To say I’ve anguished over picking domain names would be an understatement. Countless hours searching what’s available, looking for the perfect destination that’s short, memorable and hopefully not confusing.
In our digital world – picking a domain name is the equivalent to a storefront location. We all know that location isn’t the end all. We’ve all driven across town for a specific pizza or even a popsicle. They’re the oddities that we all aspire to be.
For the rest of us, we’ve got to pick a good location before someone else does.
In this post, I’ll tell you two guerrilla marketing stories involving domains plus I’ll give you some tips on picking your domain and how to protect your digital asset!
A competitor announced a new initiative with plans for it to be launched in 2-3 months. A competitor checked to see what domain they were using. The first company had purchased the .net but not the .com or .org addresses. The .com, on the other hand, was for sale. The company bought the domain that their competitor should have bought before they launched their new product.
I don’t agree with going out and buying domains that your competitors should own. For example, the new extension .rocks came out. Don’t grab mycompetitor.rocks as a means of blocking them on day one. Give them the opportunity, but, if they don’t protect themselves, it’s free game.
If they’ve started promoting a new product, I would assume that in their marketing plan, domains would have been part of the discussion. They’ve left the door open and have basically said they weren’t interested in the domain by their actions.
This can get super expensive too if you start snatching domains up everywhere so make sure that you can prove that buying the domain will result in a positive move for your business as in increased sales or brand awareness. There is definitely a potential for a lot more negativity and bad will so be careful!
This isn’t a place for a political conversation – this is marketing talk, so let’s leave it at that.
That said Judge Roy Moore has been traveling the state in a bus. Said bus had a wrapper made for it with his own website misspelled on the side – “AlabamaDerservesMoore.com”.
This could have been genius as a marketing tactic to get people to visit his site and bring attention to his bus, but Judge Moore’s team didn’t do this on purpose. This becomes obvious when you go to the misspelled domain that leads to his democratic competitor’s website. Try it.
I would have liked to have seen his competitor seize the opportunity to welcome Roy Moore supporters to his site and explain how they are similar on some stances in order to convince people to vote for him over Roy Moore in the upcoming election. It kinda does this but doesn’t tackle Moore directly – and maybe it will if Moore wins the runoff taking place this week.
Right now the emphasis is email, buttons that get lost above a donation form and then a personal letter from the candidate introducing himself.
- Find the shortest domain possible.
It’s getting harder, but if you are looking to sell products on a site – a shorter, easy to remember and not confuse domain is needed.
- Protect your domain!
Don’t buy just one address. A .com is the standard, I recommend at the least buying the .net and .org and redirect them to your primary domain.
- Use the right extension.
If you are not a non-profit, don’t use a .org address as it implies you are a non-profit. Same for non-profits – you can get away using a .com, but I suggest using the .org while still owning the .com. Redirect it to your .org address.
- Be willing to spend some money.
You’re kinda late to the game. A lot of the good domains are gone. Start thinking about how much your name is worth. Remember there are a lot of variations you can try, but the more complex it gets, the more confusing and less memorable it is to your customer.
The big takeaway in all this – if you aren’t buying the right domains to protect yourself, your competitor could be buying them. Let’s take a few minutes to go over your domain strategy and come up with a plan to protect your business. Contact us today.
Photo credit: Greg Buddell