One of the first things I do for a new client is conduct an audit of their current online presence and assets. That includes not just how their web site is faring in terms of traffic and visibility, but what domain names they own and what accounts have they opened with any centers of online gravity?
I call this Preemptive Marketing. Dictionary.com defines preemptive as "taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent."
In our case, then, Preemptive Marketing is doing some kind of marketing activity in anticipation or defense of a potential opportunity or danger. The purpose of Preemptive Marketing is simple: To prevent someone else from obtaining your name or brand and/or preserving the future option of using your name or brand in specific ways and places.
Domain Name Strategy
The first and most obvious example is with an organization’s domain name strategy. Does an organization own all the domain name variations of their name or their brand names? Do they own the .org, .net, .tv, et al versions of their name?
Unless you can afford it, you don’t have to go crazy with this by buying up not just example.com, .org, .net, .tv, .us, .info, .mobi, .name and .biz, but also all the crazy variations that the domain name registrars now give you: myexample.com, yourexample.com, examplehome.com, exampleonline.com, examplewebsite.com, etc. The list goes on.
The most important reason for securing all the variations of your domain names is primarily to prevent someone else from using it. You never know what people will do; you may have a net-savvy disgruntled customer or employee who decides to exact revenge online.
Having secured our primary domains, let’s turn our attention to the Web 2.0 centers of online gravity.
Web 2.0 Preemptive Marketing
It seems a new Web 2.0 startup is launched every five seconds. As this graphic shows, there are a dizzying array of Web 2.0 services and sites out there already:
You certainly don’t need to register an account most of them but you certainly should open an account with the most popular ones and those that are most applicable to your organization, services, products, or target audiences.
- Webware’s Top 100
- Everything 2.0 blog
- Listio’s Everything Web 2.0 Directory
- Web 2.0 List
- All Things Web 2.0
- Killer Startups
Such sites are often an invaluable tool for reaching very narrowly targeted audiences. For that reason alone, it is a good idea to set up shop at such sites.
These sites often use the username of your account to create your online profile at their site. These profile pages can often rank well in search results. These are the URL structures of some of e-strategy.com’s profile pages:
You’d obviously rather have control over that link than having someone else controlling it and the content on those profile pages. It’s better, then, that you own the account.