Business in 2021 – Tips for Organizing Online Events

Covid-19 has changed what “normal” looks like for us all, and the events industry is no exception. Today, virtual events, also known as online events, have grown in popularity around the world and have become a part of our lives and our businesses. 

A virtual event is very similar to an in-person one, but with some outstanding benefits. Virtual events could be online conferences and webinars, interviews and performances, training and courses, tutorials, classes, and more. 

One of the biggest benefits of virtual events is not being restricted to a single place or location. This means that anyone from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a device can join the event. Secondly, online events are cost-effective as they avoid booking venues, staff, producing merchandise, hiring or buying equipment and other staff you need for off-line events. 

Last but not least, you may already know how important it is to measure any digital activity you perform. Thus, being easy to measure, online events give you the opportunity to measure your success, get data on overall engagement and number of attendees, and gauge the most popular speeches and downloaded materials. All these insights can help you to better plan for your next events. 

However, even though there are benefits and tools to help you create an online event,  organizing a successful online event may require time, effort and consideration.

Here are some top tips to help you host a successful online event:

1. Create a strategy 

 

Before you start, think about why you’re planning the event. You can start by defining whether you’re targeting your current customers as part of an engagement strategy, or whether this is a lead generation activity to pick up new customers, or both. What kind of experience do you want to deliver? What outcomes are you looking for? 

2. Find the right platform

 

Choosing the right platform mainly depends on your goals and the type of events you plan to organize.  However, there are some important features every platform should include; chat, Q&A, live polls, the ability to upload slides or additional content. Also, consider which ones provide an option to run both live and on-demand events, and with access to the events from mobile devices. 

Even if you find the perfect platform, don’t forget to anticipate any tech issues that your attendees may face while using the platform. On the day of the event, a couple of hours before, send out a notification email to your attendees. Make sure to log in to the platform 15-20 minutes earlier to give your speakers the administrative permissions, and during the event, make sure to mute all attendees.

3. Pick the right time

 

Choosing the right time for your online event is very important. Before reserving

the time for your event, consider the profile and the location of your audience.  If you plan to go global and your targeted audience is based in different time zones, do your best to pick a time that works for as many of your customers and followers as possible. If you can’t find a suitable time for everyone, create accessible content and record live presentations for those who couldn’t attend. 

Make sure not to plan your online event during public holidays or other similar events which could coincide with the date of your event. 

4. Promote the event

 

It’s time to promote your online event. It is important to understand your audience and choose the right channels to promote your event. Depending on where your audience spends more time online, you can manage sign-ups: through the event platform directly, on a dedicated landing page on your website, via social media event pages like Facebook or LinkedIn, over email marketing, or all of the above. You may also consider running paid ad campaigns. The best time to start the promotion is two-three weeks before the event, depending on its size and scope.

5. Keep attendees engaged

 

Make your audience feel connected, involving them into the process so they stay longer and participate more. Here are some ideas: 

  • Ask your audience questions during the event
  • Encourage debate
  • Use live content for presentation
  • Use the webcam all the time and encourage the audience to do the same
  • Leave time for Q&A sessions 

After the event

No matter whether the event you are running is online or offline: it is always important to follow up with attendees. Sending a post-event survey to understand participants’ experience will show that you care and will help you to understand the outcome of the event. Also, include a sign-off thanking everyone, both participants and speakers. Share the meeting recording with those who missed it. 

The new normal has boosted the world of online events. Many of you have moved your events online, and we hope this article helps you make them a success! 

Need more answers on this topic? Let us know in the comments below, or if you are a Plesk Partner, get in touch with your Account Manager and they will be happy to provide whatever guidance they can.

How to Set up a Successful Seasonal Marketing Campaign

The holiday season is almost here. And whatever your product, industry, or target market is, this is a great time to create a holiday marketing campaign. This is not only to show your existing customers your appreciation but to capture new leads and turn them into customers.

Since ‘tis the season to give and share, we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to help you to create effective seasonal marketing campaigns. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Determine the goals of your campaign

Before you start working on your campaign you need to determine what you want to achieve and the outcomes of your campaign. 

Your campaign’s goal should be specific, measurable, and within a specific time-frame. It should be relevant to the audience and the services and products you’ll be focused on. 

