EBS Marketing Turns Its Spotlight to LinkedIn

At the EBS Marketing blog we’ve spent plenty of time talking to you all about the importance of social media to any effective online marketing campaign. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have come to take the world by storm, and in 2013, these sites are essential when it comes to reaching your consumer base; they have a capacity for effective communication that has never been seen before in the history of marketing. When it comes to effective online marketing tools, social networking sites are only beaten by Google in their usefulness, and quite frankly coming second to only Google, the monolith of the internet, is nothing to scoff at.

However you’ve heard us talk to you about the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter; we wanted to take this opportunity to preach the values of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an entirely different beast; it’s generally known to be a social networking site for professionals. It’s not like Facebook, which is more informal, or Twitter, which is often based around the cult of fame. LinkedIn is the social networking site to join if you have professional ambitions. It’s increasingly becoming a tool employers use to reach potential employees and a tool companies use to forge business contacts and get industry information. That’s why we thought we’d clue you into a few basic facts on LinkedIn.

It was created in 2003…Similar to Facebook, although it means that it took a longer amount of time to establish a reputation.

Has Over 200 million registered users…Not quite as much as Facebook or Twitter, but not too shabby either. 200 million is more than three times the population of the UK and provides a strong platform.

LinkedIn is currently available in 20 countries and 19 languages… Not quite up to Facebook’s standards but it is growing and becoming more widely available, especially in countries such as the US and UK that are big players on the global economic stage.

Adds an average of 172,800 new users daily… It’s growing rapidly; according to these figures we can guestimate that LinkedIn gets roughly a million new users every week. Get on the ground floor and you can catch these new users right from the off.

 74 million LinkedIn users in US alone…The US is the world’s largest economy, the country which if you want your online marketing campaign to go international, you have to break. These numbers show how LinkedIn is increasingly coming to become a necessary part of any plan to break the American market.

More than 2.7 million companies have LinkedIn pages… This cements LinkedIn’s status as the professional social networking sites. For business to business contacts, it really is the place to be

Wikipedia Lights the Way to Online Text Marketing

Here at EBS Marketing we’re always excited to hear about new ways we can employ the practice of online marketing and reach new audiences. That’s why as we opened up our browsers and started work on Monday an article on the Technology section of the BBC News Site called ‘Wikipedia pilots articles-via-SMS service aimed at Africans’ immediately caught our attention, as the spread of phone technology in the discipline of online marketing is something we as a business take a particular interest in.  We quickly came to realize that this article not only confirmed what we’ve been saying for a while now; that phones are and will come to increasingly more, form a part of effective online marketing strategies, but also showed us new ways this can be achieved.

The article shows the details of a scheme taken up by information website Wikipedia that is currently testing a service designed to bring a greater flow of information to the peoples of the African continent. This scheme involves a service that sends Wikipedia articles directly to these people’s phones by text message, cutting out the need for a smartphone in countries where the residents do not often have the money for such an extravagant purchase.

For specifics, the online encyclopedia has partnered with popular mobile phone operator Airtel to offer the service and it is currently being tested in the African nation of Kenya. There is an underlying hope that this service will reach the peoples of the developing world who do not have internet access. When asked to comment in the article on the necessity of the scheme, Dan Foy, technical partner manager for the Wikimedia foundation commented that “Throughout most of the developing world, data-enabled smartphones are the exception, not the rule,” going on to say “That means billions of people currently cannot see Wikipedia on their phones.”

We can see the wisdom of this trial. The developing world will increasingly become a target for marketing for online companies as it slowly starts to lift itself out of poverty and become a player on the world economic stage. It would make sense that online companies and services would want to market themselves to this potential consumer base, however the key obstacle is that their medium, the internet, is denied to them, as many of these people don’t have access to the internet. Wikipedia have shown that you don’t have to give up; you simply find a way to get around this barrier. These nations will eventually grow in their usage of the internet, if international trends are to be believed, and by not only providing a service, but also laying the ground work now, by  the time this comes, these names will already be recognisable to the consumers of the developing world. The hard work will already be done.

Of course this is all merely conjecture at this point, the tests haven’t even started; however at EBS Marketing we can see why Wikipedia have done this. Not only are they finding a new way to extend their service and reach potential new customers, they are broadening their brand; this will come in handy when the citizens of the developing world begin to sign up to the internet.

Is the Internet Quickly Becoming the Domain of the Teenager?

It’s no news to us at EBS Marketing, and we’re sure it’s no use to you, that the internet is the domain of the young. It’s the generation who are now in their late teens and early 20’s that grew up with the internet as a part of daily life. This has meant that as online marketing has grown up, it has come to target a young audience. It’s the young who use Facebook, the young who use Twitter and YouTube. Yes, older generations have cottoned onto how useful the internet can be, and there certainly is a strong market there, but it is the young who have transformed the internet into an integral part of their everyday lives.

However what is shocking is how the next generation, those who are just entering their teenage years, are taking this position one step further. It really shows the potential of the market. A new survey released by the ICT2 IT Security Education Group shows how young people’s online behaviour is getting increasingly risky; how they are coming to live their entire lives online and push boundaries in ways that they have never been pushed before. Some of the statistics concern safety on the internet for those aged 9-11, and don’t really concern the online marketing industry, except to perhaps make the argument for tighter regulations.

