February 19, 2015
GoDaddy can certainly be credited with bringing the domain business into the mainstream. This panel of experts in the domain and promotions field presented a panel recently at NamesCon: TLDs: Making the Pivot to Mainstream. The discussion centered upon exploring how search and branding will promote the use of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), as opposed to the traditional domain extensions such as .com.
Putting the domain industry in front of a mainstream audience: GoDaddy
According to Theresa Geraghty, Senior Director of Product Marketing, “It really started from core consumer insight: domains will help our small business customer.” The target was the small business owner, so GoDaddy had support ready to help non-technical small business owners get online. Building the brand that could resonate with this small business owner, who looks like a consumer, meant delivering this message to a broad audience.
Howard Lefkowitz, Founder & CEO of One Degree World, concurred, since he has been a customer of GoDaddy. Lefkowitz is credited with making sure that the whole world referred to Las Vegas as “Vegas” to launch vegas.com, which is a major brand today.
Small businesses need to easily get online
Ruth McCartney, CEO of Digital Diva & McCartney Multimedia, noted that the small businesses who GoDaddy serves do not have IT departments and system administrators, so GoDaddy's brand promise to talk non-technical customers through the process is the main component of their success.
“Years ago, GoDaddy did it alone. We weren't necessarily trying to drive awareness to .com or a specific TLD. It was more the category, or getting online,” Geraghty added. Previously, businesses simply knew they had to get online. Today, they want to build brands. “Going forward especially with new TLD awareness that needs to be out there, we will be partnering with these registries to drive awareness to the choice in the marketplace.”
Showing affinity through new TLDs
Dot ninja is one piece of this puzzle. “This is a fun way of saying, ‘you can be an expert,'” said Matt Overman VP, Aftermarket and Premiums for Rightside. These new TLDs are “adding personality to the right of the dot.”
“I don't have to explain to anybody what Vegas is,” added Jim Trevino CEO Dot Vegas, Inc.
As Lefkowitz addressed in his keynote, it's the branding behind these new TLDs that is going to drive the awareness and identity. “People are going to identify with specific niches.”
Adam Stech, Founder & CEO of SPI Entertainment Inc, was excited to have been one of the first companies to register all of their shows on the .vegas extension. “We believe in it – for SEO, it just makes sense.”
McCartney noted that “It's very simple for people to remember,” when these TLDs are added to big ideas with buzz and ninja, and such. “They're driven by search, by brand, by hashtag,” she added.
The myriad ways to drive people to your site outside of social and search are going to be driven by generic top level domains. “You've got to have tentacles all over the place; it's just as simple as that,” added Stech. Check out the video for the entire expert conversation.
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