Kishor Cariappa

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Category: Social Media (page 1 of 2)

Digital advertising landscape is evolving

April edition of ‘Business Today’ had published my column on digital marketing and advertising in Oman.

Reaching out to the millennial consumers through digital marketing is growing at an incredible pace across the globe. In fact marketers at top companies and brands in Oman are increasingly opting to use social network as a marketing tool as they witness the digital marketing landscape continuing to grow at a rapid pace. It makes perfect sense to tap the large percentage of the forever ‘online’ consumer.

Here is the link for entire article: http://bit.ly/DigitalMarketingOman

Ethics. What’s that?

A prospective client asks for a detailed digital marketing proposal and finally says their in-house team will take care of marketing. After a few weeks, I notice they are using the same concepts proposed by us.

They are a big business group in Oman and I really feel sorry for the cheap tactics they use to source ideas from gullible agencies. These days I am wondering whether it will be a good idea to charge a small fee for prospective clients whey they ask for proposals. This way the not-so-serious ones can be kept at bay!

Social media is for luxury brands too

Last week we did an exhaustive social media marketing presentation for a group which sells high-end consumer products in Oman. They sat through the presentation and the first thing they said was ‘we are not a mass product’ to have a presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I was quite baffled to hear their reply even though they spend quite a bit on print advertising.

Here is why high-end brands should embrace social media:

– Social media is now a priority for luxury brand marketing.

– High-end brands are turning to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to engage with loyal followers, reach new customers and launch marketing campaigns.

– With the vast number of their customers flocking to social media, the luxury brands are forced to be on social media.

– Activity on social media leads people to buy a product, sign up for emails, request a catalogue, and the like.

– Digital is beginning to touch the majority of high-end considered purchases.

– The customer is spending a lot of time on social media.

Like it or not, digital marketing is a crucial element which cannot be ignored in this social media savvy world.

Social media is not cheap… it is effective

Social media is not cheap. Every now and then I am made to reiterate the above line with prospective clients who think social media marketing costs peanuts. Not true. To create a Facebook page, it takes nothing; to start a Twitter profile, it won’t cost anything, but to make an impact on social media – be it Facebook page daily updates, tweets, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook ads or Google ads – it costs money and that too quite a decent sum.

Like an ad agency, which works on creatives to highlight the products, social media agencies too have graphic designers who try to highlight the brands/positioning/service by way of engaging images. The more impactful the image, the more chances of the content reaching the users by way of likes, shares, comments and tweets. The social media agencies maintain brand pages on a monthly retainer, and quality creatives for brands come at a price.

Even the Facebook Apps to generate buzz for a brand is expensive. The final cost is tagged to ideation and objective. Recently, we developed a Facebook App for a global car brand in Oman – the development took nearly four weeks from start to finish. And, the bilingual app (English-Arabic) didn’t come cheap. As planned, the car brand met its objective and beyond with ease. Every rial spent on the app added value to their brand positioning. The app was promoted by way of Facebook ads and went viral among users in Oman.

Even Facebook ads per se is not cheap. It is effective and less expensive than print ads. If a brand has a full-page ad in newspapers, how will they know they’ve reached the target audience? The newspaper says they have xyz circulation, and based on that assumption, the brand has to make its own conclusion. It is almost like shooting in the dark. For an ad campaign on Facebook or Google, metrics can be set whether the ad is to be displayed to users based on gender, area, location, age, interests and what not. The targeting becomes very specific and the brand achieves its objectives with ease. Plus, the statistics of the campaign can be generated and analysed for better tine tuning going forward.

Even Google ads can be used effectively in the form of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). These are very effective tools and a lot of global brands are making good use of the platform in the Middle East. Yes, it is a highly competitive market, and a brand needs big budget to be effective and achieve their overall objective.

So, next time someone tells you social media is cheap, pause for a while and tell them it is not cheap, but it is effective. It is the way forward in the digital world we live in.

15,000 friends for a Facebook page? It should be likes or fans, and not friends

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A press release states,

“Oman Oil Marketing Company’s Facebook page has been recognized by the Pan Arab Web Awards Academy for social media interactivity in the oil and gas sector. Receiving the ‘Best Interactive Award’, omanoil’s Facebook page was applauded for creating interesting and valuable experiences, interacting with a following of over 15,000 friends, richness in information and design.”

Facebook fan page is for businesses where people can become fans but NOT friends. I had written a post on this long back.