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Marketing your web site through associations and societies

Make money with Ads by Google

by Monique Harris-Hackney & Ian Traynor

With millions of web sites on the Internet, a successful site must clearly have the ability to reach a targeted customer through its marketing techniques. Here's one proven method.

However, even using the most common marketing method of listing your site with many of the search mechanisms on the Internet, does not necessarily assure that people will come. Sometimes you have to look beyond the Internet to get people to visit your site. Here, we'll show you how to get members of associations and societies in your targeted market, to visit your web site and use it as a reference point.

The size of the markets in the USA and the UK

There are over 20,000 associations in the United States alone. In the UK, the number is around 7,000.

They span from such diverse groups as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (UK and USA), The Wilderness Society (USA) and the National Trust (UK), the National Restaurant Association (USA) and the Restauranteurs Association (UK), the National Association for Female Executives (USA) and Women in Management (UK). Whatever audience your product or service is geared towards, there is most likely an association that caters towards it.

So if you're a human resources consultant, for instance, with a web site devoted towards human resource management, the Institute of Personnel Management (UK) or the Society for Human Resource Management (USA) would contain many of the prime prospects for your service.

How do you find the appropriate associations?

In the UK, the best source of information is "The Directory of British Associations", published by CBD Research Ltd, and which costs around GBP 120. It is published every two years and the latest edition contained some 6,800 entries. Most good public reference libraries will have a copy.

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For a listing of over 20,000 associations in the United States, check out the massive edition of "Encyclopedia of Associations", published by Gale Research. For a listing of 501 of the biggest and richest associations in the United States you can buy "501 Business Leads," also compiled by Gale Research. The "Encyclopedia" can be found in most libraries, however "501" can be purchased at most bookstores for USD 14.95. Gale also publishes an international version of this directory.

How can you use associations to promote your Web site?

Now that you know where most of your target market is, all you have to do is get them to come to your web site. (Trust me folks, it's not as hard as it sounds!)

To do this you can:

  1. Find out if the association has a monthly publication like a newsletter or magazine. Send them a press release stating your web site as a useful, new resource for its members. Of course you've really got to make sure that your site is as useful as you say it is!

  2. Join the association. By joining you'll be able to keep abreast of the needs and trends in your industry. Plus you'll also receive a membership directory. This is a priceless resource for sending out announcements about your web site.

  3. Offer the association an opportunity to be a sponsor on your web site. Of course this may mean that you'll have to give them a free web page or two, but everybody will benefit in the long run. The association will gain increased exposure and an opportunity to pick up some new members through your site. And you'll have the backing of a major industry force, in addition to access to your prime prospects who will know and appreciate you as THE information resource on the Web.

Trying to get people to come to your web site should be more than just passive marketing, it must be interactive to achieve the kind of results most of us hope for. By creatively using all of your resources, both on and off the Internet, and by making your site interesting, you'll be on your way to becoming a web site success story.

This article is the copyright of Monique Harris-Hackney. Monique is President of several companies including Informising, Inc., a marketing consulting firm that helps businesses advertise through informational products. If you would like to be placed on her mailing list to receive this free weekly column, please send your name, company name (if applicable), address, telephone number, and e-mail address to: mdharris@wizard.net. To find out how Informising, Inc. can help you informise on the Internet, or in the real world, call Informising at (301) 345-8083.


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