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Why everyone needs to be on social media-02

Limited Resources? How You Can Still Achieve Results on Social Media

By Morgan International Staff Writers

As a small business, it is worthwhile investing in a social media expert, who can manage your platforms for you, but what if you don't have the budget to call in a professional? Should you just forget about social media altogether? The answer is most definitely no! There are 58 million Facebook users in the Middle East alone, so this shows the kind of potential it can have for your business. Even if you have limited resources, time and knowledge, you can still achieve great results on social media. These are some ways to make the best use of social media, without really knowing what you are doing!

Find your audience

You may be completely new to social media, but you can still attract customers and the first step is to figure out where your target market will be. For example, if you are running a small accountancy firm, you are probably interested in freelancers and other small businesses, so where do you find them? You will find this kind of audience on all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and you want to really start engaging with them. Follow your target market, engage with them and you will soon build up a nice network of your potential buyers.

Consistency is key

No matter how little time you have, it is important to be consistent with your social media efforts, otherwise they will go to waste. You need to build your audience and keep interest by posting content at least once a day. Don't worry if time is your biggest enemy though, you can schedule your posts on Hootsuite so you are still maintaining your social media presence, without the need to post every day. Don't expect to get results straight away, especially in a competitive market. Social media always takes time, so be consistent and you will start to get results.

Keep content varied

You may be wondering what you should post and there are all different types of possibilities. You may want to post content about the latest news in your industry or a link to your blog. Your social media should not be saturated with sales pitches, it should offer a good mix of content, as this is what will grow interest in your services.

If you'd like to find out more about social media marketing, get in touch with us at Morgan and we'll be happy to assist you!

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How to Write the Perfect Blog Post and Why it Matters

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

“Content, content, content!” It feels like it has been a buzzword for just a few years but having a clear and defined content strategy (with useful and engaging blog posts in the mix) has been one of the cornerstones of digital marketing success for much longer, and since Google’s algorithm got smarter, content writers have had to step up their game. This is great for readers who had been drowning in boring keyword-stuffed blog posts and it is also good news for marketers, businesses and thought-leaders who actually have something to say. It is the writers of those articles that will climb the rankings, grab engagement and build an audience that comes back for more, converts into a customer or is retained as a loyal follower of your brand. But how do you write the perfect article?

Step 1: Know your audience

Before you embark on any writing, remember who you are writing for. Many marketers and agencies will begin by creating Audience Personas to give a face and a name to each audience segment. What drives your audience? What is their age group and life-stage? What problems can you help them solve? Do they have children? What is their job function?

There is a bunch of useful tools and tips on how to create these online. Check out HubSpot for their free templates or conduct your own market research by surveying your existing customers.

Step 2: Define your brand voice

Your brand voice should reflect your audience as best it can while maintaining the right level of professionalism and demonstrating your expertise. Many brands use a similar approach to the audience persona method and give their brand its own personality. This helps everyone who writes content for your brand to present a consistent tone and style to your audience and customers. Creating a guide of do’s and don’ts along with a word and phrase palette gives you a handy reference guide to go back to when you feel your writing style floundering or going a little off piste.

Step 3: Define your objectives

Why are you even writing this in the first place? Some people love to blog and some find it a challenge but nobody should be churning out content for the sake of it. What is it you want the reader to think, feel or do when they read your article? Do you want them to recognise you as an expert in your field, do you want to convince them about a product or service that you offer or do you want to build a relationship by helping them solve a problem with your sage advice and wisdom? An article without an objective is a rudderless ship and can end up being a disappointment to your reader and a big waste of time for you. By setting a clear and measurable objective, you can also track the success of your post. Did readers dwell on the page long enough to read it to the end? Did they click on the links you wanted them to click on? Did they comment below or share it?

To help you identify whether your post was successful, check your Google Analytics or any other marketing automation tools that you use for tracking. Keeping track of the successes and failures will help you hone future blog posts.

Step 4: Choose a subject- but not just any old subject!

Now you have thought about what your audience wants and needs, have a think about what problems you can solve for them or what you can write to entertain them. There are plenty of tools to check on trending topics but don’t just jump on any old bandwagon because it is popular. Make sure it is a subject where you can add value to the conversation and remember what is unique about your brand and audience.

