Tag Archives: ARI Registry Services

What Registrars should consider in a vendor partnership by Brendon Mitchell, ARI Registry Services

ARI Registry ServicesMore and more, business and web users are on the lookout for complementary products and services to support their online assets, and in most cases it makes sense to start their search at the same organisation from which they bought their domain name.

In the days of increased competition and a plethora of technical solutions, Registrars find themselves operating in a market where white-labelled products and services represent fast an efficient opportunities to bring new products and services to market.

This is an effective way to increase revenues without the need for in-house product development, outsourced resourcing or operational support.

The environment Registrars now operate in is moving swiftly towards a traditional wholesaler, retailer model. You have the shelf-space, the audience and the brand and you need quality products and strong partnerships to drive your business further with maximum return and minimal risk.

However, your choice in vendor could be the difference between success and failure.

Here are four key tips for building a strong vendor relationship based on our experience as a provider of services to the Registrar channel.

1. A good and relevant product

The simplest and perhaps most important factor is to select products that are interesting and relevant to your customers. Look for a vendor that fits with your existing customer requirements and would be considered a valuable and complementary product or service.

Think about ease of take up when considering the products you have access to. For example, what’s the easiest way to increase your average ticket price by a few dollars for every domain name sold?

Regardless of whether you decide to white-label or resell the service, it’s important you partner with a reputable provider that has the credibility and a track-record of success with other Registrars.

For instance, niche vendors with specific expertise in a particular area are obviously more credible in that field than those with a general service. In this scenario, make sure you research and understand the history of this niche and seek out any relevant client experiences that can give you further insight.

2. Commercial terms that make sense

Pricing and margins will remain an important factor of any vendor relationship. You need to ensure that your chosen vendor is able to sell the product to you at a price that allows you to apply the appropriate margin ;to cover not only your the cost of delivery, but also your risk in delivering that product to your customer base.

It’s a simple fact that the initial costs for integration, development and launch may not be recouped for a period of time. Ask your vendor whether they are willing to adjust their pricing to reflect this fact, or if they would consider rethinking their pricing strategy throughout launch so that you can both benefit from the product’s success in the long term.

A vendor that demonstrates an interest in supporting you in the short term shows that they are in it for the long haul and while we’re all in it to make a dollar, a little flexibility goes a long way when you’re introducing a new product or service.

3. Significant experience in go-to-market strategy

Does your chosen new vendor have significant experience in launching a product to market and ensuring successful implementation? Consider vendors like suppliers: you’re providing them with ‘shelf space’ and you need to be able to incentivise and be incentivised to sell their product through to your customers.

Make sure you have a deep understanding of how your vendor is going to support you in selling their product. Do they have a strategy for and experience in co-operative marketing, sales rebates, sales team training, collateral and product support?

If the answer is no, then you’re only appointing a service provider. Look elsewhere for the support you will need to ensure joint success.

4. Flexibility and product development

In business, compromise is essential to ensure both parties benefit from the arrangement. Every business is different and their customers are different too.

Introducing a product that is not tailored to the requirements of your customer base could potentially result in failure and loss of customer loyalty.

Ask your chosen vendor if they are willing to build a product that is right for your customers and your position in market, and see how they respond to this request. If they’re willing to alter their standard offering or work with you to construct the right product configuration, that’s one less thing you need to do at the front end.

Choosing your vendors

When choosing your vendors, ask the hard questions. Test their ability to be flexible and their desire to find solutions that suit both parties and ultimately, benefit the customer.

Ensure that you have all of the information you need before joining forces with any new party, to put your business in the best position for success.

DiscoveryDNS – Wholesale DNS Services for Registrars

ARI Registry Services has developed a premium managed DNS service designed to address the challenges and risks presented by today’s dynamic online environment.

Sold exclusively through the Registrar channel, the DiscoveryDNS service can be specifically tailored to the demands of a Registrars’ technical, operational or commercial environment. Our objective is to provide an enterprise-ready DNS service to Registrars that has the potential to generate revenue and reduce operational risk from the provision of DNS services.

If you’re interested in having a chat about how our unique approach to DNS service provision could benefit you, drop me a line.

