You Wrote an Online Article…Now What?
Last week I showed networkers an example of how to go From Networking to Blogging in One Step by turning a 60 second commercial into an online article or blog. Adding helpful articles to your website (helpful to your potential customers) is an excellent way to increase your credibility with your potential customers and become known as an expert in your field. It is also an excellent way (and necessary way) to increase your visibility on the search engines. While most small businesses will never compete in the organic (unpaid) search results at a national level, they can make significant progress at the local level. Writing online articles is an excellent way to get LOCAL customers.
So, now that you’ve written your online article, what do you do with it? Here are some relatively simple and basic next-steps for your online content.
Post Your Article on Social Media
The first step is to post your online article on all the social media sites you are active on. At a minimum, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter because they are obviously the 3 most heavily-trafficked social media outlets. Google+, Instagram and Pinterest would be my next 3 suggestions.* You can post the entire article on your social media page if you like, but I recommend just posting the first paragraph and having a “read more” link back to the posting on your website. That way you will increase traffic to your website.
Another way to get added exposure of your online article on your social media sites is to share your posting on the various pages you may manage (besides your profile) and the group timelines you belong to, such as LinkedIn Groups or Facebook Groups. However, make sure you check the policies for each group to ensure self-promotion is allowed.
Make Your Social Posting Easier
If you belong to a lot of social media sites, it could potentially take you a long time to post your blog on all of them. The more sites, the more tedious this process becomes and the more likely you’ll put it off indefinitely. However, there are tools available that can post a single article on ALL the major social media outlets at the same time. Tools such as Hootsuite and other online social media management tools can post to multiple accounts all in one step.
If your website is a WordPress site, there are plugins available such as Social Media Auto Publish that will automatically publish your articles to multiple social media accounts whenever you post them on your site. One handy feature of this plugin is that you can program it to stagger your automatic social media posts so that you don’t publish to them all at exactly the same time
Turn Your Article into a Video Blog
Video is one of the most powerful communication mediums on the Internet and can really supercharge your marketing. Take advantage of this by turning your article into a video blog. You simply record yourself covering the same content as the blog and post it to your YouTube channel or Vimeo page. There’s no need to hire a professional videographer for a weekly blog; all you need is your smartphone, a lavalier mic (there are several for less than $75 on Amazon) and a well-lit space/good lighting. Just make sure you don’t actually read your article on camera, rather discuss the topic like you’re giving a presentation.
If you decide to create video blogs on a regular basis, then record your video before you post the article. Include it on your website and social media outlets from the very start (instead of after the fact), so that your posting will be a video and, essentially, a transcript.
Use Your Article in Your Newsletter
Despite email’s bad rap, it is still one of the most cost-effective ways to increase sales. An email newsletter is an excellent way to remain top-of-mind with your past customers and to stay in touch with your future customers. The easiest way to provide value with your newsletter is use your online article as the content. After you’ve written a few blogs, put the first paragraph of 2 to 4 of them into your newsletter with a “read more” link after each one that links to the full article on your website. Add a special offer or some type of other interesting information as well. I recommend sending out your newsletter once or twice a month with new articles each time.
By the way, you can use this same strategy if you send out physical newsletters as well. Just include the entire article instead of the first paragraph.
One Article, Multiple Uses
So I’ve briefly covered using your online article for:
- Social Media Posts
- Video Blogging
There are many other things you can do with your online article, but implementing these 3 techniques is an excellent way to start your “content marketing strategy”. In a matter of only a few months, you will build up a large body of helpful information online that will increase your credibility and improve your company’s online visibility.
Grow your business with online articles and move light-years ahead of your competition!
* Some would argue that Google+ should be a mandatory platform because there is some evidence Google favors it in the search results. However, there’s a growing body of evidence that Google may abandon Google+ in the near future due to its lack of popularity.