Offline Promotion: Undervalued Opportunity

Jun 8 20:03 2005 Alex Polonski Print This Article

It seems obvious - the Website is online, so one should promote it online. Although it is true, people always undervalue a grand set of techniques of offline promotion.

When it goes about Website promotion,Guest Posting people usually think about such things as search engine optimization (also known as SEO), different pay-per-click advertising opportunities (such as Google AdWords and Overture), incoming links campaigns, and other methods of online promotion. It seems obvious - the Website is online, so one should promote it online. Although it is true, people always undervalue a grand set of techniques of offline promotion.

So offline promotion is…

Basically, it’s a complex of activities that make your target group aware of your Website’s existence through different material mediums or word of mouth. Let’s imagine that you are trying to promote a company’s Website. Your target group doesn’t surf Internet to find a company like yours. It’s used to seek potential partners trough exhibitions, industry magazines or so. However, you do realize that if they see your Website and find all necessary info there, they won’t pass by your company under no circumstances. What should you do then? Definitely, you should advertise your Website with those mediums that can reach your customer’s mind freely. More often than you might imagine, your message can be located offline.

Is it right for me?

Like there is no universal cure for anyone, there is no common answer for that question. However, there are two main groups of Websites that can benefit from the usage of some offline promotional techniques:

  1. Online community Websites;
  2. Websites of companies that run their operations offline.

Why those two? The logic is different there. As for the online communities, those unprofitable Websites unite thousands of people common in their interests. So we can assume that if your community Website is dedicated to e.g. blues harmonica playing you can promote it widely with some material fan attributes etc. Your aim here would be to involve as many permanent visitors as you can.

As for the company’s Website, you should turn an attention of a specific narrow circle of potential customers and partners. Business people are like two-faced Janus; they believe only the facts, people they know and material things, while they like to get an info as quickly as Internet can afford (if not even rapidly). Tell them about your company in a real time, let others tell them about you too, give them your card with your site’s URL, and you’ll be looking much more solid in their eyes, much worthier than your competitors.

Here the techniques go…

The number of ways of offline promotion is infinite. It can be limited with your own fantasy only. However, it would be wise to divide all possible ways into 3 main groups.

Group

Appeals to

Presumable Effect

Wide exposure of site’s URL on different material mediums (bags, billboards etc.)

People’s Curiosity

Increase of site’s general traffic.

Some visitors can become permanent.

Usage of site’s URL on company’s souvenirs, proposals etc.

Need to find a necessary info

Increase of company’s solid image in potential partners’ eyes.

Their awareness of company’s existence.

Usage of site’s URL on different occasions (press releases, conversations)

People’s Curiosity

Increase of site’s targeted traffic.

Let’s clarify a usage of those groups.

1.      Wide exposure of site’s URL on different material mediums.

Material mediums mentioned above can be:

  • Billboards;
  • Bags;
  • Umbrellas;
  • Cars;
  • T-Shirts and caps;
  • Print, radio, television ads etc.

That method can be used effectively mainly for online community site’s promotion just because it appeals to people curiosity. A general scheme of its performance is:

  1. A person sees an ad;
  2. He gets curious;
  3. He keeps the URL in mind;
  4. As soon as he gets to Internet he visits that URL;
  5. At the end, he either returns over and over, or he doesn’t.

In some specific cases, such method can give great results for companies’ Websites as well. It can be true mainly if:

  • The company has a well-known brand, so that such promotion can be just a reminiscent advertising.
  • The company runs a specific advertising campaign that makes people get curious and visit its Website.

As a conclusion, one should say that although such method can give high increase of general traffic, only a little number of visitors would be targeted. However, the word-of-mouth effect will change the scale to proper direction then.

2.      Usage of Site’s URL on company’s souvenirs, proposals etc.

This specific method can be applied mainly to a marketing strategy of a company that runs its operations offline. Since little souvenirs with company’s logo became a kind of good form in business, no one would argue that having an URL of a Website of a company you are going to deal with on the pen that company has presented you recently could be both pleasant and useful. Moreover, it is more likely that a person will visit your site if he finds its URL placed on the clock or a calendar on his table rather than if he would need to look for it in his documents or in a search engine.

