One of the leading technology providers dedicated to small businesses, GoDaddy, through their campaigns and marketing initiatives, target millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs in India to help educate them about the real-world benefits of building a strong digital identity on the internet to grow their business. Nidhi Hola, Senior Director- Marketing, GoDaddy India talks about top digital marketing initiatives, blogging strategy and marketing plans with MarkUp.
What is your role in the company?
As the Senior Director of Marketing at GoDaddy India, I lead marketing strategy across all our products and services in India. At GoDaddy, our mission is to radically shift the global economy towards small business by empowering people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. My team and I drive all aspects of marketing, advertising, branding, sponsorships, research, public relations and channel marketing for GoDaddy in India.
How do you use social media to connect and engage with your target audience?
With the rapidly growing internet population in India, along with the immediacy of information available on mobile devices, engagement on social media is a very important part of the marketing mix. Using social media channels helps us in engaging directly with our customers, get direct feedback and in fostering deeper customer relationships.
We follow a 3-pillar content strategy, where all our content needs to either inspire or educate or entertain our audiences – small businesses, entrepreneurs, and web professionals. As part of this, we identify a market relevant theme every month. For example, our November theme was focused on ‘security’. Similarly, the December theme ‘unfinished business’ is devised to subtly remind our audiences of what needs to be finished before the end of the year.
Our efforts seem to be paying off with Campaign Asia recognizing GoDaddy India’s Facebook outreach, as one of the top performing campaigns that drove high audience engagement.
Tell us about the top 3 digital marketing initiatives of GoDaddy in 2016.
We take an integrated approach to marketing by ensuring that irrespective of touch point, the customer sees the same message across various marketing channels. The fully integrated campaign approach, helped us sustain brand awareness and stand out in the internet space. The top three digital campaigns of 2016 were:
‘GoYou. GoDaddy’ Campaign – We understand the importance of the digital platform and our integrated brand campaign with the tattoo shop girl commercial highlighted the determination, grit, ups and downs that small business owners’ experience. The campaign also included a strong digital play being amplified with a mix of display advertising and social media engagement campaign.
Localization campaign – In 2016, GoDaddy announced the availability of its products and services in three regional languages – Hindi, Marathi and Tamil. We ensured that all our brand assets and marketing channels were in the three languages across display advertising, TV advertising, social media campaign, email marketing and SEM (Hindi only). All this was complemented with our award-winning customer support in the three Indian languages.
Social Engagement Campaign – We have an always-on social media campaign running in India. This is a combination of advertising and engagement-based communication.
How do you strategize for your blog on the website? How does business-blogging help?
To help increase adoption and educate our audience, GoDaddy has established a platform called, the GoDaddy Blog. The blog aims to share content that is valuable and compelling to entrepreneurs, small business owners and web professionals to help them start, grow and manage their enterprises.
Basically, we focus on telling awesome stories that result in action. Our content is designed to educate and inspire people across the spectrum of the entrepreneurial journey. While we include information about the tools that GoDaddy offers to help people succeed online, that is not the focus on the blog. We include inspiring customer stories and guest posts by industry experts. We develop topic area themes for each month and bring to life experiences and stories around those monthly themes. For example, in November 2016, the GoDaddy Blog theme was ‘Small Business’; in December, it is ‘Year in Review’; and, in January it will be ‘Resolve to Start’.
Business Blogging can help small businesses and entrepreneurs in two impactful ways: 1) establish themselves as thought leaders in their field of expertise and share their advice with others; 2) build relationships by sharing knowledge to help make long-term connections by developing trust and credibility.
What marketing trends will rule the roost in 2017?
Customer centric marketing –– Marketers need to focus on the customer and their behavioural traits rather than the channel of commerce. Customer needs to be at the core of all outreach strategies, starting from ideation to delivery. The messaging needs to be tailored keeping in mind where the customer is and how can the brand interact with them – across platform.
Online to offline – The industry is gradually realising the importance of being present across channels. The recent launch of Amazon Go, is just another example of balancing the outreach from clicks to bricks. With the use of smart technologies, there is a need to balance the online and offline approach. Currently, over 900 million Indians are still without access to the Internet, and hence there is a need to adopt a dual strategy to reach out to every last customer.
Content led marketing – Content is still the king. Whether it is video, audio or words, content is what really differentiates you from the crowd and allows reciprocation from your customers. Some examples:
Video content is expected to move a step forward with immersive viewing experiences coming into picture. The 360o degree video experience can engage users in exciting new ways.
Big data-driven marketing helps monetize the combination of creative content and media to help produce more targeted advertising and interactive marketing programs.
Social media advertising will be conversation led rather than direction led to convert prospects directly into buyers.
From the entire marketing budget, annually, how much do you allocate to social media marketing in terms of percentage? Considering that majority of your potential customers is online, has the marketing budget (particularly for social media) seen a rise?
Continued investment in our social media engagement driven campaigns, is an important element of our overall outreach programs in India. Social media will continue to be an integral part of our integrated marketing campaigns.
What are the three things you look in a person before hiring them?
The business we are in is very dynamic and agile. Therefore, the inherent need is to look for people who are:
Passionate about what they do – It is important for a person to love their job and responsibilities. Passion for your work leads to continuous desire and hunger to learn more.
Have a solution-seeking approach – The person should be able to keep their eyes on goals and connect dots from accepting the problem to finding the appropriate solution.
Have an eye for details – Commitment to have an attention for detail and organization in everyday work environment contributes to being more efficient and drives professionalism.
What does it take to create brilliant marketing campaigns?
In my opinion, there is no ‘one’ master stroke. Not a panacea for all marketing campaigns. It’s usually the combination of a few key factors such as:
Clear goal definition – What is the business problem that you are trying to solve? Why are they doing the campaign? What do you want to achieve from the campaign?
Understanding the target audience – It is important to know and realize who are you talking to? What matters to that audience the most? Your product/solution may be the most important thing in your life but how does it fit into the current/future needs of your target audience? Why that product or solution is important for them?
The team –An idea is only as good as the team behind it.
The novelty factor – Doesn’t necessarily need to be a new idea or you don’t have to be the first to market. Novelty can be in any aspect – if not the idea, then novelty and creativity needs to be in the execution.
Don’t be scared to take risks – At GoDaddy, we call it ‘working fearlessly’. Test your campaign, learn from it and then scale it. Test-Learn-Repeat