Posts Tagged ‘articles’

I feel I (or at least my server) received just desserts today for trying to be too clever.

The importance and benefits of article distribution in terms of online marketing and garnering link juice cannot be overstated. I won’t prattle on about it but the exposure can be huge and as a writer and marketing exec for a web agency with a broad scope of clients and sites, the amount of possible articles isn’t exactly small.

So when I read this blog entry which mentioned articlemarkerter – which I already use – and a free article submitter that submits an article to hundreds of article distribution sites I was intrigued. If it saves me time then it’s worth a shot. I downloaded it, pasted up an article I’d written and set up a profile and clicked the ‘go’ button. It then asked how many of it’s sites I wanted to hit. Being a smart-ass and a tad impatient I selected “all.”

BIG MISTAKE! All is some 500+ sites. Of course the thing went mad, I had to fill in all those robot-catching image-captchas then I noticed my Outlook. I had new messages, more new messages, even more new messages and as the thing kept going and I kept proving I’m human the emails kept arriving. I’d forgotten to consider that all these sites needed verification and activation. Some 400 emails in my inbox with links to click through…. it got to the point that I had to just ignore those without an active link having spent ages copying and pasting.

Needless to say that was something I’m not likely to again. As with all things in marketing, targeting the right audience is key and I think the same goes for articles. More selectivity is required.

It’s undeniable how important brand identity is for marketing. In my mind it’s also very important in the automotive world on a corporate level. I won’t go into how I think the automotive industry needs to change (I’ve been reading the Lee Iaccoca autobiography) but in a world where so many modern cars look alike the identity of a brand is key in attracting customers and differentiating between vehicles.

Chrysler knew this which is why they spent so much in designing and adopting their Pentastar back in 1962 and the other major companies followed suit when branding up their dealerships.

With this in mind while marketing an automotive site I decided to do some research for articles on the matter with two brands in particular and the origins of their identity.

The first marque I looked at was Audi, for an article on its emblem. What do the rings mean? The olympics? No, it’s the four companies that made up the Auto Union when Audi, and three others were bought and merged. Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer.

While the rings are instantly recognisable as the Audi emblem, is it good to have an identity that isn’t clear in its meaning? Can people identify with something they don’t understand?

I’ve also discovered today what BMW actually stands for – Bavarian Motor Works. While the origin of the image within their emblem is debated between the Bavarian flag and the movement of a propeller, it is explainable and recognisable and associated with a certain cache of luxury. Their numerical naming system is also part of their branding. Having found out the designation for the letters – ‘l’ is for long wheelbase not litre or base model – I’m wondering if using numbers is a good thing in branding?

While it means a car is clearly a BMW if it’s called a 318i (regardless of age), is this a savior or hamper?

Knowing the debates that take place over naming of cars and its importance – would the Mustang have been so popular and important if it had been called the Cougar and had a less iconic emblem – using a numerical system avoids such issues and potential calamities. But is it a restriction? BMW have created some pretty amazing cars in terms of engineering and styling (the Bon loving Z8) but is the simple nomenclature hampering. It doesn’t conjure up any mental images.

With a car like the Mustang, the emblem and name of a wild horse meant that the marketing and advertising pretty much wrote itself. Simply hearing the name and the associations it created half sold customers, the fact that it was a great design simply sealed the deal.

Hear in good-old Blighty, motorways are prefixed with an M (as in M25, though that’s another blog) so when somebody mentions the M5 my mind immediately links to the motorway down in Devon rather than the turbo-charged 5-Series. Not neccesarily a good mental connection for a car.

Then again, an otherwise great car can be hung out to dry by a terrible name. There’s no BMW Gremlin for example. So while their method creates an identity as strongly as their logo, I think it might be a catch-22 in terms of marketing the cars themselves.

Anyone?