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Share, not show off: ALTO webinar marketing insight

As technology develops and disrupts marketing across industries, players in the international education sector are being forced to adapt. Just as digital marketers have fallen into the trap of adhering to the principals of traditional marketing methods, so stakeholders should steer clear of social media myths, according to business strategist and digital media academic, Alex Grech.

86% of internet uses now skip TV advertisements when watching online and 91% unsubscribe from annoying emails

“The old marketing playbook is broken,” Grech told stakeholders during a recent webinar series for ALTO.

“Content strategy – things don’t happen by accident”

“Interruption marketing” is a particular pitfall, Grech warned, and marketers must understand that, contrary to the traditionally held belief that “if you shout loud enough… something will stick”, digital natives are increasingly tuning out aggressive advertising they deem irrelevant.

With research showing that 86% of internet users now skip TV advertisements when watching online and 91% unsubscribe from annoying emails, while 44% of direct mail goes unopened, a new approach is needed, he urged.

Regular digital users favour shareable content instead, which also challenges the idea that ROI necessarily increases with budget.

For example, users may be inclined to share an interesting photo or blog post that they feel will interest their followers online, thus influencing the decisions of their friends and family.

And people are more likely to pay attention to content that has been shared by someone they trust, Grech noted.

As such, it is worth investing time in developing individualised content such as regularly uploaded blog posts, interviews and photos, he said.

He added that curating external content, as well as creating original content, can be key to developing an audience – for example, by sharing interesting articles from external sources on social media.

It is these “slow burn” strategies that are often ignored that can turn out to be most effective, he stressed.

The industry is still in the “groundhog days” of content marketing (particularly compared with the travel industry, for example), which creates huge opportunity for early adopters, he said.

Ultimately, Grech, urged, there’s “no free lunch” when it comes to reaching out to customers.

“Content strategy – things don’t happen by accident,” he said. “What are your goals, who are you trying to create content for, what are the channels you should be using to optimise your content?”

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