Are your online marketing strategies paying off? If pay-per-click ads and solid SEO practices are boosting your site’s exposure revenue, good for you! But many online store owners have gone beyond the web to take their success to the next level. When you’ve explored all of the online avenues, it’s time to consider expanding your website’s marketing to include some tried-and-true offline strategies.
Advertise in Traditional Media
It may seem counter-intuitive to advertise your website in traditional print media, but the right placements in newspapers and magazines can garner attention from a market yet untapped by online initiatives. Ads on the Internet are often ignored by busy and desensitized consumers, but a simple, direct ad in a relevant print publication can boost lucrative awareness of your product or service.
There’s a huge range of print media from which to choose, so you’ll need to select your ad’s layout, copy, and location carefully. Does your website appeal to a big enough portion of the general public to warrant publication in a local or national newspaper’s classifieds section? Would your business be better served by a placement in a trade magazine or the newsletter of a particular group or organization?
To get more impact for your advertising dollar, consider using only your full URL in your advertisement. The brevity of the placement will cut down on its cost, and will likely compel curious shoppers to hop online and find out what your site’s all about.
Network, Network, Network
The most surefire way to attract attention and buyers to any online enterprise is through word of mouth and personal marketing. Anything you can do to get your name, logo, and brand out there can boost business. If there are industry networking events in your area, be sure to attend, and bring along plenty of business cards or leaflets with your site’s URL prominently printed.
Mention your website whenever people ask what you do – even if it’s a stranger on a bus or the man behind the counter at your mechanic’s office. You never know where you might come across a potential customer. Carry business cards with you at all times.
Get Published or Publish Yourself
One of the best ways to spread the word about your website, and to build a solid reputation, is to share knowledge related to your area of expertise. You can establish yourself as an expert by writing for web or print magazines, ezines, and even other people’s websites. Make sure the URL of your site is included in the byline of every article you write; for web articles, be sure it’s hyperlinked back to your site.
If you don’t already have a mailing list for emails and marketing communications, or a way for interested customers to give you their email addresses for further information, consider adding an opt-in tool to your site so you can send periodic newsletters, promotions, and product announcements.
E-books are another great way to promote your industry expertise. You can make a short e-book available through your site, either for free or offered for a nominal charge.
Event Promotions and Donations
Another great way to draw attention to your website is by promoting your business at industry events. Whatever your target demographic, seek local or regional events related to this group and make your presence known. It’s usually easy to rent a booth, table, or just to circulate with business cards at slow moments during the event. You can also find advertising opportunities in most event programs. If you choose your events carefully, you can benefit from a great deal of exposure at minimal expense.
Organizations sometimes ask for donations of goods or services to be used as event raffle prizes or in a silent auction for charity. This kind of contribution can be a great opportunity to show off your wares at very little cost and draw in new customers.
The web is a great tool for marketing, but it’s not the only resource available to eCommerce businesses. Traditional marketing techniques can be invaluable in promoting an online site from start-up to superstar.