The Mad Men Approach to Site Promotion

Are you looking to promote a page, a news article or blog entry? Are your site pages not getting the hits you would like them to?  These are common questions that I face in my job on a daily basis. I manage an Intranet site that gets an enormous amount of hits on the home page, but let’s just say not an enormous amount of hits on many of the news articles and pages that my team maintains. Why is that? A lot of reasons. The home page is the default page when colleagues open a new browser, so it’s a given that page will have a lot of hits.  However, many people are opening a browser because they have a specific page or task they’re looking to accomplish, so they often overlook the articles or news items that are promoted on the home page, and click off immediately.  People are also creatures of habit and often look at the pages and resources they are most familiar with, and they don’t always look at the new items we are continually producing.

So, how can we get them to notice the items and pages we know are important and want to promote?  The answer is in the last word – promote! Similar to real estate where the key is location, location, location, the same can be said for article, page, and blog promotion – promote in the locations you know colleagues are already viewing. In the advertising world if you were developing a new tv ad for a men’s product such as a pickup truck you would target the places where you would get the most exposure – a football game, a baseball game, etc… You also wouldn’t advertise just once and expect an immediate result.  You would make a plan and advertise over a particular time period, knowing that repeated exposure will bring long term results.

Communications and Marketing professionals can take the same approach to site promotion whether it is an internal or external website.  Cross promotional ads on related pages with high viewership will ultimately bring in more people. In my case, it would be great if we could put up one banner on our Intranet homepage and get 10,000 clicks right on the first day, but that doesn’t correspond to people’s work habits. The best way to hits is to advertise and promote in a variety of places for a sustained period of time.  People may miss it for the first or second time, but are less likely to miss it the 22nd or 23rd time.  And yes, I know 22 or 23 places is a bit overkill, but placing it in 5 or 6 strategic places that people visit 3 or 4 times daily will easily get you 15-20 plus exposure points in one day alone.

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