Sharing is caring: how to make your content shareable

Sharing is caring: how to make your content shareable

Content marketing, social media, display ads and much more are to be discussed at the Outreach 2016. Book the last seats. 

We are social creatures. It doesn’t matter whether we want to validate ourselves or bring value to others — we just can’t get around without other human’s presence. That is why we choose sharing as the way to stay connected. 

As marketers, we want our stories to be shared, spread through the word-of-mouth. But from the enormous amount of content spurted to the web, only bits are only getting their “minute of fame”.

It seems like a serendipity, a total coincidence, but if you take a large sample of viral content and analyze it, you can see some patterns which can serve you as a guidance.

In this article, we will discuss the types of sharers, what motivates them to share and what are the characteristics of the popular content.

Who are the sharers

According to the whitepaper published by the New York Times, there are six major sharer personalities:

Altruists — the selfless. They deliver a valuable content to the ones they care about or share share good causes or beliefs with the others. It is important for this type to know that the message was received and appreciated. 

Hipsters— Building their identity through sharing online. It is important for them to be the first ones who share news, start conversations, are connected with the world. They actively surf the internet to find some good piece of information to share. 

Careerists—the people focused on developing their personal and business network. They actively share content, initiate discussions, engage with the content of others.

Boomerangs — just like the hipsters, they like to be the first ones to share content and start discussions. They are mostly motivated by a need of validation. These people share content for the sake of reactions: likes, comments, shares.

Connectors— driven by desire to stay connected with others and to nurture mutual experience. They like to share entertaining content or content that brings people together like events, campaigns etc.

Selectives — they target the shared content on a specific person, knowing that the person wouldn’t have found this information on their own. This group also tends to expect people to appreciate the content being shared with them.

Why they share

Here are 5 main reasons why people share content. Of course, the list can be much longer:

  • Share a useful information with the people they care about
  • Build their image
  • Feel as a part of a community
  • Feel important
  • Display and reinforce their beliefs

But it doesn’t matter what the reasons are, as long as people feel good about sharing your content.

People share content that makes them look good

From what is known about online behavior, we derived a few tips:

Use an unexpected plot — for entertainment mostly. A great example is the Apple Music commercial with Taylor Swift, which went viral: the ad received thousands of shares and reactions from Facebook only.

Trigger emotions — whether it is sad or funny, content has a greater chance to succeed if emotions are involved. Companies use stories, touch the topics of animals, children, family, romance, evoke nostalgic feelings. 

Create useful content — know the problems and questions of your audience and address your content to answer them. If you provide mortgage services, tell your audience about the search process of the real estate, how to avoid frauds and help them understand the paperwork behind the purchase process.

Asking never hurts. If you wrote an amazing piece, ask your readers to share it at the end.

Make sharing as easy and accessible as possible. Add social sharing bars in the beginning and in the end of your content.

At last, it comes down to the basic and hugely overlooked advice: know who your audience is. Once you know it, the right ideas will come fast. 

Understand that your audience is what you are here for. Nurture it, create a content not for your brand but for them, forget about going viral, think about quality. And the rest will come naturally.

Outreach 2016 is closer than ever. Get the last tickets.

In Conversation with Clyde DeSouza (VR Filmarker and author of Memories of Maya)

In Conversation with Clyde DeSouza (VR Filmarker and author of Memories of Maya)

Virtual reality (VR) has been the buzzword for a while now, with the likes of Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft and Google betting big on VR, it comes as no surprise to us that VR is being touted as the next frontier of branded content. Fleming. spoke to Clyde DeSouza, VR Filmarker and author of Memories of Maya about what VR holds for marketers and future implications.

Q1. What are the most promising uses of VR that marketers should know about?

People will put on a VR headset with an expectation to be transported to an alternate world that goes far beyond what current Cinema or TV can offer. In VR you ‘live’ the movie and since visual communication and story is what today’s marketers are after in brand engagement rather than just brand visibility, I’d say the most promising use of VR is the fact that Marketers can immerse their audiences in the world of their brand if they do it right.

Q2. One of the major concerns marketers have about virtual reality (VR) is its ability to achieve mainstream uptake. What are your views on this?

A year ago, I would agree. Today not so much. In fact, if this very Q and A is published after a week, it might need a re-edit to add more platforms! To drive home this point, just last week, Microsoft unexpectedly announced VR support and a slew of third party VR headsets being launched by partners for Windows 10 that won’t need top of the line laptops. This means VR will be common place. There’s already mobile devices (smart phones) that support some flavor of VR. With consumers shifting their focus from mainstream TV to mobile, only marketing depts. from the Jurassic age would be worried about mainstream uptake.

Q3. How does digital marketing in the VR/AR arena look in 2017?

So bright, we have’ta wear VR shades (sorry, couldn’t resist). I’ve seen much enthusiasm from mainstream marketing and ad agencies. Last month at a VR masterclass for Google’s agency partners at Google’s Dubai HQ, I had the pleasure of fielding very enthusiastic and insightful questions posed by agency heads who are keen to adopt VR for brand engagement. If 2016 is the year of VR experimentation, I’d say late 2017 is when the first truly ‘immersive’ marketing campaigns go mainstream.

