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Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Blogs used to be trendy and appealing and “blogging” was a buzzword. The buzz seems to have died down, so do blogs still matter? The short answer is yes. More so than ever, we still need blogs. Why? Because the amount of organic (unpaid) traffic our websites receive can be tremendously increased through blogging. The catch? The blogging needs to be done right. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top seven reasons why you should use blogs to drive SEO success.

Blogging is more relevant in 2020 than ever before.

1. Google’s algorithm loves blogs

The infamous algorithms that determine where your website or blog places in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can be manipulated to your advantage through blogging. First of all, the more pages your website has, the more Google has to index. The more it has to index, the more chances that results from your site will appear higher up in SERPs. Blogs are the ideal way to keep adding pages to your site. The added benefit here is that you’ll be upping your freshness factor since blogs mean that new content is constantly flowing into your site – another factor that Google’s algorithm rewards you for.

Blogs are perfect for sharing, which readers will do should the content be valuable enough to be shared. This means that you are generating more inbound links to your website, which is yet another factor – the “Authority Factor” - that Google’s algorithm loves.

2. Customers love blogs

People do research online before they make purchases. But did you know that 85% of consumers use Google to find out more about products? Besides that if your content is valuable to your customers, the do spend spend up to eight to twelve minutes reading your blog! The added benefit here is that the time spent in total on your site increases dramatically.

By using the right keywords and phrases in your content, your blog can attract people actively searching for your products and services. Blog articles are therefore critical for attracting people with the right purchase intent. The best part? You are not paying to advertise to these people: they are seeking you out, with statistics showing that more than 50% of web traffic comes from organic search results.

3. Blogs build brand credibility

Use your blog to demonstrate the value that you can provide for your customers. The principle here is that blogs should provide a personal solution to a universal problem. Your products or services should be helping or enabling your customers solve a pain point. See your blog as an extension of that problem solving. This will help position you as a thought-leader in your industry. Do this without name-dropping your brand too frequently in the content, since readers shy away from blogs that are too salesy.

Not sure where to start writing this type of content? Begin with your own manuals and tutorials as these can be turned into “How To Guides” and listicles. Next, think of the ways in which timely topics affect your customers in relation to your products and services. Finally, remember to check your competitors’ websites for inspiration.

4. Blog quality is rewarded

In 2020, Google’s bots can identify quality content just like humans. This means that quality content is king, rather than merely writing to pack in SEO keywords and phrases. The key to doing this is always to put yourself in your client’s shoes so that your writing is addressing their needs. Remember to avoid internal jargon and overly technical terms which might alienate some readers.

5. Keyword research is (still) king

The quality of writing for blogs is more important than ever, as we have just discussed, but keywords still matter. There are numerous tools to help you find the keywords and phrases that are actively being searched – most notably Google’s own free keyword planner tool.

Remember to stay creative as this will help you discover new keywords and phrases that may be less competitive. Again, think like (not about) your customer. For instance, if you are writing about yoga, you might include “food to eat before a yoga class” as a creative way to consider searches your customers are making.

Finally, double check what you think your keywords and phrases mean. Do they mean the same to your customers. Confirm this by entering the keyword or phrase into Google and analyse the results.

6. Blogs drive conversions

While you want to avoid having your blog sounding too salesy, you do want to use it to drive conversions. Ensure that there is a compelling Call-To-Action at the end of the article – the “Shop Now” or “Contact Us” button, for example.

You might be tempted to insert banners advertising your services throughout the content. Refrain from doing so as the point of the blog is to educate, not promote. Keep the banners to outside or alongside the content, but don’t break your readers flow.

Blogs are a valuable part of the customer’s product consideration journey, by helping to drive conversions.

7. Blogs have longevity

To ensure your blogs provide you with maximum ROI (Return on Investment by continuing to drive organic traffic to your site long after their publication, you must plan and monitor. To plan, you need to create a publication calendar so that you can publish blogs on a regular basis, since consistency is another factor Google’s algorithm will reward you for.

Next, you need to stay patient as you might only see your blog article driving the type of organic traffic you desire after two to three months. This means you need to check and measure the performance of each article as part of your publication calendar. If a blog is under-performing, remember that your content strategy can be altered, and you can refresh those keywords in the published blog.

If you have an online presence, blogs are one of the best long-term investments you can make into driving ongoing unpaid traffic to your website. This has so many added benefits – including building your brand credibility and driving your conversions – that you should strongly consider incorporating blogs into your digital marketing strategy. If you are not sure where to start with blogging and would like some guidance, V5 Digital is here to provide you with a free, no-obligations assessment.

