Six Things You Can Do Right Now To Get Noticed Online

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Be different and get noticed


There are billions of web pages served every day to visitors all over the world but the truth is most people won’t find ever find you online even if you have a life changing product. Let’s face it, unless you are already a huge company with millions to spend on advertising or you are famous people aren’t actively seeking out your company’s web presence because let’s face it – they have no idea who you are or what you do.

A successful web presence can make or break many businesses. The reality is that in today’s day and age a successful web launch is one of the most important steps a company can take. The good news is there are ways you can get noticed, the bad news is it is going to take quite a bit of work and will require you to step out of your comfort zone and really get your hands dirty.

When you read over the six things you can do to help get your business noticed you should see a reoccurring theme, controversy. Controversy spreads fast. When Mark Zuckerberg announced that people shouldn’t expect privacy anymore that was news. Whether they agreed with his comments or were angered by them, people took notice.

The same is true when celebrities act outside of societal norms. Remember Madonna’s earlier days? She gained massive attention with her hypersexuality at a time when being open about sex was considered taboo. She wasn’t “like a virgin” – her public was. She pissed a lot of people off but at the same time made a lot of people love her. Old folks cursed MTV. Young people were riveted to her and her studded-leather bustier. But most importantly, she got people talking about her.

But let’s get back to this century. YouTube is the perfect example of a company that grew through controversy. YouTube welcomed copyrighted content on their site. They lacked the resources or the inclination to chase after offenders. Their users flouted the law and when YouTube was approached by authorities, they shrugged their shoulders citing there was nothing they could do.

Then came the biggest controversy. Users began sharing the “D*** in a Box” videos from SNL. YouTube got sued, and other NBC videos were forcibly removed from the site and then the discussion started. Should this be allowed? Were they hurting the content creators? Should the networks just stop whining? Etc. Now, YouTube videos make up around ten percent of all the traffic on the Internet according to an Allot Corporation survey.

So, are you about ready to dress your company up in a meat dress and start people talking? If so, then let’s look at six ways you can create controversy before you get cold feet:

1.Have an Opinion

Having an opinion makes you look smart. Stupid people follow blindly but smart people let others know what they think. But forming opinions is only a start. You have to voice them. Keith Olberman, Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow and Rush Limbaugh are great at this. As a result of their opinions they get people talking and thinking the same way.

People with opinions also appear strong. Remember the failed Presidential campaign of John Kerry? The terms wishy-washy and flip-flopper were thrown around and they destroyed his chances of being elected despite his intelligence and years of service people couldn’t get over the fact that he was made out to look like he couldn’t take a stand.

2. Pick a Fight

People love to watch a good fight. Even back in elementary school crowds would swarm around two kids who were ready to throw down. Something in our blood just gets boiling when we are watching two sides line up against one another. That is why sports are so popular no matter where you are in the world – and people want to pick a winner.

Think back when Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump were doing battle. It was in the news everyday and got more coverage then news stories that affected peoples’ lives.

Of course you

have to pick a fight with the right person, or in this case company. Howard Stern went to battle against the FCC and has become the biggest thing in broadcasting as a result. He went to battle against the big guys and people took notice.

3. Make an Enemy

One of the most effective, yet simple, things you can do is become an enemy of a major player in your industry. By positioning yourself as the alternative to a big, well-known company people will take notice. Apple may be one of the best examples of how successful this strategy can be.

Apple successfully marketed the notion that their users were part of the non-Windows club. They were different than the Windows drones. Their users were made to look hip and current, not like the typical computer user. Their ads pitted a cool, casual “Mac” against an uptight, nerdy “PC”. People wanted to identify with them, they wanted to be Mac users.

4. Play Dirty

While taking this strategy is risky it does work. Playing dirty involves walking the line, and sometimes crossing it, to get your company noticed. Companies have made millions of dollars by fudging numbers and scaring the public.

As America’s most popular television doctor likes to say, “Everybody lies”, and companies do it constantly. If they are caught, then they usually face some sort of lawsuit where they are sued for far less than they made as a result.

However, getting caught playing dirty can hurt a company’s reputation and ethically you have to live with your actions. I’m not saying you should take this approach, but it can work.

5. Start a Movement

While playing dirty means you have to be willing to sell yourself, starting a movement takes the opposite approach. And as easy as it is to play dirty, starting a movement is as equally difficult. Yet while it may be the hardest thing to do in this list, it is by far the most powerful and it really creates a loyal following of customers.

To start a movement you need to step up and say that you’re the leader of your way of thinking, that you’re willing to lead this movement and help your followers navigate through life with your ideas. You need to make it understood that your way of thinking is not meant for everybody, just those that are like you.

Zappos built a congregation of tribes seeking excellent shoes. Successful restaurants build tribes of supporters that keep them in business. Successful new media properties build tribes of commenters.

You can go back in history and look at every person that accomplished great things. They were controversial, opinionated, and they were leaders, but the most important thing they did was inspire others. Your idea will go nowhere unless you do the same.

If you want the best ideas on this I suggest checking out Seth Godin’s book Tribes.

6. Use Sex

Now we’re not talking about creepy casting couch sex here. We are talking about something that every human being craves. There is a reason that “sex sells” has been a marketing mantra for decades. Appeal to the same part of the brain that a pair of bodacious breasts or a set of ten-pack abs do. Seize the unconscious minds of your audience. Use evocative imagery, even in your words. Ultimately, the rational mind only has a small role in governing decisions. Hammer on that brain-stem.

Of course the more uptight may find fault in this strategy. They may write letters or protest but hey, that’s all part of being controversial right? And let’s not fool ourselves, the anti-sex crusaders use sex as well. Think about how much controversy Christine O’Donnell’s 1996 campaign position against masturbation created. It came back up again in her most recent political bid and it got people talking. More importantly, it put her name out there.

So go ahead and use sex to sell, give the public something to droll over. Of course this doesn’t mean that it’s time for you to branch out into pornography.

Remember, whenever you choose to be controversial you run a high risk of turning people off. That’s all part of the game. But the ones you draw in? They’re a captive audience ready to follow you over the edge of the cliff, so get out there and close. They are all yours.