Category Archives: Marketing

Blog Category

Middle-Eastern Marketing Geniuses-02

Middle-Eastern Marketing Geniuses of 2016 (So Far)

 

By Luci M Iley

 

In marketing, there is a fine line between genius and crazy; finding that line and staying on the right side of it can be difficult, but these three marketing geniuses managed to venture quite close to the line, whilst ultimately succeeding in their goal – raising their business’ profile and gaining exposure. Here’s how they did it, and the lessons you can learn from their stories;

Anand Kapoor – Midcom Group

Anand Kapoor grew Midcom Group from a start-up, twice. First as a foreign exchange bureau, then as a mobile phone distribution network. Now the business has its own handset assembly brand, Fero, which has allowed Anand to begin targeting the GCC region - Saudi Arabia in particular - with mobile phone handsets in the mid-to-top-end price range, but also offering $8 handsets for season such as Hajj – where phones are often disposable by necessity.

Moral: Marketing geniuses look closely at their customer’s needs and provide products accordingly.

Dietmar Siersdorfer – Siemens.

The Chief Executive of Siemens Middle East and UAE has seen the spotlight a few times over the past year – and it’s hardly surprising given that his department have successfully closed several multi-billion dollar deals to create new energy-saving power stations across the region. Siersdorfer knows what he is doing, too – when asked whether he thinks the low oil price environment across the GCC will affect the company, he replied that the oil price crunch has only led to a greater consciousness surrounding energy efficiency – a fact that ties in nicely with his new contracts.

Moral: marketing geniuses can use any situation to their advantage.

Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre’s Digital Marketing Team

After attracting a lot of attention through their Instagram campaign, Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre’s marketing team have been mentioned in multiple lists and pieces of content, noting their bravery in using staff members in precarious situations to promote their company. Doing so has only improved the fun-loving brand personality they portray.

Moral:  Marketing geniuses are not afraid to have fun with their campaigns.

Want to know how to think like these marketing geniuses? How about pursuing a short diploma in digital marketing to learn all of the inside tips and tricks to create great digital marketing campaigns?

 

Cut costs now on your online campaigns-02

Cut Costs Now on your Online Campaigns

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Marketing on a restricted budget can be pretty awe-inspiring and sometimes depressing for

any business, but luckily, as the online world becomes more central to everyday

communications, digital marketing can be a relatively low cost option for getting seen

amongst the crowd and competition. However, planning and preparation are going to be

your greatest allies.

 

Here are a few tips to make sure investment is likely to give good returns:

 

1. Know the territory

You need to place your money where it is going to be most effective. The internet is

home to a plethora of different tools and channels each of which have relevance to

unique target markets, your ultimate marketing goal, and overall budget. Research

channels and approaches which suit your industry before you rush into using what is

allegedly “trendy”. If it all seems confusing and bewildering, consider further training in

digital media.

 

2. Understand your target market

Different target markets will relate more readily to specific approaches and use specific

channels on the web, so spend time clarifying your target market and online behaviour.

For instance, an older prospective client is less likely to use social media. Instagram is

used largely by females, Facebook is a social arena and Linked In is for networking and

great for B2B.

 

3. Quality website and platforms

Get the fundamentals right. As with all products, quality attracts buyers. On the internet

- quality content is king. So if your website is top notch – it offers your target market

powerful and useful information - this will provide a springboard to good results by

default.

 

4. Determine what is free

The internet really is the home of free dinners. In any other sphere we get suspicious

about anything which is free, but advertorial systems allow companies to offer free use

of apps and tools. Check out whether you can get the same quality marketing tool for

free.

 

5. Smart goals

You need to be looking ahead so you can determine whether the money you are

outlaying is giving acceptable good return on investment. Therefore, goals need to be

measurable and you need to be able to know how to measure them.

 

6. Set a budget

This may sound obvious but due to the way you pay for online marketing (i.e. pay per

click) money can disappear very quickly if it is not monitored closely and changes are

made to enhance future investment. Set a short-term and long-term budget and keep to

it.

 

With the right strategy, you can dramatically reduce spend and increase value from your marketing.

Our Professional Diploma in Digital Strategy and Planning allows you to do just that.

