Milan, 12 February 2020. Web hosting importance is often overlooked by the general public, and there is a reason for that: customers see the end product – the website, its design and functionality. However, without web hosting, the website would not even be operational. In fact, the quality of web hosting is one of the most important components online business owners should consider when setting up a site for their brands.
Keeping up with the rising standards of the web hosting industry is not easy for web hosting providers. The same goes for rapidly changing customer demands. Modern web hosting providers are facing a high amount of challenges to be able to keep up with the industry.
We talked with one of the web hosting providers about the ins and outs of the sector. Deputy CEO of Tophost, Antonio Baldassarra, told us about how his company finished off the 2019 year. He also shared some of his plans for the near future.
How did the Tophost perform during Q4 2019?
Antonio Baldassarra: “Not bad, we have outperformed the results of the same quarter of the last year in terms of booking value. At the same time, we are undertone in terms of new customers that join the company on a monthly basis, but the trend shows a positive variation across the quarter for this KPI.
The renewal ratio is very good and this means that even more customers are happy about the services. They decide to remain with us, this is a very important signal for us.”
You’ve been acting as the deputy CEO of Tophost for some time right now, what are your impressions of the company? How did you find the transition into your new role?
Antonio Baldassarra: “I’m acting as a “deputy CEO” and this is important because my mission is very specific and limited in time. The experience is very interesting also because I’m a “seasoned” professional with experience in companies with a more important size mainly in the area of enterprise services.
Tophost is different – completely different: a very tiny and agile company that serves many tens of thousands of customers, who are young and passionate, many of them are the ones that we name “geeks”. This means that the “company dialogue” must be completely different, more informal, more fresh, more direct, but also true and without ceremonies. Also, the presence on social media is mandatory, but important is not only the presence, but also is the quality of the conversation and the ability to maintain a high score of reputation.
This is very exciting, especially for me, since I am not so young anymore. I’m completely comfortable in the role. I like the mood within the company and people are really good. A new skilled girl joined the company in the last quarter to help us improve on the communication and digital marketing side to sustain the effort of revamping the image of the company.”
At the end of the last year, Tophost has started working on its repositioning from “inexpensive hosting services” to the new “most convenient high performance hosting services”. What are the steps you took during the last quarter of 2019 towards this goal?
Antonio Baldassarra: “Yes, this is a very important challenge and we are working hard on it, we have done some little but important changes to the website to adapt to the new proposition. We are also working on the “tone of voice” of the communication coming from website.
The introduction of the new “Topweb Ultra” high-performance hosting package aids the process because we are shifting the product range to the high and moving in the middle of the offering the “top seller” plans. Also, we launched the company blog during the last quarter and published a lot of articles to help us accommodate this “upper shift” of the brand perception through specific contents. Obviously, the online campaigns have been adapted to the new brand position. First impressions based on customer feedback encourage us to continue in this direction.”
During the last interview, you mentioned that you were launching a new marketing campaign to support Tophost’s repositioning. Can you tell me more about it?
Antonio Baldassarra: “First of all, we have defined an action plan quarterly segmented for the various marketing and communication actions planned. I’m strongly convinced that marketing is mainly organization and conversations with the market and the customers and these conversations require regularity.
The company blog is the first source of contents; while our presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, company newsletter are the channels; we have worked hard in the quarter for prepare this framework, and today we can count on a minimum of 4 blog articles each month and more than 10 posts on each social network in a week. A very good result was achieved in less than three months and that has shown a good engagement index.
Together with these “baseline” actions we have started organized campaigns of paid advertising on Google search engine, online remarketing and Facebook.
And last but not least, we have created a company “mascot”: a very pretty coloured parrot. We launched a contest among the customers for the best name for our parrot.”
What can we expect from Tophost in the coming months?
Antonio Baldassarra: “We expect to get the effects of the preparation work done in these last months – growth in revenue and marginality, based on increasing customers’ satisfaction and a renewed interest for new customers, which is also related to the new premium hosting plan “Topweb Ultra”.
Our challenge for the current quarter is in fine-tuning our marketing and communication processes together with a specific plan for enthusiastic customers.”