Web Site Promotions: New Tools For 2006
Online clothes retailer Bluefly promotes with a blog offering readers updates on the latest in fashion. And Gourmet Station, a prepared-foods retailer, uses a blog to offer site visitors a light-hearted look at the world of food.
¥ Promote with a podcast. Podcasts are audio and video feeds that can be downloaded from the Web to PCs, handheld computers, cell phones and similar devices. They have some way to go before becoming as influential as blogs, but the medium’s evangelists say it’s only a matter of time. In any event, there are several software packages available that enable you to quickly post your company’s audio or video pitch on your own Web site or on podcast directories like Podcast Alley.
If you’d rather not get involved in creating your own podcast, you can advertise on those created by others. Mega electronics retailer Best Buy, for example, helps sponsor the Engadget, the blog for all things electronically geek.
¥ Distribute your press release free online. During the past year, scores of sites have popped up on the Web that will distribute your company’s digital press release to thousands of journalists worldwide for free. A sampling of those sites include i-Newswire, PR9.net and PR Leap. For more sites, enter “free press release distribution” into any major search engine.
¥ Move up to Google’s Image Ads program. Google is redefining advertising with its sponsored links program, which enables paying companies to have their Web site URLs and descriptions appear in Google search engine returns -- and on Web sites running Google ads -- as highly prominent Google-sponsored links. The latest addition to this advertising model is images. Currently available on Web sites running Google ads -- but not on the search engine itself -- the new program enables companies to run photos, illustrations, animation or flash images along with their Google ads. The ad-triggering process remains the same: Google will place your illustrated ad automatically on content sites (e.g., magazines, newspapers) that are related to your company’s business.