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Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa (PART 4)

How to grow your business with social media marketing.

Jandre de Beer

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It’s no secret that social media marketing is disrupting the marketing world. In as little as ten years Facebook managed to connect 1 in every six people on the planet.

In this guide, I’m going to explain to you exactly what social media marketing is all about and how you can utilise it to help you take your business to a whole new level.

But, let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is social media marketing?

What is social media marketing?

In a nutshell, social media marketing is any form of marketing that happens on a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and many others.

This kind of marketing can be both in the form of free or paid advertising. Before we start, allow me to share some stats with you.

Some interesting social media stats and facts:

FACEBOOK STATS

  1. According to The Drum, back in 2015, 52% of consumers were influenced by Facebook marketing and lead to an offline or online purchase. This percentage was up 36% from 2014.
  2. According to Facebook, there are roughly over 50 million small businesses on its platform, and 4 million of those businesses are utilising paid advertising.
  3. According to Zephoria, over 300 million photos are being uploaded to Facebook every single day.
  4. The average time spent on Facebook is roughly 20 minutes per user.

INSTAGRAM STATS

  1. 80% of Instagram users are outside of the U.S. according to Wordstream.
  2. Six in every ten adults have an Instagram account
  3. There are over 8 million registered business on Instagram
  4. 60% of Instagram users say that they have learned more about a product or service from a business while being on the platform.

YOUTUBE STATS

  1. 300 Hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute according to Fortunelords.
  2. Over 5 billion videos are watched on the platform every day.
  3. Six out of ten people say they prefer online video platforms to traditional T.V.
  4. 80% of all YouTube views occur outside of the U.S.
  5. 9% of U.S small business use YouTube to help promote their products or service.

Advertising is all about getting your message across to customers, and to do that; you need to know where your customers are spending their time.

The above stats indicate what customers are doing when they have free time, and by looking at the numbers, the perfect place to target customers would be social media platforms.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Which social media platforms are the most popular?

social-media-platforms

FACEBOOK

Facebook is in first place by far. According to Newsroom.com, Facebook brags with over 1.3 billion daily users, and 2 billion monthly users.

And according to Web Africa, 13 million South Africans are on Facebook.

YOUTUBE

YouTube is in second place with over 1 billion monthly active users, while 2 million videos get viewed every second.

YouTube has over 8.28 million South Africans using the platform.

INSTAGRAM

According to Tech Crunch Instagram is currently the world’s third most popular platform with over 700 million daily active users, and over 1 million active advertisers.

When it comes to South Africa, approx. 3 million users are using the platform.

This means that Facebook is more than 4x more popular than Instagram under South Africans.

TWITTER

Twitter used to be more popular, however, in the last couple months the platform has shown no to little user growth. Twitter currently has over 320 million active users of which 157 are using the platform daily.

Even though the platform might be stagnating it’s interesting to know that 7.4 million South Africans are on the platform.

SNAPCHAT

Snapchat and Twitter are neck and neck when it comes to fourth place. According to Expanded Ramblings, the platform has over 301 million active users a month.

However, when it comes to daily active users, Snapchat smiles back at Twitter with 166 million users compared to Twitters 157 million.

These are the top 5 social media platforms South Africans, and the world, spend their time on.

Don’t make a mistake thinking that there are only a few platforms out there!

According to Wikipedia, there are over 200 different social networks in the world.

With that said, platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn might not have made the top 5, but these platforms still show tremendous potential for advertisers.

By looking at the stats above, we can see that these platforms offer a great opportunity for brands and businesses to engage with customers.

And that is exactly what social media marketing is all about.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa (PART 2)

How can you use these social media platforms to market your business?

social-media-marketing

In this guide, I’m going to mainly focus on Facebook, only because it’s by far the biggest and most common platform in the world, not to mention the most attractive to market one’s business.

Here are a few simple ways to market your business on Facebook for free:

Start a Facebook Page

The best way to engage with customers on Facebook would be in the form of a Facebook page.

This allows you to talk to potential customers and clients on behalf of your business as opposed to your personal profile where people can also find your family photos and more.

