Inbound Vs Outbound marketing

Inbound Vs. Outbound Marketing: Understanding the Difference

Marketing remains to be the one and only way to inform the public about your product or service offering. Through it, you can drive product awareness as well as cultivate brand credibility.

Since there are multitudes of marketing approaches, today our focus will be on inbound vs. outbound marketing strategies. These two, when applied correctly can help new companies take off successfully.

But before we go so far…

What is inbound marketing? 

Put simply, with inbound marketing potential customers come to you through your website content. Your content could be in the form of YouTube videos, infographics, eBooks, whitepapers, podcasts, etc.

As an organic approach, your content needs to be stellar and address the customers’ pain points. This approach hinges a lot on search engine optimization since only the top pages get insane views and clicks.

Why inbound marketing?

There are many benefits of inbound marketing. Here are couple of them:

  • Attracts visitors – potential customers come to your website at their own time and choose how long they want to stay.
  • Quantifiable results – the results are measurable through software programs like Hubspot, Sendinblue, and MailChimp so it becomes easier to track progress and know what to fix.
  • Continuous useful updates – because everything gets monitored and revised, the content remains fresh and will continue to draw in qualified leads year after year.
  • Beneficial content – the information used in inbound marketing is mostly designed to address a customer’s pain points. 

Drawbacks of inbound marketing

Despite being one of the key universal marketing concepts, inbound marketing has a few setbacks. First, it demands a lot of effort and resources to come up with thoughtful content. And even after the content goes live, you still need to revise it for better SEO performance as well as relevancy.

The success of inbound marketing leans so much on the multiplicity of the platforms used. You can’t hope that Facebook alone is enough. You can never expect your website alone to keep sending in rich traffic. Your efforts must extend to other platforms and your content tailored to the audience on each platform. As you can see, that means lots of software and subscription plans.

Now, you know more about Inbound marketing, let’s see what outbound marketing is all about. 

What is outbound marketing?

With outbound marketing, you go to the customers, they don’t come to you. That is why some call it ‘interruption’ or ‘push’ marketing because you push a message towards possibly an unwilling audience.

So, is outbound marketing a bad strategy? No, it isn’t. In fact, in some ways, it is more effective than inbound marketing. Let’s get deeper into that.

You see, there’s a high intent with inbound marketing because customers literally search for what you offer. Unfortunately, the volume of the searches may not be attractive. But with outbound marketing, the intent is pretty low but sales volume can be high-especially when putting out a new product for the first time.

You probably are more familiar with outbound marketing tactics than you know. Those unsolicited pop-up internet ads, TV commercials in the middle of a movie show, and anything that disrupts while you are consuming different content. That’s exactly outbound marketing approaches.

Push marketing can also be done through cold calls, cold emails, and print magazines. This approach is great for those who want to make sales from the first day of launching their business. But you can also use it to increase brand or product awareness.

Pros of outbound marketing

Here’s why outbound marketing rocks:

The fastest route to success since it is a paid approach, it pops your content, product, or services right in front of consumers’ eyeballs. This means you can sell right away.

Great for new companies or products-instead of posting blogs and hoping someone reads about it someday, you can just place an ad and within a day or two, many people will know about your company product or service.

We are all familiar with outbound marketing-while clearly invasive, we all see TV ads, billboards, and internet pop-up ads every day.

Setbacks of outbound marketing

It’s never smooth sailing with outbound marketing. Here are a few issues to remember:

  • It’s a costly approach where you are charged for every ad that you put up.
  • Some approaches like billboards or TV don’t have a proper way of measuring their effectiveness.
  • Any uninterested person can easily ignore the ad since they are unsolicited.
  • It is more generalized and therefore most of the time unappealing to the receiving audience.

Proposing a Better Alternative-Search Advertising

Search advertising is a hybrid technique that bridges inbound and outbound marketing. Let’s say you are selling a digital advertising course but when visitors google the necessary keywords, none of your pages come to the top. 

Now, what you can do here is buy ads on Google to bump up your pages to the top. For this approach, you get both high intent and high volume outcomes. Huzzah!

Wrapping up on the difference between inbound vs outbound marketing

As a reminder, with inbound marketing, customers come to you as opposed to outbound marketing where you go to customers. So which marketing tactic is the ultimate best? Well, in a world where marketers are aggressively creative and analytical, you want to find a synergy between both approaches as each method can massively contribute to the growth of your online business. 

Feeling stuck about what marketing methods to adopt for your business? Don’t be! At The METO DIGMA, we are the preferred digital marketing partner to handle all types of marketing strategies from email marketing, content creation, social media management, lead generation, mobile marketing, etc. Our goal is to harvest the latest trends in the industry and apply them to your unique situation to enable you to achieve your business goals. Reach out to us for a chat on how we can help you.

Email Deliverability

How Email Deliverability Affects Your Business

Old is gold as people say but not so gold when it comes to emailing strategies. Before email marketing metamorphosed into what it is now, the main focus for business owners was to have a long recipient list to just send emails to whether or not it was being read. If recipients didn’t unsubscribe, they will continue receiving emails regularly.

Presently, the world has adopted a different email strategy. Internet service providers require engagement from recipients in the form of clicks, open rates and replies to emails received. These responses could either be negative or positive, this does not matter as long as there is user engagement.  

Before getting into email deliverability, let us share foundational knowledge on email marketing.  

Email marketing is when you send a commercial email message to contacts who have joined your email list and given you express permission to send them emails. 

Email marketing is used to inform, increase sales, and create a brand community (e.g., with a newsletter). 

Modern email marketing has evolved from bulk mailings that were initially are one-size-fits-all and now focus on permissions, segmentation, and personalization. 

