Top 5 digital marketing trends to stay on top of the wave

digital marketing trends

Digital marketing is the wave of the future. Many millennials are creating brand awareness online, and there’s no reason African women shouldn’t capitalize on this trend in our journey towards becoming industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

If you’re a techie, then this post isn’t for you. But if you’re a newbie looking to stay ahead of the curve, then these 5 trends are right up your alley.

Mobile in motion

We use these devices to chat, search for deals, get directions, and read our favorite blogs. In 10 countries, including the US and Japan, Google found most searches take place on mobile devices. So, you see going mobile is the future.

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Many brands are making their webpages more mobile-friendly to accommodate the growing use of hand-held devices. Mobile payment technologies such as PayPal, ApplePay, or Google Wallet are making it easier than ever to purchase items online.

Paid social media marketing

We’ve all seen the word “sponsored” with a post directly under it or adverts on the right side of the Facebook homepage. Paid social media marketing simply means paying a social media company to advertise your web content on its platform.

The goal for many brands is to create a “conversion funnel,”  a series of desired steps that converts a visitor to a loyal customer. The process works like this: social sharing of web content –> exposure of brand to online user –> online user visits website –> user becomes potential customer –> user converts to customer –> brand loyalty established.

Paid social media is not limited to big corporations only. Smaller firms are reaping the benefits as well. Paid social media allows brands to reach their defined target audience.

Brand humanization

Many brands are beginning to understand that connecting to their target audience on an emotional level is more likely to generate leads. No one wants to be seen as just another number, and customers love to feel valued. Brands are finding creative ways to demonstrate their personality by engaging with customers via company blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Many YouTube vloggers for example,  have achieved financial success and a host of other opportunities because of their engagement with their audience.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 76% of online customers will share personal information with a brand they trust if they believe it will upgrade their experience and interaction.

In summary, a humanized branding strategy is the way to go.

Video advertising

Video advertising is on the rise on desktop and mobile devices. According to Business Insider, “video ad revenue will increase at a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.5% through 2016.” Even Facebook and Twitter have gotten in on the video ad action, letting brands reach customers through ads.

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Companies understand that people using mobile devices are usually on the go, so the length of a video ad can’t overshoot the 30 seconds mark. However, on a desktop, since the user is stationery it is assumed that they have more time to view lengthier video ads.

Ephemeral marketing

Social media platforms such as Snapchat, which allows you to put on posts for a few seconds before it vanishes, encourages users to pay attention to the message presented to them.

Companies are using ephemeral marketing to post exclusive offers such as coupons and promotions. In a recent poll conducted by marketing company Sumpto, over 50% of college students indicated that they would purchase a product or service from a brand that sent them a coupon through Snapchat.

Many brands believe that it will provoke an immediate response on the part of the audience to take a call to action.  A call to action (CTA) in marketing refers to brands motivating their audience to take an immediate desired action upon request.

For example,  “click here” or  “Buy Now” buttons incite an urgent response on the part of the audience.

There is a significant level of excitement about ephemeral marketing, and companies are tapping into it to engage with customers.

Which trend are you looking to follow? Which won’t live up to its hype? Tell me below.

Don’t vex: 10 must do’s for using social media for business

There is so much hype on using social media for business. Yet, many brands are not using it at all or many of those who are, are not getting it right. We’ve complied the basic must dos for all of us to revisit once more.

Thousands of businesses have taken to platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus to build a brand that’s accessible, lovable, and profitable. Instagram has proved to be an especially viable means of building a customer base for fashion brands. Think Orange Culture, Eve and Tribe, Shop Zuvaa, Iconola, Tzar Studios, and so on.

Social media gives you access to an enormous audience that could be converted to loyal customers if you play your cards right. Below are 10 steps that will help you dominate social media and harness its potential.

1. Know your why

Explore why your business is on social media and why you are on each specific platform. While social media allows you to build a relationship your audience, the nature of the relationship you have with your consumers is completely up to you.

