Someone in one of my groups on LinkedIn asked “what is the best way to allocate (promotional) resources?”
Asking how best to allocate their limited resources (time and $$)
I answered and thought I’d share it here, you may have heard this before.
Start with the free stuff. There are some good ones
When paying, try anything that makes sense to you, but be sure to take the time to track how much/many you get from every single ad/promotion. You need to know if you are spending $1 to make $10 or $10 to make $1
Otherwise you might as well take your money to a casino.
I’m currently building a new site that’s called Spofferz.com. That stands for Special Offers with a “Z”
It’s a pretty cool site where it free for a business to add a SpOffer. Any business can register free and add one SpOffer every month. Each SpOffer will expire and be automatically deleted in 30 days from it’s posting. Merchants have the option of having their SpOffer expiring sooner, later or not at all, but in any case in order to keep our service current and accurate all SpOfferZ will be deleted in 30 days.
Our only request is that the SpOffer gives our visitors something that will make them want to try your product or service. Something of value. Self serving or strictly promotional SpOfferZ will not be considered.
We have future plans to offer an enhanced membership that will allow for more than one SpOffer at a time as well as premium placement for your SpOffer.
Visitors will be able to print SpOfferZ and take them to the merchant for redemption. Visitors will also be able to vote for the SpOfferZ of their choice and the more popular the SpOffer the higher they will move up in the search rankings. The highest ranking SpOfferZ will appear in several prominent places in our site.
Visitors can also subscribe to our RSS feeds for the entire site or any individual category. That way our visitors will know when a new SpOffer is posted in a category they are interested in.
Because Spofferz.com are a brand new site I’m very interested in your thoughts. I want to know what you like, what you don’t like and if you have any ideas on how we can improve please add a comment and let me know what you think.
My friend Sheri Powell ran a promotion yesterday that I can’t remember anyone else doing before.
“On this day in 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act, thereby creating the U.S. Post Office. In honor of this historic day, shipping is free at Pretzel Crazy on all orders placed today!”
I have written before how I love making up a good holiday for promotion. Looking for a good opportunity to connect yourself to an event that my go viral. I’m sorry I didn’t get this up sooner, but I have marked my calendar to let everyone know about it next year.
Search engines and their algorythms are constantly changing. So the exact rules for being found by the search engines are not known, but here are also some old mainstays that don’t really change.
SEO is Simple – My Rules
Rule 1 – Have good navigation that search engines (and humans) can read and follow
- If they don’t know it’s there how can they see it?
Rule 2 – Have good content and keep adding more.
- The first thing I say is to have something that people actually want to see or use.
Simple rule, but often ignored.
- Then, letting your visitors speak about your content adds new content and more value.
Rule 3 – You need to have other, preferably high ranking sites link to you.
- Same thing. Give people (not search engines) what they want to see so they will want link to you.
Then help them do it. Pay walls are death!
Social network sites, like facebook and Twitter are a really great way to add high ranking links to your site and also attract good conversation. It’s important to remember that they own your conversation when it’s on their site. Conversation on your own site then becomes much more valuable for you, so it’s best to try to direct people there. First to publish many times is seen as the *owner* by Google.
My Rules For Good Conversation
- First and most important is admit when you are wrong.
Try to fix your mistake as best you can and move on.
- Don’t try to censor criticism. Answer it!
- Add value to the conversation.
Keep the self promotion to a minimum.
Let your fans promote you
- There are programs to plug your blog into social networking sites. Publish your own content on your own site first. You are viewed as the owner of the content and it helps encourage conversation on your site.
- Some people ask me about planning a viral campaign, video or email.
The answer is, it’s really hard to do. The best ones usually just happen, but if you don’t put something out there to be shared, it guaranteed won’t ever happen.
- To recap, be yourself and listen well
- read more
It seems that whenever I speak to people about websites they are always more concerned with traffic and how to get more visitors than anything else. It doesn’t seem to matter that if their site looks bad or is not very user friendly, any traffic that they do get will probably leave right away.