 

Why A_B testing will streamline your campaign results-02

Why A/B Testing will Streamline your Campaign Results

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Managing a digital marketing campaign calls for a great deal of planning, a constant setting of

numerous measurable goals, an avalanche of unending data, and astute analytical skills. In most

cases you will be juggling short-term targets and long-term targets in order to streamline your

campaign for ultimate return on investment. Analysis at the end of any cycle of the campaign allows

you to determine performance and making informed changes where necessary.

 

A/B testing accelerates campaign adjustments

In the world of marketing, we are constantly considering how the audience may respond to any one

promotion or communication. However, it would be wrong to consider a complete advert is useless

if it does not produce positive results. There may be elements within it which are turning your target

market off. Once these elements are modified you may have a sure fire hit on your hands.

 

Where A/B testing is essential is it can allow you to test more than one promotional scenario at any

one time, clarify held theories, and accelerate overall campaign adjustments. This in turn allows you

a direct comparison to work with and it allows you to find the most effective approach in double

quick time.

 

Testing a hypothesis

A/B testing is also known as split testing and is basically the same as creating a control experiment to

test a considered hypothesis. If we believe a certain element (X factor) may have a positive effect on

marketing results, we create 2 campaigns which are exactly the same except for the fact that one of

the campaigns will include the X factor. By comparing data at the end of the campaign we get a clear

idea how much the X factor has contributed to overall results.

 

For instance, consider email marketing. You may create a stunning promotional email but if the

recipient is not tempted enough to click on the “title” they will never see it. A/B testing can be used

to try out different title lines at the same time. Results can be compared and the campaign can be

effectively streamlined.

 

An insight into client behaviour

Importantly, A/B testing also gives a clear and unique insight into your client’s behaviour and those

insights can be used across all of your marketing campaigns. For instance, that style of email title can

obviously be used successfully in other online communications such as newsletters.

 

To fully understand email marketing and how to conduct A/B testing to enhance your email

marketing ROI, you may consider undertaking a professional qualification such as the Professional

Diploma in Digital Marketing.

 

Ephemeral-Marketing-02

Ephemeral Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

 

By Luci M Iley

 

What it is

Simply put, ephemeral marketing is marketing through apps and mediums which have short-term messaging systems– Messages and images which disappear a few seconds after being viewed. Of course, the main platform for ephemeral marketing is currently SnapChat – with Saudi Arabia alone boasting seven million monthly users – but recently, more and more similar apps have been created. Hoping to follow SnapChat’s success, Kuwait-based Saleh Al-Musallam designed Vonce – an app which allows user to send short voice recording, which are permanently deleted once the recipient has listened to it.

Ephemeral messaging apps are becoming more and more prominent in the digital marketing world and are even taking e-commerce opportunities in stride by implementing wider features and shopping facilities. For example, Snapchat introduced SnapCash in the US in 2014, allowing users to send money using credit or debit cards to other users – including businesses.

The Pros

Middle East and Gulf regions boast a younger population than many other countries, with 54% of the population at age 25 or younger, this means a more social-media hungry audience and more opportunities to connect with the purchasing generation. Meanwhile, temporary messaging and images mean that the experience of sending and receiving messages I much more intimate and personal – making customers feel special and associating more positive feelings with the brand.

Quick messages are non-intrusive and can be viewed quickly and effortlessly, giving brand more opportunities to be seen, rather than ignored due to time restraints, the short life-span also means that when customers receive a message which catches their eye, they will be unable to share it, leading them to convince friends and colleagues to connect with the brand to share the experience.

The Cons

Immediate sharing does not leave much room for high amounts of editing or long messages, especially as these platforms require a lot of unique content to be posted regularly, which may take a lot of time to co-ordinate. Ephemeral marketing, like any new strategy, will also require marketers to learn new measurements and analytical skills -but this is no different to the introduction of any new marketing medium.

Need more information on ephemeral marketing and how disappearing messages can engage your audience? Why not think about pursuing a short diploma in social media digital marketing to learn everything you need to know about social networks?