Astonishingly, around 3.9 billion people used emails globally in 2020, this number is projected to touch a staggering figure of 4.48 billion by 2024 according to a study by Statista. 

Having said that, marketers continue to encounter several obstacles in their email marketing operations. One of the most significant problems is the amount of time required to produce a visually appealing email from scratch. That is where email marketing tools come in handy to save time. 

A few popular email marketing tools include:  

As much as email marketing and its tools are necessary, they are not effective unless there is deliverability. It is not as simple as it sounds until or unless you have an email deliverability strategy in place for your company. 

Email Deliverability Explained. 

Email deliverability is defined as the measurement and comprehension of a sender’s success in getting their marketing email into people’s inboxes. It is critical to be able to spot patterns in your email deliverability data (such as opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribe spam reports) and to have a framework in place to pivot your approach based on who the trends are affecting. 

A Deliverability check makes you understand why out of the 1000’s emails that are sent to customers on a daily basis, you only get an active interest of 50 people showing. Here is the catch, this is when you realize that you need to check your email deliverability as a company. The higher the number of emails that reach a customer’s inbox rather than spam folder the greater the chance of customer recognition and response.   

When you send an email, reaching the inbox of the recipient should be the primary goal but there are three phases that the email passes through before arriving in the recipient’s inbox. These phases include delivery rate, deliverability and placement.  

Delivery Rate 

This can also be referred to as delivery rate or acceptance rate which confirms that the mail has been accepted into the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP)’s server. The ISPs will send out a message if the email has been accepted into their server or rejected.  

Deliverability 

This is the next step after the delivery rate. But unfortunately, in this section, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not acknowledge where the mail landed. It may land in any of the recipient’s mail folders which include primary, social, promotions and junk. 

Placement 

This process means exactly what it says. It refers to which tab the mail goes into in the individual’s mail folder. 

Why Email Deliverability is Important for Your Business. 

As mentioned above ROI is a crucial factor for email deliverability. Hence, a key focus should be placed on deliverability. The better the deliverability the higher the chances of a better ROI. Moreover, the changing market trends and customer demands have made it a necessity for Brand recognition to be built.
Therefore, to allow for increased engagement by ensuring that more and more emails are clicked, opened and responded to, deliverability is fundamental. Only when they reach a person’s inbox will responses be received for emails sent and ensure participation.  

When deliverability does not work effectively, the effort, time, money and resources spent to ensure that mail reaches the recipient will be futile if the message ends up in the spam box. This will further raise costs to re-strategize, plan and resend several emails. That is why before a large number of emails are sent out, the company should check on its deliverability. Only then you can have a higher probability of reaching the receiver’s inbox folder. 

Marketers rely on core points and need to measure aspects engagement metrics, blacklist checks and postmaster tools to try and identify which tab the email has gone into. 
 

Ways to Improve Your Email Deliverability 

Internet Service Providers  sort out recipient’s emails based on algorithms. But is that all?  

To get into the inbox other factors need to be considered and be put in place to make sure receivers can read and understand your email. Some of these factors include;

 

 

  • Does the matter really matter?

    Make sure to always send high-quality content. The lower the quality the higher the probability of having a bad reputation. You can always fix this by ensuring high-quality content that would get into the right folder when emails are sent. 

 

  • Is your IP happy?

    The purpose of ISP filters is to protect users from spam emails. How can you convince these monitors that your IP address is legitimate and reliable?
    Begin every email marketing strategy by generating tiny batches of emails. Deliver these messages to addresses you know are available and ready to engage. As these emails are acknowledged and opened by engaged people, your IP will begin to develop trust with the ISP. 

 

  • Get the right amount

    The greater the number of opens and clicks on your emails, the higher your sender reputation. When your emails prompt people to act, such as visiting your website, it demonstrates to the ISP that your audience values your emails. 

 

  • User response

    Be focused on the responses you receive overtime from your contacts and how the responses are. Once this is monitored, a track record can be kept of how users are reacting to your emails and whether they are interested in the content. 

 

  • Authentication

    Always authenticate your emails make sure they look true to the brand they represent. This will allow ISPs to understand that you are genuine.

     

  • Did you get a hard bounce?

    When you send an email to an address that does not exist, you will receive a hard bounce. ISPs consider hard bounces when determining sender reputation since they might indicate poor audience management. Soft bounces, on the other hand, occur when an email address has a momentary problem, such as an overflowing inbox. If you’re getting a lot of bounces, you might need to modify the method you use to develop your audience. 

 

  • Did you know of the sender policy framework?

    A sender policy framework, or SPF, boosts your credibility in the eyes of the receiving email server. To ensure that the domain name is authentic, the server can cross-reference it with the corresponding IP address. Your emails may be refused if you do not have an SPF in place. 

 

  • Check Feedback Loops

    Most major ISPs offer feedback loops via which the email sender can obtain information from receivers who have complained about the sender’s email. These are referred to as Complaint Feedback Loops or FBLs.
    This information is easily accessible through Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft. Gmail users can configure a Feedback Loop header that does not utilize the standard ARF format used by most FBLs. Only ESPs (email service providers) are allowed entry into Gmail’s FBL program. 

 

  • Email Frequency

    Sending out too many emails might cause your subscriber list to suffocate. Too few emails might suffocate your revenue.
    So, how can you maximize deliverability? You send the appropriate number of emails. The only method to find that perfect number is to thoroughly test, which is difficult. Furthermore, it takes a long time, during which you may make blunders.
    One email each week is a decent starting point. As long as you have very strong material, you may attempt scaling up to twice weekly. You may even reduce your frequency to once a month without completely losing touch with your audience. However, if you step beyond those two borders, you are entering a risky zone. 

