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The Mega Online Marketing Guide for Entrepreneurs

The best online marketing options for getting your business off to a flying start.

Casandra Visser

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The typical consumer spends five or more hours online every day and for some age groups, this number is even higher.

We turn to the internet for nearly everything, whether it’s researching a company and ordering books to finding accommodation and interacting with family and friends so it only makes sense for your business to have some sort of online presence to avoid losing out on potential customers.

Not every online platform is going to be the best option for your business though so taking the time to understand where your business fits in, in the online space is going to save you tons of time and money.

Choosing Your Online Marketing Mix

Marketing does tend to involve a bit of trial and error but taking the time to make informed decisions about your online marketing avenues is going to save you some unnecessary hassles.

There are three points that you need to take into consideration when developing your digital marketing mix:

  1. Target Audience. Think about how your customers spend their time, how they search for information and also how they shop. Their age groups will also play a big role in how they spend their time online
  2. Budget. Many entrepreneurs don’t have a huge marketing budget to play with but luckily there are a number of affordable or even free digital options available to them. Decide how much you want to spend on digital marketing activities, look at the options that you jotted down based on your market and then decide which of those fit into your budget.
  3. Tactics. The online platforms that you choose will also depend on when you want to reach your customers. Would you want them to see an advert on their way from work and then be able to find your website or do you want to target them on weekends when they are most active on social media.  Having your goals set out will help you to develop your online marketing tactics.

Online Marketing Options for Your Business

There are many different options available to you when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. You should know that there are very few brands that use all available options as it thins out their marketing message, especially if they are attempting to target a very specific audience. Below are the five main categories for you to consider:

Display

Create a website for your business or brand. There is no need to hire a web designer for this process if you are comfortable with designing it yourself with the assistance of an online programme. You might have to consider hiring a third party if what you want is a bit more complex, for example

running an online store. Whatever route you decide to go, make sure that you have a plan for your site first.

Dos and Don’ts

  1. Do match your website to the rest of your branding such as brochures, street pole ads and business cards
  2. Don’t choose a website address that is hard to remember or doesn’t fit your business
  3. Do use a layout, images and colours that are appealing to your specific market/customers
  4. Don’t make your site too complex. Getting a user to your site is great but they might just leave if they get frustrated trying to navigate the site

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Search

Your business is now online but ideally you also want to be found by search engines such as Google. There are a number of things you can do to show up on Google’s search result pages, the first one being website optimisation. By having an SEO (search engine optimisation) plan in place you can use the content on your site as keywords to give Google an idea of what your site is all about and when they should display your website in their search results. This digital marketing option is free and quite simple to implement if you understand the basics.

The second option is to use Google Adwords. This platform allows you to bid on keywords that you would like to rank for in search engine results. Depending on the competition of the keyword, your text advert will show up in the search results in the ad boxes at the top of the page. You will require a budget to use this marketing option and you should be aware that this method can result in trial and error approach when you first start out.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t use black hat SEO tactics to try and get your website to page 1 of Google. You will be penalised.
  • Do write the content on your website for your audience and not for the robots that will crawl your site
  • If possible, do update your site on a regular basis with interesting content, competitions or special offers
  • Don’t go in blind when using Google AdWords. Use their keyword research tool to find out if the keywords you have in mind would be worth your money by looking at the number of monthly searches and the level of competition around the keyword
  • Do hire a reputable SEO specialist if you decide that you want an expert to optimise your website content

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Social

You’ll be pressed to find someone who isn’t registered on one or other social media site. The options for socialising and sharing are endless and this is an opportunity that businesses shouldn’t miss out on.

Deciding on a social media platform will again depend on your specific market. Find out how they spend their time on the social sphere, when they’re online and what their interests are so that you can find a way to speak to them the same as one of their friends would. Social media users don’t want to follow a brand that simply punts their own products and gives them nothing of value back so keep this in mind when you develop the social media section of your marketing strategy.

Below is a list of popular social media platforms in South Africa and how you can make the best of them.

Twitter

This fast-paced microblogging site is busy so your tweets need to be catchy and to the point in order to get the user to click through to the rest of your content or your website. The users on this platform tend to be younger (18-29 years old) but there are other age groups participating in conversations too.  (Source: http://www.seomworld.com/2013/08/social-media-users-demographics.html#.UwcBp2KSwuM)

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do follow the right kind of users
  • Do reply to tweets directed at you within 24 hours
  • Don’t ignore or delete bad publicity
  • Do reply to and start a conversation with your users where relevant
  • Don’t use Twitter to spam users. Provide them with interesting content too
  • Do use Twitter to track what your competitors are doing
  • Don’t leave your avatar blank. Make sure your profile is complete
  • Do use Twitter as a networking tool
  • Don’t overuse hashtags, users might get annoyed and unfollow you

Facebook

This is a personal space for most users so you need to post one to two posts per day and make them good in order to capture their attention and prevent them from blocking your brand from their news feed. Most Facebook users are women between 18 and 29 years of age. (Source: http://www.seomworld.com/2013/08/social-media-users-demographics.html#.UwcBp2KSwuM)