Company’s correspondence is also a good medium to advertise your Website. Don’t forget to include the URL in all your letters and proposals, and people who are interested in such services will definitely spend several minutes to browse your Website.

3.      Usage of site’s URL on different occasions.

That’s what is usually defined as word-of-mouth effect. You can include the URL of your Website into all your press release and articles about your company that you publish in prints. That will definitely make people who are interested in further info about your company to browse the site. It can be also interviews or just private conversations when you can advertise the Website. And if it’s really informational and useful, you can expect a great effect of viral marketing when people will promote your Website yourself. In fact, although it seems the easiest way to proceed, it’s the most difficult and long-term technique to get more or less sizable result. However, it’s worth trying.

What’s the next…

Although now you can think that offline promotion of your Website will be a cure, do not fall into a trip of thoughtless running of advertising campaigns. This simple algorithm can save your time and money if you use it.

  • Define your target group. Will they really take care about your Website if they see an offline advertisement?
  • Think how you can reach their attention. Whether it should be TV or radio ads, billboards or bags and T-shirts, souvenir pens, calendars etc.?
  • Define where you’ll place/distribute the final advertising mediums.
  • Think what message will make people curious enough to visit your Website.
  • Prepare a draft copy and test it on some of your acquaintances.
  • When an ideal copy will be developed, you can start your campaign.

As a conclusion, try to think from a position of your target group. That will make you able to produce the most efficient message and distribute it wisely.

Just several tips…

And if you’ll think from a position of your target group, you’ll understand that you should make everything for them to memorize your Website’s URL. This applies mainly to if you wish to try to place your ads onto T-shirts, caps, bags, cars, billboards etc. There are tree main tips to make it easy:

  • Do not use long URL’s
  • Use meaningful URL’s
  • Try to make people curious with a logo or design

About the long URL’s. Imagine a person with a text on T-shirt, ‘THE-BEST-ONLINE-COMMUNITY-IN-THE-WORLD.COM’ or a shorter one, ‘PLAY-BLUES-HARMONICA.INFO’. Although those URL’s are meaningful enough, it would be hard to people that pass by such ad to read and memorize it. Hence, you loose visitors. It would be much better if you use a short type such as e.g. ‘NEIGHBOUR.COM’, or ‘BLUESHARP.INFO’. Anyway, if your Website is already known online with its long clumsy name, you can register a shorter one and redirect visitors to a real site.

If you aren’t an owner of such companies like Procter&Gamble (PG.com) or KPMG (KPMG.com), unlikely it would be good for you to name your site something like ‘BDFR.com’. People won’t remember such set of letters, so you won’t benefit from your offline promotion.

Although if you can’t use an URL name that will explain the main topic of your Website, you still can get targeted visitors. Place this URL along with a logo or informational design. It will certainly lead to a higher attention to your ad and subsequently will increase a targeted traffic to the Website. As for the logo style, it can appeal to two main issues:

  • It can lead to people’s curiosity;
  • It can be informational.

Whatever style you choose that will define a quality of traffic you’ll get.

And at the end…

At the end, you should really think if offline promotion can help you increase your site’s traffic and make it more targeted. It’s obvious that not any Website can use it. However, if you believe that yours can, if you apply an algorithm mentioned above, if you take care and adjust your URL to those three tips, if you use various techniques you’ll definitely be able to say then that your site’s visitors are as targeted as you always dreamt for.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Alex Polonski
Alex Polonski

Alex Polonski is a Senior Sales Manager at XITEX Software Company, Ukraine. The company works in offshore software development market since 1999 and has a fair expertise in J2EE and .NET technologies. Among company’s own-developed and marketed solutions, one can see a J2EE content management system, Xitex WebContent M1.

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