Maximizing Online Promotional Web Sites
By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012
Let's look at the kind of real time information you need to be able to capture and measure once you've created a promotional web site.
First and foremost is "the buzz factor" - how did people learned about the promotional web site and how and what are they telling other people about it. Imagine the Internet as one very large and all encompassing online water cooler. What kind of buzz, if any, is your promotional web site generating around the water cooler? If you don't have solutions in place to measure that buzz, you will never know whether the promotional site is having a positive or negative impact on your brand. Put the tools in place to make sure you can catch the buzz wherever it's coming from including your web site, blogs, message boards, forums, and other online communities. By monitoring buzz in real time you'll get a better understanding of whether the site copy is hitting the right hot buttons and what features of the site are generating the most/least buzz?
Once you've established the buzz factor, it is important to remember that you also must be able to place some meaningful value on your customer's overall experience at the site. You need to be able to clearly understand the strengths and weakness of the site as well as your customer's likes and dislikes. The promotional web site might draw a lot of attention and traffic, but once there, if users were disappointed with the experience or had serious issues with content or navigation for example, you must be able to track their satisfaction if you want to ensure your next promotion does not create the same problems.
Evaluating the impact of the promotional web site on brand appreciation and preferences and on your visitor's propensity to make a reservation is also another metric that you must be able to tap into. It goes without saying that your investment in the promotional web site and its overall success will eventually be measured by these two key components.
If this information is going to be meaningful, you also need the capacity to benchmark and prepare day-to-day trending charts for most if not all the above-mentioned variables. With trending data in hand, you can judge at what point the promotional web site reaches maximum effectiveness and at what point it becomes obvious that the site should be discontinued.
Let's look at a hypothetical example of how a marketing team in the hospitality sector would execute all of the above. You have decided to launch a promotional web site initiative linked to a contest aimed at raising the awareness of your various properties across North America and driving traffic to those sites. You promoted the contest and the web site at your main web site, on other sites using banners and buttons, as well as with newspaper ads and television commercials.