Category Archives: Marketing

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What on Earth is Digital Transformation Anyway?

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

The chances are that if you went to each department head in your organisation, each will have a different answer. So what is it and what does it mean for marketers?

Digital Transformation refers to organisation-wide change to leverage new technology that improves business operations, workflow, insights and processes. Therefore, it can mean one thing to the manufacturing arm of your business and something else to finance, but ultimately, most business units will enjoy the same benefits of digital transformation, often with the same tools as one another such as Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP). Driven by emerging technologies such as Big Data, AI, cloud-hosting and Machine Learning, businesses are racing to stay ahead of their competitors by adopting Digital Transformation. The main aim is to capture data, analyse it and optimise accordingly. For many marketers, this might feel less alien than to other departments. Afterall, we are used to looking for data trends, optimisation and improved ROIs all the time. With Digital Transformation, more of this exercise is being undertaken by technology.

 

A full Digital Transformation involves all digital assets in your organisation, depending on your industry and specific niche, this can include:

 

  • Business networks
  • Websites & Social Platforms
  • Intranet
  • IoT
  • Mobile devices
  • eCommerce
  • CRM Systems
  • Warehouse Management Systems

 

There is a lot of data flying around in your business already, even in smaller businesses. Capturing that data, drawing meaningful insights from it and implementing optimisation accordingly is the focus of any digital transformation, whether it is to improve supply chain management or the customer experience, whether it is to decrease delivery times or increase customer retention, it all comes under the Digital Transformation umbrella.

 

If you would like to learn more about Digital Transformation, whether from a marketing or organisation-wide perspective, get in touch with our team. We can point you in the right direction and get you up to speed with the right course.

 

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The Top 4 Marketing Communication Skills You Need for Success

By Morgan International Staff Writers

A marketer's chief responsibility is communication with customers. Getting the right message to the right people and making them act, think or feel a certain way takes skill and knowledge. Not all marketers are naturals in every type of communication and may focus on a specific area. For marketing generalists in smaller businesses, being a good ‘all-rounder’ is a big advantage. Even if you don’t need to physically create imagery, for example, you will still need to understand what makes an image effective if you are leading a campaign. Therefore, a good marketer never stops learning to improve their communication skills. Here are the main communication skills that marketers must continue to hone throughout their careers.

1. Writing compelling copy

Are you responsible for writing ad copy, sales collateral, press releases, blogs and newsletters? Each type of copy you create requires specific knowledge. A creative flair with words is a great start but you will also need to understand what motivates a journalist to pick up your press release and how to present the information- do you know the pyramid style? For web pages and blog copy, knowledge of SEO, content planning and research skills are needed. Is your ad copy persuasive? Is it punchy enough and does it compel your audience to buy from your brand? Each and every type of marketing copy you create needs to fulfill a different objective and, therefore, needs the writer to have the appropriate skills and knowledge to produce it.

2. Public Speaking Skills

Are you responsible for PR in your business? Do you have to deal with the press, speak at conferences or even present ideas internally to staff members? Public speaking is not something everyone enjoys but with training, it does get easier. Practice makes perfect! If you don’t have someone to practice in front of, record yourself and play it back. You will see how many ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ you need to remove, whether you sound and look confident in what you are saying and if your presentation is delivering the right message.

3. Non-verbal communication

Just as salespeople need to work on their non-verbal communication, so do most marketers. If you are working on your public speaking skills, you will notice your body language, facial expressions and tone of voice have as much, if not more, of an impact than your choice of words.

4. Visual communication

Imagery and Brand ID are powerful ways to convey a message, become a familiar face to your audience and deliver information to your audience. Even if you are not a skilled graphic designer, you should still understand the mechanics of visual marketing, how to interpret a brief and check that imagery fits your brand and marketing objectives.

No matter what your strengths and weaknesses in communication skills, you can learn a great deal about the areas in which you are less confident while continuing to excel and improve on your natural talents. To find out how we can help you improve your marketing communication skills, get in touch with our team today.