 

Why email marketing is alive, kicking and boosting sales- 02

Why Email Marketing is Alive, Kicking and Boosting Sales

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Social media and smart applications have turned the digital marketing arena upside down - leaving

some of the old tried and tested tools for lead generation out in the cold. For many, email marketing

is looked on as out-dated, slow and clunky, spammy, and just plain inefficient.

 

But what many marketers fail to realise is that email marketing techniques have continued to get

better and better and recent research shows it is more efficient than social media. The research

company, Custora, found that over the last 4 years’, customer acquisition via email has increased by

400 %. Search engines still remain the most effective way to boost lead generation but they found

that big names like Twitter and Facebook lagged far behind.

 

But perhaps the most research interesting finding is email marketing also boosted conversions.

According to Custora, email customers are 11 % more valuable than average. Organic-search

customers are 50 % more valuable than average. Facebook customers are average, and Twitter

customers are 23 % less valuable than average.

 

So what makes email marketing so productive?

 

1. It is permission based

You are already one step into the selling cycle. It is likely the email recipients in your campaign have

already freely given you their email address. They are therefore likely to be in your target market

and are happy for further contact to take place.

 

2. Direct perpetual contact

There are so many channels of communication available now online that it all becomes a little

bewildering. The point about email is it is central to online communication. Whereas not everyone

may check Facebook and twitter accounts all the time – email is always on. With the coming of

mobile it is always available too.

 

3. It’s easy to customise and integrate into other marketing campaigns

Email marketing can easily be adapted to fit into parallel online campaigns. It is a form of

confirmation, latest news, recommendations and information. It enhances brand awareness and

loyalty and is a way to keep prospective clients on board.

 

4. It’s inexpensive

Email marketing allows business owners to reach their target market for next to nothing. Where

budgets are restricted, this makes it a better choice than traditional marketing channels like TV,

radio, or direct mail.

 

5. Spam is history

Well, spam is never going to go away but thanks to better email filters spam can be very

conveniently left in the junk folder. In turn, permission based email campaigns are not considered so

much as irritating and suspect as informative and useful.

 

To fully understand email marketing and how to use it to effectively complement your digital

marketing strategy, you may consider undertaking a professional qualification such as the

Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing.

 

7 essential strategies for search engine ranking-02

7 Essential Strategies for Search Engine Ranking

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Since the world wide web first crashed on to the scene in the 1990’s, SEO experts and digital

marketers have been comparing notes, A/b testing and analyzing data to find out what really gives

websites that extra boost which has led to a stream of clear positive factors. Unfortunately, this has

also led to a hub-bub of phoney results and black hat techniques which could lead to websites being

penalized, and expensive SEO work which really leads nowhere at all.

 

So what are the essential factors which will determine how your business website ranks on the

world wide web?

 

1. Quality content and good length

It is in Google’s interest for the best websites to reach top ranking, as searchers are then

more likely to use it and its advertising facilities. Therefore, the Google algorithm includes

various pointers which suggest quality content and pick up on repetitive filler which has just

been placed to gather links.

 

2. Fresh content

What Google considers good content is current, up to date content. Therefore, as it sweeps

by (on average every week) it should be picking up new content. This can be created on a

business website through a news or blog area or by continually updating service pages.

 

3. Good links

Links from sites within your industry suggest you are a trusted site. The more links you have,

the higher the ranking is likely to be. But be careful, paying for links or placing links on dodgy

sites could have an adverse effect or even get your site penalized. See our article on creating

links

 

4. Meta tags

Meta tags are inputted in the code (or CMS). The most important tag is the meta title (this is

seen in the tab of the website) which should encapsulate what the page is all about and

include keywords. The meta description appears on the search engine pages and

encourages a click from the searcher so it should be engaging, and include relevant

keywords to the search.

 

5. Keywords and layout

Keywords have always been important but they should not be overdone and make any text

appear unnatural. The algorithm now picks up synonyms so rather than repeating the same

words again and again use words which have the same meaning. It is also important to use

keywords in headings, sub-headings, and in the first paragraph.

 

6. Mobile optimised

With the popularity of tablets and mobiles, Google now takes into consideration whether

your site is responsive enough to take into account which device it is being viewed on.

