[Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post by Lori Anne Wardi of Neustar]
Hi, my name is Lori Anne Wardi and I’m a domain junkie.
I’ve been buying, selling, studying, developing, dreaming about, promoting and preaching the bible of domain names since 2000. With many years as a domain investor under my belt, I got the opportunity to join the founding team of .CO Internet in 2009 as the Director of Marketing. From 2010 through today, it has been amazing to watch .CO grow from 28,000 domains under management to well over 2.2 million – and become the domain of choice for many of the world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and startups.
In 2014, when .CO Internet was acquired by Neustar, this born and bred New Yorker was given the chance to serve as the General Manager for the launch of New York City’s .nyc domain. Working with the Neustar team to help turn the greatest city brand in the world into the one of the greatest city TLDs in the world was beyond rewarding, amidst all of the excitement and novelty of the new gTLD program.
Launching a brand and building a community around a domain extension is the best kind of challenge – it pushes your creative and strategic brains at the same time and forces you to think outside the box. But not every domain extension has the luxury of starting with a blank slate. Let’s take the .US domain, for example. With 17 years under its belt, it’s hardly a brand new, baby namespace. So exactly how does a teenage TLD, like .US, stand out in a marketplace with more than 1,000 shiny new competitors?
Keeping .US fresh after 17 years
I know that the topic of .US marketing has occasionally inspired some very, shall we say, “spirited” commentary by domain investors. I mean, I read all the domain blogs too! I get it, and it’s for good reason. As investors, we want to know that the TLDs we invest in are being well managed and marketed, and are building an engaged, loyal customer base of end-users in today’s increasingly crowded and complex marketplace.
After 17 years as the .US Administrator, there are a host of different strategies and tactics that Neustar’s marketing team uses to keep .US fresh, relevant and in demand by end-users. I could rattle on about how we use things like programmatic advertising, paid search, influencer marketing, retargeting, content marketing, and the like. But don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the gory details. My goal today is just to give you a quick flyover view of our approach to defining and engaging with the .US target market.
’Micro-targeting’: The many faces of .US
It is marketing 101 that you need to clearly define your target market for any product, service or brand. As the country code domain extension for the United States of America, our most obvious end-user target market is, you guessed it, American businesses, organizations and individuals.
While “Americans” are obviously a cornerstone of our marketing, if our marketing Click here to continue reading…