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Targeting customers – The era of domain name marketing

By Tim Fuell - November 18, 2014
Image: Pixtawan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Pixtawan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The value of new gTLDs for targeted marketing took another twist this month with Amazon reportedly winning the ICANN auction for the right to run the .book domain name as well as the .pay domain.

With speculation that the .book domain alone may have cost up to US$10 million added to the US$4.6 million it recently paid for the .buy domain name and US$2.2 million it paid for .spot, Amazon is clearly investing heavily in new generic top level domains, but why?

Targeted marketing

The answer is marketing. With Amazon leading the way in ecommerce globally, it makes sense for them to be pioneering the use of the world’s newest real estate too. Whilst .spot and .buy are likely to be more for corporate use – although we won’t be surprised to be proven wrong – .book looks set to further cement Amazon’s spot (or .spot) as the go to place for books.

Of course that’s far too much of an investment in simply Amazon.books – although expect to see that operating very soon. Instead think user generated content (UGC), think how can this domain name impact and be useful to as many people as possible. The informed experts agree and suggest that the .book domain could be made available to authors, new old and wannabes as a marketing tool of their own. Perhaps to serve the existing Author profile pages with each author being granted a .book so no need for a personal author page? Looking wider still with Amazon pushing their self-publishing opportunities, why not a .book for each and every book released. A great marketing tool for the individual authors and a great brand retention tool for Amazon as a publisher and book retailer.

A wealth of possibilities

That’s domain name marketing on a grand scale. The chances are you won’t have the cash available to run your own gTLD but you can still use the new generic top level domains to place your product or services under the eyes and fingertips of the right people. A .club or a .dating or even a .expert has a description in it’s very make-up that already tells a wannabe customer you may have something they want. A descriptive domain name offers a categorisation that give your brand or services immediate credibility in that sector.

More than a single domain

Domain name marketing is about more than just choosing the right domain for your company, it is about choosing the right domains for your company. That is why Amazon have invested in .buy, .spot, .book and more. Whatever your line of work, it is likely that you operated in at least two or three fields – be that multi-uses for a product or different target markets for your offering. With domain name marketing you can target them all. Perhaps a ‘traditional’ domain extension for the main ‘corporate-style’ site but using gTLDs so you can attract potential customers interested in your .agency services, your .technology leading projects as well as others by more direct descriptive means. Where once you may have used a sub-domain to categorise your website and your business offering, now you can use gTLDs to offer the effect of individual sites and businesses.

More changes in SEO

Google and other search engines have yet to really suggest how they will deal with new gTLDs but will need to begin to acknowledge the impact these domain names will begin to have on the way people do business, both from a customer and from a business point of view. Changes to the value of an aged domain and the ability to group domains together to get full brand value could well be on the horizon if domain name marketing is to be given its full potential. Whilst nobody welcomes a further raft of SEO amendments, the fact is that by embracing domain name marketing, the rules to be applied may become slightly more obvious and based on common-sense meaning less confusion and a better chance that changes will be embraced.

Those running a .expert .media .agency are already be considering the benefits of the domain marketing era but the affordability and ease with which domain names can be secured and put to use means the tactic is not beyond the reach of most small businesses. Hooking on the coat-tails of new soon-to-be trends is the way most successful companies grow from SME to enterprise and beyond. Domain name marketing may just offer your business that opportunity. Register your gTLDs with 123-reg now.