Written by: John Maroon– President Maroon PR
It’s all about content…and getting it instantly.
It’s no secret to anyone that the media landscape has changed dramatically over the past several years. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and items like cell phone cameras and flip cams have aided in changing that scope. Additionally, a large number of print publications have resorted to charging visitors for their content on the websites…Sporting News Today, American City Business Journals and, most recently, BaltimoreSun.com are good examples.
But the high-paced Internet world has also fostered opportunities to be creative to utilize a website as a main business, not just a complementary piece to a company. Great examples include Zappos.com and SchooloftheLegends.com.
In the simplest of terms, Zappos.com was born because its founder, Nick Swinmurn, couldn’t find the right pair of shoes… either in the mall or online. After searching the Internet, Swinmurn was amazed that there wasn’t one major retailer that specialized in shoes. So, he became that retailer by launching a business selling shoes through a website…a website that in November 2009 was acquired by Amazon.com in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. Although an online business, Zappos.com understood that reputation was important and was dedicated to being the elite online service leader while also offering customers the best selection….i.e. valued content. Getting customers to associate the Zappos.com brand with premium service was part of the ultimate PR strategy.
About a year ago, a group from Brentwood, Tenn. had a “Swinmurn moment” and launched a website, as a business, dedicated to providing football fans with the opportunity to become even more engaged with their favorite NFL players, past and present. SchoolOfTheLegends.com (SOTL.com) set out to be the number one online social community for football fans and athletes. Capitalizing on the fact that the NFL is America’s most popular sport and that fans can’t get enough of their teams and players, SOTL.com’s goal was to provide those fans with something that they didn’t have before…a unique, content-driven hub for connecting with NFL players. Imagine Facebook, Twitter and YouTube combined…but ALL about football.
Today, SOTL.com has tens of thousands of fan-members, along with more than 2,000 current and former NFL players, and offers a social community that is free to join. It has also evolved to provide content that includes reporters from player correspondents and each team page enables fans to follow games with real-time stats and interact online with fellow fans and former players.
Our desire for information, and in a quick manner at our fingertips, will never end. That is why it is even more important for web-based businesses to provide unique content in a user-friendly manner. It’s all about the delivery of unique content…without that, you are just another bump on the “Information Super Highway.”