[toc]

Introduction

Are you frustrated because you’re still not making the kind of money you would like to – even after you’ve spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours marketing your business the way everyone else told you to? You’re not alone! We’ve all wasted time and money on things that don’t work. In fact, statistics show that the average new Internet marketer will lose $1500 to $2500 during the first year of business on worthless products and programs.

I’m not going to lie and tell you that you don’t have to spend money to get your business off the ground and keep it going, because you do, but once you’re up and running it shouldn’t be costing you money. Now I’m not talking about your everyday business expenses. You do have to fork out money for website hosting, a shopping cart service, autoresponder account, and things like that. But when you start spending more money than you make driving traffic to your website, you need step back and take a serious look at your current marketing strategies.

So isn’t it time to leave behind those high ticket products and old- fashioned advertising methods and learn the real deal to building a solid, long-term business? Because that’s what you want don’t you? A business with a foundation meant for longevity and growth.

Of course it is. And that’s what this POST is all about.

I won’t be sharing some overnight success secret, or telling you how to skip all the bull and go right to the finish line. But what this guide does give you; is insight into one of the most effective and valuable marketing techniques available to you – and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Honest! So what am I talking about? Content marketing. Yup, you’ve probably heard about it. But what is it really? Well, basically, it’s a way to gain exposure for your business by creating high quality content and distributing it on the Internet. As a direct result, your market finds you and your products or services with minimal time and effort on your part to make it happen.

Why Is Content An Important Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?

Content is and should always be the driving force behind your business. Essentially, it’s what directs traffic to you – meaning, you don’t have to go out and hunt down customers; instead they come to you. If you’ve been online for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard that “Content is King”, a phrase that is especially true when it comes to marketing your business.

Why?

Because there’s nothing else available that even remotely comes close to bringing you the kind of benefits content does.

Think about it…

Our society is saturated with technology and the gadgets they’ve produced, and consequently, we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it.

So it’s not surprising that the Internet has become one of the world’s most valuable resources, simply because it’s always there when we need – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We can hop online and in a matter of minutes find information on just about anything we want to know. And where does that information come from?

You got it – content.

See, by producing content and getting it into the hands of all those information seekers, they will find their way to your website. And that means you don’t have to go out and find them, because your content does all the work for you – even while you’re sleeping.

Okay, so now that you understand why content is so important, let’s take a look at how it directly benefits your business:

Who Are You?

People in your hometown know who you are as well as your friends and family members. These people know if you’re trustworthy or if you have your head on straight to make a go of your business. –

That’s great, but the people that will be purchasing your products or hiring you for your services don’t know you at all. When they don’t know you, how are they supposed to feel confident that you are the person they can trust when they need to buy a certain item?

Content enables them to get to know you. The Internet is a wondrous thing, but it doesn’t give you the ability to meet and assist your customers in person. Which means it’s much more difficult to gain customer trust quickly online as opposed to a brick and mortar store. This is where content comes in.

Your customers will get to know you through the content you produce and distribute online. They’ll be able to see first hand if you know what you’re talking about when it comes your particular niche, and they’ll likely be making the decision about whether or not you can be trusted when it comes time to hand over their hard earned money. Content allows you to create yourself as the “go-to” person in your niche and people will begin to associate you with a particular product or service when they’re in need.

Are You For Real?

Besides the great things that the Internet gives you, it’s also a hotbed of scammers and spammers. As a result, people have become incredibly wary about offers they see browsing online. There are far too many people touting their products as high-quality, and then they simply don’t deliver.

Another common problem is that too many people claim that miracles will happen if they buy a certain product, and so consumers who’ve bought into it; anxiously await for the amazing results they’ll get, only to be disappointed when it never comes to fruit

Unfortunately, those people have made it that much more difficult for the legitimate business folks. Consumers have become hardened to all claims, valid or not, and getting them to feel confident about purchasing from can be tough to do. Content will help soften them towards you simply because you’re showing them that you’re not a scammer, but a genuine expert.

Pick Me!

You may have gotten some exposure for your business, but there’s still one problem you’ll have to overcome, and that’s that you are not the only one person selling products or services in your niche market.

