With the right planning, you can create a sales promotion that will drive exposure and build links at the same time.
Regular readers know I'm a fan of integrating link building into traditional marketing strategies. Here's how it works.
Decide Your Goals
Are you looking for a profitable sale or obtaining quality links? Because top rankings will result in increased sales down the road, we'll focus on the links. That means the promotional sale will be an extremely deep discount.
Of course, management at some companies may not be comfortable with this approach. They're going to want to make a profit off each sale. This strategy will be effective even without an extreme discount, but the link results won't be as prominent.
While we're on the topic of cost, let's clear up something. There are no free links. Even sites that have remarkable content that attract links made an investment of time and resources. Big brands invest millions in marketing and public relations. Both methods lead to links.
Think of the promotions brick-and-mortar retailers run to get people into the door on Black Friday. Some priced at, or below, their cost of goods. Let's do the same thing. We need an extreme sale to gain attention.
Talk to your suppliers to find out if they have overstock you can purchase at a discount. Otherwise, pick a couple of items that will draw attention.
Then figure out how low you can sell this product for. Ask yourself at what price point will people take notice. What price point will enrage your competitors? That's the sale price!
If you don't want to lose the profit from current customers, create a separate page for this sale. This page can be redirected at a later date. The downside of this is offering the sale to current customers will help spread the word around the Web even faster. That equals more links.
Get the Word Out
Reach out to places your customer base gathers on the Web. These could be discussion forums, Facebook groups, newsletters, or Twitter. Don't forget those sites devoted to sales and promotional codes.
If you aren't already an active member of these communities, reach out to the influencers. This could be a site owner, forum moderator, or just an active user. If you're really offering a great deal, they will be more than happy to let others know. Plus you can always offer them an extra incentive to spread the word.
Want more links and to really irritate your competitors? Use PPC, banner ads, and sponsorships to promote your sale. Run ads on blogs, forums, industry sites, and other places where your customers gather. Remember, your top rankings will more than pay for this down the road. It's an investment into link marketing.
Point of Sale
You've created the sale, now it's time to increase the value. Ask customers to tell others about this great sale. Be up front in your motivations. Let them know you're running this great sale to increase exposure on the Web and for links.
Ask them to help you by telling their friends on social media, e-mail, instant messenger, or the corner coffee shop. Ask them for a link from their web site! They will help you out if you're offering a remarkable price. You just need to ask.
Traditional marketing strategies from the brick-and-mortar world can be applied to link marketing. Traditional retailers use sales to bring people into stores. We can use the same strategy to build links and exposure. As I always say, good link building is just good marketing.