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Your Customers Are Asking -- Are You Answering?

Aug 17, 2007
In the 21st century, the Internet has become a powerful leveling force. The overall market share of large corporations is shrinking, as small business owners continue to use revolutionary marketing techniques specifically designed to give underdogs an advantage.

There are many reasons for this change, and some are very apparent. For instance, it's easy to see that, through sites such as YouTube and MySpace, consumer-generated entertainment is beginning to rival older formats such as television and radio. And this trend doesn't only apply to entertainment; today, it's possible for a small business to market directly to its customer base in ways that undermine the old, clunky advertising practices of larger companies.

Internet users -- a group that now includes practically everyone -- are becoming savvier. They've seen enough spam emails, pop-ups, and banner ads to know when they're being advertised to, and they don't like it -- hence, the recent popularity of ad-blocking software. Meanwhile, large companies continue to use invasive and insulting advertising methods, causing greater levels of disenchantment among consumers.

In other words, millions of potential customers are now wandering, waiting for creative and smart smaller companies to earn their loyalty. If you can grab their attention, you'll find a receptive audience -- but you must not let this opportunity go to waste. Once you have their attention, you need to earn their respect.

Another important characteristic of today's Internet users is that they crave a constant stream of new content. If you can help provide this for them, you'll be that much closer to earning their respect, and leading them to your small business.

The first step is to create this content. Write short articles of about 600-700 words, and write as many as you can. Of course, these articles should deal with issues in your area of expertise. No doubt there are topics which you feel deserve more coverage by Web publications in your field -- or maybe you disagree with a piece of content you've read, and want to set things straight.

Whatever you choose to write about, make your articles interesting and informative, and try not to mention the name of your business. Remember, Internet users can spot an advertisement. Instead, make sure you're teaching your readers something most of them don't know, or at least show them an interesting new perspective on an aspect of your field.

Does this sound like something you can do? If so, the next step forward, after writing the articles, is to locate an article marketing service. These services are easy to find on Google. Choose one near the top of the search results, as this shows that it knows how to manipulate search engines. This, as I'll explain in a moment, is important.

After you've signed up for your service, you'll find you have a few more decisions to make. Importantly, you'll be asked to place your articles into categories. You should do this carefully, as this determines which Web publications will have access to your articles. You want your online customer base to find your content, so you want your work placed in publications they'll see.

Another key part of this process is the "About the Author" box, which you'll be asked to write when submitting your articles. Don't treat this lightly -- the "About the Author" box is where the link to your website will be. Also, this is where you can name your business, and give a little background as to what you do. Make sure you use this section to invite customers to your site. Make them feel like they absolutely must click your link.

Obviously, having your content and links distributed across the Internet will increase your website's traffic, yet there is one more important component to this strategy: The more readers click the links to your website, the higher your website will rise in search results. This is simply how most search engines work. So, even though large corporations still have the edge in search engine results, the Internet revolution places all businesses on a level playing field. Article marketing can place your business at the center of the revolution.
About the Author
Tiva Kelly is an expert at article marketing and offers support to authors at Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service. Leverage this back to basics approach when you submit articles through Article Marketer.
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