It’s a jungle out there, so know and use your guerrilla marketing tactics! Jay Conrad Levinson wrote the book that started it all, the popular guerrilla marketing series. He has compiled a list of 100 tactics – most of them fr*ee – that savvy business leaders use.
One increasingly popular – and profitable – tactic on Levinson’s list is the informative article. Articles are not ads. Articles are written to inform, to educate, and to help people solve problems. Articles you publish, online or off, can help you achieve several worthwhile marketing goals.
ARTICLES ESTABLISH YOUR CREDIBILITY
It is well accepted that consumer confidence is the number one factor affecting purchasing decisions. A potential client who does not trust you will not call you to place an order. He will not access your website and click to purchase. He will not talk to your sales rep.
Through articles you write, you can gain consumer confidence by demonstrating to readers that you understand their needs and that you have the knowledge and ability to deliver what they want.
You feel their pain and can meet their needs, competently and efficiently.
When you communicate this in articles you write, you establish your credibility.
Now when customers need services you provide, they have the confidence to click through to your website, to pick up the phone, or to walk into your store.
ARTICLES POSITION YOU AS THE EXPERT
If you run a business, you are an expert.
You can demonstrate your expertise by sharing your knowledge, experience, and insights with potential clients through your articles. By doing so, you position yourself as the expert.
Now as the credible expert you are the one to go to when it’s time to make a purchase.
ARTICLES ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN ADS
Ads are good for grabbing attention, but well written articles can be much more effective since articles, as mentioned, establish your credibility and your expertise.
ARTICLES ARE LESS EXPENSIVE THAN ADS
Articles can be published in traditional print media, including newspapers and trade magazines, or be widely published and read online in opt-in ezines or newsletters like the ones you read. Or, better yet, the ones your clients read.
Since your articles can provide interesting content for their publications, many ezine and print editors will want to publish them at no cost to you. More effective, less expensive - just what every guerrilla needs.
ARTICLES CAN INCREASE YOUR WEB TRAFFIC, YOUR CLIENT BASE, AND YOUR INCOME
You can learn how to easily publish articles you write and begin to reach a wide audience quickly, especially when you publish electronically. Your helpful articles motivate readers to contact you. Your resource box or bio at the end tells them how to reach you and gives them the links to do so.
Several entrepreneurs who have published a number of articles have begun to get 100 new visitors to their websites each week. Those are targeted visitors. Visitors who chose to click through to their site for a reason - for more information, for a gift offer, or to make a purchase.
With your effectively designed web site, you can convert your new visitors into new clients. You should provide some motivation for people to leave you their contact information. Perhaps they could request one of your fr*ee offers. That could be an ebook or simply another article or special report you have prepared.
Or ask them a question they’ll want to respond to. Since you want to understand your customers needs anyway ask, “What are your biggest challenges/obstacles/complaints with…” marketing, writing, investing, or whatever your field of expertise. Better yet, give them a gift for answering the question.
ALL RIGHT! I’M CONVINCED
All effective marketing plans must be implemented and must be ongoing. In other words, you’ve got to start and stick with it. Levinson, the original guerrilla marketer, says this is an area where many businesses drop the ball. They quit working their plan. He says all marketing works, you’ve just got to give it enough time.
PLAN YOUR WORK, WORK YOUR PLAN
Work into your calendar a time slot for writing an article at least once a month. You should expect to spend 4 to 8 hours writing and submitting a 400 to 1000 word article.
This may seem like a large commitment, but the return on your time investment could be dozens or even hundreds of targeted new contacts each week.
You can learn more about preparing and submitting articles from several websites by searching online for ‘article writing.’ Opening Doors with Your Articles (at http://www.charliecook.net/) is a helpful ebook written by Charlie Cook explaining the process from writing to formatting to submitting articles.
By searching online for ‘article announce,’ you can find several sites that make articles you post available to ezine and website editors who are seeking content for their publications.
Yahoo has half a dozen sites used by hundreds of editors and writers. You might begin with http://groups.yahoo.com/group/article_announce/.
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
If you feel you need to improve your writing skills, you can read books, subscribe to email courses, or study writers’ websites.
On the other hand, you need to determine the best use of your time. If writing articles takes energy away from doing what you do best, then maybe you should...
HIRE A GUERRILLA!
Smart marketers don’t reject an outstanding marketing tactic just because it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable, or outside their realm of expertise. They find a way to get the job done.
Levinson finds that most business owners are aware of only 5 to 10 of his guerrilla marketing tactics and possibly only use 3 of them. But he says guerrillas are aware of all 100 tactics and use about 40 of them.
You can read Levinson’s 100 tactics at http://gmarketingcoach.com/weapons.htm. Over half of these tactics cost nothing, but others are outsourced.
Just like many business owners outsource their website design, their advertising campaigns, or the manufacture of their signs, you can outsource your article writing needs. A search for ‘freelance writer’ or ‘copywriter’ turns up links to individuals or to services that connect buyers to writers.
Promote your business like a guerrilla. There’s always more than one way to get a job done. In fact, Levinson tells us that there are at least 100 ways.
Publishing articles in ezines or in print is one tactic that needs to be in your arsenal. So consistently write and publish your articles or hire your own guerrilla and get the job done!
PERMISSIONS TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in its entirety free of charge, electronically or in print, provided it appears with the included copyright and author’s resource box with live website link. The only changes allowed are to the summary, and you may substitute your affiliate links for mine. Notification by email to cj@BestExpressions.biz of intent to publish is appreciated but not required.
None of the links in this article are submitted as affiliate links, though the ebook author does offer affiliate links.
Claire-Jean Korzenewski writes effective content that works hard for you - to improve profits, to enhance your image, to inform, to educate. She is the owner of Best Expressions Writing & Desktop Services at www.BestExpressions.biz. Email her at cj@BestExpressions.biz.