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AVATAR Social Media Report – 6 September

“Twitter is not just a Web site and not micro-blogging, it is an entirely different medium … The way in which information travels on Twitter — the shape of it — is different to anything that we’ve previously known.”

Catch up on the latest trends and popular topics of conversation between 2 September and 6 September on the the social platforms.

Listen to the AVATAR Social Media Report on Kaya FM this Friday and stay on top of the most popular conversations on social media.

AVATAR Social Media Report – 30 August

In the week, ranging from Monday 26 August to Friday 30 August, the following conversations were the most popular and trending on the social media platforms as broadcasted by Kaya FM.

Listen to the AVATAR Social Media Report every Friday on Kaya FM between 3pm and 4pm.

The digital marketing agency is dead, long live the digital marketing agency

Rapidly changing technology means that engaging with people has become increasingly complex. The explosion of the search, social media and the vast amounts of data around consumers has left some people in marketing wondering if they should become more like chief information officers (CIOs) and vice versa. This has a ripple effect on agencies and brands. This is because marketing is increasingly becoming about measurement, engagements, conversion and building communities which is all driven by technology. Agencies in the age of the hippies helped many corporates understand the relationship between trends and marketing and using the then cutting edge technology of television to build brands. Today nothing much has changed. The only real difference is that the platforms of marketing have evolved from one directional to bi-directional. Power has shifted to the consumer because they have the control.

Even in today’s world, many agencies are still obsessed with the age-old idea of a one-dimensional big idea for an above the line campaign, with digital stuffed in as an afterthought. Making creative ads for the sake of making creative ads longer makes the cut. Many agencies are failing to find the links between the different attributes of marketing channels and producing measurable results that continue the consumer journey beyond first view of the ad.

The agencies that will survive the digital revolution are agencies that are able to generate great ideas and strategically integrate paid, owned and earned media channels with the big idea. This really means that the idea of a separate media agency and creative agency is being challenged by that of the converged agency. Great creative must be able to maximise the potential of a large number of platforms and adapt to the changes that come with technology. Silos are clearly an increasing problem from a client perspective. The converged agency or digitally focused marketing agency must have its focus on every marketing channel and create strategies that are fully integrated and leverage the unique strengths of all of these channels.

If we look at the history of the older digital agencies out there, many started with web design and development as a main focus in the mid to late ’90s. Over the years, technology evolved and they added things like ORM, and social media to their armouries. These agencies exist because they were able to fulfil a need that the traditional agencies did not fully understand .

Furthermore, many big brands were still confused about whether a website belonged to the IT department or the marketing department. This model of growth that digital agencies grew is unsustainable with specialist agencies as an exception because the scope of marketing is far greater than just technology platforms. That’s one of the reasons why there is such a large emphasis on technology platforms and less on content which should actually be the other way around because content with context is what the game is all about.

Traditionally digital agencies would have separate departments for different functions such as SEO, PPC, Media, Creative, Analytics etc. The converged agency will challenge this model because of increasing interdependence of variables marketing channels. For instance, there would be social media and content for SEO and digital integration on above the line campaigns.
This demands more open collaboration between individuals that have a broad strategic understanding of marketing and technology. The challenge is that these types of individuals are few and far between, which means the converged agency must have a clear training and retention strategy. Furthermore, the internal focus of this collaborative team should not be the brand but the needs of the people buying from brand or using its products. Well-crafted content should fulfill these needs with relevant engagement on the appropriate platforms.

The converged agency is clearly an integrated communications partner but the bigger question is, are corporate structures ready for this type of world when many marketing and digital managers still work in silos? Silos are simply treason to good ideas because they limit scope of thinking from agencies. It’s not only agencies that are going through change but corporate chief marketing officers too. I would even argue that CIOs need to start chatting about collaboration and challenging structures to accommodate the challenges that technology is creating in the marketing mix.

In conclusion, one thing is clear: the structure and the converged agency is based on content marketing attributes as discussed above and will become the core competency of the converged agency because people are occupying the space usually reserved for brands by moving to the centre of the engagement. The converged agency sounds like a very hard type of agency to pull off in the context of many agencies today but Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it’s done”

by Zibusiso Mkhwanazi

AVATAR Social Media Report – 16 August

Listen to the latest social media report broadcasted on Kaya FM. We cover the week’s biggest conversation starters and most trending topics.

