The beauty of Africa

"It's really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else but lives in Africa" ~ Will Smith

Lets preserve our heritage

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered" ~ Nelson Mandela, "Long Walk to Freedom"

Africa, our pride

"Africa has her mysteries, and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them" ~ Miriam Makeba

Friday, 18 January 2013

7 Best Practices For Video Marketing

During the London 2012 Summer Olympics, advertisers were striving to outdistance their competitors with an array of TV, print, online and social media campaigns. More than 4 billion TV viewers globally were expected to watch the games and one-quarter of those were likely to view events and get updates on digital devices, such as PCs, mobile phones and tablets, according to a recent eMarketer report. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube may turn out to be this year’s biggest stars as many fans turned from their TV screens to social media to get the latest information and behind-the-scenes stories on events, teams or athletes.

The growth of online video, especially on YouTube, and advertisers’ increasing use of it are among the top trends for digital marketers that will far outlast this Olympics. Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. Over 800 million unique users visit the site each month to watch over 3 billion hours of video. More importantly, consumers around the world have turned off their TVs, preferring to watch all types of video on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones. YouTube traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011 and more than 10 percent of global views come from mobile devices.

Consider these statistics:

  • Last month 180 million U.S. Internet users (85 percent) watched 43.5 billion online videos for an average of 23 hours per viewer.
  • YouTube gets about 40 percent of the online video audience each month.
  • In June, video ads reached 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 37.6 times.
  • A video is 53 times more likely to generate a first-page Google ranking than traditional search engine marketing techniques.
  • 1 in every 10 tablet users watches online video content almost daily on their device.
  • 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
  • 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (like, share, comment) every week.

The implications of this growth for the digital advertising industry are huge. Whether you opt for YouTube, VEVO, Facebook or Hulu, online video is one of the most effective and efficient ways to communicate your marketing message to your audience. This visual and dynamic format gives customers another way to interact with your brand, and gives you a great opportunity to introduce your product or service to a new audience or redefine an established brand’s personality. Video can be a buzz maker and the right campaign can quickly generate referrals, friends, fans, and followers. With little or no media expense, depending on where it’s posted, your video can drive customer action, generating qualified sales leads with a lower cost for customer acquisition and higher ROI. Here are seven things every digital marketer can do take advantage of video.
  1. Make it search-engine friendly. Google has made video an integral part of search results. Companies can now gain visibility in the search engines quickly by providing video content that is search-engine friendly. YouTube Suggest is a keyword suggestion tool similar to the Google Suggest tool. Use keywords and titles when naming your video files and surround them with keyword-rich Web content. When you publish your videos on sites like YouTube, add tags to each video that put them in easily searchable categories.
  2. Make it social. More than 50 percent of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community. The best video starts conversations and spreads among friends and their social networks. Provide links and functionality to make it easy for people to email your video to friends, embed on Web pages and blogs, and post to their various social networking profiles.
  3. Reinforce recall. Statistics show that brands don’t need to choose between showing ads online or on TV. A 2011 Google study concluded that it’s better to do both. People exposed to a 15-second video ad on both YouTube and TV were two times as likely to recall the ad as those who saw the TV ad alone. For a 30-second spot, recall was boosted by 1.5 times.
  4. Know your ad types. Aside from in-search and in-display, YouTube also added in-slate and in-stream. Advertisers can now define a target group, set bid amounts for each of the four formats, and search and set target suggestions by keywords. For example, the targets include topics like Art & Entertainment; Audiences, males from 18-24; and Interests, Hiking & Camping. Advertisers also can target by content, such as Spanish-speaking content or sports.
  5. Use a call to action. Your video should create a clear action path and the surrounding Web content should make executing that action easy. Create “buy” specific ad copy for use in YouTube overlay ads and include a direct call to action. Maximize conversion opportunities by clearly showing your offer and encouraging viewers to click. YouTube’s call-to-action overlay makes an offer to viewers, shares more information about businesses and drives traffic to Web sites. The overlay appears as a display ad over the TrueView in-search and in-display videos that play on YouTube.
  6. Get a partner. In June, YouTube announced Video Creation Marketplace, a platform that will connect content creators on YouTube with marketers looking for viral buzz. Today, YouTube’s partner program has more than a million content creators globally. The platform allows partners to set up profiles indicating what they do and the demographics or types of brands they are best suited for. Search by parameters, such as content type, target demo and keywords, to find the right YouTube star for your campaign.
  7. Use In-stream video ads. It turns out that in-stream video ads boost brand recall. eMarketer noted that viewers not only remember seeing in-stream ads, but also recall the subject. Forty-seven percent said they remembered the brand or product advertised after viewing a pre-, mid- or post-roll video ad.