Most probably the goal of your campaign would be to get as many sales as possible. However, don’t forget to make your seasonal campaign more personal. Share some festive mood and cheers to build customer relationships and raise brand awareness.

Step 2: Define your target audience

It’s very important to gather as much information as possible about the people you’re trying to reach. So, to be able to create a smart campaign plan with relevant content and promotions, try to answer the following question about your audience beforehand:

  • Which social media channels do my customers prefer? 
  • Are they using a specific device?
  • What’s the time that attracts the most engagement?

Make sure your campaign refers to all segments of your audience. That is, both new and existing customers. Otherwise, you might consider creating two different campaigns to keep all segments of your audience happy.

Here’s an extra tip: If you want to know more about buyer personas and how to create campaigns for specific personas of the hosting industry, we recommend you our free buyer personas template.

Step 3: Create an offer

One of the most important steps to create a campaign is to understand what products and services will fall under your campaign offer. Your offer should speak directly to the needs of your customers. Try to pick up the most relevant product and services for this purpose, which makes the most sense for your earlier chosen audience.

There are many different tactics when it comes to deciding on products and services that you should discount: products you should discount, the most important to be effective honest, and clear with your customers:  

  • Discount everything equally.
  • Generate exclusive offers on your best sellers.
  • Promote lesser-known or older products.
  • Bundle another product or service.

It’s also a good idea to check your competition. Find out what kind of offer they have, what includes, and what their positioning is. This information will help you to create the most unique offer and stand out from the competition.

Step 4: Create a landing page

Once your offer is ready, you should decide where on your website to place it. We suggest two ways: 

  • Place the discount banner directly on the product page.
  • Create a dedicated landing page – click here for extra tips on how to create a successful landing page.

Step 5: Communicate your promotion

Offer – checked. Landing page – rolling. It’s time to give your campaign the boost it needs. So, to communicate your offers, choose the right channels for potential customers. Unfortunately, not all marketing channels can apply to everyone. Especially those of the web hosting industry. That’s why you’ll need to consider some points:

  • Make sure you know how big your existing audience is.
  • Decide if your promotion is for an existing audience, to attract new customers or both. 
  • Keep clear your existing marketing channels.
  • Know the budget you are ready to spend.
  • Adapt your website to your offers.

And some traditional but very useful indeed channels:

Email Marketing

It’s more likely that you already have a list of customers who might be interested in your offer. Or a list of customers who already bought your products. Or of the ones who sign up for your blog. Well, once you review your database you can create a list of the specific group of customers to whom your offer is relevant. And don’t forget to check the GDPR allowance before sending the campaign.  

Blog 

Another way to make your offer visible and add some SEO benefits to your website is to create a relevant blog post. Don’t forget to include a visual CTA (call-to-action), which will redirect to your campaign landing page or to the page you place the offer.

Social Media 

Social media is a great tool to reach new audiences by using popular industry hashtags or to engage with your existing customers, your community. It’s very important to analyze which social media channels your existing customers prefer and where you can get new ones. When it comes to web hosting or software industries, we recommend Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 

The most effective way to join ongoing conversations in relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups to offer up your products/services and talk about your new campaigns. Check here to find out more about social media tips for web hosters.

Step 6: Campaign metrics

The final, and probably the most important, step is monitoring your campaign’s behavior and engagement. It’s time to determine if we reach the goals that were set before we launched the campaign. Analyzing your campaign’s performance helps us to understand what works and what doesn’t, which tactics work better than others, and what to keep the same or change for the next time.

With that said, thank you for your attention and for reading this guide. You can drop us a line below if you’d like to share your experience with seasonal marketing campaigns with us. We wish you profitable campaigns 🙂

How to Market in Times of COVID-19?

The coronavirus situation has been a difficult experience for businesses of all sizes. However, the most vulnerable are small and medium-sized businesses from different industries. In particular, the ones facing interaction with customers in this challenging social distancing and self-isolation. 

While many cities are still in lockdown and people keep avoiding public places, most of the nonessential businesses have been forced to close down. This new reality brings significant changes in the overall shopping behavior of people all around the world. Customers start changing what they buy, where, when, and how.

