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Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

Part 1: Four Fundamental Digital Strategies to Help Grow Your Business.

Jandre de Beer

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Digital Marketing In South Africa

Digital Marketing In South Africa

Digital marketing, a.k.a. online marketing is growing at such a rapid pace that majority of business owners and marketing managers are left in the dust and end up misunderstanding or confusing its capabilities.

In my experience as a marketer, I’ve realised that most companies, especially small businesses, all have one specific problem in common.

Most of them think that their offering, service, or product is unique from their competitors. The sad thing is, they are all mistaken.

Whether you are a CEO, director or solo entrepreneur, the sooner you realise that you are in the marketing business (no matter what your product or service), the better.

Okay, so let’s say there is the odd chance of your offering being unique. How are you planning on telling the world about it?

The first thing you will have to do is come up with a marketing plan, just like any other business.

Digital marketing in South Africa

Digital marketing in South Africa

The marketing industry is currently one of the fastest growing industries thanks to technology giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and many others.

All these companies might be situated thousands of kilometers away, but there is no doubt that they are disrupting every single business here in South Africa (whether we like it or not).

Related: 5 Smart Cost-Effective Marketing Moves That Will Build Your Business In A Tight Economy

The scary part is that majority of South Africans are still unsure of the infinite potential of digital marketing.

The internet is hands down an essential channel for reaching customers today.

Did you know that 50% of the world’s population has access to the internet? That’s roughly 3.7 billion people, or in our case, customers.

You can literally reach half the world’s population with the push of a button.

You might say that your customer base is mainly located in South Africa. With that in mind, did you know that 26.8 million South Africans spend over 3 hours a day on social media?

That’s half the South African population. Crazy, right?

Now, imagine you can put your brand, product, and service right in front of their eyes.

The mall of online

the-mall-of-online

If you are a B2C business, where would you want to set up shop?

Probably somewhere we the number of feet past your store would be the highest, right?

If you are living in Gauteng, you would probably aim to open a store in Sandton City one day, maybe even the Mall of Africa?

These spots are well known for the amount of traffic they generate and let’s be honest if you want sales, you need feet through your door.

The downsides of these malls are that they require an enormous amount of capital to run and maintain. We’re talking about higher than average accommodation rates, not to mention staff salaries, etc.

With that in mind, what if I told you there is a mall that drives 10x the amount of traffic on a daily basis that costs a fraction of what one of these stores would cost.

A mall that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

That sounds like the kind of mall you want to set up shop, right? Well, that is the Mall of Online.

Related: 5 Steps That Helped Innovative Marketing Take The Leap

What if my services can’t be offered online?

online-services

I understand that there is a ton of services that can’t be offered online. Maybe you own a hair dressing studio or a panel beating service, or maybe you are a dry-cleaning company.

Well, that doesn’t mean that you can’t tap into the online realm.

Did you know that according to Moz, 67% of shoppers are influenced by online ads and reviews?

And according to Forbes insights majority of customers prefer to do research online and then make their purchases in stores.

That means that, even if you can’t afford to sell products or services online, you can still benefit tremendously from having an online presence.

My product or service is online, now what?

online-product-and-service

Most individuals think that the hard work is over when their e-commerce website or blog is built.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the hard work is just beginning.

Now that you are in the Mall of Online, you can’t just expect people to visit your site in numbers. It doesn’t work like that, and I will tell you why.

There are roughly 1.2 billion websites in the world, and approx. 2 sites get launched every second.

With that said, like any business, you will need to market your site so people can find it, learn more about it and eventually buy your services and products.

And that is where digital marketing comes in!

Related: Why Data-Driven Marketing Drives More Sales

What is digital marketing?

what-is-digital-marketing

Today, digital marketing is a lot more than setting up a Facebook page or creating a website.

Digital marketing can be very complex, and that is why most people in South Africa probably still don’t know what digital marketers are and what they do.

However, in a nutshell, digital marketing is any form of marketing that involves electronic devices. Think about this for a second.

What’s the first thing you pick up when you wake up in the morning?  What’s the last thing you put down before you go to bed?

What do you listen to on your way to work? What do you watch when you get home? What do you work on when you are at work?

I can go on all day, but do you see my point? Do you see what a big percentage of our lives are driven by digital?

Now that I’ve opened up your mind, you can understand why eMarketer projected that by the end of 2017, 38.3% of all paid media would be digital.

That’s massive, and mobile advertising is expected to be 63.3% of that.

