Wix is a free website builder, allowing those of us without a degree in coding to create stylish and easy-to-use websites. Founded in 2006, by 2019 Wix was boasting 150 million users. They currently have offices in 9 different countries, and users spread across 190 countries. Their television ads have aired during the Superbowl, and have featured celebrities such as Gal Gadot, Karlie Kloss and Brett Favre. But what about their sponsorship strategy?
Breakdown of formats, mentions, and category trends
YouTube: 2,570 mentions from 690 Thought Leaders
Podcast: 663 mentions from 134 Thought Leaders
Newsletter: 148 mentions from 66 Thought Leaders
Blog: 205 mentions from 75 Thought Leaders
Wix has dipped a sizable toe into all four formats but has clearly decided to center their strategy around YouTube, for the most part, leaning heavily towards Technology channels. Interestingly, for a brand who’s messaging often repeats that “no coding skills are needed” to use their product, they are clearly still interested in talking to an audience that does possess those skills. Some of the first technology channels that Wix sponsored include DevTips (first mention in 2014), CharliMarieTV (2015) and KingTutsPro (2016).
The Wix brand has been appearing in sponsored content since 2010, but we see their activities take a sharp rise around 2018. In May 2018 Wix began partnering with The Infographics Show, which came to be their most significant sponsorship partner, with 144 mentions over 15 months. This YouTube channel makes animated informative videos, covering history, culture and gaming. Their most successful video for Wix was titled “Worst Punishments In The History of Mankind (Even Worse Than Before)” and received over 6.3 million views.
Wix’s longest Podcast relationship is with Creative Pep Talk, a show which aims to help listeners build a thriving creative practice, featuring interviews with different creatives across a variety of different mediums. Wix sponsored 68 episodes of this podcast (almost a quarter of all episodes), from February 2018 to July 2019, after which Skillshare appears to take over as the primary sponsor for this show.
The big sell
Wix’s sponsored video with the largest reach is from Andymation, who has 4 million YouTube subscribers but managed to reach a whopping 83 million viewers with the video “Remaking My First Flipbook 30 YEARS LATER”. Here, as with the majority of their YouTube sponsorships, the call to action is very short, telling viewers to “Build Your Own Website at Wix.com”.
Other frequent variations on this call to action include the following:
Create your own website using WIX
Build A Website For Free
Make an awesome website today
Clearly, short and sweet is proving effective for Wix to deliver their message and get more users to check out their service.
For the most part, YouTube channels continue to focus on the appeal of Wix’s free website building service, while on Podcasts we see more promotions for Wix’s premium service. Over the past year, Wix’s podcast messaging promoted discounted pricing on their premium plans, with discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent off. This offer has appeared on podcasts like Freelance to Founder, a logical partnership since it targets an audience of freelancers and solopreneurs who are likely to need a website to promote their services or business. More surprisingly, the premium plan offer has also featured 32 times on the Sleep With Me Podcast, which has a less obvious connection to a target audience in need of a website - in fact, this podcast prides itself on actively putting its audience to sleep!
How do they compare with their competitors ?
As for other free website builders, you might have heard of a little company called Squarespace, which is one of the most active brands in the world of sponsorships, and one of Wix’s largest competitors.
Although they appear to be sponsoring similar areas, a key difference in the strategies of the two brands is that Squarespace has entered into much longer ongoing partnerships with the channels they find successful. Take the 144 videos mentioned above that Wix sponsored on The Infographics Show, and compare that to a staggering 823 mentions of Squarespace on Jared Polin’s channel. This comparison suggests that Wix is more wary of audience saturation, which is one of the downsides of such lengthy partnerships with a single content channel. However, this kind of long-term sponsorship ensures that thought leaders like Jared Polin have become established ambassadors for the Squarespace brand, which is a strategy that could also work well for Wix, especially for establishing the brand’s credibility with specific niche audiences.
While Wix might be outdone by a company like Squarespace in the world of sponsorships, they are clearly far more involved than other competitors like Weebly:
Interestingly, the strongest content category for Weebly is gaming, an area that neither Wix nor Squarespace are engaging with particularly heavily. It also appears that Weebly’s YouTube presence has been on the decrease since 2016, whereas Squarespace was starting to step up around that time (and it doesn’t look like either Wix or Squarespace are likely to slow down any time soon!).
Wix might not yet have the marketplace recognition of Squarespace, but they are continuing to target specific content that brings them strong results. Recently, it seems that Wix’s strategy has shifted towards sponsored videos that provide an in-depth overview of how their website builder works, rather than just offering a brand shout out somewhere in the video.
A recent example of this kind of dedicated video can be seen from Improvement Pill in April:
This is a 15-minute video from a channel that is “designed to inspire, motivate, or teach you something that can change your life” and combines the animated style of the channel with live footage of the Wix platform in a video that takes the rough form of a tutorial. The video received 79K views, which is below the channel average (130k views) but offers a more in-depth view of what Wix’s service can offer their users.
This strategy shift can also be seen from MyLifeinaBullet (How to make a website for your blog // my blog is finally up!) which received 5K views compared to a 141K channel average and WheezyWaiter’s How to Make a Website, with 33K views coming far below the 167K channel average. Wix might be seeing that the conversion rate from these videos makes up for their limited reach, so the success of this strategy remains to be seen, and something we’ll be able to understand from seeing if the brand continues this kind of dedicated video approach on YouTube.
We’ll be keeping track of how this recent shift impacts their future sponsorship strategy, so stay tuned for more updates on Wix’s sponsorships!