However, some of the figures revealed are certainly telling. It found that in this age bracket 43% of kids surveyed went online every day, and 46% spent more than two hours online every time they browse. The survey found that 22% browse after 9pm and 7% are still online after midnight. These figures show an emerging market, one who will come to view the internet in a different way than the early 20’s generation. For them, the internet came part way into their childhood – they live with it, but still appreciate traditional forms of advertising. This next generation are largely living their entire lives online.

This shows that online marketing hasn’t even really begun yet. It’s evidently becoming more necessary, since the potential market is only growing. As this market gets older we’ll begin to see, in EBS’ opinion, just how this total immersion into online culture will transform online marketing into the premier form of marketing. We are already beginning to see how this may happen through such mediums as the growth of PPC and social media advertising. From here, with this rising audience, the sky really is the limit and it may even come to the point where other forms of advertising are all but defunct.

At EBS Marketing, we have, over time, come to see a whole industry grow up over the concept of online marketing. However what figures like this are increasingly making clear is that this industry hasn’t even really gotten off the ground yet. As the internet becomes even more integral to daily life, online marketing will grow and come to take on a life of its own. The sky really is the limit and at EBS, we’re excited by what he future may bring!

EBS Marketing on the Evolution of Facebook as a Marketing Tool

In 2013 we at EBS Marketing think that the online marketing community would almost universally agree that aside from Google, Facebook has become the most viable online marketing platform on the planet. With reportedly over a billion users, Facebook has become the monolith of the social media industry, and any business that wants to reach its customer base these days has to go through Facebook. However, the social media site hasn’t always been the marketing haven that it is today, like any platform, it has grown and evolved.

Facebook’s success is in its ability to recognise what their consumers want and provide it for them. This is a basic marketing and sales principle. You have to give people what they want, or make them think they want it; otherwise they are never going to buy your product. People won’t buy what they don’t want; that’s whole reason market research exists. So, how did Facebook transform itself into the online marketing platform of the 21st Century?

It started out with very simple profiles, as all social networking sites did. You had a photo, a name and your details. Even this had marketing potential, especially in a time where social networking was only just beginning to take off. At this point it was enough that people were willing to put their personal interests into such a public forum, which had never really happened before. Before that if advertising agencies wanted data they had to conduct market research, whereas after, all they had to do was collect the data that was already out there. This early principle has formed the backbone of the Facebook online marketing phenomenon.

Then the early years saw the introduction of hallmarks that would come to make Facebook stand out from competitors such as MySpace. For example it was this time where it introduced the ‘news feed’, a common hallmark of social media now, but an oddity back then. This allowed users to find new things through their friends profiles and proved critical later, as it allowed online marketing campaigns to use the social networking site to link its campaigns through chains of mutual friends, all seeing these campaigns through the news feed.

Then 2009 saw the first introduction of the ‘fan’ pages. This came to be a marketing masterstroke, as users could use the newsfeeds to discover new fan pages to like, and all this data directly communicated to online sources what the general public wanted; businesses took this further and set up their own fan pages where they could directly communicate with their ‘fans’ in a way they never could before. Since then, this has all lead to the PPC culture; these days online marketing has become a huge part of the Facebook experience, however unlike most people may think, this isn’t something that has grown up over the past few years; it’s grown up right from the inception of the Facebook platform.

EBS Marketing Comments: Has Google Finally Gone Too Far?

Most of the time, we at EBS Marketing, as well as the online marketing community and even the greater public can see the wisdom behind Google’s decisions, even if we don’t always like them. However, and this doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, Google make a decision that seems so intrusive that it simply cannot be allowed. They’re fairly apt when it comes to understanding where that line is, but they have stepped over it once or twice in the past. When you think of this, the Google Earth incident, where the search engine wanted to show where people live, immediately comes to mind. That time protests rose up and Google had to moderate its actions. History’s finally repeated itself.

Google may have to moderate its plans after protests have risen up over its latest initiative to feature certain details in its individual reviews in its search results. In an article on the BBC News Website called ‘Protests follow Google ‘endorsed advert’ change’, it’s been revealed that Google is facing a backlash over its latest changes that have seen plans to feature people’s faces and comments concerning products and places into adverts listed in its search rankings.

It is due to start on 11th November; the ‘shared endorsements’ policy covers the comments and “follows” through users Google + profiles. The move is proving unpopular on the social networking site, and one protest movement is seeing people replace their profile picture with that of Google boss Eric Schmidt, so that in these new endorsements, his picture will appear instead of their own. Google has so far not made an explicit statement, either about the policy change or the protests it has already sparked amongst users. However the policy change is being advertised in banners on the main search engine and the company has made it clear that it will be very easy for users to opt out if they so wish. However it has also warned that if people did not want to take part in the project, some of their comments and follows on the social networking site may no longer be visible to people they know.

At EBS Marketing, we can understand why people are reacting this way; people tend to be sensitive about the way their image and words are used. Google, who have been in this game a long time, should know better than to even go there, especially after the way some people reacted to the Google Earth introduction a few years ago. This teaches us all a lesson when it comes to online marketing. There are limits that should not be crossed, no matter the incentive.

At the end of the day, the general public are the consumers, the people who buy the product that the online marketing campaign is promoting. If they don’t like the campaign, that may galvanise them against the product, which of course makes the whole campaign obsolete. Even Google needs to keep its users onside.