Q4. How can marketers tap into VR technology being introduced for the smart phone market?

By not playing the same old game of wait and watch, but going out there and getting those smart phones, and hiring marketing talent who have a penchant for creativity. Then, creating an in-house VR sandbox and letting these creators “play”. Software, algorithms and interfaces are coming out by the month in the VR and AR space. A savvy marketing dept should encourage in-house exploration of the “mixed reality” possibilities and even help define it to suit their needs – for example, providing insights to VR headset manufacturers on what kind of analytics (hardware and software-wise) they’d like to see embedded.

Q5. As a content creator, what’s the most exciting thing to you about VR immersive storytelling?

The ability to make an audience truly forget their current environment and have an out of body experience of sorts, as they travel into an alternate reality. Enhancing emotions or making people feel new emotions; empathy, joy and even claustrophobia! are powerful tools now available to a storyteller. This kind of low level manipulation of the mind and the ability to trigger a flight-or-fight response in audiences, is unprecedented and exciting from a storytelling perspective. If used properly in the context of Brand engagement – it could contribute to heightened sense of brand loyalty. This is an area worth exploring and studying and documenting.

Q6. How would you advise a digital artist who wants to get started creating virtual reality content?

Creating content for VR is quite straight forward and for the current platforms that deliver VR, there are two options, CG VR (where the VR world is created much like that of a game, in a game engine) which is usually acknowledged as the purest form of VR (because of the ability to interact and have 6 degrees of freedom to move in the VR world) and video VR.

To get started in Video based VR, one has to know the fundamental difference between what is currently masquerading as VR, but is in fact just 360 video or QTVR (Quick time VR) as I call it, which was from the 1990s, only now being seen via a VR headset.

Some multimillion dollar marketing and Ad campaigns have unfortunately fallen victim to this kind of VR, because they rely on video production companies or digital studios that have not yet understood video based “VR”. At minimum, video VR should be shot stereoscopically (fancy word, but same method as seen in 3D movies in cinemas) This way one can experience depth – and the VR world will not show 20 feet tall humans or seats and furniture that tower over the audience, when viewed in VR.

TL;DR: Digital artists should learn optimized asset creation if doing CG based VR, and learn to shoot in stereoscopic 360 if creating video based VR.

Clyde DeSouza will be speaking on Mixed Reality – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality marketing experiences at Outreach 2016. To know more about the conference, download the agenda below:

How to increase sales by utilizing your data

How to increase sales by utilizing your data

If you own an online business of some sort, you must already know that it takes a village to attract enough people to generate profit. Customers are fickle and sometimes, their acting is downright puzzling. But there are ways to make sense of it. And to use it for your own benefit.

We spend a major portion of our lives online. It would only make sense for us to know everything about the virtual life already. But we don’t. We still struggle to understand why customers leave briefly before checking out and paying, why they navigate our websites the way they do, or why they do not respond to our ads at all. 

Collect information

Well, the first thing you can do to change that is to get to know them. Intimately and thoroughly. Technology will help you, as always. You have limited options (can’t sit them down for a coffee and a friendly chat), but still, your hands are not completely tied. 

You, as the owner/administrator of a website, can look deep into the patterns of those who visit it. Every piece of information is valuable. Map your visitor’s search requests, track their behavior on your website (what do they click on, how long they stay on different websites, whether they have a repetitive pattern, etc.). 

Check out what kind of people visit your website. Are they unique visitors, new visitors, and what is their ratio? Do people come back once they’ve bought something? How do they get to your website? (social media, search engine, link, etc.) Where do they come from (geographically)? Do they share your website on their social media? What device do they use? 

Data analytics will be discussed at Outreach. Download agenda now to learn more. It's fast and simple:

Google Analytics is great for a start. If you decide to go further, you might want to try things like mouse tracking. Or a good old survey, if you trust a sufficient amount of people to actually take part on it.

But whatever you do, make sure that once you get the input (incoming traffic) you came here for, you actually change the stimulus to an output (conversions) as well. It’s the only way to achieve a better ROI (return of investments). 

Understand your customers

In short, the whole process of navigating your website from the initial click to the purchase of your product is called a funnel. It encompasses every little thing the customer does between coming and leaving. The funnel consists of 5 levels. At first glance, it’s rather discouraging, but don’t lose hope just yet. 

The levels (numbers in the brackets are the examples):

  1. Awareness (100.000 people see your ad)
  2. Interest (1.000 click on it)
  3. Desire (10 add your product to their shopping carts)
  4. Intent (6 hit the ‘buy’ button)
  5. Purchase (1 goes through with the purchase)

To increase your conversion rate you must understand how customers behave on each level of the funnel. To do that you must go through the same journey by asking yourself the right questions. 

Only a miniscule fraction of those who see your ad will actually buy your product. So what is it that makes them stop along the way? Obviously, if the first three steps fail (they don’t click on your ad at all, or they don’t add your product to their carts), then it didn’t speak to them. 

To increase these numbers, revise your advertising strategy, try a new advertising method, or a new advertising spot. (It’s unlikely that you’ll revise a whole product.) This is a key step. Why haven’t the other 90.000 chosen to visit your site? And how do you get them to do it? 