Why you need a Facebook Page for your business:

There are numerous reasons to start a Facebook page today. If you are still on the fence, then maybe these benefits can help change your mind:

1A Facebook page can teach you more about your target audience

Once you start a Facebook page, you will gain access to Facebook insights. Facebook insights allow you to learn more about your followers and their interactions; this can help you streamline and improve your marketing efforts.

2Facebook pages help boost your SEO

In Part 2 of our Beginners Guide to Digital Marketing in South Africa, I broke down what SEO is all about and how it can help you grow your business.

Having a Facebook page can help boost your organic reach in search engines which means free traffic and higher ROI.

3Allows you to advertise on the platform

Later in this guide, I will breakdown how to utilize Facebook’s paid services, but for now, know that having a Facebook page allows you to advertise on the platform.

Without a page, you won’t be able to advertise to potential customers.

4Connect with more customers

A Facebook page allows customers to find and connect with your business.

This opens the door to a conversion or sale which I’m sure no business would want to turn down.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa (PART 3)

What can you do with a Facebook Page?

facebook-page

NAME IT:

You can call your Facebook page whatever you want. However, best practice would be to give it the same name as your business.

This will make it easier for people to connect and build a relationship with the correct entity.

CONTACT DETAILS

You can store your company’s information on the page which will make it easy for potential customers and clients to reach out to you.

Make sure you add an email, contact number, physical address, a link to your website and some of your biggest accomplishments as well.

This will help increase the authority of your business.

SHOWCASE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Using Facebook, you can showcase your primary services and products. This will help customers understand your business while providing them with more information on what you do.

BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE 

As the admin of the Facebook page, you can invite others to like your page. Once someone has clicked ‘like’ it tells Facebook that this person is interested in following your business and its updates on the platform.

Facebook will then show your updates to the individual via their news feeds. However, before you get too excited, Facebook has an algorithm called EDGE Rank, and this determines whether your update will make it into your audience’s news feed or not.

You can learn more about Facebook algorithm here:

STATUS UPDATES AND OTHER POSTS

Facebook is designed with the purpose to share information.

As your business, you can share whatever you want with your audience, and you can do it at any given time, whether it’s latest news or updates about your company, a new product, more information on how you make your goods and/or even just something to get customers smiling; Facebook’s updates are the best way to engage with your potential clients and customers.

Did I mention that you can also share offers and discounts? Make sure you look into it the next time you are running a special.

SEND AND RECEIVE MESSAGES

You can engage with customers in the form of messages using Messenger, the Facebook messaging platform.

If customers have specific inquiries about your business, they can ‘inbox’ you which provides you with the opportunity to make a personal connection and to provide them with the necessary information needed which can hopefully assist in making a sale.

GET CUSTOMERS TO REVIEW YOUR SERVICE

Customers who have experienced your services can review their experience and inform the public about it.

This provides future customers with an idea of what to expect. If you have an excellent rating, it can help convert more customers as it will automatically help increase creditability of your brand.

Start a Facebook Group

Start a Facebook Group

What’s the difference between a Facebook Page and A Facebook group?

A Facebook page allows you to advertise on the platform where a Facebook group won’t.

A Facebook page can help customers identify your offerings, location, company details, and achievements.

With a Facebook page, a customer can see what others think about your business while allowing them to message and reach out to you directly.

A Facebook group, on the other hand, puts more focus on community.

What I mean by this is that a page it’s more of a one-way conversation, where a group is more of a two-way conversation due to the fact that groups allow customers to share their thoughts with you and other in the group.

If you run the kind of business where you prefer to connect with clients in a personal manner, then Facebook groups might not be a bad idea.

Related: 6 Facebook Marketing Tips To Help Grow Your Small Businesses

What can you do with a Facebook Group?

A Facebook groups are all about sharing. You or anyone in the group can share updates at any time in the group’s newsfeed (in the form of a status update, video, photo and more.)

This is the two-way conversation we talked about, and this is great to connect with customers on a personal level.

Allowing people or customers in the group to connect with each other also helps build a stronger and more loyal following.

Facebook groups work well for the following businesses:

  1. Communities
  2. Small to medium-sized businesses
  3. A business in a small town
  4. Software companies who want to ensure their customers have a platform to ask questions and learn more about how to utilize its products
  5. Universities and colleges etc.

