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The Top 3 Digital Skills Needed by Marketers in 2017-02

The Top 3 Digital Skills Needed by Marketers in 2017

By Luci M Iley

If you are looking to develop your digital marketing career or maybe make the switch to digital marketing from another field, there are a few skills you will need to develop in order to be hireable in the 2017 digital marketing industry.

Whether brushing up your marketing team’s skills, or boosting your own knowledge, these six digital marketing skills will be the most relevant in 2017.

 

  1. Video

Video marketing is taking over digital content at a high pace. With video content influencing 63% of viewers to either find out more about a product or make a purchase after viewing a marketing video online.

With so much video content available, this means that digital marketers need to focus their energies on creating high-quality, ready-to-view video content which is short, concise and makes an impact on viewers.

Digital marketers also need to focus on ‘live’ content, with many platforms introducing live streaming services, this is an opportunity to be taken advantage of by marketers looking to get ahead in the industry.

 

  1. Analytics

Analytics have always been important, but with the ever-0growing and developing landscape of digital marketing, it is important to keep an eye on the changing data and understand how it affects sales and community relations – staying informed is the first step to staying ahead, after all.

Staying ahead in analytics also involves making the most of free tools, whether you are an individual looking to seek out digital marketing opportunities, or a small business boosting your team’s skills, free tools can be found all over the internet and can provide excellent insights into your digital marketing activities. Make sure that you and your team are confident using Google’s tools, as well as the plethora of other well-known platforms available for digital marketing insights and analysis.

 

  1. Social Media and Community Management

With over 52% of the adult population using two or more social media sites and social media communications with businesses influencing purchasing decisions as much as television advertisements, there is a huge pressure on digital marketers to really engage with social media platforms to attract customers to the business.

This extends to reviews and feedback – customers love telling people what they think and a well-run social media site will benefit from the positive reviews left as many consumers base their purchasing decisions on the opinions of others, rather than the information given by businesses.

 

These three key skills are must-haves for the digital marketing industry in 20017, so whether you need to boost your whole team, or just your own skills, why not enrol on one of our digital marketing courses to stay up-to-date and keep your business and resume ahead of the game in 2017?

2017 Digital marketing Trends to Watch-02

2017 Digital marketing Trends to Watch

By Luci M Iley

A lot has changed in the digital marketing world throughout 2016, and 2017 is set to capitalize on those changes and take digital marketing innovation even further. Here are the top 4 digital marketing trends to implement into your business’ strategy to stay ahead of the competition over the next 12 months.

 

  1. Virtual Reality (VR)

VR has blown up in 2016, from a pipe dream of hardcore gamers, the market has boomed with affordable smartphone adapters, turning video and game content into interactive, real-time, virtual reality seemingly overnight. This is a trend that businesses need to capitalise on as soon as possible, ahead of the inevitable oversaturation of marketing on the platform.

 

  1. Interactive Content

From quizzes to interactive data charts, people are becoming more and more attracted to content they can feel involve with. It is best utilised in short bursts to accommodate the short times most consumers spend using their mobile devices or browsing social media, however.

 

  1. Video and Live Streaming

Continuing the trend of the past 3 years, video has seen even more growth in the online and social media content marketplace. With many platforms offering the opportunity to ‘go live’ or otherwise livestream events and content, this is another trend which developing companies will need to embrace in order to get ahead in 2017.

 

  1. Personalisation

Users are bombarded with so much content, whether for marketing or entertainment purposes, that only truly special pieces are guaranteed to grab their attention. By using data such as cookies to personalise the user’s experience, your business is guaranteed those extra click-throughs and conversions.

 

  1. Mobile, mobile, mobile

Pushed from every angle, but never more important than now. Google have announced mobile-first web search algorithms, putting mobile-friendly sites ahead of unoptimized content in search results, and mobile browsing has finally overtaken desktop browsing as the main way in which users are accessing content online. Businesses still behind with mobile optimisation really ned to act fast to get ahead in 2017.

 

With so many emerging digital marketing trends, it can be hard to keep up. Why not take an online digital marketing course to help stay up-to-date and give your business the edge in 2017?

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Three Top Tips for a Successful Facebook Page

Creating a successful and profitable social media account seems to be an elusive mix of trade secrets and luck. But this is not true, there are a few tips and tricks which will help your Facebook page to reach success and achieve maximum outreach.

 

Publish Relevant Content

A lot of social media managers seem to believe that any content is better than no content, but this is simply not the case. Your business’ social media pages should remain lean and only content which serves a purpose should be published under your business’ name.

It may be a good idea to create a list of aims and types of content needed for each social media platform, to act as a guide when creating and posting content.

 

Research Post Timing and schedule Accordingly

The timing of posts is so important. With the speed content is being replaced on user’s newsfeeds, it is important to time it just right so that your content is published at a time when your target customers are looking at their feeds. The optimal time for posting will vary between target markets and social media platforms, so be sure to account for the lifestyle of your marketing personas when researching the optimal time to post on Facebook.

