Featured Stories, Inspiration, Marketing, Strategies

Step into 2018 with a plan; 10 easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed…

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The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed from the winter weather. As we prepare to move forward to a new year, we’d like to help you out with a few ideas.

We’re all looking for to reach out KPIs and goals through out the year. We try this and that to improve our content, to improve our rates and etc.

So, to help you out, here are some content marketing tips and ways to improve your content for the brand-new year!

 

1- Have the Looks and the Feels

2017 was the year in which marketers scrambled to push visual content.

It was a year where we saw many companies move from text or simply images to well-polished designs and posts.

If 2017 was the year of the visual, 2018 moves it into another level.

A new tactic that is bringing its way to the social market are Tactile photos.

Create and distribute images that not only touches the visual senses, but the other senses as well. Create images and content that make us hear, remember the touch and sensation of an object, or let us feel the wind in our hair.

 

2- Lend a helping hand

For those new into Content Marketing, or may need a small reminder, Content Marketing is all about providing your audience with information and content they are searching for.

Sometimes, without them even knowing they wanted it in the first place.

Millennials and Gen Z (Millennials’ children) are skeptical about marketers. The main ways to get around their expectations?

Give them content they are searching for, or better yet, align yourself with a cause they can get behind.

 

3- Talk about the pain, and let them know you’re here for them

Content themes save you a lot of trouble.

They save time, effort, and brainstorming whenever you have a content plan to fill, or new content to create.

Many of us have our themes on backwards apparently. Raise your finger, so no one else sees, if you’re themes are centered about marketing your product/service and its many benefits.

Let us say, we saw you, and we’re here to let you know you’re not alone.

For 2018, let’s take a step back and truly look at our consumers.

What are their issues? Their problems? What can we do to help? Sure, we ask these questions when creating the product or service, but now we have to think about it during our content process.

Directly talk to your consumer next year. Tell them you understand and you’re here to help.

 

4- Augment and change the world

Augmented Reality (AR) has definitely made an impact this year, even stronger than its top contender Virtual Reality.

Both Facebook and Google released AR services or products this year at their respective annual developer conference. Not to mention that Snapchat’s success came from their innovative use of AR.

Take a look at IKEA’s successful IKEA Place app, which uses AR technology to help users see how the brand’s furniture will look at home.

From either simple AR photo-frames to crazy face-changing AR filters on FB or Snapchat, Augmented Reality is popular and here to stay. Not only that, it’s cheaper than making stickers to hang out the city, and cheaper than an extensive paid campaign on social.

 

5- Get Personal. Really. Please do.

Although we marketers may say that brands need to become more grounded, more in-touch with consumers, many actions may not be heading in that direction.

This year, a lot of platforms are coming to our aid.

With Facebook Live really starting to show off its power, to Instagram’s stories, getting personal with consumers are getting easier and easier.

Creating dynamic content, content that makes the brand “alive,” gets easier with these new tools. Tools also include the new Live Photo feature by Facebook, and FB stories.

While recorded and pre-prepared videos are still a great way to promote your brand, personal live-videos are an even better way to connect with people.

Behind the scene videos, behind the curtain, or even the people behind the brand, are all dynamic video content-types that you could use to get in-touch with your audience.

People want to purchase from brands they care about, so let them know you so they can.

 

6- Or don’t get personal, get others to influence them instead

While influencer marketing in Egypt is still a growing field, there are many other ways to spread content around the web.

Creating content strategies that include using 3rd party websites and influencers is still going strong.

In 2018, we are going to see an even larger growth rate, especially as more and more content websites and social pages pop up and grow in credibility.

Don’t be afraid to have other people review, video, test, and write about your products/services. If you’re confident in its quality, then this should be a no-brainer.

 

7- Updating Communication

Communication channels keep growing with each new step and technology we create. A new channel that not many leveraged this year is through online messengers.

Facebook’s Messenger’s chatbots, as well as AI website messaging, are making a strong case this year, and they’re here to stay.

Content marketing with Messenger’s chatbots is easy to do. Simple tap on the Discovery tab for inspiration, from restaurants to online stores, there is a wide variety of uses.

Website AI messaging can help aim customers through your website as they go through their buyer journey. A cleverly written script and direct questions can lead your customer from browsing to buying, answering all (or as many as possible) of their questions on the way.

 

8- Break it Down

One of the main ways to fill out a content calendar?

Update, reuse, break down.

Update, reuse, and break down large and deep content into separate content pieces.

If you want to go into 2018, you have got to have a plan. If you don’t have enough content, then plan ahead by breaking down already existing content.

A Press release or informatic video can be broken down into multiple pieces of content. Videos can be broken down into articles or multiple image posts, and etc.

Why spend more when you can do more with less?

 

9- Stop closing the box and be open to the long-term

Although Content Marketing has become one of the top buzz words in our community, as well as quickly becoming one of the industry’s top strategies, we are still treating it as if it is advertising.

It’s not.

Most companies still push content in the same way as an advertising campaign, locking themselves in a box without more opportunities. Create short term content, such as a 6-episode video series, market it through the usual channels, and then when it finishes we stop.

What should be happening is a complete switch. Content marketing may be cheap, almost to the point of free, but it is something that takes long-term planning to truly appreciate it.

Plan at least 6 months ahead to truly capture your target audience. Get your content rolling, and keep it rolling! Show 2018 that you have your content down, with only a little bit of planning, and a lot of faith and data.

 

10- Let’s get on it!

There you have it, easy ways to improve your content without a lot of work.

The new year is right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare?

 

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Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Knowledge Base, Recommended Stories

When and how to start outsourcing your business?

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough…

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough local and international economy, companies have to do what it takes to maintain a steady profit, and find ways to reduce costs.

Outsourcing is becoming a big trend in many industries, due to its many advantages and low costs.

For small and big businesses alike, there comes a time when a decision must be made. Do you build a new team or primary service, buy certain tools or do you outsource for a short time?

That is another way that outsourcing can help.

 

So, when should you start considering to outsource?

Do you procrastinate when faced with a particular task?

Is it a one-time task? Is it a primary service that your business offers, or something for a specific client or project?

Is it a once a month task? Such as Legal duties, or financial accounting?

Are you still saving up for an expansion? Could you afford an expansion for this task?

Is it a non-essential function of your business?

If you’ve answered all by one of those as yes, then that is when you should be outsourcing.

A definition for outsourcing is “the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources.”

The reason is simple, because it can be advantageous most of the time.

Your business is saving money, effort, time and energy, making it more efficient on that tasks that truly matter.

 

Why should a business outsource?

So, you know when you should be looking into it, or maybe you’re interested.

The thought still lingers in your mind, it might be a good idea but why should I?

There are many things that you can consider that could make outsourcing a great opportunity for your business.

 

1. Employee costs and non-productive hours

Office space, cafeteria benefits, hospital visits, insurance, and lunch breaks are things that cost the company profit per full-time employee.

These are also things you can save on when outsourcing.

These make a full-time employee more than twice as expensive as a short offer for a freelancer.

 

2. Efficiency

Freelancers and outsourcing give you a special opportunity, an opportunity to capture and use talented people that you may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Talented graphic designers, high-end lawyers, highly-organized accountants, and smart assistants can be found as freelancers, and at a lower-price than full-timers.

They tend to be more efficient as they have stricter deadlines than full-timers, and may be able to do the job better than you or any other current employee.

 

3. Frees up internal resources

Getting freelancers doesn’t only work as a way to do unrelated or menial tasks, they also function as a way to lift weight off of your shoulders.

Using a content marketing freelancer to prepare content calendars, or receiving content from freelance content creators, can help free up internal resources.

Freeing you and your employees up for other important tasks, tasks that they can handle more efficiently with less of a work load.

 

What are you waiting for?

As you can see, outsourcing could be a very beneficial strategy for you and your business.

It does come with its own issues, such as communication and delivery of work, but if you plan it right, it will help you and your business thrive.

So, what are you waiting for?

Have another reason why outsourcing won’t be a part of your business strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Egypt, Featured Stories

#Lovely Campaign: 70 years of Egyptian cinema, music, and Pepsi

For over 70 years, Egyptian cinema has been the Hollywood of the Middle East. For decades, Egyptian music has been…

For over 70 years, Egyptian cinema has been the Hollywood of the Middle East. For decades, Egyptian music has been blasted through countless streets, and concerts filled to the brim.

For over 70 years, Pepsi was there to see it all. That is the premise of Pepsi’s newest ad, Lovely.

Pepsi’s newest campaign aims to remind us of its long-lasting presence in the local scene, and how it has constantly evolved to fit with the times and style of each time period.

 

The ad brilliantly moves through the decades, showing off the fashion, film styles and Egyptian music development timeline for the last 70 years.

Moving from classical black and white to Amr Diab-like in the 2000s, to today’s popular festival music videos and dancing styles. Listen to the musical stylings of the mid-1900s, to the 70s bright flower power era to today’s electronically mixed music.

And listen to the different lyrical stylings of each decade.

 

Inspiration

Taking its main music notes and lyrics from the classic Nos Sa’a Zawag (نصف ساعه زواج) 1969, by Samir Sabry and Shadia.

The song, and movie, has been an important classic in Egypt’s cinematic history, with many Egyptians still remembering the well-known movie. Many of us, young and old, still remember the song as well.

This Egyptian musical classic lends its nostalgia and familiar notes to Pepsi, who has tweaked each time period’s music and lyrics according to the appropriate popular music style.

 

Some eagle-eyed viewers may notice the subtle joke Pepsi makes, in which a larger woman attempts to wrestle the attention of the secondary male, a scene stealer in the original movie scene.

 

Continuation

Pepsi seems to be preparing a series of videos to compliment the campaign, each showing a specific era’s lifestyle and Pepsi can design.

So far, the soft drink manufacturer has only released its first video, focusing on the mid-1900s.

Although Pepsi has used Nostalgia as a long-running strategy over the many decades its been in the industry, it continues to defy over usage of the theme and keep engaging audiences.

What do you think of Pepi’s newest campaign?

Is it a hit or miss?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Inspiration

Samsung A8 social experiment proves that everyone is beautiful

What would you do if you were called beautiful? What would you do if someone stopped you in the street,…

What would you do if you were called beautiful? What would you do if someone stopped you in the street, with no indecency and just clear honesty, and told you that you were beautiful? How would you react?

Quite a few people have come out to test the question, and now smartphone manufacturer Samsung is joining their ranks.

With their new ad for their Samsung A8 and A8+, Samsung discoveries how everyday people react to a simple truth.

Everyone is beautiful.

The reactions were both sad and uplifting. When told the person behind the camera, filmmaker Shea Glover, was taking photos of what she saw as beautiful, these were some of the reactions.

“Okay, why did you invite me?”

“I don’t know how to take a picture like that.”

“I don’t know, I don’t get called that that often.”

“Usually I get called ugly or something, so that’s a first.”

The brand’s video mixes together both a loving and emotional ride of emotions, all in perfect clarity with their A8 phone.

Targeting Generation Z

Samsung is tapping into Generation Z’s craving for authenticity in a new, international ad campaign for Samsung Galaxy A8, created by the Cheil Worldwide Network.

At the heart of the campaign is the young director and social anthropologist Shea Glover, who appears on screen as well as sharing a co-director credit. In it, she takes her previous social experiment exploring self image to a global audience, making an emotional film showing what happens when a wide range of Gen Z strangers are told that they’re beautiful just as they appear.

Using the power of viral vidoes

The TV Commercial Ad titled Lets You Be You was done by Academy Films advertising agency for product: Samsung Galaxy A8 (brand: Samsung) in United Kingdom. It was released in the Jan 2018.

Viral videos, while not the most popular buzzword anymore, still have a power to gather people together under a single feeling or banner. Glover, whose shot to fame was a world famous viral video that sparked and inspired countless other touching videos, knows this very well.

Her original video, in which she went around her high school filming as she told people they were beautiful, has been watched over 17 million times on YouTube. Not to mention how much it was shared and talked about on other social media sites.

 

This sparked other projects such as Rotasiz Seyyah’s “You are so beautiful,” and Johanna Siring’s “Kiss of a stranger.”