 

  • Check Blacklists

    If you’re having sending issues, or even if you’re not, it’s a good idea to check the blacklists. These DNS-based blacklists are designed to protect consumers against IP addresses that have received a large number of spam reports.
    Check that your IP address is not on this list.
    MXToolbox can do a fast check on an IP address. Alternatively, you may join up for a free monitoring service. 

Conclusion 

From the information above you now probably have an idea about the importance of email deliverability for email marketing. This is the first step. After which, you may go crazy with designing catchy subject lines and compelling email content.  

Email marketing is extremely effective – but only if the emails are delivered. 

Finally, the essential for deliverability is a clean, engaged audience that leads to a solid sender reputation. Keep an eye on your email reports and audience data to make sure you’re delivering the correct emails to the right individuals. Nothing can stop you from reaching inboxes if you understand what email deliverability means. 

Marketing is not restricted to social media, believe it or not, email marketing is the best way to market your product or service. Reaching out to customers is just a “send’ button away. Contact The METO DIGMA to improve your email deliverability so as to land in the right message box. We will provide you with the best services and get your emails noticed.

Social Media Marketing

5 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

The Internet is pretty noisy. Bloggers, marketers, and companies are all shouting at the top of their digital voices. All of them want to be seen and heard – and to be honest, if you don’t shout the loudest, you will never be heard.

Thankfully, social media marketing provides a better avenue of improving brand exposure. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. First, you must pick the right social media platform then understand what exactly their algorithms love. Otherwise, all your efforts would be likened to running on a treadmill, sweating out, and yet still in the same place.

There’s more; running social media ads is not a straightforward game like general posting. It takes lots of trial and error. This begs the question, can you do all these and still run your company? Truthfully, most of us can’t. If this is your situation right now, then you might want to think about outsourcing your social media marketing to professionals.

In this article, we’ll open your eyes to a few reasons why working with social media marketing experts could be the right and profitable move. 

Splendid Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

  1. Save business time

Picture2

As we mentioned before, social media marketing entails a lot. There’s content creation, research, customer engagement, and performance testing (AB testing). Now, imagine doing all that on more than one social media platform. Do you think you’ll have extra time for personal things or other company duties? We both know the answer to that.

However, when you offload your social media tasks to a reliable marketing agency, you can save yourself a lot of time to pursue things that move the needle. 

  2. Save money

Picture3

According to research by Zip Recruiter, top-level social media marketers earn upwards of $6,400 while average and low earners pull in anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000. While that’s a lot, we haven’t factored in the extra time and resources you’ll spend to train an in-house team.

When you hire a social media marketing agency, though, you spend way less on superior services. In fact, most agencies or individuals can handle all the important aspects of marketing such as graphic design, content research, scheduling, and much more. This means the few bucks remaining can go into other activities that propel your company to greater heights. 

  3. Get the best tech stack

One of the greatest benefits of hiring a marketing agency is to benefit from their tech stack. Get this; if you were to run on your own, you would need an in-house team and still spend more on social media marketing tools like Buzzsumo, Buffer, Hootsuite, Sumo, Mention, Biteable…the list is endless.

If you were to select all these tools personally, how would you know which one is the most outstanding, thorough, or affordable? See what we mean? It can get really hard to know what to go with. Established marketers, on the other hand, know what’s best for any occasion thus resulting in the best results.

  4. Access to expert knowledge

Writing compelling messages is not easy. Neither is customer targeting. Don’t get us wrong; we know you might be good at social media marketing. However, given your position at your company, you probably wear one too many hats and this in some way reduces the time invested in becoming a great marketer.

Dedicated marketers, on the other hand, are agile, passionate, and extremely good at analyzing data. Furthermore, they understand how to play around with budget, character limit changes, and other dynamics. Now, imagine for a second how much value a seasoned marketer can bring in; a lot!

  5. Refresh your perspective

You don’t have to change a system that is working. We’ve heard that many times. Guess what, though: understanding your customers can easily translate to getting stuck in a rut. Their needs and wants keep changing and so does the technology. So what we are trying to say is, you are likely to bore your customers if you don’t swap things up a little.

When you hire a digital marketing agency, you basically have a new voice. A different perspective. Even better, many marketers are great at crafting content that keeps your audience enchanted. So don’t be afraid to onboard new teams with fresh opinions.

On top of all these reasons, marketers are trendsetters and can help you catch up and benefit from the latest trends like Instagram stories, social shopping, etc. More importantly, with someone always attending to your social accounts, you’ll never miss posting content and engaging with your audience. This is a tactic that keeps customers around.

Making up your mind

It’s never easy to trust strangers with your business. For this reason, it can take longer to decide whether to outsource your social media marketing to an agency. However, there’s a way you can speed things up without settling for crappy services.

First, interview several agencies, ask for samples, and don’t shy from asking for references as well. If you get one that ticks all your boxes, you can start with small steps. For instance, draw up a one-month contract to see how they perform before extending the relationship.

Having run successful PR campaigns and online marketing for various small and medium-sized companies, The METO DIGMA team, too, can help you with social media marketing. Contact us and we will be more than happy to partner with you. All in all, we wish you the very best in your marketing endeavors – outsourced or not. Toodles.

Brand Awareness Through LinkedIn

8 Ways You Can Use LinkedIn To Increase Your Brand’s Awareness

If there is something we can all agree to it is that in this current digital clime all businesses must have a social presence. In a society where social media platforms like Facebook serve as sales points, you cannot turn a blind eye to the power of social media. 

The one social media platform that works great for companies and businesses is LinkedIn. Some years back, its use was not dominant, however, it is quite different now. In reality, any company can use LinkedIn to personify its brand awareness. 

One useful tip; while using LinkedIn to drive brand awareness, ensure your marketing strategies complement each other. Take an example, your corporate image should also be reflected in how your sales representative works both online and offline.  