You are competing against several other business owners who are all vying for the attention of your niche market. So, you will need to find a way to stand out and show potential customers that you’re the go to business.

This is how content will be key for your business. You need to provide your target market with information that your competitors aren’t giving them. High quality content about the chosen niche helps get you ahead as an expert in that particular field.

Do I Remember You?

How many times have you visited a website and left never to visit again? You may have liked the site, but you don’t remember how to get back there or you may have even forgotten that the website ever existed.

Regardless of the reason, we may not visit the same website again the fact remains that everyday internet users view tons of websites. That means when it comes time for internet users to make a purchase your businesses website is likely the furthest thing from their mind and thus they will not be visiting your website again. In order to get them to visit your website again, they need to remember that you exist.

Visiting a site only one time is not going to keep you in the forefront of your prospects minds. Therefore, you’re going to sneak into their minds, so they’ll remember you when they’re looking for the items you’re offering. Your website needs to be memorable to keep them coming back for me. You need to give your visitors what they are looking for, information. Content is what is going to make your site memorable, give your visitors what they crave and keep your business website in the forefront of your prospects mind.

The more information (content) they see from your business, the more they start to remember your business name. Instead of Do I remember you?; they will be saying “Oh yeah, I remember you. You’re the company that sells the products I’m looking for!”

Where Do I Go? I’m Lost.

Internet surfers are searching for information on a particular topic. You have the information they need on your website. That’s great, but these internet surfers need to be able to find your website in order to see what you have to offer.

Sometimes, you may have to go where these people are in order to help them find their way to your site. Having great content on your site is key, but it’s not enough. You have to expand and get your content out there, in more than one place in order to increase the chances of these potential internet surfers to find your great website.

You need to get your high quality content out on the world wide web so that people can find you. This will help the internet user to see the high quality content that you are offering as well as establish you as an expert on the particular subject. Of course, you will have a link in the content that you are putting out on the web so that the visitor can easily find your website.

Can I Really Trust You?

This is the big one. If you want your website visitors to buy anything from you than you are going to need to have their trust. The Internet has seen its share of successful business owners as well as its scammers.

These scammers will have your prospects giving the unknown business owners the suspicious eye. No one, yourself included; wants to hand over their hard-earned money to anyone and everyone.

People want to be rest assured that the person that’s about to receive their business isn’t someone who’s going to take them to the cleaners. After all, nobody wants to throw their money into the fire and watch it burn.

Since they don’t want to get taken, they will be extra cautious with who they do business with. That means that until you get into their trusted people list; you are going to have a tough time selling them your products.

The quickest and easiest way to start establishing some trust with your prospects is through your content. The content you create and publish on the web will help your prospects see what kind of person you are.

They see if you know your stuff or if you can deliver what you claim your business will deliver. When you have great content, this will help them see that.

There are numerous benefits content marketing brings your business. We have just touched on a few benefits of the benefits of content marketing here to help you realize how important content is in your marketing strategy. Now it’s time to move on, so you can discover how to create this great content that is going to help you reap all those business benefits.

Content That Holds the Power You Should be Harnessing

By now, you should be able to see the vast benefits that content marketing can bring to your business plan. What you need now is the what and the how to move forward with your marketing plan. First, let’s explore the different types of content that will bring you the best results.

Articles

One of the first things that should be included in your business- marketing plan is high quality, informative articles. These articles are what your target market is looking for. Articles give your niche audience a taste of what you know, leaving them wanting more.

Just like fishermen use bait on their hooks to catch fish you will use articles to catch visitors. The bait they use depends on what kind of fish they’re looking to catch on that day. The fish they want to catch are looking for certain types of morsels to nibble on, so the fisherman provides them with that taste.

When the fish takes a bite of the bait, the fisherman sets the hook and reels in the fish to the fisherman’s hands. Without the bait, the fish never would have jumped onto the boat and into the waiting fisherman’s hands. Well, maybe on an extreme rare occasion, but for the most part, the fisherman has to work hard to get the fish to come.

