Using Traditional Media to Drive Site
Q1: What are the best ways to drive traffic to your site, (outside of banner
- In my opinion an "Off-Web, Drive-to-Web" campaign, is the best way to get
people to your site. Whether it be on the side of a bus, near the metro, via
"newsworthy" articles in the Washington Post and other nationwide publications,
you have to drive people to your site. I think seeing the URL outside of the Web is
Site visitors, now inundated with the constant blinking of ad banners, are
undoubtedly ignoring ads in order to get to the "meat" of the site. But, if they
see the same Web site URL flashed at them off the Web, it almost seems out of place,
catching them out of the Web environment and off guard. If the ad is intriguing and the
URL easy to remember, it will undoubtedly drive them to the site to investigate the next
time they are on the Web. [Amy Rupertus Peacock, Virtualathlete.com].
- Melissa MacKinnon's thoughts on using radio ads to bolster Web traffic:
users are typically very busy people. They don't have time to sit and read a whole paper
or to watch television for hours. But they do want to keep abreast of the news. News radio
stations fill that need with nearly 24 hours of news per day.
2) For the investment, radio is extremely effective. With the same budget, the
frequency achieved with a radio schedule is far greater than that of a high-caliber
newspaper or TV campaign. And in order for people to remember who your company is, what
you do and how they can find you -- frequency is essential.
3) You also want to make sure your message is actually heard. With news radio stations,
people are listening intently for information. Find a station in which the commercial
breaks are short -- which is key for retaining the audience.
4) Radio ads are easy. The station will produce a radio commercial for you at no extra
charge. They also produce more basic ads (e.g. straight reads), which are very effective
on news radio stations.
5) Traffic on the Internet peaks during the day while people are at work. Most
people (especially in Greater Washington) have Internet access at work. You want to catch
these people while they are driving to work, so that when they get there, they can log on
and find you. Driving to work is a great time to catch people when they are in their
"serious/work" mode -- contemplating things they have to do that day.
So, I strongly suggest radio. A news station or NPR are great choices. However, it's
difficult to get your message across with "sponsorship" ads on NPR since there
is not enough time -- especially with something new. So, you may want to try a local news
talk station. [Melissa MacKinnon @ superSonic BOOM]
- We placed ads on NPR and considered the sponsorship a success from a branding
perspective, and would consider doing it again for that purpose. But we did not see
significant traffic increase as a result of the campaign. So, using the radio really
depends on what your goals are. [Gary LaFever, email@example.com]
- If using radio, be sure that you have an easy-to-remember URL, which will really help
the effectiveness of the ad. [Amy Rupertus Peacock, Virtualathlete.com].
Ryan Phillips, who is publisher of the Journal Newspaper chain, says that newspapers
are the most effective ad campaign solution. There are only three Daily Newspapers in
Washington DC area, and over 50 radio stations. Ask strangers what station they listen to
you'll get 50 different answers. Then ask what the last commercial they heard was and they
Television is more fragmented with 100+ cable and broadcast options. It is also very
expensive to produce ads for TV. Direct mail pulls in an average good response of .005.
I recommend using a mix of Newspaper and Direct mail. Broadcast is just too spotty for
the small and medium business. Be prepared to spend a lot of money and pray you have
information that people are willing to pay for and no one else can give away. [Ryan
Phillips, Journal Newspaper chain, http://www.jrnl.com]
- We have grown traffic to our site by 3000% over the last year without paid advertising.
We work with women business owner/professional women associations to publicize ourselves
through their existing meetings and publications. We offer them a free presence, with
visibility and links on our site in return for the publicity. We also aggressively search
the Web for relevant sites with whom we can cross-link. Finally, we issue regular press
releases on what's coming next week on our site. The releases have started to be picked up
by NetGuide, MSNBC, Pointcast and others. [Gary LaFever, firstname.lastname@example.org]
- Traditional newsletter publishers rely 100% on Direct Mail as their new business
generator. And they are finding it harder and harder to make direct mail work. The
economics are a killer. Controlled-circulation (advertising supported) publications that
switch to the paid-subscription model have a tough row to hoe. List rental is absolutely
key, and the offer has to be well-structured. The real money is in the back-end -- the
renewals. The newsletter publishers who have been my clients started with products on
paper and have gone to the Internet subsequently, offering a licensing model to
subscribers who prefer electronic delivery. Most publishers who have a Web site drive
readers to it by promoting the URL in the print publications they send out. The Net is
also terrific as an archive available on a paid basis.
- Direct mail is a very expensive means of acquiring new customers. The conversion rate
from free issue to paying customer has been declining across the newsletter industry. But,
the key is to research your market and buy a really targeted list. An inexpensive
marketing tool would be a postcard offering a free trial through a specific directory on
your site. You can then track the number of sign-ups using the particular URL for each
list you use. Another method is to sponsor an event within your targeted readers' industry
such as a seminar. You'll want to offer free trials to the attendees and maybe have a
business card drop for a prize. [Valerie Voci, email@example.com]