An overview of advertising on Facebook

advertising on Facebook

Having a Facebook group or page doesn’t cost you anything, it’s free. As I mentioned before, you can only advertise on Facebook if you have a Facebook page, having a group only won’t allow you to tap into Facebook’s paid services.

With that said, let’s have a look at what you can do with Facebook’s advertising abilities.

TARGET SPECIFIC CUSTOMERS

Most of the popular social media platforms allow you to advertise your business and products on its network.

Facebook, in my opinion, is the best at targeting customers, and I will explain why.

Facebook (because it’s the biggest social network on the planet) gathers the most amount of data on its users.

For the users, it’s probably not always a good thing, but for us as marketers, it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Let’s say you’re an online golf equipment retailer looking to grow sales by utilizing Facebook marketing. Where do you start? Who do you target?

Well, you’d be happy to know that Facebook allows you to narrow down your target audience, so you can ensure you show your ads to individuals who are most likely to engage with your sponsored content.

With Facebook ads, you can target 45 – 50-year-old golf enthusiasts in the Johannesburg area, who play golf regularly.

But that is not all; you can narrow your audience even further by targeting regular golf players who have a habit of making online purchases.

That’s right, that is how targeted you can be.

GROW YOUR FAN BASE

I mentioned before that you could invite people to like your Facebook page, however, keep in mind the people you invite might not all be interested in what you have to offer.

So, how do you get more relevant customers to follow your business?

Well, you can pay Facebook to advertise your page.

The same way that you targeted customers to buy your golf equipment, you can target customers to follow and like your page so that they can be notified about regular updates.

What are some of the best ways to advertise on Facebook?

best-ways-to-advertise-on-facebook

Below are some of the best ways you can market your business on Facebook.

  1. FACEBOOK BRAND AWARENESS ADS

If you’re the new kid on the block and looking to get the name of your company out there, then this objective might be for you.

However, if you have a small marketing budget and need to ensure every cent goes to something that can lead to an ROI, then this is not ideal.

Even though Facebook allows you to show your ad to individuals who will most likely recall your ad, this won’t necessarily mean they are the perfect fit or will engage or make a purchase.

  1. FACEBOOK REACH ADS

This is objective here is essentially just to get your ad in as front as many people as possible.

It’s very similar to brand awareness ads. However, they do not have the backing of Facebook’s algorithm which allows your ad to be seen by people that might recall your ad.

The primary objective here is just to get people to see it. Your cost per mile or cost per 1000 impressions (people that saw your ad) might be lower, but there is a good chance none of them will remember it.

  1. FACEBOOK TRAFFIC ADS

If you have a website and want to drive people to a particular page or product on the site, then this is the ideal objective!

When it comes to Facebook traffic ads, one can target your audience according to location, age, gender, interests, etc.

The beautiful thing here is that you are reaching people most likely to click-through to your website.

  1. FACEBOOK ENGAGEMENT ADS

Engagement in Facebook slang mainly means people that are more likely to comment, like, and share. This doesn’t mean they are going to install your app, download your e-book, or make a purchase on your site though.

This might be a good idea to help drive a particular action. I’ve experimented with engagement ads, and sometimes they work just as well as brand awareness ads.

The reason for this is because if people engage with something, they are more likely to remember it. They also have a better chance of going viral because people might end up sharing it with their friends.

  1. FACEBOOK APP INSTALL ADS

If you’re a software or app development company or recently launched your own app, then this is perfect for you!

This objective allows your ad to be seen by people who have a higher probability of downloading your app based on their previous behaviors around ads. The moment you click the ad you will be taken to the specific app store associated with your device.

  1. FACEBOOK VIDEO VIEW ADS

If you have a video explaining how your product or service works then this is the solution for you.  By choosing the video view objective, Facebook will assist in showing your ads to individuals who are more prone to watching your video based on their behavior on the site.

If you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, you will most probably see that half of the posts, if not more, are videos. Video marketing is currently growing at a rapid pace, and most marketers believe that video will drive 75% of traffic by 2020.

  1. FACEBOOK LEAD GENERATION ADS

I feel so strongly about lead generation ads that I want to approve it even before I explain why.

Facebook lead generation ads allow you to advertise and collect important data from potential customers while growing your database and mailing list.

Any marketer would tell you that an email and contact number is gold so with that in mind, the moment you collect that data, you have a direct line of communication with your new potential customer and now it’s just up to you to make the sale.

