In the last couple of years the focus of online marketing has shifted from purely English language based campaigns to more targeted multilingual and multicultural approaches. The focus of this post will be on the opportunities of three regions which have great potential for online marketing.
Yandex vs. Google in Russia
The online market in Russia is one of the most important growing markets that advertisers will have to monitor in the coming years. Especially online advertising has become more and more important. According to WebProNews.com, Russian online ad spend currently is estimated at 16 per cent and is still growing steadily.
In line with these results, Yandex, the most popular search engine in Russia, experienced60 per cent sales growth in 2011. Owning about 60 per cent market share and rated the most popular web site on the Russian web, Yandex is currently aiming to increase its global index.
Google managed to claim approximately 25 per cent of the market share as of May 2011 but has not kept up with Yandex’s growing market share just now. Russia is one of the promising future markets for online marketing activities, especially in social media which plays an important role for Internet users. Going into this market requires thorough monitoring of the potential users, the search engines and the potential market niches.
Investing in China
Another interesting and fast growing online environment is China. According to Mashableecommerce will be one of the fastest growing areas in China in the next three years. This makes the Chinese Internet a very profitable place for investment.
In the Chinese web Baidu is the biggest search engine, indexing around 740 million pages. But it is not alone in the very competitive Chinese search engine market. New competition comes from Jike, a government-owned search engine. It is already clear that a lot of content won’t be indexed by Jike as governmental-imposed censorship is in place and has a tight grip around users’ online experience.
Google has just recently announced that it will inform users if sites have been censored by the government. The censorship represents a huge challenge for Internet marketers to identify the right search queries and keywords for brands.
But China also offers a sizable opportunity for online marketers to reach the masses. According to the CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Centre) online marketers can potentially reach 420 million people online (31.6 per cent of the population in 2010).Entering the Chinese online market requires the understanding of how people search; the culture and certainly the language.
The Middle East shows major online marketing growth
The opportunities in the Middle Eastern online market are immense. The population of the Middle East is estimated at around 216 million people, and of these, about 77 million are frequent Internet users.
The massive growth of digital advertising is certainly a significant opportunity. A 50 per cent increase has been forecasted for 2012 which is just the beginning. In the coming years the digital market will grow and grow. The downside of this rapid growth is the lack of audience measurement systems but this will surely improve in due course.
Online marketers face challenges alongside opportunities. The economic and political situations, cultural circumstances as well as other factors have a major influence on the structuring of online marketing campaigns.
The potential of these three online markets is significant. Entering them requires a thorough understanding of the culture, the people, and the language and in more detailed terms, how people search.
Building brand affinity through a coherent marketing strategy is something that all companies hope to achieve. Many are turning to the online world of content marketing – the use of infographics, videos, microsites, webinars and other forms of content to engage with, attract and secure their target audience. The question we must ask then is: who is doing it well? And why are they succeeding? Here are three of the brands I think are embracing content marketing with optimum effect:
Burberry has established itself as an international retail powerhouse and its popularity cannot be questioned with 12 million Facebook likes and a wealth of Twitter followers as well. So how does it maintain this momentum and keep engaging users? The answer lies partially in successful content marketing and connection with a modern audience through digital media.
Let us take one example: the brand is particularly renowned for trench coats, which were invented by founder Thomas Burberry. This resulted in the launch of a social networking microsite – Art of the Trench – showcasing images from professional fashion photographers, Magnum photographers and the public, with specific focus upon Scott Schuman – otherwise known as The Sartorialist. Between November 2009 and the middle of 2010, the site gained more than seven million visits, a figure that certainly speaks for itself. Ultimately what made this project fly was Burberry’s ability to attract users with a story before allowing them to add to it themselves. People submitted their own photographs, creating a visual ‘history’ of the trench coat, as well as being able to comment on individual pictures and share them with others. Overall the brand constructed a beautifully designed site targeted at those who love looking at fashion online, linking it with the experience of wearing it offline.
Throughout the last year IKEA have focused on increasing their content marketing presence, for example launching a YouTube channel with original videos including ‘how to’ options and style tips. Another facet of their strategy has been described as a special version of Pinterest, a community photo-sharing website called Share Space where consumers can upload pictures of rooms they have redecorated, giving other users inspirational ideas and encouraging them to share content. This is supported by traditional written content on the IKEA blog, also accessible through the microsite.
IKEA are using appealing visual tools to connect with their customers, creating easily digestible chunks of information and, like Burberry, encouraging internet users to take pride in and share their own content. People like to feel valued, and this is precisely what IKEA have achieved, carrying out extensive research to extract precisely what the people in their shops actually want.
Coca-Cola have such faith in content marketing that they believe it can double global consumption of the fizzy drink by 2020. They released two internal videos with this strategy in mind, giving an insider’s view into their mindset (these videos are essential for all digital marketers). The videos outline how Coke will deliver ‘content excellence’, using storytelling, starting conversations and earning a disproportionate share of popular culture. Recent interactive examples include some neat and playful toys such as the Sticky Hand, the Coke Spinner, an experience drawing on images from Coke’s history, and Blowing Bubbles in the Sky. Generating a massive volume of social noise, this is just the start of what can only be described as a revolution in content marketing, and they are certainly not trying to hide it. We like to call them: ‘windows into happiness.’
Have you seen an amazing piece of content marketing lately? Share it in the comments.
With Pinterest dominating the Social and public limelight for months, it was only a matter of time before the business world came knocking on its door. Eager to tap into the fastest website to reach 10 million unique visitors, companies flocked to sign up to the hottest site and develop attractive Pinterest campaigns. And there’s good reason too; studies have shown that in some cases Pinterest generates more traffic than Google+ and LinkedIn put together! (See graph below)
However, before you start setting up your boards and dash off on a pinning spree, it’s important to first set out a clear strategy to define how Pinterest can help you and your business. Here are three effective tips to help you on your way
The best way to get your images liked and repinned is to upload original high quality pictures that will catch people’s attention. For instance, if you own a bakery, why not upload the pictures from your website that have received the most comments – delicious cupcakes, tempting desserts and so on? To generate traffic, upload your images by clicking ‘add’ then ‘add a pin’ and enter your URL to select the picture (you can only upload one image at a time, so repeat this process for each picture you’d like to add to your board). Consequently, if someone clicks on your image, they will land straight on your web page.
If you want to display your wonderful products, a great way is to create individual boards for specific items or topics. Leading retailers like Ikea have created boards to show off their collections, so that consumers can click on particular boards of interest and see a range of products they’re interested in seeing and/or buying. Moreover, you can also add prices to your product pictures, thus effectively turning your board into a shop window. This method will work to only attract people who are interested in buying your products, so that when they click and land on your website, you can convert their visit into a sale.
Aim to be the thought leader in your field – the Pinterest account where others get their images from. It’s simple to pin a few images then forget about your account for a few days or weeks. However, for your Pinterest strategy to be successful, as well as, your traffic and influence to remain high, you have to continuously keep pinning to keep your boards up-to-date with the latest website content, industry infographics and relevant images. Also, don’t forget to like and repin other people’s content to build a wider audience and following. After all, Pinterest is a Social website.
So there you have it; three simple tips to get your Pinterest strategy on the right track. You can also grow and engage with your Pinterest community by adding Pinterest buttons on your website and blog, including your Pinterest domain name on all marketing strategies, and including a ‘Pin It’ button on all of your images.
Let us know what you think about Pinterest and feel free to add your own essential tips?