17 February 2021
Person using laptop to set up small business art studio website

In today’s blog post we speak with Jasmin Bollman, Senior Marketing Manager from .au registrar, Rebel.com. Jasmin shares some useful insights including an overview of Rebel’s unique offerings, opportunities for online businesses in the year ahead and the value in using an Australian domain extension such as .com.au or .net.au.

Afilias AU: Can you tell us a bit about the history of Rebel, and when you started selling .au domain names?

Jasmin: Rebel.com has been selling .au domains for decades, although Australian readers may know us from our old name “Namescout”. We retired the Namescout name in 2006 and rebranded as Rebel.com. I mean, Rebel is much more memorable, right? The great news is that focusing our attention on this one brand has meant that we’ve been able to offer even more products to our customers around the world and improve the purchasing experience for everyone.

Afilias AU: What can you tell us about the Rebel Changemaker program?

Jasmin: Rebel has always stood for making the internet accessible to everyone. We noticed that there was a wide gap between the services and tools people needed to do good in the world and their ability to access them in an easy and affordable way. We also know that similar programs out there require a lot of hoops to jump through in order to qualify. Our Changemaker Program application is simple: just let us know what you are trying to accomplish and how we can help. We’ve done everything from providing free domains and hosting products to helping entrepreneurs and not-for-profits apply for government grants to fund their projects.

Afilias AU: Well done on that amazing initiative! Now let’s turn our minds to online business in 2021. What is the biggest trend you have noticed when it comes to online marketing?

Jasmin: My focus is on social media and content here at Rebel, and both are constantly changing. For social media, I’ve seen Instagram Stories become one of the most important ways to reach customers. But you can’t simply throw a picture up there anymore – you need to have beautiful layouts, use fun graphics, and more. Make the most of the fleeting time you have in front of customers to get their attention.

Afilias AU: What were the drivers of your 2020 .com.au/.net.au campaign and being an international registrar, how did you ensure Australian businesses were reached?

Jasmin: 2020 saw many small businesses coming online for the first time, as lockdowns and other safety measures were put in place. The goal of our 2020 campaign was to reach those businesses that had never had a website before to explain the benefits of using a .com.au or .net.au, which we accomplished through specific targeting on social media platforms. Supporting local has become more important than ever, so we wanted to help Australian business owners see the value in using an Australian domain extension.

Afilias AU:Yes, there has never been a more crucial time to support local, small businesses. Looking at your website, we can see that you have a couple of Do It Yourself (DIY) options available to help businesses who may be just getting started, can you talk us through the benefits of using a DIY option to build a website or set up an online store?

Jasmin: DIY options are easy, accessible solutions for people who don’t necessarily know how to build a website. We currently offer a drag-and-drop solution that makes creating a website from scratch a no-brainer, including online stores (which can feel overwhelming!). We also recently started offering a complete website design service at a price that doesn’t break the bank, built using a WordPress backend.

Afilias AU: What is your number one piece of advice when it comes to digital marketing and getting your business noticed online?

Jasmin: The best thing you can do is to define your voice and brand personality. Especially when it comes to social media, the last thing you want is to have a boring account that sounds like everyone else. Your brand is a reflection of the people that work at your company, and they all have personalities and talk like actual human beings. Personally, I rail against the typical tech-speak online (if I hear “disrupt” one more time….). If you want to get noticed, you need to stop sounding like everyone else.

Afilias AU: And lastly, when it comes to the online world and opportunities for businesses, what do you see 2021 bringing?

Jasmin: The global pandemic has made doing business online even more important. As 2020 came to a close, we saw more and more businesses shifting their brick-and-mortars online – and many of them have never had a website before. With the uncertainty of when the world will return to some semblance of normal, I see this trend continuing. It is up to businesses like us to help people get online in an affordable and straightforward way so they can continue to thrive in a continuously changing world.

Afilias AU: Thanks so much for chatting with us Jasmin, your fresh perspective is appreciated!

Jasmin: No problem, thanks to you too!

Have a question, comment or idea for a future blog post? Email us at blog@afilias.com.au today.