But why do they change their minds once it’s already in their virtual bags? Why do they click on ‘buy’, but then never actually buy it? Is your website really as seamless as you think? Are your payment methods accessible? Perhaps consider altering something about them, if this pattern recurs constantly.

Test it

Keep in mind, however, that clients don’t tend to like dramatic changes. If you do change something, test it first. Use tools like Google Analytics Experiments.  

If you’re using social media--which you hopefully are--then that’s even better. Not only is it another site for you to track, it’s also a great way to find direct feedback. People leave it in the comments section of your posts, or they mention you in their own posts.  You don’t only want to know everything people are telling you about your product (direct feedback), you also want to know what they’re telling one another. Social media are also a great place to advertise your product. 

Or you might be the e-mail-reliant marketer. In that case, analyze what your customers do with their subscriptions. E-mail subscriptions have an amazing potential if used well. Look at the opening rates, deleting rates, and unsubscribing rates. What do people react to well? Do it again. What makes them get fed up with you? Avoid that. 

Once you know your audience--which usually takes a while of time and resources--you can target them much better. Define your target group by their age, gender, land of origin, or even hobbies, and then cater to those features.

Employ influencer marketing (known people are the most reliable sources of recommendations for customers), behavioral advertising, and most of all, make sure that you are always up to date with the identity and preferences of your customers. Only then can you pull their heartstrings in a way that will generate a profit. 

We will dedicate the whole session to the Data analysis on the first day of the Outreach 2016 conference. You will hear about marketing automation, how to predict your customers’ behavior, SEO success enabler and much more.

Download agenda right away, and learn about everything that Outreach offers:

Can’t miss: face-to-face talks with marketers and entrepreneurs held at Outreach 2016

Experience is an engine that drives us forward, and one we need to pass on. Who else would you ask all your burning questions about entrepreneurship, marketing, and startups, if not other successful entrepreneurs and marketers?

Here are three talks and discussions to look out for at the Outreach 2016 conference, November 16-17. Be a part of it all.



They’re all about those stumbled beginnings that newcomers face on the business scene. Given by those that have already gone through them, or are currently in the process. Spoken with a focus on the Middle Eastern business scene, but not without a global context.

From luxury fashion in the Middle East, through e-commerce in the Silicon Valley, to media, public relations, and advertising throughout the whole world. You’ll enjoy a wide range of useful knowledge and experience, and ways to grow taller and bigger from different challenges. Talks will include:

  • Lessons on turning failures into success with a focus on Middle Eastern startups

  • Fundamental strategies for launching a successful startup

  • Value creation beyond its broad definition, explained on a case study

These three points will be discussed on Day 1 of the Outreach 2016 conference at 9:15 AM.



  • Her Excellency Sara Al Madani, Board Member, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Board Member of shjSEEN, founder, Rouge Couture

  • Joy Ajlouni, co-founder, Fetchr

  • Luma Bourisly, founder and vision-creation,


Interested in what our speakers have to say?



Five impressingly experienced speakers, three out of nine digital marketing channels that they each choose from, 12 minutes of campaign efforts and success stories to tell you about.

The digital channels discussed all highly resonate with our modern world. We, as a society, are globalized, perpetually online, digitalised, hooked on to social media, and convergent in our device usage. We look up to role models, but at the same time, tend to display a large degree of independent decision-making. How does a startup marketer make a sense of that, and target his customers in the right way?

Well, come over and see / hear for yourself.

These are the channels that will be covered:

  • Social Media

  • Affiliate Marketing

  • Display Advertising

  • Influencer Marketing

  • Search engine Marketing

  • Email Marketing

  • Mobile Marketing

  • Pay-per-click Marketing

  • Video Marketing


To hear all about this, join us at the conference on Day 2 at 9 AM.



  • Semia Hasan, Founder, Direction Dose

  • Yulay Khazhimuratov, Digital Marketing Manager, Compareit4me

  • Gaurav Agarwal, Digital Marketing Strategist, Esybuy

  • Malak Karajah, Head of Digital Marketing, Fetchr

  • Rakesh Ramesh, Digital Marketing Direction, Careem



Blogging, although ubiquitous, is not a simple art. In fact, it’s a complex science. The biggest trends to this day distinguish between micro and macro blogging. What are their advantages and disadvantages, and which do you employ in your specific marketing strategy? That will be the topic of our first roundtable discussion, titled accordingly: ‘Micro vs. Macro Blogging’. 

How do you establish a community through your marketing? That is, if you don’t want to be joining an already existing community. Be the wolf, not the herd of sheep. Make your own.

But how do you establish a strategy, a communication flow, and, first and foremost---your own marketplace? You’ll find out if you join the roundtable discussion called ‘Community Development: Harnessing the Power for Marketing Benefits’.


You’ll join the speakers, the creators, and the contributors in both of these discussions. Come and share your experience, your know-how, and receive valuable information from other marketers in return.

You can do that at Day 1 of the conference at 16:30.


Does our agenda strike any of your marketing-savvy heartstrings? Download the agenda for Outreach 2016 Conference and explore what it has to offer.