Exciting, isn’t it? Okay, so as an entrepreneur, CEO, or marketing enthusiast reading this guide, you’re probably wondering how you can start to tap into the infinite potential of the digital realm?

Well, rest assured that in this Beginner’s Guide Series I will be breaking down all you need to know on how to start, plan and execute your first (or next) digital marketing strategy.

Remember; “Good marketers think about campaigns, while great marketers think about growth structures.”

The 4 pillars of digital marketing

digital-marketing-pillars

Keep in mind that there are definitely more than four ways to promote your business online. However, I firmly believe in these four pillars as they will form the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.

There are a ton of more advanced techniques, and we will get to that, but these four marketing pillars is a must have for any online or offline business.

1Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation

In a nutshell, search engine marketing, and optimisation is defined as “the process of affecting the visibility of your e-commerce store, website or blog.”

When we talk about search engines, we are talking about platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, etc.

What’s the first thing you do when you are looking for an answer to a specific question? The chances are, you Google it.

According to Search Engine Journal, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.

With that in mind, did you know that roughly 85% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses?

Chances are, there is a huge number of potential customers out there looking for your business.

And the reality of the matter is, that if they cannot find you online, they will probably be influenced to visit your competitors.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to ensure that your business has some form of an online presence in today’s age.

A
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is all about increasing the visibility of your website in a manner that is free.

SEM, on the other hand, is about increasing your visibility through paid advertising which I will address a little later on.

To have potential customers find your business, you need to make it easy enough for Google or any other search engines to find your website so it can display it on the results page.

Roughly two-thirds of all organic search go to the top 5 positions in Google! That means, 33% is left if your website rank position number 6 and down.

Keep in mind; Google only allows ten spots on the first page. And a study by Search Engine Watch showed that 91.5% of all search traffic comes from the first page.

Related: Search Engines, Social Media And The ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

That means that if you are on the second or third page of Google, the chances are you are not getting much attention, and you will have to start planning on how to improve your rankings.

There are numerous ways to do this improve your rankings in search engines. However, I will be addressing them in part 2 of our Beginners Guide.

B
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

If you are not on the first page of Google, and if you are still interested in driving traffic to your website or local business, then you will happy be glad to know that you can easily advertise your business on the first page of search engines.

This is called Search Engine Marketing or SEM, and you can do this through creating search ads or display ads.

C

Search Ads

Have you ever searched for a product or service online?

Have you noticed that the first three or for listings usually have the tag “AD” at the beginning of the link?

That means that someone has paid for that ad to be there.

When running a search ad campaign, you can choose which keywords you want your ads to target.

For example, if you are a local hairdresser, you can target and show your ad to people typing in the word “hairdresser” in the search bar.

Search advertising is an easy way to drive traffic to your website. However, how high your ad is displayed in the search network listings and the overall ROI will be determined by how well you optimise your ad and website.

D
Display advertising

Display advertising is entirely different to search ads.

Have you ever browsed a website and saw a banner on the right or left-hand side of the site?

Or another popular position is the leaderboard position (a.k.a. top of the website) or even in the content itself.

Display ads serve a different purpose to search ads. They are also not necessarily shown at the same time as search ads when it comes to the customer’s buying process.

Search ads are mainly shown when the customers have an actual intent to buy or learn more about a product or service, where display ads are shown either before or after that.

You can also retarget a customer through display advertising.

This means that if a customer clicked on your search ad, and then visited your site, you can follow him around the web and show him a beautiful banner ad displaying other products or services you might offer.

More on display advertising and remarketing in part 2 of our Beginner’s Guide.

2Social Media Marketing

facebook-social-media-marketing

This is another form of digital advertising today, and it’s probably not necessary for me to explain to you how popular social media sites are.

But I thought I would share some stats with you anyway.

As mentioned before in the guide, 26.8 million internet users spend approx. Three hours a day on social media websites.

I’m sure you can start to understand why there is such a buzz around social media marketing at the moment.

However, before we get ahead of ourselves, first, let’s start by defining social media marketing.

Wikipedia defines social media marketing as “the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media platforms.”

Think about it like this, everytime you update your status or post a photo on Facebook, you might have a couple of friends interacting with your update.

Related: 7 Social Media Marketing Secrets No Marketer Wants To Admit

Now the same can be done for your business. A social media platform is the perfect place to interact and engage with customers.

There are over 200 different social media networks on the web today. Not all of them are equally popular, and the majority of them are unique in their way.

