WWPR Vice President Tina McCormack Beaty

From 0 to 60 ramps up speed, but how do you ramp up web hits when starting at 0? You get creative, and fast.

Travalo, a portable and TSA-approved fragrance atomizer, launched earlier this year in the U.S., after a highly successful launch in the U.K. The U.S. distributor was bringing new sizes, new colors, and new product lines to consumers in the U.S. and Canada. The website launched on May 25, 2011, and in just over two months, we had secured the little-known U.S. site with over 10,000 unique visits- and more importantly, a positive impact measured directly by a boost in sales.

How’d we do it? Three creative tactics:

Virtual Blog Event
We invited 30 beauty, travel, and mommy bloggers – three large and targeted segments in the blogosphere— to attend a virtual exclusive product review session. The hook was for them to test and review Travalo, being one of the first voices in the online media to talk about the product. For us it was a controlled environment to generate significant chatter during a small timeframe. The group was invited to include pictures, video, and testimonials – all of which we provided to make the process as easy as possible for them As an enhancement, we offered one Travalo to review and another Travalo for them to conduct a giveaway on their site. The bloggers accepted the challenge and over the course of a concentrated few days, new posts began popping up. The tactic directly drove an increase in web traffic, the largest spike of the entire three month campaign, and increased the Travalo name online in a short period to amplify SEO.

Facebook Ads
Knowing your target market’s eyeballs are on Facebook is only half the battle. We knew that men and women who travel and are interested in beauty/luxury products were on Facebook multiple times a day and considered it a resource, according to recent Pew research. But the issue was micro-targeting them by demographic and specific interest. We first went after those with birthdays within the next week; those interested in travel, beauty products, and luxury goods; those recently engaged; as well as those interested in fitness, sports, and luxury items; those who played softball specifically; and those folks who rode the DC metro. The categories were selected by those which fit our target demographic in unique sub-segments. We wrote and ran multiple versions of copy per category, putting more dollars towards successful ads and pausing the unresponsive ads. The response was interesting and slightly unexpected- the best performing ads, based on clickthrus, were targeting men who felt sweaty after working out and women who had birthdays in the next week.

Engaging Online and Print Media
We decided to reach out to two bloggers for every one traditional publication whether online or print. We gather up the usual suspects: glossies, national travel, Nielsen-rated momblogs, and then cast a wide-net of product review sites. We knew we needed to balance long leads with instant hits, and we didn’t shy away from the lesser known names. Some bloggers with small audiences have the most devout audiences, which helps to create action and thus more traffic to the site. We also secured feature print and web placement in O Magazine that helped to generate the second largest campaign spike in web traffic.

These three tactics fed off of each other and were strategically placed on top of one another in an effort to make an early impact. They also directly achieved our goal of raising awareness, both online and off, for Travalo and had the best outcome possible- a significant increase in sales for the new U.S. company.

Every client and subject is different – what are your tips and tricks for driving traffic on a limited budget to a new website? Share below or tweet me at @TMStrategy.