Trending topics are those topics being discussed more than others. As Twitter explains trending topics, “Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously. Catch the AVATAR Social Media Report every Friday on Kaya FM between 3pm and 4pm to get updated on what was trending in South Africa.

Don’t miss the AVATAR Social Media Report every Friday on Kaya Central between 3pm and 4pm.

Marketing to Born Frees with Veli & SAfm

Veli Ngubane, Executive Creative Director, spoke to SAfm about marketing to the born free market. “Being able to take a concept and integrate it into so many mediums so that they have an actual touch point…”
Listen to the audio clip:

AVATAR Social Media Report on Kaya FM

Every Friday, on Kaya FM, you can catch the AVATAR Social Media Report. Catch up on the topics that were most talked about, the conversations that were trending and the people who were popular during that week.

Social Media is now longer a trend, it’s assumed, it’s the conversations we have daily and the go-to networks to gather and publish content and information. Social and economic movements are building on these networks. Political candidates are taking to the screens to campaign. It has become one of the easiest, go-to mediums for companies to forge relationships with customers. It is our daily source (if not by the hour, minute, or second) for information on our friends, colleagues and the world.

Don’t miss the AVATAR Social Media Report every Friday on Kaya Central between 3pm and 4pm.

Young CEO Zibusiso Mkhwanazi Ready to Face the World’s Serious Issues

ZibusisoSaysZibusiso Mkhwanazi, who is only 29 years old and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, is honoured to be one of six South Africans to attend the Harvard Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century programme.

A multi-award winning South African digital entrepreneur, he also serves on the boards of the National Economic Education Trust and is the chairman of The Red Quarter brand agency. In 2012 he was recognised by Jeremy Maggs as one of the country’s top 20 industry game changers.

According to Letitia DeCastro, Programme Director at the Harvard Kenney School, the programme was developed to expand and enhance the leadership skills of Young Global Leaders. “By attending this programme they will develop skills that will help them address the world’s most serious issues.”

The programme integrates theory and practice in education, environment, global health, international development and security with leadership.

“It is really important as a marketing agency to have a global perspective when advising our clients and this programme helps us do that. I look forward to return to South Africa and implement my new skills to the best of my ability in order to make a positive change to my clients and the lives of others,” concludes Zibusiso.

What is SEO?

The term SEO has gained momentum over the past few years due to the growth of internet usage and e-commerce worldwide. But what is SEO? SEO which is an abbreviation for search engine optimisation is a process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural search results. Now that we know what SEO is, what is a search engine? Search engine is a software code that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. Examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo and many more.

Many business owners know that for their websites to perform well in the search rankings they need some SEO done. To get to the bottom of what SEO is we first have to understand how search engines works.

How do Search Engines Operate?
Search Engines crawl the web looking for content, most in the form of text. They respond to a keyword query a user inputs in the search box and they look in their index for the relevant results that match the key-phrase the user used. The crawling task is performed by a piece of software called the crawler or spider. Search Engines rank websites by using many factors including the page rank, links pointing to the site/web page, social signals and many more. The ranking factors are a big kept secret by most of the search engines so as to avoid manipulation and spamming from SEO practitioners, but it is a combination of the factors mentioned above and many more.
NB Before a site can be ranked by search engines, the site has to be in their index first. The best way to get a site indexed is to submit the site to the major search engines.

Who needs SEO?
Every website needs SEO, irrespective of what it is used for. The logic behind this is that, the moment a website is created then it means there is a message to be conveyed and for it to be accessible it needs to be found online. SEO is needed for a website to reach a level of visibility that is bound to improve online branding. Even if people are coming directly or by referral to a website,it is still needed for the website to be known by the major search engines or otherwise it will be missing all the other potential traffic and customers that are using search engines for their needs.

Who is using SEO?
Most businesses (both small and big) are using SEO to complement their offline marketing efforts and the fact is your offline competitors are also using it. With the increase in people who use internet for their daily activities, it’s not too late to make sure that your business is prominent online.

Whichever way one might explain it, the importance of SEO is forever growing and the sooner brands adopt SEO as a digital marketing strategy the better for their business. There is no other way to being a major online player without adopting SEO, all the other online marketing strategies need SEO to be effective that’s how important SEO is.

Our Twitter has been temporarily deactivated

We have temporarily deactivated our Twitter account @Avatar_za after noticing unusual activity in the account. We suspended the account as a precautionary measure while we investigate the account. We hope to be back online on Twitter soon sharing information in the world of digital marketing.

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