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Go Off The Beaten Path
To Drive Traffic To Your Site

Elizabeth White






Cyberspace is big.
So use every resource to let people know where you are on the internet.

We are starting to see the www dot address crop up on our TVs, billboards, trucks and cars. They appear in the newspapers and in magazines. What marketers are learning is the best place to start to drive traffic to your website is to get off the internet highway and to travel down the roadways of traditional media.

Case in point is the recent Volvo sweepstakes campaign. Unless you are in the market for buying a car, the manufacturer's website is usually not found in your Bookmarks or your Favorites listings. So Volvo advertised on television and immediately sent my husband to the Volvo Cars website to enter a chance to win a Volvo S60. After filling out a brief --- and I mean brief --- marketing demographics form, he was entered. Then as a nice viral marketing touch they added the opportunity to email it to a friend so not only did I get the chance, but his mom as well. Soon we should all be sporting around town in our Volvos.

People always ask how they can get their sites moved up on the search engine listings, but they should be more focused on what they are doing to drive people to the internet in the first place. Know your target and then tell them about the value of your product. It's Marketing 101 and we marketers shouldn't be skipping over the fundamentals.

Take a look at the College Fund of North Carolina organization. Granted, it is easier to look if you live in NC because when you drive down a highway you might see a big billboard about North Carolina's College Fund website. They know their target is NC residents and especially the mothers, fathers and grandparents driving back and forth to work everyday after dropping their children off at day care or school. It's a perfect way to drive offline traffic online.

Every piece of offline collateral (business cards, stationary, brochures, or ads) should always contain your www dot address. This will become increasingly important as the .coms become crowded by the .biz endings. Up and coming websites like BabyClothing.biz have learned from Buy.com or Amazon.com to have their logo be their address. This makes it especially easy to create awareness about your online presence.

The way people go about making decisions about people, places, or products hasn't changed drastically. The Experience Loop can be played over and over again. In the Experience Loop you:

  • create awareness among your audience
  • encourage them to learn more
  • direct them to take action (vote, visit, or buy)
  • help them to evaluate their experience

So back to Volvo's campaign to get more sales leads they did the following: They created awareness by using television advertising, on the website you learned a little bit more about the sweepstakes and Volvo learned a lot more about you. You were asked to vote on a simple question. Finally if you thought the sweepstakes experienced was painless enough to subject your friends to it, you were encouraged to submit their email addresses. An email confirmation also prompted you to learn more about Volvo while you wait to see who wins.

I'll be checking my driveway for my new car, but in the meantime, you should be looking down other roads to drive traffic to your website.

Elizabeth White is the Director of Interactive Marketing at Experienced Design, an internet business solutions company focused on helping its clients maximize the internet to its full potential.

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