This article by Brendon Mitchell, Account Manager, ARI Registry Services, was sourced with permission from:
www.ariservices.com/blog/what-registrars-should-consider-in-a-vendor-partnership/

An open letter to all new TLD operators by Tony Kirsch, ARI Registry Services

ARI Registry ServicesDear TLD operators,

As many of you will know from my previous posts, I’m pretty passionate about our new TLD industry and genuinely believe we are all working towards a goal that will provide something truly special for future generations to embrace.

However, speaking candidly (as is the Australian way), I think we’d all agree that there is much to do to get new TLDs into the mainstream in a timely manner. And as new TLD applicants, we all have a responsibility to work together to ensure the success of our industry for years to come.

Based upon this view and after 12 months of contemplation and some assistance and support from a few industry leaders, we’ve just launched a webinar for all TLD applicants.

Thus, the TLD Operator Webinar is now scheduled for June 30 and information is available at www.tldoperator.help for those that would like to register or understand more about this initiative.

Since our soft launch last week, we’ve had over 200 applicants register for the webinar and plenty of comments of support from the industry which really demonstrates appetite for this on a global level. With about two weeks to go until the webinar, we’re hoping we can double this number and provide useful information to a large sector of the new TLD applicant base.

The TLD Operator Webinar is designed to provide all new TLD applicants with an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other – away from the confines of the typical ICANN discussions on policy and so on. Put simply, it is about TLD Operators helping other TLD Operators learn how to maximise the return on your investment and make your mark on the future of the Internet– whether you’re a generic, geographic or brand TLD.

The webinar is free, lasts only 60 minutes and will provide attendees with unique insight from other TLD Operators based on what has and hasn’t worked for them so far.

I am extremely excited by the quality of speakers we’ve been able to assemble, including

• Donuts (Largest portfolio TLD applicant)
• Monash University (World’s first .brand)
• .club (Highly successful generic TLD)
• .berlin & .sydney (Leading city TLDs)
• .sucks (High profile TLD in the news)

The TLD Operator Webinar is open to all applicants only (and/or nominated advisors) and will not be a forum for industry sales or promotion in any way. I should also reiterate as per recent media reports, that this initiative is not a formal community group in any way, simply an attempt to utilise a webinar for the benefit of all new TLDs.

I welcome you to join us for the TLD Operator Webinar and look forward to sharing some unique insights at this pivotal time in our industry.

Kind Regards

Tony Kirsch
Head of Global Consulting
ARI Registry Services

This open letter by Tony Kirsch from ARI Registry Services was sourced with permission from:
www.ariservices.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-all-new-tld-operators/

How to maximise registrations through effective Registrar relationships by Ryan Baker, ARI Registy Services

ARI Registry ServicesThere are some surefire ways to get channel engagement and drive registrations, but doing what everyone else is doing is not going to cut it in the world of new TLDs.

Successful Registrar engagement requires an investment of time far in advance of what some Registry Operators appear to be expecting, both in terms of ongoing relationship management as well as continually providing tools which make it easier for Registrars to sell your extension over other TLDs.

There are a number of methods that we use to help drive registrations including:

– PR and media activities,
– pre- and post-launch ambassador programs, and
– Registrar co-marketing programs.

In addition, providing collateral or examples of real-world TLD usage to Registrars can simplify their task of reaching out to their client base and converting them to registrations. Examples may include providing case studies of fully developed digital brands based on key domains within your TLD or highlighting relevant media which discusses the benefits of the TLD program generally and your TLD specifically.

Today I would like to expand on ambassador programs which are one area that is typically underutilised by the majority of TLD operators. In addition, I will outline the amount of effort required to deeply engage Registrars which is often misunderstood by those just entering the TLD industry.

Getting the word out

While the sleeping giant of .brand TLDs will eventually catapault new gTLDs to the forefront of global awareness, in the first instance the best way to bring the power of a brand to the attention of your potential registrants is through an effective TLD ambassador program.

At ARI, our strategy has been to engage with high-profile ambassadors prior to and after launch of our clients’ TLDs, providing a boost to marketing activities and a way to kick-start registrations by showcasing some big names already on board.

One of the strongest forms of marketing is third party endorsement and when it comes to promoting TLDs, the easiest way to achieve this is through an ambassador program. For example, when .sydney launched into General Availability, iconic Sydney landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge (www.bridgeclimb.sydney) and the famous Luna Park amusement park (www.lunapark.sydney) were already part of the .sydney community. The benefit of an effective ambassador program is that prominent businesses are immediately seen to be adopting your extension and demonstrating use. But there is another significant benefit to the Registrar channel if used correctly. A successful ambassador program provides an invaluable resource to your Registrars – making their task of promoting your TLD that much easier and keeping you top-of-mind above your competitors. A Registrar with effective products is much more likely to be a Registrar incentivised to sell your domains.