Articles are pretty much your bait. You plant your articles in various spots throughout the Internet to tempt Internet surfers to find them. Once they find them, they view the article to see what information you’re baiting them with.

If the content is good, then you set the hook with your website link that’s provided within the article, and they get reeled into your website where you can then sell them on your products or services.

E-Books

E-Books are books in digital form. They’re books that can be viewed on a computer screen. These types of books are popular for Internet users, because they can learn extended information about a topic by purchasing or downloading for free an eBook without having to drive to a store or wait for a print book to arrive in the mail.

E-Books are a great way to show off your knowledge on a particular subject. It helps to define you as an expert on the topic of your book. This placement enables your potential customer to view you as a person who knows their stuff well, making you the perfect person to buy additional products from.

One of the great things about creating an e-Book is that it is very inexpensive and doesn’t require you to be a famous novelist in order to get an E-Book published on the Internet. Of course, these E-Books will need to be high quality, but once you know how to create them they are really not too hard to do.

Later on we will explore how to create an E-Book first hand.

Reports

Reports are smaller versions of an e-Book. Typically, they are lead generators to your e-Book or to your products themselves. Reports are a great way to get visitors to come back to your site again.

You can either charge a small fee for a report or give them away free. Either way, your potential customers will get great content that will lure them back to your website. The more they visit your site, the more chances you have to sell them one of your products.

This kind of content has flexibility as far as what information to provide and how long to make it.

E-Books tend to give the most information to consumers, but reports can do the same if you choose. You can split reports to provide both benefit information and the actual how to content. Or you can put them both in one longer report and offer it without the extra fluff that e-Books usually give.

Website Content

Your website is like your business card or your online catalog. This is where your products are sold or your services are viewed and contracted. The site’s content is what essentially will sell your prospects on what you’re offering.

A brick and mortar business will usually have sales person that can work with prospects face-to-face in order to close the sale. Your online business deals mainly with the Internet where face-to-face sales aren’t an option.

The content on your website needs to be your sales team. It needs to address your website visitors when they stop in and it needs to show them that your products or services are the answer to their problems.

seo tips

Blogs

Blogs are mini- websites. They help get you known as a business owner as well as help Internet surfers find you and your business website. Every so often websites contain informative articles but Blogs are websites that contain lots of information that can be updated every day or every few days to be noticed by the search engines.

Your business needs great content in order to stay in the forefront of your prospect’s minds. The more content you can throw at them, the better your chances are. Blogs are a great way to do this as they provide them with shorter tidbits of information on a regular basis.

Blogs are also a more relaxing atmosphere. People can learn information about a topic without feeling as if they’re being hounded to buy something. They can also get to know you as a person behind the business. People want to deal with people and not just a website.

Newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to present content to your prospects over and over and over. They work along with your autoresponder e-mail marketing programs. Newsletters provide short bits of news on a topic that a prospect receives on a regular basis.

They can be sent out every week, month or every couple of days if you wish. People that do stumble onto your site can choose to opt-in to your newsletter sign-up list where they can be sent information regularly in their e-mail inbox. I

magine giving your prospects the information they want on a weekly or monthly basis, while exposing them to your business repeatedly. Using a newsletter autoresponder makes getting your prospect back to your website a much easier task.

Now, that you have taken a glimpse at the power of content marketing as well as which types of content you could be harnessing power from; let’s move onto the nitty gritty. How to create the most successful high quality content that gets you long term results for business marketing.

Creating Compelling Content that Achieves Marketing Success

By now, you realize the importance of including high quality content in your marketing plan. However, it’s more than just writing some documents and slapping them out onto the world wide web scene. You need to create the best content you can in order for it to work.

Don’t worry. Writing content for your business doesn’t require a P.H.D. in English or Journalism. It takes some work and thought, but you certainly don’t have to be a famous writer to create content that drives your target audience to you.

There are some tips that you should keep in mind when you do create your content. We will start by taking a look at each type of content and how to create them for a successful business marketing strategy.

Articles

An article is content that is seen on websites and in article directories. If you remember earlier in this report, these were referred to as ‘bait’ for business owners to lure prospects to their sites.