Social media marketing is for everyone, no matter what the size of your company, and no matter whether you are online or offline based.

Facebook makes it easy for you to target exactly who you want to target, and by putting your ad in front of the right people, you can ensure a higher ROI.

When it comes to Facebook marketing keep in mind that you can either set up a Facebook page or a Facebook group. Ideally, I suggest you have both.

If you want to spend money on Facebook advertising to start marketing your brand and products, then it’s essential that you start by setting up a Facebook page.

There are numerous ways to advertise your business on Facebook. However, it’s up to you to determine what your main objective is before starting your first campaign.

Having started his first business at the age of 22, and selling it at the age of 25, Jandre fell in love with marketing! Jandre is a sales and digital marketing consultant with an appetite for entrepreneurship, and is the Founder and Managing Director of V8 MEDIA: V8 MEDIA.

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A Basic Guide To Twitter Analytics, How It Works, and How It Can Help Your Marketing

As a business owner, your marketing efforts on Twitter can now be tracked via the new Twitter Analytics tool, which shows engagements & impressions on each tweet.

Steven Slotow

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In 2014, Twitter finally launched Twitter Analytics, which allows the more serious user to track their tweets from a marketing perspective. Using this tool, you can see which tweets reached the most users, how many impressions it received, and the overall reception for specific marketing campaigns. Here is a simple guide to using Twitter Analytics.

Using this tool means that you can gauge tangibly and transparently the reach of each marketing campaign you launch. The launch might have been long overdue, but since then Twitter has been updating their analytics tool little by little and improving the user experience.

They have since launched a Twitter Analytics standalone app called Engage. They also launched Twitter Moments, which allows users to edit multiple tweets and stitch them together into a single slideshow or video. This is another excellent tool for concluding or summarising a marketing campaign from beginning to end for prosperity and marketing purposes – for example, Rocket Ellie, the flying elephant billboard in Cape Town, South Africa.

For any regular Twitter user, you might have given Twitter Analytics a quick look when it first came out, but unless you’re interested in evaluating the reach a sponsored tweet would have versus a regular tweet, it won’t mean much to you. Just a glance shows that you can view impressions and engagements, but unless you know how to use this tool to its full potential, it might as well be useless.

How To Use Twitter Analytics

This tool can be found in the drop down menu underneath your name on the homepage. Here you’ll also find options for your profile, Moments, Twitter Ads, settings and more. With this tool, you can see your Twitter engagement rate. This is where you can view how many people saw your tweet, how many new profiles have followed your account, and how many likes, impressions and retweets each tweet has gained. It also includes replies and how many clicks your links or hashtags received. This is very helpful to see if your content is getting the desired reaction, and maybe you should take your hashtag back to the drawing board.

What’s the point in posting content that your audience isn’t interested in? This tool is an excellent way to evaluate how your target audience has received your content. You can use it to see what works, and what doesn’t. Your audience will tell you if they like your content, but it might not be as blatant as you would prefer. Therefore, using this to drive your content and marketing strategies provides a massive benefit when launching future campaigns, if you want them to be successful.

Use it to better connect with your audience, and at the end of the day, more prospective buyers will become real, paying customers who are interested in your business, and who will help further your brand.

Related: 10 Examples Of Companies With Fantastic Cultures

Impressions vs Reach

A Twitter impression is how many times your content has appeared on someone’s timeline. Twitter’s new algorithm has made this easier by posting your tweets onto other users’ timelines if many accounts they follow have liked or replied to your content already. The point of this algorithm is to help people engage with others who are like-minded, which means that if five like-minded people enjoy your content, the chances are high that some of their followers will enjoy it too. However, the number of impressions doesn’t tell you how many accounts, if any at all, actually interacted with your tweet. Therefore, how do you know how many people you are reaching with your content?

If impressions tell you how many times your content appeared on people’s feed, then your reach is how many users have the potential of seeing it. When your content appears on the timelines of people who do not follow your account, as stated before, that is your reach.

Tweet Activity

So how do your tweets perform on this platform? The tweet activity tool allows you to see, in a chart, if your tweets are achieving their goals. For many users, a question they ask themselves frequently is how their tweet took off so suddenly, in comparison to others? Even regular accounts who use Twitter for the social aspect of it, can spend time constructing the perfect joke only for another to perform better. There are tools available that can analyse your followers or recommend what time of day, or day of the week, is best to post your best content. However, the easiest way to answer the question of performance, and how to get to know your audience, lies within your own account data.