Step 5: Research and organise the content

Opinion pieces are great, but can you beef it up with studies, research or other resources to pass along to your audience? Research might take the form of interviewing your CEO or looking at other experts on your chosen topic. Make sure you properly cite or link to external sources and include juicy quotes when you find them.

Organise the content into a structure that flows well. Are you writing a step-by-step ‘How to’ guide or recapping a recent industry event in a newspaper journalism style? Get all the ideas down in note form and push them around until you have an interesting and easy to follow progression and structure.

Step 6: WRITE

If you enjoy writing, you have probably started here before you went through the first four steps and got carried away writing your witty prose without much thought as to why you are writing in the first place. If you hate it, you will probably stop here to make the entire office a cup of coffee, tidy your desk or decide it is time to re-organise your inbox.

For the writing-averse, trust that you have now got the bulk of the work done and just start typing. Try not to get caught up in making every sentence perfect, just get tapping on the keyboard and you can tidy, trim and embellish later.

Step 7: SEO optimisation 

Keywords should not be forced into your text inelegantly, nor should they be repeated unnaturally again and again. However, getting a few of those keywords into your text before your final edit will help your rankings.

Most CMS systems will have options to help you ensure you have the right keywords in your titles and anchor text. One thing to watch out for is your meta description. While it does not directly impact Google’s rankings, using the default text could mean you miss an opportunity to get a click once your page is displayed. Consider including a meta description that uses no more than 300 characters (as this is all that Google will show) and that entices the reader to click.

Step 8: Edit & Format

Read aloud, include bullets, subheaders and images to break up long-form, check it fits the objectives and brand voice, tweak your intro.

Step 9: Rework the title

This can actually take a really long time but can make a huge difference to click through rates. Here is one of my favourite bloggers explaining how he works and reworks his titles:

How to Write A Blog Post Title

Why My Blog Post Titles Take Hours to Write

My Method of Writing Effective Blog Post Titles

How I Write Effective Blog Post Titles

Why Writing Blog Post Titles Can Take Hours

Why My Effective Titles Take Hours

How I Write Effective Post Titles (and Why it Can Take Hours)

How I Write Effective Titles (and Why it Takes Hours)”

Ramsay Taplin, The Blog Tyrant

If you are still struggling for inspiration, go to your own favourite blogs and identify what made you want to read them, why you found them helpful, how they made you feel and if they made you respond by reading more, sharing or making a purchase.

Step 10: Include a CTA

Now, what was it you were writing this blog for again? Go back to your objective, make that what you have written still aligns and then include your CTA. Do you want the reader to check out a product link? Would you like them to sign up for your newsletter or download an ebook? If you are not sure what a Call to Action could look like, here goes ours - if you want to  improve your digital marketing know-how, check out our course guide today!

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5 Simple Ways to Sell Anything on Social Media

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

If you have just started using social media to sell your products or services, it may seem like a bit of a minefield and you are probably feeling a bit confused about where to start. There are so many businesses on social media, so how do you set yourself apart and start to get those sales?

It's not as difficult as you might think and these are some simple strategies you can use to sell anything on social media.

Follow target market
You need to be in front of the right people to be able to sell anything and the best way to do this is to start following your target market. For example, if you are selling fitness products, you will want to get in front of people who care about health, who are active and interested in fitness. You can use relevant hashtags to find people on social media who are either talking about #fitness or have it on their profile. If you follow the right people, they will start to follow you back, which will give you access to your target market.

Relevant content
It is really important to fill up your website with great content, as this is what will entice traffic, which can lead to sales. The content should be relevant to your target market and you can promote it on social media, using relevant hashtags.
Get reviews
In this day and age, most people won't buy products or services unless they are recommended, which is why your reviews are so important. Don't be afraid to ask your customers to write a review on your social media platforms. It is a great way to encourage more sales!
Make it simple
Don't make customers jump through hoops to buy your products or services, make the whole transaction as simple as possible. If they need to fill out lengthy forms, they will be unlikely to follow through with the purchase. However, with call to actions on your social media platforms, the process should be easy!
Engage with followers
It is not enough just to post content and hope for the best, you need to be prepared to engage with your followers. Network with others on social media, by commenting, retweeting and liking content and you will soon gain interest in your business.

If you would like to take your social media skills to the next level, why not try out this Certified Digital Marketing Specialist - Social Course.

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Top 5 Marketing Trends Not to Miss in 2018

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Are you ready to hit the ground running in 2018? Keeping up with the latest marketing trends, especially in social media and adtech, is increasing as much in difficulty as it is in importance. Here are our top marketing trends for 2018 to help you stay ahead of the competition.