The Value of Video Marketing

Online video is becoming an increasingly effective and relevant way to reach and engage audiences. Comprehensive viewing intelligence, combined with demographics, provide an invaluable platform for improved media planning. By applying these tips, marketers in all industries can successfully incorporate video into their online campaigns and see positive results in brand awareness, lead generation and sales.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?

Do you care about your online brand? Do you want to protect your online brand from negative comments from dis-granted employees and unsatisfied customers? I know you will say 'YES' to all the questions asked above.

It is very important to guard against your brand both online and offline. Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the tool/process needed to help you guard against the online threats that your brand faces.

Online Reputation Management by definition is the practice of monitoring a reputation on the Internet with a view to controlling perception of that reputation.

Research market studies shows that 80% of customers are influenced by advice received on social media about products and services. 75% of customers trust peer recommendations while only 14% trust advertisements. What does these mean to you? You need to know what is being said about your brand online.

The Internet has brought a lot of freedom in terms of information dissemination. The fact that people post what they want online has left businesses faced with a significant risk. With such a high percentage of your customers being influenced by online reviews or comments on social media and ratings from friends, your sales can take a devastating blow if you lose control over your online reputation.

Online Reputation Management ensures that businesses are on top of issues when it comes to their presence on the internet. It lets businesses know when negative reviews or comments have been posted. Businesses have better control over what people see about their brands. Above all, businesses can stop negative remarks or comments that threatens your brand.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Breaking Out Of Your Old Shell

It is quite fascinating how businesses in Ghana and Africa at large are still only glue to the old traditional way of advertising. Here I am talking about the TV, Radio and Bill Board Ads. It’s true that these channels of advertising in this part of the world are still relevant and held in high esteem.

These channels enables businesses to position their brands in the minds of the general public which leads to brand awareness.  Most of the advertising agencies in this part of the world are very comfortable with these forms of advertising.

The channels above however have some great drawbacks some of which include;
  • Lack of targeting
  • Lack of ability to track advertising campaign against cost
  • Lack of real or scientific data to back viewership and listenership
To break out of the old traditional way of advertising, it is incumbent on businesses in Africa to leverage on the potential that the Internet has. Here, I am talking about Internet advertising. Internet advertising supplements the traditional advertising and also breaks the drawbacks that characterize the traditional way of advertising.

Now, what stops African businesses from using the Internet as an advertising machine?

The answer could be a combination of several factors some of which include;
  • Lack of Internet/Online marketing strategies for businesses
  • Lack of interest and appreciation about the Internet by top management
  • Scared of moving out from comfort zone and trying something new and in this case Internet advertising
There is the need for African businesses to consciously embrace the Internet and to use it as another (accurate) channel of advertising in terms of brand positioning and awareness.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Think advertising online in Ghana, think Exhibit361

I know most of you are worried about my long absent in posting new articles. Sorry for keeping you waiting. Anyway, i was working on a project that is equally important which required much of my time.

Thankfully, that project has started and i hope to continue sharing with you again. 

Exhibit361 is the name of the project and it seeks to aggregate premium local websites in Ghana and to offer that as a bigger platform for advertisers who wants to promote their brands locally. It allows advertisers to stretch their monies while spreading their messages. It's all about convenience to the advertiser since it prevents them from signing separate contracts with different website owners.

Whenever you think of advertising online in Ghana, think Exhibit361. Today, Exhibit361 is set on the path of changing the way advertising on the internet is done in Ghana.

It is my belief that this project will add value to both advertiser and website owners

