With so many terms and acronyms, it can be hard for everyone, even those in the industry, to keep track of what digital marketing terms mean. Perhaps one that gets a lot of confusion is "article marketing." People seem to be of two minds about this one. Some think that article marketing is about writing and submitting articles to other sites. In fact, if you Google article marketing right now, you'll see the idea brought up.
Right now, you might be thinking that's a great way to get backlinks and help bring your clients' rankings up. Stop. Right. There.
It's not. And here's why, according to pretty much every article marketing expert.
1. Quality Matters
Before you jump on the bandwagon and head to one of these so-called "article banks," check out their content first. Chances are, there is absolutely nothing on them that is worth your time. There might be a few gems you can mine out, but the truth is that there's so much trash on these sites that even if someone does manage to find one of your articles and head to your site, it's going to do almost nothing for your clients' SEO. Google rewards quality, and almost none of these sites are worth Google's time. Therefore, they're probably not worth your time either.
Links in and of themselves, especially post Panda, aren't worth anything. If you really want to generate some quality links, you need to provide quality content, not just article bank fodder that no one cares about. It's a waste of time, effort, and money.
2. More Traffic Isn't Necessarily Better
One of the most important things to realize in digital marketing is that more hits doesn't necessarily mean more conversions. If you are a sandwich shop, it might do to go hand out coupons next to a train station -- everyone gets hungry -- but we'd consider it weird for an HVAC company to do so. Why? Because most people only call an HVAC expert when they need one. The Internet is very similar. It doesn't pay to advertise to everyone. In fact, it can cost you quite dearly. It pays to be advertising to people who will convert -- generally a much smaller demographic -- and costs you to advertise to those who won't.
Which brings us back to article marketing, or rather, why article banks don't work according to pretty much every article marketing expert. Such a generalized site doesn't really allow you to hone in on the demographic you wish to be pursuing. Focus on conversion, not on just "ranking up" on Google. You want to have the right keywords, so you're not getting click-throughs that don't benefit you. Just as you wouldn't want your time to be wasted, others don't want their time wasted with results that don't match their needs. Just focusing on traffic is a lose-lose for everyone.
3. That's Not How People Choose Brands
If you're not convinced that article banks are a bad idea by now, you might be persuaded by numbers. One article marketing expert points out that 93% of people's shopping choices are guided by social media. That's an alarming statistic and shows that you should be focusing on your social media presence, not how many articles you've banked. In face, if you ask an article marketing expert, but they'll tell you is that you should write articles, but instead of putting them on forums or in article banks, you should be putting them on your clients' own blog...then advertising them on Facebook and Twitter.
In fact, another huge statistic brought up in the same article is that 87% of internet users now have a smartphone. If you're not taking advantage of Apps, you're probably losing out on conversions. Some of the biggest content your clients could use might not be articles at all, but pictures. Advertising on Snapchat was shown to have tremendous results, with 92% of campaigns showing positive results.
So, if you want to add that your agency provides an article marketing expert, you need to make sure that you've kept up with the times. Google has never approved of any strategies that involve little work for massive gains. Even if it's worked for some (which is doubtful, considering all of the above) it's definitely not going to work now that Google has updated their algorithms. Article marketing has evolved, and its so-called experts need to, too.
To learn more about the latest trends in content marketing, check out our white paper, "What is Content Marketing? And Why It Is So Important."