If the Internet really is a Long Tail space, how do you get visitors to your website. The Long Tail view, you may remember, suggests that a given slice of the Internet is really made up of a very large number of micro-niches. Each micro-niche includes people who have similar interests but differ significantly from the people in the other micro-niches. The Internet is well-suited to cater to large numbers of micro-niches since creating variety is much easier than if you’re making pots and pans.
How then do you get folk in these micro-niches to be aware that you have the product just for them? Well, search engines such as Google and Yahoo! do a pretty good job of finding very specific items if you’re careful in how you phrase your searches. Google has even been described as one of the prime examples of a Long Tail company.
Unfortunately waiting for the Long Tail to find you may mean your company goes bankrupt in the interim. More proactive marketing is required. That’s where Word of Mouth Marketing comes in and it even has its own Association now. Other names that are used are buzz marketing or viral marketing. Spreading the word whichever way you can. If you have something really gossip-worthy then this can be easy. So try trading up from a paper clip to a house, or try selling a million small images on a web page and you’ll be appearing in all the media.
The rest of us have got to work a little harder. However it’s not a bad idea to try to work the other media. It’s a very powerful way of creating or reinforcing the buzz, of spreading the viral message. As the Internet becomes main stream, then the other media become parallel ways of creating the links. So for example, here in Montreal last week a film opened on Craigslist. Craigslist, a type of online community bulletin board / classified ads system is now appearing in a number of cities around the world.
Radio can be another medium where you can try to spread the word and magnify the buzz. Again in Montreal tomorrow, Radio Station 940 Montreal will be featuring a Round Table Discussion on the Internet. It’s hosted by the Women’s Entrepreneurial Networking System and Barry Welford of SMM will be one of the participants.
A third example is almost a counter-example since here the Internet will be the way the viral message is spread about a traditional pre-Internet product. It’s a magazine about (and here’s the surprise .. ) Search Engine Marketing. That’s right, Search Engine Marketing on the Internet. The magazine is called The Search Marketing Standard. It will be a quality magazine with glossy ads and will appear four times a year. It’s free to subscribers for the first year in the US and $20 per year for those outside the US, largely to cover shipping and handling costs.
It’s already attracting a good deal of interest, which is not surprising. In some ways it seems counter-intuitive to need to use a non-Internet vehicle to give advice on how to perform best on the Internet. However that’s entertainment and it’s just the way to get the buzz going, isn’t it. Pass it on.