 

7. Social Media

Google uses indicators such as how many shares to social media your web page has – so do

not forget to include Icons to allow visitors to share and also visit your own social media

accounts.

 

To fully understand SEO and how to increase visibility for your brand, you may consider undertaking

a professional qualification such as the Professional Diploma in Search Marketing.

 

Put your mobile at the center of your marketing campaigns-02

Put your Mobile at the Centre of your Marketing Campaigns

 

By Nick Cassells

 

In a world where we can now carry a computer around in our pockets, the mobile phone offers

digital marketers unprecedented opportunities to communicate directly and personally with

their target market in real time. It is central to marketing campaigns for 6 main reasons:

 

1. The mobile phone is a hub for communication

Once a brick-sized luxury only for those who could afford it, the mobile phone is now a

must-have gadget for almost everyone. The title “mobile phone” is a little bit of a misnomer

as it now offers nearly everything a PC can do and more. As a hub of communication you can

contact prospective clients instantly and they can buy directly from it too.

 

2. Future Ecommerce transactions are via a mobile

According to research commissioned by Hubspot, by the end of 2017 nearly 25% of all

ecommerce transactions will be done on a mobile phone. In response to these new

behaviours, top channels such as Instagram, Google and Pinterest have introduced “Buy

now” buttons.

 

3. The power of text marketing

Now it seems you can contact your prospective clients and customers 24/7 wherever they

may be. And on top of email and social media accounts there is a form of communication

which is peculiar to mobile phones alone – text. Studies show that 90% of texts get opened

and 98% are read within 3 minutes of their arrival!

 

4. Mobile responsive sites rank higher

Google continues to streamline its algorithm to reflect what’s hot in the real world and in

April last year it made clear that mobile-optimised sites would rank higher than those sites

which were not mobile friendly.

 

5. An extra dimension: Location data

As well as being a tool to communicate with customers anywhere, anytime, it also allows

marketers to target individuals based on location. In this way, it can drive prospective buyers

to physical stores in real time.

 

6. Mobile web traffic has passed desktop

Mobiles really are getting more web traffic than PC’s and this is likely to lead to a great

change in how marketers use advertising. The days of print and TV advertising as the most

effective vehicles are beginning to take a back seat.

 

Understand the impact of mobile marketing on your digital strategy with our Professional Diplomas

in Digital Marketing.

 

Boost online campaign with a digital marketing qualification-02

Boost Online Campaigns with a Digital Marketing Qualification

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Digital marketing can seem a little like the wild west sometimes. You know your business needs a

powerful marketing campaign and you have a general idea of how it can be achieved. There are

millions of articles on the web which give you an idea of how to do it but can you trust them? Are

they out of date? Will they really have any effect? And most importantly, are they coming from a

reliable source?

 

Now, fortunately, there really is a qualification which comprises all the information you need to set

yourself up as a digital marketing expert or market your own business online.

 

Qualifications in digital marketing

SEO and digital marketing has matured as the internet has itself, which means the old style hit-and

miss learning styles where information was scarce and rarely evidenced, can be discarded. Since

Google tightened up on black hat SEO’s techniques, the internet is a much more stable place to be,

with clearer boundaries as to what options are available and what penalties occur when you

overstep the mark.

 

For the billion or so websites populating the web there are probably just as many SEO’s and digital

marketers who have learnt their trade on the fly. Easily led by the latest trending article, their overall

strategies and techniques are likely to be incoherent and ineffective. Most of all, as well as wasting

money, they put their businesses in danger. Business owners marketing for themselves are likely to

be running their own businesses into the ground if they do not have a solid digital marketing

blueprint to work from and from which they can reference.

 

A strong foundation for digital marketers

As a digital marketer, you need to stand out and above the cacophony of bad SEO techniques and

your nearest competition. Your prospective clients need to be able to trust you, your brand and the

strategies you use. A qualification in the world of digital marketing is as essential as it is unique. It

gets rid of the doubt and places firm boundaries around the structures, processes and strategies you

can use safely. It offers your clients evidence of a return on investment.

 

For a business where costs do not run to digital marketing, a sound qualification in digital marketing

means you can input energies where it counts, not waste time on finding the information that

matters, and still market your company at lower costs while saving time and money.

