Advertising your online business in the offline world maybe old-school and low-tech, but in today’s world, where so many people walk around with web-connected devices, it could be worth the effort.
Dominic Kelly is using flyers and postcards to promote the release of his new website MakeMyChoice.com. The site a combination of a Q&A and a recommendation engine. A user posts a life question, often with a finite number of options and a community of strangers gives their opinion — informed or otherwise. What college should I attend? Should I get a tattoo? iPhone or Android? If you have a choice to make, this is the place to do it.
Dominic and I talked this week about the choices he made in regard to marketing the site and I’m going to share those words of wisdom with you, because I’m that kind of person.
Why did you decide to use flyers and postcards to promote the site?
I decided to use flyers and postcards to promote my site because I noticed there were a lot of places to legally post flyers around town. Places included coffee houses, Starbucks, universities, and community bulletin boards. I thought it would be a great way to alert people in local communities to find out more about my project.
Tracking is important in a marketing campaign. Are you doing anything to track the success of flyers?
I am just monitoring the amount of new sign-ups, and where they are coming from. Also, I have the people who are putting up flyers also creating new groups, and getting people involved on the site. So I can monitor their progress behind the scenes.
Are you doing any other offline promotion?
The only other offline promotion I am doing right now is meeting with different businesses and organizations to assist them in setting up group pages for their clients and members.
For instance, I am helping a real estate company set up a group page for all their clients and perspective clients. With a group homepage, they can answer any questions people may have, create surveys instantly, and post any links and resources that may assist their clients in making the best decisions possible. Some schools have started setting up groups for their classes and/or entire campuses. Also fraternities and sororities have started using it for creating surveys, making group decisions, and posting links.
What about online promotion?
I have a Microsoft Advertising account. That is the pay-per-click program that Yahoo and Microsoft offers. I find that this program gives much more exposure for much less money than Google Adwords. Google Adwords has become ridiculously expensive for each click through to your website. There may still be ways to find inexpensive key words, but I have not been able to create a reasonable campaign there for quite some time, and I am a 10+ year web development veteran. I have used pay-per-post services like SponsoredReviews.com. Services like these create a marketplace where bloggers offer to write about your product or service for a small fee. The fee depends on the amount of traffic their blog receives.
What are your thoughts in general on launching a new website and getting that initial run of traffic?
If you can get a good pay-per-click program running that is giving you a good amount of sign-ups but not breaking the bank that is a good start. You also must test your website with friends and family, and make sure you are ready to launch. Many times you need feedback about how things work before getting the public on there.
Most of all, be patient, traffic takes time to build, through lots of different avenues. But if you have a high-quality product or service, that really gives people something they want or need, the traffic will come.
Are We Ever Really Offline?
Less than five years ago, for an offline campaign to work, people had to pick up the postcards to take home or write down the URL they saw on a flyer. Then, you had to hope that they would make the big leap from URL to computer once they got home, hours or even days later. Now, all of that has changed. With a smartphone or laptop, a person can go from seeing your flyer to logging on to your site in a matter of minutes.
The biggest downsides to offline marketing is that it is location specific and it requires more manpower than sending out a Tweet online. But if you’ve built a great website, that single flyer could turn into a hundred visitors when the initial contact posts about it on Facebook.
Do you use offline marketing for your online business?