1. AI takes hold

There has been non-stop excitement in the media about AI in the last few years and now businesses are starting to see applications take hold in the marketing space. A prime example is the chatbot, the little robot that replies to messages on behalf of your business. Brands like Starbucks, National Geographic and Marvel have already successfully rolled out chatbots via Facebook messenger this year and we expect to see more follow suit into 2018 in both the B2C and B2B spaces.

Chatbots might change the way brands interact with their customers in a very obvious way, but according to research conducted by Accenture Interactive, AI is also enhancing data analytics, customer insights and workflow processes for marketers, thus improving strategy and ROI on marketing budgets.

2. Big Data Analytics

Wait, hasn’t this been on the ‘trends to watch’ for years now? Well, yes it has, but it will continue to adapt and change. Insights from analytics have mainly been the preserve of campaign optimisation and performance tracking to date, but it could also be used to start making the customer experience better with tools such as the aforementioned chatbots.  For larger businesses, CRM and ERP software will continue to get smarter, see increased adoption and provide actionable insights across multiple business units, including marketing.

3. Live Streaming Video

Social media platforms paved the way for live streaming video and brands will be taking full advantage in 2018. Studies have shown that 80% of consumers prefer watching a brand’s live video to reading a written blog so it is time to brush up on your live-streaming skills if you are not on board yet. Live-streaming is very interactive which is great for both the audience and the brand. Getting feedback and questions that you can respond to in real-time gives you great insight into customer needs while also making your brand transparent and trustworthy.

If you are already on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter, consider working live-streaming into your 2018 content plan.

4. The rise of micro-influencer

Influencer marketing has had its ups and downs in 2017, when Instagram’s algorithm changes kicked-in, many an influencer was left frustrated or, sometimes exposed as being built on less than true fan followers.

However, there is nothing quite like tapping into the audience of an influencer who is genuine and trusted by their audience. The big celebrities might be out of reach for many marketing budgets, but there is a lot to be said for influencers with between 1k and 20k followers. Their endorsements are more likely to be perceived as authentic than a superstar who is clearly being sponsored.

5.  The GDPR

Things are about to get very real around the GDPR in 2018 as businesses that handle the personal data of EU citizens get their compliance policies ironed out and rolled out. When first announced, the GDPR probably struck fear into the hearts of many marketing teams but it is a good opportunity to clean up databases and ensure your marketing practices are ethical and your communication with your audience is welcome.

If you would like to learn how to better leverage new marketing trends and technology, get in touch and we will help find the right course for you.

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The Best Marketing Blogs for 2018

By Morgan International Staff Writers

You may have tried to hide from digital marketing for a while now, but there really is no hiding any more. If you want your business to be successful, you need to implement a strong digital marketing strategy and in 2018, the importance of this is only going to increase. Don't worry though, you are not alone, there are plenty of marketing blogs and publications to help you along the way, and these are just some of the  best ones to look out for in the New Year.

Social Media Examiner

This blog offers a wealth of information and knowledge on social media, for the beginner to the more experienced. You can also sign up for a free industry report and there is information on latest events, which you might want to attend to improve your knowledge of social media. Social Media Examiner is a definite blog to look out for to keep up-to-date with latest trends and for general tips and advice in 2018.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a great tool for businesses for many reasons, and there is also a highly informative blog on it, with plenty of information about digital marketing and how to improve your techniques. HubSpot have already starting posting blogs for 2018, so if you want to get ahead in the New Year, it is worth checking this out.

Econsultancy

A sign of a good blog is one which is kept up-to-date and at the Econsultancy, you get access to all the latest digital marketing news and trends. There are trends already published for 2018 on this blog to get your ready for the New Year.

Moz Blog

There is lots of information on this blog for marketers, including content management, SEO and much more. If you want to ensure you keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date, this is a great blog, particularly for those who are already quite experienced.

It is important for marketers to keep updated on the latest social media trends and any (or all) of these blogs will help you keep on track to achieve the best results. If you'd like more information on courses which might help, get in touch with our team!

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Millennials and the digital world

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Today, we live in a digital-first world – and millennial audiences around the globe actively prefer digital communication channels above all others. Here’s what that means for marketing.

