Millenials are the new Gen-X. It’s all the same.

You can’t turn on your computer these days and not hear about Millenials. It’s human nature to want to make sense of things. An easy way is to put things into categories. It’s neat, it’s easily understood, it’s easier to explain. The problem is that most often it’s completely wrong.

I cringed when I first heard the definition of Gen-X. I was supposedly one of them. I was supposed to be exactly like all the people born around the same time. We loved the same things, related to work and authority the same way, behaved in the same manner with our peers and elders. I cringed every time a new Gen-Y, Gen-Z and all the other alphabets popped up year after year. Millenials are the latest.

The truth is that definitions of Millenials probably make them cringe too. How can they all be the same? How can they all be so different from me?

Yes they are young. As such they don’t experience technology they were born into the way previous generations did. Neither did our parents with the Walkman or our kids with YouTube. Is that enough to define a generation, or to use these definitions as insights that will help us better communicate with them?

While it can be interesting around the dinner table, as marketers we should work harder. Instead of focusing on artificial definitions, we should look at real life instead. We all know fun people, people who love to explore new things, and some that are more scared of change. I’ve met people who were old at 16, who never wanted to try anything new. I’ve met a granddad who tries new things all the time and is up to speed with most of the latest technologies. In which groups do they fit into? Baby-boomers? Noughties?

To better understand our target audiences, it’s probably better to look at the human truths that unite them rather than just an age group, a gender, or a nationality. These little boxes give us the illusion to better understand and control the world around us. Comfortable yes. Effective?

Arnaud

No more death by Powerpoint

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When a potential client wants to visit the agency and specifically say, “how you manage you time is completely up to you”, you immediately understand that they are expecting a bit more than the average setup with a keynote presentation, and are instead interested in getting to know the people.

With that in mind, what’s better than giving them the chance to meet every member of the team at once? We greeted and got to know each member individually to find a connection, and presented the added bonus of custom made mocktails at a bespoke Tonic bar.
With the right atmosphere, the right people and the needed enthusiasm, what could go wrong?

How to decide which social media platform is right for you | Part 3 – Instagram

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As opposed to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is not where you would go to get the latest information. Information could be present, but the platform is more about expressing yourself artistically and visually. If you’re looking to start and build a base on Instagram, make sure you have the beautiful photos & images in hand, or at least the assets to produce them. Share quality photos of behind-the-scenes events at your company. If you’re a food brand, share photos of your offerings that would entice people’s hunger and drive. Those beautiful images stick, and could possibly trigger cravings the next time they go for a meal outside. 

Remember, you’re dealing with short attention spans and a timeline of a competitive nature filled with baby photos, cat photos and short videos of awesome stuff. Make your content unique and always ask yourself: “Is my content visually appealing?”, “Will it stop people in their tracks?”

Look to engage rather than to advertise. Text heavy images with call to actions stick out like a sore thumb, and they don’t fit well with the purpose of the platform. 

While Facebook owns Instagram, they’re completely different platforms that complement each other perfectly. Facebook for information, news and updates, and Instagram for showing how gorgeous your brand can be. Have fun and let your audience join the party.

How to decide which social media platform is right for you? Part 2 – Twitter

394cdcfb-639e-4932-8bbb-8dcb55887466If there was any platform where it’s ideal to put context before content, it would surely be Twitter. For active users, Twitter potentially acts as the source of all news and information on the spot. It’s perfect if your brand deals with events, and it’s ideal to take of advantage of Twitter’s live nature, and cover events with live tweets to give your audience live updates. Interaction is essential on this platform. There are many social media tools available that would let you find the audience who would most likely be interested in your brand’s topics. Find that audience and interact with them. Show the human side of your brand, and build a relationship with users who could potentially turn into customers.

Remember, when anyone opens their Twitter feed, they’re going to see the most recent updates on their timeline, and the possibilities of them seeing a Tweet that was sent in the past is very low. That’s why as a brand, you have to show that you‘re available for your customers, and you‘re part of the conversation. Better yet, you are the conversation.

On Facebook, I would prefer a low frequency of posts, or only publishing exactly what your brand wants to say, with no filler content. On Twitter, I would encourage joining every conversation that’s possible to join. The more active you are with tweets, conversations and relevant information, the more likely you‘re going to build a strong follower base that appreciate your presence on the platform.

How to decide which social media channel is right for you?

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There’s always a debate flowing about what social media platforms a brand should build its presence on. “Should we create a Twitter account?”, “Instagram is  big hit, we want to be there before it’s too late”, “Snapchat is the future, let’s create an account quickly so we’re not left out”.

It’s important to have a fixed plan before venturing into unknown digital territories. That’s why I wanted to share my opinions on the things to keep in mind for each platform, to help build a solid foundation and a working strategy to follow. I’ll start with the most obvious:

Facebook

It’s a hub of information; Facebook is the perfect platform for reaching the exact person you want to reach, as its features allow you to target exactly who you want by their interests, demographics, psychographics and online behavior. The possibilities are endless, and if you’re willing to invest in paid media and to create gorgeous creatives, you’re bound to go down a successful route. One thing to keep in mind is that people are mainly going on social media to see what their friends and family are up to, in addition to short funny videos and loads of cat pictures. Furthermore, you’re dealing with the short attention spans of people in the modern world, who can easily scroll down past your content.