Keeping Registrars engaged

The balance of power has shifted somewhat with the introduction of so many new gTLDs. Registrars and resellers now have more products to put on their shelves and getting your product placed in the front window can prove difficult.

While it is important to have the broadest range of Registrars accredited to sell your product so no sales are lost, with so much competition for a Registrar’s eye it is often important to prioritise and find the Registrars who are most willing to work with your extension. Identifying Registrars whose existing customer base has a synergy with your target market is an easy choice, as is looking for Registrars who are receptive to your ongoing marketing efforts and focusing on making their job of selling as easy as possible.

To be clear, it’s important to treat all Registrars equally in terms of access to information, but you certainly don’t have to focus your efforts equally in terms of ongoing relationship management.

Cultivating strong working relationships with those Registrars who show they are willing to promote your TLDs and from whom you get the best results will ensure you get best bang for marketing buck.

Managing a Registrar channel is also an exceptionally time consuming process and spending five minutes on the phone daily with 35 Registrars versus deeply engaging with several Registrars who are helping you gain registrations is an easy choice. The reality is that there isn’t enough time in the day to develop the tools you will require and to engage all Registrars in the use of those tools, as well as engaging with your most successful Registrants. Prioritising your efforts is key.

Avoid the balancing act

While the process seems simple – supplying Registrars with the tools they need to sell, then building on success stories to provide additional sales tools and incentive for Registrars, and awareness for the market – the reality is that it’s a complex one.

It takes an innovative marketing plan and a real and continued effort to maintain and build upon Registrar relationships, as well as finding and promoting early adopters.

For many Registry Operators, especially those without a large portfolio of TLDs to manage, balancing these two functions in addition to all the other aspects of running a TLD can be overwhelming. Trying to divide resources and manage both alone could mean not realising the full potential of either strategy.

In these instances, Registry Operators may wish to consider splitting their efforts with a trusted partner: a partner who can help them build these Registrar relationships and allow them to really focus on finding and promoting innovative usage within their TLD.

At ARI, we have years of experience managing the day to day activities of building and maintaining Registrar relationships. There is a lot that goes into this process – whether it’s picking up the phone to make sure you remain top-of-mind, to giving your channel regular updates on your marketing and public relations efforts so they have all the tools they need to promote your TLD.

Many Registrars have trouble determining ‘which horse to back’ in a race whose entrants are multiplying by the day. Building relationships with Registrars, providing dedicated attention when one is showing particular interest or enthusiasm and supplying them with resources to make their job easier all take a necessary time and effort commitment, but it’s not one that every Registry Operator has the capacity to handle in-house.

When it comes to making the most of your relationship with resellers and registrars, an experienced partner means you have one less thing to worry about. Change is coming, but it can be a tricky road to navigate alone.

This article by Ryan Baker from ARI Registry Services was sourced with permission from:
www.ariservices.com/blog/how-to-maximise-registrations-through-effective-registrar-relationships/

How to use brand Sydney to your benefit

Sydney gTLD logoBe it the gorgeous, year-round sunny weather, world renowned icons (such as the Sydney Fish Market or Luna Park Sydney), or the vibrant and diverse culture the city has become known for – Sydney has a lot to love about it.

The City of Sydney knows this and goes to great lengths to carefully manage the brand of Sydney and establish a position for the city that encapsulates all the things we’ve come to love about it.

But how can businesses and individuals benefit from Sydney’s inherent good name?

Using brand Sydney

One way innovative businesses have tapped into consumers’ love for all things Sydney has been to align their businesses with the city.

This can be as simple as using the term ‘Sydney’ in your business name. Some of the Sydney’s greatest brands have the city’s name in their trademark, enabling them to trade off the established goodwill of brand Sydney for their business.

Examples of this include the Sydney Opera House, Cafe Sydney or Taste of Sydney festival.

One icon of the city which has successfully used this technique to its advantage is the Sydney Boulevard Hotel.

Sydney Boulevard Hotel 

The Sydney Boulevard Hotel has long been regarded as one of the city’s most iconic hotels, with a history spanning back more than five decades.