Friday, 31 August 2012

Blogging Basics: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Unlike web sites, which require design and HTML skills to produce, blogs are quick and easy to set up using off-the-shelf software with easy-to-use features. With just a little basic know-how, you can quickly and easily establish and promote your blog. Here are some specific tips to keep in mind:
  • Before you begin, think carefully about the name of your blog and its tagline, which will be indexed by the search engines. It is very difficult to go back and change this information once you have established it.
  • Easy-to-use blogging software is available from TypePad, WordPress, Blogger, and others. Some of the services are free and others require a small subscription fee. Research the services and choose wisely based on your needs, because it is difficult to switch to a different service without losing all the content you have already created. And once your blog has been indexed by search engines, and people have subscribed to your RSS feed or bookmarked your URL, a change to different software is really tough.
  • You will need to choose a URL for your blog. The blogging services all offer customizable URLs (such as or You can also map your blog to your company's domain ( or to a custom domain (
  • Blogging software makes it easy to choose color, design, and font, and to create a simple text-based masthead. You might consider using a custom graphical image as your masthead - these are easy to design and will make your blog more attractive to readers.
  • As you begin your blog, tweak your design, and tentatively try a few posts. I recommend you use password protection for the first few weeks or so. That way you can share your blog with a few friends and colleagues first and make changes before opening it up to the world.
  • The look and feel of the blog could be complementary to your corporate design guidelines, but it should not be identical. For many blogs, it is better to be a bit different from the corporate look to signal to readers that the blog is an independent voice, not corporate-speak.
  • Blogging software usually allows you to turn on a comments feature so your visitors can respond to your posts. There are several options for you to consider. Some people prefer their blogs to have no comments from reader at all, and that might be the right choice for you. However, one of the most exciting things about blogging is when readers comment on what you've written.
  • Pay close attention to the categories you choose for your blog, and add social media tags for services like Technorati, DIGG, and to each post.
  • RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a standard delivery format for many of your readers. Make certain that your new blog has RSS capability. Most blogging software services have RSS feeds as a standard feature.
  • Include an "About" page that includes photo, biography, affiliations, and information about your blog. Often when people visit a blog for the first time, they want to know about the blogger, so it is important to provide background.
  • Encourage people to contact you, make it easy for them to reach you online, and be sure to follow up personally on your fan mail.
  • Don't write excessively about your company and its products and services. You must resist this urge to blog about what your company offers. Instead blog about a subject of interest to the people you are trying to reach. What problems do your buyers have that you can write about? How can you create content that informs and educates and entertains?
  • Involve other blogs and bloggers by becoming a true participant in the online community. Link to and leave comments on other blogs. Let someone else's post serve as the starting point for a conversation that you continue on your own blog. You'll generate much more interest in what you're doing if you are inclusive and integrative.
"Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. from The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers. Copyright (c) 2011 by David Meerman Scott. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers."

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Is An Attractive Website Enough?

Some business owners and marketing managers feel that having an attractive website to capture the customers attention and making them "WOW" is just enough in their marketing drive.

However, a "WOW" website that propagates your product or service message is not enough. Customers have grown pass this stage of product or service message bombardment. Frankly speaking, customers have seen and read a lot of the same propaganda messages all the time. Product or service message have now become unauthentic and seen as empty noise by discerning customers.

Being in an information era does not mean putting out information only about your products or services. It means going beyond that and providing real information that solves customers real problems.

Be seen as thought leader in your market niche. Have the passion to solve customers problems by providing them with the valuable information. Be sincere and even willing to give out what you consider as hidden or reserve secrets that can solve a customers problem. 

These are what delights a customer and not the attractive website and the propaganda product or service messages. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

How To Promote Your Brand Through Thought Leadership

“Thought leadership centers on earning trust and credibility. Thought leaders get noticed by offering something different—information, insights, and ideas, for instance. Thought leadership positions you and your company as an industry authority and resource and trusted advisor by establishing your reputation as a generous contributor to your industry.”

Now! how do you promote your brand through thought leadership without mentioning any of the products or services that you offer? This will be quite uneasy for marketers since they have been thought to always mention products and services during the marketing drive.

The following highlights some key things to consider when thinking of how to create thoughtful content:

1. Do not write about your company and products. Thought leadership content is designed to solve buyer problems or answer questions and to show that you and your organization are smart and worth doing business with.

2. Define your organization goals first. Do you want to drive revenue? Get people to donate money to your organization? Encourage people to buy something?

3. Based on your goals, decide whether you want to provide the content for free and without any registration (you will get many more people to use the content, but you won't know who they are), or you want to include some kind of registration mechanism (much lower response rate, but you build a contact list).

4. Think like a publisher by understanding your audience. Consider what market problems your buyer personas are face with and develop topics that appeal to them.

5. Write for your audience. Use examples and stories. Make it interesting.

6. Choose a great title that grabs attention. Use subtitles to describe what the content will deliver.

7. Promote the effort like crazy. Offer the content on your site with easy-to-find links. Add a link to employees's email signatures, and get partners to offer links as well.

8. To drive the viral marketing effects, alert appropriate reporters, bloggers, and analysts that the content is available and send them a download link.

"Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. from The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers. Copyright (c) 2011 by David Meerman Scott. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers."

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