August 7, 2014 0

USING CONTENT TO GET YOUR STORY OUT THERE JUST LIKE COCA-COLA

By in Content Development, Digital Marketing Strategy

I spend much of my time online looking at creative campaigns wondering, “How the hell did they come up with that?” A company that has really stood out this past year has been Coca- Cola, they have kept churning out really epic stories that go way beyond selling their product to getting you as an individual to own their brand.

I was even more awestruck when I happen to come across their marketing mission statement known as Content 2020. Like the name suggests they have a mission to generate content as their core marketing strategy. It all made sense that the really great videos I had been watching were not as a result of individual one off brilliance but rather from a planned and sustained strategy to get their brand story out there resulting in positive engagement.

So while the rest of the world is thinking about creative one off campaigns to drum up small business (okay maybe I’ve exaggerated), Coca-Cola through content 2020 are looking to double their business! That’s right, double it… Pretty audacious if you ask me in that they are already a world leading brand.

Coca- Cola has noticed that story telling is at the heart of all families, communities and cultures and they have planned to move their brand from creative excellence to content excellence. In my opinion I think the idea is to get people to develop such a deep emotional connection with their brand that they are able to achieve their business objectives.

Coca-Cola gets people to form a deep emotional connection with them

They plan to do this by developing content that links their business objectives, brands and consumer interests with ideas that are very contagious in a way in which they cannot be controlled. So the conversations that are sparked by these ideas are then reacted to twenty four hours a day three hundred and sixty five days a year.

The consumer generated Coca-Cola stories will definitely outnumber those that Coca-Cola create themselves, thus earning the emotional connection with their consumers that they are after. Brands have realized that to succeed they need to not only concentrate on paid media but rather concentrate on owning media and earning from it. So begin to develop content that will be so good that your customers will interact with, own and add to. You can check out their owned media channel right here http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/

Some Coca-Cola ideas

Coca-Cola wants to refresh the world, inspire moments of happiness create value and make a difference… Have a look at those contagious ideas that will elicit reactions that Coca-Cola can create conversations around which will keep them top of mind.

June 20, 2012 0

How effective is Facebook’s paid advertising?

By in Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media for Business

The effect of Facebook’s paid advertising has been a huge bone of contention in recent months with General Motors cancelling all its paid ads on the network and Reuters publishing a scathing poll that states that four out of five users are not swayed by Facebook Ads.

We however sought to establish when and if Facebook advertising does work.

We formed our deductions from three research papers; one from UK Firm TBG Digital, which based its research on  326 billion impressions for 266 clients across 205 countries, ComScore and Social Fresh.

We figure there are some major points to consider:

Industry Sector

Let us start with TBG’s breakdown of Facebook click-through-rates across different sectors:

Facebook Advertising Click-Through Rates by sector

Facebook Advertising Click-Through Rates by sector

As we can see here the results vary greatly across the different sectors. General Motors would fall under the Auto & Vehicles sector, which is somewhat towing the line according to this research. This table certainly indicates what we should now expect as digital marketers from our Facebook paid advertising efforts as we interact with clients in different market sectors.

How advertising budget is spent

Social Fresh also provided data that gave us more to think about.

Facebook advertisers see an average cost per click of $0.80 and average clickthrough rate (CTR) of 0.041 percent. There are also various variations to this average based on how brands conduct their Facebook advertising. For instance, clicks that keep traffic within the Facebook ecosystem cost less on average at $0.70 while ads that drive users away from Facebook cost more at an average of $1.08 per click. Brands using agencies seemed to report a higher than average CTR of 0.049 percent while those using a Facebook rep reported an even higher CTR of 0.05 percent as a opposed to 0.038 when they did their own internal advertising. This may be down to more refined tactics from both agencies and reps. In essence, using an agency or Facebook rep for your advertising and keeping traffic within Facebook’s ecosystem by building brand pages will give you the highest possible CTR.

Sponsored stories vs regular ads

We find that ComScore makes a very compelling argument for Facebook advertising by summarizing the activities that brands ignore that lead to far better CTRs.

Facebook Brand Amplification

Facebook Brand Amplification

ComScore is actually referring to many brands’ lack of focus when it comes social media strategy. Getting fans is considered by many as the sure path to hitting their social media ROI. Facebook activities should lead to amplification which simply means your fans talking about content and inherently spreading it to their friends who are not fans.

Facebook Amplification Ratios

Facebook Amplification Ratios

ComScore indicates that brands can as much as double their reach through sponsored stories on Facebook. The amplification ratio here indicates the number of ad impressions received from fans against those from their friends as a ratio. Therefore the answer here is simple. Build a better Facebook strategy and it should lead to better CTRs through the use of sponsored stories rather than regular ads.

