If you haven’t heard of MarTech, you can probably intuit what it means. It’s one of the hottest new job titles that blends marketing with technology, and it’s usually reserved for marketing departments of big- to enterprise-level organizations. However, bridging the gap between marketing and technology is something that all businesses need to tackle, including web hosts. Originally intended to make it easier to use technology (such as data analysis) to reach the best target audiences, these two very different worlds have a lot of overlap in a number of arenas. For the web hosting world, that includes the ability to market and engage with audiences who have very little knowledge of what a web host does.
Few other industries need to market to audiences who know almost nothing about their product and services. Things get even trickier when you introduce options like virtual private server/VPS hosting. Ask the average consumer what a web host does or what VPS hosting is, and they may be able to give a very rudimentary answer at best. This is the fault of only one entity: the web host. Unfortunately, for years it was in the best interest of web hosts to keep the confusion thick.
To the Market!
Today, reputable web hosts are seeing the benefit of blending marketing with their very technical products. This is especially true of VPS web hosts, who need to educate and inform consumers about this product. For years, basic shared hosting was the go-to option. In fact, it was the only option, unless the client was a massive enterprise who fit the mold for dedicated hosting. It’s pretty easy to “market” a product when you and your entire competition only have one item. You don’t even have to market it at all! However, that’s changing.
There are now thousands of web hosts in North America, and the majority of them do not have VPS hosting. The market itself is getting overwhelmed, and web hosts need to do more to stand out from the crowd. Offering VPS hosting is one way to get a leg up on the competition—but only if it’s marketed and the demographics understand the perks. Otherwise, a web host can easily get lost.
There are many ways a web host can market, and they don’t all require deep pockets. Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, and especially local SEO or hyperlocal SEO, can help them be easier to find in the search engine results page (SERP). Local advertising, such as in newspapers, radio, or even television, can be a great help for hosts who want to tap the local market. There are also pay per click (PPC) ads, social media campaigns, and even guest blogging.
Starting a web hosting company is relatively simple and requires little capital. That’s great for entrepreneurs, but not when the market gets flooded. By combining marketing with your technical prowess, you can create your own kind of MarTech environment that leaves the competition in the dust.