The opening of The Sydney Boulevard in 1973 was hailed a milestone in history as it was the first major 5-star hotel in Sydney. Boasting a guest list of high profile celebrities, sports stars and politicians such Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Sammy Davis Junior, Grace Jones, The Village People, Muhammed Ali, John McEnroe, Phil Collins and former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The Sydney Boulevard was the centre of the social life of Sydney with high demand for its restaurants and its nightclub, Williams with waiting lists on weekdays.

Suan Lee Tan, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Sydney Boulevard Hotel said positioning the hotel as a locally iconic brand was an important element in their business strategy.

“The Sydney Boulevard Hotel is one of the city’s pioneer hotels,” Ms Tan said. “Having the word Sydney in our name is a powerful marketing tool. It helps our guests have a certain degree of intimacy with our brand, even before they have visited.”

In 2005, the hotel changed names to Bayview Boulevard Sydney and in 2012 the Hotel changed back to The Sydney Boulevard Hotel, returning to the iconic Sydney identity.

“It was clear that the original branding was much more meaningful to our customers. It demonstrated how important it is to promote our geographic location within Sydney city. Event planners and guests often search for hotels based on their location, and our brand says it all.

“We have the privilege that when someone is looking for a hotel in Sydney, our brand is highly recognisable and often displayed high in search results, simply because of our name,” Ms Tan said.     

Obviously, it’s not always possible to use a city name in your trademark. But there is another way to achieve this result without changing your brand name. 

.sydney domain names 

As the Sydney Boulevard Hotel demonstrates, aligning your brand with the city of Sydney can be an effective way to further promote your business.

The introduction of .sydney domain names now allows brands a new and innovative way to demonstrate their patriotism for Sydney.

With a .sydney domain name, businesses have the opportunity to tailor web addresses to be geographically relevant to their target audience. This level of customisation has never before been available.

Just imagine if fast food chain Dominos wanted to make it easier for their Sydney-based customers to find their restaurants and learn more about the menu. They could create a landing page on their website entirely devoted to Sydney content and host it on the domain name www.dominos.sydney which could tell Sydney-based customers everything they need to know about their Sydney stores.

For the first time, marketers can now associate their products and brands with a web address that speaks directly to their customers and the city in which they live.

As we saw with the Sydney Boulevard Hotel, creating a long-lasting association with your city can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

In an era of data-driven digital marketing, .sydney domain names will offer marketers an innovative approach to online engagement.

Where will your brand live online?

This article was sourced with the permission of ARI Registry Services from the Iconic Sydney website at www.iconic.sydney/media-release/how-to-use-brand-sydney-to-your-benefit/

 

 

Is your regional tourist attraction on the map?

Sydney gTLD plain logoAustralia has a lively and varied regional tourism industry. From scenic rural drives to trendy winery day trips, we love to encourage people to see more of the country than just its capital cities. There’s no denying, however, that bustling capitals like Melbourne and Sydney are often the first port of call for international and interstate visitors. The challenge for regional tourist attractions is to market themselves as uniquely appealing while playing up their proximity to capital cities.

One way for regional tourist destinations to create a link with their closest capital city is with smart online marketing. New Top-Level Domains (TLDs), like .melbourne and .sydney, open up a world of opportunities for regional destinations to ensure they’re on the map when prospective tourists are planning their travel itinerary. 

Marketing by association

Many regional tourist attractions are already using their nearest capital as a marketing tool. If you’re offering a rewarding tourism experience ‘just a short drive’ from Melbourne, or ‘easily accessed by train’ from Sydney, why not make that a selling point? Making a link with the capital on your website can be genuinely helpful for tourists who are keen to plan travel times and distances. From a marketing perspective, it’s also good SEO strategy to include mentions of the nearest capital as part of a keyword plan for your site when you’re looking to lure visitors from the city.

Lachlan Wells, senior digital marketing strategist with SEO company, Optimising, says that “.melbourne or .sydney are perfect for a hotel, convention centre or other tourism business where the city is integral to its marketing.”

Good advertising is also about trust, however, so it’s important that regional destinations don’t confuse visitors by linking to the capital if it’s not relevant. There’s no point “pretending to be Melbourne-based”, says Mr Wells.

