Live webcams are being used more and more to promote beach resorts, casinos, ski resorts, trade shows, and other live events. Here are some fairly simple yet effective ways to bring more traffic to your webcam.
I recently received an email from a new client, asking for webcam marketing ideas. I happily replied with some suggestions – in an email that admittedly may have been too long. Yet it still didn’t feel like I had scratched the surface on the subject. There are MANY things you can (and should) do to promote your webcam.
It is tempting to set up a webcam, sit back, and wait for traffic to come. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work. Webcams don’t draw web traffic automagically. You know this, or you wouldn’t be here. I’d like to just share 7 fairly simple steps that will increase your webcam traffic.
Before I even begin, though, keep the following in mind: the best marketing is a great product. Consider your webcam content, image quality, camera reliability, and interface features. You want to encourage visitors to come back and bring friends. TrueLook works hard to provide quality cameras that are easy to share. However, if you’re running a DIY setup, consider a quality camera and solid hosting.
1. Don’t hide it
This is the most important step. Your own website should promote your live webcam. Have an obvious link from your homepage to your webcam’s webpage. It should be incredibly easy to find the webcam, not buried inside 5 layers of navigation. If appropriate, you could even place the webcam feed on your homepage.
For some reason, I see many companies who hide their webcam where no one will ever find it. If I can’t find it when I am looking for it, no one else is going to find it when they are not looking for it.
2. Use what you already have
Do you have an email newsletter? A Facebook page? A Twitter account? It doesn’t matter how you communicate with your audience – just be sure to let them all know about your new webcam. Mention your camera in your next newsletter, with a link straight to the webcam. Perhaps as your customers arrive, let them know about the webcam so they can show off to their friends back home. As they leave, remind them of the webcam so they can check in and reminisce from home.
3. The press release
A well written press release can spread links to your webcam across the internet. Remember that your release will get picked up a lot quicker if you can write more than simply “Company XYZ has a webcam now.” Give the media a reason to care – what is special about your location or how you are using your camera? Here is a great piece about writing press releases.
4. Submit your camera to webcam directories
With caution, you may want to submit your webcam to some online directories. Be aware, some of these directories seem safe on the front end but make their money by linking out to adult websites. Some sites that I believe are safe include Camvista, Webcams.travel, WebcamGalore, WebcamsMania, CamCentral, and TrueLook’s very own TrueLookCams.
These sites can get you more eyeballs, but at two costs. First, the webcam traffic goes to the directory site and not your own website. Second, they strip out any interfaces which means your social sharing and camera controls are lost.
5. Use social media
More than just announcing your new webcam, consider how you can further interact with your Facebook/Twitter/Google+ audiences. Your webcam images are ever changing and built for sharing, so use this to your advantage. It can be as simple as posting some of your visitor’s best webcam snapshots to Facebook. You can get as creative as you like. Run a contest where contestants catch themselves on the webcam, for example.
6. Reach out
Let bloggers and other writers know about your webcam. This is really just a more personal and specific version of the general press release. Whatever your industry, you likely already have some connections you can leverage. If you are a resort, let travel bloggers know about your webcams. If you attending a trade show, find out what publications are covering the event. Someone out there would love to share your webcam, but they can’t until you share first.
7. SEO all your efforts
You can’t do much online these days without considering SEO, or search engine optimization. It is what dictates whether visitors will find you through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This is a huge subject, but there are basically two things that affect how well you will rank on Google.
- How you set up your webpage
- Inbound links (links to your site, from other webpages)
In regards to the first, make sure your website with your webcam has clear titles and descriptive text. Don’t simply leave the page empty with a webcam interface – search engines can’t read the webcam and won’t know what the page is about.
In regards to inbound links, your goal is to have more links from trusted websites. Your press releases, social media sharing, etc. will help. But more than just links, you want links with the right anchor text. All this means in practice is that you want your inbound links to be labelled “XYZ Resort Webcam” instead of “click here”. Keep that in mind when writing press releases or getting links from other online sources.
Don’t be overwhelmed
You don’t have to master all of these tactics, just tackle what you can. Even if you only implement a couple of these ideas, you are doing more than most of your competition.
Please let me know if I forgot any ideas, or what you’ve seen work for you!