by Weber Shandwick
March 9th, 2013

With a 15-year history as a web-hosting company, Hostworks was already well respected in the industry for providing reliable and personable hosting solutions to some of the biggest online brands in Australia. Clients included Seek, Ticketek, Foxtel and Fairfax – but the business was on the move. Embracing the rise of content publishing, video on-demand and live streaming, Hostworks was so much more than a hosting company, but its brand and reputation needed to catch up.

Weber Shandwick undertook a complete internal and external brand-repositioning program on behalf of Hostworks. The program had two clear objectives; to inspire internal audiences and provide them with a clear view of the direction of the business that could be easily articulated; and reposition Hostworks as a digital media solutions company.

Our first action was to analyse the existing Hostworks brand proposition, and then hold messaging workshops with senior executives to develop a new, singular brand proposition. Together, we came up with ‘Hostworks, your digital roadies.’

The concept of the ‘digital roadie’ played perfectly into the Hostworks ethos of working tirelessly behind the scenes while customer’s brands could take centre stage. With a focus on the human element behind its digital solutions, this provided a platform for storyline development around the importance of having a trusted partner looking after your online and digital assets. As well as an external platform, the digital roadies messaging was a perfect fit for Hostworks’ internal audiences. It resonated extremely well with staff, who felt that it described their roles assisting clients perfectly.

We developed new corporate messaging, proof-points and corporate and marketing collateral to appeal to Hostworks’ new audiences – this included revision and redesign of all internal and external branded material. Weber Shandwick conducted training of executive and technical spokespeople for them to be able to confidently articulate the new narrative to existing and potential customers. We then set about designing and creating a new website for Hostworks, writing all of the online content and assisting with SEO optimisation. Following this, we developed a premium Playbook to be used by sales staff for new business and for staff to understand and articulate the new brand proposition.

We then turned our attention to Hostworks’ social media presence. We audited the social media footprint of four senior executives and developed a customised social strategy for each individual based on their area of expertise. We then conducted training sessions for each individual to improve their social media presence and to ensure they were comfortable engaging with Hostworks’ target audiences. We monitored each subject matter expert’s progress and developed a content calendar to ensure ongoing engagement. We also mobilised the subject matter experts to speak at relevant industry events such as AIMIA and CeBIT.

To complement the social media activity, we created a content hub for Hostworks called ‘The Green Room’ – to continue with the music/entertainment theme. The Green Room has become the central hub for all videos, case studies, blog posts, infographics and news from the business with regular contributions from its subject matter experts.

We also organised ‘backstage’ tours for target media of Hostworks’ high-tech command centre facility in Adelaide that resulted in landmark coverage for the brand including a cover story in Content and Technology Magazine, a half-page story in the Adelaide Advertiser and several other online articles.

The brand repositioning campaign was a success with a third of earned media referencing Hostworks as a ‘digital media solutions company’ and/or using the ‘digital roadies’ moniker. Feedback from internal audiences verified the ‘digital roadies’ brand proposition is clear and a perfect fit for the business. The campaign generated over 30 individual items of media coverage and over 23 million audience impressions – 99% of which have been positive and on-message (75% over-achievement of target).

The content campaign resulted in 12 blog posts for The Green Room, the development of four corporate videos, two infographics and the much-valued corporate Playbook.

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