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How to Promote Your Corporation on the Internet

By: Kevin Nunley

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at DrNunley.com Reach Kevin at kevin@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.

The Internet has moved to center stage for corporate advertising. Notice that major TV advertisers no longer hide their website at the bottom of the screen in tiny print. Their URL is now proudly displayed right alongside their corporate logo in the final frame.

But how do you make your corporation stand out among the 200 million web sites and billions of email messages that compete for attention? It can be a bewildering challenge. Call your ad agency and they're likely to be just as confused.

Here's why the Net is such a challenge AND some tips on how to make Internet advertising work for you.

Ad agencies are trying to figure out how to use the Net by the same standards they've always used in TV, radio, and newspapers. BUT, it isn't working. The Internet is a completely different dynamic.

Traditional media is based on a supply and demand principle that has a large number of people consuming a limited number of media outlets. That model doesn't apply to the Internet. On-line there is no shortage of programming. Everyone can be a writer, design a web site, start a newsletter, or build an Internet radio station. Money doesn't necessarily enter the equation. Talent, hard work, and vision can count for everything.

All this leaves the advertising business in a difficult situation. How can they bring in revenue using their usual methods? So far, the answer has been with banners, those rectangular billboard-like ads that pop up on web sites. Banners, along with targeted mailing lists, are expected to function in the same way as print ads and commercials do in traditional media.

That's where the problem begins. The Internet's huge number of web sites and content providers have fractionalized the audience well beyond anything ever known in traditional media. The old media advertising formula simply doesn't apply to the Internet. As a result, most banners and many targeted mailing lists are way over priced.

Your corporation will do much better to imitate the grass roots promotional strategies of smaller businesses. By using these techniques on a larger level, you can send your marketing message to millions of Internet readers each week--without using unsolicited bulk mail.

Here's how:

  1. 1. Place ads in major e-zines (email newsletters). Many e-zines are reaching subscriber levels that compete with major print publications. You can't beat DEMC (270,000 subscribers with a clickable link to your site) for $45 per week <www.demc.com>

    I'm also impressed with the Business Link Market Letter (600,000 subscribers for $30). Reach them at 319-359-9527. Hayden Mitchell has a co-op ad letter that goes to 600,000 who have ASKED to be in it at about $55 per week<hayden@webthemes.com> .

    For a complete list of e-zines complete with links to each see Gary Christensen's site at www.site-city.com/members/e-zine-master. Gary's writers site is at www.site-city.com/writers-connection. If you want to send your articles to e-zines..this is the place to look.

  2. Opt-in mailing lists can be very effective if used in a highly targeted way (which is now becoming possible). . The names on these lists have asked to be there, so you are in no danger of sending unwanted junk mail (which, unlike regular mail, is considered a major offense by people on the Internet.)

    Here are some sources of opt-in targeted mailing lists:

    Bonusmail: www.bonusmail.com

    Bulletmail: www.bulletmail.com

    Copywriter Al Bredenberg features The Direct Email List Source: www.copywriter.com/lists. Bredenberg has a directory of thousands of opt-in e-mail lists.

    Also check www.PostMasterDirect.com (probably the best known of the bunch).

    and www.targ-it.com/

  3. Send out on-line press releases on a regular basis. Almost everyone in media has email now. While each day's mountain of faxes spilling out on the floor, editors and producers regard email with a fresh eye. You've got material for a new press release anytime something "newsworthy" happens with your company.

    New services, accomplishments, and associations with people or topics in the news are always good reasons to issue a press release.

    A number of services will send your release via email. Jennifer Howard at asba@asba.net will email to 5,000 media outlets for $250. Also good are www.xpresspress.com and www.gapent.com/pr. Then go to www.gebbieinc.com and browse the thousands of media contacts. It's a good idea to find several publications that specifically target your best prospects and customers. Send those editors and producers your release along with a personalized note.

  4. Don't miss the chance to publish your own email newsletter of industry news and tips. This can be one of the Net's most powerful ways of building a strong relationship with customers and prospects. Email newsletters are extremely easy and inexpensive to produce.

  5. Unless you have a large budget for Internet advertising, most banner deals are not an efficient allocation of funds. It's probably just as well to go with one of the better free banner swap arrangements. For very well-established banner swap services see www.linkexchange.com and www.bannerswap.com

  6. Search engines are getting smarter, so it's more important than ever that your opening web site page contain copy that clearly targets your best customers and prospects. For accessible and practical search engine information, see William R. Stanek's "Increase Your Web Traffic in a Weekend."

  7. Finally, don't miss out on using the free classifieds on UseNet Newsgoups that accept ads. Thousands of Netizens (who are well above average in education and income) search these newsgroups each day. There's no reason why your company shouldn't take on newsgroup marketing in a serious and consistent way. Hire two people to work three hours a day posting ads on Newsgroups and in website classifieds. See my list of favorite sites for posting ads.
These seven proven Internet marketing methods are being used with great success by thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Corporate marketing strategies can incorporate these same techniques on a larger scale to achieve significant results. As the Internet grows in importance to societies all over the world, your company will want to be well on its way to an established Internet presence.

© 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996 DrNunley.com.

Other Articles by Kevin Nunley

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.

 

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