Guest post by Beth Hrusch
As you may know by now, article marketing is an effective way to gain credibility and establish yourself as an expert in your field. By writing articles about topics of interest to your readers, and distributing them on article directories, you can give your content the kind of exposure that would be hard to get anywhere else. But, what many people don’t realize is that article marketing isn’t just for directories anymore.
Social media has become an effective vehicle for content distribution, and articles are no exception. According to the Small Business Success Index, sponsored by Network Solutions (2010), one in five small businesses are now actively using social media. About 75% of those surveyed have a company page on a social networking site. What makes social media so effective for marketing purposes? The simple answer is that it gives your content massive exposure across a wide range of platforms.
Articles can easily be distributed using social media news and bookmarking sites, for example. Each of these sites has strengths and weaknesses, and some will suit certain goals better than others. Here are 5 of the most popular:
1. Facebook– With over 250 million members, it’s got tremendous reach. Generate interest with fans and friends by talking about topics related to your industry then link to your articles on your fan page. Ping articles and blogs automatically, so your groups can see your latest posts.
2. Twitter– Similar to Facebook, Twitter allows you to market your articles automatically and in real time. As a micro-blogging service, it allows businesses to communicate and share the latest information with customers, and link to articles and other content using a url shortener.
3. LinkedIn– For professional networking, setting up a profile in LinkedIn allows you to share your expertise with others in your group. Market your articles by sending them to your account or have them pulled from another social media account, to show up under your updates.
4. Digg– A really popular news/bookmarking site that can bring your articles massive exposure. Submitting your article to Digg takes interested readers directly to your article and your site, where they can also browse archived articles and check you out.
5. YouTube– What do videos have to do with article marketing? Both are content, just in different formats. Turn your articles into videos, using your text as a script. This can be done inexpensively, so almost any budget can handle it. YouTube is the 4th most popular website in the world, and videos consistently rank high in the search engines, so the potential to go viral is huge.
There are many more social media sites that lend themselves to article marketing. Check out the handy chart put together by the folks at Seomoz.com for more tips on how to use each site to market your business.
Article marketing has the power to establish you as an authority and give interested consumers a way to access your business through links to your site. Social media supercharges your articles by giving them wide and deep distribution throughout the web. Together, they help you reach a large, targeted audience without the need for an expensive marketing campaign. Be sure, though, that you research the social media sites- how they work and what their terms of service are. Some will work better for you than others.
Also, remember that article marketing is only effective if you commit to creating and distributing fresh content every week or so. Maintain both aspects of your marketing strategy and you’ll see results.
Beth Hrusch is Senior Editor at Interact Media, a content marketing software company.