Fortunately, many business owners and managers realized the new shopping behavior of their customers and the need to adapt and be flexible to meet changing necessities. And the importance of online presence for most online shops. Those businesses will need management software, cyber-security measures, as well as digital marketing tools for advertising.

Marketing Tips to Help Your Business

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to marketing or already have developed a marketing strategy for your business. Marketing during hard times requires sensitivity. And here are some general tips on how to market during COVID-19. Let’s go through them: 

1. Stay Relevant to Your Consumer’s Needs

One of the best ways to stay relevant in these uncertain times is to tell your customers how your company is dealing with the pandemic. Tell relevant, authentic stories – to show your customers that you’re there during these difficult times. And stay hopeful for the future.

2. Be Supportive of Your Customers

Try and show empathy and support in all your communications with your customers. Tell your customers what you’re doing to help the community and try to make their life easier. This will show your customers that they’re in good hands and that they made the right decision for choosing your company.

3. Focus on Your Digital Channels

This is a good time to review and implement new digital strategies for your online business. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Reanalyze your overall marketing plan focusing on your story, site, and data.
  • Identify user questions related to your business and address them on your blog.
  • Create your SEO strategy and start optimizing your website. Extensions like SEO Toolkit can help you maximize your search engine traffic.
  • Do some keywords research. 
  • Update your Google My Business listings.

4. Be Present on Social Media

Publish content that’s relevant to the reality of your audience. And tell how your brand can solve their problems. Focus on strengthening your relationship with your customers by answering their questions and sharing their stories. It’s important to encourage your customers to be kind and help each other in your own example. You can take a look at other resources from our blog for tips on how to use social media effectively.

5. Implement Email Marketing to Your Overall Marketing Strategy

It’s no secret that email marketing is one of the cheapest and most profitable marketing activities you can apply in your marketing strategy. Nowadays, it’s a good time to keep your customers updated about your business, products, and novelties. So, don’t forget to send good vibes and remind people of the good in the world.

6. Offer Discounts and Promotions

Offering discounts in days of crisis can help not only attract new customers, but also in gaining loyalty among existing customers, driving traffic to your site, and increasing your sales. You can do charitable sales promotions which can boost conversion as customers may purchase items for themselves by doing good for others.

A Final Word

We know that we’re all somehow being affected by these unprecedented times. And therefore at Plesk, we want to help bring businesses like yours online with our special offers. Take a look at our current plans and find the option that best fits your business. 

Is your business suffering the effects of the pandemic? What changes have you implemented to keep your business afloat? Let us know in the comments below. We’re here to help.

Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page

Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page - Plesk

Landing pages are an important component of a company’s inbound marketing strategy. At Plesk, we encourage our partners to create a landing page whenever they launch a campaign with us. A good landing page can help increase conversions and turn visitors into leads. For a landing page to be effective, it needs persuasive language, a solid layout and smart copy.

But before you begin creating your masterpiece, it’s vital to know what your goals are. Do you want to sell a product or service? Are you looking for visitors to attend a webinar or event? What do you want your visitors to do when they reach your landing page?

Once you have a clear goal, you’re ready to set up your landing page. So what are some of the essential elements of a landing page? Let’s get into these below.

1) Let’s Begin with the Layout

Your landing page layout should be clean and precise. It should work towards achieving the goal you set out earlier. Let’s take a look at the layout example below, which will work well with most products and services.

Let's Begin with the Layout - Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page - Plesk

The important components in this landing page layout are:

  • Some room for an attractive header.
  • A section to introduce your main product or service.
  • An area where your main call to action resides.
  • Space for features and benefits of your product or service.
  • Any other information you want to provide.
  • A section for contact details or a support form.

Let’s tackle each of these components in more detail.

2) Use Compelling Imagery

A common place to add images on landing pages is in the header. Attractive and compelling images will help grab your visitors’ attention. As Napoleon himself said, “Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu’un long discours.” Translation: A good sketch is better than a long speech.

So, en avant my friends, to the next component!

3) Words, Words, Words

Words are a powerful ally for any landing page. Use headlines to present your most important message. Use subheadings to add information that adds value to your message. Headlines should be clear, concise and catchy, though it isn’t always easy to catch the 3 Cs. You can focus on the C that works best for your product or service.