But for many tourist attractions already claiming a close association with the capital, newly available TLDs could be a productive addition to their marketing arsenal. Along with tourists, it’s a great way to remind locals that you’re only a day trip away, and to follow the trends set by other city-based major attractions like the Melbourne Festival (www.festival.melbourne), Luna Park Sydney (www.lunapark.sydney) and Sydney Bridge Climb (www.bridgeclimb.sydney). 

Unique branding

According to Mr Wells, another way to utilise the new TLDs is as part of a branding strategy. A unique domain is “easy to remember and good for association with your product”, he says.  It’s easy to see this in action when you look at some of the tourist attractions already using the new TLDs, like www.biketours.melbourne.

From a business management point of view, registering a unique domain is also about protecting your brand. You may already own www.janesbakery.com, but you may choose to snap up www.janesbakery.sydney to preserve the integrity of your name.

Mr Wells points out that businesses should not attempt to create duplicate websites based on the new TLDs, as this may attract Google penalties, but it is possible to redirect new domains to existing sites. New businesses, of course, can get ahead of the competition by establishing their websites using the new domains or creating new, geo-targeted landing pages or microsites that complement your existing website.

The new TLDs have also opened up a huge range of domain names and keywords that were registered under .com long ago, which provides opportunities for regional tourist attractions to own their niche. You may find www.countrywinery.com is already in use, but www.countrywinery.sydney is still up for grabs.

Many tourists make holiday plans based on staying in a particular city. Once they arrive, they may be surprised to find that some of the most exciting and stimulating activities are actually outside the city limits. And we’ve all heard the one about city dwellers not appreciating the tourist attractions ‘in their own backyards’.

Ensure your regional tourist destination is ‘on the map’ with locals and visitors alike by using your nearest capital city across your online marketing.

This article was sourced with the permission of ARI Registry Services from the .SYDNEY website from:
iconic.sydney/media-release/is-your-regional-tourist-attraction-on-the-map/

Top 5 ways small businesses can profit from local domains

Sydney gTLD plain logoThinking about communication with your customers as a one-way street is a recipe for disaster. Small business owners must think about engagement in different ways – in particular, how best to utilise online strategies to deliver their brand messages and find new ways to profit.

In March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released figures showing that the number of actively trading businesses in Australia had increased by one per cent between June 2013 and June 2014. According to the ABS’s David Skutenko, the Counts of Australian Businesses report showed there were just over 2.1 million actively trading businesses in Australia in June 2014.

This is great news for the Australian economy, but may cause concern for businesses operating in the same or similar sectors.

How does a business stand above its competitors?

“Small businesses have an advantage over larger businesses in that they are all about providing personalised service that helps them build solid relationships with their customers,” says Marc Cowper, founder of business networking start-up Recomazing.

“Business owners are also well aware that the majority of their new business comes from friend recommendations. In fact, 82 per cent of small business owners say the majority of their new business comes from friend recommendations (SB Mantra Report 2013).”

In which case you need a memorable product, service, website and a domain that stands out and is easily recalled. Let’s look at the domain in particular and the ways to use your domain as a brand to build profitability into the business.

 

1. Sell yourself as an expert

Use your online presence to sell your expertise. For instance, copywriter Robert P. Baker uses his chemistry and technology background as a unique selling proposition (USP).

What is your USP? Using a domain that spells out exactly what you do and where you do it, like www.sciencecopywriting.sydney, makes clear your area of expertise and where you operate.

2. Use your domain to kickstart your social media strategy

A domain name should be the digital asset that underpins your entire online presence.

Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or a different social media platform, you can use your domain to reach the vast number of people who use social media as their source of news, reviews and information. If your domain is www.bestcafe.melbourne, make it your Facebook name as well. This will generate likes, shares and word of mouth. The power of social media, when used properly, can help expand any business.

3. Make your domain name discoverable

Are you relying on traffic from search engines for people to find you? If so, then you should use real words and relevant industry terms in your domain name. Something like www.childcare.melbourne would definitely increase your search ranking.

4. Help your customers achieve their goals

A domain name that clearly defines the goals of the company and how you can help your customers solve their problems is a great investment. For instance, www.rarecollectiblecomics.sydney will have every Sydney comic book aficionado banging on your door.

5. Make your domain your brand

A great domain name can become a brand unto itself, in fact it is one of your most important brand assets. You want something unique; something that perpetuates an emotional connection as many of the best brands do.

