There are several ways that you can market your website to the world at large.
A key marketing element is Search Engine Marketing which we’ll look at in more detail in the next article.
Use Your Analytics Data
It is important to remember that researching and monitoring your visitors and visitor statistics is essential in helping understand which of your marketing messages are working and which are not.
Television and Radio
National and regional television and radio are arguably the most invasive and persuasive advertising tools available today. Although the BBC don’t carry adverts, ITV and Channel 4 and Channel 5 do. As do other channels of course.
Large promotional or e-commerce sites are sometimes advertised on television and radio in an effort to attract high volumes of visitors. Television marketing in particular has a significant cost implication.
Secondary routes to obtaining radio and television coverage are available through vehicles like talk shows, breakfast TV, cable and the news networks.
Celebrity endorsement can be a real catalyst to bringing awareness and coverage to your site. Of course obtaining the endorsement may require a major effort but it is often worth considering as part of a thorough marketing campaign.
Newspapers and Magazines
National printed media newspapers and magazines are potentially excellent methods of reaching target markets and can also provide exposure through feature articles and timely letters and comments to the editors.
As with television, advertisements in national media can be costly and need to be properly rationalised towards achieving an appropriate return on investment.
Local media newspapers and magazines are like their national brothers and sisters in providing excellent, targeted advertising and exposure of their readers to your messages.
Posters and Leaflets
Poster campaigns can have varying levels of impact. They are useful when carrying out national campaigns to reinforce messages that are appearing on television, in the media, or even through direct marketing of some kind.
Localised poster campaigns can have impact especially when their message is simple and easily remembered.
Door to door marketing using leaflets and flyers can be remarkably effective particularly if the message is very simple and there is some reward for the person who responds to the advert. For example this reward could be a special offer code that entitles them to a discount if they buy online.
An advantage of a flyer or brochure is that people can keep them as a physical reminder of your message.
Direct Mail and Telephone
Direct marketing using printed mail can be another key element in communicating your message although this method is best utilised in a targeted manner because of the potential large cost implication. For example, one million targeted letters at a cost of 33 pence per mailing amounts to a large bill (£330k). Investors using this method need to ensure there is a realistic likely return on investment.
Direct marketing using telephone can be effective but in the UK is not popular with many people and can have a negative impact on a marketing campaign.
Direct marketing using email is another powerful tool but has been misused in the past and spam resulted.
The most effective method usual nowadays is to use ‘opt-in’ mailing list management tools where people give their name and email address and permission to send them emails.
Newsletters and Forums
Website Newsletter – this is an excellent way of regularly updating your visitors with relevant and interesting information. They register their email with you so you know they are interested in what you have to say.
Website communities and user forums – depending on the nature of your site a forum or notice board can be an amazing generator of repeat visits and lateral marketing leads. Giving your visitors and customers a chance to express their views can be a powerful tool.
Affiliate Marketing – this has two main categories;
1. Joining as an affiliate
2. Running your own affiliate program
Joining an existing affiliate programmed can give you the opportunity to link your site with many other commercial sites that offer related products and services.
When a user clicks through from your site you sometimes get a small commission. More often when a user from your site clicks through and makes a purchase or becomes a member then you get paid a commission.
Running an affiliate marketing programmed is no small task and may require employing one of the larger affiliate marketing companies like TradeDoubler to manage your affiliate marketing function on your behalf.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth networking is as relevant to the Internet as in any walk of life. There is no substitute for a site that is recommended by a friend or colleague.
This principle can be used favourably by asking friends and loved ones to tell all their friends about your new site!
Hold an event to launch your site and then host other events throughout the year to promote your website messages.