By Jim Clanin
If you answered no, you answered right. With people’s attention spans and free time getting shorter and shorter, a slick and user-friendly website might be the most important tool your business has. Yet, time after time many businesses leave marketing their website’s to the wayside. Having a website truly isn’t a ‘build it and they will come’ situation.
If no one knows about your website, they can’t visit and learn about what you have to offer. That’s why marketing your website online and offline is just as important as marketing your service or product.
Here are some suggestions that will make your site a VIP:
Many website owners forget that they need to be visible offline where their target market lives. Offline marketing of your website is crucial. Here are some ways to start:
- Your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, flyers, folders and newsletters should all include and emphasize your web address.
- Print your URL boldly on the front side of direct mail postcards. Printing your URL in a large, attention-getting style will cause the recipient to turn the postcard over and read the other information you want to share with them.
- Issue a press release announcing anything new or newsworthy on your site. Maybe you’re offering a free report, a free e-course or a different approach to the marketplace that the media will be interested in. Remember to include the URL in the content of your release and in your contact info section as well.
- On-hold messages are now very ‘in’ right now for directing people to a site, especially with phone systems that use automatic attendants.
- If you ever get the opportunity to be interviewed on the radio, make sure you find ways to drop your URL. You can say things like, “On my website, www.buzzyseeds.com, I offer free tips and articles to help customers in their gardening endeavors.” Don’t just say, “On my website …” without mentioning the URL. You should never assume the listener knows the site?s address or how to search for it.
- Publications are always looking for experts in different fields to write guest columns or articles. At the end of the column or article they’ll usually let you include a few sentences related to your experience and ways to contact you called, a byline. Don?t forget to take this golden opportunity to drop your URL and email address.
- Key chains, pens and pencils, mouse pads, coffee mugs, as well as any apparel that carry your logo and brand should also include a website address.
- Billboards, fax cover sheets, vehicles, Yellow Page ads, other printed ads, T-shirts, golf balls and bags should also include your URL.
Online marketing should be done in junction with the offline marketing mentioned above. Here are some ideas:
- Online directories. There is thousands of industry related and city based directories. List your business on as many as you can, don?t forget that URL.
- Ask any marketing partners or business partners to mention your website on their sites. You can also trade mention on sites with partners.
- Post to online wire services, use online press releases and articles just like the offline method mentioned above.
- E-mail signatures
- Social Media, why not let your friends and their friends know about your site. Twitter and Facebook are great sites for fun with a side of networking.? Include your website on your personal page or posting. You never know, your next customer might be the cousin of an old college fraternity brother!
- Banner advertising on your website, as well as other related sites that your target market visits.
- Even though people are at your site, mention it often within the text of your web copy. This will reinforce it in the viewers’ minds and help with search engine optimization.
- Mention your website or include it in your signature for all news group, discussion group or blog postings.
- Pay-per-click marketing
- Viral video/You Tube. A funny video could get a laugh and also drive potential customers to your website.
Just remember to be creative with both your online and offline. Remember the girl in New Jersey who auctioned off her stomach for a URL to be displayed on it, or the guy who offered his head for a Super Bowl ad to be tattooed on? Now that’s way to get your name out there!
Now if you could only get your website a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?