Online Promotion – Let’s Get Started
What’s involved in an online promotion of your product or website? A LOT, actually. Here are some questions to think about:
- SEARCH: What is going to get your site to show up when people search for what you are providing?
- ADVERTISING: Is it worth it to pay for advertising on Google, traditional media, or other avenues?
- MEASURE SUCCESS: What kind of return on investment are you getting from the cost of your website and various online campaigns?
- PROMOTION: How much time are you spending on your website/social media outlets?
- SOCIAL MEDIA: What is the point of using social media in conjunction to your website and when should you keep them separate?
All these things will help you have a successful promotion of your website….so what’s the first step?
Step 1: Goals
When you are making a new website or upgrading your existing site it is very important to write out your goals for what you’re trying to accomplish with your website and your online campaign. Your goals should help provide answers to these questions:
- What is the purpose of your website?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- What new business will having a website and promotion bring you?
- How long until you get a return on your investment?
- Can you measure the effectiveness of your site and figure out how much of your new business can be directly attributed to your website and online campaign?
- Are you able to monitor your effectiveness online and make changes to what you are doing in order to accomplish your goals?
Write out all the answers to those questions and then make goals that are attainable. If you said no to the last two questions, fear not, there are some solutions below.
Step 2: Prepare your website
Let’s say you make a new page on your site for your new product you’re selling. Here are 6 things you might want to have on that page:
- Short and Long description of the product/service
- Sample images of the product from various angles/images of services performed
- Downloadable Spec Sheet
- Demo video of the product in use/service provided (and consider hosting the video on Wistia)
- Buy it now button and Contact button (call to action buttons)
- Search Engine Optimize the page with keywords and a description
Step 3: Setup tracking on the page
Now that you’ve got the page content ready you need to make sure you know where your visitors are coming from so that you can track which area of your promotion is the most effective (advertising, social media, print ads, word of mouth, etc). There are many ways to go about this and many services that will help you accomplish this kind of visitor tracking. For simplicity I’ll list some of what I use:
- Add Google Analytics to your site and setup conversion tracking and stages of the funnel. This is a bit complicated, but once setup correctly, you’ll be able to see who comes from where online and the path that they took to actually purchase your product or contact you.
- If you are going to use traditional media (radio, television, newspaper, flyers, etc) you’ll need a separate way to track each one. If you are directing people to your website in the ads, consider having a unique URL for each medium so that when they hit your site, you can tell from where. A popular way to do this for any print media is to add a QR Code and use the tracking built into the QR Code generation website. I have used Kaywa.com and had good results from it. For TV and Radio ads, simply have different URLs in the ad so that Google Analytics can see the “came from” location and tag it correctly.
Step 4: Promotion
Now that you have that in place you’re ready to launch your new product and watch the sales roll in. You can start your traditional media campaigns and then start promoting things on all the social media sites that fit with your business. Having things “go viral” in social media is a tricky business and there are entire books based on how to accomplish this….so don’t anticipate getting a million hits within the first week of you starting your campaign! Here are some online avenues to promote in:
- Social Media: facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.
- Blogs in your industry: get others to write about/review your new product
- Google AdWords: setup paid ads to show up next to relevant searches
- Social Media Advertising: pay for ads to show up in the demographics you want
Step 5: Track Sales to Calculate ROI (return on investment)
If you spend lots of time and money on this promotion, you’ll want to track where the money was best spent. You’ll need to look at the statistics and analytics for all your avenues of advertising and see which resulted in sales. This becomes a bit harder to track when you have people who see your ad in the newspaper and then come in to your store to purchase your product….so it’s valuable to have some kind of conversion tracking system in place to be able to attribute a walk-in that purchases something because of newspaper ad. The most cost effective way of doing this is to just keep a spreadsheet that will track the non-online sales.
Conclusion (and a Solution!)
By now you’re probably thinking that this is all pretty complicated and a LOT of work. The truth is, it really is a lot of work when there are so many aspects to consider when advertising online. If you are a d0-it-yourself-er, we have a really great Ebook for you to read that will give you more details about everything you need to know….you can Download it Here. We used to advertise for our clients using several services and software and it took FOREVER to keep tabs on everything and stay organized….that’s until we found Hubspot. It’s an all-in-one marketing software that can make a lot of the problems with managing a website and promotions go away. If you are NOT a do-it-yourself-er, take a look at the video below and then give us a call so we can talk to you about how we can make your company more profitable without you having to do more work!
We realize that most of this is outside of the realm of what the average business person is capable of accomplishing during a work week. We’re here to help and we can make it easy for you (and profitable too!).