Are you on social media to share relevant information to your industry, showcase your business products, establish yourself/business as an expert or some mix of them all? Whatever it is, knowing your ‘why’ is an imperative first step.

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2. Decide the best platforms for your business 

Use your why to inform the social media platforms you choose for your business. There are over 400 social media platforms currently active and it is impossible to be them all. What platforms do you think would be more beneficial for your business? Let’s dive into the benefits of a few: Instagram and Pinterest allow you to connect with audience on a visual and emotional level.

Google Plus helps with search engine rankings. LinkedIn is great for publicizing your company profile page or business resume. Ryze is a social network for businesses, may especially helpful for business to business (B2B) companies. Twitter, Facebook, Talkbizniw, Affluence, and Quora; the list is exhaustive.

Take time to study the benefits of each of these platforms then pick at most 3 of the those platforms for your business.

3. Develop a strategy

Wondering why 100 fashion bloggers are talking about the same shirt from a particular fashion brand at the same time? Well, it’s no coincidence. Welcome to the world of strategy – the ultimate key that unlocks opportunities for businesses.

To start, your key strategies must align with your company’s mission. While all of the elements listed below are part and parcel of doing the strategic work, it is important to understand that setting time aside to write our your overall social media strategy is a vital actionable step that stands alone.

Having a good social media strategy is essential for growth. Your strategy should include all of the elements listed below as well as data and feedback metrics. With a clear metrics for examining progress and growth, this work will be for naught.

maya-rudolph-thinking gif4. Get the timing right

Preparation + opportunity = success.

Opportunity is a function of time, and posting the right content at the right time makes a difference. On Facebook, post from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m any day for the highest average click through rate; 3 p.m. on Wednesdays is the peak time.

For Twitter, post from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. The peak times for LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus are 5 p.m. daily, 3 p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. on Wednesdays respectively.

5. Be human

Think of developing a well rounded person as you develop your brand on social media. You must clearly articulate your mission and choose consistent brand colors, style, and tone for all of your social media accounts.

Remember to show empathy in your branding, after all, there is a person on the end of the screen.

nicki-minaj-human-being6. Know what your audience wants and give it to them

As you begin to build your followers and audience, take the time to listen to them. Study the kind of posts they react to; which posts get the most comments? Which ones get the most likes?

Which of your social media pages does your audience constantly engage on? Are they creating content and visuals related to your product that you can repost. Social listening and data collection is crucial: once you provide your audience with what they want, they’ll stick around and tell others about you.

7. Use hashtags

As distracting as they appear to you, hashtags go a long way on social media. People are constantly searching for things, and correctly hashtag-ing your posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, will put you on the radar and increase your visibility on search engines.

Use hashtags reasonably and strategically, and soon enough you’ll see the benefits.

8. Offer promotions, contests and discounts 

Everyone likes freebies in every shape and form. Giveaways, special offers, and discounts will get people to notice your brand.

Be clear on how every giveaway you host improves your business, helps you grow, or increases audience interaction and participation. In order to create a win-win situation, everything you do must also be beneficial to your brand.

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9. Link back to your website

Many people forget this step: don’t forget that social media is there to help improve your business and as such, people must know where to find you off social media.

Connect everything to your website so that your followers can actually make the purchase after you’ve done the work of building the relationship and converting them to loyal fans. Don’t just add your website link to your social media profiles; share that link with your audience intermittently as reminder.

10. Stick to the plan

Finally, it is so easy to fall off on social media as a tool to grow your business if you are not consistent with steps 1-9. But there only way to win in the long run is to be consistent.

As famous entrepreneur Jim Rohn accurately described: “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic principles”.

We would love to know – what are some social media tips that you apply to your brand?

Rita Kusi shares 6 tips on how to make your marketing stand out

coke billboard marketing africa

Are you having difficulties marketing and or selling to an African audience? Perhaps you should reevaluate your marketing techniques.