I suppose it’s my job to make sure that my sites look good and work well, but there’s still that tricky part of turning your visitors into fans of your site and customers of your business.
I was reading an article on my local newspaper’s site this morning about a Pittsburgh company that seems to be doing just that. ModCloth is a clothing company that’s promoting their business in a very non-traditional way. They’re still spending on promotion, when I Googled their name I did see they are paying for clicks, but the newspaper article pointed out they’re doing much more. They’re actively listening to their customers, asking them what they want and for the most part giving them what they ask for.
They’re allowing their visitors to vote on items they want to see in stock, help name and describe products and suggest styling tips. They have ModStylists to guide customers and give advice from how to accessorize to what to wear to an event. It’s a really good lesson for anyone promoting almost anything.
I read today on Mashable that Wendy’s is going to try some social media promotions for it’s Frosty product. I think that this is a really good idea and even if it doesn’t work as well as they hope it should give them a valuable road map for future promotions.
I’ve always believed that the best of these kind of things are not intentionally produced, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work at all. If Wendy’s will let this one go where it’s fans want to take it they may find out this kind of promotion can really help them.
Update 5-27 Wendy’s found me and Is following me on Twitter pretty good start.
Wade Richards is my customer. Have a look at his site.
He’s a musician using wordpress tools to promote his business and doing a good job of it.
One of your best promotional tools is your personal email. If you don’t overdo it your sig file can be a real help to your business. It’s free, could get passed around and after it’s set up it takes no extra work at all.
A while ago I got an email from someone who is in the promotion business. Their sig file was one picture. You couldn’t copy and paste the name, click on the website address (or phone number if you are on a smartphone) because the picture wasn’t linked to anything.
You want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to contact you and see your promotions. Use plain text and inline CSS in your sig file copy and links and don’t assume that the person reading it is on a computer.
Send an email to your computer or better yet to your cell phone and try to see the things that you are promoting.
I saw a post on LinkedIn today by Mike Clough called Top 10 Advertising Tips For Small Business. I was interested in the title so I went to the site and read the article. I liked what he had to say, but for me the #1 promotion is to give something away for free.
Information is the perfect product for this. Write an ebook (you could even buy one) about your business and give it away. It costs you almost nothing.
Mike also says *Have an effective website*. I couldn’t agree more. Simple, but still effective.
The other tips are pretty good, too.
I’m back to work today after a great visit to see my nephew graduate from Navy boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. It was a fun time even though we didn’t get to see him for long as he had to fly out to his new school in Virginia.
I was catching up on my work and not thinking about this blog yet when I got an email from T-Mobile. You may know that I have had a G1 Android phone since the beginning. I have written about how much I like the phone, but since it’s the very first one there have been some upgrades and I’ve been thinking about getting newer features, more memory, better battery life, that kind of thing.
Today’s email said “Buy the MOTOROLA CLIQ™ with MOTOBLUR™ for $199.99* and a free car charger is yours.” I checked out the * and thought, WOW this might be a good time to upgrade. It had surprised me that they would give me the discount to upgrade, since I still had almost a year left on my agreement (from the G1 buy), but it didn’t mention that either way in the fine print. I had researched the Cliq, and liked what I saw, even thought some people had warned me to avoid Motorola. I was willing to add the extra two years (mentioned in the fine print) to my contract to the one that I had left.
I was very disappointed, but not surprised to get to the T-Mobile site and see that my cost for the Cliq would actually be $369.98. So instead of going right back to work, I wasted some time investigating new Android phones. What I found was that Acer is bringing out what looks to be an even cooler model, The Liquid. The previews all sound like this phone may provide me with even more of what I want than the Cliq.
I’ll wait to see the actual reviews once it’s available and there is not a set price for this phone yet. I imagine it will be more than the Cliq, especially since I won’t be buying it from T-Mobile, but I also won’t be extending my contract.
I’m not sure that I’ll buy the Liquid, but I know that I wouldn’t even have gone looking for it if T-Mobile had sent me an email today with the actual price I would have to pay for a Cliq instead of a generic ($199*) ad.