How you can Easily run a digital marketing strategy

How you can Easily run a digital marketing strategy

CASE STUDY QUESTIONS for Online Marketing for Your Business

Who was the client and what do they do?
Group NBT plc is a leading provider of domain names and internet-related services. Established in 1995, the company has registered hundreds of thousands of domain names and hosts tens of thousands of websites. Group NBT’s clients come from many industries and include well-known companies such as British Airways, The New Statesman and Centrica. A key component of their group portfolio is Easily.co.uk, our client, a top UK provider of cost effective web hosting and domain name services to UK businesses and consumers
What are their business goals and who is their target market?
The company’s main goal is to become the UK’s number 1 domain name service provider. Their key demographics are the SME market and the general public. Our mission which, we chose to accept, was to establish Easily.co.uk in the mind of the consumers as an industry “thought leader” through the use of strategic, unique content production and distribution

What problem did they face?
The thing is, by nature the domain name registration business is inherently boring in the eyes of the consumer and business alike, post purchase customers have no need or desire to engage with a company further to registering their desired domain name. Therefore it is very difficult for companies like Easily to up or cross-sell products and services…customers simply register and go, never to return.

Digital Persona Engagement™
As part of our solution we firstly employed a technique called “Persona Mapping” in every stage of the planning process (A “Persona” represents their archetypal visitor and they’re hypothetical behaviour and goals). Personas give a summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations and environment of your typical domain name registrant. These personas were mapped out to help give context, depth and focus to the target audiences of their campaign.

You see, online there are limitations to the way you communicate, so marketers need to construct a campaign that will, for example, lead a small business owner along a “Trust Journey” to give them the confidence to purchase an ancillary product such as a site builder tool once they have registered their domain name.

Many campaigns suffer as they try to appeal to too broad an audience with a single message – by creating a set of personas that matched Easily’s target audiences we gave them a much higher chance of building trust in their product, services and their brand overall.

Then using the research results from the Persona Mapping process, we adopted a strategy that would establish Easily firmly in the mind of potential customers as a credible source of “information and insight” and as the “provider of choice” – To accomplish this we creatively employed a range of assets to connect with the needs, motivations and environment of each target customer using messages and language that appealed to them in a unique way, this is “Digital Persona Engagement”, and in the case of Easily it consisted of a balanced mix of media and placements, which included:

  • Micro blogs
  • Unique articles on Easily’s website and strategically distributed
  • Videos (How-to’s, articles and feature type content) on Easily’s website and strategically distributed
  • Status updates and engagement across consumer discussion groups and industry forums
  • Email 
Life-Stream Connecting™
So once you have effectively identified and initiated communications with potential customers, the next phase is to elevate this to engagement, to build an affinity and to “Connect”. The principle is based on logic – In this 2.0 world of the web, information sources are everywhere. Consumers have an ever-growing list of sites, blogs and forums where they learn about everything and anything, often times they go on to make enquired purchases decisions based on the information they find via links from these information sources – this can be seen with sites like Reevoo, Trip Advisor etc.

So what we did was to duplicate this phenomenon by creating content that replicated what these information sources provide to consumers – Information, ideas, a place to communicate and exchange thoughts – but rather than creating a stand-alone site, we did it within platforms that they feel comfortable in, FaceBook, YouTube etc.

We generated a set of content based around the theme “Things you didn’t know about the Internet”. In the main it’s a selection of video content (News, updates, how-to’s, reviews and features), which served to engage and enthuse the target personas who went on to develop an affinity with the Easily brand as the client desired. We reached out to target personas by using attractive invitation statements such as:

 

Users would consume the content and then actively “Connect” with it by commenting, starting discussions based on observations on the content, sharing opinions and generally engaging. Moreover, they would find themselves compelled to invite their own peer group to view the content – they “shared”, and this gave them their own currency and helped to bolster their own status.

In this way we connected Easily into the “Life-Stream” of their target customer. Once users had begun to reference Easily independently we knew that they we ready to receive marketing and sales messages and there would be a much higher likelihood that they would go on to purchase.

Life-Stream connecting is relatively simple; however, it takes a lot of patience and time. Pure Online Genius developed Life-Stream Connecting to be a coherent and repeatable marketing process that could be applied to various scenarios, be measurable and produce real commercial results.

Why we chose this strategy
There were a number of reasons why we adopted this strategy; however, the main three were those of SEO Ranking, Product Nature and Brand.

SEO Ranking – Over the past year the search engines, Google in particular, have started to give increasing prominence to Social Media activity. When you think about it this makes perfect sense because status updates, discussions and micro blogs give a much clearer path to content which may be current and popular and any given point in time – bearing in mind that the job of the engines is to provide results that are relevant, a status update that has links incorporated within it that relate to a search query are more likely to direct users to an element of content which is “Current” as well as relevant. So by producing regularly updated, unique content for Easily that consumers are engaging with and connecting into their own Life-Streams, we create multiple news wires that the search engines can pick up on, and therefore greatly increase the frequency Product Nature – The domain name and site hosting market is extremely competitive, and the margins on basic products such as a .CO.UK domain name purchase are ever decreasing. This means that strategies such as Media Advertising or Search Marketing (PPC) are increasingly difficult to make pay, quite simply the ROI just isn’t there to be had unless you have a large budget. So it was logical to focus on direct engagement with consumers and SEO.

Brand – For reasons similar to those of at of product nature, any kind of media driven branding exercise would be budget inhibitive, and even ineffective as the percentage rates at which web users are engaging with Banners, Buttons and other ads is decreasing. Digital Persona Engagement is simply more effective

What have been the results to date and how has the client benefited?
Results from the campaign have been quite dramatic from a commercial standpoint, but more importantly from a corporate management point of view. Prior to our campaign Easily had spent £000’s – we won’t say how much – in one year, just on SEO and had seen zero return on investment. Their internal efforts and those of their previous agency had focussed on generic keywords and search terms, which had little or no commercial benefit and attracted far too much competition. As a result, when we started our relationship with them their online marketing department were in the “last chance saloon” as far as management were concerned, and this was their last opportunity to make things work. As a result of our activities the attitude of their management team is very different now, their focus is on working with us to develop more creative ways of engaging with web users and increasing the gross amount of connection points they have across the internet and statusphere. Thus far the campaign has:
  • Positioned Easily.co.uk in the mindset of the consumer to be about more than just domain names
  • Increased the rate of cross sales of the companies ancillary services – hosting, site builder tools etc
  • Developed a dialogue with existing and potential customers
  • Increased brand loyalty – campaign stats prove that their customers are now returning to make repeat purchases as well as evangelising the companies services
  • Improved their Search Engine ranking – they are now on page 1 for a range of commercially beneficial keywords and phrases within Google, Yahoo! and Bing
  • Supported a business case for online / digital campaign growth
  • Consistently gain a minimum fifty percent ROI monthly
Is there an ongoing strategy and if so what is it?
To continue building the Easily brand via the social networks. This includes growing the fan page and group members on Facebook, increase the growing followers on Twitter, participating in group discussions on Linkedin and position the client as an expert.

Can you provide some relevant quotes from the client?
“Hi guys, first of all to thank you for your efforts in our social media and SEO strategy, I’ve now been promoted as “manager” of the LinkedIn group “Domain name”, opportunity which I have accepted. This is great achievement as this group has few members, but the cream of the domain name professionals which is excellent.”

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