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Does Your Accountancy Firm Need a Social Media Boost?

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Social media is a free resource and with 467 million active users on LinkedIn alone, it makes sense to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. You may not have a lot of knowledge about social media, but you can still benefit from it and grow your business, in many different ways. As long as you maintain a strong and consistent presence, social media can be a great way to drive more customers to your business. These are some ways to make use of social media to grow your accountancy firm.

Engage with your target market

There are all kinds of ways to use social media to engage with your target audience. You can share interesting content, ask questions and share some footage around your firm. Social media posts which include images and videos are more popular than those without, so if you can incorporate this into your posts, it will help you to create interest and drive more customers to you.

Update your customers

Are deadlines looming for tax returns? Social media is a great way to keep your customers updated on important activities and any changes to your business. You can also let them know about new products and services, which can help to drive more customers to your business, as well as encouraging your current customers to take out additional services.

Improve your branding

All accountants are dull and boring? We're sure you've heard this on more than one occasion, but through the power of social media, you can completely change your brand! Do you want people to know that you're actually a fun company who don't take themselves too seriously? Social media is a good way to get your brand out to the masses and the beauty is, it can be whatever you want it.

 

If you are an accountancy firm looking to find out more about digital marketing and how it can work for your business, get in touch with us!

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Do You Know Your Branding From Your Marketing?

By Morgan International Staff Writers

You have probably heard a lot about branding and marketing, but what exactly are they and what makes them differ? Although this can be quite confusing, branding and marketing are actually entirely different, but both are equally as important for the growth of your business. Lets take a closer look at these and how you can incorporate them into your business.

What is a brand?

Your brand is who you are, the values and attributes your company has and what makes your business attractive to customers. If you consider the fast food company McDonald's for example, they are the 6th most prominent brand in the world and serve in over 100 countries throughout the world. You would be extremely hard pushed to find anyone who didn't recognise the McDonald's brand or in fact, who hadn't ever tried it! What makes the McDonald's brand so prominent and why is it so successful? There are various factors which contribute to the ever increasing success of the fast food chain. Firstly, they recognise that different countries have different cultures, so advertising in the Middle East will be different to what you see in America, for example. They tailor their services and products to their audience. McDonald's also does what it says on the tin. You won't stand in a queue for long in any restaurants, it's fast food and they stick to that promise.

Regardless of what service or product you offer, it is important to get the brand right. Is your brand corporate, professional, serious or is it fun, quirky and playful? Figure your brand out and make sure you keep it consistent. Marketing will drive the business to you, but branding will keep the customers loyal to you.

How to market

Marketing is what you do to drive customers to buy your products or services. The right marketing will push customers to you and entice them to want to find out more about you. To be successful with your marketing efforts, it is important to use different forms, including digital marketing, attending networking events and business development. Digital marketing is (mostly) free, unless you run ads, so it is important to utilise this to its full potential.

If you want to improve your brand and marketing efforts, you might wish to find out more about the digital training we offer. Get in touch today to find out more!

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Can Bankers Really Benefit from Social Media?

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

You probably wouldn't think that the world of banking goes hand in hand with social media, after all, customers come to you, rather than the other way around. However, the truth of the matter is that all businesses can use social media to their advantage, and this also includes bankers. As with all industries, there is competition out there and staying ahead of the game is imperative. These are some of the way you can use social media to improve and grow your business.

Promote new products

Social media is a great way to let your current customers know about any new products you have released, such as new loans, credit cards or bank accounts. It is a quick and easy (not to mention free) way of reaching the masses and it can be highly effective for branding.

Better customer service

There is a certain (and perhaps unjustified) impression of bankers sitting in their ivory towers, with no connection to their customers and this is something which can be greatly improved through the use of social media. Social media offers bankers the chance to really engage with their customers and become much more personable in their approach. Customer service levels can be greatly improved and this means more happy customers and increased business.

