Launch Process Updated to Include Paid Media for Driving Website Traffic

The Mequoda System Strategy Workshop has been updated to include 49 steps for launching and running a successful online business

I recently spoke to a friend and colleague about our upcoming Mequoda System Strategy Workshop at the Mequoda Summit East 2011.

While he likes the new 44 steps outlined in this session for starting and running an online business, he commented on one specific aspect of the strategy; the fact that the traffic strategy we outline relies totally on organic methods like SEO, SMO, link building and email.

During this conversion, he mentioned that his favorite session from past Summits was 41 Ways to Build Email Circulation because it gave a much more exhaustive list of organic and paid media options.

“I was a little surprised that you had omitted paid media from the launch plan,” he said. “Do you think that’s the right thing to do as publishers might rely on it, especially those running online stores selling products like books and DVDs?”

After giving it some thought, I concluded that he was right. A baseline launch should include paid sources, because they can represent a significant percent of traffic for online publishers.

Due to this realization, we’ve added five new steps to our launch process for a total of 49 steps. Take a look at these five additions to the Mequoda System Strategy.

Building Your Paid Media Plan

This step comes right between determining your project budget and finalizing your business plan. Here, you will decide what types of paid media, if any, you want to incorporate into the launch or re-launch of your online business.

The four steps listed below define the actual types of paid media strategies and discusses how to implement each one.

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Launching Google AdWords Campaigns

For AdWords campaigns, Google is your partner. You create keyword-rich ad copy, specify a maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend each day and your ad displays when potential customers search for your keywords.

The competition on the keywords you select will dictate the amount of money needed to rank well on them. Research the associated cost of your desired keywords before beginning an AdWords campaign.

Launching Banner Campaigns

A banner ad campaign needs to grab the visitor’s attention, persuade them to click the banner and drive them to a landing page where a conversion can be made. Text-rich banner ads have proven successful for product-driven, direct response marketers.

Building an Affiliate Network

Building an affiliate network relies on creating relationships between other companies in your space. Both companies need to benefit from the relationship in the form of profit or list sharing. Some of your biggest competitors may be willing to be affiliates.

Building a Retail Network

Retail networks are more interesting to media companies nowadays with the growing popularity of the Kindle and the iPad, especially since content can be published in a text-based four-color format.

Publishers should consider how to best sell their products through multiple retail outlets including Amazon, Zinio, Apple and Barnes & Noble.

The addition of paid media options

One of the reasons we skipped paid media originally is because it’s not necessarily structural. Some of the paid media strategies don’t impact overall website design because they are utilizing the same, or similar landing pages used to drive organic traffic.

But paid media is important in the launch of an online business, as it can easily account for 30% of a publisher’s traffic and revenue.

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