Forget about the Easter Bunny… This time of year, people are waist-deep in March Madness! Even if you’re not a sports fan, you probably know one of the 40 million people who filled out a NCAA Tournament bracket this year. And right now, all 40 million of them are talking about the success of a little school called FGCU.
Short for Florida Gulf Coast University, sports journalists all over the country have decided that the “C” stands for Cinderella. After all, the Eagles are the first 15-seed to EVER make the Sweet 16, and a video montage of all their postseason dunks has already gone viral.
But what on earth can a basketball team from Ft. Myers teach you about web marketing?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Be honest – how many of you had FGCU heading to the Sweet 16 in your brackets? Just about everyone on earth assumed that the Eagles would head to Philadelphia, lose to Georgetown, and go back home. Everyone, that is, except for the team itself. Determined not to “just be happy to be here”, the Eagles made the most out of their opportunity. You may not have heard of them when the season started, but you’ll never forget about them now!
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Your online business can be the same way.
Just because you don’t have as much money as the competition or as many bells and whistles as that “fancy” website, doesn’t mean you can’t compete. OK, so you may not be at the top of the search engine rankings now or chock full of web traffic, but all of that can change if you make the most out of every opportunity.
For example, if you develop a guest blogging strategy, it might take a few guest posts for you to see any real results. However, if you publish something informative and interesting on every authoritative website you can find, people will start to view you as a bonafide expert.
If you watched FGCU’s game against San Diego State on Sunday night, you saw players flapping their “wings”, chest bumping each other, and running with their tongues hanging out of their mouths. In short, they had a passion for every single second of the game. Even towards the end, when other teams might have taken things down a notch (after all, they were up by double digits with just a couple minutes to go), FGCU played with the same level of intensity they had been all night long.
You need that same intensity.
Even though your web visitors won’t get to meet you in person, they’ll be able to tell from your articles, blog posts, and videos whether or not you’re passionate about what you do. If you can’t get excited about things, why should your visitors bother to?! Whether you’re talking about the latest developments in your niche or the new product you just launched, do it with passion. You may not be performing in a crowded arena full of screaming fans, but people ARE watching. If you love what you do, others will love it, too!
You have to think outside the box
If you’re one of the millions of people who had their brackets busted by FGCU, you now know it isn’t “safe” to pick the big names just because they’re big names. So far, the NCAA Tournament has shown us that schools like Georgetown, Gonzaga, and Kansas State can be toppled by the “little guys”. Bottom line – you can’t count on winning the office bracket pool if you don’t think outside the box.
Your website works the same way.
If you simply rehash everything that your millions of competitors are doing, you’ll never stand out. Instead, think of ways to make people remember YOU – like creating a witty blog that shares all of the developments in your niche in a way that’s entertaining, or finding creative cartoons to put on your sales pages so that customers know you have a “human side”. Until you think outside the box, don’t expect anyone to remember you!