In an effort to leverage LinkedIn for increased brand awareness, here are some steps to take to lead you to desired results:  

 

 1. Build your company’s page 

Blog 2

First off, you need a LinkedIn company page in order to market your brand. This is the real estate you are going to work with. 

Your company page needs to be really great to drive massive engagements. Here are some of the components that go a long way:  

  • Your company logo 
  • Cover page 
  • Business name 
  • Detailed business description 
  • Website URL 

LinkedIn offers help on how to create a company page via the help page. 

 2. Use a personal branding approach 

Blog 3

As a business, transparency helps build trust. If you are running a faceless corporation, no matter how competitive your prices are, your business will grow at a painfully slow rate. 

More importantly; how do you personify your brand via LinkedIn? You can start by making an exhaustive list of your experiences or services on your company page. A strong brand identity makes you more recognizable and one key benefit is high levels of trust from your audience.  

There are different personal branding approaches you can choose to follow. Take an example, the use of a banner image that clearly tells your story. Alternatively, you can have a picture of your employees so customers know they have an idea of persons being dealt with. 

To appropriate brand equity, the profiles of company employees should project high levels of professionalism that attract followership or social appeal. 
 

 3. Post quality content 

Quality Content, relevance & consistency are three big words to guide you while posting via LinkedIn. Of note, there are a plethora of brands seeking to establish a presence via the platform. While some may give up attempts after weeks or months of trial, with consistent messaging the odds are that you shall be on top especially if your content is relevant to your audience.

Again, a question could be how does one maintain frequent posting? You could take a cue from other social media sites, especially the established brands.  

Another relevant tip; the moment you have multiple pieces of high-quality content ready-to-go, you can use scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to post on autopilot. 

Also note that to establish yourself or your brand as an authority, your content needs to be geared towards solving customer’s problems. In the words of Michael Riley, Boxter co-founder, “real value gets real results.” 
 

 4. Ask your employees to engage with your brand’s content 

Remember, you do not have to be a seasoned network marketer to get the word out about your brand. Often times. all you need to do is use your employees. Let them update their profiles with information on the company they work for.

 Next, ask them to engage with your content (through reposts and likes). If all of them can share your company page’s posts at the same time, the LinkedIn algorithm marks the content as a ‘hot topic’ and suggests it to other related connections.  

Prior to taking the steps above, double-check that each employee’s profile resonates with your brand’s message and ethos. If required, help employees by encouraging profile updates in line with best practices.  

 

 5. Create unique headlines that attract 

You may wonder why great headlines matter? If you want to get found on LinkedIn, your title needs to be catchy and relevant.  

Another piece of advice is to use words or phrases that attract attention and promote engagement. 

 6. Leverage the about section to promote your offers 

Most people frown at hard-selling. However, if you do not make obvious your brand offerings, you are more likely to stifle growth. The about section of your company page is prime real estate waiting to be used. 

It’s not just about the description. LinkedIn permits media uploads of various formats. Utilize the opportunity to showcase samples that improve your brand’s legitimacy. Furthermore, since the about us page permits linking to other pages, you can target customers over again through this section. These practices if done regularly can get your business the desired attention.   

 7. Use a campaign manager 

Most new businesses already look forward to making profits from the start. There is a high probability of breaking even quickly when your brand resonates with clients and accrues sustainable traffic. Businesses operating in competitive segments or niches usually need help with a formidable strategy.  

If LinkedIn’s free methods of building brand awareness do not help your business reach expected results, you can explore LinkedIn’s Campaign manager feature. This paid service gives access to effective targeting tools that could help you break through into relevant audiences. 

 8. Explore LinkedIn groups 

LinkedIn groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to interact by sharing relevant content, providing solutions to challenges and making reliable business connections.   

Frequent group contribution results in improving your brand recognition which in turn establishes your brand as an industry expert.  

In summary, LinkedIn is a proven platform that helps businesses grow if you leverage the right features, depending on your company’s growth cycle. We encourage you to run an integrated marketing campaign across various social media platforms.  

In building brand awareness on LinkedIn, it should be noted that the results may not appear instantaneous, however, with the implementation of the right strategies and techniques, businesses can achieve top-of-the-mind awareness (TOMA).  

If you need a business partner to assist with increasing your online presence, kindly reach out to The METO DIGMA team.   

listening on social media

Are you listening on social media?

Creating and posting great content for your audience is very key to attracting them, however, listening on social media and understanding their pain points and unique need is even more important in this current digital clime. 

According to Brian Solis, “the best listeners often make the most engaging conversationalists.” 

listening on social media involves tracking the conversations your target audience is having online- whether it’s about your brand, topics related to your brand, competitors or problems they may be having. It is a great way to build awareness and community by participating in the conversation. As you social listen, you gain a better understanding of your audience and those insights will form the basis of improving your campaign strategy. 

Social media monitoring and listening on social media are terms that are usually used interchangeably, but there is a difference. With social media monitoring, you are simply checking for mentions of your brand so you can respond applicably. However, with social media listening, it requires taking a step further to analyze the conversations and trends surrounding your brand mentions, as well as the industry as a whole and then using the findings to make better marketing decisions. 

In simple terms, monitoring tells you what activity is taking place and listening tells you why the activity is taking place. 

listening on social media provides great insights into your industry and your target audience. Companies can turn these insights into impact by developing strategies that will positively influence their audience. As you social listening, you will uncover additional pain points or areas of dissatisfaction and this creates an opportunity to repackage an existing product or service or create something that will address the problem in a unique way. 

 

There are several ways social listening can benefit your business whether it is a small, medium-sized or large company; 

  • It enables you to maintain your online reputation: 

            By observing your brand mentions, you can easily follow up on positive and negative feedback.  Feedback is beneficial to a business because it provides direction on how to improve your products & services. In the case of a dissatisfied customer, you can quickly respond and resolve any pending issues before the story goes viral. Being proactive with your audience helps you maintain a good online reputation.  

