What is the simplest way to get noticed on the internet and to get the sales you want?
1. Start writing pages on your website that are all about what your customers want
The key point is that you don’t talk about yourself at the start, you talk about what your customers want – the problems they face, the answers they are trying to find.
Only let it emerge slowly at the end of the article that you are in fact the solution. If you let people become aware from the off that you are just pushing a product they will turn away. You have to be there to help them. Take it gently, take it slowly, write lots of pages.
2. Forget all the jargon about social media
Social media can help in some cases, but it is not the ultimate solution to everyone’s advertising needs.
To see if you are going anywhere with social media, open a Twitter account and advertise it on your website and on your blog if you have one. Put up a notice on every page suggesting that people can stay in touch each day with the news in relation to your subject area.
Then aim to post a new web page each day on some issue that is of interest to your potential customers, and follow this with a Tweet which leads to a link to that page.
We did this with one Twitter account and got to over 5000 followers in two years. It can work – but don’t expect to get followers in the tens of thousands – at least not for a while.
If it is appropriate to your product offer a 10% discount
3. Try to write things that people will want to forward to each other
Original content is what Google wants, and original content is what people tend to forward to each other,
So if you can write original pieces that are about your product area, but not specifically (at least not until the end) about you, then you are en route to going up the Google rankings, and finding more and more readers.
If it is appropriate to your product, offer a 10% discount to anyone who posts a link to your site on their site and mentions you in a Tweet. Don’t worry how many followers these people have – it is a nice advertising ploy anyway.
4. Keep sending out emails with a link to your site at the end
But try to avoid making them straightforward adverts. Don’t forget to grab attention and answer the key questions, “Why should I buy this?” and “Why should I buy this from you?” And remember that the simplistic answers such as, “because it is the best there is” rarely work.
Talk benefits, be conversational, and be entertaining.
5. Try really hard not to place adverts on Google Ad Words and Facebook
I’ve never found anyone selling a product costing under £3000 who has made Ad Words and the like pay for themselves. And even then they don’t get actual sales but in fact get enquiries which are followed up by salespeople.
If you are convinced by either service, or indeed others like them, tread with caution, monitor the costs very carefully, try various different experiments, and whatever you do don’t go charging in at full speed and leave the system running worldwide overnight. You could wake up to a very big bill and very few sales.
I’ve tried using Google Adwords to advertise our various companies that sell advertising and marketing, special needs diagnostic tests, on-line courses, books and manuals, etc and never made a profit. Maybe you are better at it than me but even so, treat it with caution.
6. Find news services that will take your press releases
Actually I should have written, “Practise writing press releases and compare them with published stories” first, because writing press releases is harder than it looks. Few publications will take press releases now and run them without charging you for the pleasure, but a few will, and a few more charge only tiny amounts to cover their costs.
While you are at it, study other people’s press releases which appear on sites relevant to your industry, and see how they have got publication.
7. Try a short run postal direct mail campaign
Many people now dismiss the post as old fashioned and too expensive but it is still the best performing of all direct marketing outlets.
Try a run of say 300 letters and leaflets to good prospects, and give them a unique page to visit. Check how many visitors you have had on that page to see if it worked. You should know the exact cost (it will probably be about 55p each for a short run mailing, although it can be a lot, lot, less per item mailed when you get into longer runs), so you can see if you have made a profit.
But never do a longer run until you have tested your mailer first.
8. Subscribe to a free news service that provides you with information on direct marketing regularly
We run three – and of course there are others out there if you prefer not to use Hamilton House. The Hamilton House three news serivces cover advertising to schools, direct marketing in all its forms, and writing good advertising copy. You can subscribe free of charge (or follow the relevant blog where all the posts also appear) by visiting our site.
9. Get an expert’s review of your advert or a web page free of charge
If you send an advert or a link to a web page to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an expert’s review one of our team will call you back or email you (whichever you prefer) with our thoughts on the advert, and how it might be improved.
There really is no obligation, and we’re utterly certain you will be amazed by what we find.
10. Talk to us
OK there had to be an advert somewhere, and here it is. But it is still free. Call 01536 399 000 and talk to us about your product or service, and how best to advertise it, using the post, email and web pages.
There’s no fearsome sales push, no “sign up now and we’ll give you 50% off” or anything like that. We get our customers because we are straightforward and honest about our services and don’t mind showing you exactly what we can do.
In short, we’re the nice guys.
You can read an overview of our services at www.hamilton-house.com