GoDaddy Goes Deeper with Instagram

Tied to Instagram’s popularity as a social sharing tool, it’s increasingly an opportune SMB marketing channel. As we’ve examined, Instagram is particularly fitting for SMBs in food, fashion or design-related verticals (think interior designers). It isn’t as natural for professional services firms like lawyers or “dirty jobs” like plumbers. But for those aligned SMBs, GoDaddy just made it easier to manage Instagram campaigns. Today it announced a direct integration that lets SMBs post directly to Instagram from their GoDaddy dashboard. They can also do things like track analytics and schedule posts — engendering some degree of one-stop convenience.

It should be noted that this isn’t GoDaddy’s first toe in the Instagram pool. Last fall, it launched the ability for  Websites+ Marketing customers to create e-commerce enabled posts on Facebook and Instagram. This week’s move builds on that with broader integration and direct-posting from GoDaddy’s main website builder.

Are Instagram Stories Fit for SMB Marketing?

A Place to Shop

Back to the broader opportunity for SMBs to embrace Instagram, it continues to gain utility as a marketing channel. Not only is it as popular as ever, including attractive Gen-Z and Gen-Y audiences, but it has achieved the rare feat of conditioning a transactional use case among users. It’s increasingly a place to shop.

This means that it can be utilized as both a branding/awareness play, and a lower-funnel direct-response medium. The former has always been the case, given Instagram’s highly visual orientation that’s conducive to awareness marketing. But the transactional angle is newer, with greater integration over the past five years.

This has played out as Instagram posts increasingly have baked-in transactional functionality. For example, Instagram has made moves over the past year to make it easier for SMBs to sell their wares through posts. This finds fertile soil, given that the use case and “culture” of Instagram embraces shopping.

Again, this won’t apply to all SMB verticals. But for those aligned categories, Instagram is an underutilized tool in the aggregate. That includes standard posts that are “shoppable” as well as more animated formats such as Stories. In either case, direct integration with GoDaddy could stimulate more SMB posting activity.

Instagram Opens eCommerce to SMBs

Name of the Game

As for GoDaddy’s angle, this is another feature to attract and retain customers — the name of the game for website-builders these days. A central theme of our ongoing Website Windup series, website builders are in an arms race to grow recurring revenue and revenue per user (ARPU) through feature expansion.

Also driving this trend is the “race to the bottom” pricing of previously-core revenue streams like hosting, which has become largely commoditized. Adjacent features — think email marketing, e-commerce and social — helps website builders boost margins while also deepening SMB relationships with more functions.

The latter tends to boost customer retention which is a big priority for any SMB SaaS play. That happens as website builders gain deeper tentacles into SMB operations. When done right, SMBs are more locked in as they’re faced with greater switching for all those adjacent functions like e-commerce and CRM.

Instagram and deeper social integrations now join that mix for GoDaddy. This follows social integrations from players such as Squarespace. We’ll keep watching as others follow suit in the social arena, as well as the broader expansion of website builder suites. This trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Localogy M&A Roundtable: iHeart, Endurance & eCommerce

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