  • You discover your consumers (both main & potential) and build a relationship with them:

             Through listening, you can discover where people are having conversations about your products and services and engage with them directly. You are able to focus your marketing efforts on the right people and the right platform. When you do this, you get to know your current consumers, discover potential consumers and build a strong connection with them. 

  • Be abreast of your competitor’s activities:

             It is no secret that in the business industry, companies “spy” on their competitors. I know right, we all enjoy a little chatter about what our competitors are up to.   Social listening affords you the opportunity to digitally eavesdrop on customers conversations where you can learn about your competitor’s products & services. You can also learn what’s working & what is not if their customers are dissatisfied and unhappy.  All this provides you insights about your competitors and enables you to get an edge on them by tailoring solutions that will appeal to their audiences. 

  • Find brand advocates & influencers:  

               It is no news that in this digital era, electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has a substantial influence on consumer’s buying decision. Through social listening, you can find out people who are sharing information and positive feedback about your products & services.  Once you identify your brand advocates, you can reward them for spreading positive vibes about your brand.  This could also lead to influencer opportunities which will further stamp social proof for your brand. 

If you are yet to have a social listening strategy, this is a good time to implement one. There are numerous free tools available to help you hit the ground running.  A few recommendations include Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Google alerts, Social mention, Tweet reach and Brand watch. These tools are super handly when it comes to listening on social media. 

On the more advanced side, you can choose to invest in enterprise-level social listening solutions. With that, you can monitor consumer conversations around keywords, phrases, language usage, hashtags, emoji, industry-specific terms. You’ll have a comprehensive view of how people are talking about your brand and products. 

 

Whatever tools you decide to acquire, the goal is to master the craft of hearing your audience loud and clear and using your findings to make strategic decisions to improve customer experience. After all, the end game of all marketing strategy is based on the value proposition to the customer. 

How do you ensure you provide the utmost value to your customer?  How do you identify their pain points so you can address them? By listening to them :-)!

PPC advertising

What is the Future of PPC Advertising?

PPC advertising (in full pay per click advertising) is a form of marketing where an advertiser pays for each click their ads receive. Clicks can result in a sale, a phone call, or as simple as a website visit.

Why PPC advertising as opposed to SEO?

PPC could be easily thought of as a ladder that helps you get to the treetop and pluck fruits. SEO is much more like climbing the tree, one step at a time. PPC is one of the quickest ways a business can make sales or generate traffic within the shortest time possible.

Being a shortcut to the top, PPC tends to be costlier than SEO-though totally worth it for businesses that want to gain traction right off the bat.

The Changing pay per click advertising environment

Like other digital services, the pay-per-click advertisement is undergoing massive transformation year after year. What was considered the best PPC practices two years

ago may no longer work in the current technologically advanced marketing realm. Here are a few changes to expect:

  • AI PPC

From Her, Ex Machina to the globally acknowledged blockbusters such as Iron Man, it is becoming apparent how important AI is in expediting human operations. PPC advertising is one area that is already integrating artificial intelligence.

Normally, you would be expected to do keyword research, competition analysis and forecast how your ad campaigns will perform. This can take a lot of time and when it comes to business time is the most valuable resource.

Of course, Google and other ad platforms offer in-house AI capabilities but they are still rudimental at best. This means you might need to look into other best third-party AI-powered PPC tools that are smarter.

A few noteworthy mentions include Albert, Optmyzr, Marin, and Acquisio. These tools can take over keyword research, budget forecast, ad translation, data analysis, and much more.

Note: Just because AI-powered tools are becoming all the rage doesn’t mean you should settle for any. Their performance relies on their algorithm capabilities. And we all know some algorithms are cheesy.

  • Process automation

All businesses are driven by one law: to make profits (of course by being valuable to their customers). And to remain profitable, overhead costs must stay within a reasonable point. Quite frankly, PPC managers still deal with a lot of manual duties that soon could be taken over by automation.

The sheer number of platforms and networks means ad managers must always babysit their campaigns. Thankfully, automation now allows smooth bid management with better chances of precision and profitability.

Automation takes care of reporting and can download daily or weekly analytics for reviewing. Furthermore, you can enjoy the Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) feature that runs campaigns on auto based on existing data. How awesome is that?

Caveat: While it is a time-saver, DSA can overreach on some keywords and easily go off course. You also lack control over content headlines and that means what is being posted may not exactly be in line with your brand’s image and goals. So always make sure to take some time to monitor automated processes.

AI PPC

  • Platform Diversification

While automation is going to eventually win over virtually every platform, some will transform slowly. And that is a good thing. Google’s smart bidding strategy may be helpful but at times, but it can easily send your performance downhill. This is because there is no human involvement or control.

Note: Smart bidding is a good strategy for accounts receiving over 50 conversions in a day. The more the conversion data, the easier it becomes for the algorithm to achieve better strategies. If you are getting low sales, it is better to proceed with manual PPC.

Other platforms like Microsoft Ads still give marketers accessibility to robust data for strategic decision-making. You have full control over your messaging, ad spending, and reach.

  • Video will still be relevant

After Google, YouTube is the second most used search engine on the internet. Stats indicate that by the end of 2022, the number of YouTube uploads will be more than a million. Now you understand why you must start or continue using more videos in your PPC advertising strategies.

Videos not only communicate your brand’s ideals but showcase exactly what a product is and how it works. And as the number of mobile consumers increases, you’ll sleep well at night knowing that your ads are getting the impressions and clicks they deserve.