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Updated: Jun 6

It comes as no surprise that during the Covid-19 crisis many of us look to our social media platforms for up-to-date information on the virus, how to stay safe, but also for entertainment and ways to escape everyday life while things slowly get back to normal after the lock-down.

Choosing the right platform is key

Influencer posts and influencer marketing has increased since the global pandemic started earlier this year, with TikTok in particular seeing a 23% rise in average viewing time and that number increasing on a monthly basis. In fact, 56% of brands plan to include TikTok in their future influencer marketing strategies in 2020, a platform largely driven by user generated content as well as Generation Z influencers.

TikTok reached two billion downloads in April 2020 and had the highest engagement on any social media platform according to Influencer marketing Hub. TikTok is a social platform that has become addictive and one can spend hours swiping up on videos. Commercially led videos are very smoothly integrated into the short video format making it a great platform to organically advertise products and services that are relevant during the global pandemic - such as food delivery services and meal kits.

Your favourite influencer is going live

Live streaming has always been a feature that influencers used, however, with influencers finding new ways to connect with their audience there has been a drastic increase of live streaming formats such as interviews, online concerts and Q&As. Research has shown that in many cases, users are notified as much as 200% more often about live streams than any other activity within their social media stream.

Since brands cannot create high quality production videos with influencers showcasing their products, influencers have had the opportunity to advertise these products in a much more natural and authentic way. Instead of shooting a video about how to incorporate a new skin care product into their life, the influencer would now host a Live stream where she speaks about her favourite beauty products that she genuinely uses during lockdown. Users do hear the product review by means of the influencer`s voice instead of the voice of a total stranger in a paid-for-commercial. By incorporating live streams into their content, influencers are turning social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram into places where users spend more time connecting with the brands they know and trust.

Live streams and webinars allow influencers to talk and interact with their followers in real- time, making the experience feel more intimate and personal, as if you’re having a conversation with a friend. Live videos have also allowed influencers to bring their followers on their lockdown-journey offering them real life tips on how to cope during the pandemic that has left many feeling alone and scared.

The pandemic has also allowed influencers to be a lot more vulnerable, relying on their followers for support which makes them a lot more relatable than before the global crisis.

Curated vs. spontaneous

Now more than ever people are craving social media content that is authentic and relevant – it is very easy to spot content that isn’t. Influencers understand that they are catering for their followers` needs and that’s how they bring value to our lives, as fashion and beauty influencer Mikai Mcdermott says, “People aren’t concerned with my regular content right now. They don’t want to see me only talking about make-up or fashion. They want to know how my family is, how I’m doing, how my mental health is”. In the era of COVID-19, people want to connect with influencers on a personal level, which means that they are mostly not focusing on how to live an aspirational lifestyle, but rather sharing relatable stories and tips on how to best get by during the pandemic.

Brands need to consider this when partnering up with Influencers, and carefully think through the message they want to portray about their brand. For example a UK based pharmacy partnered up with influencer Madeline Shaw to discuss how she has adapted to a new life during lockdown, rather than having Madeline doing the usual pushing of beauty products.

The Covid-19 crisis has forced us out of a curated social media space and into a more organic and spontaneous space. Travel bloggers can no longer take us on adventures through Fishriver Canyon or view Cape Town’s magnificent sunsets from Table Mountain. They had to become creative in producing content and to think outside the box.

Lock-down landscape

Since influencers cannot create their ‘usual’ content such as posting travel blogs, restaurant reviews or OOTD (outfit of the day) Instagram posts they have to be a lot more creative and offer value to people’s lives with newer, fresher and more relevant content.

Local digital content creator Woven, who is a travel and lifestyle influencer, posted a YouTube video about easy meal preparation during lockdown that has just under 5 000 views, with many positive comments from her subscribers.

Many fitness influencers are hosting live workout classes, chefs are hosting cooking classes and beauty bloggers are hosting live make-up tutorials. This has enabled brands not only to add value to audiences who are at home with more time on their hands but also brings an added element of authenticity to social media. This is because, during live chats, there is no room for editing, changes or staging shots – the content that is shown is more raw and true, which studies have shown is often appealing to the watchers tuning in.