And while we’re on the subject, it’s imperative that you apply the 3 Cs to any other copy you want to add to your landing page. Remember what Napoleon said? You don’t want to have your visitors bounce because of long speeches.

Additionally, the offer on your landing page should mirror offers you’re using in your ads. Consistency assures visitors that they’ve reached the right place.

4) Call to Action

The call to action (CTA) button is one of the key elements of a landing page. The aim of a CTA is to get visitors to perform an action, such as complete a sale or join a trial. Persuasive conversion words are your friends here. But there is one vital strategy to consider before you color your landing page with CTA buttons. Use CTAs sparingly. Wordy and too many CTAs will most likely overwhelm your visitors.

5) Call Out Your Best Features

Introduce your visitors to the best features your product or service offers. You can add this information in a separate section on the landing page if you prefer. Make sure that the focus of your copy is on the user and not you, the company. How can the product help your customer? Does it make your customer’s life easier in some way? Highlight the benefits your product or service offers. But keep it simple, keep it short.

Pro tip #1: Use pictures and videos to help users understand your product better.

Pro tip #2: Use customer testimonials. These help build trust and confidence in your product.

6) Point Users to Next Steps

The best way to do this is by having contact and support forms. A contact form gives visitors a place to go with their questions. It also shows that you are there to help them. However, do remember that you want to give visitors as few actions to complete as possible. So make sure that your forms don’t have too many fields or ask for too much information.

So, if you’re still reading up to this point, know that you now have the building blocks for a pretty good landing page.

And if you’re a Plesk Partner in need of more guidance on the topic, please contact your Account Manager. You can also take a look at other resources from our blog for setting up a WordPress website or using social media to boost your site traffic.

But if you’re a weary Internet traveler who stumbled upon this page and liked reading it, let us know in the comments below.

Simple Tips on Social Media For Web Hosting

Social Media Tips For Web Hosting Industry

Social media is one of the most accessible ways to engage with your target audience and build your online presence. It’s also one of the most cost-effective ways to market and promote your business and brand. The hosting industry is no exception – however, it is very specific. Therefore, you have to be careful when choosing the right social media channel for your business. To help you out, here are our top social media tips for web hosting.

To select the right social platform to focus on, you’ll need to find out where your followers are. If you don’t have any social media presence yet, check where your customers are more likely to be. Where do they get information about similar services and products? And where will they probably advertise their own services? From our experience, the best channels for hosters to reach out to their audiences are Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.

Why Use Social Media for Your Web Hosting Business?

1. Making a Good Impression

Firstly, your potential customers will search for some feedback about your services and end up on your social media pages. They will most probably ask some sales-related questions. You can take the opportunity to answer these frequently asked questions even if your salesperson is not around. Communication during the sales process gives a potential client an idea of what they can expect from your support afterwards. So be sure to make a good first impression.

2. Support and Problem-solving

Similarly, you can offer ‘support’ through your social media questions by communicating and redirecting complaints and questions accordingly. You should keep the comments you received and their replies as a public record of your commitment to your customers. Proof that that you pay attention to and solve their problems. Often it will be them checking on a pre-existing issue, verifying that they haven’t actually been ignored.

3. Encourage Brand Positivity

Our advice is to give questions priority when you spend time on your web hosting social media marketing efforts. Because customers who voice problems on social are also the ones more likely to publicly sing your praises. By showing interest and communicating honestly, you can turn an unhappy client into a brand ambassador.

4. Advertising

Social media should be part of your go-to market strategy. After, you launch a new product or service, you should Facebook post or tweet about it to inform your customers. Not just of your product but of the benefits they may get. Social media is a tool to leverage your original content, solidify your brand awareness, as well as to obtain more visibility.

How to Use Social Media for Web Hosting: Tips

1. Set a Social Media Intention

What are your goals for using social media for your web hosting business? Do you wish to boost sales? Awareness? Build a reputation? Maybe you want to acquire new customer leads or keep your existing ones happy. Setting up a clear long-term intention helps you establish why you’re doing it for more effectiveness.