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do invite friends, family and employees to like the Facebook page while you build up your online community
  • Don’t spam users with promotions and product/service information. They are looking for a reason to affiliate themselves with your brand
  • Do give users a reason to share your posts with their family and friends
  • Don’t post brand related content on users’ walls, they will unlike your page
  • Do make your posts visual, Facebook was made for this
  • Do use this platform to keep track of what your competitors are doing

LinkedIn

This professional platform is great for networking as well as creating a professional brand following so keep this in mind when you develop content for this platform. LinkedIn is most popular amongst users aged 25-34. (Source: https://www.quantcast.com/linkedin.com)

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do make sure that your group is complete in terms of a profile and logo
  • Don’t delete any bad publicity that might be posted on your group page
  • Do make a point of updating your page on a regular basis with content that your users would find interesting
  • Be careful about not allowing users to join your group without being approved first as this might drive them away
  • Do make the time to clean up any spam or pending comments/posts. Users want a pleasant experience
  • Do interact with your audience where relevant
  • Do share content from other pages with your users

Pinterest

This platform is all about images so make sure that your website has the best quality content and visual elements in order to make it worth sharing. Pinterest usually works well for ecommerce sites. This platform mostly has female users of 50 years or younger. (Source: http://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-in-2013-user-demographics-for-twitter-facebook-pinterest-and-instagram)

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do position your brand as an authority on a topic
  • Don’t spam users with product promotions
  • Do partner with top Pinterest users to promote your pins
  • Do make a point of choosing the very best images for your pins in order to attract users

Google+

Google Plus is a platform that is still growing and slowly gaining momentum in South Africa but unless you are an established brand it might be better to leave this platform out of your social media mix until a later date. At the moment there are only around half a million SA users on Google+.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do complete your Google+ page and use eye-catching images
  • Do comment on user posts and interact where necessary
  • Don’t spam users by replying to posts with product information
  • Do create your own circles and add industry experts to them
  • Do create communities where you can provide users with very specific content around your brand and industry

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Mobile

Research shows that the average South African user uses their mobile device to access 30% of the online content they consume, which means you are losing out on a large potential client base if you aren’t providing a mobile friendly experience. (Source: http://themediaonline.co.za/2013/09/the-mass-market-engages-with-mobile/)

Your first step should be to make sure that your website is responsive, in other words it needs to be able to adapt to different screen sizes and still be user friendly. This is something that you can ask your web designer to implement.

Some brands even choose to have a separate mobi site that users are redirected to if they access a website from a mobile device. This way they can develop a separate design and content strategy around these users. If this is the route you are choosing to go then you should pay close attention to your mobi site visitors’ habits so that you can create content that fits in with that.

When it comes to mobile content, headlines are everything. You have very little space to grab the attention of users so graphics don’t need to be your biggest concern. You need to create the most attention grabbing headline possible and make sure that your content delivers on it. Linking to video content and integrating your mobile platform with social media will increase your chances of online exposure.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t automatically assume that you don’t need a mobile strategy. Your market research will play an important role here
  • Do vary the length of your content to see what works for your mobile users
  • Don’t think that format isn’t important on a mobile site
  • Do look into developing an app for your business if there is an opportunity to benefit from it
  • Do take the size of mobile phone and tablet screens into consideration when developing a mobile site

Extra Resources

Email

Email marketing is the perfect platform for promoting your products and services as well as providing readers with excellent content but the problem is that online users are so used to spam popping into their inboxes that you really have to be outstanding for them to sit up and take notice.

The first step in developing an email marketing strategy is to decide what you want to achieve. Do you want to generate more sales, increase website visitors or get users to answer a survey? Once you’ve established this you can decide on the content of your mailer.

By researching your market you can decide what the best time would be to send the newsletter and also how often you should email them. Unsubscribes should be avoided at all costs. Another important point is to get your readers to want to open your email and this is done with a superb headline so give this loads of thought and ensure that the content in your newsletter delivers on it.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do keep your layout clean and easy to read
  • Do make sure that the look and feel of your newsletter match your brand and website
  • Don’t make it difficult for users to unsubscribe from your mailers
  • Do use a call to action in your newsletters. Examples would be: “Click Here to Read More”; “Click Here to Receive Your Discount Code” or “Enter Our Competition Here.”
  • Don’t rent or buy email lists. Let users opt in on their own
  • Don’t forget to add a subscribe box on your website

Extra Resources

Casandra Visser is a Digital Marketing & Content Strategist and writes for Entrepreneur Media SA.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. SpitBraaiSA

    Jun 3, 2014 at 20:19

    Some great tips! Gonna work through these tips with our campaign. Cheers!

  2. Devin - WD Cape Town

    Oct 29, 2014 at 12:04

    You made a great point about Google Adwords – new users should really
    be careful as it’s very easy to burn through your budget if you don’t
    plan your advertising campaign correctly (depending on the industry
    you’re in).
    Enlisting the help of a professional is advised but if
    you have the time then there are plenty of resources to learn from on
    the Internet.Thanks,
    Devin

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Online Marketing

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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Online Marketing

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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