Successful article marketing — or sharing quality content with your audience — is a great way to promote your indie business online. I found Brad Shorr, Straight North's director of content and social media, by chance while researching a presentation I was giving. I was thrilled to find his down-to-earth, informative posts on successful article marketing and content marketing tips. Brad recently shared some of his best tips for indie businesses
What is “content marketing?”
In my view, content marketing is mainly about creating, aggregating and/or sharing content. Successful article marketing can establish credibility, create brand awareness, improve search visibility and generate leads.
How did you get your start in the content marketing business?
I worked in B2B for many years doing a variety of things from purchasing to operations to executive leadership, but my heart was always in writing and marketing. When I started my marketing consultancy in 2005, I latched on to blogging and social media because these things played to my strengths and because I was convinced that blogging and social media would become tremendous marketing techniques. For once I was right!
What advice can you give indie business owners who are competing online?
Hire a pro. There are many competent freelancers out there who can help entrepreneurs zero in on the right mix of activities. There's no one-size-fits all formula. You can also pick up a lot of good tips by reading SEO blogs — just make sure the ones you read are authoritative.
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How does an indie business owner get started with successful article marketing?
Starting or tuning up a blog is usually the best way to anchor a successful article marketing program. Having a blog gives people a reason to visit your site, gives you content to share on social media, and opens the door to writing guest posts for influential blogs.
Can you steer us to any free resources for SEO and content marketing?
For SEO, SEOMoz is the gold standard as far as I'm concerned. For content marketing, I like The Content Marketing Institute and TopRank. I write about both topics frequently on our Straight North agency blog as well. You can also learn a lot by connecting with content marketers and SEOs on Google+ and Twitter, and reading what they share. That's actually the main way I keep up with things.
Who is your favorite blogger?
It's tough to single one out. I really like Carol Roth — her blunt writing style appeals to me and her advice for entrepreneurs is spot on. I'm also a big fan of David Meerman Scott, Lee Odden, Glenn Gabe and Stoney deGeyter.
Are there any questions I didn’t ask, but should have?
What is quality content? Quality content is relevant, useful, original, authoritative and sharable. This is essentially how Google defines it, and I see no reason to disagree. It's a high standard, which is why content marketing is a tough business.
(Of course I should have asked that one!)