2. Create a Proper Social Media Calendar

Content is king. And as we mentioned earlier, social media platforms are great boosters for your original content. This is why you should optimize all your marketing materials, content and posts for your social channels, adjusting where necessary to meet your audience’s expectations.

3. Build Communities Around Your Brand

You can do this by asking for feedback and reactions on social media, then replying in a timely manner. We recommend you read and comment on other web hosting forums and blogs too – to show your presence. Or maybe even share that content on your channels with your own added point of view. Not only to boost your community’s efforts and create awareness, but also to potentially start a positive conversation.

This is what we do at Plesk. Because our partners are the core of our business and industry, we make sure to highlight their efforts on a regular basis. Show your partners the support they deserve and send the message that you can all succeed on a larger level.

Simple Paid Marketing Tips for Web Hosting Businesses

Paid Marketing Tips for Hosting Businesses - Plesk Partners

Do you need help with your paid marketing efforts so that you can grow your web hosting business? Well, never fear. Follow our six handy tips for paid marketing for web hosting businesses, and make your Cost-Per-Click campaign on Google Ads and other CPC programs a huge success.

1. Choose the right Pay-Per-Click platform

Paid Marketing - platform choice

First, you’ve got to know your platforms and your audience. So that you can choose the most effective platform for you. Which platform does your audience use most? Are they actively searching Google, Yahoo! or Bing? Or are they spending more time browsing social media or professional networks like Facebook or LinkedIn?

Google may have the largest search volume, but LinkedIn and Facebook support targeting options. Each platform is different. Try out all the different options to find the channel that performs best for you. Don’t forget to consider your budget too. Maybe, for your budget, one channel makes more sense than another.

2. Utilize negative keywords

Negative keywords - Paid Marketing

To run a positive campaign, you need negative keywords. Negative keywords ensure you don’t waste your time and resources targeting irrelevant markets. So take advantage of them. Add keywords unrelated to your product or service to your campaign. And filter out those costly clicks and traffic. See your average cost-per-click go down and help your click-through-rate go up by cutting out irrelevant traffic.

3. Know your campaign’s peak times

Paid Marketing - Know your campaign’s peak times

A little research goes a long way. Find out when your audience is most active. Then run your ads during this time. It makes sense, right? So adjust your campaign with user peak times in mind. Then use the Ad Scheduling tool to switch your Google campaign off and on at specific times. Increase your budget for peak times and decrease it for off-peak times for maximum success.

4. Create stand-out copy

Paid Marketing - Ad Copy

If you want your ad to stand out, you need to bring in your greatest weapon – brilliant ad copy. This is what differentiates you from your competitors. Great ad copy makes you stand out in the advert crowd. You’ll naturally put in any relevant keywords and search terms. But try and add some eye-catching, funny or bold words to really call people to attention.

5. Mix the paid with the organic

Mix the paid with the organic plesk

Whatever you do, don’t focus solely on your paid marketing campaigns. To maximize your chances of success, you should ideally integrate or combine both your organic and paid marketing efforts. By doing this, you’ll reach a wider audience – getting higher quality engagement from a larger, but still highly-targeted, audience.

6. Don’t stop testing

Paid Marketing - A/B testing

Once you set up your campaign. Don’t forget about it. You need to keep on testing. Running a CPC campaign requires continued testing and optimization. So try out various keywords and different ad copy, as well as other bidding strategies and landing pages. And see how you do! Refresh your ad to sustain campaign performance and help improve ROI.

So, there you have it. Six super useful paid marketing tips for continued CPC campaign success for your web hosting business.

You can find even more paid marketing tips here as we talk about the most common paid ad mistakes for SaaS companies.

Test them out. Then let us know how you get on in the comments below.

Web Hosting Marketing on a Tight Budget: 7 Tips

Web Hosting Marketing

Depending on which blogs or marketing gurus you follow, you’ll likely hear contrasting ideas about which digital web hosting marketing strategy is the best. “Content is king”, “Social media is the new Google” or “All you need is an email list.”

Such suggestions aren’t entirely wrong, but they do feed into each other. For example, content marketing is dependent on social media just as social media is dependent on building an email list. Not buying into the false ideal of “the one perfect strategy” helps you avoid risky investments and better distribute your marketing efforts.