There are two ways to do this: you can either post tweets in groups within a particular time frame or analyse the activity on specific tweets individually. The latter is simple – when you select one of your own tweets, along the bottom bar, next to the attach images, GIF and emoji tabs – picking the bar graph icon shows the number of impressions, likes, clicks and retweets that single tweet received. It can be time-consuming; however, it provides valuable information according to what your audience likes. For example, your tweets with images or video content attached may receive more impressions than tweets without, meaning that you should post more content like that, more often.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa (PART 4)

In Twitter Analytics, under the tweets tab, you can customise your tracking to show only a certain period – for example, the weekend where most people receive their salary, or over the Christmas holidays – to see how your tweets performed during that time.

Using Twitter Analytics, you can do so much more than what has been mentioned. You can track your followers, and more specifically, the types of people who follow you. If you notice that a large portion of your followers is stay-at-home mothers between the ages of 28 – 35, you can customise your content according to the interests of that demographic. You can also learn about Twitter ads, how to promote your business, what works and doesn’t work, and if it is even worth the money. Twitter Analytics is an untapped oil reserve when it comes to tracking and gauging your audience’s reaction to your content, and adjusting your content and marketing strategies accordingly. Take the plunge into Twitter Analytics; it’s worth it!

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The Top Ten Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2019

With 2018 behind us, there is no better time to start looking to the future.

Jandre de Beer

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Most people start making their new year’s resolutions this time of the year, goals to make things better for themselves in the coming year. This is something that businesses need to look at doing too.

Running a digital marketing agency means one needs to keep ones finger on the pulse.

The world is continually changing and developing, and if businesses want to survive and thrive, then they need to grow and develop too.

As with everything else, marketing is also continuing to change over time, so it is important for businesses to be on top of the newest trends. Even if 2018 was a successful year for you and your marketing team, don’t get left behind by ignoring the latest trends. Make the necessary adjustments to ensure that 2019 is just as successful.

Maintain an advantage over your competitors by preparing yourself and adjusting your marketing strategy before they do. Whether your current marketing strategy is working for you or not, this article will help you by identifying the top ten marketing trends that businesses should look out for in 2019.

The first few trends look at technology that you have likely already heard of, but with constant advancements in technology, it is still worth taking a look at.

1. Chatbots and live chat

Although this is not a new technology, chatbots and live chat is becoming very popular with businesses all over the world. People are interacting with more and more chatbots on a daily basis. This technology has become so popular because of the benefits it offers businesses in terms of customer interaction and better customer service.

In a very conversational way, chatbots message back and forth with customers for a number of tasks, such as suggesting products to customers and ordering the items. Chatbots enable businesses to provide a 24-hour service to customers by providing customers with an instant response to questions, providing an easy form of communication, resolving complaints quickly and providing a good customer experience. It is a lot easier for customers to communicate with chatbots online than it is for the customer to phone or send an email to a company representative.

According to research, live chat makes it three times more likely that customers will complete the purchase process. With so many benefits to businesses, it is very likely that the use of chatbots and live chat will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond.

If you want to experience chatbots, feel free to visit this link and click on the chat button that appears on the screen.

2. Enhanced personalised recommendations

This technology has already stared becoming the way of the future. Personalising the customer experience is a trend that most businesses are already starting to implement, whether it is recommending movies or series when watching Netflix or recommending other products that the customer might be interested in based on previous buying behaviour, this technology can help businesses enhance the customer experience by giving the customers more of what they want.

This artificial intelligence algorithm is constantly being bettered and is making more accurate recommendations as time goes on. This is a trend that should not be ignored in the coming year.

Related: The Complete Guide To Writing A Marketing Plan

3. Facebook and Instagram adverts

The trends around paid social media ads are constantly changing. With these changes it is becoming obvious that businesses prefer to focus their attention on Facebook and Instagram ads over other social media platforms.