Scheduling posts may feel like a chore, but with Facebook pages’ in-built scheduling options and multiple scheduling software suites available, scheduling posts to be released at the right time becomes easier and quicker with practice.

 

Utilise the Tools Provided

Facebook provides a wide variety of analytics and insights into how your page and posts are performing. Including views, interactions and the optimal times of day and days of the week for reaching your target audience.

Whilst much of this is used to push paid advertisements, there is no reason that small businesses should feel pushed into paying for advertisements, as a successful Facebook page is achievable without unnecessary spending.

 

If Facebook is becoming an important platform for your small business or marketing department, why not brush up your skills with one of our online social media development courses?

Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy-02

Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy

 

In the age of the internet, a digital marketing strategy could not be more vital for businesses of all sizes. From start-ups to multi-national organisations, the online world of social media, SEO and website optimization is becoming more and more integral to business success. But what, specifically, can a digital marketing strategy do for your business?

 

Pave the Way When the Unexpected Happens

In digital marketing, trends and customer behaviours can change almost instantaneously, but a strong digital marketing strategy can help any business weather the storm and even see success arise from any crisis situations which may arise.

 

Keep Finances Under Control

As the digital marketing industry grows, so does the need for businesses to invest in both online and offline technologies to make the most of new trends and influences in the relevant industry. This means that marketing teams need to be able to allocate some of their marketing budget to digital marketing, specifically – which will require monitoring just as your regular marketing budget does.

 

Outline the Path to Success

It is easier to reach your destination when the route you ned to take to get there is properly laid out. By planning every step, not only do your employees and investors have a clearer idea of where the business is heading and how you plan to get it there, but it will be easier to adapt to any new digital marketing changes over time, if you have a clear outline of your business’ aims and objectives.

 

Motivate your Staff and Colleagues

A solid plan works wonders to motivate and push people to work harder. It is a lot easier to expect people to get on with their jobs when they know exactly what they are supposed to be working towards as well as the specific actions needed to get there. A digital marketing strategy may also open opportunity for discussion, suggestions and input from valued people within your business.

 

Capitalise on New Opportunities

As you find new ways to promote your business through digital marketing channels, it is important to ensure that all activities remain in-line with the original plan. This plan will stop your marketing team from deviating and potentially wasting resources on digital marketing activities which will not be useful or beneficial to the company overall.

 

By implementing a digital marketing strategy, your business will benefit in many ways. Whether a small start-up, or long-term established corporation, the implementation of a digital marketing strategy will pull the business together and improve the focus on new technologies.

To better understand how digital marketing and the strategy surrounding it will help your business, visit our course guide.

 

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Marketers: Here Are 5 Top Reasons Why You Need to Get Certified

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

There’s a whole lot of reasons why professionals need to get certified nowadays. From earning credibility, to enhancing your CV and setting you apart from the competition, there isn’t much to argue about when it comes to the case for certification.

But although we’re more familiar with our fellow accountant and finance colleagues going after prestigious credentials, marketers on the other hand, do not seem to have caught on with the trend. Until now.

As the marketing industry continues to evolve with new technological advancements and shifts in consumer behavior, it has become more vital than ever for marketers to be experts not only in marketing theory but also in practice and to stay abreast of the current trends in the marketplace in order to shine in the creative arena. A university degree is no longer enough. So what is?

The American Marketing Association (AMA), established in 1937 by visionaries in marketing and academia and now a hub for over 30,000 members across the globe, has introduced the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) credential to serve the needs of the modern marketer and take your career to the next level.

We’ve made it super easy for you to see what it’s all about by listing the top 5 reasons why getting PCM Certified is the right career move for any marketer wishing to make marketing history:

  1. It heightens your marketability by providing differentiation from others in the marketing talent pool

 

  1. It demonstrates your commitment to staying abreast of the latest marketing knowledge and practices

 

  1. it indicates that you operate under the highest professional standards

 

  1. It allows you to use the AMA PCM® credential and logo for public recognition of your professional achievement

 

  1. It serves as a benchmark of your career accomplishments and as a roadmap for professional development going forward

Explore our PCM packages and take your marketing career to the next level!

 

Why Business Owners Should Learn SEO-02

Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO

By Richard J O

Whilst ever search engines are the driving force behind the internet, there will always be a need for search engine optimization (SEO).

 

With an estimated 3.5 billion searches a day on Google and a further 122.8 million on Bing, search engines attract more visitors than any other form of advertising. And many of them have buyer intent.

