8. Online classified ads. The last bust definitely not least is classified ads. Other than email marketing, classified ad postings are another favorite. Forums like Craigslist and BackPage can be an excellent way to drive traffic but there are strategies you must follow since you are in the same barrel as the other 60 million fish on Craigslist doing the same thing. Chances are you'll look at classified ads in one form or another to find a service; product or maybe you are looking to hire someone. Although classified ads are brief, getting good results from them takes some thought. A well-written ad placed in the wrong publication or displayed online to the entire country won’t bring in much business. A poor headline or a poorly written ad, no matter how carefully placed, is a waste of time and money. Many products and services can be sold to different types of customers so it is important you understand your customer. But each type of customer may have different needs. Your ad should stress your ability to meet those specific needs. Do a little homework and study ads which appear consistently week after week. Determine what makes such ads catch your attention. Do they mention a benefit? Are they set off in some way from other classified ads on the page? Are they easy to spot because they fall immediately under a category heading in the classified section or near the top of the ads on an online search? When posting an ad, make the first words of your ad count. Your first line should be eye catching and make a reader want to stop and view the rest of your advertisement. To do that, those first couple of words must tell readers the most important benefit your product or service offers. Also, keep your ad short, very clear and commanding. Get to the point. What do you sell? Who should buy it? Why they should buy it from you…today! How do they contact you? When you think you have written an award winning ad let several honest people read it, ask a few questions and let them give you feedback. They should be able to tell you what you are selling and whether they feel compelled to contact you. If you can’t get straight answers…rewrite your advertisement. Make sure to cross test your ads for effectiveness and don’t expect to hit a homerun and be one of the Mad Men with just one ad or one publication. Try different classifieds, different layouts and always evolve your strategies.
7. Rent targeted, commercial email lists. I discussed this strategy in our previous article which is renting targeted email lists. We detest “spam,” which is bulk untargeted, unsolicited email, and you’ll pay a very stiff price in a ruined reputation and cancelled services if you yield to temptation here. But the direct marketing industry has developed targeted email lists you can rent — lists consisting of people who have agreed to receive commercial email messages. These lists cost $40 to $400 per thousand or 4 to 40 per name. Do a smaller test first to determine the quality of the list. Your best bet is to find an email list broker to help you with this project. You’ll save money and get experienced help for no additional cost. Realize, however, that due to the high cost of renting lists, many businesses won’t generate enough businesses to justify the cost. Run the numbers before you invest.
4. Begin an Affiliate Program. Essentially, a retailer’s affiliate program is a CPA program that pays a commission to other site owners whose links to the retailer’s products result in an actual sale. The goal is to build a network of affiliates who have a financial stake in promoting your site. If you’re a merchant, you need to (1) determine the commission you are willing to pay (this is your advertising cost), (2) select a company to set up the technical details of your program, and (3) promote your program to get the right kind of affiliates who will link to your site. Software and service companies are available to facilitate the process. The problem is getting enough affiliates who will actually work hard to promote your products or services. These “super affiliates” will probably consist of only 1% to 3% of your total number of affiliates.
6. Shopping Comparison Bots and Auction Sites. If you’re an online merchant, you’ll want to consider this. Shopping bots compare your products and prices to others. Some work on a PPC (Pay Per Click) basis, others on a CPA (Cost Per Action) basis, perhaps with a listing fee. Bots to consider include mySimon, BizRate, PriceGrabber, and Shopping.com. Shopping sites that include comparison features include: eBay, Yahoo! Shopping, and Amazon Marketplace. You pay to acquire first-time customers, but the overall goal is to get return customers.
Viral Marketing, PPC/CPV, Classified Ads
Well…there you have it; the fifth and final part of a 5 part series on Mastering Website Advertising. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read these articles and we at iIntercept Media hope you are able to use the resources provided. I hope this was as enjoyable for you to read as it was as enjoyable for me to write. We would like to be able to offer our services to you and if you need any help contact us today.