Articles are documents that are 300-1,000 words in length. They provide a user with general bits of information on a chosen topic. They set you up as an expert in that particular niche field, because they give a user a glimpse of your knowledge on that topic.

To create a high-quality article to put on your website or on an article directory site, keep these tips in mind:

Choose a topic closely related to your niche field- If your business is in the fitness field, then an article on stock markets won’t give you credibility with your prospects. If you write articles that are about fitness, then your expertise in that area can easily be seen.

Put your own twist on the topic- Do your research and see what kinds of articles are already out there on your chosen topic. See, what others are offering for information on that topic. Then write the same topic, but with your own twist to it to make it unique.

For example, if you’re writing about fitness, instead of writing about what things to do like your competitors are doing write about what things to avoid in a fitness plan.

Choose an attention grabbing title for your article- To get people to read your article; you should start with an attention grabbing title. It should make them want to read the article. If they read the article then they can see how knowledgeable you are on the topic and they can decide to go to your site for more information.

For example, let’s look at this title:

For a Better Fitness Plan, Use these 10 Powerful Steps

This title is okay, but not good enough. Here’s what’s wrong with it:

1. It’s too long. By the time they’re done reading the title, they could be too tired or bored to go on to the article.

2. They would have to read the entire title in order to find out what information they will get out of the article itself. By that time, they may be too uninterested to read anything more.

A better title would read something like:

10 Powerful Steps to a Better Fitness Plan

This title is better because:

1. It’s shorter. Users don’t feel like they’re reading a novel when they read your title.

2. The first couple of words alone tell them what the article is going to be about. They can read those first couple of words and move onto the article without even reading the rest of the title.

Give the information that your target audience wants- Do your research on your target market. Find out what problems or concerns they’re having and tailor your articles to give them what they want. If your niche market wants to know how to burn calories easier; then you should be providing them with articles relating to that.

Use more paragraphs-The articles you’re writing for your website or article directories will be viewed on a computer screen. The longer the paragraphs your article contains, the harder it is for them to read. If they’re hard to read, the user will give up reading it long before they ever finish the article and before they see your website links. Break up your article into shorter paragraphs that contain 3-5 sentences.

Give them the facts and the real facts at that- Articles should be straight and to the point, and focus on supporting thoughts, facts, or ideas on the topic. There should be no extra fluff that has nothing to do with the main topic of the article. Fluff belongs in fiction novels; not in your non-fiction articles.

Furthermore, when providing your readers with facts; make sure they’re real facts and not ones that you just made up to make yourself look more like an expert. Your prospects aren’t dumb. They can see right through most con jobs. Rather then gaining credibility you will be seem as a scammer and won’t be taken seriously anymore.

Also be sure to use reliable sources when checking your facts for the article you’re going to write.

Talk like your target audience- A common mistake some business owners make is providing their readers with an article that contains too many long words that their target audience doesn’t know. They should be able to read it and understand it without having to pull out a dictionary every few words.

Using longer words will not get you seen as an expert. Actually, it shows that the content you’re writing isn’t for the prospect and they’ll move on. If you’re writing an article about the stock market that’s geared for beginners, then you don’t want to use a lot of the jargon words that are common in that field.

Your readers aren’t likely to know what those words mean. Rather, use plainer language that is easier to understand. If your target audience is geared toward the more advanced people in the stock market field; then you can use the longer jargon type words, because they would be more familiar with those words.

Social Media MarketingE-Books

E-Books are longer formats that provide readers with a more in-depth look at the information you’re going to provide them. These would require a little more planning and thought than an article would.

To create an e-book that brings you the most success; here are some things to keep in mind:

Plan what information you will give your readers and break them into segments- Devote each segment to a topic that supports the main idea of the e-Book.

For example, if your e-Book is going to be about setting up a fitness plan to burn the most calories than you can break up the information into segments like:

  1. Discussing the importance of fitness
  2. Discuss different types of exercise and what areas of the body they target
  3. Discuss how to set up a fitness plan for their needs

And so on. This shows you how each segment or chapter of the e-Book would be set up. The main topic of the e-Book is about setting up a fitness plan, but each segment will focus on one area that supports the topic.

