Sunday, May 13, 2007

Article Marketing - Todays Most Popular Tool

Getting consumers interested in any product or service can be done more easily through direct article writing. Everyday, we read articles written to entice us into trying something new. Once referred to as "advertorials," these paid advertisements resemble real articles. Once reserved for the top, bottoms and sides of a publication page, they used to be designed to look like the real thing, but were actually written much like a hard-sell sales pitch in an article format.

Today's marketing articles are much more subtle and much more sophisticated, often tricking consumers into thinking they are reading a true unbiased account written by a professional journalist.

Marketing writing takes a special knack for presenting information in an interesting and compelling manner, while not making it seem as though the piece, or its writer, is trying to coerce or convince the reader to try or buy something new, or even support a certain cause. Articles aimed at marketing a specific product or service may be used in several different formats: as submissions to actual print media outlets ranging from local newspapers and tabloids to consumer magazines, regional publications and trade journals; used as "expert" pieces in conjunction with other marketing tools to help validate other sales material; and even website text, helping to educate the reader on a topic through a company or organization's website. The main goal of the marketing article is to make it NOT appear to be an ad, even though that is the actual purpose of the piece.

On the surface, it may seem as if the writer (and the client), are trying to "trick," the reader, when in reality, they are just using a more successful form of writing to gather consumer interest and attention. A man, for instance, may not be interested in reading an advertisement about flower delivery services, but may want to learn more about using certain types of flowers to get noticed by a special lady. Advertising agencies have long since recognized the impact of emotions when selling their products. That's' exactly what marketing articles try and do: give the reader an emotional or personal connection to the product or service through first-person accounts, dramatic statistics, and so on.

Find The Right Angle:
Finding the right angle for your article is essential to its success. No one really cares about lice treatments - until it's their kid being sent home from school with it, and their house in need of fumigation. But, almost every Mom will take the time to read a humorous account of one mom's fight with the nasty critters. Why? Because they relate. Find an angle your reader can relate to and you can hook them on to just about any subject.

Don't Sound Like A Salesperson:
The trick to successful marketing writing is the ability to sound like a real person, and not someone trying to sell something. Use your article to offer practical advice and tips that anyone can use - whether they buy your client's product or use their services, or not.

Finding Clients and Setting Rates:
Who needs this type of writing? Every business, doctor, organization and service provider. In today's fast-paced consumer-driven world, every business and professional needs to get their name out there in the most efficient way possible. Finding clients for your writing business may be as easy as contacting local businesses with your services (always have plenty of samples available to show them how successful this type of advertising can be); contacting local public relations firms to see if they are currently hiring freelancers to help them get caught up on assignments; or checking freelance websites and forums for job postings. Remember, fees vary depending on your experience, as well as the size of the company seeking your services and the type of writing job you'll be completing. This type of project however, usually yields between $50 and $1,000.

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