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How would you market this site?

I am having a dickens of a time marketing this site...

     
4:28 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am in charge of online marketing for a site that does custom screen printing for medium to large businesses. We had been offline and just recently moved online. It is difficult because it is more of a B2B atmosphere. I need to target the decision maker within an organization that does really include the general public.

My keywords are also heavily competitive for general B2C sites. For example, when you type in "custom t-shirts" you get sites like cafe press or Zazzle which are targeted to consumers. To break to the top of this mess is neither effective nor affordable.

So I would think link exchanges with like minded b2b businesses is a good idea ( like maybe embroidery shops or some of the millions of sites that do other kinds of business printing). But is it really effective to just sit and email these people all day? It seems tedious and maybe a waste? I really don't know.

I also run the marketing for a B2C site and it seems much easier...things like writing articles and getting links from manufacturers are all effective...but I'm not set on that for this site since I need to target decision makers.

I am really struggling with getting traffic to the site and there is very little budget aside from what I get paid...

anybody with a similar experience? Thanks everybody in advance...

James

[edited by: jatar_k at 5:24 pm (utc) on Jan. 4, 2007]
[edit reason] no urls thanks [/edit]

6:23 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There are informational websites out there where entrepreneurs are discussing how to market a business. I would suggest you find those sites and request link exchanges. You might also find sites where people are discussing business marketing via forums and then become active in the forums, especially where forums allow signatures.

Also if there are affiliates or organizations for small businesses that can you join, sometimes they list their sponsors on a page with a link back to your site.

Some market segments are tougher to promote than others. Yours is somewhere in the middle.. not very easy but not impossible. Think about where your target market hangs out on the web to obtain information or discuss with other businesses and try to obtain links from those sites where folks are congregating to discuss marketing tactics.

6:25 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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almost forgot .. google "custom t shirt discussion" to see where people are discussing how to create custom t shirts and then go to those sites to either directly advertise there, or buy links from those sites, or like I said earlier, participate in their forums.
6:38 pm on Jan 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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After spending December and January shopping online, I think google has become a saturated mess..

Bigger businesses have sussed the SEO needed and completely dominate the search engine.. I've found they are also linked to other companies that although seperate are in fact sister companies of the main company..

All the comparison sites seem to be restricted to again these larger companies who can pay for the click.

It has become all about the money, who is paying and little or nothing about finding the best information or choise...

I'm really not sure smaller businesses can compete with that anymore and they are certainly not getting the google space needed for traffic..

I think you may have to look at other aspects of marketing, perhaps stepping back to more traditional magazine/newspaper advertising.. and building traffic from there.. in some ways it is better traffic as when they come they are more likely to convert..

You could of course start spending.. pay for advertising on-line, affiliates links, don't forget ebay ;-) pay for clicks,etc... have a real promotional push.. but you need to splash the cash...

[edited by: Lobo at 6:39 pm (utc) on Jan. 4, 2007]

8:45 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>>>>>For example, when you type in "custom t-shirts" you get sites like cafe press or Zazzle which are targeted to consumers. To break to the top of this mess is neither effective nor affordable.

There's something right there. Your B2B clients run that search and see the same thing - not what they want. So they run a second, more refined search. What is that second search they're running? That's what you need to target.

Check your competitor's meta tags and on page optimization as a starting point to get an idea of what those terms might be.

4:37 pm on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Think "Niche"! No matter how large the pie is there are always many niche areas to make a ton of money with.
12:17 pm on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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*I need to target the decision maker within an organization..*

Not sure a website is the best tool to do that, I suspect most "DMs" would more likely delegate any searching to an assistant.

If there are specific accounts you have in mind, make up a dozen t-shirts with the company logo and send them to the secretaries ;-)

9:47 pm on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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make sure they're size XS :)
4:32 pm on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I also run a website for a relatively small business. I have been going for the "long tail" I.e. I accept that I am never going to get top position for "blue widgets" but try to get ranked for more specific searches such as "blue widgets with pink dots," "blue widgets in South Wales" or "entertaining guests with blue widgets." I do this by having lots and lots of relevant content and by bidding on thousands of these phrases relatively cheaply using Adwords. Brett did a great article about a year ago on the subject of targeting the long tail. There is also a popular book about it by Chris Anderson.
 

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