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Marketing guru Rochelle Els, discusses the evolution of social media and online marketing

Rochelle Els, Marketing, Newcastillian - Online News
"Life after hard lockdown saw the last group of business owners, who once were "anti-online" people, converted. But just how big of a role does digital marketing play?"
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Life after hard lockdown saw the last group of business owners, who once were “anti-online” people, converted. This, due to the reality that business owners have had to go back to the drawing board, re-evaluating their approach to marketing and advertising, now placing a far larger value on that of digital mediums and services vs that of traditional mediums.

There are various marketers, business owners and managers who are doing everything in their power to learn more about this ridiculously fast-paced industry, but do tend to find themselves sitting scratching their heads due to the overwhelming amount of knowledge, experience and understanding the digital world requires for perfect marketing to occur.

Therefore, to assist our readers, we managed to pin down a forerunner and leader in the local online and social marketing sectors, and marketing solutions arena, Rochelle Els, the Managing Director of Pixelfish Marketing.

She begins by saying, “Unlike most industries, online marketing is a complex, intertwined, highly technical process, and like with any significant industry, requires a professional to ensure its perfection”. With vast amounts of knowledge in the marketing world, Rochelle paints a detailed picture of what business owners need to understand.

While companies might feel they have got the hang of social media marketing, Rochelle stresses it has changed tremendously. It is not just about putting up a post and sharing.

She elaborates, “Social media has most certainly changed in leaps and bounds over the last few years. In the beginning, it was mocked in the marketing industry, whereas now, businesses need a Social Media Marketing expert to market its services or products online. Social media platforms are very well aware of the power they hold for businesses, and they want to convert that into profit.”

This, Rochelle highlights has resulted in a massive drop in organic (not paid) traffic on all social media platforms, especially the popular ones such as Facebook—which now forces businesses to pay for advertising to grow their audience or as she points out, have to source the services of a professional digital marketer to succeed. Stating that companies need to stay updated with the changes, as the industry is far too competitive to not.

She goes on to list a few of these critical points:

  • Live video – streaming now accounts for over two-thirds of internet traffic.
  • Facebook & Instagram (Facebook-owned) changes all the time due to the algorithm updates — emphasising the importance of creating meaningful interactions/posts.
  • Advanced customer handling and automation. Chatbots are now a necessity. It is no secret most companies now allocate more of their budget towards marketing automation and AI, as opposed to BTL or ATL marketing itself.
  • Reviews – Online ratings now make it exceptionally easy for clients and customers alike to share negative experiences. Many companies have closed, and a lot of money has been lost due to the modern ease of publicly rating the service you received. Customer Service is now more important than ever before.
  • News. Gone are the days where you receive the news only once a week. With the help of social platforms, people all over the world can now stay up to date and receive the news within minutes of it transpiring.
  • Credible digital media products offer business owners the opportunity to reach mass amounts of people, through measured media, while developing valuable content which is SEO rated, on your business.
    Whereby she says with a smile, “One of our brands, The Newcastillian – Online News, is a perfect example of a phenomenal digital media product”.

With the above in mind, Rochelle affirms there are still a considerable number of misperceptions around digital marketing, especially in South Africa—where some people still tend to find solace in the familiarity of dying forms of media or” self-taught” solutions. According to Rochelle, one of the most common misperceptions surrounding digital marketing in our country is the way business owners view the scale or magnitude of digital or social marketing. She elaborates, “Digital marketing is not integral to any business strategy; is by far the most ignorant statement I have heard. With more people using the internet and social media than any other platform, a company must have a collosal online presence. It serves as an online ‘shop front’ and provides the ability to interact with the ever-growing online audience.”

Moreover, Rochelle points out, a company’s online presence will forevermore play a significant role in maintaining a positive market presence.

As a forerunner in the marketing sector, what advice would Rochelle give businesses in the wake of 2020? Especially when looking at the daunting challenges faced by the business sector.

She admits that modern marketing, primarily digital, can be very overwhelming and sometimes too technical to understand. With this in mind, she says, “I suggest starting with a phone call to Pixelfish Marketing as we have an open door policy. We welcome all business owners to give us a call to speak about the options available to you. It all starts with a conversation. Allow us to assist by making you more aware of the required processes and realities, thereby providing you with the correct starting point.”

Looking at other marketers, Rochelle offers some words of wisdom. “Marketers must remember that as much as the marketing world has changed, good old business ethics, innovation and values will always stand you and your business in good stead. Do what is right, always act in the best interest of the client, even in their absence—and for goodness sake, study, research and stop looking for the cheapest options, water is cheaper than petrol, but does not have the same effect on your car.”

The world around us is back to business and now more than ever, there simply is no more room for error or silly gambles. Every cent has to now be accounted for, every solution created by professionals with goals and measurable results being a must. As Rochelle’s words open our eyes to the changes and developments of the digital world, share your thoughts with us below.

To connect with Pixelfish Marketing and Rochelle Els contact her on rochelle@pixelfishmarketing.co.za

Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer

Edited: Calvin Swemmer

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