You've launched your website, but do you know how your customers want you to tell them about company and product news and special promotions? The old saying "Catch the fish the way they want to be caught" is the best way to desribe good marketing.  Unobtrusively pushing information to your customers is always the best and most desired strategy. Snail mail and e-mail are the most preferred methods, followed by visiting the website when they feel like it, so you better make it very easy for your visitors to get new information and promotional offers on above the fold on your homepage. A homepage popup, a banner on top of the page, a rotating slideshow, a sidebar reminder, a button for a free download or widget can get the job done.

If you are selling a product and don't own a brick and mortar store, word-of-mouth and search engines are the top information channels, followed by print or online articles. Content marketing and a good PR strategy are essential; perhaps you need a blog to provide customer information, but there's really no subsititute for content and endorsements from trusted third party sources. Investing a little time and money in creating good content and getting others to write about your product or service will always get you positive results. 

Here's a ranking of the average customer's preferences for receiveing and discovering information. Use it as a guide to mix and match the best methods to use for your brand.

 

marketing promotion strategies infographic

Clients are always asking for a list of places to market and promote their websites.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a combination of creating links and content on your own site and on many others.  Every  SEO program is unique, many using geographic or industry-specific websites, but almost every site can benefit from a program that utilizes a combination of the marketing channels, sites and tools below:

Use Good Creative

  • Create a Emotional Connection
  • Kids sell - use images that connect to your audience

Search Marketing

  • Paid Search or PPC - Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, plus lots more smaller players
  • Search Engine Optimization - The best advertising channel for many businesses
  • Local Search - Free local listing on Google Maps

Blogging

  • Blogging - Showcase your products or expertise through your blog. Works great for service based business in which information can be given away
  • RSS - Feed out your blog content direct to RSS subscribers
  • Link Bait Content - Generate buzz and links through content
  • Guest Posting - Guest post on authority blogs
  • Paid Blog Posts - Reviewme

Social Networking Sites

  • Stumbleupon - Paid and free models
  • Twitter - Follow and connect with prospective customers and keep in touch with existing
  • Facebook Ads - Demographic and geotarget ads can work for DM
  • Facebook Profiles/Pages - Apps / fans pages / personal profiles
  • Mass Social News Sites - A story on digg or reddit may bring your site down!
  • Niche Social News Sites - Eg Sphinn for SEO
  • In Social Apps Ads - Socialmedia.com, fbx
  • Forum Signature - Advertise in your forum signature

Email

  • Blanket Mass Email - This is spam, so don’t do it.
  • Email database - buy/rent - Send your message to an opt in bought database
  • Email Shot Sponsorship - Sponsor a targeted website’s email shot
  • Email Newsletter - A regular reason to stay in touch with your customers
  • Application Emails - You can add marketing messages to other automated type emails you are sending out
  • Targeted Sales Email - The better researched and targeted your email (recipient and email copy) the better 
  • Personal Email Footer - Add marketing messages at the bottom of your emails

Content Promotion

  • Podcasts and itunes
  • Online Videos - Start a channel and publish on YouTube
  • Articles - Submit articles to ezinearticles & other article sites
  • Teleseminars
  • Free eBooks - build a targeted database by giving something away
  • Question and Answer Websites - Yahoo Answers, Blurtit, Answerbag, WikiAnswers

Online Other

  • Web Directories - Dmoz and Yahoo
  • Widgets & Toolbars
  • Virtual worlds, Secondlife - Would love to hear if this has worked for anyone
  • Text Ads
  • ISP level advertising - NebuAds
  • Behavioral Targeting
  • In Game Ads
  • Gamevitorials - Make a Flash game for your brand

Mobile

  • Mobile Search
  • Mobile Ad networks
  • Bluetooth Push
  • Mobile Apps - iPhone and Android Apps
  • SMS

Viral

  • Viral - funny or interesting content that people want to spread
  • Viral Seeding - Paid version seeding the above
  • Viral Loop - Gold dust, if the application spreads itself like Hotmail

Online Display

  • Banner Ads - Remember to try the ad exchanges for low CPM’s
  • Video Ads - Embedded ads in videos
  • Popups / Popunders
  • In Line Ads - Kontera, Vibrant Media
  • Contextual Text/Banner Networks - Google Adsense
  • Blog Ad Networks - BuySellAds, Federated Media
  • Niche Banner Ads - Eg w00tmedia.net for cult websites

Online Marketplaces

  • eBay - Sell anything on eBay
  • Amazon Marketplace
  • Supplier Portals - Wholesale/Import/Export Portals
  • Service marketplaces - Get projects from elance & guru
  • Classified Ads - Free ads on Craiglist, Gumtree & Google Base
  • Niche Online Storefronts - eg Dreamstime for Images

Online Networking

  • Linkedin - Build a network and Inmail rocks
  • Niche Online Communities - For example econsultancy
  • IM - Instant Messengers - Build your contact lists MSN, Gtalk, Skype 

Distribution Channels

  • Wholesalers
  • Exporters
  • Retailers

Online PR

  • Local and Industry Directories
  • Profile Page Promotion - From Wikipedia to Flickr
  • Blog Reviews - Get your products reviewed by top bloggers to generate buzz

Offline PR

  • Entering Business Competitions
  • Corporate Events
  • Interviews and quotes in Publications
  • Writing for Publications - With a bio of course!
  • Publicity Stunts
  • Celeb Endorsements

Partnership Marketing

  • Online Affiliate Programs
  • Joint Ventures

Networking

  • Corporate Entertainment
  • Personal Networking - Build a great black book & keep in touch
  • Tradeshow / Seminars - Go to events, places & seminars your clients are going to be & rub shoulders

Tradeshows

  • Speaking engagements
  • Stands
  • Tradeshow Sponsorship
  • Run Your Own Seminar

Promotional Material

  • Flyers
  • Branded Items
  • Catalogues and Brochures
  • Business Cards
  • Stickers
  • Promotional Gifts

Signage

  • Vehicle Lettering & Car Stickers
  • On Site Billboards - Construction industry standard
  • Store Front Signs
  • Walking Sandwich Boards - Also pointer sign holders

Cinema

  • In Film Product Placement
  • Pre Roll Ads

Television

  • TV Ads
  • Program Sponsorship
  • Product Placement

Radio

  • Radio Ads

Radio

  • Program Sponsorship
  • Product Placement

Outdoor Display

  • Road side billboards
  • Underground or Subways
  • Buses and Vehicles - Regional target via routes
  • Restrooms Billboards

Sponsorship

  • Team Sponsorship
  • Awards Sponsorship
  • Bursary Sponsorship

Direct Marketing

  • Directory Enquiries SMS Sponsorship
  • SMS List Marketing
  • Telesales Cold Calling
  • Mailshots
  • Personal handout
  • Door to Door Cold Calling

Print

  • Magazine Ads
  • Newspaper Ads
  • Publication Product Placement

Directories

  • Yellow Pages - Plus other large directories
  • Trade Directories

Doing Business Well

  • Word of Mouth - If your product is awesome it will spread
  • Referrals - The best form or marketing is when someone else refers you to a friend
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