No Sales? Hmmm… Part 3 More Online Promotion
In the first article in this series, I talked about some “must do” tasks for getting and keeping your shop in order for selling. Last week I offered suggestions for promoting your shop using social networking. For the most part, the ideas I’ve discussed so far require an investment of your time with little or no investment of money. However, we’ve all heard the basic business truth that “it takes money to make money”. Said another way, in order for a business to become profitable, money must be invested in the business. You may want to consider including some paid advertising in your budget. Today I want to talk about four online advertising options, three of which require the expenditure of money.
Craigslist is the only free advertising option on today’s list. According to Wikipedia, Craigslist is “a centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements - with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.” Craigslist ads are supposed to be local in nature. Listings also must fit into specific categories and subcategories similar to the classified section of a newspaper. Before you post an ad on Craigslist it’s important that you carefully read the rules. I’ve posted Craigslist ads for specific items from my shops with links to those items. I made sure that the text of my ads included references to my location and a note about arranging for local delivery of purchases. To date I have seen traffic to my shops from Craigslist although I can’t attribute any sales to those ads.
Several Zibbeters have tried placing ads on Craigslist. Rebecca, owner of RaigeCreations, does not think that her ads generated any interest in her handmade items while Kay, owner of ACraftyArab, told me that she definitely saw an increase in traffic to her shop.
Project Wonderful is a popular online paid advertising option. Instead of the “pay per click” model, Project Wonderful charges are based on the amount of time your ad is displayed on a publisher’s site and is managed by a system called an “Infinite Auction”. You specify your budget and where you want your ad to appear. Your bid joins other bids for the same location. The ad with the highest bid at any given point in time “wins” and is displayed. This is a dynamic process as new bids are entered while others expire. If your bid is the only one active (for display on a particular website) at any given time, your ad will be displayed at no cost to you. To better understand how Project Wonderful’s Infinite Auction works, check out their easy to understand example of a bidding scenario. Be sure to read Promote Your Shop With ‘Project Wonderful’! for more information on Project Wonderful.
ModredVintage has tried Project Wonderful and reports: “You are in control of pricing and can spend as much or as little as you would like. In my experience, the more you pay to more clicks/hits you get. It’s like a lot of things in life, you get what you pay for. I have had success and possibly even a buyer from a campaign there…” Alice, owner of MimiAndColette, has also tried Project Wonderful. Alice told me that she saw a small amount of traffic from her ads. She also said, “An eye catching avatar would be a huge plus…Choose carefully where you want to advertise, what you sell in your shop should make sense with the site where you want to advertise.”
Adroll offers several advertising options including retargeting, site targeting and behavioral targeting. Retargeting refers to having your ads appear on websites that are visited by individuals who have previously visited your shop. Site targeting allows you to select websites for your ad where likely buyers of your type of product tend to visit. Behavioral targeting is much more complicated. Behavioral targeting is designed to reach high-potential prospects through the use of integrated data about intent, gender, and geography. Retargeting costs are calculated based on either CPM (cost per one thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click). CPM costs range from $1 to $5. CPC costs are usually in the range of $0.50 to $2.50. Site targeting costs are calculated using the CPM method and usually range from $1 to $5 per thousand impressions. Behavioral targeting costs vary. Don’t forget that new monthly Premium members get $10 of free Adroll advertising and new yearly Premiums get $50 worth of free advertising. Visit Zibbet’s Sell page for details.
Google Adwords ads are displayed on Google search results pages. You create your ad and select keywords that describe your shop. When people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to the search results. Google Adwords campaigns are CPC which means that you are charged each time someone clicks on your ad based on the budget that you have set for your ad campaign. Selecting appropriate keywords is the challenge when designing an Adwords campaign. As I discussed in SEO 103: Item Titles and Descriptions, you need to select keywords that are being used for searches for items like yours but that aren’t being used to describe large numbers of items. In other words, look for keywords that are not too broad and that are also not highly competitive. The same strategy should be applied to selecting keywords for an Adwords campaign.
I’ve run three Google Adwords campaigns using $100 coupons provided by Google. I saw fairly dramatic increases in traffic to my shop. However, I can’t attribute any sales to my ads. If you receive a coupon from Google for Adwords, I recommend that you give it a try. The coupons provide a great opportunity to get your feet wet with Google Adwords without costing you anything.
In order to design advertising campaigns that bring targeted traffic to your shop, it’s important to know who your customers are. Identifying your customer demographic involves doing some research. According to Alexa, the typical Zibbet browser is a 45-64 year old female browsing the Web from home. This information is useful when combined with what you know about the demographic of customers who have purchased your products. You want to be sure that your ads will be displayed in places where potential buyers for your products are likely to browse. For more information about the importance of knowing who your customers are be sure to read It’s 10PM. Do You Know Where Your Customer Is?
Next week I’ll tie up some loose ends and put all of the pieces together!
Best wishes for much success on Zibbet!