  • Mobile experience will matter more

Yes, it’s no surprise that this has been one of the core PPC trends in the past couple of years. However, as you probably know, the number of mobile users keeps growing by the year. Also, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp rolled out stories-which makes sharing short and punchy videos easy.

So going forward, brands that want to win big will need to ensure their websites are mobile-friendly.

  • Growth of stellar content

Many marketers have been aggressively focusing on data points and curating ads that suit those trends. As you would expect, the content can easily come off as unsuitable to some audiences. Many PPC advertising experts indicate that there will be renewed efforts in ad content with writers capturing the unique needs of their audiences.

  • Renewed efforts at blocking bad ads

Ads have come a long way from the nuisance pop-ups they used to be to the more friendly versions you see on Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Therefore, for your ads to be green-lit for publication by most browsers, they must be exceptional.

With every Google Chrome’s update, there are more efforts directed towards blocking bad ads. And the crazy part is, your ad could be good but if it comes from a network that is less trusted by users, sadly, it’s going to be bashed. So while you may want to lower your budget or stick to an ad platform you are used to, make sure it’s well recognized.

 

Wrap Up

The future of PPC advertising is largely going to be automated. There are lots of new tools and methods rolling that will definitely impact your marketing campaigns albeit for a short time.

It is okay to stick with what is working now but do not forget to familiarize yourself with the upcoming new updates. You don’t need to adopt all the novel approaches. Instead, AB-test a few in sandboxes and deploy those that yield better ROI. Are you excited about the future of pay-per-click advertising? Do let us know.

Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Digital Marketing

Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Digital Marketing

Surviving in business means always anticipating what’s coming next, thinking 10 steps ahead and preparing for changes that will impact the industry you’re in and eventually the way business is conducted. This is especially true in digital marketing, planning and anticipating changes allows a business to be resilient and thrive in a changing environment. 

One topic that is gaining momentum in the digital marketing space is Artificial Intelligence. Many of us think of AI as something futuristic and associate it with robots that can talk and mimicking human abilities. But AI is not as futuristic as some of us may think, it is here and it is already making waves in the digital marketing space.  

An example of a brand that is already using AI is Amazon! Using shopper’s recent searches, views and purchases, Amazon uses AI to show the shopper only information that is relevant to them, increasing the chances of the shopper returning to their site or even making a purchase. 

Many clients appreciate personalised service and with AI, many websites are able to offer this to their clients. One very relevant use of AI is the adoption of chatbots on websites. Chatbots are a perfect way to achieve the one-on-one customer service offering, too many customers at the same time, in different languages and various time zones. Providing relevant information in real-time! 

AI is changing the face of internet marketing, rendering many older strategies obsolete.  

If you’re considering optimising your website to provide a better customer experience, get in touch with us and let us help you find ways to stay ahead, ensuring your digital advertising remains profitable and your services remain relevant. 

Launching Your Business in Africa

Launching Your Business in Africa? Here is my proven recipe for success.

As far as I remember, for me, the word Africa has always resonated with endless opportunities, hard work, and career growth. Knowing the realities of my homeland – and being raised with a strong Beninese and Togolese culture – I made it a mission to help change the African narrative the best I could at my scale. For almost five years I had this opportunity with my previous employer before starting The METO DIGMA. The mission was exciting and fulfilling; to Help bridge Africa’s Digital Divide, especially in rural areas with the help of our satellite broadband solution. Most importantly, this position allowed me to learn more first hand about the continent from a business perspective. Here are the main lessons learned on how to successfully launch your services in Africa.

1- Understand your audience.

You can’t do business with people you don’t understand. This sounds logical, but all too often we have examples where brands have made erroneous assumptions from one neighbouring country to another when planning their launch in Africa. This continent is a puzzle of 54 countries, and each country is filled with different ethnicities having their own culture and customs. Your communication has to take stock and embrace these differences. For example, you don’t communicate the same way in a French-speaking country as you would in an English-speaking country. Being knowledgeable about these specific cultures helps you to adapt your product to customs and practices and ensure that the solutions you provide are relevant to your customers.

2- Do your homework.

Make sure you’re addressing a real problem that your audience faces. The story of the young start-up trying to replicate a product or a service that has been a success in the US or in Europe is now a cliché in Africa. Most of those experiences ended in failure. Try another way instead. Understand the country and, if needed, start from scratch and create a strategy specific to your market.

3- Good marketing is nothing without suitable logistics.

Make sure that your product can be available for your customers, everywhere. Set up good distribution channels or partner with companies that already have a good network if you don’t have the resources internally. Don’t just focus on the big cities, but also on the small ones and don’t be afraid of rural areas. The closer you are to your consumer, the more likely you are to be adopted by your audience, with the support of the right marketing approach.

4- Test your ideas until they prove right. 

Africa is the place where you can test ideas and try products until you find a good formula. Ridesharing services like Bolt (former Taxify) or Heetch have done that with success. First, develop a minimum viable product then test it and enhance it thanks to feedback.

5- Listen.

In Africa, like elsewhere, things can move fast. A dominant position can be earned by efforts and constant attention. But it can also be lost quickly as soon as one becomes complacent. So, you should keep asking for feedback from your partners, distributors, consumers, etc. Evaluate the feedback and implement the ones that can improve your product. Be really cautious about price-related feedback. Consumers are really price-sensitive, regardless of how good your communication strategy is 🙂

Remember that the vast majority of people in Africa live with less than 2 USD/day. So, not only should your product be good, but it should also be provided at the right price based on your targeted market realities. Price is the first determinant of the buying decision.

6- Don’t hesitate to go digital. 

