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South African Businesses Need To Consider Collaborations
Internet usage in South Africa may be on the rise, but traffic is within the country as well as internationally is harder and harder to come by than it once was 5 or even ten years ago. As more brands begin to move into digital competition for attention and clicks heats up. Also, Google & Facebook has started to close its doors ever so slightly to organic reach, and external traffic has dried up for many brands.
This puts a distinct pressure on paid advertising auctions which these platforms are actively trying to encourage. As the auction for clicks becomes more expensive, these sites can effectively charge more for giving your the same or even worse results over time, and you'll be fine with it.
Digital advertising is a highly centralised playground of late, and if you want to compete, you have to spend. Businesses hit hardest by this increase in cost per click prices are those who traditionally relied on paid advertising for steady leads and never bothered to build a social media following, email database or improve their SEO.
Eventually, the paying for traffic will begin to erode margins and you will either have to scale your operations accordingly or shut down the business as you cannot compete.
Looking for other opportunities
As web traffic will start to come at a premium for sites, brands will need to consider working with other niches within the digital sphere to attract traffic and interest in their site.
Collaborations are a great way to do this and should be part of every sites strategy, especially in local markets where there is much room for overlap. Since each brand or business, you collaborate with has their digital assets and audience you can combine the two to reach an even larger audience and create a buzz around your initiatives for long-lasting brand awareness.
So what kind of collaborations should South African businesses be looking at?
Collaborating with brands
This would be natural avenue most businesses would look at when putting together a collaborative campaign and marketing drive. If you're a business that specialises in one field or product range, speak to those in complimentary industries and create packages or combined offerings that help set you apart from your competitor. Your offering would also more than likely appeal to both your current audiences which may result in upselling or cross-selling of products and services while customers of competitors may want to switch over for this unique value add.
Collaborating with bloggers
While South African bloggers may not have the reach of that of international counterparts, they still have a role to play in the digital ecosystem. When partnering with bloggers, you effectively create several unique perspectives and content pieces that resonate with a specific niche or archetype that would follow that blogger's content.
If also improves your online reputation when users are looking for content about you, they have access to several sites vouching for your product or services quality and authenticity.
Blogs may not shoot the lights out in terms of traffic or leads, but they provide context about your brand on a personal level. While advertising is momentary, a blog can have a long-lasting impact as long as the article is live.
Collaborating with influencers
Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity since the meteoric rise of Instagram and South Africa is no exception. As millennials see digital influence as a real conveyer of authority and trustworthy messaging, these social media super users are selling their audience to the highest bidder. While influencer marketing may be filled with scams and zero ROI returning campaigns, it can still be an effective medium if the proper due diligence is done and performance metrics and deliverables are agreed on beforehand.
If your brand is looking to target a younger audience then influencers would be a collab route you would want to persue.
Collaborating with media publications
When South African audiences aren't glued to instant messaging or social media they're spending a considerable amount of time on various news publications this can be a general news outlet or a niche news site like local sport. Fact is South African traffic still firmly sits with publishers instead of with independent creators, and while you can buy your spots within various publications this can be pricey and often not very effective in terms of lead generation and more a brand awareness exercise.
If you want to collaborate with news outlets you will need to pitch them an exclusive story that they feel would interest their audience, this could be a world first product launch, country first product launch, it could be a social responsibility initiative or even data analysis you've done on your market or your customers. Media outlets tend to gravitate to this kind of information and would be more than happy to amplify your story should it be enticing enough for a journalist.
Collaborating with communities
This type of collab depends on the type of business and your target market, and while it may be on a smaller scale, it is highly targetted and can be wildly impactful in terms of conversion and building long-lasting leads and relationships with your clients. There are many communities you can reach out to with sponsorships or discounts in exchange for promoting it to their neighbours, friends or colleagues.
If you're a security business, sponsor neighbourhood watch programs with branded vests, if you're a stationary store why not get involved with local schools in your area, if you're a restaurant, why not meet with local charities or feeding schemes. While all these collaborations may not be about direct sales, they set the tone for the kind of brand you aim to be, build relationships on the grassroots level and instil your business as a pillar of the community.
Tell us your social media story
Have you been frustrated with social media reports for your business? How did you or the company overcome it? Are there any tips you would like to share on improving your reports? Share it with us in the comments.
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on digital media marketing.
- How Community Outreach Marketing Can Boost Your SEO
- 10 Ways To Generate Offline Leads For Your Website