 

While digital was once a specialized subset of the marketing ecosystem, it is now a fundamental part of branding. We live in a digital-first world and millennial audiences around the globe actively prefer digital communication channels above all others. From a marketing perspective, this offers a considerable advantage, as digital channels have the potentially to be both uniquely cost-effective and uniquely scalable.

 

Search marketing and pay-per-click advertising on social media give brands an unparalleled ability to reach specific audiences and to optimize campaigns in real time. Users expect advertising to be directed to them, so by offering relevant, useful recommendations, businesses can offer a huge amount of value. What’s more, digital advertising allows brands to closely match spend to performance, meaning that it can be far more responsive and far more cost-effective than traditional approaches.

 

The benefits of the digital sphere also come with increased expectations, however. Millennial consumers anticipate being able to reach brands on all platforms (including by email, by social media and by phone), and to receive responses quickly. Indeed, just under one in five consumers expects a response within an hour to queries issued on social media. While it might seem like a tangential element of the marketing process, delivering high quality customer support is a crucial part of the consumer experience.

 

To navigate this landscape, brands must:

- Consistently monitor all communication channels across email and social

- Ensure social accounts are maintained and that inboxes are not forgotten or allowed to go dormant

- Monitor brand mentions across social media and forums to ensure that customers’ queries and complaints are resolved – and are publicly seen to be addressed

- Provide thorough FAQs to make it fast and easy for customers to resolve issues prior to contact

 

Fortunately, new technology is emerging to assist businesses with these challenges. Users are already familiar with AI-interfaces such as Siri and social media chatbots, and similar tools can be deployed to quickly and easily deal with queries (and when they fail they can pass on the conversation thread to human operators). What’s more, it will be possible to make these interfaces far more capable in the near future, drawing on data and dealing with a wide range of queries without the need for any human intervention. A significant percentage of consumers are in fact already unaware whether their last customer service interaction was with a human or a chatbot – and, in the future, these lines are only going to become more blurred.

 

To learn more about new concepts in marketing, check out our professional training programmes here. https://www.morganintl.com/cdmp/#

 

 

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Marketing as a service: the importance of taking a holistic approach to customer experience

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

A customer’s relationship with a business goes far beyond the purchase of a product or a service – so it’s crucial to take a complete view of their experience with the brand.

 

A customer’s experience of a business goes far beyond the purchase of a product or a service. This is the fundamental concept of branding – that the customer relationship begins with brand sentiments derived from advertising, marketing and word of mouth; and that everything about the delivery and the consumption of the product will affect how the customer engages with it. In the age of digital media, this is now more true than ever.

 

Consumers today expect personalization as standard, and if brands are inconsistent in their delivery, or have flaws in the experiences that they offer, then they will be deemed sub-par. This can even extend beyond their own offering and on to working with partners in order to meet all of the customers’ needs – ensuring that the overall experience is fast, frictionless and simple. This is what lies behind the evolution of marketing as a service: not just building a product and a brand but mapping out the complete customer journey and going above and beyond to optimize the experience.

 

Fields that can particularly benefit from this approach include the travel and online retail industries. When staying at a hotel or taking a flight, notably good service – which shows that the business understands the customer – will act as a key differentiator. In the field of ecommerce, meanwhile, being able to direct customers to appropriate products and to recommend additional similar or related items will be a crucial factor in driving sales growth and in satisfying customers.

 

There are three key steps to deploying marketing as a service as a strategy:

 

  • Ensure that you are collecting, retaining and collating information wherever possible and, if you have contact with customers across multiple channels, that data is unified.

 

  • Consider the customer’s experience from the very first stages and ensure that feedback is sought at every step of development.

 

  • Take a holistic approach to marketing, unifying your messaging, and the teams delivering it, across channels and platforms.

 

To learn more about innovative ideas in marketing, take a look at our professional training programmes here. https://www.morganintl.com/cdmp/#

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Here’s What WhatsApp Business Can Do For You

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

WhatsApp has launched a new version of its app: WhatsApp Business. Is this a digital channel that’s worth investing time in?

 

WhatsApp has launched a new version of its app – WhatsApp Business – with the objective of helping consumers to connect with brands. There are a host of digital channels and initiatives that can occupy the attention of any business, so it can be tough to know where to commit time – is WhatsApp Business worth it?

