I recently received this email:
I'm not sure what is available to me as a WAHM with my own internet retail site. I do blog, and I do have a newsletter, but what else can I do to help me gain more traffic (it has been gaining traffic since I opened (in Feb 2008), but I'm thinking that I may have hit a wall lately. I do my own SEO work, but wonder if I'm missing a big piece of the puzzle?
Here’s my tips about drawing traffic to your website.
The great thing about internet marketing is that we no longer have to rely on traditional media (newspapers, magazines, TV) to publicize our message. We can now market directly to our customers. However, the internet is not a one-way marketing vehicle. Use the various sources within the internet to develop relationships and position yourself as an expert. Social marketing should be done on a regular basis. You can’t just create a blog or MySpace account and forget about them. You must use them regularly. Link back to your website as often as possible when creating and using all of these social media sites.
If you have a blog (which all companies should have a blog), search other blogs, read them and make genuine comments. If you have a babywearing business, read and comment on the blogs of pregnant women and women with babies. If you have a cake company, read the blogs of chocoholics and those who love to bake. You can read more about the powerful marketing effects of blogging on my website.
There are many forums and or groups within your community or in the internet world. Does your city have a forum? Mine has 380 Guide. My community has a forum specifically for moms. Whatever your niche or target market there is a web forum out there where people are talking about your type of products. I suggest you become a member and these forums or Yahoo Groups and participate in the conversations. Don’t use the forums to directly sell your product, but provide your expertise when members have questions pertaining to your industry.
According to MySpace for Dummies, “A social networking site is a site that allows users to create individual profiles in hopes of making contact with other site users that share similar interests of goals.” Businesses that create profiles on MySpace or Facebook have an excellent opportunity to generate a lot of “grass roots buzz.”
Traditional marketing tactics have always been a release-it-and-forget it process: place an ad, run a TV commercial, post a billboard. With on-line media outlets like MySpace and Facebook, it’s a two-way communication process. You simply can’t just create a MySpace page and hope for friends. It’s important to use the “tools” within each site to build relationships. Ideas include commenting on your friends’ pages, creating your own videos and posting them on your profile page, sending your friends bulletins about upcoming events and articles of interest. Be careful not to spam. The on-line social participants expect to be able to comment, leave questions and are uninterested in one-way dialogs.
Another social networking site that provides beneficial marketing opportunities for spas is YouTube. Simple and effective video cameras are very affordable these days. Short videos about the services you provide, product demonstrations, wellness tips from your technicians and tours of your facility require little editing. Sites like www.onetruemedia.com allow you to clip your videos and create montages which you can then post to YouTube. Once you’ve created and posted your videos, there many marketing opportunities within YouTube for you to reach customers: share it with the friends attached to your account; post a message on a bulletin board; and invite friends to subscribe to your account. Your YouTube videos can also be posted on your blog and within your MySpace and Facebook profile pages.
I’m a big fan of user-friendly on-line email marketing programs like Constant Contact, which allow companies to easily and effectively create high-impact, professional quality emails. The key is to provide valuable content within your eNewsletters – don’t just advertise your products and services. Valuable content includes success stories; photos of customers using your product; and news about your company; I always recommend that customers have an “Over at our blog” section with links back to posts for customers who may not have read your blog.
Twitter has many faithful followers who are loving the marketing results they are seeing with Twitter. I haven’t played around in Twitter very much. However, the blog for New World PR, writes about Twitter quite frequently. You may learn more about the marketing vehicle over there.