In summary our research has led us to believe that there are too many factors to take into account with Facebook’s paid advertising to completely write off its effect. It is certainly down to your agency to keep you one step ahead by harnessing all this knowledge and technique.

 

Links:

ComScore’s Facebook Ad Effectiveness Report

TBG Global Facebook Advertising Report

Social Fresh Facebook Advertising Survey

 

 

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June 11, 2012 0

My Love Affair with Technology

By in Mobile and Business

January 2011 was a month with a difference; it was a year that my career had to shape up. The pressure was real I was no longer that ‘little girl’; I had to be independent and self-sufficient. So my career path began. With no information technology background, I found myself in technology firm. My friends would tell you that I am always after a challenge. So there I was in a technology firm with no knowledge in that field. I had to adapt right? I was determined to make it work; make the best out of it all.

So there I was in a technology firm with everybody murmuring some gibberish called tech. I was lost but I had to work, this wasn’t a hobby it was work. I had deliverables at the end of the day. This was how I was going to make a living. One of my first tasks was to create a landing page. A task that would normally take about 3 hours took me about 4 days in-fact let’s call it five days, my boss had to fine tune my work, he wasn’t amused. He wasn’t pleased because during my interview I said I was proficient in Dreamweaver, which is true just for your knowledge but that’s not the point here.

I encountered Dreamweaver in campus, but software’s are always refined; and since information technology was not my major in campus I really did not dwell much on it. I made a website once it took me a whole semester and it was a project I had to do to get a grade in order to graduate. In campus I spent most of my free time with my friends studying computer science, so I knew a thing or two about tech, HTML, CSS. The second task was to convert a website to Chinese. That was not a hard task, but a week later the client left. It wasn’t because of the delayed landing page or the translation, it was a lot of things from their end as well as ours; but the fact is the client was under my service, and losing a client as a small growing business is a big deal.

That was one cold Friday; I could see the fury on my bosses face. We left it for Monday; from then on it was a series of performance reviews. He did not let me go; he didn’t give up on my lack of tech background. He could have, he had all the grounds to but he somehow believed in me. I fell in love with technology, you just don’t fall in love with anything or anyone but I did. I have a secret affair with technology. I may not know how to code, or fix an HTML error but I love the tech industry.

I wake up each and every morning to go to the tech industry, everything I do is in the tech field and I love it. I don’t see myself in any other field in the near future.  I may not know how to make an interactive website or generate online revenue. But I sure know how to conceptualize on tech ideas I believe the outcomes are worth a mention in this day and era. I can proudly say without a doubt that I am a woman in the tech industry. One and a half years later I do comprehend the tech gibberish.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” -Albert Einstein

June 7, 2012 0

My Genesis

By in Social Media for Business

It all started a year ago; more of a boy meets girl kind of story. At that point social media was an added value to a client, and with time on my hands and a new avenue to explore it was a new challenge. I then received a lot of brand guidelines, what to say what not to say, I questioned every word I was putting forward, social media was more of a task.

My first encounter with social media was in 2006; my 1st social network like most was ‘Hi5’. It was more about visuals; how appealing my page was, which ‘skin’ fitted with my personality, it was that kind of channel, nothing much. Then came Facebook. I am a bit of a sceptic. Others would call me an ‘early late adopter’, among the first but late to adopt. In my thinking if it works why change it?  One night in campus my friend introduced me to Facebook; it was dull and boring blue and white for all of us really? No colour, no skins:(

The Original Facebook Interface

But I got hooked and here I am 5 years later with a ‘semi active profile’. I blame my new liking of Pintrest. We social media managers have to move with the trends. Digital marketing is always evolving so we must adapt in order to give our clients that competitive edge online.

Back to my story. So a year ago I fell in love with social media marketing. It was not just a private space where I would share information with my few selected friends but it was now a space that I utilized to communicate the value of a brand to the public; a way of getting the masses to interact and engage with a brand. As I mentioned earlier I was given a brand book, a list of what to do or not to do. I must admit I shelved all this information. I decided to go all out and fully engage the public with the brand, my knowledge of the brand and what the brand means to me.

The common misconception people have is that, everybody can do it and that it’s an easy task. Well there is some truth to this and every savvy individual in this time and age has a social media page or two. Everyone can post, upload and everything there is to do on social media. But the one thing that people do not understand is that corporate social media is different. It’s not just a task you can easily delegate to anyone, I believe that you have to be passionate about the brand before you manage the social media channels otherwise you may misrepresent your client or just end up performing a task.

Social media marketing is all about the passion that one has for the brand; it is more than a task. Social media marketing unlike conventional marketing is a medium where you get real time, unfiltered responses on your products and services by you customers, potential customers and also the people who do not love your brand. In this time and age social media is a must have for your brand; it’s a mouthpiece that must not be overlooked.

