Traditional and digital marketing walk into a bar..

Social media marketing is overrated. It seems like something a pessimistic and cynical person would say who cannot quite work out how to run a successful facebook ad.
What is CTR? Help!

But what if the statement is in fact not to be quickly categorised as one from a misinformed sceptic? It would seem as though social media is the recipient of praise and admiration from most people who are considering marketing. The opportunity of reaching millions of people has been heavily romanticised, particularly to those who have a smaller budget they are willing and able to invest into marketing. But when you stop and think about it, how many campaigns really go viral? Furthermore, how many low budget campaigns go viral?

Mark Riston has a unique perspective on traditional vs digital media that left me thinking, is social media marketing worth the hype? Throughout my business degree there has been a significant emphasis surrounding digital marketing and how imperative it is to master it in order to captivate a potentially global audience.
Because I spend an obscene amount of my time on social media platforms, particularly Youtube and Instagram, I am sold this tale quite easily. I am exposed to ads all day long and due to algorithms that are becoming increasingly more intelligent, I am seeing content that I am interested in. I am being tempted by products and services that I have a genuine curiosity for and sometimes even desire. But no matter how much I believed in social media marketing it was not enough to impede me from considering an alternative perspective.

Recently a story captured my attention that I found particularly interesting and perhaps corroborates Ristons critical stance on social media. Arii, an Instagram influencer with 2.6 million followers took to Instagram to share her disappointment of her inability to sell the MQO of 36 t-shirts required for the launch of the apparel label.

It is shocking that an influencer with a following of this size is unable to sell 36 t-shirts, and leaves many wondering whether the “instagram bubble is bursting”.
It’s difficult to decipher what factors are responsible for this epic fail. There has been enormous speculation that this is shedding the light on just how little influence these “influencers” have on consumers purchase decisions. It raises the point that your followers are not your customers. And having an abundance of them does not translate to having an abundance of people eager to purchase from you.

It also is an important message to marketers to be cautious when considering whether or not working with an influencer is going to lead to a high ROI. This incident has caused widespread speculation that perhaps the practise of influencers buying their followers is more prevalent than previously imagined.

It also reinforces how imperative it is to conduct due diligence when it comes to choosing what influencer will promote your brand. When you compare Arii’s aesthetic to the product she was advertising, it is not difficult to see how her followers were not inclined to purchase it. This of course is true for both digital and traditional media, but it is interesting to note anyway, as one of the benefits commonly cited for digital marketing is how wide spread it is with the power to reach millions of people. This is a perfect example that reminds us that although this could be great for brand awareness, it is not necessarily guaranteed to have any impact on conversions.

And so it would seem that although it is commonly said that traditional marketing is dying, at least marketers can feel safe that they are not being deceived or taking a superfluous risk when pursing this avenue as they may when are dabbling in digital marketing.
What do you think? Do you think there are high risks associated with digital marketing? Do you believe that traditional marketing is dead? Leave your comments below!

There is no room for ethics on social media.

Instagram is saturated with deceit and fraud. Is that a big accusation? Maybe. It’s a true one too.

Human beings are undoubtedly complex, but there is one thing that is very simple to understand. We crave validation. Similarly we seek out validated people and ideas. Living in a capitalist society we reward a high ranking on a social hierarchy and generally professional respect is easier to bestow upon a proven concept then one that could be perceived as illegitimate. And when it comes to companies online presence the easiest way for consumers to determine if they are worthy or not is their metrics including their follower count and amount of likes they get on pictures.

But what if you are just starting out a new business and trying desperately to gain traction. The easiest way would be to purchase your followers. This raises the question of whether or not this is ethical. But who determines what is ethical?
There are no 10 commandments of Instagram and in the race to impress consumers companies surely do worse in terms of misrepresentations.

Buying followers is a way to create an artificial buzz and hype around a new brand. And it is interesting to consider just how reflective this activity is of human nature. We are increasingly more impatient. We demand immediacy and we demand it now.
Of course building an authentic audience who are genuinely interested in the product or service your company provides is more likely to create a following that could covert to customers but delivering unique content takes time. And buying followers only takes money. We generally give away the latter more frivolously.

But is it all worth it? At the risk of sounding self righteous; first you have to battle whether or not you are prepared to be pretentious and desperate enough to do so, but then you have to consider Instagrams algorithm which rewards and prioritises content that is prone to high levels of engagement. An abundance of inactive fake followers who are not liking, commenting or interacting with your posts is not likely to lead to your page performing well in the ruthless Instagram algorithm.

So while paying to inflate your apparent success might initially lead to an increased CTR if it is the first time someone visits your page, there is no guarantee that there will be any positive long term repercussions. In fact it is likely that in a desperate attempt to convince people your business is legitimate you will be proving to a savvy consumer the exact opposite.

The question of ethics is subjective and everyone will have a different interpretation, but what do you believe? Is there something fundamentally wrong with buying fake followers and likes? Do you believe people are unknowingly harming their brand by doing so?

Starting smaller to get bigger…Global Entrepreneurship?

I am fast approaching the end of my Entrepreneurship degree and throughout the duration of the course I have been exposed to an array of new ideas and encouraged to critically think about potential ventures to pursue. Perhaps the most significant lesson I have acquired throughout the course was being exposed to the idea that it is not always best to confine yourself to launching a venture in a market in which you are comfortable in.