 

That only means one thing. Search marketing is still vitally important for your online business. What’s more, it will remain to be for the foreseeable future. And here’s why:

 

  • Consumers use search engines more than any other resource
  • SEO costs less than other marketing strategies
  • Mobile is a growing influence for internet shoppers
  • Your competitors are already engaging in search marketing

 

Consumers rely on search engines

 

The internet is an invaluable resource for the modern consumer. It is estimated that between 80 and 90 per cent of shoppers use search engines to conduct research about products and brands before making a decision to buy.

 

Studies show that 90% of consumers trust peer-to-peer reviews whilst only 33% trust ads. And because the internet provides consumers with easy access to valuable information, businesses without a website are losing customers. And if you have a website, you need SEO to rank in search results.

 

SEO is cost-effective

 

Organic SEO may not be the quickest strategy to achieve high ranking positions in search results, but it is the most sustainable and cost-effective.

 

Paid advertising on search engines and social media is more effective, but is also expensive – and often beyond the reach of a small business budget. And even if you go down the paid advertising route, search marketing still provides the foundation of future online success.

 

Grab more market share on mobile

 

There are more searches being conducted on mobile handsets than any other device – and as mobile technology matures, internet shoppers will become even more reliant on search engines to deliver information and goods they want.

 

In order to tap into the growing army of mobile searchers, online businesses rely on digital marketing to be visible in search engine results. And mobile should be an integral part of your SEO strategy.

 

Your rivals are online

 

If your competitors are using search marketing strategies, they are already taking your share of the market. And unless you go head-to-head with them, you will soon be out of business.

 

The solution for modern businesses is simple: go where your audience is. And your around 90% of your audience is online. So you need to be online too.

 

If you have a website, you need to be using digital marketing strategies otherwise you waste money paying for a website. Without SEO a website is redundant.

 

To improve your online business, it is recommended that you learn the skills and knowledge you need to effectively use digital marketing strategies.

 

And because there is so much to learn and understand about SEO, discover the certification in search marketing that will show you how to run a successful online business.

Reasons-Why-Social-Media-Marketing-is-Important-for-Business-02

Why Is Social Media Marketing So Important For Online Businesses?

By Richard J O 

There are 2.3 billion active social media accounts this year. Needless to say, social media plays a predominant role in our everyday lives - on average, internet users spend 0.7 hours to 3.7 hours in any one of their 5.4 social media accounts.

 

Given the popularity of social media networks, online businesses have a great opportunity to interact with their audience and raise brand awareness. Not to mention the rack of benefits:

 

  • Improve your brand reputation
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Free to use
  • Increase sales
  • Get closer to your customers
  • Reach a wider audience

 

Not only do brands have the chance to position products in front of customers, social media networks are an invaluable resource to learn about your audience; what they like, what they share, what they need and how your products can make their life easier. This type of consumer data is marketing gold.

 

What are the benefits of social media channels?

 

Consumers follow brands they resonate with and social media networks are powerful platforms to promote your brand identity and improve customer loyalty.

 

More brands are embracing the power of social to interact with their customers and even use it to conduct customer service. Social platforms help to humanize your brand and connect with your customers on a personal level.

 

By publishing engaging content, you can drive traffic to your website. Your followers may even share your content amongst their network of followers and introduce you to potential customers you may otherwise not have reached. And that’s without having to pay marketing costs.

 

Social influences buying decisions

 

Interacting on social media networks also influences buying decisions. It is estimated that 74% of consumers make a purchasing choice based on peer-reviews left in the comments fields of social media accounts.

 

Furthermore, four in ten social users buy goods from brands they follow either online or in-store. And now social networks make it possible for brands to install one-click buy buttons, the number of shoppers coming through social channels is likely to increase.

 

However, creating a successful social strategy requires knowledge of social media marketing. Not only do you need to be familiar with the capabilities of the various networks, you also need to know how to find, communicate and interact with your audience.

 

To improve interactions with your customers, learn how to master social media with a professional diploma in social media marketing.

 

Getting-started-with-video-marketing-02

Tips When Creating A Video Marketing Campaign

By Richard J 

Video is the most compelling of online marketing mediums and video marketing is growing at an exponential rate. According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, 90% of end-users say that videos influence their purchasing decisions.

 

It goes without saying that video marketing campaigns are a powerful tool to include in your marketing kit box. And if you are contemplating on producing a promotional video for your next marketing campaign, make sure the end result includes:

 

  • Quality content and video production
  • High resolution images
  • Goal setting
  • Keep to brand image
  • Provide value to customers

 

 

Video quality

 

Paying video marketers to produce promotional videos on your behalf is expensive. They may deliver quality content, but the charges are likely to blow your marketing budget for at least several months.

 

A less expensive option is to create your own promotional videos. The content has to be appealing, so create a story your audience can connect with.

 

High resolution

 

If you do decide to create your own video ads, invest in a HD camera that produces high resolution images. Good quality cameras that shoot in 1080p are surprisingly affordable. You should also consider sound quality and may want to invest in an attachable microphone that is more powerful than the built-in mics on video cameras.

