Promoting Your Web
Many of us who are
heavily involved in on-line projects forget that
there is actually a whole other world out there that
doesn't spend their day working on-line or in front
of a computer. If you're generating revenue from
banner ads or other "virtual means," you
might be thinking, "Yeah, but people who aren't
on-line aren't my prospects anyway." That may be
true, but there are lots of people who have access to
the Internet, who do not spend a significant amount
of time searching for places to visit on-line.
Most people with Net
access will never even know about your web site -- no
matter how adept you are at marketing, advertising
and networking on-line. How do you reach these
people? You reach them through traditional means --
A prime example of
offline advertising driving on-line success is the
recent Victoria's Secret SuperBowl ad that invited
people to the live Webcast of its Spring Fashion
Show. The site was flooded with over one million hits
within the first hour after the company's 30-second
spot. People actually got up from the SuperBowl and
logged on to their web site -- setting an
unprecedented record in Internet history.
Of course, most of our
sites don't have the obvious attraction one would
find from Victoria's Secret -- glamour, beautiful
women, sex appeal, etc., but there are lessons to be
learned from their phenomenal success.
Know Your Market
First, they knew their
market. My first thought when I heard about this was.
"Why are they advertising lingerie to men?"
But, then I realized that women watch the SuperBowl
too. And more importantly, most women wear lingerie for
men. Matter of fact, I bet a significant
percentage of lingerie is actually purchased by
men for women. (If you're curious about that
whole male visual thing talk to David LeClair.) If Victoria's Secret hadn't
known their market, and just assumed who their market
was, they never would have thought to run an ad
during the SuperBowl.
Target Your Market
found the biggest congregation of people that fit
their prospect profile and hit them with a commercial
that they would find irresistible.
Be Prepared for
Success - Maybe?
Some industry experts
say that Victoria bit off more than she could chew.
Thousands of users experienced delays or simply never
got on-line when the one million plus visitors
flocked to the site. The actual Webcast was no
different -- again setting record attendance, many
were unable to log on, and those who did found the
reception jumpy. But then again, who cares?
Out of this debate about whether the Web was ready
for throngs of visitors to simultaneously access a
single web site, Victoria's Secret received untold
value in free promotion! For a couple weeks, it was a
favorite topic of on-line and off-line debate.
Victoria Secret would never have pulled as many
visitors to their web site, and would never have had
all the free PR for weeks if they had only promoted
their Webcast on-line. No amount of Web
promotion can reach the audience available off-line.
Maybe one day -- but not yet. Radio, TV, newspapers,
and direct mail are all viable means of reaching your
target audience. Consider cost effective ways of
promoting your products, services, and web site in
these media. Come back next week and I'll give you
some strategies for cost-effective offline promotion.