If you run an e-commerce based online business and do not have a lot of cash to spend on your marketing budget you have to find creative ways to gain traction on your website without spending a lot of money on SEM, display ads, social or affiliates. For our venture pauschalreise.de where we offer great package holidays & last minute trips we searched for such a good working tool. Our aim was not just to gain traffic… but more important: sales!
Deal community sites (find the top five deal sites in the US on Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com/5962699/five-best-deal-sites or for Germany http://goo.gl/oexKDp) could be your best new buddy for bootstrapped marketing activities if you do it smart. The clue here: community members post deals from all over the web and click, comment, vote and share these deals. The pages show a lot of traffic and engagement on a daily basis (just checked the active online users on our favorite deal page: >10K). One of the biggest obstacles here is to trick the admins of the deal pages that they do not recognize you as a marketer (spam!) and that your deal will make it to the “Hot Deals” section. A prominent position for your deal is crucial to generate a lot of clicks, comments, votes and social shares.
Follow these easy steps for smart digital marketing with deal communities:
- Create an account on your preferred deal community. Publish deals from other websites (not your own website!) and vote/like/share/comment on other deals. Do that for 3-4 weeks on a daily basis and grow your account regarding realness and trust.
- Make sure that your first deal (and all the others you will post) is absolutely awesome and offer the user a real advantage in terms of price and value. Do not use your usual marketing terms and USPs for your wording because community members (and admins) are very sensitive when it comes to spam. Think, act and write like a community member.
- Engage with users who comment on your deal. There are a lot of flamers and trolls in forums so make sure that you always act like a member of the community. Your official aim is to help others to make a good bargain.
- Post your deal on all available social media channels, blogs (comment on related articles and include a link to your deal) and whatever channels you got in your pocket.
- Check the KPIs in your analytics software (take a look at the real time reporting). If you won´t make any sales in the beginning…do not worry. Successful marketing with deal community sites will take some time.
If you can offer real value to the user you will definitely generate leads such as sales, newsletter subscriptions, likes, followers or retargeting for future sales with this method.
Do you have similar or completely different experiences with deal community marketing? Where do you see the biggest chances and the possible risks here? Share your wisdom below in our comments or shoot me a tweet @bukaai.