 

Many companies would say yes, having already been using WhatsApp Messenger on an informal basis for years. Indeed, the business version of the app is intended to recognize this need, verifying accounts (as is possible on Facebook and Twitter) and allowing companies to better manage their customer communications on the platform. “WhatsApp Business enables you to have a business presence on WhatsApp, communicate more efficiently with your customers and help you grow your business,” the app’s description on the Google Play Store reads. In short, it makes previously ad hoc commercial use of WhatsApp official and offers a new channel for businesses to reach their audiences and to communicate with users.

 

Recognizing the significant existing business userbase, the app will allow companies to convert their Messenger accounts into Business equivalents (via a one-way process). The new app also allows commercial users to run both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger from the same device, ensuring that it remains flexible to use; and the account comes with a formal business profile, which can host information such as website links and contact details.

 

Consumers expect businesses to be readily available online and contactable via the apps that they already use. With 1.3 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp has an enormous audience already engaged with the platform, so having a presence there fills an important piece of the picture in cross-platform coverage.

 

For overstretched small businesses, setting up a WhatsApp Business account may not seem like a priority. However, for companies with the time and resources, it clearly has a huge amount of potential – ensuring that when customers look for your brand, it’s there; and that queries, comments and complaints of all types are swiftly picked up and dealt with.
To further explore how new technology is revolutionizing marketing, take a look at our professional training programmes here. https://www.morganintl.com/cdmp/#

 

 

The best time to publish on social media

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

You know the score – you work really hard on the content you are about to share, and you want to do it at the optimum time when the biggest audience will see it. But how do you know what that time is? The answer is that it differs by platform – but not to fear, the people at CoSchedule have released some excellent research and insight which tells you when is the best time to post. This is the rundown of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

Facebook

Best days to post – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Best times – 9am, 1pm, 3pm

People are happier on Fridays so humorous posts should be saved for then. If you post at 1pm you will get the most shares, and at 3pm you will receive the most clicks.

 

Twitter

Best days to post – Wednesday

Best times – 12pm, 3pm, 5pm, 6pm

You might note from the times, that they typically align with people’s breaks at work, and finishing work and the commute home. In fact people are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute compared to any other time. That is useful information to bear in mind when creating content to share.

 

Pinterest

Best days to post – Saturday and Sunday

Best times – 2am, 8-9am, 5pm

The best window to post on Pinterest is 8-11pm on Saturdays. Avoid working hours altogether.

 

Instagram

Best days to post – Monday and Thursday

Best times – 2am, 2pm, 9pm

The prime time to post is at 8-9am during the commute. The top tip is to avoid working hours for posting to Instagram.

 

In Summary

By using the research from CoSchedule you can pull together a calendar so you know what content to release and when. In fact this calendar can be used to drive content creation. A lot of businesses are now recognising the need for a Digital Marketing professional who can manage this for them and ensure it is optimised.

 

Source

https://coschedule.com/blog/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/

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5 Epic Social Media Mistakes

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Social media platforms are an incredibly powerful way for marketers to reach their customer base. In fact it is so quick, cheap, and easy, that unfortunately this can sometimes lead to complacency and errors that can cause embarrassment and potentially loss of sales for a business.

 

  • Stealing content

This can be pretty serious from a legal perspective if the correct permission has not been sought, and/or credit given. It could be as simple as posting a picture, video or bit of text – but if it does not belong to you, you need to ask yourself if using it is infringing someone else’s copyright.

 

  • Over hash tagging

Hash tagging a post is fine, but make sure it is only done on platforms that support searching by hashtag, and that it is done tastefully. Don’t overuse it and be mindful of your input when something is trending and will be highly searched.

 

  • Think before you tweet

How many celebs have tweeted, realised the mistake in what they have said, quickly deleted it, but have already caused a massive retweet storm that damages their reputation? Think about what you post before you post it. You can’t take it back once it is out there in the public domain.

 

  • Picking a fight or entertaining one

Who doesn’t love to watch a social media showdown? It does nobody any favours, and if that spat is between a business and a customer, it looks particularly bad on the business who really should be trying to solve rather than inflame the issue.

 

  • Same message on all platforms

The issue with this is obvious – if you have followers across multiple platforms, you will not enjoy seeing the same message multiple times. It is lazy and will only lead you to boring your followers.

 

In Summary

The good news is that the mistakes are certainly all avoidable by simply doing the checks and balances. That said, it is advisable to have on board a professional Digital Marketer who has all of the experience to avoid the common errors in the first place.