According to Tidjane Deme, former Google Lead for Francophone Africa, “people underestimate the ability of Africans to adopt and use a technology that can simplify their lives.” Don’t make that mistake. This is something that our current coronavirus pandemic has made very clear: rely on digital technology too! But keep it really simple. The consumer can adapt to it more quickly than it seems, don’t underestimate them. Smartphones sales are exploding in Africa and the connectivity is getting better and better. But keep in mind that a large proportion of the population is illiterate, which is an opportunity to be creative and innovate on the most effective way to address this part of your target. For instance, voice solutions in local languages or clear infographics have proven to be efficient.

7- Use complaints to your advantage.

Complaining is human nature. So when your partners, distributors or customers do it, don’t take it personally. Instead, use this feedback as an opportunity for growth and create a positive outcome from it. Connect to the unsatisfied partner, distributors or customers to understand what the issue is from their perspective, and see how you can address it. Never forget to integrate your partner strategy into your own, especially in a B2B relationship — their happiness is yours, equally, their success is highly linked to yours. In Africa, customer service matters, it is of high importance and valued more than it is in most continents. If you treat your partners and customers well and you’re honest with them, you’ll reap confidence and they’ll be more likely to forgive the mistakes you make along the way. It’s all about developing trust while growing together.

8- The three attributes of success when doing business in Africa

You’ve already heard this, doing business in Africa is quite different from what it looks like in Europe or the US. Nevertheless, there are three attributes that will make your life easier.

  • First: Be resilient. If you can’t develop this mindset, it’s better you give up before even starting. You’ll face many roadblocks. Simple things can become very complicated. A good idea can turn into a nightmare with the wrong approach. Get ready to fail. Reinvent yourself as much as you need while remaining realistic. Don’t be discouraged. If you learn to use failure as a stairway, you’ll eventually succeed!
  • Second: Develop an open mindset knowing that opportunities are endless. In Africa, you’ll never stop learning. You should always be open to new perspectives. Things change fast and respect is a crucial part of a variety of African cultures. Your competitors are out there trying to develop new products that will wipe out yours. If you want to survive, keep learning, keep trying new stuff.
  • Last: Be collaborative and lead by example. Learn to work with everyone and involve your partners at the right stage. Bonding with a partner or a distributor is the most precious asset of a business in Africa. If you make the effort to really understand them, to listen and, most importantly, to respect them, they’ll support you at 100% and your business adventure will be easier.

As the saying goes, learning is sharing, so let me know what you think in the comment section below. Disclaimer: the points listed above are not an exhaustive list and only represent a summary of my experience on the ground. 

Thank you!

Content Marketing – Why it is necessary for businesses?

Content Marketing – Why it is necessary for businesses ?

There is a lot of hype around Content Marketing, but also a lot of confusion about WHAT it is, WHY is it valuable and HOW to use it effectively. In today’s digital world, “Content is King and engagement is Queen”. The phrase content marketing is usually associated with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube videos, but in actual fact, content marketing has been around far longer than the internet. As far back as the 1900s.  

In 1900 a small French tire company named Michelin published a book called The Michelin Guide. The Michelin Guide provided valuable information for motorists while on the road, general tips on how to care for your tyres on long-distance trips, where to find restaurants and auto maintenance. Even though Michelin was a tire company, not one page in the 40-page guide was used to sell their products! Well, not directly, the aim of the guide was to encourage people to travel more, thus wearing out their tires and end up going to Michelin to buy more tires. In fact, the guide was such a success, that businesses that were listed in the guide had massive growth. An example of this is the coveted Michelin Star that restaurants and chefs all over the world strive to achieve to increase their stature. 

Before we get into the benefits of content marketing for businesses, let us first define WHAT is content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute – ‘Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action’  

In simpler terms, content marketing is about delivering, valuable, high-quality information that addresses your audience’s needs, pain points, and solves their pain point while also educating them.  

So, now that we have defined content marketing, letexplore the benefits of content marketing for businesses. The rise of the internet and changes in technology have shifted the balance of power to the customer, the customer now has an unlimited number of options! So how do you stand out?  

You have to gain your customers’ trust! By demonstrating your expertise, sharing your knowledge, by solving your audiences’ everyday problems through relevant information. Content Marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive leads to virtually any business, the key is to be consistent in your sharing of content. Consistency is one of the many factors that determine growth and success, your content needs to have a unique and identifiable tone, style and pitch. 

 Let us take the example of Marcus Sheridan, content marketing guru, author and pool salesman. When his swimming pool company was hit hard by the recession, he decided to pursue content marketing.  

“We embraced the power of content, and we established very quickly the most successful blog in the swimming pool industry. Essentially, all we did is we just answered every single question that we had ever received from a consumer, without filter. That’s what we did, and immediately, within six months, it was on top of the industry. The leads and the traffic and the sales started pouring in because of it.”  

Today, his pool company website gets more traffic than any other pool company site in the world and he has now expanded his business to include social media coaching for other businesses.  

 

 

 

Still, need convincing? Let’s consider this recent report on essential content marketing statistics for 2021: 

  1. 95% of B2B Consumers say content helps them trust a business more 
  1. 71% in the B2B industry also admitted to reviewing an organization’s blog during their buyer’s journey. 
  1. 71% of B2B consumers reviewed a businesses blog before buying 
  1. 61% of consumers have also bought something that is recommended by blogs that they read. 
  1. The latest reports say content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing programs. On top of this, it generates 3x the leads. 
  1. 50% of B2B marketers outsource at least one part of content marketing. 
  1. 84% of marketers outsource content creation. 

The more content you create and share with your audience, the more you establish yourself and position your brand as an authority in your industry. Trust always comes before a sale; people trust and hire experts!  

Content Marketing is a sure way to build brand awareness, increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because only people that have an interest in your industry are going to conduct a search that will result in them reading your content.  

Do you need help with content creation for your business? Send us a direct message to start discussions.  

 

 

 

Content Marketing – Why it is necessary for businesses?