Social Media Examiner published the following data to show how ads on social media sites like Snapchat and Pinterest are becoming less popular with businesses, while Facebook and Instagram are growing in popularity.

social-media-marketers-paid-social-usage-trends-graph

As we know, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so it is not a surprise to see these two social media sites growing in popularity together. Businesses are able to manage ads on both these social sites in the same place. The format of these sites make it much easier for businesses to create ads that target the right audience, based on its needs.

Although it is a good idea to advertise on as many social media sites as possible to ensure that you are reaching the largest audience possible, it would be wise to focus most of your attention on these two top trending sites. If you are only looking at making use of paid social media ads in the coming year, then these two sites are the ones to start with.

4. Voice search

Voice recognition software has been around for a while, but the technology is evolving at a steady pace. Google Home now has a 95% word accuracy which shows how the technology is gradually getting better and more accurate. Voice search makes it easier and faster to search apps, to conduct web searches and even conduct image searches. Very soon, voice searches may represent the majority of total searches.

With voice search technology, people are searching for information, making purchases and even interacting with websites using only their voice. In time businesses will need to rethink how information is presented to audiences and may even be forced to come up with entirely new structures to keep up with this change.

In was reported that as of January 2018, voice searches were conducted 1 billion times a month, and in 2019 this figure is expected to grow. As a business, this should be flagged as technology of interest.

5. Mobile payments

Marketing your products and reaching potential customers is only half the battle won, the other half is completing the sale. Being able to offer customers a variety of payment options is something all businesses need to look at. A growing trend in this regard is mobile payments, so this is another option that businesses need to look at offering customers.

One portion of mobile payments allows customers to pay for goods and services directly from a mobile app, another portion of mobile pay comes from alternative payment options.

In 2018 an estimated 440 million users across the globe used contactless pay options, and this number is expected to increase in 2019.

The following graph shows exactly how this trend has been growing.

mobile-pay-is-expanding

Your business should be prepared to accept these types of payments because consumers are getting used to it. If you don’t have their preferred payment option, they may take their business elsewhere.

Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

6. Interactive video content

Video marketing is a trend that has been on the rise for many years. More and more videos are being uploaded to social media and websites as part of marketing strategies. Video blogs (vlogs) have also been taking off in this regard. In 2019 we will start seeing changes to the way video is consumed with an increase in interactive videos.

An example of an interactive video is a 360-degree video that allows users to view the whole area being discussed in the video by clicking the navigation button in the top left-hand corner of the screen while the video is playing.

interactive-video-youtube

This 360-degree video was uploaded to YouTube by Washington Post.

Offering interactivity with videos means that more people can engage with your content. Interactivity also makes your videos more exciting for your viewers to watch than traditional videos. Research has shown that 360-degree videos have a greater click-through rate than traditional video formats, offering a higher return on your investment.

This is a trend that will continue to grow due to its popularity, so it definitely worth looking into now.

7. IGTV

Instagram has decided to re-envision mobile video with the introduction of IGTV. This new standalone platform has been developed specifically for mobile phones. Instagram has caught onto the fact that people these days are watching less TV and more videos. They have decided to develop this trend and cater to the growing wants and needs of the masses.

Instagram is definitely evolving with the times and its popularity has continued to grow because of this since its launch in 2010. Instagram currently has over 1 billion active users on its site, so even if a small percentage of these users download IGTV, it is still a large audience for marketers to target.

instagram-marketing-numbers

It will be highly beneficial to have an active presence on both Instagram and IGTV in order to use the large number of current users to your advantage. With the IGTV platform being so new, try to get a step ahead of competitors by getting to know the platform and producing content for it.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

8. Beacon technology

In a mobile era where mobile apps are becoming more and more popular, businesses need to get onboard with the latest technology if they want to stay current. Beacon technology is a great way for businesses to improve the profitability of their mobile app. This new technology works in a similar way to GPS, just not quite as complex.

Firstly, with this technology retailers need to encourage their customers to download their mobile apps. Once the customer has downloaded the app on their mobile phone, the app will be able to track their location. Retailers can then strategically place beacons around the shop so when the app users walk past a beacon, the business will know exactly where the customer is and what the customer is shopping for. With this information businesses can then send the customer a promotion via push notifications.

This technology can even be used by businesses that only have an ecommerce platform. Beacons can be placed in public areas relevant to what the business offers. Promotional push notifications can then be sent to the user when they are in the vicinity of the beacon.

