What Makes a Successful Online Promotion?

When I begin my “Link Love” article the first thing I like to do is peruse the articles of my other fellow “Experts.”

The first place I go is to Justilien‘s articles to make sure I’m staying up to par, and also to make sure I’m not repeating something he said in the previous week.

As I sat down with my new “tropical green tea” Santa left me and headed over to the home page of Search Engine Watch, I thought maybe we were both out of a job. In fact, I wondered if maybe all the experts were sent packing as I couldn’t find the “Experts” section anywhere. Everything was new and different. There were just “Search Marketing Topics.”

It didn’t take me long to catch on. The Search Engine Watch navigation is more streamlined. Us Experts are rolled into our overarching themes.

New navigation of a site I go to all the time is always a little disjointing. But I think this change is for the better. I think it is a good approach for the long-term.

As I began clicking through the sections, I was relieved to find my bright, shining face under “Promotion and Link Building.”

I knew this change was coming. I had talked with SEW’s managing editor Kevin Newcomb at SES Chicago about this very topic. But I didn’t know it was going to be rolled out so fast.

It’s a kind of little Christmas present. Thanks Kevin!

So here’s the deal: I’m no longer your friendly, neighborhood “Link Love” guy. I’m now your friendly, neighborhood “Promotion and Link Building” guy. It maybe doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. But the new, spiffy title gets me all tingly inside.

This means that I might go all article and not even mention the word “Links” once. Today’s article won’t be one of those articles, as I’m already up to about 6 times using the word. But maybe someday.

This title change should make this section a little more interesting for you, my dear reader. It’s a wider topic and potentially filled with more useful, varied discussions.

I mean, look at that title! It has a whole additional word in it… “Promotion.”

Where to start? That’s my main concern right now.

Some ideas that come to mind include:

Hold a contest for the most creative promotion submitted.

Hold a contest for the most successful promotion submitted.

Interview people who have held highly popular and successful promotions.

Run some promotions on this site to test theoretical promotions and report the results.

It seems to me that the sky is the limit.

As I think through all the possibilities, I am really interested in attempting to create a system that would allow people to submit promotions… either ones they have made or have participated in. From there we would attempt to measure them.

What was the desired outcome?

What was the actual outcome?

How much did it cost to set up?

How difficult was it to set up?

What was the perception of the promotion for the desired audience?

What was the perception of the promotion for the general public?

Would the implementer do the promotion again?

This could be interesting for those thinking about trying different promotions. And it could help extend the promotions’ awareness while it was being run.

But here’s the thing. I have no idea how to put something like this together.

My first question is to you, my dear and loyal readers: Do you like any of these ideas? I want to know if you think I’m insane and should be locked away from all public discourse. Or do you think I’m on the right track with some of these thoughts.

My second question is: What are your thoughts on technically setting something like this promotions monitoring system up? Would Pligg [http://www.pligg.com/” be an option? Could it be setup in a basic blog format? I would like it to be easy for people to interact with and comment on these promotions.

So here’s the thing… I want you to send me your ideas at my contact form. You can also get to it by clicking the “Contact Sage” button at the top of this article.

This is where it gets good…

Everyone that submits a response to me on these ideas by Thursday, January 8 will be put in random drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card purchased by yours truly, “Sage – The Promotion and Link Building Guy.”

All responses have to be in by Thursday, January 8 because that’s when I start writing my following week’s article. And I’ve already got my next article topic: “Bribing People to Send You Emails with $50 Gift Cards.”

See what I’m doing here? 😉

Your responses have to be at least somewhat thought-through. Responses like:

Cool idea.

You suck, Sage.

Hate it.

All those won’t be counted. You have to tell me why a specific idea is cool, specifically why I suck, or specifically why you hate an idea. All those responses will be eligible.

Oh. And the random winner’s response will be published here, in my next article.

So, get those keyboards fired up and shoot me your thoughts.

I want to know what you think.

And I’m sure you could use $50 at Amazon.

P.S. Just to let you know, up until now, my requests for reader interaction have been quite sparse. So, if the past is any indication of the future, your chance of winning the gift card is probably pretty good. I’m just sayin’.

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