Can’t miss: 3 hot marketing topics at Outreach 2016 in Dubai. Part 2

Can’t miss: 3 hot marketing topics at Outreach 2016 in Dubai. Part 2

This is the second part where we continue reviewing hot topics for the Middle East marketers in 2017. If you missed the first part, read it here. All of them will be discussed at Outreach 2016, November 16-17th in Dubai.

#1 Real-time marketing — what’s in it for you?

Real-time marketing (RTM) is for those companies and marketers who are able to adjust to the current events immediately. Moreover, they should be able to find out how to link two (or more) unrelated, at the first glance, things.  

Ingenuity, ability to stay up to date and courage — that’s what it takes to succeed at the RTM. Easy to say, hard to achieve. That is why it is important to learn from those ones who are “been there, done that”.

November 16, we will host Rafael Prandini — a Real-Time & Commercial Experiences Director at Coca-Cola

Here is what you will learn from Rafael:

  • Why does Coca-Cola believe so much in real-time marketing?
  • How did this digital capability evolve since FiFA World Cup 2014?
  • What are the main learnings from the real-time marketing plan for Rio 2016?

Feel that Outreach 2016 might be the right place for you to be in November? Download the conference program and see what else we are preparing for you.

#2 Analyse, automate and profit: driving sales from your data

The world is overwhelmed with data. Really big data. 

Look at the data analytics market: it is getting saturated with more and more tools, systems and courses. Nevertheless, many companies still think that the work with data ends at getting occasional reports from Google Analytics. 

Working closely with our data, we can assure that there is always room for development in terms of utilizing your data. That’s is why we dedicate a full section of Outreach to this topic.

What you should expect:

  • Learning about statistical methods to maximize the effectiveness of data
  • Evaluating the right software by ascertaining if relevant data can be made available in real time
  • Finding the right data trigger to ensure that you get the desired results by reaching out at the right moment
  • Predicting customer behavior with analytics to uncover impactful insights in advance
  • Succeeding at SEO

Three professionals will talk: 

Gaurav Oberoi, Global Head – Digital Marketing & eCommerce, Dabur International
Noha Wagih, Director of Social Media and Digital Marketing, Visa
Nitin Sharma, Director Marketing Strategy, UAE Exchange

#3 A 360° view on display ads

Display advertising is a dynamic area. You need to be highly skilled for making the most out of it. We challenge you to upgrade your knowledge about display ads:

  • Learn how to use programmatic buying in your digital strategy
  • Understand how DHL leverages digital marketing
  • Discuss the lack of Arabic online content and what can be done
  • Improve Ad viewability

We’ve invited 4 experts who will share their know-hows:

David Parkinson, Head of Digital Marketing (MENA & India), Nissan Motors
Chrisitan CITU, Global Digital Marketing Director, DHL
Nawaf Felemban, Founder and CEO, Kasra
Sanjay Patney, Director Marketing and Communications, Dubai South

More good stuff is coming next week. In the last topic overview, we will feature not only sessions but also features of the event: round tables, panel discussions, conference ruffle and other highlights.

Can’t wait? Download the program right away. It’s fast and simple:

And that’s why they don’t read your emails

And that’s why they don’t read your emails

What can go wrong in email marketing and how to fix it 

You know how some marketers say emails are dead? Well, they aren’t. For most of the companies, they are the number one revenue stream. 

Let’s be short, since there are plenty of articles about email marketing and yet, so many companies keep failing at it.

What’s wrong

These are the most common reasons why your email ends up unopened (or, if opened, immediately closed and forgotten):

  • sending an email with “no-reply” addresses — gives a feeling that you don’t care about the feedback, the only thing you want is to push the message no matter what.
  • sending an email with free webmail addresses — no matter what size your company is, if you want to sell something to people, send emails from your corporate address — otherwise they won’t trust you.
  • Under-personalized email: your customers might receive irrelevant content or perceive you as a cold lifeless machine caring about their money only
  • Over-personalization can make them feel that you are invading their personal space, thus will try to keep you off or ignore at all. Plus, if they stated in the subscriber form their name as dgdfgdg (or whatever they like) the greeting “Hi, dgdfgdg” will look just ugly.
  • Your style of communication doesn’t match to your audience. If your recipients are the C-level management, sending something like “What’s up folks” might not play well.
  • You are not able to catch the people’s attention. You’ve got only 3 lines to make people click on your email (your name, subject and a short preview of the email body) and you don’t really realize how you can use it to your advantage.

Curious to know the future of email marketing? Join the Outreach conference. There will be other brilliant topics. To learn which ones, download the program, it is fast.

What you can do

Nevertheless, the situation is manageable. Here is how to improve your email marketing results:

  • Fix the “from” email address: no “no-reply” or gmail/yahoo/ etc. email addresses, keep the corporate identity.
  • Rethink the extent of your personalization. We don’t recommend placing your customer’s sensitive information that goes beyond their name unless it is really needed.
  • Identify your buyer persona. The best way is to take one particular person whom you consider your target audience and craft the email personally for him. This is a hugely underestimated step, but it makes the process of writing the perfect email faster.
  • It is said (and studied) that your subject line should be either less than 60 characters or more than 70. This 60-70 character range is considered as the dead zone, meaning that these subjects are less likely to be clicked. The most optimal case would be to keep it short as possible. Look at the examples:

Keep the subject line simple and short.

