You can have the best web site in the world, but if no one ever visits, it will be a waste of space, your time and marketing budget. It’s a common misconception that if you build a web site, people will visit it. This is simply not true! As with any ‘bricks and mortar’ business you MUST promote and market your web site in order to ensure its value and success. “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell… and advertise”. Never is this more true than with a web site– if you want to see results you MUST promote and market your web site’s existence.
The first rule of web site promotion is this:
Add your web site address to everything you already use to promote your business.
It’s amazing what that extra line of text does for your image and business success.
Many companies forget this very simple, but highly effective, first step. It’s no wonder there are so many web site failures!
Add your web site address to everything, including your:
- Business cards
- Labeling and packaging
- Radio & TV advertising
- Newspaper and magazine advertising
- Press releases
- Letterbox drops
- Yellow Pages ™ and White Pages ™ listings
- Direct mail letters
- And so on.
Anything going out, or in the public arena needs urgent attention to include your site’s address. To achieve the above, you should create a document that will become your advertising and promotions ‘road map’.
A good start is to draft a document that will serve as an Advertising & Promotions ‘map’ for your current financial year. Many ‘dot.com’ and ‘.co.nz’ failures are companies who probably failed to systematically broadcast their site address wherever possible.
At this stage list your existing materials that require updating with your web site address. Your focus for this planning is primarily to assess timing requirements.
Even if the web site has only a ‘construction’ page at the time you prepare these updated items, you are working to ensure that everything gets updated as ‘universally’ as possible for your launch, using the same consistent messages.
To work through updating your existing materials in a well-coordinated fashion, create a list showing the items individually (later you’ll be adding in your new ‘online activities’ and initiatives, as covered in the rest of this module).
Give each individual item its own line and show in columns their timings (such as using a ‘fill’ in the column for the corresponding month), who should action the item, what the estimated costs are, comments, etc. A column for your comments is useful e.g., “ZB Newstalk additional voice-overs required. Get Sarah to prepare draft cover letter and purchase order for my approval”.
Not only will this event calendar help you to be more efficient, e.g., cost savings from bulk-buying media placements or multiple print jobs; but you’ll also be less likely to miss good promotional opportunities or find yourselves ‘too late’ to take advantage of benefits such as ‘early booking discounts’, etc.
Avoid last-minute, urgent-rate jobs or ‘surprises’ (and invest those savings into your other promotional strategies).
Don’t forget, you should only be interested in attracting website visitors who will be interested in your products and services.
If you lose sight of your target market, you will waste an awful lot of time and money by attracting people who are not the slightest bit interested in what you are offering. And what’s the point in that?
What is your budget? Your web site needs to have a marketing and promotion budget! So, just how much money can be allocated to the promotion and marketing of your web site each month? Even if the budget is small it will be a step in the right direction, because, if you neglect this, your site will suffer.