The recent high-profile acquisitions of specialised social media management companies by Salesforce.com Inc. and Oracle is an indication of the growing global demand among marketers for digital tools to aid them in engaging with customers simply and effectively.
This is according to Dirk Dijkstra, Head of Communications at Ensight, a leading international multi-channel marketing company, speaking at the launch of Ensight HQ, which features, among others, full Facebook publishing integration and a standalone landing page builder.
“With more and more local companies vying for the attention of consumers online, it is crucial that marketers overcome the challenge of timing to market by effectively managing social media platforms such as Facebook, in order to ensure that brands and services remain prominent in the minds of consumers.
“Latest statistics reveal that there are over 901 million Facebook users globally, of which 4.6 million are in South Africa. Driving these users from a landing page to a brand’s dedicated tab on a social media platform (and vice versa) is crucial in effectively interacting with consumers,” says Dijkstra.
Dijkstra says that Ensight HQ allows users to publish as many Facebook tabs as they like and also includes, among others, a realistic preview simulator, which shows what the tab will look like before publishing, a unique “like gate” which showcases different content to those who like a page, as well as the ability to load a form to any tab and capture data without actually leaving Facebook. “From a promotions perspective, the new product also allows for scheduled publishing of tabs, so competitions can go live automatically.”
He says that the effectiveness of landing pages and their synergy with Facebook should not be overlooked in the battle for consumer engagement. “Landing pages are highly optimised with a single purpose to engage and facilitate a response from a consumer, once he or she lands on the site. They are crucial to any business selling products or services online and are used intensively by marketers globally for both B2C and B2B campaigns.
“When a campaign goes online, landing pages are typically the first encounter a company or brand will have with a consumer and will appear after a user clicks a link on an online ad, email, search result, etc. A landing page is crucial as it is the first chance you have to convince a mildly interested consumer to pursue the process you have created.”
According to Internet World Stats, in 2011 there were approximately 2.3 billion users. “Internet usage and online sales transactions are growing at a rapid rate. However, competition to engage with consumers is now harder than ever and marketers need viable platforms to get their messages across quickly and effectively.”
Dijkstra says that the issue of time to market is crucial. “Traditionally, if a company’s marketer gets a creative idea, the time from inception to completion could take up to six-weeks to launch and often involves extensive briefing to specialist agencies, or affiliate suppliers, as well as a significant cost outlay.
“Now, a campaign can be conceptualised and launched effectively within hours.” He explains that from a design perspective, the user-friendly platform also includes an innovative Smart Template system which makes it easy to create device-agnostic landing pages and Facebook tabs.
“Differentiating a brand from other competing brands in an already cluttered online environment is an ongoing challenge. Therefore, the evolution and understanding of marketing platforms such as Facebook tabs and landing pages in a multi-channel approach is key to actively engaging consumers,” concludes Dijkstra.