When a group of entrepreneurs decided to host a giant water slide through the streets of Melbourne, they registered the domain www.slide.melbourne. They then marketed the event under the name ‘Slide.Melbourne’ (pronounced “slide-dot-Melbourne”). The company name and web address worked in perfect harmony to create a brand, the brand experience and to make sure the event was easily found online.

It is imperative for small businesses to find ways to stand out from their competitors – and they can do this through the effective use of domain branding.

This article from the .SYDNEY website was sourced with the permission of ARI Registry Services from:
iconic.sydney/media-release/top-5-ways-small-businesses-can-profit-from-local-domains/

Targeted, campaign-based marketing using new TLDs

Sydney gTLD plain logoIf you have a major new campaign or launch coming up, there’s a lot riding on getting the right message to your client base. This is particularly important if your sale, launch or special event takes place in a specific location. Whether you’re opening a new Sydney branch of your national retail chain or organising a charity fun run through the streets of Melbourne, you need locals to know they are the target market for your initiative.

Smart online marketing is now an essential component of any promotion, and new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) like .melbourne and .sydney are the latest way to make an effective, targeted connection between your campaign and the people best placed to engage with it.  Leave your potential clients in no doubt that your new product or store will be right for them by creating an association between the town they live in and the products they need.

Getting the right message to the right people

Once upon a time, advertisers could use a scattergun approach to marketing new products; they’d aim to get their ad in front of as many people as possible in the hope that at least a few would take the next step and make a purchase.

Nowadays, in a saturated market, advertising can become little more than ‘white noise’ to consumers. A successful launch or campaign relies on getting the message to the right people as quickly as possible, or it will simply be lost in the din.

There are several popular ways to achieve this in terms of location-based marketing campaigns.

SEO strategies can be effective, like including ‘Melbourne’ or ‘Sydney’ in your keyword planning. Businesses can also take advantage of social media sharing or innovative Location Based Services, like Facebook check-ins, to engage local consumers.

The use of innovative new domain names, like www.newstore.sydney, is another way to ensure clients understand your product is available to them in their local area. This is crucial in the case of events or launches, where you want to encourage a physical presence at a particular location, not just (or in addition to) online sales.

You might, for example, have a sales promotion only available in one city, or run a rapid response campaign to a locally significant event or issue.

It’s essential for your brand to get the message out to local consumers that, no matter what their previous knowledge of your products or services might be, this time it’s all about them!

Unique domains for unique products

If you’re a trusted national product or service, your primary domain name is an integral part of your branding. The new TLDs open up the possibility of differentiating the website for a specific campaign from your main website. This is a great opportunity to reach people who no longer sit up and take notice of your ongoing messages – or who think of you in connection to a city other than theirs.

For example, consider a situation where you are a well-known shoe retailer in Sydney. Your website www.bestshoes.com is nationally recognisable, but may easily be ignored by clients who are not local. When you base your new launch around a unique domain, like www.bestshoes.melbourne, you’re putting yourself right back on the map! Melbourne clients can see that they are your target market, and the combination of your familiar brand with a new location begins to cause a stir.

Excitingly, the release of the new .melbourne and .sydney domains means a lot of great business domains and keywords are back on the market. If www.charityrun.com is already taken, www.charityrun.sydney may still be available.

Attracting and retaining customers is often achieved by creating a sense of community. This is a potent tool when it comes to campaigns that rely on local engagement. When you want local consumers to be as excited about your launch or product as you are, target them with online promotions that speak specifically to them. The new TLDs are an exciting way to reach out specifically to your Melbourne or Sydney client base.

This article from the .SYDNEY website was sourced with permission from ARI Registry Services from:
iconic.sydney/media-release/targeted-campaign-based-marketing-using-new-tlds/

 

Why everyone needs to think big about domain names

Sydney gTLD plain logoProtecting your name online has never been more important.

This is an age where Twitter can damage corporate reputations and an unregistered domain name can severely shake public confidence.

As the global regulator for web addresses  releases hundreds of new top-level domains, protecting your own domain name has become even more crucial.

While there are protections  to stop copyright infringement on domain registrations, brands still need to proactively protect their online reputation – particularly from cyber squatters.

As Sharon Williams, Taurus Marketing CEO, explains: “If you don’t have control of your own name someone else can.”

Many big names have learnt this the hard way. When it comes to domain names, if you snooze – you lose.

Exhibit A: Donald Trump

In 2014, the U.S. District in Brooklyn awarded Donald Trump $32,000 in damages after J. Taikwok Yung, trading as Web-adviso, registered four domains associated with his trademark.

