Giving Customers A Reason To Visit

There’s really just one key reason to advertise or market your web site: Drive more traffic. But prior to that, you have to ask one question: Why will visitors come to my site?

The answer lies in something called “value-added marketing.” And on the web, value-added usually means adding, well…value to your web site offerings.

Value can be something as simple as free investment tips or as complex as a web search engine to a database of information. But the operative word is always “free.” Remember: Potential visitors surf on the web every day, looking for as much valuable free information as they can get their hands on.

When you give something – anything – away on your site, you are greatly enhancing the site’s value. In turn, you are exponentially increasing your odds for online success. You don’t have to give away the farm, but you must give visiting surfers something in return for their time. At the very least, you need to provide them with information that they can’t get somewhere else.

Brainstorm For Ideas

So what’s your value-added marketing strategy? Gather input from every aspect of your company or organization. Involve everybody from the CEO and stockholders to janitors and maintenance crews.

Above all, don’t forget to ask your customers! They know your company, and they know what they like about it. Tapping all of these varying perspectives will help you to find the value that lurks beneath the surface of your company.

So much of the talk in the world of web marketing these days is about one-to-one marketing and personalized content. I would argue that if you are doing value-added marketing correctly, you actually get the same result, albeit through the back door.

How? Well, when you add value to your web site, what you are really doing is creating tangents that will drive traffic to your site. So reason dictates that the more tangents you create, the greater amount of traffic you will drive.

So embrace as many value-added ideas as you can. Every thought will appeal to a different group of people and will, in turn, drive a different group of individuals to your site. Take the shotgun approach, and try to uncover as many tangents as you can to drive traffic your way. The greater the offerings on your site, the greater the demographic appeal. And remember… the great thing about the web is that if something isn’t working, you can always get rid of it.

How To Add Value

Take an inventory of your office and business for ideas that can be given away, without taking Herculean effort to set up and maintain.

  • If you live near a resort, you may want to write a short travel directory for the area.
  • If your product or service is entertainment-related, you may want to compile stories or tidbits about the various ways customers use your products
  • If you think that there is nothing broadly appealing about your company, look outside your company to find these tangents.

Companies are sometimes hesitant to drive traffic to their site if it doesn’t directly help their business. Let me be blunt: This is the silliest thinking in the world. Relatively speaking, it costs no more to serve up your pages to 1,000 people as it does to serve it up to 5,000 people. So if you can add 4,000 new pairs of eyeballs to your viewing audience and it doesn’t cost any more money…you’ve got to ask yourself, Why not?

True, incremental traffic doesn’t necessary consist of customers. But the simple fact is that you have no idea who might visit your site on one of those value-added excursions. It may be true that many of them aren’t customers, but they could be relatives, neighbors, or friends of your potential customers or prospects. The Internet is a word-of-mouth medium. And if you can gain name recognition, drive extra traffic to your site, and potentially just close one more deal without adding any relative expense, you’re foolish for not doing it.

Real-World Example

Let’s look at one company, SuperShirts , a small specialty items dealer. The company makes custom coffee mugs, T-shirts and 10 million other items. They have a simple site with no frills; it is not going to win any design awards.

SuperShirts wanted to increase traffic to its site without really increasing its marketing budget. So it sponsored a sweepstakes giveaway once a month for one of its specialty items. The cost was little or nothing to the company itself.

SuperShirts ran with the idea: It created a simple online form where visitors signed up for the monthly giveaway. The result was a 900 percent increase in traffic, and they are currently building a nice little database of potential buyers. This is a prime example of finding value and tangents, without actually giving away the farm.

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