If you were not able to read the previous articles here is the full series:
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5. Adwords marketing strategy. Google AdWords. Don’t cringe…this is an excellent strategy which Forbes calls a simple, “pay-per-click service which allows you to create and run ads for your business.” This strategy is vitally important. Most Internet businesses will want to explore using Google AdWords or Wordstream to drive targeted traffic to their websites.
These PPC ads appear on the search engine results page, typically both above and to the right of the organic or natural search engine results. Since they are keyword-driven, they can be quite relevant to what a searcher is trying to find. Your ranking in this list of paid text ads is determined by (1) how much you have bid for a particular search word compared to other businesses, (2) the click-through rate on your ad, and (3) your Quality Score, which reflects the relevancy and quality of your ad and the landing page it points to. PPC ads can be a cost-effective way to get targeted traffic, since you only pay when someone actually clicks on the link. But I strongly recommend that you study this very, very, very carefully and expect a learning curve before you invest large sums of money in PPC advertising. Facebook advertising can be a very effective way to take advantage of the different methods of paid advertising strategies. Take a look at the four quick articles we have on our Facebook Advertising Strategies page. If you are already an expert at Facebook advertising then these articles may be too rudimentary for you but if you would like to get the basics and build on them then they are a great place to start.
In our previous article, Mastering Website Advertising (Part 4) we discussed Mastering Website Advertising with the different methodologies for customer engagement using Strategic Email Marketing. In this article we will discuss Mastering Website Advertising with the final combination of (1) contests, (2) viral marketing (3) paid advertising strategies, (4) affiliate programs, (5) adwords, (6) shopping and auction sites, (7) email renting, and finally (8) online classified ads.
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3. Paid Advertising Strategies. Every approach described is going to take time and energy. But if you want to grow your business more rapidly, there comes a point when you need to pay for increased traffic. Advertising is sold in one of three ways: (1) traditional CPM (cost per thousand views), (2) pay per click (PPC), (3) pay per action (PPA) or cost per action (CPA), (4) pay per view/ cost per view (PPV/CPV) approaches. We use a PPV/CPV method and after some amazing trial and error in the beginning. However, after fine-tuning we found our Contextual Pop Over Advertising or CPV advertising combined with Adwords (which we will discuss soon) has been some of the most cost effective forms of advertising and one of the reasons we offer the service to our customers. Additional examples of paid advertising strategies are affiliate programs and lead generation programs. You can use banner ads however, without the proper strategy banner ads get low click-through rates so I don’t recommend paying much for them. Make sure your banner ads are targeted well. Do some small tests first to determine response. Then calculate your return on investment (ROI) before spending large amounts.
2. Viral Marketing Promotions. With viral marketing…have fun. Viral marketing uses existing communication networks to spread the word exponentially. Word-of-mouth, PR, creating “buzz,” and network marketing are offline models.The key to the best viral marketing, however, is to create something which generates a buzz and is so cute, weird, fun or so outlandish that it gets passed by viewers to their friends via email and social networks, thousands and thousands of times, so it propels more and more people to your website, and, hopefully, helps enhance your brand, produce sales, and ultimately boost profits. Internet marketers often seek to launch viral campaigns on Digg or YouTube. Digg is a social bookmarking site with such power, that if enough people “Digg” you, you appear on the Digg front page and receive a huge number of visitors in a few hours. If your video goes viral on YouTube, you could get tens of thousands of visits to the site you promote in the video. However, viral marketing is difficult to do well.
1. Announce a Contest. Everyone likes to win something. People love getting something for free, especially if it is something of value. If you publicize a contest or drawing available on your site, you’ll generate more traffic than normal. Make sure your contest rules are legal in all states and countries you are targeting. Prizes should be designed to attract individuals who fit a demographic profile describing your best customers. For example we are currently promoting a contest to win a free $5,000 website. We believe every business should own a piece of the Internet and we understand how difficult it was to start our own business so we want to help and putting together a contest helps us advertise and helps us help another business get online.
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