October 17, 2009
Beyond Your Web Site
Are you relying on your Web site to do all your work for you? If that’s the case, you are probably pretty disappointed.
Some people have the idea that once a Web site is up, all they have to do is wait for the orders to roll in or the word-of-mouth to catch on. And then the Web site just sits there. And sits there.
And sits there.If that’s the case, it’s time to go back to Marketing 101 and recall a few of the ways a business or organization can become known: through advertising, public relations, email marketing and community involvement. We at Lakenetwork use them all, and more.
Try local advertising. We budget for advertising in the Lake County Business Journal, in a professional organization’s annual directory, and other places where we can be exposed to potential clients. We pay AT&T for an enhanced listing on YellowPages.com and in the phone book. Yes, people still use the phone book! A lot!
Send out press releases to online services, local newspapers and, if the announcement warrants it, national trade publications. Don’t neglect your small neighborhood paper, your professional organization’s newsletter, your Chamber of Commerce, your alumni newsletter. Make sure your press release has news value. News implies “change.” What has changed in your business lately? New hires or promotions, new clients, new technology, new products?
Can you offer a monthly coupon or special? Do you have knowledge to impart about your specialty in an occasional tip sheet? Develop a system of sending regular (no more than once a month) messages to consumer or business acquaintances on your email list. We do email marketing by writing the e-newsletter you are reading now.
Volunteer! Get involved! Give until it feels good! Offer your services to the local Chamber of Commerce, professional organization, church or other group. You will make new friends, widen your exposure and help the community. Just keep in mind that your primary purpose is to do good, not do business. No one wants your business interest shoved at them.
Some of these suggestions are high-dollar; others take more energy and time. There are many ways to get publicity, both traditional and off-the-wall. Visit the public library’s business section and take out a couple of primers on marketing. Find out what your peers are doing. Talk to a marketing professional—you can find a directory of local marketing people at www.lakecommunicators.com.
Make sure your URL (Web address) is in all of your communications—email, advertising, public relations, public involvement. And watch your Web site activity grow.
Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.