 

Morgan International offers a number of professional diplomas covering every aspect of the digital

sphere. To learn more about our Diplomas in Digital Marketing, click here.

5 top tips for creating quality links-02

5 Top Tips for Creating Quality Links

 

By Nick Cassells

 

When Google cracked down on SEO digital marketing practices, it caused quite a headache for many

business managers as they were left to watch search engine rankings and conversions tumble. Link

building was targeted by Google in an effort to wipe-out black hat SEO techniques. However, even

though it still remains a key area for enhancing domain authority, marketers often refrain from using

link building techniques as it has a “dodgy” feel to it and therefore miss the opportunity of getting

their website amongst the big three. So how do you make sure those links are going to count and

not lead to a penalty from Google?

 

Absolute essentials

Whenever placing a link make sure that:

  • The link is from a website within the same industry as your own where possible.
  •  The website should have a high domain authority – anything below 30 is questionable.
  •  Make sure that the link going up is not classed as “no follow” in the coding
  • Reciprocal links will cancel each other out – so don’t do a deal.
  • Use keywords within the link itself

 

Definite no-no’s

  • A link within a guest blog author area is not taken into account.
  • Article directories are likely to have little link juice or may lead to link penalties
  • Forum signatures are also suspect in the eyes of Google.
  •  Advertorials are not good – give your visitor quality useful content.
  •  Stay away from guestbooks
  • Embedable widgets are not good
  • Infographic embeds are not good

 

Great content throughout

Google’s goal is to get quality sites to the top of the rankings. Therefore, it is quality content which

signifies a great website as well as links showing other sites wish to link to it. Whatever tool used to

place a link (guest blog, own website blog, news article, press release, website page etc.) create

unique information that will be useful to your target market. This in itself will attract “natural links”

brand awareness and site loyalty.

 

Moderation

Make the vehicle for the link as varied in length as possible, as patterns will suggest spam activity.

Mix and match campaigns for more links. Too many guest blogs or press releases can suggest articles

are being created simply for links. Vary the length of the articles and moderate the amount of

keywords in content. Gone are the days of flooding articles with keywords. Use synonyms within the

content.

 

Do you need to enhance your search rankings? Morgan International offers the Professional Diploma

in Search Marketing, designed to teach you how to create and implement advanced search

marketing strategies.

5 Ways to Streamline Marketing Campaigns in the Advent of Content Overload-01

5 Ways to Streamline Marketing Campaigns in the Advent of Content Overload

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Content generation has become a central task for businesses promoting and enhancing lead

generation on the internet. Before the onset of Google’s penguins and pandas, the issue was

content lacked any substance because it was created as fillers and link fodder – now, brilliant

content is getting lost in the cacophony of voices on the net. Hence, great content which is at the

core of a business marketing campaign may be proving less effective and costly.

 

So how can you help ensure your content is a powerful tool in your marketing processes and stands

out from that loud competition?

 

1. Tailor content to a specific original structure

All the big brands on the net are known for creating a specific type of content very well. This

way they attract a specific following which is relative to the products they are selling. So

before getting down to the substance of the content, consider how they will be different

from the competition. Create an original template and stick to it.

 

2. Create to inform not to sell

Content on the internet all has the same root. It was created to sell a brand. It is so easy to

create articles which just sing the benefits of the product, but benefits are likely to be short-

term. This type of content may well engage those few buyers who are on the cusp of buying,

but to create a loyal following, real interactions, and enhance brand awareness you need to

create content which informs or entertains your target market first and foremost with

covert links to your product.

 

3. Consistently measure and monitor

If you do not know how successful your content is, you cannot streamline your campaign.

From the outset consider what you will measure, how you will measure and how you will

monitor the data.

 

4. How is the content viewed?

Take into account how the content will be viewed by your visitors. As well as numerous

different devices (mobile small screen vs pc big screen) there are a multitude of channels

which specialise in specific content (i.e. Instagram – graphics). Focus on appropriate

channels and ensure the content is responsive for all devices.

 

5. Content is more than words

Use videos, graphics, graphs, charts and infographics to give your information new life.

Videos in themselves engage instantly so consider the use of website videos as well as

vblogs.