Get people to wear your URL.
Everyone thinks of the obvious when promoting a website’s address (also known as the URL). TV advertisements, newspaper ads, radio commercials and bumper stickers are all commonly used to direct traffic towards a web address. So how about something slightly different – get people to wear your site address.
Sponsor a local event in your community and provide shirts for the volunteers to wear on the day. Maybe you could even hand out paper visors to children at those events to protect them from the sun (with your address on them of course). These items can be created on a budget either by yourself (use iron-on transfer paper in your inkjet printer) or you can get them done via an online printer. Try joining the email list of one of these companies (like Vistaprint) and watch out for specials to save yourself even more money.
I have my web address out in the Innisfail community by sponsoring a touch football team called, you guessed it, The Rusty Mangoes. All ten players have my web address plastered across their backs all season and the lads all direct traffic to me whenever they are asked about my rather unique business name. The set of jerseys cost me about $300 in total from a great business called http://nsjsportswear.com.au .
Generally if you want your website or business to earn some instant cool points (and site visits), create a video that is so awesome that it will be tweeted and Facebook and emailed all over the world generating lots of hype. This is known as a viral video.
How do you create one? Well unfortunately, there is no stock standard recipe. These videos can be as simple as a bunch of kids jumping around in a room (The “jiggle” video was released by some teenagers that were bored during the recent bad weather in Queensland) to a highly professional advertisement costing thousands of dollars. No one knows which ones will become viral.
If you have an awesome product, sometimes that is enough on its own. Head to Youtube and check out the videos for the GoPro video camera unit. Nearly every one of these videos has gone viral purely based on the quality of the recording and the subject matter which is usually extreme sports and fantastic shots of nature.
Sit down and think about your business and whether it lends itself to a viral type video – you may be surprised at what you come up with! Be sure to brand anything you make with your website address.
Create a Day
After the success of Red Nose Day and the many benefits it provides for SIDS research, it seems that everybody has jumped on the bandwagon and created their day / month “for a cause”. You could do the same for your business however, in my opinion, you would probably get lost in the glut of days out there. So why not create a day for your business (and website) that ties in with a calendar date that already exists. Pizza shops already own cheap Tuesday, Harvey Norman has a super Saturday, so why can’t you?
Pick a day of the week or an obscure national day anywhere in the world – “Visit our website on 31st January – Backwards Day. Our prices are going backwards for one day only.”
You could encourage visitors to come into your site on “Speak like a Pirate Day”. Ask them to leave a video message about themselves (speaking like a pirate of course) and they will receive a discount on your services. Once the day is over, send out a press release and get more traffic coming to visit an archive page of the messages that were left.
There are a billion and one ideas out there – what yours?
Release a free eBook.
Here’s an idea that I am going to try out in the next couple of weeks. I have a couple of books that I have written sitting on my computer, one of them hasn’t seen the light of day for about eight years. Rather than waste these literary master pieces by leaving them on my computer, I am going to convert them to e-book files (PDF and EPub) and upload to the Rusty Mango website.
The first of the books is the tutorial that I give to each of my clients to teach them the basics of updating their own sites. The second is an actual novel that I wrote over ten years ago but never published.
How will this help my business website?
For starters, both e-books will have my business website address in the footer. Anyone who downloads or receives the file will instantly know where they have come from and may come to visit to find out more information. The books also act as an advertisement of my skills as both a web designer and a creator of ideas.
You don’t need to write a novel for your website that – simple fact sheets about your industry could be enough to drive traffic to your site. If you were into computer sales, you could offer handy “cheat sheets” for software programs that you sell. A restaurant could offer “everyday recipes” and an accountant could publish basic budgeting tutorials.
The basic idea is to offer the visitor a reward for coming to your site and an incentive to invite others to do the same.
Group Together for Benefits
We have all seen the ads on TV – great new developments, not yet off the ground, offering free dinners to those who come and listen to the developers spiel at some fancy hotel’s function room. I’ve never actually been to one as I am not personally interested in this sort of banter however what if we could use the same concept but actually offer potential clients some valuable information whilst stamping ourselves as market leaders worthy of their patronage.
For example, Rusty Mango Design could team up with an SEO expert from Mission Beach and a Business Computer guru from Innisfail to hold a “Get Online in 2013” mini conference at a local function room (probably my friends at Roscoe’s). Advertising would be attacked on all mediums for a few weeks before the conference and we’d all make a number of cold-calls to attract the right type of attendees. We each come prepared with an engaging presentation (themed to tie into one another) that is both informative and geared towards the targeted audience. The attendees at the conference receive nibblies and beverages (non-alcoholic of course) along with a sample bag containing of the conference notes, freebies (pen, notepad, etc), our business cards and vouchers for our services.
Admittedly, there is a fair bit of work involved however a mini-conference could show a good return in investment as the presenters can physically demonstrate why business should jump on-board with them instead of the competitors. Even though some attendees may not require services straight away, the conference will put the conference businesses in the forefront of their minds in future when they do.
Take time to think now – who could your business join forces with to create a tour de force conference?
I hope you have noticed this podcast episode has not been about the content of the site – these are just simple but alternative ideas that you can use with/on your site to drive traffic through the front door. Once the traffic arrives, the content still has to be great to convert visits to sales. But without someone to view that content, it has no purpose. Set one of these tips in motion today and be sure let me know how it goes!