Marketing is tough! People see advertisements all the time, so it’s easy to zone out when any appear. We as humans are curious by nature, so if something grabs our attention, discovering is the next process to fulfill the curiosity.
So, what is a helpful piece of the puzzle to help accelerate your marketing message home and provide an easy avenue to fulfill that curiosity by action? A memorable, actionable domain name to go along with your main marketing message.
Why does the domain name matter in your marketing efforts?
- Precision guidance
- No questions
- Full control
- Globally accessible
Domain names have been around since the mid ’80s. Billions and billions of advertising dollars have been spent displaying domain names within them. When somebody sees a .com after a term, they instantly know what they need to do to visit. Similar to a phone number, just easier in most cases to act on and remember.
Securing the best domain name for your marketing efforts is similar to securing the best domain name for your brand. Once you do, others will only struggle to use the term without the best domain name to go with it, so they change course!
Don’t trip over your own feet
Yes, many misstep and say things like “Find us on Facebook” and provide no clear path to do so. The precision guidance is lost, questions arise on how to find your specific company among the other 2.41 billion active monthly other users on Facebook. You lose control. What if there is a similar offering on Facebook and the user “searches”? Why make them search anyways? What if Facebook is down? What if Facebook displays an ad for a competitor, that outranks your page? What if Facebook’s policy changes and your offering isn’t acceptable any longer?
Some display a #hashtag? What? Most people don’t even know what a hashtag is. Not everybody is on Twitter. Even seeing the hashtag, then what? Your precision guidance to direct your target audience directly to you misfires. It leaves questions on how to act or what I need to do. I’ve never purchased something on Twitter before and I’ve used the site for 11 years. Oh, you want me to click a link? Why not just display a domain name in the first place and remove the confusion!
Marketing with domain names provides you many options, control and the ability to easily fulfill specifically what you are marketing. By using a make-sense, easy-to-remember domain name with your marketing campaign, you are opening your arms and providing a precision path directly to you.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation hit the nail on the head and resonated to its audience with an easy path to find what they need. The goal is to get people to visit Michigan. It’s such a memorable term and a clear-lit path to follow that I still remember it today, even though I haven’t seen or heard the commercial for years! Welcome to Pure Michigan. “Your trip begins at Michigan.org”
Michigan is the state they want you to visit, so Michigan.org really makes sense. To most people, the .org domain is a generally trusted extension. Michigan.com could have easily been used here as well if they owned it, but they do not. I still like the .org extension use here though. That powerful tagline though! WOW! Your trip begins at Michigan.org. It sure does, because the website provides all the information, sights, and things to do in Michigan. Powerful stuff. Guide your audience to where they need to go, to learn more and in this situation, your trip begins at Michigan.org!
The National Football League runs a lot of advertisements. A LOT! It also has a lot of competition for its own brand. One marketing message though in particular has always stood out to me. Again, I haven’t heard or seen the ad in a long time, yet I still remember it to this day. “If you want the NFL, go to the NFL” then displaying the NFL.com domain name.
Powerful, memorable, controllable, clarity, precision guidance! From the source.
The Ford Motor Company has and is proving they believe in memorable domain names with their marketing message. The marketing message of “Go Further” is a great example of this. A long-lived tagline used by the company and one they invested $10,000 to purchase the matching GoFurther.com domain name in 2012 to continue its message online to consumers. This wasn’t a one-off move by the automaker, they also purchased the domain name CityOfTomorrow.com for $35,000 from its past domain name owners through Uniregistry Brokerage in August 2017. The company announced its plans and uses the domain name in a wide range of interactions.
In general, corporations are not shy investing in matching domain names for marketing campaigns, even if the perfect domain name costs tens of thousands!
ItsMyTurn.com was acquired in March 2016 by Allergan, Inc. for $30,000 from Uniregistry Brokerage and was used in an advertising campaign in late 2016. The domain name currently redirects to Natrelle.com, the products of the earlier ad campaign.
Lennox International Inc. invested $20,000 into the domain name FeelTheLove.com, a rebrand of the “Heat Up” initiative for a community program that supports local communities by providing neighbors-in-need with a new furnace. Great campaign, heartwarming message and memorable.
Domain names provide marketers options
The options when using a domain name in an advertisement are far-reaching. Something as simple as redirecting visitors (I suggest a server-side redirect) who type in the displayed domain name can be redirected to a company’s main website and the longer, specific URL of a campaign. Using the Feel The Love campaign mentioned earlier, Lennox has a dedicated page to the campaign on its main website, but the URL is long and troublesome to remember: https://www.lennox.com/lennox-life/feel-the-love although Lennox built a standalone website on FeelTheLove.com, a redirect to the longer, less attractive URL on its main website is one option they had.
Using the domain name in specific ads easily allows tracking its performance. You can use similar domains to the marketing message, in different locations (online, social media, banner ads, print, billboards etc) to again, track the performance of each.
Owning and controlling! It’s an option you have and control. Do you send your customers to a social media site that you do not own and control or do you send your customers to a property that you own and control? I’d take the controlled method on my domain name any day!
The workhorse that keeps digging
Billboards, TV ads, print ads, online advertising (Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Bing) all are like fireworks. Once you light it, they go off and then go away. You have to continue to pay to play. Every day! Domain names are actual assets, that you keep and they keep working for you. After purchasing, annual renewal fees are under $20 per year or about $200 for 10 YEARS. Cheap really, even if you paid $100K for a really good one. They can be reused and continue to be used for many, many years.
If an advertising campaign is important to you and it's important to easily provide a memorable, actionable resource for your consumers, consider using a domain name in your next advertising efforts that can help you stand out and control what your customers interact with.