Breaking down the information into sections helps your reader more easily learn one aspect of the topic at a time instead of throwing all aspects at them at once.

Create a Table of Contents- Once your e-Book is completed and edited you will want to add a table of contents The table of contents will show your reader the different areas that will be addressed within the main topic of the e-book.

Readers can read the table of contents and skip ahead to a topic they want to learn about first without having to read the whole e-book first. E-Book readers appreciate the flexibility that this gives them, because they don’t always want to read through the whole book just to find one particular topic.

Especially if they’ve read the book before. Instead of having to read the whole thing again to find the information, they want they can access it easier with the table of contents.

E-Books can be Free or bought for a Fee- You can choose to give them away or sell them for extra money for your business. Either way, you’ll win. Free e-Books are popular, because they’re free, of course. Your website link will be included once or twice within the book, so if a reader likes what they see, they have a website to go to for more information or products they can use.

If you choose to sell your e-Book, then you will want to choose a price that makes your readers feel like they are getting a good deal. When using it for marketing purposes; the less money you charge for it the better off you’ll be.

Like articles, E-Books should also be written in a language your target market understands, and provide them with shorter paragraphs and facts. When you apply all these tips to marketing your E-Book; you will drive more traffic and gain more business exposure.

Reports

Previously we explained that reports were shorter formats of e-Books and are generally written as lead generation tools to other products. These reports can bring you business exposure as well as more product exposure.

To create successful marketing reports; here are a few tips to think about:

Make them interesting:

You want to provide some good general information in your reports, but you will want to change things up, so the report is interesting to your readers. If you simply write some thoughts or facts down and leave it at that; then the reader could get bored easily and will not finish reading.

If they don’t read through your report, then they won’t see your website links. So be sure to change things up to keep their attention when they’re reading your report. Some ways to change things up:

  • Italicize words
  • Bold words or phrases
  • Underline sentences
  • Change font sizes for some phrases to make them stand out
  • Change color in some phrases

The above are very simple ways to change things up, but they are also very effective. It breaks up the content they’re reading and helps them stay focused on the topic of the report.

Write them in a conversational tone

Conversational tone means that you’re writing as if you were actually talking to the reader one on one. A report is easier to read and more effective as a lead generation tool if the reader can view it as a conversation they’re having with you.

To better understand conversational tone; let us look at this phrase:

One cannot…

While some people do talk like this, it’s not the norm. When writing conversationally you would write that phrase like:

You can’t

The difference here is that the word you makes your writing seem more like it’s been written specifically to the reader. As far as the contraction can’t- it’s what most people would say in a normal conversation.

There aren’t too many of us that actually talk using the word cannot. Granted, there are a few that do talk like that, but more than likely; you’re target audience wouldn’t. So, write your reports like you were actually having a conversation with the person that’s reading it.

Add spice

Add some extra spice to your report to make it stand out to your reader. A couple of images thrown in helps as well as quotes and stories or examples. As long as they relate to the content that you’re trying to highlight, they will keep your reader going to the end of the report.

People love quotes. Quotes from famous people or someone that they know can really grab their attention. If you can work one in that supports a thought in your report, you will gain your readers interest as well as gaining their trust and respect.

Stories and examples are powerful. There’s no better way to grab someone’s attention than by telling them a story. Throw one into your reports or you can use examples to help explain what you mean by something you just wrote.

Earlier in this report, you have seen this:

Devote each segment to a topic that supports the main idea of the e-Book. So, for example, if you’re e-Book…

The idea of devoting each segment to a certain topic was introduced and then the words For example are thrown in. This leads the reader into an example that will help them understand the idea that was just introduced.

If they didn’t quite get what you originally wrote, they can now feel a little more confident that they’re about to see an example that will help them understand.

Website

The articles that you publish on your website will reflect you and your business. Therefore, you will want to present your visitors with the best possible content. This means that you should edit your articles before placing them on your site.

Check to make sure you have included the most important aspects of the article’s topic. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve any purpose in the article and make sure that you’re proofreading the article for spelling and basic grammatical errors.