As a brand, you are typically an intruder into people’s Facebook experience (and this goes for other platforms as well). In addition to trying to fit into a user’s newsfeed, you are also competing with many brands who are trying to do the same thing as you: spread their message and engage their audience. How do you overcome that? By being unique, by standing out, by fitting in to people’s lives, by making thumb stopping and eye catching content that’s worth the five minutes of distraction to send your message. Invest in a fixed media budget and plan that aims at your target market at the right place at the right time. Dedicate time and resources to gorgeous creatives that put across your ideas quickly.

Next week we’ll discuss Twitter!

SEO myths with Ahmed – Part 3

Tonic PostMost SEO agencies and professionals love to say that “Search engine optimisation techniques are too complicated to explain”, and CEOs deal with SEO related activities as if it’s rocket science, even when they are reviewing strategies and/or reports.

Here’s the fact: SEO is the process of applying the best practise that aligned with the search engine ranking factors – more than 200 – to your website and other online assets to get better visibility from search engines. Those best practices start with filling all the needed information with meaningful content that your targeted audience is searching for and are likely to engage with.

For example, the most important pieces of information for website pages are the page title, page description, page heading and page content. If you can find the right keywords to target, write the information in a descriptive and attractive way that includes the keywords,

As example: The most important information for the website pages are the page title, page description, page heading and page content. If you can find the right keywords to target, then write the information in a descriptive and attractive way including the keywords, afterwards you can basically do it yourself! At least that’s an initial start for your SEO process.

Professional SEOs just have much more information about how to get this process done quicker and in a more efficient manner. They use more premium tools to find more keywords, and they analyse the competition, find the possibilities and plot in a strategy to fill the gaps.

Introduction to Nouran, our newest digital marketing executive

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“I want to live jobless and broke forever” said no one ever, and let’s be honest; that’s the reason why we all went to get a degree and a job. So I decided to follow my father’s footsteps, and so far, 2016 has been very big for me. I graduated, kissed studying bye bye, and embarked on a new adventure, and that is becoming a Tonician.

I’ve only been in Tonic for 2 months, and I feel at home already. One of the many things I love about Tonic’s family, is that while we all are under a huge load of work, we still won’t bite.

Ironically, when I first chose Marketing as a major, I thought I’m doing myself a favour by staying away from anything to do with maths. Now, being part of the media team,the calculator is my new favourite app.

That being said, on a personal level, I’m a young eclectic Dubaïan girl, with an aching passion for anything sweet, and infinite love for coffee, arts & travel, and I’m looking forward to learning from the best here at Tonic!

SEO With Ahmed – Keyword ranking doesn’t matter

ahmad-seo-2It’s common practice for CEOs to invest some of their time searching on Google for their business keywords to check their rankings on Google, but this is a limited approach. The truth is that CEOs need to investigate the keywords that are related and profitable to their business, which have the highest number of searches per month with the lowest competition.

For example, If you are running a business in the field of selling curtains, and focusing on letting people find your website when they search for “curtains” , it would take ages to beat the competition for this term, and lots of hard working hours and advanced tactics would be required to achieve this.  It’s important to note that the people who are only searching “Curtains” are most likely searching for some designs or ideas, while the good CEOs will focus more on easier keywords that are more profitable like “Buy blackout curtains in Dubai” and/or “Where to buy fabric in Dubai” etc.

These type of keywords – called “longtail keywords” – are easier to target, get a better rank for your website, and are definitely more profitable for your business. Targeting 100 longtail profitable keywords is better than targeting only one useless “fathead” keyword. This is why you should measure SEO against the organic traffic that is delivered to your website, by measuring the traffic engagement like time on site, page views and your converted analytics goals out of this traffic.

SEO with Ahmed – Part 1

ahmad-seoLet alone the fact that Ahmed is the only Ahmed in our agency (Somehow), he’s also unique as the go-to person for digital knowledge, and wisdom on SEO. That being said, we thought it would be great to share his pointers about SEO that every business owner should know:

#1 SEO is not just search engine optimization

As ridiculous as that title sounds, don’t let the acronym for the term mislead you to the wrong sense of its broadness. Everything is changing fast in the digital marketing world, SEO included. In the early days of the internet, SEO was only about optimizing your website using several tactics related to Google and other search engines. These tactics include submitting your website into the search engine, indexing more pages, adding keywords to your content or re-writing your page’s titles and descriptions for better visibility.
Nowadays, SEO has become much more complicated. It’s a combination of market research,content marketing, Copywriting, Social media, Web Development, User experience design, PR, business intelligence, digital analytics and more…
As Google’s updates become more complicated to include all our online business assets into their ranking factors , we need to consider that if we are planning to run a long term digital marketing plan, then SEO must be in the center of all our digital marketing activities.

Introducing the new Tonician – Samira Abdelmalek

Words of introduction from the enthusiastic newest member of our team, Samira Abdelmalek:
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I’ve been working in the UAE for the past 6 years, and in Tonic for the last 2 months. So far, I’ve been happily surprised!
Given that Dubai is a multicultural place, it’s sometimes hard to feel it in the workplace. However, in Tonic, it’s more than easy; 50 employees and 27 nationalities! Everyone is always mingling here, and the range of personalities has let me know the true definition of diversity!
On the work front, I have been given the responsibility of handling one of Tonic’s main digital projects as of now, pushing me to be pro-active & independent, and to learn as much as possible in a very short time.
On the personal front, it was my Birthday a few days ago, and that really helped me get along with a lot of the people here. All in all, Tonic seems like an incredible place to work at, and I’m looking forward to a very fulfilling learning experience!