I’m revisiting a post I did earlier in the year about the name ‘Webcomic’ and I stated that I would stop using the word and start using Comic Strip. I stopped short from calling for ‘Webcomic’s’ death. Until now. Kill it. Let it die.
In my original article I made some really good points, some excellent points and some not so bad points. The one thing I lacked was research…until now. If you could call what I’m about to present to you as research.
Building A Case: What’s Out There?
My first piece of evidence is to head off the magical wonderland that is known as ‘The Googles’. Search for webcomics and an impressive 10 million results come your way. Search for Comics and 529 million results come your way. That’s HALF A BILLION. So 10 million must be like .000001234567889 of 529 billion – unless my finger math is off. Now to be fair, here are the totals of variations.
|Comic: 504,000,000 results||Webcomic: 10,300,000 results|
|Comics: 529,000,000 results||Webcomics: 5,360,000 results|
|Comic Strip: 16,400,000 results||Web Comic: 25,800,000 results|
|Comic Strips: 9,990,000 results||Web Comics: 35,700,000 results|
|Comics Online: 234,000,000 results|
|Online Comics: 234,000,000 results|
I have two conflicting thoughts here. The first is that by focusing on webcomics your competition for sites with ‘webcomics’ is MUCH less than it is for ‘comics’ – WINNER! The second is that maybe there’s a reason webcomics is lighter in the search results. NOTE: I could argue that the term “comics” may be skewed somewhat by the slang term for “comedians”. While this is helpful, it’s far from conclusive. Let’s keep digging.
Analyzing Data: What Are People Looking For?
The next test we’ll conduct is a little more sophisticated employing the Google’s Insights for Search. This basically tells you what keywords people are using for searches and compares them. For what it’s worth, companies that spend lots of money on Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising use this tool.
The comics terms crush every other term. In my opinion, this is a HUGE indicator of what potential audiences are looking for. But what about Social Media?
Supporting The Case: Hashing It Out
Finally, I found a resource that tracks hashtags on Twitter. I have commonly posted my comic under the #webcomic and #webcomics hashtags which just goes to show you how dopey I am – even after I denounced the term #webcomic. But I had a hunch that those hashtags were being followed. Exhibit #3 shows how wrong I was.
First the results for #Comic and #Comics over the last 180 days (this is dymamic and will update depending on the date you view this article)
Next the results for #webcomic and #webcomics:
That’s right – too little data! The chart shows the last 4 hours and it’s usually not pretty. Here’s a link to the search – see for yourself.
Putting Out The Call
What is all this about? I probably could have saved you a bunch of reading (or skimming) by simply stating that if you’re looking to market your comic where “the people” are looking (and in this case exponentially more), then it makes sense to tailor your marketing plan to jump in that pool. My contention has always been that we should be looking to market to people in the mainstream and I’m afraid I don’t see the name webcomic having much value from a marketing standpoint.
If the irony hasn’t slipped by you and you’re wondering why this site is called the ‘Webcomic Alliance’, our site is specifically tailored to speak to the comics community and it’s a more relative and specific term. For full disclosure, we’ve had a brief discussion about changing it, but decided against it…for now.
I closed my last article with this thought that still rings true “if this can help us target and communicate our marketing more effectively, then it’s a discussion worth having”.
What do you think? Are you going to keep publishing a webcomic?
Ken Drab (me) of RicktheStick.com has a small brain but a savant-like interest in branding, marketing and design. He better, that’s what he gets paid to do in real life. In make believe – he’s a self-proclaimed comic artist.