|5 Ways To Promote
Internet advertising is often misunderstood and can
ultimately be a frustrating activity. The mantra goes, "build a website,
register with a few search engines and watch sales skyrocket." This is far from
the truth. The reality is the best way to advertise your website has nothing to do
with the Internet. Below we offer five practical tips that can help you develop a
solid marketing plan to promote your new e-company
Notify Existing Customers
Your existing customers should be your first
target for advertising the new features of your website. Your existing customers
will be the first beneficiaries of your Account Wizard website. They have the need to
research account information and purchase goods. So the first objective is to notify
your existing client base. The following activities can be performed to announce
your new services:
- Direct fax
- Attaching a memo to all invoices
- Offering discounts on items ordered through the web
- Direct mail
- Press Releases
Once your existing customers become familiar with the
service, you can expect greater interest through word of mouth. This activity will
also allow you to get a better return on your website investment in the near term.
Register With Search Engines
Registering with search engines will expose
your business to the world. While your chances of generating traffic via search
engine registration is remote, registration will help those who are looking for your
company but do not know your website address (www.yourcompany.com). For example, if
you were looking for the Armor Systems home page but did not know their web address
(www.armor-net.com), you could go to the Excite search engine and enter "Armor
Systems". The first page returned will lead you to the Armor Systems home page.
Banner ads are the advertisements typically
located at the top and bottom of web pages. These ads, often animated, will lead you
to the home page of the advertiser upon clicking on the ad. This form of advertising
has traditionally been used by large corporations such as Microsoft or Intel. Yahoo!
provides a good demonstration on how banner ads are implemented.
Recently banner ads have begun to make waves for small to
midsize businesses. This renaissance has evolved on two fronts. First, trade
organizations, publications, etc are now opening up their websites to banner ads.
Placing a banner on a trade publication website is a great way to generate traffic.
Secondly, banner ads are now being placed on the same website. For example, if your
company was offering a special that week or a unique item, your home page could include a
banner ad that leads to a page with more information.
Mailing lists are a great way to notify
subscribers of upcoming events or specials. A mailing list is developed by obtaining
the e-mail address of those customers who want to receive your newsletter.
Newsletters are often distributed once or twice a month and can help strengthen customer
Newsgroups are locations where ideas are
exchanged about literally thousands of topics. Newsgroups can cover a very specific
area such as "Suede Shoes" or broad concepts such as "Business
Practices". By searching through newsgroups and answering posted questions, you
are able to promote your business and earn some good will with newsgroup users.
Newsgroup advertising is a good alternative if banner ads
are not an option. Of all the tips mentioned above, newsgroup advertising will most
likely generate the least amount of return per advertising dollar.