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What is Article Marketing? - Definition, Strategy & Tips

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

If you have an article and a dream, you can use marketing to push that article out and drive website traffic to your site. In this lesson, we'll cover the basics of article marketing: what it is, how it has changed, and best tips for getting started.

The New Article Marketing

In business since 1974, electronics company Crutchfield has had to adapt its marketing to the changing landscape of consumer preferences: from direct mail catalogs to a robust website. They've even made inroads into a more content-focused marketing strategy with placement of well-written articles around their website. Visitors looking for home audio equipment or headphones are also greeted with articles ranging from, ''10 Things Every Music Lover Should Discover'' to ''The key to a legendary backyard bash.''

While Crutchfield is not someplace you'd think to go for informative content on controlling the music apps in your car or figuring out how exactly to buy your first home audio equipment, the company has succeeded in drawing people to its website not only for its gear, but also its helpful and informative articles.

So, why would an electronics company be interested in authoring numerous articles for its website? Three words: Increasing site traffic. One of the cheapest and most efficient ways to do so is through a marketing concept known as article marketing.

What is Article Marketing?

You may be asking yourself, ''How exactly is Crutchfield in the article marketing business? I thought they were trying to sell audio equipment?'' If you thought that, you're right - partially.

Article marketing covers a wide variety of topics and industries.
article marketing, writing

We're all learning as marketing progresses that websites with great content draw more visitors. And more visitors frequently translates into more sales. Since most of us spend some portion of our day looking for information on search engines, it stands to reason that a website with great content might draw our eye. That's where article marketing comes into play. It's one of the oldest forms of online strategies out there, involving writing great articles that fit into a niche and will be of interest to readers, pulling them to a website, boosting traffic and, in turn, climbing the search engine rankings.

For places like Crutchfield and others, the ''marketing'' part of article marketing also extends off of a company website. After all, what good is an article if no one sees it?

Evolving Article Marketing

The early years of article marketing were all about writers cranking out content (often poorly-written or not well-researched content) and submitting it to an article directory like Ezine Articles or HubPages. These articles directories, websites of original articles on a wide variety of subjects, allowed writers to submit their pieces, which would then hopefully be read and the reader would travel back to a website referenced in the article.

Today, while article directories are still used, the concept of article marketing has grown. Articles are no longer written just by freelance writers cranking out dozens of articles on various topics, they are written by businesses trying to reach a niche audience, magazine writers, and bloggers - all with one common goal: to gain more visitors to their website.

Think about the various types of writers and pieces that could generate web visitors based on your establishing yourself as a content matter expert:

  • A wellness coach writing about health topics to grow her business
  • A magazine staff trying to boost print or online subscriptions
  • Fashion bloggers partnering with brands to review or sell products

Article marketing has also extended beyond the use of article directories, to including content in email newsletters or sharing articles through social media channels. Whatever an author does to encourage viewers to read an article and navigate to their website could be considered article marketing.

Article Marketing Strategy and Tips

Article marketing, as we've already established, can be useful for gaining more website traffic, building awareness, establishing yourself as an expert in your industry and boosting where you appear in search engine rankings. How you go about it starts here.

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