Reputation Management With Article Marketing

5 comments

The best way to convince someone we know what we’re talking about is not to shout harder and longer to drown out other viewpoints but to offer up our expertise freely and willingly, accepting that others may have a different take on the subject. Whatever your product, your industry or your particular field of expertise, a strategic article marketing campaign will not only establish your brand advocate as a thought leader in their field but will also significantly contribute to greater search visibility.

Article marketing is one of the original cornerstones of organic optimization but recent additions to distribution outlets and the arrival of a more savvy consumer validate a fresh take on this tried and tested formula. Whereas previously article marketing would be a bolt on to link building, it should now play an intrinsic part of reputation management and stand alone as a valuable SEO activity. When done correctly, article marketing enhances an organic search presence, providing more topics and pages to be returned in the search results as well as existing as a powerfully persuasive sales tool. Rather then using content created for a website or doctoring a pre-written PR or offline article, unique content created specifically for article marketing purposes is the best possible way to deliver a diffused message loaded with SEO friendly techniques.

Popular thought suggests you shouldn’t use the same article in exactly the same way on more than a handful of websites (at best). I’m of the opinion that you should tweak the article with a new intro and headline or re-worded title, first paragraph and conclusion each time the piece is added to a new article marketing site.

Choose Your Topic
Before embarking on a lengthy article marketing campaign, decide on a list of topics. This stage is crucial as it will prompt you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. You can ensure a favorable reception by listening to you clients and asking them what they would like to read more about and research your competitors. This is particularly useful if you are operating in an ultra competitive arena as the last thing you want is to be outmaneuvered by rivals putting lots of accessible information online before you’ve even thought of putting pen to paper. Ask yourself how you can differentiate your information. Is there a common question relating to your product or service that you have the answer to? Do you hold a strong opinion about a piece of relevant legislation? Did you lead the design team creating the product and so have a unique insight into its capabilities?

Know Your Audience
As with any copywriting for the web, it’s a given that anyone could happen across the piece you’ve carefully prepared. However, thinking carefully about your audience is just as important when article marketing as it is when building a paid search campaign or sending out an offline PR. Being aware of your audience will determine the format the article takes, the choice of keywords and the style of language used. Ask yourself whether you want to educate newcomers to your brand or product, provide more advanced or technical information for existing brand advocates or open up your service to an entirely new target demographic. Answering these questions will help you determine the voice of the piece and the style of the article. Don’t think you have to stick with a traditional article format – if suitable for your readership the article could shape up into a case study, a question and answer session or a sparring for and against column with a co-worker arguing the opposite end of the spectrum.

Monitor Results
As with any search marketing activity, monitoring results achieved is critical to identifying opportunities for future success (or as an indicator of future failures). Unlike some other forms of SEO such as link building which exhibit very clear results, article marketing can be tricky to deconstruct into success or failure. Results achieved will vary on the reasons why you’ve embarked on an article marketing campaign but could include the tone of the feedback recorded for each piece, the number of social media digs, links, votes or blog mentions or the volume of traffic forwarded to the target web site.

About the Author

Rebecca is the managing director of search engine optimization agency Dakota Digital a full-service agency offering SEO, online PR, web copywriting, media relationship management, and social media strategy. Rebecca works directly with each client to increase online visibility, brand profile, and search engine rankings. She has headed a number of international campaigns for large brands.

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)

5 Comments

  1. Thank you for a very helpful post. You mention "article marketing site[s]" as a place where one could add an article, but do you have/know of a list of article marketing sites available?

  2. The question that comes up with article marketing is duplicate content. Some say it’s a non-issue due to the nature of content syndication and the fact it’s not on your site. But others say it can weaken the overall power of your inbound links from these articles. What are your thoughts? I guess if your using article marketing for brand development and overall exposure, the link value issues are minor. I know you mention making subtle content changes for each site you’re submitting the article too, but how many websites is each submission site submitting to? Follow me on twitter . . .

  3. This was a very well written and intriguing article. You mentioned you were "of the opinion that you should tweak the article with a new intro and headline or re-worded title, first paragraph and conclusion each time the piece is added to a new article marketing site", ... I was hoping you might expand a bit ... WHY do you have that opinion? On what, specifically is it based? Have you always advised as such, or does it have more to do with recent changes? I'm a PPC marketer with a strong ability to produce content based on research ... and I now also find myself running a full service agency (which I suppose, you might consider a competitor, in full disclosure) ... I'm trying to better understand strategic article marketing and how it might fit into both my personal marketing plans, but also for our clients. At your leisure, Glenn :-)

  4. "Thank you for a very helpful post. You mention “article marketing site[s]” as a place where one could add an article, but do you have/know of a list of article marketing sites available?" Here is a post Rebecca made about a month ago:http://www.searchmarketingstandard.com/articles/2009/01/9-article-marketing-sites-to-try-in-2009.html. It should answer your question.

  5. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Kudos!