Below is a visual representation of how the beacon technology works.

beacon-technology-diagram

2019 Will see a rise in popularity with this technology because of the rise in popularity with mobile apps.

9. Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is very much related to personal recommendations in the sense that it uses a variety of statistical techniques that analyse current and historical facts to make predictions about the future. Businesses can use predictive analytics to gain a competitive advantage by uncovering new opportunities. Predictive analytics are used to determine customer responses or purchases and help businesses to attract and grow their customer base.

Technology like this can be so beneficial to a business, and that is why more businesses are making use of it. Its popularity is growing and will definitely continue to grow throughout the coming year and many years to come.

10. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is by no means new technology, in fact, many of the trends discussed in this article make use of AI and machine learning. It is so important for businesses to learn the marketing skills needed to survive in this age of AI as it is the fastest growing technology and no business can afford to ignore it. Ignoring developments in technology could mean that businesses will not be able to keep up with competitors.

Related: The Curious Case Of AI And Legal Liability

Conclusion

It is so important for all businesses to recognise the newest trends and to keep developing their marketing strategies along with new technology in order to be able to compete in such a competitive, ever-changing market.

2019 Is sure to be a very big year for marketers so I hope that by following these trends, your business will find success in the coming year.

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Now’s The Time To Go Digital

The digital age has completely transformed the way businesses market their products and services to their customers. As a result, the playing field of industries both big and small has forced companies to relook their strategies.

Digital School of Marketing

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Vital Stats

Digital marketing is a broad term covering digital channels that people use to market their products. But what makes digital marketing different and unique compared to traditional marketing channels?

It gives the marketer or advertiser the opportunity to hone in on specific audiences that are more likely to purchase or see value in their offer, says Lisa Schneider, Managing Director at the Digital School of Marketing.

“Because digital marketing is computerised, it allows the marketer to get accurate analytical data about their campaigns, both in the research phase and when their campaign has finished. This makes digital marketing an easy way to gauge ROI of marketing and advertising efforts.”

Do you know how to market your businesses online?

Regardless of the size of your business, to remain successful, you need to have a good understanding and grasp of what digital marketing is and train your organisation on the skills it involves. According to Lisa, digital marketing skills encompass aspects that include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Social media skills
  • Search marketing skills
  • Copywriting skills.

“Without a doubt the most important element is understanding who your customers are and what makes them tick. One of the biggest advantages by far in digital marketing is the ability to market to an audience, assuring that your message will be seen, heard and appreciated,” says Lisa.

“The technology that is made available to market products in the digital realm is sophisticated software that allows the marketer’s message to be seen as widely or as granularly as they would want. A solid understanding of your target market is absolutely one of the most fundamental and important elements of digital marketing.”

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Advance digitally without breaking the bank

Marketing is an expensive exercise no matter how you look at it, says Lisa. “Digital marketing requires a solid understanding of many different areas that are quite broad, and how to manage and understand a multitude of platforms and analytical data is imperative. This will allow the marketer to extract the most value without burning a hole in their pocket.”

As a business owner, you must look at what is out there in terms of online education providers. It’s important to do your homework about the company and what accreditation and endorsements the company holds.

Lisa suggests contacting the accreditation body to find out the legitimacy of the educational provider. The Internet provides a wealth of information regarding different institutions and how their courses can benefit the company.

What defines a reputable online marketing education provider?

Authentic online education providers have a third-party accreditation or endorsement. In a nutshell, accreditation means that a third party, that is usually government regulated, has looked through the institution’s educational material and internal business procedures to see that it has met their standards of approval.

What this means is that the education provider is not self-governed but is regulated by higher government authorities. This makes your course more credible, recognised and respected compared to a non-accredited provider.

For best results, choose the experts

“The Digital School of Marketing stays on top of trends through solid research,” Lisa explains.

“Google is constantly updating algorithms and adjusting their online marketing platform capabilities. Social networks also come and go and adjust their marketing and advertising platforms.”

Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

DSM prides itself on the ability and appetite to constantly research trends by reading industry journals, attending workshops and seminars, but only publishing what is relevant and has longevity. “We also benchmark the changes that are made on online learning platforms, so we can offer our students an experience that is unique and truly fulfilling on their educational journey,” says Lisa.

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