Even in the age of social media, the traditional website is still the single most important asset in marketing... provided you can figure out a way to get people to it without breaking the bank.
That is a real sticking point for many marketers: “How do I effectively market my site while still having enough money to invest in other areas of my business?”
It's a real conundrum – you need to get people to the site in order to make money off the site. But it costs money to get people there. So how do you minimize the monetary output while still getting your brand in front of people? Here are five effective ways you can start implementing right now and generate considerable free advertising online.
1. Market to your existing contacts.
Social media is a great place to market your website and when you begin by inviting friends you have a better chance of generating some free engagement. Don't be shy: ask people to like and share your content and they will. Some of your friends have bigger lists than you realize and the potential reach is out of this world – especially if you get the attention of a more high-profile contact.
2. Create pages or accounts for your site on social media.
Your site should have its own Facebook page and twitter account for social media advertising at a very minimum. If your content is more visual, you might consider working closely with Pintrest and Tumblr as well. Now here's the real trick: you need to then use those accounts and keep content in front of people all the time. Use a good, comprehensive social media scheduler to stay organized and current.
3. Start blogging.
The greater influx of fresh content there is on your site, the more it will encourage repeat visitors and the more opportunity you will have to solicit likes and shares on social media. People like it when they see something new and it helps you maintain a reputation for providing fresh, relevant content all the time. There is no easier way to keep up a fresh stream of content than through the consistent use of your blog.
4. Make your site look appealing.
The better a first impression you make with your site, the more likely people will be to engage with it and encourage others to do the same. Make sure that you have at least one powerful headline and engaging visual above the fold and keep that real estate as ad-free as possible. If you are using ads like Adsense, make sure they don't dominate the page or detract from the content otherwise you'll watch your bounce rate skyrocket.
5. Form a few strategic partnerships.
This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to gain more exposure for your site and it involves you being a participant in forums, blogs, and social media. Get the attention of the right people and they will, in turn, share your content, offer their endorsements, and motivate people on their lists to follow you. Once that happens, you have an open door to market to a much wider audience.
The key to all of these is persistence. You have to be committed to being visible, personable, and relevant all the time. If you can pull that off you will find that it never costs much to develop quality traffic and meaningful relationships with your site visitors.