  • The same concerns the body of the email. Sweet & short might work better than any template or an “essay”.


  • You are given just a couple of seconds to convince your recipient to open the email. So every piece of text is important there. Unfortunately, very often companies forget about a tiny thing — the text preview line. And that’s what usually happens:

Choose the right preview text to attract subscribers.

  • Set your optimal frequency. Depending on your business, there is always a “golden” number of emails you should send to your subscribers. If you are in the entertainment business, probably several times a week, or even daily, is enough; for a more industry-related business, e.g. finance, management, education, the frequency can be lower. If you overdo — you will be considered annoying, disrupting, if you post too rarely — people might forget about your existence. 
  • Keep it simple but visually attractive. Again — the golden middle. If you think that one image (static or animated) can tell more than 100 words — use it. 
  • The last advice: test it. Test everything what we advised you today and what you read on other sources. Test any ideas that pop up in your mind. If you think that some idea is good, don’t take it as a remedy — question it & test it. 

Something will work, something won’t, but even failing many times will get you closer to the goal.

We will talk about email marketing, where it is heading, and how it will work in the future. Here is the latest conference agenda, it is very fast to download.



Steps on Building a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign

Steps on Building a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign

Gearing up for digital marketing success? Here's what you need to do:

November 16-17, passionate marketers will gather in Dubai and will deliberate and discuss relevant topics of the industry such as: content marketing, social media, affiliate and influencer marketing, customer online behaviour and much more. See all sessions and speakers here.

Can’t miss: top 3 digital marketing topics to be discussed at Outreach 2016

Can’t miss: top 3 digital marketing topics to be discussed at Outreach 2016

How do we know what topics will fire up the minds of the Middle Eastern marketers in 2017? 

Simple. We, passionate marketers, talk in detail to other passionate marketers of the region. Together, we create a community of like-minded people, identify the key “sore spots” and search for effective and innovative solutions. 

Here are top 3 topics we will tackle in Dubai, November 16 - 17. Join us.

#1 Delivering the right content to the right audience

If you think that content marketing is having a blog and posting on it 2-3 times a day — you greatly underestimate its potential

While analyzing a number of corporate blogs, we’ve been asking the same question over and over — “Why?”. Content marketing became mainstream. Companies, without full realisation whether they need it or not, deliver average content, one piece after another, polluting the internet. 

And do you know what they are missing? 

  • Clear business goals (e.g. double your subscriber base; increase sales by 15%; become thought leaders in a niche; etc. )
  • Profoundly defined buyer personas
  • Detailed strategy & distribution plan
  • The right toolkit for content management
  • Interesting and eye-catchy content

Professionals, whom we’ve invited to speak at the conference, know the secrets of effective content marketing and will unveil the full potential of content.

Who is speaking

Anwar Al Amin Ad Films Director, Story Teller AAFilmz

Anwar Al Amin
Ad Films Director, Story Teller

Nishath Syed Rizwan Head of Communications and Corporate Relations The British University in Dubai

Nishath Syed Rizwan
Head of Communications and Corporate Relations
The British University in Dubai

Basel Anabtawi Digital Communications Manager ENOC

Basel Anabtawi
Digital Communications Manager

Maher Dosoqi Head of Digital Marketing Al Fahim Group

Maher Dosoqi
Head of Digital Marketing
Al Fahim Group

Already curious to know what else we are preparing for you? Download the agenda. It’s fast.

#2 How to know you are not wasting your money on Social Media

Just measure ROI.

Although the answer is obvious, only few marketers know how not to let numbers fool you. Measuring ROI is critical if you want to use your marketing budget effectively.

Here are 4 key points:

  • Define and track your social media goals
  • Understand social media ROI
  • Know how to measure it
  • Use the right tools and matrices for measurements

These 4 points will be presented at the session "Measuring the ROI of your Social Media" on the second day of Outreach, at 12:00.

Who is speaking

Mohamed Samy
Social Media Senior Manager

#3 Influencer marketing: how it works and what it takes to succeed

Sometimes companies face a problem: their audience size is decent but doesn’t change that much regardless of how they utilize their platforms. One of the answers to the question “How to expand your audience” is to reach the audience of someone else

Influencer marketing can be extremely powerful if you take it seriously. It might be costly — time- and moneywise. But rest assured, the right influencers with the right message can raise you above your competition.

The speaker for this session — Namrita Mahindro, Senior General Manager at Mahindra Group — highlights 4 key aspects: 

  • Roping in the Influencers
  • Understanding & tapping the persuasive power of the influencers
  • Capitalizing on their goodwill and follower-base
  • Treating your influencers right in order to gain peer recommendation from them for your brand
  • At the conference, she will thoroughly explain every aspect of Influencer management.

It is truly hard to prioritize all the Outreach topics, so we are not going to do it. Instead, we are going to tell you more about them in the following weeks. 

