HitTail Inside the Tornado? So Some Think.

HitTail News May 8, 2007

If saying a thing and getting others to repeat it makes it true, then HitTail has a very bright future. Case-in-point: the new, but still fascinating Toshihiro Tova blog. In particular, on this post, one of my all-time-favorite topics of seminal or quintessential business books, such as Geoffrey Moore’s Inside the Tornado, James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds, or Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. Interestingly, this post is about all three and more. I eat these books up like candy, and internalize their messages like sports-fans inexplicably memorizing stats.

It’s a rather long blog post, but there is one sentence in particular that naturally caught my attention, because if true, holds very exciting days ahead for HitTail and all its users and customers:

Not every company finds themselves inside the tornado having to deal with hypergrowth. And since the bust, it’s even fewer. But still, it does happen, such as with MySpace. And Connors may have such a case in HitTail–only time will tell.

Well, HitTail is the perfect storm, is it not? All the pre-qualifying conditions are met, are they not? Marketers around the world are worn down trying to make sense of analytics, alternatively hiring specialists, trying to make sense of it for themselves, and writing the whole thing off as an exercise in information paralysis. They’re tired of being beholden to one traffic arbitrage provider–Google via AdWords–and they’re looking for alternatives. The AdWord budgets have grown so ridiculously large, that it’s an easy matter to take, maybe 25% of that budget, and try new things.

And when you select those new things, there’s two things you should be wary of.

The first thing is everything else that looks exactly like AdWords, but delivers that much less pre-qualified traffic. Don’t get me wrong. Alternative PPC products may be awesome. But all you’re doing is reallocating WHERE you’re buying your PPC traffic. You still however have not truly diversified your online marketing strategy. You just moved numbers between columns.

The second thing to avoid is the big SEO gamble. You’re going to pour countless amounts of money into an infrastructure tear-down and rebuild, which is more painful than the loss of traffic from not having the correct infrastructure in the first place. If an SEO consultant starts discussing scrap and rebuild on the first meeting, think “warning lights.” And even if it’s the pursuit of best practices through projects like the search friendly URLs (URL rewriting), it’s still a gamble that they can work with your Tech Team and get it fully and successfully implemented.

So, where SHOULD you drop your diversification penny? (or about 25% of your overall AdWords budget). The answer is long tail targeting. Just select a blogging platform, preferably one that meets our HitTail qualifications, meaning SquareSpace, TypePad, Blogger or WordPress. Work it into your existing website. Write off the non-optimized portions for a couple of months. And revel in the free traffic that is low hanging fruit.

Stop me before I mix metaphors again. But the point is, natural search optimization, using a sane, proven and safe method, is EXACTLY the right place to diversify your online marketing campaign. Connors Communications has clients whose sites are about 1000x larger than they started out, where the original “dynamic” site is dwarfed many times over by the content that they deliberately wrote and added, knowing (thanks to HitTail’s ancestors) that qualified traffic would follow.

This is a capability traditionally held in reserve for Connors’ clients, which we’re rolling out for free as an overture to the world. PR firms aren’t such bad guys. In fact, a few of us are even some of the good guys, on all the right sides in the DRM war, Open Source war, Net Neutrality war, war against Spam, and ultimately, expanding the rights and capabilities of the individual.

And when you pick HitTail apart, isn’t that what we’re ultimately doing? Expanding the capabilities of the individual by giving them a much louder voice, and resultantly more influence, in the blogosphere–and the overall “InterWeb” in general?

We think so. And so far, the Wisdom of Crowds agrees.

So won’t you join us on our journey inside the tornado?

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