Yung’s websites, www.trumpmumbai.com, www.trumpindia.com, www.trumpbeijing.com and www.trumpabudhabi.com, used to purportedly parody the real estate mogul, were also ordered to be handed back to Trump.

In this case, Trump’s victory was a good – but not great – outcome. Yung registered his Trump websites in 2007, but it took six years for the situation to be resolved. Who knows how many jokes were had at Trump’s expense in that time? 

Exhibit B: Verizon

In 2008, Verizon Communications faced a very serious cyber squatting problem when not one – not four – but 663 domain names were listed by registration company OnlineNIC.

Verizon successfully argued that the 663 domain names had been deliberately chosen to be confused with legitimate Verizon names and was awarded $33.15 million ($50,000 per domain name) in damages.

Whether they received any of that however is another question. OnlineNIC never appeared in court. 

Exhibit C: Madonna and Sting

Madonna was one of the first big name celebrities to learn the importance of protecting your domain name. Back in 2000, www.madonna.com was used as a porn website. Madonna argued that the site damaged her personal brand and reputation, and it took a long (and arguably embarrassing) legal battle for Madonna to finally obtain the transfer of the web address.

Sting had similar problems. That same year, he lost his lawsuit to reclaim www.sting.com because he couldn’t prove the owner had purchased it in ‘bad faith’. But eventually it appears that Sting has reclaimed the domain name, with the site now promoting Sting’s music and tours.

The moral of the story

It doesn’t matter if you’re a mining giant, real estate magnate or pop star – domain names matter.

Anyone can be a victim of cyber squatting and pay the price: some with their reputation, others with lengthy legal battles and a drop in earnings.

Now is the best time to be proactive. What happens online affects business offline.

What can you do about it?

According to Ms Williams, brands and businesses need to be extra vigilant about online risks like cyber squatting to protect their name and reputation.

This means:

1. Getting your ship in order 

“It’s a great idea to make sure all your intellectual property is bedded down,” says Ms Williams. “Aim to own or take control to own all the domain names that you could want – in and out of country, all the extensions (eg .net and .com.au) – so that it is recognised you are serious about your brand.”

2. Defensive registering 

“Own all your domain names and the associated brand and product names. Protecting your brand online is about building online reputational fat in the market, so that people know and understand who you are and what you stand for.”

3. Risk mitigation 

“Business is hard enough, so don’t let yourself be put in the position of not being in control of your domain and your brand names.”

This article from the .SYDNEY website was sourced with permission by ARI Registry Services from:
iconic.sydney/media-release/why-everyone-needs-to-think-big-about-domain-names-2/

 

Why campaigns should choose a local domain over a big spend on social

Sydney gTLD logoWhether we like it or not, we live in the age of ‘cut-through’ politics, where politicians put their better energies towards what plays well with voters.

We are all accustomed to the fact that our politicians tweet, hashtag and post selfies with the best of us, and implicit in this activity is a belief in social media’s power to deliver votes.

But does it? A closer look at digital sharing might curb one’s enthusiasm for overdoing it.

Social media analysts say actual cut-through from use of social media – or the rate at which a regular post on Facebook, for instance, reaches its intended audience – is diminishing.

“Social media is becoming more expensive,” says social media consultant Jenni Beattie, owner of Digital Democracy and lecturer in emergent media at the University of Technology, Sydney. “You have to spend more money today than you might have done a few years ago just to reach the same audience.”

This has to do with the way social media companies are evolving. Facebook, for instance, is now a listed company, and with that comes an understandable focus on making money through advertising dollars.

But those savvy in digital marketing know there are other ways to achieve this all-important ‘cut-through’ without huge advertising outlays.

The advent of new location-specific domain names in Australia means websites now have the chance to append an address with either a .melbourne or .sydney suffix.

With brands and politicians having to work harder to achieve the same ends with their social media policies, a feature like a location-specific domain can offer a local name an edge when it comes to searchability.

Many US politicians have cottoned on to the power of location-specific web addresses and well-chosen domain names.

The success of President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign underscored just how powerful a political strategy can be when it marries the ruthlessly local with the digital.

This simple but effective strategy was not lost on Adam Bandt, the Federal Member for Melbourne. He was searching for new ways to connect with his supporters in his inner-city Melbourne electorate when he decided to invest in a .melbourne address.

