Home » Business » Small Business

Speak To Me! Educating Customers With Articles

Aug 17, 2007
For a small business owner trying to market online, it's important to remember that the Internet is essentially a vast, multimedia learning tool. It's like countless libraries, movie theaters, record stores, classifieds sections, and art museums all rolled into a single, dynamic entity, instantly accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Think about it -- why do you surf the Internet? Sure, entertainment and commerce are major reasons, but even these are closely associated with learning. People who access the Internet for entertainment generally don't seek out the same material they viewed the day before; no, they look for new material -- that is, they want to learn something.

Meanwhile, most people who access the Internet to purchase products or to do business are not, at the outset, certain how they're going to spend their money.

For example, a customer who wants to purchase a good novel uses the Internet to inform her decision; before making a purchase, she'll surf through a variety of book-related websites, reading reviews, author biographies, and interviews. Only after comparing a variety of choices, and then comparing prices, will she decide what to buy. So, if you're a contemporary novelist or publisher, it's essential to use the Internet to spread the word about your work.

Whatever your business, the same principles apply. To succeed in online business, you must spread the word about your goods and services. You can't rely upon search engines to bring customers to you -- you've probably already noticed that search engines tend to favor larger companies in their results -- and most customers are repelled by the usual forms of Web advertising.

In the above example, the customer choosing a novel doesn't make her decision based on advertisements or sales pitches. Instead, she educates herself, and then makes a decision from a position of knowledge.

In this light, the small business owner who finds ways to actively contribute to the vast structure of online educational content will be at an advantage. By writing educational articles about topics in your field, you'll not only teach your potential customers things they need to know, but you'll also earn their respect, and thus lead them to your business.

It's easy to distribute your original content throughout the Web. You simply need to sign up for an online article marketing service -- which you can locate through Google -- and submit articles. Then, the service will make your voice available to thousands of Web publishers in your field.

If your content is unique and educational, you'll instantly earn the respect of your readers, who will then want to do business with you. In the "About the Author" section attached to your articles, they'll find a description of what you do, and a link to your website. Soon after your article marketing service begins to work for you, you'll find that you're dramatically building site traffic.

For more information on how best to write, format, and structure your content, you'll find resources on your article marketing service's website. What's important to remember is that your articles are only to be advertisements insofar as they draw customers to your website. Beyond that, you should tone down your marketing voice, and refrain from mentioning the name of your business. Instead, focus on making your articles as educational as possible. Forget the old advertising paradigms. Today, it's simple: If you educate, customers will come.

As a side note, there is one more important benefit of this type of article marketing. As your articles are distributed throughout the Web, you'll find your website rising in search engine results. This is because search engines rely upon "backlinking," which is what happens when a website is accessed through an external link. So, thanks to article marketing, search engines will finally become relevant to your small business online marketing strategy.
About the Author
Nancy Amada helps small businesses become more successful, and offers more ideas at Chapter Two. She is a frequent contributor to Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service. Reach new customers the smart way!
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 191
Print Email Share
Article Categories