In a world where getting and keeping visitor’s attention is money in your bank, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep people where you need them. On your site. You’re always up against big companies with a their big budgets, you’re also competing with many social media sites and a multitude of other distractions, such as other sites in the same niche for the attention of your readers.
But that doesn’t mean your advertising and marketing efforts have to cost a pilot’s pay-packet or that you have to be a drama queen in order to stand out from the wannabes and also rans. Here are five novel and inexpensive ways for free website promotion to make your business seen in an increasingly digital world:
1. Get an endorsement by a local celebrity.
Many business owners have the idea of having their product or service spoken of by a global celebrity, preferably on a popular chat show. But instead of getting the attention of a superstar to support your business (and the bad publicity that may come with a public fall from grace), try seeking out a local celebrity instead. One who has recently caught the public eye in a smaller way. ideal for your free website promotion efforts.
Who exactly are these local celebrities? They are people your local paper is writing about — perhaps an “unsung hero” such as someone who got onto the televised part of a talent show, gained an award somewhere or a resident who’s doing something newsworthy for their neighbours. Since they’re local to you, these people should be reasonably easy to track down and then contact by phone or e-mail. Let them know you’d like to send them a gift, namely your product or service.
The only catches: It needs to be something they would like to associate themselves with, which could be tricky in some niches. Also, you’d like to follow up with them after a few days to get their honest opinions. Their responses can make for useful blog or marketing content. It is also worth contacting the news outlet that originally put them in the spotlight to let them know you have the support of their new-found celebrity
2. Create a group on LinkedIn.
A LinkedIn group free to create and it can enable you to offer your professional associates a highly useful information resource and all the while driving extra visiting traffic to your site which should increase your sales. Whatever you do though, don’t use the group to hard sell to anyone. This is a bit more subtle method of free website promotion.
It will take some time and no little amount of effort to get a group going properly, but the aim here should be to help provide ideas and resources and to start discussions on various topics that can be of benefit your tribe. Groups should also be a place for all your members to network with other each other online. To this end you need open discussions to take place, so keep asking what others think.
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3. Get articles published on niche blogs.
While it can be very difficult to get on the front cover of a major print magazine, you can easily consider their online counterparts. You have to prove the quality of your writing and make sure you can talk about important issues in your niche whilst giving you some free website promotion. You should then create marketing strategies and opportunities by being featured in a popular niche blog.
Identify three to five blogs that target your market and contact the creator and offer a few ideas of how you’d like to bring value to his or her readers. Be prepared for a few rejections at first, but once you’ve gotten one or two under your belt, you’ll be able to use them as references for others. You must:
- Demonstrate good will by offering the niche blog owner a something that they themselves could use or which they can give away to their audience as a gift. If you can get them to run a competition around your gift or service, you could easily be onto a viral winner.
- Send ideas for blog posts you’d like to write, (but not completed articles or posts) and then explain how and why they would be helpful for their readers.
- Ask if you can do an interview with them for your site. This might also then entice the blog manager to promote your content since it highlights his or her business. Interviews can be done over Skype or on a Google Hangout which if done as a video as well as an audio can be hugely valuable to both of you.This method of free website promotion is still greatly under-used but is a win-win for all the participants.
4. Create videos for YouTube and other video sites.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine and the third most visited site on the internet. With almost a thousand million unique visitors each month, YouTube is a tremendously powerful platform for getting a business seen online. To be of use though to your free website promotion you must go beyond simply posting ‘bits and pieces’ videos of your product or sharing your random thoughts.
The videos you make for your marketing should include many of the following ideas:
- A keyword-researched headline – there’s no point in talking about something on your own. A lot of people need to be interested in your topic.
- A clear editorial message (don’t try to accomplish too much in one video). Also keep it short. The idea of the video is to get them to visit your site, not to sell your product or service directly or entertain them for an hour. Free website promotion doesn’t mean a hard sell at every opportunity.
- A call to action (tell the viewer to do something, such as visiting your site. A secondary action is subscribing to your YouTube channel). Make sure this call to action is in the video and in the description box underneath – definitely in the first 2 lines where it can be seen without scrolling. Also make use of the extra features that YouTube allows you to overlay onto your video.
- If you put your video up on different sites as well as YouTube, use different descriptions each time. You will end up with different keywords and multiply your chances of being found in searches.
While you can spend an absolute fortune on cameras, lighting equipment and editing software, you already have suitable equipment in your pocket. The camera built into your smart-phone will be able to a video good enough for online use. Do talking head or better, head to head (interviewer and expert) for best results although it is possible to use online or offline software to create cartoons and drawing films. Presentation videos are for the camera shy, but still work if you’re prepared to include your voice and a still image of yourself too.
As for editing, if you’re on a Windows PC, for instance, you should already have Microsoft Movie Maker already in your applications or if not seek it out and download it. Even if you don’t have a PC you can find free software online or hire a professional editor on sites such as Fiverr.com, possibly for as little as $5 depending on the scope of the work.
5. Write an e-book about the biggest issues in your industry.
Writing a book these days is not the big and scary prospect it once was. You can self-publish on Amazon or Smashwords within minutes of completing the writing process. If you want visitors to your site, then offer the book as cheaply as possible. You’re not interested in the income from the book, just the exposure to more of your ideas to more people.
Keep the book on a single topic, explore only idea and give only one solution and say that there is more information on your web site. Ideally, send them straight to a landing page where you are offering more info in return for their email and build up your email list that way.
Even if you’re time-strapped and not great writers should really consider this. By using sites like E-lance or Odesk to research and hire an affordable ghost-writer who can take your blog posts or audio recordings and turn them into a book format.
When it comes to marketing your book, set the price low… between $1 and $5 — which makes it a ‘no thought’ impulse purchase — then use and re-use social media, video marketing and e-mail list marketing to promote it as much as possible.
Seek out Twitter members who will offer to re-tweet your book links (There are several. Find ones who specialise in non-fiction) and, if you make your release exclusive to Amazon, time the re-tweets for days when you can offer your book for free (5 days every 90 days).
To generate more leads, keep in mind that Amazon allows prospective buyers of your book to take a sneak peek of the first few pages so be sure to embed links into these early pages so you can capture leads from people who were interested but didn’t wind up buying your book.
This was a marathon!
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Also let me know if you like these longer posts. They take more effort to write but should ultimately be more rewarding for you as well as me.