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Posted on July 16, 1999

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  The Add Me! Newsletter            *** ISSUE #46 ***
  "Free tips for promoting your website and business"
  
  Add Me, Inc                    http://www.addme.com
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             ...THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE...

              >>  Creating A Buzz  <<

  ........................................................
  July 16th, 1999                   *** ISSUE #46 ***
  ........................................................




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            .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....


                   Creating A Buzz
                  =================

  by Matt Mickiewicz

  Submitting to search engines, tweaking pages, submitting 
  articles to ezines, trading links, and publishing your 
  own ezine or discussion list are all very good methods 
  of traffic building. In fact I only used techniques like 
  the ones above to build Webmaster Resources and The 
  Webmaster Tribune to what it is today. BUT (you knew this 
  was coming) nothing can compare to the traffic that can 
  be generated by a good marketing gimmick.

  Marketing Gimmick? What the heck is he talking about? 
  Perhaps it's best that I start off with two examples to 
  explain exactly what I mean.

  EXAMPLE #1

  Microsoft, in an effort to increase the membership of 
  its Gaming Zone, is holding a game. Not just any game 
  mind you. They are holding a YOU vs. Garry Kasparov 
  match (Kasparov is the world chess champion). The game 
  works by having registered members of The Zone vote on 
  the next move of "Team World". An excellent way to boost 
  membership, to say the least. The game will be running 
  all summer long, and will require a daily visit to the 
  Zone web site -- thereby building an enormous repeat 
  visitor base.

  You can take a look at the Kasparov vs The World site at:

  http://www.zone.com/promo/kasparov/KasparovWelcome.asp

  EXAMPLE #2

  Joe Boxer has an interesting Gimmick on their site, 
  The World's Largest E-mail. This is how it works, you 
  send an e-mail that's listed on the Joe Boxer site, 
  and the contents of your message will be displayed on 
  a huge billboard in Times Square. This is a fabulous 
  way for them to attract visitors, visitors who will 
  most likely also explore the rest of the Joe Boxer 
  web site. You can take a look at the "World's Largest 
  E-mail!" page at:

  http://www.joeboxer.com/Joeboxer2/timessquare/timessquare.html


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  APPLY IT TO YOURSELF

  There are no rules in Internet Marketing/Promotion. 
  Do WHATEVER it takes to grab your audience's attention, 
  to make them remember you, to get them to visit your 
  site.

  A few things that you could do:

  1. Vandalize your own site -- This was done by quite 
  a few sites on April Fools day. If you do it at another 
  time of the year you'll definitely grab peoples attention.

  2. Live Video Feeds -- There's plenty of these around,
  be ORIGINAL.

  3. Contests -- These are used quite frequently online, 
  and hence do not generate a 'buzz' unless you give away 
  something very unique, like a trip to outer space.

  4. Stunts -- Use your imagination here. The goal is 
  to do something that will generate a ton of media 
  publicity. This requires quite a bit of planning and 
  skill to successfully pull off.

  5. Challenge Another Site -- Challenge a competitor's 
  site to a contest. Set up Forums on your site to let 
  your visitors collaborate. Having a newsletter with a 
  large subscriber base also helps here.

  6. Exponential Marketing -- This is perhaps the most 
  difficult of all. It takes a fabulous idea, and a 
  great amount of skill to successfully launch something 
  that will exponentially promote itself. Two famous 
  examples are ICQ and Hotmail; both of which were sold 
  for hundreds of millions of dollars within a few years 
  of their inception.

  Another example: A while back a company announced it 
  was going to be offering IPO stock of their Internet 
  company to a couple of contest winners. This in itself 
  generated quite a buzz. Everyone wishes they had 
  invested in Yahoo and eBay when they just started. 
  This was their chance to get their hands on stock of 
  another potentially big Internet start-up.

  They added another twist to it:  you got an extra 
  chance to win for every person that put your email 
  address down as their referrer. Entering the contest 
  was simple; all you had to do was type in your email 
  address. Of course as soon as the company's site 
  launched you got an email announcing it.

  This promotion turned out to be enormously successful 
  with the site being bogged down within a day of the 
  announcement.

  7. Capitalize on something Popular -- The best example 
  that I can think of here is something that occurred 
  a few months ago during the pre-Star Wars launch. A 
  site announced they were going to post a Star Wars 
  related video later in the day. This news made its 
  way to Slashdot.org (an extremely popular site). As 
  a result, the site got so much traffic that it was 
  barely accessible for almost a day. The video was a 
  South Park Parody of the original Star Wars trailer.

  USE THE MEDIA

  Some of the ideas above are marketed by word-of-mouth, 
  others are spread through the Media. If it spreads 
  through the Media, be prepared to spend a few hundred 
  bucks to send a well-written Press Release to the 
  media.

  If it spreads through word of mouth, you have very 
  little to do. ICQ merely provided a feature that 
  lets you tell a friend about ICQ. Of course the 
  entire concept of ICQ is to talk to friends, and 
  the only way to do that is to have your friends 
  install it. Hotmail merely inserted a two line ad 
  at the bottom of every e-mail sent out.

  BE PREPARED

  If your idea succeeds you will be literally flooded 
  with traffic in a short amount of time. Make sure 
  your server can handle it, and that you have backup 
  plans. This includes setting up mirrors of the 
  content, if necessary, on servers that can handle 
  the traffic.

  SOME FINAL WORDS

  These type of promotions are not suitable for every 
  site. In fact, very few sites could successfully 
  pull of something like this. However for those who 
  can the payoff will be very big. The reason I wrote 
  this article is to get you thinking 'out of the box' 
  about ways to market your site. Keep the ideas I 
  presented above in mind. Someday a fabulous idea 
  may just pop into your head making you the next 
  Hotmail.com.


  --------------------------------------------------------------
  Article by Matt Mickiewicz. Take the 10 Sites That Bite! Tour
  to make sure that YOU are not making FATAL web design mistakes
  on your site. The tour includes tips on formatting, titling 
  your site's pages, making your site user friendly, and more. 

  Visit 10 Sites That Bite now at:

  http://webmaster-resources.com/special/
  --------------------------------------------------------------



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