This article features a review of 10 types of advertising and marketing that will help you increase your traffic — and conversions.
Purchase Web-Based Advertising
Just as there are plenty of places to advertise within the adult webmaster community in order to get affiliates, there are plenty of places to advertise within the adult Internet to get customers. If you have colleagues that will give you solid advice, it's a good idea to get references or referrals before dropping a bunch of cash on an ad campaign you know nothing about.
If you don't have a solid connection, ask a lot of questions, and get as much information as you can. If possible, find out where they get their traffic (i.e. search engines, blog resources, networking feeds, TGPs, etc.) and get all the details on your prospective ad — including average daily impressions, click-through rates and specifics based upon ad size and location. Ask your sales rep which space gets the best results, because sometimes buying the biggest and most prominently placed banner isn't always the best bet.
Try Unique Advertising Opportunities
Don't be afraid to buy unique forms of advertising. Many companies have had success with "peel" ads that look like a turning page or peeled-back page corner at the top of a website, or full-site sponsorships such as the skins that you sometimes see on XBIZ.com. Try other ideas such as sponsoring events — both online and off; offering prizes in contests — featuring a nice banner with some eye candy and your dot-com; or even print advertising in various adult-oriented or male-focused magazines.
Focus on SEO
When you built your website you probably paid close attention to optimization for search engines and directory listings. Well, things change and in the world of search engines they change all the time. It is a good idea to read up on recent changes, see if they could affect your listings, review your rankings and see if you can improve them on a regular basis. If SEO is not your forte, or if you simply do not have the time or the inclination to do it, then consider hiring a professional search engine expert to do it for you — and again, ask colleagues for references.
Consider "Editorial" Advertising
Editorial advertising can be beneficial to your website in a number of ways. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to more traditional forms of advertising and the fact that it is text-based and most likely very keyword-rich gives added benefit. There are lots of "review" sites out there, whose focus is to write reviews and rank various websites categorized by niche, type of membership and other targeted categories. Paying for a favorable review can help give credibility to your site and assist you in reaching a whole new audience of customers. You can also write — or hire someone to write — expert articles relating to your website. For example, if you run a niche or fetish-based site, articles proving your knowledge of the subject that are well-placed on popular adult sites or published in magazines will get you some highly targeted viewers.
Attract Attention through Press Releases
Press releases and announcements work well in the business-to-business world, but work just as well in the business-to-consumer realm as well. XFanz.com is just one example of a site that targets the customer rather than the webmaster and that will accept and post your adult-oriented press announcement. There are also lots of adult-focused blogs that accept news about new websites, special offerings, events or whatever else you've got going on to help bring in some more eyeballs to your website. Again, consider hiring a broker — a professional that can help you to create a proper press release and get it out to all of the top websites — if you are unsure how to do it yourself.
Think About Web 2.0
Speaking of blogs, consider diving in to the world of Web 2.0 and try out some of the more interactive ways to get your site out there to the masses. You could write a daily blog — or hire bloggers to do it for you — and give free "samples" and information to get the customers to your site. Samples could include a photo, gallery, video or other daily feature — but be sure to include keyword-rich text that will get picked up by the engines, directories and feed sites. Explore other interactive Web 2.0 methods and find new ways to apply them to your site.
Attend Real-World Events
Have you ever attended an event and noticed all the hot models handing out pamphlets and working the booths wearing sexy little outfits? This method of advertising is not limited to the adult industry. There are plenty of fan-based events — such as low-rider competitions, auto/motocross racing, auto shows, as well as many sporting and other mainstream convention/expo events that would welcome adult models and businesses promoting their websites to attendees. Consider hiring a popular adult starlet to appear at your booth, sign autographs and take photos with fans — all of course while promoting your site. An in-person experience with the world of adult entertainment can give credibility to your site and create a brick-and-mortar feeling to your virtual business.
Take Advantage of Viral Marketing
A lot of developers take the term "viral marketing" to the extreme and think instantly of circle jerks, blind links or other unsavory forms of generating traffic. However, true viral marketing simply means promoting your site through your customers; taking advantage of the natural "word of mouth" that occurs when you receive feedback via bulletin boards, chat rooms, e-mails or other commenting features on your website. You can solicit even more feedback by offering gifts to your members, such as entering them in contests to win products, free months of memberships, one-on-one chats with models — the sky's the limit. It doesn't really have to "cost" you anything and the benefits of this type of promotion are definitely worth the effort of setting it up and collecting the reviews.
Don't Forget Text
A lot of people forget about the power of text. We've already talked about blogging and writing reviews; but adding descriptive keyword-rich text to your site, taking advantage of text advertising opportunities, making text-based link trades and adding your site to text listings and directories goes a long way. Choose your words carefully, make them count and most of all be accurate. Attracting traffic is important, but attracting conversions is the real goal.
Be sure to track your results, fine-tune your ads and methods, and always know the cost per conversion. Refresh your advertising banners and text at a minimum of every 30 days — of course researching your results with older banners before making a change. Buy advertising in three-month blocks and adjust your ad contract when it's time to renew based upon your results. Try lots of different sites — maybe four or five at a time — and compare results. Keep the best two or three and then add a couple of more for the next three-month period. The most important thing to remember is to research, review, refresh and refine all of your advertising and marketing methods in order to achieve the best results.