Introduction to Marketing
Promoting a website consists in making it known publicly through several channels in order to, depending on the case, improve traffic, gain a reputation, attract prospective customers or develop sales numbers.
"Web marketing" (also called cybermarketing or netmarketing) is any campaign that improves a website's visibility by using the Internet as a marketing channel. The term web marketing is used as opposed to "traditional marketing".
Because webmarketing and traditional marketing are not necessarily exclusive of each other, a well articulated online advertising campaign and a traditional offline advertising campaign will have even more impact.
The press is the best traditional medium for running a communications campaign. Website promotion does not depart from this rule.
Communication through this channel usually takes the form of a press release, i.e. a short descriptive text sent to journalists.
Setting up reciprocal links consists of establishing a partnership between several complementary websites by exchanging links in order to improve traffic to all of them. This is one of the most advantageous advertising strategies because it is easy to implement and low in cost.
Exchanging links can help a website benefit from traffic coming from partner sites, but it can also be counterproductive or hurt a website's image if the partners are not suitably chosen.
In order to set up this type of partnership, you must first choose websites that complement yours and not websites that are in direct competition. Future partners should be chosen according to the following criteria:
- Content Quality
- Position in Search Engines
There are link exchange services (often called link farms or webrings) that group together links from several websites belonging to the same category. This type of service makes tools available for randomly displaying the links of websites joined together in partnership. Websites offering this service generally promise a spectacular increase in traffic. However, it is the link farm itself who wins big because a link to their website is on all the pages in the partnership.
Content exchange is a good way to make a website known while forging relationships with partner sites. Content exchange involves making elements of content available to other sites in exchange for visibility, thanks to a link to the source and possibly a logo.
Viral marketing consists of using interpersonal relationship between Internet users to spread information. This technique involves turning website visitors into that site's advertising ambassadors through recommendation or word of mouth. Successful viral marketing will lead to exponential distribution.
There is a difference between passive viral marketing, where the product is responsible for promoting itself, and active viral marketing, which involves conveying a message about a product in a medium that is sent out. Instant messaging and cell phones can be associated with passive viral marketing to the extent that their use encourages a user's family and friends to use them, too.
It is possible to trigger viral marketing by circulating small videos or goodies (under 1 Mb ideally) so that they are spread by email. The best way to ensure that they are spread is by making them funny.
The main viral marketing media are:
- Virtual postcards or e-cards
- Wallpaper or backgrounds
- Animations and games
- Video clips
- Practical and original utilities
More and more websites also offer a function allowing visitors to recommend the website to a friend. This is a type of viral marketing that uses the visitor as a marketing tool for reaching friends.
Promotion on Existing Media
In can be worthwhile for a company to take advantage of existing marketing media (especially paper media such as business cards, estimate forms, catalogs and brochures) and print their URL on them.