V5 Digital - one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Windhoek, Namibia - recently worked with Local influencer Dillish Matthews on an influencer marketing campaign for the Emoneko Group. She recently hosted a Instagram take-over on the Aesthetic Centre Olympia Instagram page which garnered a lot of engagement from her followers. Her followers and fans got to ask her questions about how she stays positive during tough times, relationship and skincare advice and how she maintains her fitness regime during lockdown. By embracing a new way of connecting with her followers, Dillish is able to maintain her influencer status whilst bringing value and entertainment to her followers.

Using influence for good

Sarah Penny, Head of Content at Data Platform Influencer Intelligence says, “Companies aren’t currently measuring the success of sponsored posts by how many products they sell and instead are looking at whether people who see those posts are simply aware of those brands”. We expect to see less of a hard product push from local influencers and a stronger focus on their followers` well-being and their community. A product or service will now have to fit into a follower’s daily life in a much more realistic way and this needs to be conveyed correctly by the influencer. This was clearly seen when the World Health Organization enlisted a number of global influencers for the #SafeHands challenge. The campaign encouraged people across the world to wash their hands to protect themselves against the spread of the Corona virus. Celebrities like Selena Gomez and Gordon Ramsey were amongst the thousands of people who participated in the viral challenge.

In conclusion, influencer campaigns need to be approachable and practical and not aspirational as in pre-Covid-19 times. Influencers are adding value to our lives by being authentic and relatable by creating content and selling us products and services that will assist our daily routines as we all shift back into the ‘new normal’.

Ready to start your journey to success with influencers? Ready for them to add value to your marketing campaigns? Don’t hesitate to contact V5 Digital for a free assessment or to help you decide whether investing in influencers is the right next step.

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Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Why has WhatsApp Enterprise managed to pique the interest of so many major businesses and brands? The reason is simple, they know that the introduction of this version of WhatsApp is about to make their lives so much easier.

So, what makes this iteration of the world’s most popular messaging app so special? WhatsApp comes in three flavours, WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and WhatsApp Enterprise.

General WhatsApp needs no introduction. Most of us use it every day. In fact, surveys tell us that Namibians love and trust the app so much, that they check it a few times every hour.

The next rung on the messaging ladder is WhatsApp Business, a standalone app that allows small businesses to communicate with their customers. Customers can access a business profile that shows them details like opening hours, product catalogues, website links, and more. It also includes an automated messaging function that sends warm greetings and away messages when nobody is available to talk.

Another great feature is Instant Replies, this time-saving function allows business owners to pre-program answers to frequently asked questions. No need for someone to type the same response fifty times.

The only downside of WhatsApp Business is its reach. It’s designed for small businesses and can be limiting for bigger brands and companies. Its cap of 256 customers and reliance on manual, human-powered, messaging means it scales poorly. Thankfully a better way is finally available.

WhatsApp Enterprise allows AI-powered messaging for up to 100 000 customers all at once, skyrocketing reach and fostering growth. It saves companies time and money on customer service and makes it super easy for users to share engaging video and voice note campaigns.

What this extension allows is staggering. Consumers can check their account balances, make bookings, participate in loyalty programs, set reminders, fill out forms, enter competitions, download brochures, and receive vouchers. A potential customer can even drop a location pin and receive directions, via Google Maps, to a store they wish to visit in seconds.

There are countless examples of international brands using WhatsApp Enterprise to their advantage.

Hellman’s Mayonnaise used a WhatsApp chatbot to ask consumers what they had in the fridge and then sent them recipes they could try. They got over thirteen thousand responses and people loved the campaign.

Absolut Vodka created a chatbot called Sven, which consumers had to persuade to give them tickets to an exclusive Absolut party. The event earned them a massive amount of buzz and media attention.

South Africa’s Standard Bank launched a WhatsApp chatbot to keep customers informed about how COVID-19 affected their services.

The UNDP have a WhatsApp chatbot, built by V5 Digital, that drives consumers to learn more about the 17 SDGs and how they can contribute to creating a sustainable future for us all.

Does this sound very exciting, but a little daunting to pull off on your own?

Don’t worry, V5 Digital is fluent in chatbot! As the leading provider of chatbots in Africa, we're always happy to assist any business or brand looking to use this invaluable tool.

The very first enterprise-grade Facebook Messenger Chatbot in Namibia was built by V5 Digital for Bank Windhoek and we helped Kosmos build the first Afrikaans chatbot in Namibia. We have enhanced the customer experience for Entrepo Finance and NHP, and can do the same for you!

So if you need a chatbot that perfectly represents your business personality and achieves your particular business goals contact V5 Digital for a consultation.

Are you keen to test out one of these clever little bots? Go have a chat with our friendly chatbot here.

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