A Brandformance® Smash Hit: Jimdo’s Award-Winning Marketing Campaign

Find out about Jimdo's recent TV campaign

A Brandformance® Smash Hit: Jimdo’s Award-Winning Marketing Campaign

Based in Hamburg, Germany, Jimdo is one of the top website-building softwares in the world. Powering over more than 20 million sites globally, they’ve expanded from a small startup to a market leader in just 15 years. Known primarily for their website builder, there’s also their logo creator and a legal text generator, all of which work together to support freelancers with what they need when they take their business online. 

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It’s been quite a year for Jimdo! To celebrate their fifteenth anniversary, they produced a buzzworthy advertising campaign that scooped them a dotCOMM Platinum Award for Best Brand Awareness campaign of 2022. Honouring excellence in web creativity and digital communication, it’s a hell of a prize. Congrats to the team! We spoke to their Head of Brand Marketing, Elena Zhigalina, to learn more about this particular campaign — and to find out how it fits into their general marketing strategy too.

DCMN: Can you tell me a little bit about your target audience?

Elena: We focus right now much more on our target group of the self-employed and solopreneurs, as well as small businesses of up to three people. There was a lot of growth for self-employed and small business owners during corona and the Great Resignation, with many people deciding to start their own businesses. And we’ve seen that this target audience has become solidified and grown through recommendations: our customers are often recommending our services to their friends and their customers.

DCMN: Can you tell me about your latest award-winning campaign? Where did the idea come from?

Elena: This campaign aimed to raise brand awareness in Germany. It all started with the fact Jimdo began thanks to the founders winning €16k in a competition, something which helped them to take the next big step. This was 15 years ago. We discussed this fact internally and then we realised that Jimdo as a whole wants to give back and give micro-sized businesses the same opportunity. 

So after some discussion, we came up with this idea: something we call the dual stack initiative. The idea was that five businesses could win €10k, with a year-long subscription to Jimdo and quarterly coaching with our CEO, Matthew. In order to apply, the solo entrepreneurs with their own businesses had to create a website shop on Jimdo. In addition to brand awareness, the campaign goal was to encourage as many micro business owners as possible to go online and create a website. 

Jimdo's recent TV ad

DCMN: What was the message of the advertisement?

What’s important is the customer’s needs. Once we find out what’s important for customers and what their problems are, that’s how we find our message. 

As for the advert itself: our advert showed the self-employed in what they were doing and we showcased many completely different businesses: from the designer to the shoemaker to other artists and working mums at home. The message is that being self-employed is crazy. From one side it’s insanely difficult, but from another side, it’s something passionate and fulfilling. That’s why we want to support them with this grant and that’s how we encourage people to apply. Our campaign is based on the idea that you can do it. When you are self-employed, you can do many different things. Some of them appear strange. Some of them look crazy. Some of them look fun. But the one thing that all of them want to do is to bring their dreams to life and we can help them with that.

DCMN: What channels did you focus on with this Brandformance campaign? 

Elena: It was a 360-degree campaign incorporating both brand and performance channels. We started with TV, while simultaneously there were customised landing pages with banners displaying information about the campaign at the top of our website. Then social media was a focus and YouTube too. Then there was email and also podcast, with the podcast of Sasha Lowball announcing our competition, which was something very exciting.

DCMN: Nice one! How were the results of this campaign on your different channels?  

Elena: We actually looked at the campaign holistically and analysed results overall. We saw that this campaign increased our brand awareness which was already high in Germany. We saw more than 1700 applications for the competition. There was press coverage too. We also saw good results in engagement on social media, including both organic and paid, and a quite high CTR on YouTube too!  

The video attracted the attention of our target group, which was basically what we were aiming for. Plus we received great feedback from our customers. Everybody said that this was a great idea, encouraging small businesses to go online and to support what they’re doing with this campaign.  

Brand and performance marketing

DCMN: One of the most interesting parts of this campaign is how it merges both branding and performance. Is this something you’ve been focused on for a while? Or is this a new thing at Jimdo? 

Elena: Jimdo has been on the market for 15 years and our brand awareness is already really high in Germany, thanks to big campaigns in 2017, 2018 and 2019. To be specific, I wouldn’t call it performance, but rather we focus on reaching our audience where our audience is. We don’t see the necessity of running big campaigns just to shout out that Jimbo is here. With this campaign, the focus is rather to encourage small businesses to take the next step and that’s why we took it to the next level.

We went for many channels including TV, podcasts and YouTube because we believe people who aren’t self-employed might see this video and they might get the idea to go and tell their friend or neighbour who is self-employed: “Look I just saw this advertisement and Jimdo is doing this really cool thing with a competition for a grant! Why don’t you participate?” 

With this campaign, we didn’t want to showcase our agenda. Instead, we wanted to show our intrinsic value to the self-employed. It’s through understanding their needs that they will become valued customers, after all.

DCMN: What is specific about being self-employed in Germany? What is different about the German Jimdo consumer? 

Elena: That‘s a good question. First thing which I definitely see is that the self-employed in Germany aren’t aiming for very rapid growth, but rather they want to have a sustainable business model. It could be coaching or it could be a service. People understand what they want to do and they make a sustainable business from it.

Furthermore, in Germany, the self-employed have to take care of many things. You need to create a product, sell it and do the marketing all themselves. And then there is a lot of paperwork, including finances, taxes and the legal stuff. That‘s where, at least partially, Jimdo supports them. We have a legal text generator for the self-employed, meaning they don’t need to create legal texts completely by themselves, as they can use our solution already. Through our blog or our social media channels, we share some tips and tricks on how the self-employed can make the whole process easier, because we see how much they have on their plate.

DCMN: This means you get to be more creative with your messaging, right?

It’s cool! Working with the self-employed offers you the chance to be more creative and less corporate in your creatives and branding because you can often be dealing with artists or creative people. We actually take a lot of inspiration from our customers. In fact, we also create user stories where we come to the place of our customers and we produce the videos documenting what they’re doing right there. 

We don’t want to talk about just Jimdo. We talk about our customers, their businesses and explain how Jimdo helps their businesses to grow.

DCMN: Have you adjusted your strategy with the current crisis? 

Elena: We are focusing on what our customers really need. For example, we are now launching a booking feature where you can as a customer book an appointment with the business, something which is very useful.

We know that the product can always be better. Instead we focus on the job that needs to be done. That‘s the biggest shift: we analyse what our customers in this situation really need. If we create a new product, or we improve the product, would it solve the problem? Would our customers decide to use it? That’s why we don’t just add additional features, fancy designs and so on, but rather always focus on the customer problem.

What are Jimdo's plans for 2023?

DCMN: What’s coming up in 2023?

Elena: And that’s another good question! So first of all, we’re moving towards becoming a one-stop solution, to be everything that the self-employed need to run and grow their business. We are also changing our product offering. We will be bringing an updated product to the market in 2023 so get ready!