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Article marketing is a branch of content marketing. It is a type of advertising in which companies write and distribute short articles to a range of outlets such as article banks, forums, and newsletter publishers. Its main purpose is to gain a huge number of online audiences and boost the number of sales opportunities for products or services on websites. Another main purpose of this kind of marketing is to build backlinks. It is one of the most successful types of marketing a business can do. This old type of marketing strategy can help marketers acquire new visitors and increase sales on their websites. Article marketing is also one of the least costly ways to market a company.
Advantages and disadvantages of article marketing
There are many advantages of using article marketing such as:
- Increasing brand awareness - a company can use this marketing strategy to establish a good relationship with their readers, which they can convert into consumers if the company’s articles are useful enough for their readers.
- Increase in page rank and SEO - an advantage of article marketing is that if the articles are good enough, their search results will get higher ranks. This results in the company’s whole website to get a higher rank since those articles have backlinks to the website.
- Inexpensive Marketing - Article marketing is one of the least expensive ways marketers use to market their product or service. Once your article is published, it stays there as long as the website is up and running, it also gets indexed in search engines and thus with a nominal time and effort you gain to achieve a free advertising tool.
- Articles may go viral - If a company writes a great article, it may become viral and they would get a lot of readers and their site traffic would increase as well. An article going viral can create a lot of advantages for the company in the long run.
While there are lots of advantages in using article marketing, there are some downsides as well:
- Stolen content - if a company uses article marketing, they publish their article to another website. Some editors may omit the company’s resource box, which makes the whole article marketing useless for the company. The company may not get the credit and site traffic that they deserve.
- Can be expensive - a company might need a ghostwriter to help them write a great article that would lead customers into their website. Hiring a freelancer can cost the company some money especially if they want to hire a really good one.
- Time-consuming - the process of presenting articles to distributors can be time-consuming. The company needs to plan to present new articles regularly and make time to write and submit those articles on time
Traditional article marketing
Article marketing has been used by professionals for nearly as long as mass print has been available. A business provides content to a newspaper, possibly on a timely topic such as an article on tax audits during tax season, and the newspaper may use the article and include the business's name and contact information. Newspapers and other traditional media have limited budgets for gathering content and these articles may be used in the business section of the newspaper.
Traditional article marketing is advertising a company’s article through the use of magazines, newspapers and any print media. (Daniels, 2013). This way of marketing has been going on for a really long time but it is still very much useful and still in style to this day. It still produces results to offline establishments.
The method of doing the traditional article marketing is very straightforward. The company will choose a print media business they want to work with and discuss the conditions of the article they want to produce. Once the article has been written, the print media will then print and publish it. Both companies will benefit from this project. The print media company will have content to print and the business will gain exposure for their products and/or services. (Ekanem, 2015).
Internet article marketing
Internet article marketing is used to promote the authors expertise of their market, products or services online via article directories. Article directories with good web page ranks receive a lot of site visitors and may be considered authority sites by search engines, leading to high traffic. These directories then give PageRank to the author's website and in addition send traffic from readers. Articles and article directories attract search engines because of their rich content. This practice may have been effective in the past, however, changes in Google's algorithms over the years have negated the benefit one would have received from this practice. Both Google's Webmaster Guidelines and comments by Google's Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts discouraged, if not outright prohibit, the strategy of using article directory marketing as a means to build back links.
Business Owners, Marketers and Entrepreneurs attempt to maximize the results of an article advertising campaign by submitting their articles to a number of article directories. However, most of the major search engines filter duplicate content to stop the identical content material from being returned multiple times in a search engine results page. Some marketers attempt to circumvent this filter by creating a number of variations of an article, known as article spinning. By doing this, one article can theoretically acquire site visitors from a number of article directories.
Most forms of search engine optimization and internet marketing require a domain, internet hosting plan, and promoting budget. However, article marketing makes use of article directories as a free host and receives traffic by way of organic searches due to the listing's search engine authority.
The primary goal behind article marketing is to get search engine traffic to the article so that the author can strengthen their authority and influence within their field, while also leveraging that traffic for their own site(s). The key to article marketing is that the author should be providing value with their articles, not just promoting their site, products or services.
Article marketing has changed as companies have moved from targeting article directories such as Ezinearticles.com or eHow.com, to micro-targeting small audiences using Facebook and Twitter. Article Marketing used to have a much broader target audience but companies have switched to more finite groups of consumers. The change happened because companies found that improving article quality and targeting a better audience was much more effective. Part of this is due to the face that, as of March 2017 the internet has over 3.74 billion users. Having such a massive market makes it hard to find the right customers, which caused companies using article marketing to shrink their scope and search for smaller audiences.
Article marketing has become a crucial way to advertise cheaply. It is common for articles to get picked up by search engines, which allows for additional attention to a companies website. Article marketing is also very easy to perform and a great first step for a new business, which makes it very popular among small business's. Article marketing has become so popular that many websites now have articles which teach easy steps on how to write your own marketing article to gain views from the public. Gaining views and attention to a websites is important because websites gaining more traffic have a higher chance of getting purchases from the website according to statistics. Even if a website does not sell as many products on the website, the traffic a company gains will make the website more valuable. This will result in other companies seeking to pay for use of the website space for advertisements because of the larger amount of traffic the website receives. The chance of more revenue opportunities and adding website importance are the reasons why article marketing become a highly effective way to market and advertise to the public.
Article Marketing has also moved into phone and tablet applications also known as App's. Article Marketing is perfect for phone applications because 87% of internet users have smartphones.  Another reason why article marketing is so perfect for applications is that, 93% of peoples shopping choices are persuaded by social media. App advertising is a very effective form of advertising, Milton Brown performed a study that people were twice as likely to purchase on their mobile phone when they see a Snapchat (a prominent phone app) advertisement. They also found that 92% of campaigns saw clear results after advertising on Snapchat.  Because of this rising popularity of cheap/free advertisement on Apps companies have backlashed on article marketing since it is flooding applications. Facebook started banning Article Marketing and other types of free advertisements in 2018 by increasing their prices and forcing free article evaluations to be stopped. 
- Article directory
- Article video marketing
- Digital marketing
- Geo (marketing)
- Web syndication
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