Previously, I covered the five Ws and the H of a content marketing strategy, and the same ought to be explained for an article marketing strategy. Although a subset of content marketing, article marketing also must have a strategy since it often involves pleasing a third party such as a blog owner or a magazine editor) and requires consideration of factors that don't apply to other aspects of content marketing. Here are the five Ws and the H of article marketing strategy:
Who - Who is your audience? By figuring out who your audience is, the rest of your article marketing strategy will fall into place. In article marketing, you must narrow your audience to something very specific, such as commercial fleet managers, website owners, or doctors who own their own practice. Even though, for example, you may serve website owners and IT managers, they may not read the same things or have the same pain points. This affects how you organize your article marketing strategy.
What - What are you going to write about? The obvious answer may be your business or your services, but that is not wise in an article marketing strategy. Most other blogs and publications won't publish advertorials or articles that only promote you. You have to consider topics that are related to your industry, but would be of interest and value to your customer base.
When - When will you do these articles? Some may ask for them right away, while others may give you a few weeks or months to work on them. The point of this part of the article marketing strategy is to set deadlines for your article and to agree to deadlines that you will be able to meet. Missing deadlines will only prevent you from being able to write for these sites in the future.
Where - Where will you publish articles? This is where the segmented audience comes in. Since website owners and IT managers read different sites and have different needs, you will have to find places to publish articles that cater to one audience or the other, or both if you can manage. You may also want to consider industry-related publications where you can make a splash in front of your competitors.
Why - Why are you doing this? You need to figure out the goals of your article marketing strategy. Are you trying to build brand awareness? SEO? Inbound links? A combination? If you don't have a goal (or goals) for your strategy then you won't be able to know whether or not it's successful.
How - How will you implement your article marketing strategy? Will one person be in charge of the whole thing? Or will several people be tasked with writing articles and finding guest posting opportunities? Over what period of time will you conduct your strategy, and how many articles and/or publications are you hoping to achieve? All those are details that need to be worked out in the strategy, as it's easy to get overwhelmed with other work and to not have the time necessary to write articles, to find the right publications, and to make those third parties happy.
Overall, article marketing must have a strategy as well, even if you already have a content marketing strategy in place that's working well for you. There are elements involved in article marketing that don't apply to other forms of content marketing, like business blogging and ebooks and webinars. If you need some help finding some good places to write articles, then check out our white paper of the best website for article marketing: