What works and what doesn’t when promoting your small business online? A Westerville, Ohio-based marketing company named Triad decided to find out.
Triad’s 2012 case study follows a start-up summer camp through its first year of business. In 6 months Triad used different marketing techniques, spending similar amounts on each option.
It’s a valuable article, and the study’s conclusions line up with my experience.
Here is how the marketing techniques ranked, from best to worst.
“Great investment…The absolute best thing you can do to drive traffic to your site and create customers is to have a blog and post regularly.”
2. Online directories
“Great, especially for new websites. The more expensive directory did not lead to more leads, so don’t sign up for the most expensive thinking it’s the best.”
3. Google Ads
“Out of all the online advertisers, only Google Ads produced any noticeable results.”
“They work best as part of a long-term strategy for interacting with past customers.”
5. Targeted email
“OK for contacting established customers”
6. Link farms
“Waste of time and money”
7. Facebook ads
“Expensive, with not much traffic increase”
“Groupon is a quick way to self-cannibalize your company [and] devalue your product.”
9. LinkedIn ads
“After 2 months of running ads, not a single person clicked through to the site.”
(Not surprising — I don’t think LinkedIn is the right place to be advertising a summer camp. — Larry)
10. Spam email
“Expensive…1 million emails sent…no new signups.”