“Our campaigns are driven by grassroots action across Melbourne, and we feel that having the www.adambandt.melbourne domain will help bring our offline grassroots community online,” said a spokesman for Mr Bandt. “The community sees Adam as synonymous with Melbourne and Melbourne’s values, and the www.adambandt.melbourne domain further connects Adam and Melbourne together.”

Clearly, local domain names are an affordable and effective way to get a competitive edge in your digital strategy.

Ms Beattie explains that the upshot of social media becoming more expensive has been a tightening in the Facebook algorithm, making it harder for a regular ‘post-to-page’ to appear in someone’s newsfeed unless it has been ‘promoted’ or paid for.

She says organic reach, or the measure of page appearances in a fan’s newsfeed, is now down to between two and five per cent, versus around 16 per cent back in 2010-2012. That means, for your regular politician posting a hard-hat or happy snap of themselves on the campaign trail, for instance, there is only between two and five per cent chance it will be seen by its core audience – unless that promotion is paid for.

“That has changed things for a lot of users of Facebook,” says Ms Beattie. “If you are a brand or a politician or a small business you have to have a good Facebook budget now to be able to reach the people you used to reach cost-free years ago. As a result, the rate of investment now in social media is much greater than it has been in the past.

“All the different types of social media platforms – Twitter is the same – have an algorithm component. It’s harder and harder to reach people and you have to have a good budget as well. People can’t just organically reach people like they used to through social media.”

For precisely the same reasons as Adam Bandt MP registered his .melbourne domain name, more politicians in Australia would do well to consider a local domain name if they want to reach out to grassroots supporters, says Ms Beattie.

Nowadays, to run a social media campaign effectively, a politician requires staff to respond to queries and posts almost 24/7, not to mention the outlay on advertising to promote content.

An investment in a local domain name could be considered a “micro-investment”, Ms Beattie says, at least when compared to the costs of true social media engagement.

This article from the .SYDNEY website was sourced with permission from ARI Registry Services from:
iconic.sydney/media-release/why-campaigns-should-choose-a-local-domain-over-a-big-spend-on-social/

 

Top 5 ways tourism companies can benefit from local domains

Sydney gTLD plain logoThe travel and tourism industry has undergone incredible change throughout the last decade as online agencies compete for dominance in an extremely competitive sector. Most travellers are looking for the best travel experience at the lowest price.

A roundtable exercise conducted by Qubit in March last year aimed to unpick some of the biggest digital challenges facing the online travel industry. Attendees included Richard Singer, the European Managing Director of Travelzoo; Robin Frewer, Director of Travel at Google; and Greg Marsh, the CEO of Onefinestay.

One of the more interesting points raised in this discussion was that “travel websites have a tendency to overload their customers with too much choice. The paths to purchase can often be too complicated. In retail, 24 per cent of users use the search bar. In travel, 99 per cent use the search bar. Filtering results in a clear, ordered manner is crucial.”

Five innovative ways travel and tourism companies can attract customers:

  1. Clearly define the experience being sold. For instance, if you are selling tourist experiences around Sydney, you can make this clear by using a .sydney domain name and then back this up by tailoring Sydney-focused editorial to potential customers through your website.
  2. Don’t overload your customers with too much choice. Let them know exactly where you can send them and make the decision an easy one.
  3. Know your audience. Tourism is composed not only of leisure travellers, but also other groups, such as business travellers. If it’s business travellers you want to target, then make this clear through your domain and website. For example, a site like www.businesstravel.melbourne would be the perfect domain name to attract business travellers flying in and out of the city.
  4. Offer services that make customers feel secure. This is a great way for a tourism business to stand out. Perhaps you could consider a domain that also makes a safety point, such as safetours.melbourne. As local domains such as .melbourne and .sydney can only be registered by people in Victoria or New South Wales respectively, using one of these domains also shows visitors that you are a verified local business.
  5. Finally, take the stress out of travel experiences. Let your customers know that you have all the bases covered: from flights to check in; pick up to accommodation. Rather than just using your company name, you can register a generic domain name such as www.completetravel.sydney or www.allinclusiveholidays.melbourne to show that you’ll take customers from end-to-end.

This article from the .SYDNEY website was sourced with ARI Registry’s permission from:
iconic.sydney/media-release/top-5-ways-tourism-companies-can-benefit-from-local-domains/