educating your customers as there are ways to market to them. And the good news is, all your education attempts add up to effective marketing, too! Here are some good places to start.

There are as many avenues to educating your customers as there are ways to market to them.  And the good news is, all your education attempts add up to effective marketing, too!  Here are some good places to start:

·        Write articles about green issues and (depending upon your target market) submit them to local, national/international or trade publications.

·        Hold workshops and invite your customers and prospects.

·        Exhibit at trade fairs and business expos – and make sure you have plenty of good information to engage people and get them thinking about you as the expert.

·        Get speaking engagements. This will educate people about sustainability as well as making them aware of your business and what you offer and building trust in you as an authority.  If your business is local, try contacting churches in your area.  A lot of them are really starting to get interested in sustainability as a spiritual act.  They are hungry to know more and will thank you for the favor of coming out to speak!  (Don’t try to do a hard sell when you’re speaking to church groups, but it’s usually fine to give them informational pieces with your logo and contact info.)  Business groups are also good ones to speak to.  Try your local Chamber of Commerce.

·        Offer information kits, free reports and case studies to your clientele.  When you give people helpful, in-depth information on topics that interest them they develop a sense of gratitude and relationship to you, and are more likely to turn to you as an authority.

·        Keep educating your existing customers. Send a newsletter or e-zine out at least quarterly; once a month is even better.  Including environmental education messaging on packaging is another great idea.  Make it fun for your customers by holding contests and other events they can participate in and invite their friends.

·        Blog regularly (once or twice a week is fine).  When you blog on a topic of interest to your social media friends, post it and tweet it out.  (But only if it truly is good information and not just a thinly disguised sales pitch.)

·        Make videos about the same topics you speak or write about.  Your videos don’t have to be high tech as long as you present good ideas.  Even on a limited budget you can buy a little flip video camera for under $50 that will do the trick.

Get in the habit of videotaping any speeches you make, or even just capturing your thoughts on camera in your office, or documenting the positive changes your company is making. Put your videos to work for you by posting them on your blog, putting them on a CD or thumb drive and giving them to prospects or customers, using them as premiums for lead generation, or distributing them to the same kinds of groups you speak to.

·        Don’t forget your website. Add articles, case studies, videos and the like as extra pages.  Doing so can help with your search engine rankings, increase the amount of time people spend on your site,  and increase the chances of people linking to your site and/or coming back for multiple visits.

The important thing to remember is that consumer education is an ongoing process.  Do it consistently, one idea at a time, and always tie your statements back to positive personal benefits.  Over time, your efforts will make a difference!