Anglophone countries VS francophone countries: How to bridge the gap?

As the business world expands, business opportunities become ubiquitous. The major challenge remains the ability to pursue and seize such opportunities to fruitful ends. Doing so, however, requires overlooking differences and building bridges. This paradigm is beautifully illustrated by the French-speaking and English-speaking worlds. Beyond their geographical and historical differences, France and the UK have over time, shaped distinct visions and models of business. Fortunately, the gap between these visions is not unbreachable. What are the distinctions between the English and French business realms? Which assets should one possess, towards fully tapping into these two markets? Beyond the language barrier, what other differences are there between these two worlds and how can they be overcome? These are the questions that businesses must crucially answer if they want to understand the intricacies of these two worlds.

 

Global differences

Differences between the francophone and anglophone go way back in history, but it is during colonial times that the gap between the French and English powers became global. The two powers reshaped the world’s political, economic, and social models, trade standards, and even the orientation and perception of some countries across the globe.

In Africa for example, British settlers opted for indirect rule, a governance system that leverages pre-existing sociopolitical indigenous power structures. The impact of this system on trade was rapidly noticed afterwards, as British colonies quickly adopted a way of living based on trade, business, and exchanges.

Meanwhile, in the francophone world, arms of state Governance and administration, are preeminent. Generally, English-speaking countries are perceived to be business-friendly, as is reflected in the ease-of-business ranking. This perception, however, is changing over the years and now countries like Côte d’Ivoire are rapidly emerging as top reformers, relative to the quality of their business environment.

10 keys to bridging the anglophone-francophone gap

Whether you are from the francophone world and wish to do business in the anglophone world, or vice-versa, the gap between these worlds is an ever-present obstacle. However, here are some keys to tackle it:

1- Have a good product

Regardless of where you operate, be it an English-speaking or a French-speaking country, the first factor to being successful is the quality of the product or service you provide. The latter needs to be adapted to the target market. It must solve an actual and evident problem and be accessible at a competitive price. Bar meeting these prerequisites, all other efforts may be ineffective.

2- Build a network, Hone your background

The personal background is crucial, especially in the francophone world. Where you studied, the companies you worked for or with, your professional experience, are all factors that could make your life easier. And while it is true that English-speaking countries are more tolerant towards newcomers, in French-speaking countries experience is highly valued. Also, it is very important for one to take care of their address book. Great contacts can make your life easier, especially in the francophone business world which operates a lot on recommendations and favours.

3- Know your why

If one’s background and address book are greatly important, the same stands for their motivation. In the anglophone world especially, you might get opportunities depending on your “why”. Therefore, it is important to know and more importantly to make known what drives you, why you do the things you do, and what your goals are.

4- Master the political context

No matter how amazing your product or service might be, it would be catastrophic to launch it at the wrong time. Understanding the political dynamics of the market you are going to operate in, is vital. What are the ambitions of its leaders? How are they reflected in their economic policies? What measures are favourable to your business? How can you guard your activity against measures that could hurt it? In a region like Africa, mastering the political context is essential, especially if you are looking to make long-term investments there.

5- Know the differences related to employability

Generally, when it comes to employability, anglophone systems are more flexible than francophone systems. It is both easier to hire and lay off staff. In French-speaking countries, it is quite tedious to hire or suspend an employment contract and this could affect one’s business. Understanding the differences between these two worlds will help you know what types of contracts would be best to offer, if you should outsource or not, etc.

6- Understand the language

We must convene that trading is more difficult when parties involved don’t understand each other. A language is a major tool in trade. Understanding the language, or having someone who does, is the first step. In the anglophone world, all efforts to understand the language are lauded. Although, French speakers are a little more demanding when it comes to the level of fluency required to do business with them. Whatever the case, make efforts to understand both French and English. For French speakers, speaking English is an undeniable asset, given that it is the primary language in the business world. For English speakers, speaking French – fluently – is not only an asset but a tool to surprise French-speaking business partners. This also facilitates talks and sets the stage for a trustworthy and friendly collaboration.

7- Know the law

Laws in place in one world are completely different when moving to another. It is important to fully comprehend them or be close to people who do. Though it is true that major economic blocks (ECOWAS, CEMAC, SADC, COMESA) have shared regulations, at the country level, there are specific laws that can determine the success or failure of your business.

8- Understand the cultural context

Two neighbouring countries, despite their geographic proximity, can have completely different cultures. Here, understanding what works at the global level and adapt it at the local level is key to succeeding in your venture. Simply applying the same strategy one would use in a francophone environment in the anglophone environment wouldn’t necessarily work. Tweaking your strategy by taking into account cultural peculiarities is necessary but tricky. However, failing to do so could result in failure.

9- Master structural risks

One of the main challenges that businesses face is foreign currency risks. In Africa for example, anglophone countries have their own currencies and most francophone countries share the CFA franc. In the latter, the risk related to foreign exchange is lower. Therefore, a business operator who enters a country that is part of the Franc zone would mitigate this risk, especially if the value of currencies in the anglophone zone falls.

10- Be informed

Whether you are in a francophone or an anglophone zone, the worst thing you could do is to think that you understand the zone based on assumptions. It is vital to stay informed and to really apprehend how the information you get can affect your business. It is also, like anywhere else, important to have a well-packed address book and to establish robust partnerships.

What’s next?

Far from being an obstacle, differences between regions where different languages are spoken can be an advantage, provided that you understand some rules and how to play by them. This reality stands for the francophone and anglophone worlds. Besides, many countries are mustering efforts to bridge these differences and build stronger economic spaces. A project such as the African Continental Free-trade Area (AfCFTA), is a perfect example of such efforts, in Africa.

As my favourite saying goes, learning is sharing, so I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Thank you, and/or, Merci 🙂