Prior to relocating to Ghana, my way of marketing and working was mainly digital and via online platforms. After relocating, I realized that while these methods were very effective abroad, they were not as effective in reaching a large audience in Ghana. This is probably the case in most African countries. Digital and online marketing, commonly known as Above The Line (ATL) marketing, is a great way to target the urban youth and the global audience.

However, if you want to reach adults and local residents living in rural areas, your best bet is to use effective Below The Line (BTL) marketing techniques, such as, on-the-ground activations and promotions.

In Ghana, ATL marketing is effective because most people are almost always tuned into their local radio or television stations. The use of the internet has only increased recently because of the rising use of mobile technology. As a marketer, you have to know how to adapt to this environment.

The solution is not to give up on the old tactics you know or are familiar with but instead, effectively incorporate new strategies to help you become a well-rounded marketer.

So what characteristics do you need to be a great marketer in the African context? What marketing strategies are effective for engaging the African market? Well, I discuss them below.

Characteristics of a great African marketer

I’ve always considered myself lucky to have the skills of a marketer. At times, I wonder if one is born a marketer or can learn to become a marketer. I believe effective marketers are born with certain traits and also learn as they go. The world is always changing so we must be able to change with the times. Here are 10 characteristics that are time tested to be true of an great African marketer:

  • Have a genuine passion for people
  • Honest, personable and approachable
  • Possess networking skills
  • Embrace and drive change
  • Stay connected to an African audience
  • Communicate effectively
  • Passionate
  • Innovative and thinks outside the box
  • Take chances
  • Wholehearted belief in the product they are selling

Motherland Mogul Tip:Remember, good marketers can market and sell any product, but great marketers choose the products they want to market and sell.

They are persistent and do not understand the word “no”. Good marketers are led by passion and the need to connect the right people to the right product. They understand their target demographic and will go to great lengths to connect them to that product. Next, we discuss strategies for marking effectively in the African context.

Strategies for marketing effectively in the African market

Now, with these characteristics, you must be willing to do some things differently to gain traction in the African market. Let’s discuss a few strategies below.

1. Establish strong genuine relationships

Often many of us like to take the conventional networking approach. I’ve been guilty of this in the past. We attend an event, meet someone and have a two-minute conversation then request for a business card.

Effective marketers actually take the time to follow up and establish rapport with potential clients, sponsors, partners, and their audience. In Ghana, it is all about who you know. Therefore, establishing relationships is crucial to your success in almost any field.

2. Sustain relationships

One of the most important lessons I have learned is that it is not enough to establish relationships with people. Sustaining those relationships plays a crucial role in the success of your marketing strategies. It is one thing to establish relationships but what are you doing to sustain them?

Sustaining relationships are one of the hardest and most challenging things to do because it requires time. It is none the less a great investment. An occasional phone call, email, or visit helps you to stay connected.

3. Form strategic alliances/partnerships

It is a fact that we all need someone and cannot get to where we are going alone. Form strategic partnerships that are mutually beneficial. Align yourself with people who have a similar mission and your best interest at heart. They will help you sell or market your product.

In Ghana, having notable sponsors and partners as part of your event validates your event somehow. Rarely do you see fliers or posters without sponsors. However, you want to be strategic in forming these alliances and not overdo it.

4. Networkability

Word-of-mouth continues to be the #1 effective way of marketing. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to go out and network constantly. Whether your goal is to increase your clientele or fan base, go out there and meet the right people who will help get you to your goal.

True marketers understand that time is of the essence. There is no need speaking with everyone in the room, just key people who you share commonalities and a similar vision.

5. Communicate effectively and believe in the product

As a marketer your verbal and written communication must be up to par. You have to believe in what you are selling in order for people to believe in it as well.

Therefore, your way of communicating must be clear, concise, convincing, and easily understood.

6. Think marketing

True marketers are always thinking about marketing. They apply marketing to almost any and everything around them.

To conclude, marketing in Africa is very different from marketing in the States or elsewhere outside of the continent. Sitting behind your PC expecting to reach a large number of consumers is not ideal. Bottom Line Marketing is king! You must be willing to go out and connect with people.