Five Tips in Choosing a Perfect Domain Name

For most of our assignments, a domain name is already part of the equation. Sometimes, however, we get a project where we have the chance to invent a domain name for a website, blog, or a new product launch. The problem with coming up with a domain name isn’t the registration process. It’s fairly inexpensive and straightforward to purchase one. The challenge really is coming up with a domain that is memorable and appropriate for your business and brand.

Domain names play a key role in online (and offline) visibility and popularity. A few things to consider: Avoid hypens, shorter is better, make it easy to spell, stick with .com extensions, and use a domain name generator.

Avoid hypens. Hypens make it harder to verbally share your domain name. You’ll get tired of always having to say repeat yourself.

Shorter is better. Shorter names are easier to remember and will fit better on a business card or outdoor billboard.

Make it easy to spell. Avoid using numbers or letters to represent words, such as “2” to mean “to” or “u” to mean “you”. For example, instead of Flowers2Go.com use FlowersToGo.com. And don’t even think of using CarpetCare4U.com.

Stick with .com extensions. Dot com domain names are by far the most popular. And they are perceived as being more credible. How many websites do you visit that have .TV‚ or .biz, or .us? One more thing – Most web browsers default to adding a .com to the end of a web address when someone types in the name of website. If someone types in “WhiteHouse” in the browser bar, Internet Explorer will automatically go to “WhiteHouse.com” and not “WhiteHouse.gov”.

Use a domain name generator. I like to use NameStation.com when brainstorming potential domains. This site has various tools to help you come up with domain name suggestions, generate hundreds of names based on selected keywords, and check the availability of thousands of domain names in minutes.

If you like what you see and want even more advice on your social media and interactive marketing programs, contact us .

Gain More Twitter Followers

Want more Twitter followers? Use these tried-and-true methods to gain more followers today. First, there are written and unwritten rules for using Twitter. One of the unwritten rules is to follow people who follow you. So, carefully choose who you follow (making sure you share common interests) and begin building a rapport with them on Twitter. People follow people who like them.

List your Twitter name in directories like Twellow, which acts as a Yellow Pages directory for Twitter accounts. It’s a great way to get your name out there and be found when people are looking for others to follow. You can add yourself to 10 categories, relevant to either yourself or clients and make yourself visible within the marketplace. For PWB, we listed ourselves under categories such as B-to-B Marketing‚ Demand Generation, Branding, Integrated Marketing Communications and others.

Use hastags for trending topics and get involved with conversations. The hashtag #Michigan is used for news about Michigan. Detroit’s WXYZ morning news show uses #EarlyRisers and #backchannel hashtags during their morning show. People can chime in and tweet live during the news..

Promote your Twitter account on marketing materials, both print and online, such as your email signature line, Web site, business cards, store signage, print ads (tip: use a QR code to make it easy for people to visit you immediately using their smart phone).

Remember, at the end of the day, it is quality not quantity of followers that’s important. It’s better to have 100 loyal followers who actively retweet your messages and participate in your discussions than to have 1,000 random followers who don’t contribute. At PWB, we can help with social media strategy and execution. Want to get noticed online? We can help.

Don’t Make This Business Mistake on Facebook

Facebook rolled out a new service a few months ago called Facebook Places.With it, Facebook is taking on Foursquare by offering a location-based business check-in tool. Like Foursquare, Places lets people share their whereabouts with their friends by “checking-in” to a business using their mobile phones. Whether it’s a cool tool or a creepy way to share way too much information is a debate for another post.

For a local business it makes sense to have a Facebook Place in order to track people who are stopping by at your office, store, or business. Facebook allows a business to merge their Page and Place listings. Don’t make the mistake of merging the two without first considering the implications. Let’s examine the pros and cons.

Benefits of merging include:

  • One central location to manage your Facebook fans and activity.
  • The ability to offer Facebook “Deals” When people check in to your business via Places, you can offer them coupons or promotions. Macy’s, for instance, is offering a 20% discount off select merchandise when you check-in.

The drawbacks of merging include:

  • You can no longer choose a default landing tab. All the hard work that went into creating a customized “Welcome” tab optimized for conversions with calls-to-action, branded content, videos, etc. is no longer effective.
  • The merged listing looks different than what fans are used to. The central focus is on the Bing map and the links previously located on the “Info” tab. The wall posts are now obscured.
  • Once merged, you cannot go back to separate Place and Page listings. So, even if you wanted to test merging the two to see if the pros outweigh the cons, you cannot.

It’s up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons. Have you merged your Page and Place listings? What would you like to see? Should Facebook offer the option to unmerge? Let us know your thoughts.

Three Reasons to Love QR Codes

QR codes have great potential for savvy marketers. The technology has been used in Asia for a number of years and is beginning to gain traction in the U.S. With the rapid increase in smartphone adoption rates, the use of QR codes will continue to increase. According to Wikipedia:

A QR Code is a two-dimensional code, readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones that came into being in 1994. QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Need three reasons why we love QR codes

Reason #1:QR codes easily bring online content to the offline world. QR codes placed in magazine ads or outdoor billboards make it easy for a person to visit a marketer’s website to get more information. Instead of stopping and typing in a lengthy web address on a tiny smartphone keyboard, a person can simply snap a photo of the QR code and be taken automatically to an online destination. It’s smart and easy.

Reason #2: QR codes are trackable. The technology is able to measure how many people scan the QR code. Furthermore, some service providers also have the capability to report on general location and time. Imagine having this data to optimize your offline campaigns. Bear in mind, the data is anonymous and cell phone numbers are never tracked.

Reason #3: QR codes enhance traditional offline campaigns. A business-to-business company selling automation control systems can use a QR code to trigger a video showing the features and benefits of the product. A local bank can put QR codes on their printed promotional materials to connect customers to their mobile website or landing page with a special offer.

Hocus Focus

I’ve run into three examples in as many days of companies with fundamental business (and marketing) problems tied to a lack of focus.

Unless you have a GIGANTIC marketing budget, you can’t be all things to all people all the time. I spoke at a local manufacturing symposium recently and this was one of my key messages. By trying to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.

Ask yourself three questions:

1. What do we do that’s unique?

2. Why is it better than the way our competition does it, or than alternative methodologies?

3. Does our brand support this value proposition?

If you can’t answer these three questions VERY rapidly, and in a sentence or less ‚Äì you have a problem.

One of the example companies was a local gym (frequented by PWB’s own Keith Kopinski) that’s about to go out of business. This gym is a tremendous place for hardcore types –  bodybuilders, competitive athletes, and more – it’s not Bally’s. But the owners couldn’t see this and never built a brand to support it. Instead they chose to enter the fracas on general fitness clubs. Bad idea. You’ll NEVER outspend these folks. Why not build a brand, and a loyal customer base among your target market by branding it as not a place for the masses?

Another example was a healthcare services firm. They have a solid track record helping small hospitals compete and improve. Unfortunately, they’re doing a shotgun marketing approach that goes after ALL facets of healthcare with almost no focus. Again, bad idea. Why not exploit your advantage?

Are you better at something? Say it. Then make sure your brand owns that superiority.