Increase brand awareness

Do customers know who you are and what you offer? If not, it is definitely time to incorporate a social media marketing strategy into your business. Social media doesn't offer instant success, it takes time to build your brand so people become aware of who you are and what you do. If you stay consistent with your social media efforts, your brand awareness will grow and so too will your customers.

Reach a younger audience

With 99% of young people between 16 and 24 using social media regularly (once a week or more) and spending double the time spent by adults, it makes sense to use it as a means of attracting this audience. Engaging with social media users in this group and promoting your products and services with great content are just two of the ways to get younger people on board. A great brand and good marketing tools can really help you reach the younger audience and with this audience most likely to be taking out loans and credit cards, it makes sense to use a targeted approach to get them onboard.

If you'd like to find out more about digital marketing and how it can help support your business, get in touch with us at Morgan and we'll be happy to help!

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The 6 Most Disastrous Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Marketing Managers have their work cut out for them. Keeping up with ever-changing algorithms, changing competitor landscapes and new technologies is a job in itself. As you try to keep up with all the latest trends, are you falling into some of the biggest marketing traps along the way? Here are the biggest marketing mistakes to avoid at all costs.

  1. Not knowing your audience

Understanding what makes your audience tick is fundamental to engaging with them. Are you marketing to businesses or consumers? Are they C-Level execs, youths, tech junkies or adrenaline junkies? What sort of language do they use? What news and blogs do they read and follow? What sort of language do they use when speaking about products and services like yours? Most importantly, what problems or pain-points can your business solve for them?

Knowing your audience means you can learn how to target them, via which channels and with what type of ads and content. Failing to know them can mean you miss your target audience or just plain put them off by using the wrong messaging or writing style.

  1. Failing to set objectives

This sounds obvious, but every campaign should have a clear and defined objective. Are you trying to build awareness and reach new potential customers? Are you trying to convert an existing audience or customer? Sending out an email blast, press release or setting up an AdWords campaign should have a clear and measurable objective and the campaign should be set up to reflect and track against that objective.

  1. Not marketing your USP

Why should a potential customer choose you over your competitors? Too many marketing messages sound very similar to the competitor next door with the same price-points and advantages. Do you offer a better quality product or service? Why is it better? This has to be a top-down exercise and everyone in your organisation should know your USP, make sure your customers and target market does too.

  1. Going over budget

It’s easy to get carried away with new trends in marketing and advertising. As with any investment, you should always have the ROI front and centre of your marketing budget. This can be quite easy to manage in some areas, for example, an online ad is easy to set a budget, set up a pixel and see how many sales or actions you got in return. For offline marketing it can be trickier but special offer codes and vouchers have long been a staple ROI tracking system that still works today.

  1. Failing to set and track success measurements

It’s all too easy to fall into the ‘set and forget’ mindset. You have created a beautiful campaign, found your target market, set it all up and then moved onto your next project while you wait for the cash to roll in at the end of the campaign run.

This can be disastrous, if you don’t keep an eye on a campaign on a regular basis, how will you know if it is tanking? Set up a schedule by which to check results regularly and be ready to optimise your marketing campaigns. Is one ad set or email subject line style failing miserably? Best to find out now while you can still turn it around. A/B testing can help you optimise marketing success during your campaign as you upweight budget and time investment in the better performer. It will also serve to inform you on how to do better next time.

  1. Failing to retain, cross-sell and upsell to existing customers

In your zeal for new customers, don’t forget the existing ones. Treat them well, keep them interested, give them exciting content and reasons to come back to your website, follow you on social media or come back to your store. Reward loyalty and make sure your existing customers don’t get neglected along the way.

Even experienced marketing managers can fall into bad habits, forget best practice or miss out on new opportunities. Find out how we can help you continue to hone your skills and avoid the pitfalls along the way with our digital marketing training and certifications.

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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.