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Kamis, 31 Mei 2007

How To Generate Mass Traffic To An Online Event In Record Time

How to Generate Mass Traffic to an Online Event in Record Time
By Dina M. Giolitto

If you want to kick off a new online holiday or event, you'll need to do it with a Big Bang. Make your entrance, and then keep the momentum going by cattle-driving traffic and human interest to the source. Yes, cattle-driving! You need to climb on that imaginary horse and start corralling people in. Everyone on the web is highly distracted, even your best buddies. Help them notice you, remember you, and get your name out into mass circulation. Make it fun, and don't forget to have fun yourself. People are attracted to others who seem to be having fun. :)

In online event planning, your two best friends are your social network of humans and the search engines. You can't possibly pull this thing off unless both are wound into the plan - and it should be pretty clear why. If you stick with search engine tricks alone, you'll find that your website begins to pull some rank on Google because you've driven those search words via the major marketing generation methods... but there's an absence of life at the point of contact. That's no good.

If you concentrate solely on your human network but fail to tap the engine power, you'll get a small group of excited parties all sitting in a closed circle and blinking at each other. I guess small and intimate isn't terrible, but we're talking about an online event here and that phrase connotes BIG. So, use search engine optimization AND word of mouth to spread it far and wide.

Let's talk about the ways you can viral-market your internet promotion and blast it out there in a short period of time.

1. Article marketing. Article marketing is at the heart of every great marketing effort. Don't get me wrong - blogging is instant entertainment, but if you want credibility, then write potent, info-rich articles or have someone write them for you. Your articles are going to get picked up and added to other people's websites, so you'll want to mention the event name and the URL to the event website in each one that you write for your promotional effort. Submit your article to as many article directories as possible but beware the No Advertising Rule! If these guys catch you being too promotional your article will get the shaft and there goes your big article marketing Event Master Blaster Plan. Email me if you need a jumping point for your article marketing campaign: Dina/AT/Wordfeeder.com.

2. Networking. Don't even attempt online event planning unless you already have a solid online network of marketing colleagues in place. Your friends are the ones who already love you, admire you, will listen to what you say and join in for the group project. Very few "random finds" on the web will just catch wind of your Pied Piper event promotion tune and start following along (but when they do, it's really cool). You'll want your network topic to be themed around your event. So, if yours is a Kids' Artwork Show with a portion of the proceeds going to a children's hospital, then your network should ideally be for work-at-home moms and parents. DON'T promote your event on a network of unrelated subjectmatter. That's a great way to drive people away completely!

3. Landing page and email drip campaign. Your landing page should be accessible from your articles and other "outreaching" content vehicles. When your reader clicks the link, he should be "hard sold" on why this is going to be fantastic, what's in it for him, and compelled to drop his name in the box. Your email subscriber base should continue to grow throughout the event's developments. Use it as a megaphone to 'rally the team', send updates, and guide others to help spread the word and click the links to your blog, articles, ebooks and other web traffic helpers. Frequently tell the team what they'll get out of this. Offer them gifts. Without an incentive, nobody will want to be your groupie and I for one wouldn't blame them in the least.

4. Blogging. Blogs get indexed quickly! If you want your mass event to power up the Google ladder, then choose a blog hosting company that will "help you along." TypePad has been working well for me. Fill your blog with categorized keywords and turn your "major search term" (the name of your holiday) into something that will ring a bell and prompt folks to start typing into the Google box out of sheer curiosity. Your blog should contain plenty of links that "point" to your hot pages; for example, any fun contests or activity pages you plan to run, your articles. Include your landing page at the end of every post. This will lend clarification for the confused who just landed from outer space and also "grab" them for the email list. Your blog should be highly interactive. Initiate discussions; blast out participants and supporters by linking to their websites. Make your blog sticky, and offer plenty of reciprocal links as incentive to keep watching your show.

5. Web PR. Web PR is needed so those RSS feeds can sound off your news to the mass communication circuit online. Just like article marketing and blogs, you'll want to include the name of your event frequently (about three times per press release) so that the search term will get carried along on those content feeds and bring you higher up on Google. Think of that web surfer, glazing over your press release and reading a term like "Web Content Awareness Day" multiple times. It sinks in somehow. Later, when he stumbles across you again, suddenly he's compelled to hunt for more info and he types those words into the search box. That's how the momentum keeps building and it's a great reason to submit to free PR sites. If you email me, I can help you out: Dina/AT/Wordfeeder.com

6. E-books are super-vitamins for your website's page rank. When people open up your info-laden PDF file, that counts as a page view. Page views give you a push in the search engine hierarchy. So DO give away free information. Link to your free downloadable e-book from your blog, from your group emails, from your network posts and from your "main holiday website" after you launch it. Encourage friends to pass your e-book along to keep the page views coming. Links in your e-book should point back to... guess where? Your blog and your landing page. Are you getting a feel for how all this content is connected?

7. Your Big Yap. Huh? I'm talking about word of mouth. Don't forget to USE YOUR VOICE in all of your event promotion materials. So many people forget to "speak to their audience" in their marketing, and every time I see it I want to slap myself silly. Don't just plunk a link or a photo down and think people will click it. There's so much going on out there, you need to be heard. I'm not just saying that because I'm a copywriter and I love words. Clear, simple, compelling communication is crucial. Don't be afraid to tell your reader what to do. And ALWAYS tell him what he gets out of it, always! If you have any questions about this EMAIL ME: Dina/at/Wordfeeder.com.

As you can see, it takes some knowledge of cohesive internet marketing to be able to manipulate the search engines while getting folks excited about your big jamboree.

Want to witness event planning live in action? Please join me and my marketing friends for the First Annual Web Content Awareness Day, scheduled to launch on February 9, 2006 at http://WebContentAwarenessDay.com.

Sneak Peek: Visit the Countdown to Web Content Awareness Day Blog and learn how you can ride our wave of high web traffic!

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Copyright 2006 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

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