Provide a variety of niche topics to give your readers, so they won’t get bored this will also keep them coming back to your site for more information. The fresher you can keep your content for your prospects the more likely you are to gain a sale from them.

seo tips forBlogs

Blogs are where you show your human side. A business website is all business, so it’s a little more difficult to show there’s an actual human behind it. Your blog is where you can show the human side of your business.

You are a person and you’re on the same level as your prospects. You want to show them that, so create some of your blog posts to reflect that. You still want to provide informative posts, but mix some personal ones in to keep your potential customers from getting scared off.

Here are some ways you can do that:

Include humorous situations

Everybody has a humorous experience at some point in his or her lifetime. Your target audience is no different. Show them that you are like them by sharing something funny that happened to you.

Share your mistakes

Since you’re just as much human as everyone else; you should have some instances where you have made mistakes. Don’t be afraid to share them. Look for some mistakes that you have made that relates to your niche website topic.

For example; if you’re in the fitness field, maybe you have purchased fitness equipment that you knew wasn’t a good deal or maybe you fell off the nutrition band wagon and went on a sugar binge.

Just share some of your mistakes with your readers to let them know that you’re on the same level as them, so they won’t feel as intimidated by you or your business.

Share some of your sadness

Again, show your human side. All humans have sadness at some time or another and you’re no different. Tell your readers of some sad times you’ve had that relate to your blog’s topic. Make sure you’re recounting sad experiences and not major depressive episodes.

Blogs are great ways to show that you’re just like you’re readers and that you’re no different than they are. This also helps them see that you’re knowledgeable about your topic and they can build some rapport with you, so they can feel more confident purchasing from you.

Newsletters

Newsletters may contain some informative articles that you offer your readers on a regular basis. The articles relate to the business site’s topic. Therefore, you’re giving them the information they want while helping them remember your business.

To create a successful marketing newsletter; here are some tips to keep in mind:

Keep the articles informative

The idea of a newsletter is to inform your subscriber, so write high quality content to build credibility, expert status as well as keep your business name in the forefront of their minds. You can also share updates within the newsletter, so they can be more personal and fun, but keep the articles straightforward.

Keep the articles brief

Newsletter articles should be brief, but informative. Vary the length of your newsletter articles, but save the longer 1,000 word articles for your website. Newsletters should be brief because people are in a hurry and don’t have a lot of time to read through long content when it comes to their emails. The more brief the article, the better the chances are that the article will be read.

Use bulleted type lists

Since people are usually in a rush when they’re checking their emails; you can help them out by including bulleted type lists in your articles. A bulleted list takes the main key points of a topic and places them in an easy to read list.

For example, your article would look something like the example below.

Bulleted lists are important for your articles. The content that could be placed within one of these lists are:

  • Main key points
  • Name the important steps of a topic
  • List out certain items that support your idea

Newsletters are a great way to drive traffic back to your site by showing up in your prospect’s email inboxes every couple of days and letting them know that you’re still around and that you have what they need.

Although content creation isn’t too hard to do, it does take some time to get them done just right. If you don’t feel that you have the time to devote to create high-quality articles; then you could consider hiring a freelance writer to complete them for you.

It will cost you some money from your business budget, but when it comes down to it; it may end up helping your business since freelance writers can create the best quality content to your specifications that you can put your own name on.

Where To Market Your Content

It’s one thing to provide the best quality content for your potential customers but it is another story to place that content where it will bring you the highest possible results for your business.

Now, it’s time to explore the marketing side of your content creations. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your marketing strategy:

Article Directories

Article directories are sites you should already be utilizing. If not, then you should be considering it. These sites are where you publish your informative articles that show your prospects that you know what you’re talking about and establish you as an expert.

Links to your business website as well as your name and business name will be placed in the article. This is how potential customers will find your site. In addition, article directories are well liked by the search engines, so you gain an edge by having your articles published on one of these.

