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Should Your Brand Have a Wikipedia Page?

Flashback to high school when Wikipedia was a major tool to our academic success. Can it still be now?  

Wikipedia is the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia that covers everything from the history of the high five to toilet paper orientation. But, you can also learn about NikeBen & Jerry’s, or Intel.   

You don’t need to be a fortune-500 company to benefit from Wikipedia, but it’s not for everyone. Should a Wikipedia page be a part of your marketing strategy? Let’s break it down!  

The argument for a page: 

It’s an easy SEO win. Did you know that Wikipedia ranks on the first page for a whopping 99% of searches? On top of that, Wikipedia is position #1 for 56% of searches. That’s a pretty amazing track record. With a reputation like that, you have a pretty high chance of ranking on your branded terms and beyond. Oh – and it’s free!  

It’s another channel for brand awareness. Let’s say a consumer searches your brand. The more links you have to lead to your information, the more legit you become in the eyes of that consumer. It makes branded pages look chock-full of information proving your company is professional, successful, and worth writing about.   

It offers a full, non-sales-oriented view of brand accolades and accomplishments. The point of Wikipedia is to learn about the ins and outs of anything. So, when people read your Wikipedia page, they expect to see accolades, important points, and anything you have going for them. On your company homepage, it can look a little tacky listing one award and accolade after another – let alone if you want to elaborate on them. On a Wiki page, you have the space to write as much as you want on any number of events or strengths you deem of note.   

It is one more tool in establishing industry expertise. Creating a Wikipedia page is completely possible, but it is no small feat. So when a brand has a Wiki page, it automatically looks like they “made it.”   

It is a source of information that every reader will recognize. While it is very important to have a presence on niche websites, there is something to be said for familiarity! It is nearly impossible to find a person that hasn’t heard of Wikipedia, so having your information on a well-known platform instills a sense of trust in your brand (even though we’ll cover in the next section that this sense isn’t airtight!).  

The argument to skip:

Is it a “reputable source”? Not so much. It’s no secret that information on Wikipedia is crowdsourced, and sometimes we cannot trust the masses to offer the most accurate information on subjects. Wikipedia even has a full page dedicated to the most vandalized pages on Wikipedia. So even though it’s well known, smart people digest this information with a grain of salt.   

You can’t just jump on and write a page willy-nilly. If you are to create the page yourself, it requires you to become an autoconfirmed user. To become an autoconfirmed user, you have to make a sweat sacrifice of improving the content of the website. This usually entails putting in the work of researching and editing existing pages to prove your dedication to the overall platform, not just the creation of a single page.  

It isn’t a shiny new strategy. And certainly, not an instantaneous one. All marketing teams have different priorities, needs, goals, and starting points. If you are limited in your time, and energy resources, you may decide your time is better spent on marketing efforts from this decade.  

You can’t be sure that the page will even publish in the end. Wikipedia has veto power. If your page doesn’t have enough oomph (third party mentions and media) to back it up, Wikipedia may simply reject it and you start back at square one.  

What companies are good candidates for a Wikipedia page?  

Not every company is cut out for a Wikipedia page (yet). A small company that is still growing its presence probably doesn’t have the tools necessary to have a page accepted. But brands that meet the following points may be a good fit! 

  • Businesses with articles, media, and citations.  
  • Companies that have had some time to establish their brand.  
  •  Teams that have the time resources to become an autoconfirmed user.  

What does a good Wikipedia page have?  

A short but all-encompassing general company/brand profile. This is just the time to add context in one or two simple sentences. For example, here is the one for Patagonia:  

An informational tone. This is one of the only situations where you should drop your brand voice when writing about your company. A Wikipedia page needs to leave the bias and sales pitch at the door and just focus on the information.   

Patagonia, Inc. is an American clothing company that markets and sells outdoor clothing. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973 and is based in Ventura, California.   

History of the company and brand. Whatever information you have, you can add it here. Now that the short context section is over, you can dive deep and share as much detail as makes sense.   

Accomplishments. This is a key section that sells your brand without seeming sales-y. It’s a chance to list all the company strengths, awards, and milestones, that establish your company as worth knowing about.   

Linked third-party articles. This is the most important aspect, as the acceptance of your page depends on it. Wikipedia only lists companies that have several third-party news and media links that prove it is established as an industry expert.   

How to create a Wikipedia page:  

Here are the spark notes on how to create a Wikipedia page for your company or brand.   

  • Create an account.   
  • Get promoted to an autoconfirmed user. These are Wikipedia’s typical guidelines for an autoconfirmed user: “Although the precise requirements for autoconfirmed status vary according to circumstances, most English Wikipedia user accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits (including deleted ones) are considered autoconfirmed.”  
  • Create the page. By creating the page effectively the first time, you maximize your chances of having it accepted off the bat. Wiki lays out how to do that here.   
  • Provide citations. This is the dealbreaker for acceptance, Wiki explains that here: “the topic of an article must already be covered in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. These include journals, books, newspapers, magazines, and websites with a reputation for fact-checking. Social media, press releases, or corporate/professional profiles do not qualify.”  
  • Submit the page for review. There is no set timeline for acceptance or rejection!  
  • Update it regularly whenever your company reaches a new milestone!  

There are tons of ways to increase your presence on search engines and establish domain expertise. But if it’s the right fit for your company, it may be a good win! Want help establishing your digital presence? Reach out to our team!  

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