Originally Posted by PlatosOliveOil
I know you mostly generate leads but I figured you would have insight about this.
No, I'm actually happy people ask different questions, because there aren't so many things I can say about just buying banners without outing myself.
I actually would change the title of the thread to "I'm a big online marketer" if I could. Because that is what I actually do. In ad agencies, a media buyer, is the guy who just buys the spots. There are marketing guys and media planners and all kind of other people who make the plan. I do all of that myself. And I have done a lot of stuff apart from buying banners. Websites for adsense monies, content locking, search ppc, hell even spamming forums and youtube(ashamed).
This post (AGAIN) turned out rather messy. I started talking about a lot of stuff, you didn't ask about. You might be doing some of the stuff, I talk about, but I hope you can make something out of all that writing.
Basically, to eveything you said, the answer is yes. Quick answers for some questions:
Should you buy banners on small, related sites - I would rather say no. You better contact them directly and pay for a sponsored listing or article where they promote your product. I think that will be reap a lot more sales for you. The thing with banners, is that you count on big numbers. It's a numbers game. You gotta have millions of impressions and only handful of clicks. With small niches like that, you can't really do it effectively, because there are only a few people interested in what you are selling. You can summon intent in some, but I don't think it's gonna be worth it.
Sponsored article on relevant sites though, will just put your name out there. Will make aware interested people of your existing. They might bookmark you and stuff like that.
HINT: mommy bloggers.
About the landing page - linking to your homepage is a huge mistake. I often see that. There is a reason why the landing page has been invented. Some basic stuff - explain briefly, what the customer will gain(healthy, delicious, etc., etc.) with a pretty font, maybe a video on the top, right corner. BIG "call to action" button.
DO NOT ever put a credit card fields on the lander page. That is just a no-go. maybe email and name at the first page, and then the process goes to a second, where they put their cc info and check out.
That way, if they have a second thought on the checkout process - you have their email and can email them and summon the intend again.
Pick green colours for your page. I hear foodsies love it.
TEST TEST TEST. And track, and then optimize acordingly. Change the colors, the fonts, the call to action buttons, and size of the fields, the headlines. Change everything. And see what works best. I CANNOT REALLY STRESS THIS ENOUGH.
Another way to bring good traffic for your website is search ppc and maybe contextual) = google adowrds/MSN adcentre. Just don't bid on outrageuosly expensive keywords. There are some tools that can generate relevant keywords for you. Google them.
Facebook ads is a good way to promote, but I guess you are doing it wrong. I don't blame you, I blame all the blogs and marketing agencies that make all the hype. And then everyone thinks that facebook will do miracles for their business. It's not that easy man. It's marketing.
A few tips - make yourself a fan page. Something that a lot of people do not know is that if you link to a fan page, instead of external link, your CPC will got 1/3 of what it usually is.
Put advanced targetting. Target health/bodybuilding/foodsie pages. Just search for them first, find out as many as you can. Make appealing headlines and use appealing pictures.
Some tips on how to not burn out your ads very quickly: If your target demo is 20-25 female. Target people from 20-22 on day1 and on day two - the rest. Always have a few ads running and see what is working. Drop the losers. On day 3, go back to 20-22. I hope you get the idea. That will help you not spend too much and will give you longer life for you ads. Also change your pictures/headlines every 10 days or so.
Contact fan page admins in your target demo and offer them to promote your fanpage/site. Some will do it, without anything in return. Some, you will have to pay. It's not very expensive usually. Just make sure that you make a deal, where they post at least 2-3 times your page, not just 1. When you have some following on your page you can do swaps.
Post on your fb page, don't let it rot. Make a blog and make articles for it on relevant topics.(you can hire writers - textbrokers, thecontentauthority). Then post it on your fb page. Offer them discount coupons for your products(fb has a tool for this). Engage with them. Post pics of healthy people/health goods.
When someone buys from you, stick his email in a database/CRM/autoresponder(icontact, aweber, mailchimp) and send them an email every week with some article(just make sure it's v good, they will just unsubscribe from you if you waste their time) and every now and then offer them a coupon or pitch them.
Also put the email subscriber field on your blog and offer them something(cookbook, or health tips) so they subscribe.
Reach out to other ecommerce stores in your field(not direct competitors though), and do 1-click upsells with their products. You are seriously missing out if you are not doingthis. If they buy olive oil, they will be interested in beans/salami/pears/goat cheese. Offer the store owners to do upsell with your product and give them a cut.
Also, you can make a twitter account and get a following. Just engage in conversation. Like search for some hastags and contribute to the conversation. Make it more personal. That way people will want to hear back from you. You can also buy sponsored tweets(just google it). I know that you will be able to get some accounts that target your demo. Just when they tweet about you, make sure the link doesn't go to a sale page.
Don't be one of those ecomerce sites. Make them want your product. Explain why it is good to buy your product. What sets you apart from the competitors. MAKE THEM WANT IT.
That of course requires a lot of work on your copy.
Also, always make sure, that even if they don't buy now, you get something from them. Email, like, follow, whatever, youtube subscriber, whatever.
Also, make a tumblr account and post all your blogs there too. I know for a fact that there are a lot of foodsies there. Again, just engage.
Pinterest is the trend right now. GET ON THERE. It's exactly your demo, IMO.
Maybe even go on related forums. Just contribute there and converse. Maybe you can buy someone's signature for $10/month.
As you may see, I recommend a lot of social activity, but that is just the way with your biz. Personal recommendation. Oppsosed to big corporations, for small biz like that, this is the way to go.
There are a lot of software products that can help you manage your social marketing efforts. Hootsuit is one. You can search for others. There are some outrageously expensive(I use radian6), do not fall for that. You don't really need it. Just use something lightweight. Google it.
One more thing - make sure it is very easy to subscribe/like/follow you. Urge your visitors to do so. Bribe them. Maybe a mobile app with cooking recepies, whatever. Make them want to share what you have. Figure it out.
One thing I think you don't take into consideration is that you do not think about the lifetime value of the customer. He may purchase something for $100 and make you $20 now, but if you remarket to him(the way I described), he will make you a lot more than $20. That way you can offer your "affiliates" even full comission on what you sell through them. You will make your money on the 2nd, whatever. Customer retention is the key here. Work on that.
EDIT: Also, branch out. DO product development. You can push someone elses products to your audience too, but you can develop other products too. You have your demo, think about what other they might be interested in. Mobie apps, books, other tanglie goods, other foods, whatever. HUSTLE.