Last month we took a look at a new method to use the Internet to drive consumers into your store. We then discussed the popularity of this method as well as creating and designing the Internet Offer. This month we will continue with the important details of publishing and promoting your Internet Offers.
There are numerous places on the Internet that you can publish your offers and we recommend all of them. Facebook is by far the easiest place to publish it and sending it to all your Fans is a great promotion. However, not everybody is on Facebook and seeing your coupon multiple times in various places is often needed to inspire them to print it out and come into your store.
Places to publish your Coupon Offer include:
Social Media - Facebook is the largest of these. You can post every Friday to all your Fans and call it Facebook Fan Friday or some other fan appreciation title. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You also should publish your offer on other social media as well, such as Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Your Website - Posting your new Coupon Offer on your website seems a natural fit. However, this is one of the more difficult places to post it. If you cannot upload the new offer each week yourself, you will need your webmaster to do it. Because they are weekly coupons, changing it in a timely manner is vital and may not be worth the expense and trouble.
Blogs - Blogs are an easy way to publish your Internet Offers on webpages that can be indexed and ranked in Google and the other search engines. There are two ways to publish your coupon on a Blog. One is to add your coupon in a Blog post. It will remain on top of your Blog until you create a new post and then your coupon will move down your blog and eventually off the first page. The other way is to create a page on your Blog for the coupons. Each week you can exchange the coupon for that week’s offer.
Both methods have their advantages and we recommend doing both. Posting the coupon in a Blog post makes your offer more visible when someone visits your blog and everyone who subscribes to your blog will receive an update of the new post. Posting it on a Blog Page has its advantages with the search engines. Because the URL to the page hosting your coupon remains the same each week, you can build links to the page establishing authority status for it. This makes it easier for your Internet Offers to rank higher in the search engines extending your market reach. In addition, your customers can bookmark the page to return each week to see your new offer.
When you create your blog post or page be sure to type out the offer in addition to posting the picture of the coupon. This way the search engines can read the text to index and rank it for the keywords contained in your message. In addition, below the coupon write out information about your store and provide directions and a link to your Google Local Page which contains your Google Maps location. If you do not already have a store blog you can create one or more blogs for your Internet Offers on Free Blog websites such as Blogger, Blog.com, Ning, or Tumbler.
Web 2.0 - Web 2.0 websites such as Squidoo, HubPages, Weebly, and WetPaint are all good sources to create webpages and post your Internet Offers. Like the free blog host, these are easy to set-up and there is no charge for their service. In addition these can also rank in the search engines after you build links to them and establish their authority status.
Promoting Your Promotions - Beware of the Field of Dreams Myth!
Just because you build something on the Internet they will NOT come. You have to promote it. This is the marketing phase of the Internet Offers and it is the most important, critical element. Get this part wrong and you waste all your efforts, or at least diminish them. There are 3 ingredients to properly market your Internet Offers.
Build Links - Link Building is not dead, but it has certainly changed over the past year. Social Bookmark websites such as Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit are a good place to start building your links. Links in the descriptions of videos on websites such as YouTube, Daily Motion, and MetaCafe are still considered high quality links. Links from all your Social Media profiles are also a good source for Link Building. Linking from Blogs and Web 2.0 websites are a source for links as well as places on which to publish your Internet Offers.
Social Sharing - In their efforts to make Google Plus a viable Social Network, Google has made Social Sharing the new Link Juice. Their reasoning is that if a business or website is not talked about on the various Social websites then it must not be very important. Getting your Internet Offer shared across Google Plus is of course the most important, but Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are valuable as well.
You will need to start the buzz by posting on different social sharing websites with links to your Internet Offers. Then the more people that share your message the better. Plus it is important for you to socially share the post you make on your business page through your personal profile to all your friends.
Paid Ads - While I am not a big advocate for paid advertising on the Internet, it does have its place, especially for short term promotions such as your weekly Internet Offers. Google Ads are based on Keywords and are a great source to link to your Internet Offers posted outside of Facebook. Facebook Ads are based on demographics and the best way to promote your Internet Offers published on your Facebook Page. Both of these advertising mediums allow you to limit your advertising to your geographical area.
We recommend taking out ads on Friday when you publish your offers and ending them on Sunday evening. By running them through the weekend they will be seen during the time that more people are online and you will receive the greatest value for your money.
In recent months, paid advertising has become more important to include in your marketing mix, especially on Facebook. Ever since Facebook went public they have focused more and more on Wall Street and turning a profit. Recent statics released by Facebook show that the average Status Update on a Business Page is seen by only 16% of the Fans. The reason is Facebook is now filtering posts from Business Pages and not showing them as often as posts made from a Personal Profile. They are forcing businesses to pay for Post Promotions and other paid advertising to get their message seen. Adding paid advertising to your marketing mix is now more important than before.
While no aspect of these Internet Offers is new to Internet Marketing, their value in driving consumers off the Internet and into your store is found in the combination of cross-channel publishing and multifaceted promotions as outlined in this article. In addition, their timing with the growing trend of discounts and coupon offers makes this the most powerful single tool to use in your Internet Marketing arsenal.
All of the steps involved are easy to perform and you do not need any special skills to create them. However, they are tedious and time consuming and skipping any of the steps involved will drastically diminish the effectiveness of the Internet Offers.