Samsung understood the power of before and after shots, and of how emotional marketing can settle a brand into people’s hearts for a long time.

Using not only the idea but also the original videographer, Samsung was able to create an easily sharable, and possibly viral ad.

The Samsung ad was designed to serve as a demo of the phone’s ability to take “beautiful” photos in various lighting and weather conditions. It also allows the brand to embody itself as a caring and loving brand.

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CAMPAIGNS, Featured Stories

Mo’ Salah 2018 campaign should be pretty much as Vodafone brand as it gets

Born in the Egyptian city of Basyoun, 100km or so north of Cairo, Mohamed Salah’s footballing journey began in the…

Born in the Egyptian city of Basyoun, 100km or so north of Cairo, Mohamed Salah’s footballing journey began in the Nasr City district of the Egyptian capital playing for El Mokawloon SC during 2009-2010 season.

Today, Egypt winger Mohamed Salah with no doubt is the phoenix for his generation of Pharaohs. Mohamed Salah caught the attention of the football world for his speed and earned the world’s respect after his muted celebration after scoring a goal against Chelsea.

Since his historic penalty against Congo and qualifying Egypt to 2018 World Cup “with Salah’s help, of course”, the 25-year-old’s star is on the rise and this is the reason why he has been hailed as the ‘Egyptian Messi’.

Also Read ► Road to Russia 2018: The most prepared brands for the historical moment

Mohamed Salah is now branded as a successful young Egyptian who can be a role model to inspire Egyptians especially younger people and give an example to be emulated in behavior, commitment, and strive for success.

Salah, who has also been nominated for the CAF African Footballer of the Year award, is currently the Premier League’s top scorer after scoring 20 goals in 25 matches since signing for the Reds this summer.

Also Read ►Pepsi features Mohamed Salah in Advert about Ambition and Success

With statistics, Mohamed Salah is considered the most expensive Egyptian, Arab and, African player in the football history after moving to Liverpool last summer for 42M euros.

 

Why Mohamed Salah’s success is a triumph for Vodafone’s Branding Campaign

Vodafone Egypt today announced Mohamed Salah to be Vodafone Egypt’s newest brand ambassador. Accordingly, Mohamed Salah will lead Vodafone’s advertising campaigns for 2018 under the slogan “The future is exciting. Ready?”

In line with Vodafone’s new vision of optimism, Mohamed Salah up coming campaigns for Vodafone Egypt should achieve the brand aspirations and dreams for a better future and reflect Vodafone’s trust and hope for young people.

اللي جاي أقوى 💪

Posted by Vodafone Egypt on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

 

One of the toughest aspects of building a successful brand is building an emotional connection with consumers and Mohammed Salah was chosen by Vodafone Egypt as an example to achieve ambitions and to work towards a stronger and better future.

Also Read ► Vodafone Launches New Visual Brand Identity

Brand intimacy is the new paradigm in marketing and consumers connects more with brands when they seems to care about people like themselves and is making a positive difference in the world.

Mohamed Salah reflects Vodafone’s new brand identity and he is really an inspiring example of how to leverage your personal capabilities to get into the career you want and push-up your challenges from local to international standards.

Vodafone Egypt just clinched the best player in Africa from rival competitor Etisalat Misr

Back in Jun 2016, Mohamed Salah was featured in Etisalat Misr “Imagine Tomorrow” campaign. Today, by naming Mohamed Salah as Vodafone Egypt’s brand ambassador, its considered another victory for Vodafone to complete a winning deal with Salah who has been crowned BBC African Footballer of the Year following an exceptional year with AS Roma, Liverpool and the Egyptian national team.

Worth mentioning that Pepsi has chosen Egyptian professional footballer, Mohamed Salah as the new brand ambassador for Pepsi-Cola in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2016.

Recommended Read ► Pepsi and Coke become “Frenemies” to support The Egyptian National Team

We wonder if  Salah would consider Coca-Cola campaign for World Cup 2018. Specially that Coca-Cola is one of the longest-standing corporate partners of FIFA, with a formal association since 1974 and an official sponsorship of FIFA World Cup™ that began in 1978.

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