Feel that this conference resonates with your professional path? Download the agenda now and explore much more of what awaits you in November 16-17 in Dubai.

5 key ingredients for running a successful affiliate program in Dubai

5 key ingredients for running a successful affiliate program in Dubai

Running your own Affiliate Program means new customers, more revenue, extensive business growth. But it also means a lot of hard work and dedication. We asked a marketing professional with more than 8 years of experience to share his advice on how to make the most of an Affiliate Program. We give the floor to Ravshan Abitov.

Affiliate industry is still relatively new in the region, but a rapidly developing marketing channel. At this point in time, UAE has about 10 major advertisers and a few publishers. In the retail sector the biggest players, and are doing an excellent job in conducting their Affiliate Programs (AP) with easy to use in-house platforms., and are among the top publishers with the consistent offers and effective email marketing campaigns across the country. Despite a small number of affiliates, they have shown a steady growth in monthly performances, which is a good sign for the industry.

There is something we are preparing for you at Outreach 2016. Download agenda and see what it is. It's fast.

There are 5 key ingredients for running a successful AP:

1. Recruiting

A quick win solution for recruiting new publishers would be to work in close proximity with the affiliate networks you already use in order to approach every publisher related to your field. That is why it is vital to choose a network platform that is strong in a specific industry and region.

Another recommendation is to have a dedicated AP landing page with a clear call to action. This is helpful when an independent publisher tries to find your company’s program on the web. Affiliate management agencies can also help you get wider exposure for your program to their pool of existing affiliates.

2. Activation

It is important to provide very clear terms and conditions of your AP, description of the entire activation process (manual on ads and deep links implementations) and what should be expected from mutual partnership. Once the publisher is live on your network, it is in your interest to keep this relationship active by sending newsletters, questionnaires and other program updates.

It is also critical for every publisher to know the exact setup of your affiliate ecosystem: how the financial cycle, tracking and reporting works on a daily basis.

3. Communication

Without exaggeration, communication is the key element of every successful AP. The publisher should know that you are available 24/7. You should have an individual approach to every publisher on the network. Merchants should treat their publishers as their own teammates, since affiliates can deliver more effective marketing than you in certain geo-locations and demographics.

4. Win-win cooperation

At the end of the day, all affiliates are there to make money. It is important to know the strength and weakness of each of your partners and, depending on that, cooperate using each one’s core competence. For example, if you know that X affiliate brings a lot of traffic to your site but not many conversions, instead of offering him a CPA commission model, propose him a CPM incentive structure. This would be an ideal setup for creating brand awareness in your customer acquisition funnel. This way, besides generating traffic to your site, you will reward and retain the publisher in your network. Otherwise, if an affiliate is lost, it is extremely hard bringing him back to your program.

5. Evaluation

Merchants should constantly monitor the performance of their AP. In most of the cases, 15-20% of affiliates will bring 80% of your revenue. That is why it is important to continuously reward your top 'money-makers' and at the same time individually grow smaller, promising affiliates.  

Another part of the evaluation process is the constant assessment of your company’s underperforming products and services. Based on seasonality, past and current trends, companies can push specific product promotions in a particular market or period of time. One of the strategies is to lower a product price and/or incentivize your affiliates with an additional commission.

Closing remarks

Despite of all your marketing strategies and network activations, do not forget that the real key to a successful Affiliate Program is to establish a healthy and honest partnership where both sides can leverage their competences and resources towards achieving a common rewarding goal.

November 16, passionate marketers will gather in Dubai and will deliberate and discuss relevant topics of the industry such as: content marketing, social media, affiliate and influencer marketing, customer online behaviour and much more. See all sessions and speakers here.

Managing negative feedback like a pro

Managing negative feedback like a pro

Last year Outreach attendees had been asking our experts on how to deal with negative product reviews. This is a truly sensitive and important question, and in this article, you’ll get the answer on how to prevent negative reviews, why some of them are good and how to handle a disappointed customer and boost your company’s reputation.

Every business desires a flawless reputation. This is critical if you do e-commerce. In the race to have zero negative feedback, companies forget that a negative review is a totally normal thing.

The biggest problem with companies is that they focus on things out of their control, like, customer actions. Your buyers have different expectations and you cannot completely predict how they will react. So instead, focus your efforts on what you can control: quality of your product or service and your reaction to what people are saying.

How to prevent getting negative feedback

The first way is too obvious, which is why most companies don’t pay proper attention to it—delivering a great product with a great service in the first place. Roughly, 95% of satisfying your customers depends on your ability to fulfill a promise.  

The second way, I personally encountered, is to stimulate people to write a review. When I received an order from eBay, I found a sweet and honest note from the seller which said:

Thank you for buying our product. As a seller on eBay, our business is completely dependent on the customer's rating, which is why we strive to make your shopping experience with us as great as possible. If you are completely satisfied, please give us a 5-star rating, but if something went wrong, please contact us directly first at *email@address*, we will fix the problem as soon as possible. Thank you.

There are always risks that are out of the seller’s control, e.g. the delivery company lost, damaged, mix up an item. The company encouraged its customers to write any kind of reviews with a small difference: all negative feedback had to be resolved privately between a customer and the seller.