 

 

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June 6, 2012 1

Will Social Media Marketing remain sustainable?

By in Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media for Business
Facebook One Month Average

Facebook Stock Plumets!

 

And what a month it has been for Facebook…

The social media giant with delusions of grandeur a la Google and Apple took a tumble, well more than just a tumble in the stock market. Facebook Inc. has shed off just north of 32% of its original share price of $38 to close at new low of just over $25. This recent airing of dirty linen did not start with the stock prices of Facebook though. The world largest social media network lost advertising revenue from the world’s fourth largest advertiser, General Motors. In a statement from GM, it emerged that they feel paid advertising, which is how Facebook make their money, is not an effective marketing tool. They however conceded that their ‘free’ Facebook pages still provided a great resource for direct marketing and that they wished to continue using free features.

If Facebook’s current woes are anything to go by, is there a future for social media marketing?

As much as the medium’s conversational marketing remains effective, social media has been unable to crack the hard nut known as paid advertising in a way that makes it effective for brands such as GM. This can be alluded to a myriad of external factors, key of which is the lack of an eco-system for social networks to live in. With the exception of Google Plus, social networks tend to remain as stand-alone facets of our digital lives, completely separated from our work and productivity suites. This limits the reach of social media platforms and inherently the reach of paid advertising. Facebook seem to be trying to counter this by planning for a Facebook smart phone and a buyout of Opera. All this is in a fickle attempt to gain the ecosystem the social media giant needs to survive and avoid becoming just another app on other platforms.

Other high fliers such as Pinterest and Twitter are also stuck in more or less the same rut; where it is viable to maintain ‘free’ conversational marketing on the platforms but not paid advertising. This begs the inevitable question; is social media sustainable?

Let me know what you think.

 

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May 30, 2012 5

NFC in Kenya?

By in Mobile and Business
Google Wallet in Action

Google Wallet in Action

Near Field Communication or NFC is by far one of the main buzzwords in the mobile tech industry today. It can be described as a secure short-range communication standard for use in smart phones and other compatible devices that establishes a high speed link when the two devices are in close proximity.

Google made its foray into the new technology with its Google Wallet mobile payment application back in September 2011.

The technology has met stiff resistance so far in the US with Google managing to scare up a few retail partners, carriers and banks.

Google Wallet still only works with one credit card and bank combination: Citibank MasterCard. And the only major carrier where Google Wallet phones can be found is Sprint Nextel. (Virgin Mobile, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands will also soon offer a Google Wallet device.)

So what went wrong? According to this article snagged off CNET, one reason the service may not have gotten much traction is because it relies on the NFC tap-to-pay technology. While the technology itself has been around for a while and works fine, the problem with using it for payments is that it requires a broad ecosystem to get it off the ground.

First there’s a hardware problem. Devices need to be equipped with tiny NFC chips. And terminals at the point of sale must also be equipped to read the information from the NFC chips installed in devices.

The second big problem is that there are still business issues centering around who controls the customer via the NFC technology that’s embedded in the device.

But what does this mean for Kenya’s potential adoption of NFC?

Let us start by noting a two key differences between our markets:

The US has had a long history with credit cards while Kenya first experienced widespread ‘cashless’ payments through mobile, specifically M-PESA. NFC based payment solutions in the US would have to compete with the traditional widespread credit card systems already in place. This would require retailers to dump billions of dollars worth of credit card infrastructure country wide for a technology that is still in its infancy. In Kenya, the use of mobile payment systems is far more common amongst retailers, possibly making NFC the next logical step into POS integration.

Much of Kenya’s population still remains outside the formal banking sector. This closes the door to widespread adoption of online payment alternatives such as Paypal, which launched its own in-store mobile payments solution. It relies on a combination of a four digit PIN and mobile number for authentication or if you prefer, an old-school Paypal magnetic card. Paypal relies on your bank account for you to transact, a liberty a lot of Kenyans do not have at this point in time. NFC infrastructure provides an open playing field for all of Kenya’s mobile payment solutions and banks to converge; certainly something that is overdue in our market.

Other interesting developments in the world of NFC also suggest that Kenya may be prime NFC real estate in the short-term. Visa are set to launch their “v.me” NFC based payment solution in Europe by the fall while in the US, ISIS, a joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile is pitted to launch over the summer. Meanwhile in Kenya, Google have launched the ‘Beba Card‘ which uses simple inactive NFC tags to pay for bus rides on Citi Hoppas.’

In essence, Kenya should experience a rapid adoption of the technology, as its performance in the mobile payments arena coupled with low access to banking services have opened the door to convergence. NFC may be the answer.

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