 

Set goals for video marketing campaigns

 

Before you take steps to make a promotional video, you need to determine what you want the campaign to achieve. Is the video intended to drive traffic from social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube, raise awareness about your brand and products, or entice customers to your website with a short 6-second video on Vimeo?

 

Promote brand image

 

Video marketing campaigns are a great opportunity to reach a wider audience so it is vitally important that you communicate your brand image.

 

Consumers relate to brands they connect with on an emotional level, so focus the contents of your video around them. Place you target audience at the center of the video.

 

Provide value to customers

 

For many years now, Google has encouraged online businesses to provide something of value to customers. Although “value” can be interpreted in many ways, the focus of your promotional video should primarily look to entertain viewers.

 

Although ‘entertainment’ in the traditional sense is not ideal for every brand, the content of your video should be informative, intriguing or other emotional value. But whatever message you intend to deliver, it should be presented in a way viewers will relate to in a positive way.

 

Although video marketing campaigns are the most powerful form of online advertising, they are also the most difficult to produce. With this in mind, it is highly recommended you learn how to make high-quality videos like a professional by taking a course on digital marketing and digital selling.

Social media

The Dangers of Outsourcing your Social Media Marketing

By Luci M Iley

With the average digital marketing expenditure increasing by 37% every year across the Middle East – a total of 8-10% of global digital marketing spending – it is not surprising that many businesses have either considered hiring, or have already hired an outsourced digital marketing team or agency to optimise their campaigns and take on the responsibility of marketing effectively.

Outsourcing a digital marketing campaign can be advantageous. Digital marketing agencies are professionals in the field and have more experience than the average business owner, giving them a competitive edge against competing businesses. These companies also have more time to dedicate to ensuring the success of a digital marketing campaign than small business owners. Outsourcing a digital marketing campaign frees a business owner’s time, skills and resources to focus on their own responsibilities and areas of expertise.

However outsourcing digital marketing campaigns does not come without disadvantages and potential dangers, such as;

  • Distance and misunderstanding; Outsourced marketing agencies may have the skills to create a successful campaign, but as they are not as heavily involved in the everyday operations and branding of the business, they may not fully understand the company’s aims and objectives and this may misdirect the campaign.
  • Failing to choose the right agency; Taking the time to extensively interview and critique every digital marketing agency in the area is not a realistic solution for many businesses. However, by making a rushed decision and contracting with an agency who are not suitable for the campaign will waste money, time and resources – as well as potentially damaging the brand and reputation.
  • Mismatched Priorities; Whilst the majority of client-agency digital marketing contracts will have agreed deadlines, clear aims and a set plan for the campaign, it is possible that an agency may have to take the lead on some decisions. This can be an issue for business owners who struggle to stand back and let others take control, as well as carrying the risk of having the agency make the wrong decision for the company and causing damage to the business.

Many of these dangers can be avoided with substantial research and by asking the right questions, however, it may be easier to carry out internal digital marketing campaigns for complete control and responsibility. A short diploma in digital marketing can give you the skills to cut the agency out altogether.

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Online Display Advertising: The Pros and Cons

 By Luci M Iley

Online display advertising, more commonly known as banner advertising, is the use of visually appealing and attention-grabbing banners placed on websites, blogs and forums relative to the business’ sector.  This method of marketing has been in action since the dawn of internet marketing and has proven to be lucrative for online businesses.

Like many marketing platforms and methods, display advertising has a range of advantages and disadvantages, which should be taken into account before launching head-first into a display advertising campaign.

Advantages

  • Many agencies offer very low CPM (cost-per-impression) rates, meaning that a successful display advertising campaign will be very cost-effective in the long run.
  • By selecting relevant host sites and keywords, marketers know that the people seeing their advertisements will be within the target demographic. This allows more control and better targeting than most other marketing methods.
  • Display advertising is so well-established that agencies have streamlined the process – ad space is available in set sizes and this helps to reduce the possible complications when designing a marketing campaign.

Disadvantages

  • The use of online ad blockers is growing rapidly across the Middle East, with over 144 million internet users having an active advertisement blocking software in effect. Ad blockers result in a loss of banner impressions, conversions and sales and can have a drastically negative effect on marketing campaigns.
  • Premium ad spaces are offered within select groups and can be difficult to infiltrate and claim for campaigns.
  • Advertising spaces are offered through an auction-style system, this means that the potential for bidding wars is rife and sought-after placements can see very high costs.

Whilst the arguments both for and against display marketing are compelling and deserve serious thought before decisions are made, display advertising can be hugely beneficial in terms of brand visibility and customer awareness, although this does not always translate into conversions or click-throughs.

To make the most informed decision about display advertising, why not undertake a short diploma in search marketing, to equip you with all of the tools, information and know-how to get started?