Learn what to expect from Outreach 2016, download the latest agenda. It's fast.

How negative reviews can help your business

You probably noticed that some products have a suspiciously positive “rainbow unicorn” feedback. In the world of imperfection, it may scare your buyers, because they will think those reviews are fake. Therefore, sometimes small insignificant flaws can actually add trust to the product. This way, it gives people a reason to consider your product seriously.

But when the flaw is pretty big (and reasonable)—take it as a source of priceless information that will help improve your product. Look how Facebook improves its security by utilizing a Bug Bounty Program: they encourage users to find bugs and reward them.

What to do if you received a public negative review

There are plenty of platforms where people can share their experience: Facebook, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Amazon, eBay, Yelp, etc. Your task as a manager is to constantly monitor the field to know when somebody mentions your name. To spot any message regarding your business, set Google Alerts, Social Mention, or any other tool.

If you are a “lucky” receiver of negative feedback, first and foremost check if the review is genuine.

Generally fake reviews have the following characteristics:

  1. The review doesn’t state the concrete problem, it is vague and is built with emotions mostly.
  2. Check the reviewer’s account: when it was created—fresh accounts might indicate a fraud; his review history—the reviews are similar, all of them are negative etc.
  3. Check if the review has similar wording with other reviews (Google the phrases)
  4. The review promotes your competitor’s product without giving any reasonable arguments

If you feel that the comment is fake, or its primary purpose is to undermine your brand’s reputation, ask the reviewer or the website to remove it. It is not always possible, but worth trying. Depending on the severity of the case, you might want to seek legal assistance.

If the review seems genuine, here are the recommendations:

  1. Respond immediately. The earlier you get involved, the smaller will be the scale of the problem and the more control you will get over the situation.
  2. Answer publicly. Some people argue that it is better to reply to the public comment in private, but we believe that publicity of the case can really save your face in the incident. By answering publicly, in accordance with other recommendations, you give people a chance to see that you are able to accept the criticism with dignity and respect the customer.
  3. Stay polite no matter what. Firing back with emotions will only induce more anger from the customer’s side and will make you look bad in the eyes of the other customers.
  4. Be ready to admit the mistake
  5. Apologize
  6. Don’t defend yourself. Place your customer’s interests before your business
  7. Aim at solving problem as fast as you can
  8. Offer a compensation if the nuisance you caused to the customer is too big to ignore
  9. After fixing the problem, ask the buyer to change the review

Saving reputation is not an easy task, but possible if you put aside your emotions, think objectively and prepare a proper plan for handling these sort of situations. From time to time everyone screws up to some extent, but the ability to manage the situation defines whether you are a stable company in a long-run or not.

We will have exhaustive expert sessions on social media, content marketing, display advertising, data analytics, online customer behavior and help tackle other problems relevant for the Middle East marketers at Outreach 2016. Check out our two-day intensive program and learn whom you will meet at the event.

Interview With Roland Abi Najem

Interview With Roland Abi Najem

We had the pleasure of talking digital marketing with IT & Digital Marketing Consultant and noted public speaker Roland Abi Najem (Digital Marketing Consultant, Ministry of Information - Kuwait). In this interview, he shares with us the key to digital marketing success, the top challenges marketers face and much more..

Q1. From your experience, what do you think is the key to digital marketing success?

The key to digital marketing success can be summarized by the below points:

  1. Understand the mentality of different social media platform and how you can use them
  2. Define your target market and know which social media platform they are using
  3. Content is King! Prepare your content especially the visuals and video and make sure people engage with your content.
  4. Plan your marketing strategy very well (including Budgeting, Target Audience, Message to be delivered etc)
  5. Set measurable goals
  6. Create your ads with Call to Action messages
  7. Do Social Media Monitoring (Monitor your performance and compare it to the competitors and best practice)
  8. Do Social Media Listening (Listen to what people are talking about your brand and about your competitors)

Q2. As the digital marketplace gets noisier, what are the top challenges marketers face in running truly engaging digital campaigns?

The top challenges are as following:

  1. Identifying the right audience (age, gender, interest etc)
  2. Identifying the right platform to target
  3. Knowing what the audience wants and speaking their language
  4. Using the latest updates and features each social media platform provides

Q3. How has social media brought the Government closer to the public, and what can we expect in the future?

Social Media broke the ice between the Government and the public and made them closer since before traditional media (TV, Radio, Newspapers... etc) was one way communication, while social media created the two way communication especially between government and public and we started to have influencers from social media affecting the government decisions.

Q4. Do you believe digital marketing adoption requires a culture change in the organization?

Indeed, digital marketing requires lots of culture change in the organization since for example most of organizations have CRM (customer relation management) where they usually ask their customers if they are satisfied or no and get their feedback. Now we have what we call social CRM where customers don't wait organizations if they are satisfied or no, they will automatically write their feedback on Social Media and organizations have to follow up these feedback and do what we call sentiment analysis to analyse what people are saying and try to make their feedback more positive.

Q5. How does digital marketing in the Middle East compare to the rest of the world?