Having said that, good web hosting marketing isn’t about the size of your budget. It’s understanding your market and respond appropriately to the needs of your customers. Follow this approach as a web hosting business with these top 8 tips, and you’ve got as much chance of success as even the biggest players.

Create amazing, relevant content - cheap web hosting marketing - Plesk Partners

1. Create amazing, relevant content

You’ve probably heard how important blogging is for a successful digital marketing strategy. And it is – but it’s useless if your content isn’t relevant and interesting to your audience. An active blog is key to improving your visibility in the search engines results pages (SERPs), increasing the number of visitors to your site, and achieving better promotion on social media.

However, if you publish relevant and interesting content, you’ll have a much greater chance of sparking interaction with your leads – turning them into long-standing customers. Your web hosting company can build a blog, more impressive are those that go beyond the basics and provide high-value content your audience will love.

Build a free email web hosting marketing list - Plesk Partners

2. Build a free email web hosting marketing list

One of your most valuable marketing channels is your mailing list because it lets you communicate with your prospects/clients directly. Get access to this and you’re six times more likely to get higher click-through rates through emails instead of Tweets. Email has proven to be 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

But in order to communicate with your new email list, you need an email marketing platform. There are plenty to choose from, but the easiest and least expensive to start with is MailChimp — not least because you retain ownership of your list.

Offer a free info-product on your website - cheap web hosting marketing - Plesk Partners

3. Offer a free info-product on your website

Creating a free info-product is a great way to tie many digital marketing strategies together. A series of videos, ebook, or product can provide a talking point at events and offer a reason for an online lead to sign up to your mailing list. Since web hosting is a tricky subject, there’s no shortage of content you can create in this web hosting marketing space.

For instance, you may offer a free product that explains to your customers how to build a website or online store. Or even how to use the other products and services you offer. The best part is that once you make such products, you continue to provide value to your business indefinitely.

Affiliate program for web hosting marketing on a budget - Plesk Partners

4. Consider an affiliate program

There are many blogs about web hosting, SEO, WordPress, and website creation. But despite that fact, affiliate marketing is a strategy that’s still off the radar of many small to medium-sized businesses. This may be a huge wasted opportunity, because even website owners can be web hosting marketing affiliates, AND promote your hosting service.

The most popular way for an affiliate to promote a business is for a blogger to write a post. One including a review of your services, including a link to your web hosting service. Affiliates can also display banners on their websites. So that for each visitor that clicks on their recommendation link and ultimately buys your service, you pay the affiliate a  commission.

Guest posting for cheap web hosting marketing - Plesk Partners

5. Guest post on popular niche sites

Guest posting is a great way to reach a new audience – plus gain some credibility by appearing in well-respected publications. There are plenty of sites out there that provide lists of places you can submit guest posts to. The key is finding the ones your audience reads and interacts with. And of course, don’t forget to include a link back to your site in your bio!

Blog commenting for web hosting marketing on a budget - Plesk Partners

6. Comment on blog posts

One of the oldest digital marketing strategies in the book is leaving comments on other blogs you follow. No different for web hosting marketing. That’s not to say it’s past its use-by-date – actually, it’s the opposite. Because it remains a highly personal, and somewhat time-intensive, task.

Blog commenting is a fantastic way to get noticed by bloggers and their visitors. That is, if your comments are thoughtful and you actually read the article first 😉 .

What’s more, there are many web hosting related blogs which end customers read before choosing their hosting provider. Try to leave relevant and interesting comments with a discreet link to your website.

social media sharing is cheap web hosting marketing - Plesk Partners

7. Share on social media

It’s become a must to share your content on social media. However, most companies get caught up in gaining as many Likes and hearts as possible. Meanwhile, social media, as the name suggests, is much more about the act of sharing.

When you create content for Likes it speaks to a certain type of interaction and person. When you create content for sharing purposes, you are forced to get into the heads of your audience and give them something truly valuable.

Why do people follow you? How could you make their life better? Why would they share your content? It can be an interesting fact, useful industry info, or an insight into your company’s culture. The bottom line is: Shareable content is what nurtures an audience’s trust and loyalty. Perhaps that’s what web hosting marketing is about in the end.