A Better Domain Helps Both Outbound and Inbound Marketing EffortsPosted: February 10, 2012
One of the big shifts in marketing recently has been towards inbound marketing. Inbound marketing centers around getting found by customers whereas outbound marketing involves directly seeking out customers via direct sales and paid advertisements.
The reason for this shift is that people get bombarded by advertisements and direct sales methods which are having a lesser effect than they used to. With inbound marketing, potential clients themselves proactively read or seek out whatever it is that ultimately leads back to your company. They either find it themselves or their contacts share it with them.
You can probably guess then what inbound marketing primarily consists of: content marketing, social media and SEO. Compared with nearly every outbound marketing tactic, these 3 areas cost far less and are often far more effective for the money or time spent on them.
That said, is there still room for outbound marketing? Certainly. The Super Bowl represented over a hundred million dollars of outbound marketing in the television commercials alone. Super Bowl commercials are a big reason why GoDaddy went from a fairly successful domain registrar to a household name and market leader in a few short years, and many other companies have had huge results to show from that and other outbound marketing.
The thing to remember is that whichever type of marketing you decide to do, having a better domain helps.
How a better domain helps with inbound marketing
1. A higher quality domain helps your trust and authority
The key principle of inbound marketing is that you want people to come to you. Even if you market yourself or your content on other sites, they should at least come to your social media presences or more preferably to your website.
Unfortunately, the popularity of inbound marketing has brought about abuse of it, with many people posing as experts and their seemingly helpful content being simply incorrect and not based on true expertise. If your domain LOOKS like it was just registered yesterday for $8, then you may come off as unprofessional and untrustworthy, setting off potential red flags even if you are truly an expert.
A better quality name can signify your seriousness about your company and subconsciously satisfies your visitors potential judgment of your business based on it.
2. A catchier brandable domain will help stay in readers’ minds
Whether people are reading content on your site or on other sites, they will likely come in contact with your domain/brand name. While you obviously hope that they would come to you immediately, they may not. That doesn’t mean they never will however, and sooner or later they may draw upon their memory trying to find you.
That’s where a nice catchy brandable domain can come in handy. These domains have been all the rage in the new inbound marketing-oriented web for the simple reason that they stand out and get remembered.
The web is now overflowing with content; more companies and bloggers post content regularly than ever before. Certainly the content itself matters immensely and you need to make it high quality and helpful, but your brand/domain may ultimately be the uniqueness factor that sets you apart from most of the competition.
3. Exact match domains combined with content marketing can grab targeted leads
Google’s Panda updates have massively shifted the web in favor of content-driven websites. Having content on your primary business website is now essential to helping it rank well. So how can exact match domains fit into the picture?
You should already have target keywords in mind that you would ideally like to rank for, keeping them in mind when making your content. For many competitive terms, that alone is not enough. While you could dump money or lots of precious time into massive link building to get the rankings, you could instead set up standalone feeder sites on exact match domains much better positioned to get that traffic in.
Your goal is to get rankings on those sites and either simply link them to your primary site or capture leads right on those sites through newsletter signups or lead capture forms. Exact match domains with content and onsite SEO can effectively get you the rankings you’re looking for.
How a better domain helps with outbound marketing
1. Trust, authority and memorability are still huge factors
These three factors are vitally important in both methods of marketing. In fact, it may even be more of a point for outbound marketing. Consider this – people see plenty of ads every single day and for the most part pay half-attention to them. The actual advertising message itself may even be outright ignored. The brand on the other hand will almost never get ignored.
Once it is noticed, then what? It will be judged. Same as with inbound marketing, but unlike inbound marketing where you may have just helped a reader with your content, you’re the “aside”. People see you on the way to what they’re reading or watching. So they subconsciously may be even more critical of your brand because they’re already critical of seeing yet another ad.
That said, when these factors work in your favor, if the viewer happened to need what you have to offer, the trust and authority your quality brand conveys may get them to seek you out right then and there. If they don’t need you immediately but will need what you’re offering in the future, the memorability comes into play.
2. Exact match domains exhibit additional benefits
Think you need a particularly catchy cool brand name vs. a generic domain for commercials or ads? Think again. FreeCreditReport.com (now also FreeCreditScore.com) is one of many brands that have shown the power of a generic domain.
Consider this: When they started their heavy blitz of advertising, many people in the US has no idea they could get a free credit report once per year from the 3 credit bureaus. FreeCreditReport.com took that and ran with it, becoming the go-to source for free credit reports even though their offering included enrolling customers into a paid monthly credit monitoring service.
Now, even though the official source of the free no-obligation credit reports is well-known, those two sites are still a more popular source for free credit reports. This shows what the relevance and authority that exact match domains offer can do for a site.
Additionally, when using exact match domains in Google Adwords, your domain bolds, which not only catches more attention but highlights your relevance to the search term. This ultimately helps your click-through rate, which helps you pay less per click and ultimately less per lead.
Whether your marketing focus will be on providing content to draw people to you or to reach out to them, your domain can either greatly enhance your efforts or can get in the way of them. Getting a better quality domain will help ensure that your marketing time and money is well spent.