7 superior alternatives to Google Adwords

hummel_front2Seven is indeed a lucky number so here are seven tips on selling more, but with a twist. This one is from an unusual source. Tammy Kahn Fennell runs VintageRareStuff.com, a site devoted to selling antiques. Here’s what she says has worked for her when she needed to find ways that outperformed Google Adwords. Looks like soon, everyone will know about direct marketing in all its forms, old and new. Enjoy! (You can see her original post here.)

Those of you who know me know that I spend my of my days dealing with in antiques and collectibles. I love feeling the history in my hands. This is in stark contrast to the way I sell these treasures… through the Internet. Nothing tangible, and I have to try to reach my audience amongst a sea of ‘noise.’

There was a time that I was spending a large part of my budget on Google Adwords to try to get people to find me. And yes, I was getting clicks, but the conversions were very, very low, which was both costly an ineffective. This is why I came up with a new plan. Here are the 7 ways I get people to find us without using Adwords. And guess what? It costs a heck of a lot less!

1.   Create a mini site. What is a mini site, you may ask? Well a mini site is an ugly little site with a niche-specific domain name that forces people to make a decision. My shining example of this is www.HummelsHumels.com. First of all, the name is very specific to the Hummel Figurine, which is highly important. The search engines find it easier than my main domain, ‘vintagerarestuff.com’. It has a lot of good words in the top bar above where people can type in a new web address, which also gets Google’s attention. But the most important thing is that it’s SIMPLE. It addresses the topic “Do you have a question about selling your Hummel collection?” and then it gives the person a place to fill in their name and email address to find out how. Very simple. One page. Ugly little site, but does wonders.

2.   Start building a list. Once you have a few mini sites out there with forms to contact you, make sure you save their info. I use mycontactform.com and contactology.com. This way, when you have a product of interest, you can send it directly to people who would actually want to know about it. Sending an email to 500 people who care about a subject is better than getting 1,000 clicks from people who are just ‘curious’ on Adwords.

3.   Have a presence on eBay. I know, eBay has become a bit of a pain in the you-know-what lately, but they are still the largest e-commerce site, period. Having a presence there gets you higher in Google searches by virtue of the fact that eBay gets higher on Google.

4.   Get an account on LinkedIn and join groups. There is a group for nearly anything you can think of on LinkedIn and it’s a vastly underused feature! Recently I posted in 4 collectibles groups “looking for people to interview on Collectibles Corner TV.” In 48 hours I had 5 responses. Do you know how long it used to take to find someone to interview? The same can be done for anything. You sell panini grills? Join the restaurant owner group and start a discussion about commercial grills, then casually mention that you sell them. The exposure is really targeted. Make sure to check the box to be emailed if someone replies so you’re able to follow up.

5.   Write a free guide in your niche. Distribute this in every form imaginable. Post it as a page on your web site, devote a mini site to it, sell it for 99 cents on eBay with free shipping in the niche you are catering to. Giving free information is one surefire way to get people to trust you, consider you an expert, and notice you.

6.   Write articles and go negative. You can write articles for free on a lot of different sites, and you can also write directly onto your own blog. But negativity often works better. In our panini grill example – a good title would be “Why you NEVER want to buy a 240 Volt Flat Grill made in China”. Then explain why and offer them a solution – something that you can provide 🙂

7.   Get video. This is the MOST superior alternative to Google Adwords. Search engines love good videos that are well tagged. It’s actually quite amazing. There are services out there that can do this for you for under $600 and will literally take care of everything from production to distribution. When you think about how quickly $500-$600 can go on Adwords, it’s a no-brainer.