What should I consider when putting together my online marketing campaign?
by Naomi Kokubo, Cofounder of Founders Space
Start by taking a close look at your competitors. Where are they advertising? How are they advertising? The more you can learn about what’s working for them, the more time and money you will save when it comes to your own marketing campaign.
In addition, you need to be able to track each user an advertisement sends to your site. Is that user sticking around? Does that user buy anything? Where does that user run into trouble? You’ll find that some keywords translate into far more sales than others. You’ll also discover that some sites provide you with higher quality users than other sites.
When you don’t have a lot of capital, thinking creatively is your best bet. It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars on advertising and see very little in the way of a return. Having users click on your ads is just the first step. It doesn’t mean anything if those users aren’t sticking around to buy your products or use your service.
Often you can get away without paid advertising by forming strategic partnerships with other sites and organizations. To do this, you need something you can give them in return. Think creatively. If you can cross-promote on other similar sites that offer complimentary services and products, it can be a win-win scenario for everyone involved.
You should also consider going to forums where your users hang out and answering questions. For example, if you’re selling a new type of better sun screen, then you should be scouring the web for any discussion on skin cancer, and joining that discussion in a helpful way. You have to be careful not to come across as too pushy. People hate advertisers pushing products on forums. That said, there’s a way to participate while subtly promoting your product. This can be as simple as a link back to your website in the signature of your post.
Starting your own blog on a subject that relates to your product is another great way to market yourself without advertising. If you provide a lot of valuable information, people will start linking to your blog, and your blog will come up in search engine results.
Lastly, you should consider SEO (search engine optimization). This means making your site friendly to search engines so that you get indexed. This often works better than advertising, especially for startups on a shoestring budget.
I hope this helps!