|New Techniques for Marketing Your Web
Hosting Company in 2006
by: Rodney Ringler
There are many ways to market a web hosting company. Traditional methods include web hosting directories, banner ads on webmaster sites, search engine placements, ppc advertising, and so on. These are all effective methods if used and managed properly. These techniques, however, market primarily to a limited target audience: Webmasters, Programmers, Graphic Designers, and small hosting companies.
With the evolution of web hosting and website builder tools, as well as the ongoing education of the common person, the average web hosting customer is no longer a Webmaster. It is more likely an alumni association, a church, an artist, a soccer club, or a family photo album. Recently, the staff of Hostchart.com analyzed the signups from several popular web hosting companies across the month of January, and here is what they found: the number of signups from people in the industry was less then 20%. Over 80% of all Hosting customer signups were from people who are not Internet professionals! So, how best does a Hosting Company target such a wide audience?
Assuming that 80% of your customer base is non-internet professionals, a Hosting Companyís marketing methods should be greatly expanded beyond Webmasters alone. If your marketing budget includes online marketing only, then some potentially rich areas to find Hosting customers may be on sites like Vacation/Travel websites, Investment sites, Retirement websites, or any site that has a potential customer base with expendable time and/or income.
If a Hosting Companyís advertising budget includes non-Internet methods, it may want to consider marketing on billboards, in newspapers, phone directories, or even brief commercial ads. GoDaddy has proven how powerful a TV ad can be with itís provocative Superbowl ads the last two years. Even a simple advertising method like handing out free t-shirts can have a farther-reaching impact on branding a Hosting Companyís name than one might think.
Another noticeable change in the Web Hosting industry is the comfort level customers have with switching Hosting providers. Historically, customers did not change hosting companies. Most people were not comfortable moving their website for fear of downtime and lost data. The times have changed. People are more educated on websites, and there are plenty of web Hosting services that will move sites at minimal charge and without downtime. People feel free to move from Host to Host when they are offered a better plan. It is an increasingly competitive market, where companies must find new and better ways to stand out from the competition, whether that be from decreased cost, increased Customer Service, or farther reaching advertising campaigns. But Hosting Companies need not lose heart, for although competition is increasing, the number of people Worldwide who are getting connected to the internet is increasing at an exponential rate. It is a good time to be in the Hosting Industry!
About The Author
Rodney Ringler is President of Advantage1 Web Services, Inc., which owns a network of Web Hosting Informational Websites including HostChart.com, ResellerConnection.com, FoundHost.com, ResellerForums.com, and HostingKnowledge.net. Rodney has over 15 years industry experience from programming to internet marketing.
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