To create a prime article for an article directory site; here are some tips:

  • Make sure the article contains true facts
  • Make sure the article is free from any spelling or basic grammatical errors
  • Write an article that’s different than what your competitors have published.
  • Avoid inserting too many keywords as they can cause it to not make sense to your reader
  • Follow the article directory’s rules on submitting with them- If you don’t, the article won’t get published on their site.

In order to increase your chances of being indexed in the search engines you should choose the more popular article directory sites. Also, make sure that you check with your chosen directory site to see what articles have already been published on the topic you want to write about.

Then come up with your own unique view or twist to stand out from all the other articles.

Blogrolls

Blogrolls is a feature that blogs have that include links to other blogs from other people. Search the blogosphere and find other blogs that have some relation to the topic of your blog and start participating in the comments.

Once you’ve established yourself with the owner of the blog, they will add your blog’s link to their blogroll. The people that like what that blog has to offer will check out the other blogs that are recommended on the blogroll.

Social Media Sites or Micro-Blogs

The easiest way to gain the most exposure for your blog or website from the highest amount of people is by using one of the many social media sites. These sites are simply Internet based communities of like- minded people.

People who share the same interests tend to group together to get to know each other and to share ideas, thoughts, and information with each other. These people are going to be within your target market, so you can share your website links as well as get into the minds of your target audience.

Micro-blogs, like Twitter, are great ways to have conversations with your audience. The brief messages that you convey to your niche market helps update them on what’s going on with your business or new items of interest to them.

Since millions of people use social media sites and micro-blogs, you have prime business exposure that you should be utilizing in your content marketing plan.

Use Squeeze pages for newsletter sign-ups

Squeeze pages are website pages that sell people on the idea of signing up for your email marketing messages or newsletters. These squeeze pages use content that sells the readers with the benefits they will receive by signing up with your opt-in list.

You can simply have a sign-up feature placed on your site that simply says, “sign up for more updates, newsletters….”. This may work, but to get more people to sign-up for your lists; you should use squeeze pages to sell them on the idea of signing up for your newsletter.

You can also offer something as a gift for signing up, this a great place to offer the reports you create for your prospects. Free reports are great attention getters for people who like to get things free.

Message Boards and forums

Message Boards are another way to get together with your target market and share ideas and thoughts. They can also be great ways to market your e-Books, reports, websites, and blogs. Your forum posts will be strictly conversational with your fellow members, but your signature lines can contain links to your websites or blogs.

Check with the message board rules and regulations before you try to put a link in the signature lines. Not all forums allow links in the signature line.

Affiliates

Get people to sign up to be an affiliate for your e-Book that you’re trying to sell. They will be paid a certain amount from each e-Book sale they bring your way. Since e-Books are inexpensive to create, you can afford to pay them to sell your book.

You can pay to have an affiliate manager help you out with the affiliate process or browse resources to learn how to use your affiliate program to your advantage. People who want to make money selling other people’s products will aggressively sell affiliate products of their choice. If they like your product, then they could be bringing you a lot of business.

This technique can be a little complicated, but it is very successful when implemented correctly. The affiliates would be assigned a special link that will help determine which sales need to be credited to them, so you don’t have to worry about trying to keep track of everything in an affiliate program.

You now know what other online business owners have learned from their rough paths to success. With all the tactics they tried in their years of business; content marketing has proven to be the most effective pieces of the marketing pie.

Now it’s time to let yourself loose and take what you’ve learned about creating the best content possible and using it in the best marketing avenues. If you want to see your business become the success that you dream of, then utilize a content marketing plan in your business.

Final Thoughts

As a business owner who wants to market their company on a shoestring budget, you should look into using a content marketing strategy. Creating and marketing content is the most inexpensive way to get the best result in the marketing arena.

Content marketing has been shown to be the best tactic to use because not only is it inexpensive, but it also gives your target market what they crave. This happens to be information. Information comes in the form of content.

So, what better way to market your business then to give your potential customers what they want? Get their attention, their respect, their trust, and ultimately their business by using a simple content strategy for your marketing plan.

If it has worked so well for others, why wouldn’t you want to use it in your own online business marketing strategy? Don’t let your competitors get the best of your target market. Use your content to get way ahead of the pack and bring the customers to you.