It is common practise exhibited by aspiring and amateur entrepreneurs to launch a venture in their home country or the United States. While the comfort, knowledge and familiarly of a home country or one with similarities in culture can make introducing a product or service to market less daunting, perhaps targeting an already saturated market is not the best way to go about things.

This concept is corroborated by the fact that Australia, United Kingdom, and The United States respectively are the most expensive countries in the world in regards to the digital spend invested per user. Australia invests an overwhelming $296.41 USD per user, followed by the United Kingdom at $277.07 and then the United States at $269.64. Germany was at the bottom of the list with $91.88 USD.

This poses an important question. Is it viable to continue targeting such a saturated market where users are already exposed to so much noise? These sums are anticipated to continue to grow annually as they have each year even after the 2008 financial crisis.

Would it be better to create a marketing campaign that targets consumers in perhaps a lower economically viable country? Where they are not as exposed to competitors excessive marketing material. How can marketing, particularly online marketing continue to have high return on investment if the market continues to be saturated with competitors marketing material?

Why is the power of Google Ads so often overlooked?

These days everybody is an apparent marketing expert. Far too often misinformation is spread rapidly amongst anybody vulnerable enough to listen to anything in a desperate attempt to attain a “comprehensive understanding” of how to mark their presence in this online world.

Perhaps the biggest piece of misinformation I have heard is how Facebook ads are the only marketing tool that needs to be mastered. Of course Facebook is an excellent tool, however there are an abundance of marketing techniques and platforms available to businesses and one that I believe is commonly over glorified is in fact Facebook. This seems unimaginable to many, but how can it when you take into consideration that there is an alternative that puts ads directly in-front of people who are actively pursuing them?

Google Ad words are incredibly powerful and learning how to curate your ads to achieve your campaigns objectives is very important. Split A/B testing allows you to run different ads stimutoneasuly and track metrics of each ad to determine which one is more successful. Google analytics provides insight and provides the user with an understanding of number of “visits” that was derived from each ad, number of conversions and cost per click. Resources such as split tester allows you to compare results generated from each ad and determine which ad was more successful. Having a sophisticated understanding of split A/B testing is imperative for businesses striving to maximise their return on investment on their marketing.

Perhaps it is a misconception that google no longer generates considerable traffic to websites with the likes of Instagram and Facebook advertising as alternative marketing options. But utilising sources such as Similar Web allows users to attain insight on where sources of traffic are generated from, and much to my surprise it has almost always been predominately from “direct sources” such as search engines like google. From this it is clear that google ad words can be extremely powerful and utilising the technique of split A/B testing can incredibly powerful.

Learning what ad is the perfect ad to put to a target audience and potential customer is incredibly important to lead to a high level of conversions. It is clear that social media is not in fact always the best way to market to customers, contrary to many peoples beliefs. Mastering google ads through split A/B testing perhaps is one of the most powerful techniques to transform a marketing campaign.

Why do you think so many marketing campaigns neglect to prioritise or often even incorporate the power of google ad words?

The intrusive wrath of mobile marketing. Friend or foe?

There is no denying the world is becoming increasingly more infatuated with this once seemingly unattainable concept of “now, now, now”. The evolvement of the internet and the astronomical effects it’s accessibility has had on our lives has lead to an increasing demand from consumers to have an abundance of information and options readily available at the click of a button. In recent times there has been a lot of scepticism surrounding our alarming dependence on our mobile devices, which ultimately is a symptom of having corporations benefit enormously from providing value to us through our mobile phones. Is this scepticism justified? Are we simply being cynical or is there a legitimate concern for how dependent we are becoming on our mobile devices.

The experience of accessing your mobile device is not what it used to be. It has become this sort of haven, that is customised completely and tailor made to appeal to its unique user. Any activity undertaken on these devices are tracked and monitored in order to create an even better experience for the user the next time they access it. Suddenly this device is full of ads that are relevant to your interests and match what you intend on purchasing. There is content waiting for you based on your hobbies and passions. It becomes irresistible. Users spend on average five hours a day on their mobile device. On surface level this undeniably seems alarming. But what about if we stop and consider than we are able to purchase our groceries through our mobile devices now. What if we remember than this apparent excessive screen time could be responsible for individuals having the opportunity to be presented with suitable products or services they desire that they otherwise might’ve had to work harder to find.

I believe there is not always good and evil when it comes to mobile marketing. Companies that thrive on social media and master online advertising are generally the same companies that thrive in business and enjoy rich successes. Of course there are both ethical and unethical ways to do this but ultimately companies must keep up with the times. It is unreasonable to hope for a future where advertising will be so strictly monitored and regulated that you will free from it when you are accessing your mobile device.

What do you think? Are you hopeful for a future where marketing plays less of a role in your mobile experience? Do you enjoy being able to interact with a brand via their mobile marketing so efficiently?

The future of mobile marketing seems although it can only grow. The question I would love to have answered is will the growth of mobile marketing lead to a growth in user screen time? Is it even possible we could maintain a functioning society if our dependence on these devices increases anymore?