Facebook is currently hands down the favorite social media network sitting with over 1.7 billion monthly users worldwide.

Facebook owned Instagram, is in second with over 700 million users a month.

With this in mind, if you are a B2C business, there is a high probability that majority of your customers are on these platforms making it the perfect place to be for your business.

Some platforms are ideal for B2B businesses, while others are great for B2C.

You need to make sure that you choose the correct one from the bat. Otherwise, you run a risk of wasting a lot of time and money.

Because there are so many different networks, it might be overwhelming for you to decide which platforms are best for your business.

Twitter and LinkedIn might be a good place to start if your business is operating in the B2B space.

If you are a B2C company focussing on service and selling to customers, I would suggest starting with the two most popular platforms; Facebook and Instagram.

Okay, so now that you know that you more about the stats and the different networks, how are you going to leverage social media marketing to increase your sales?

In this guide, I will give you an overview of each platform while showing you how to construct a successful social media marketing strategy.

However, all of this will be in part 3 of our Beginners Guide to Growing Your Business Through Digital Marketing.

3Email Marketing

Email Marketing

I probably don’t have to explain to you what an email is.

Email marketing, on the other hand, is simply sending an email with the intent to educate or promote a product or service to a customer.

Why email marketing?

Here are a couple of interesting stats on email marketing which should give you enough reason to implement it into your digital marketing strategy.

  1. According to Campaign Monitor, you are 6x more likely to get a click-through on an email than a tweet on Twitter.
  2. According to DMA, conversion rates on email are higher when compared to social media.
  3. 72% Of customers prefer to receive promotional content through email according to MarketingSherpa.
  4. According to Radicati, a marketing message is 5x more likely to be seen in an email then a Facebook post.
  5. When it comes to ROI, email marketing can help you boost your ROI up to 3800% according to DMA.

I won’t take all these figures to heart, but keep in mind that it’s all very positive. It shows that email marketing is still an easy and profitable way of marketing to customers today.

Many marketers believe that this type of marketing is dying. I, however, tend to believe otherwise.

Related: From Bane To Boon: How To Turn Email Marketing To Your Advantage

See, it’s not that email marketing is insufficient, it’s more a matter of customers getting bombarded with spam and becoming immune to overly advertised emails.

This means that the open rates of emails drop and that they eventually become less effective. But there is still a huge ROI to be made, as a business you will just have to change your angle and focus on the following three concepts:

  1. Content
  2. Relevancy
  3. Value.

Customers don’t mind getting emails from brands as long as they are relevant, add value and contain compelling content.

In Part 4 of this Beginner’s Guide, I will walk you through some of the ins and outs when it comes to email marketing.

4SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing

According to We Are Social, worldwide there are nine new mobile phone users added every second.

And 46% of smartphone owners claim they won’t be able to live without their mobile devices according to Pew Research Center.

Earlier I mentioned that 92% of the population have mobile devices. With that said, you can try and get your brand or product in front of their eyes by sending them an SMS.

Keep in mind, similar to email, SMS marketing can come across as spammy. However, done right, it can lead to a ton of traffic and a huge ROI.

Mobile purchases are up 22% over the last two years, that’s massive. Not to mention that most marketing directors agree that SMS marketing has a higher open rate to email marketing.

This means, there is a greater chance of customers being influenced to buy your product or service.

If you are an online business owner reading these stats, you will have to ask yourself why you don’t have an active SMS marketing strategy yet.

In our Part 5 of our Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing I will breakdown a couple of tips and tricks for your SMS marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind the four pillars mentioned above is not the only digital marketing channels around. However, I feel they form the base of a digital marketing strategy.

Each of these channels serves a different purpose in your marketing strategy.

Example, advertising in Google is a great way to show case your product or service to a customer that already has the intent of making a purchase.

Social media is great at creating awareness around your product and service while assisting in creating interest.

Email and SMS marketing can be seen as reconnecting with a customer or keeping them up to date on new releases, upgrades, specials and so forth.

There is no doubt that digital marketing is evolving every, day and that it’s is the future of advertising.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying traditional marketing strategies are not worth the effort.  I’m saying, as a business owner will need to stay ahead of the curb while finding new ways to generate traffic, sales, and ROI, and digital marketing can help you do just that!

This concludes Part 1 of our Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing in South Africa. In Part 2 I will break down Search Engine Marketing and how it can help you grow your business.

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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twitter-analytics

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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chatbots

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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