I guess digital marketing in the middle east is booming also same as the for the rest of the world but we have to take into considerations the following:

  1. Different cultures use different social media platforms (for example in Lebanon they mainly use Facebook while in Kuwait they mainly use Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat even though both countries are in the Middle East)
  2. Internet speed is crucial. We still have some countries in the middle east where they have slow internet connection so mainly companies can't use too much videos in their advertisements.
  3. Type of advertisements. For example, lots of European countries use sexuality (like for example sexy ladies) in their ads and videos while this is not recommended in Arab countries.

Q6. What is your advice to organizations looking at prioritizing digital marketing growth?

We totally understand that nowadays lots of companies have financial difficulties and they cannot add more budget to their marketing budget so they actually have to divide their total marketing budget into traditional marketing and digital marketing.

My advice is to make the digital marketing budget higher since they can always have bigger exposure and they can calculate their ROI live on digital marketing where this option is not available for traditional marketing or at least it is available but not accurate.

Roland Abi Najem will be speaking on Social Media for Ministries and Government bodies in Gulf at Outreach 16. To get the complete program line-up, download the agenda below:

Track or trust? Addressing privacy concerns in behavioral advertising

Track or trust? Addressing privacy concerns in behavioral advertising

Where does ad personalization end and privacy invasion begin? No one has the ultimate answer--not me, not you, not the publisher, and not even the customer at the heart of the problem. Is there a way to balance the scales, or are we just chasing pavements in a world where customer trust is slowly declining and their reluctance towards sponsored content is increasing.

Behavioral advertising in a perfect world

John has been seriously thinking of taking up yoga, and after reading a couple of related articles, he decided to buy a yoga mat. He might say to himself “Why not?” and buy it.

John is happy - he found a product that fits his needs and interests. The seller is happy because his revenue is growing, his business is expanding, his customer is satisfied and most probably will come visit him again or recommend him to another friend.

Among online businesses, Amazon is probably the only one close to that ideal. In the real world, all parties are struggling to protect their interests.

Facing the reality

Kathy asked Google to help her figure out how to cure her skin rash, and the next day she notices an ad of some anti-acne or anti-aging cream following her around everywhere: on her Facebook feed, in her favorite online magazine, etc. Kathy is indignant, she feels that her private life has been leaked to where she never wanted it to be displayed, and she starts associating negative emotions with the advertised product.

No one benefits from this situation.

There is no answer to what’s right and wrong when it comes to collecting data, because people are different, and so are their preferences and concerns.

Online privacy has been an acute problem since the beginning. As more and more people realize that all their actions are tracked (in many cases tracking is used against users), they start to actively protect themselves. Either they develop a negative attitude towards advertising in general, or (and) they use adblocking tools. None of them is good if you are a fair player.

We are preparing something for you at Outreach 2016. Curious? Check out our latest program:

Finding a balance

Regardless of whether you track your customers’ behavior onsite or buy the data from advertising networks - the richer it is, the more valuable it’s for e-commerce.

And here is the major trap for most of the businesses that are trying to sell their products no matter what: they don’t know how to handle such a big amount of data so their customer feels trust and safety towards them.

Behavior targeting is a complex issue with its advantages and disadvantages for companies and end-users. To find the balance, both parties should join the discussion. We see three areas that might be worth everyone’s attention:

  • Transparency and honesty with your customers regarding what you, as a company are tracking; how the data entrusted to you is used, and what are the results of said data usage.
  • Freedom of choice. Giving a control to your customers over the data they are sharing might bring you the trust of the customers. They will feel more secure, and thus build a positive image of your company.
  • Education. People should be aware of how advertising works, and how big data collection improves their browsing experience. But they should also know what risks this collection entails and whether advertisers or big data companies are willing to protect them from these risks.

As a speaker or an expert, if you have anything valuable and enlightening to add to the debate, don’t hesitate to share. New perspectives on data protection and effective advertising in the online era are welcome and will be appreciated.

We have dedicated 4 sessions to discuss psychological factors, privacy, persona analysis pertaining to online behavior on day 1 of Outreach 2016. Download the agenda to get the complete program.

Influencer Marketing: The Product Placement Within Your Life

Influencer Marketing: The Product Placement Within Your Life

Classical advertising sometimes is too obvious and untrustworthy. People have grown skeptical and cynical of its contents. PR may look stiff and redundant, unattractive to the eye, even fake. The so-called experts that swear by a product’s miraculousness have become a joke. The audience has already heard every possible way to describe a product. It’s all been said and done.

Then what do we have left? How to establish the trust necessary for a client to invest in our product? A tedious process, a hopeful outcome. Influencer marketing is not a new concept, but its modern form is very specific. The key word — social media.

Influencer marketing explained

In short, influencer marketing means companies turning to people who have a social impact to subtly—or not too subtly—help with the promotion of the product. The relationship between a company which seeks promotion and the influencer has to develop organically, in order to seem natural. First and foremost, their endorsement must seem believable and nearly effortless—like it’s something that the influencer would have done anyway, had they not been paid for it.

It may be anything from organic farming, windscreen wipers, a pair of shoes, to a new electronic gadget or a fancy watch. The whole point is, it can’t take on the form of a typical advertisement. It shouldn’t be Leonardo DiCaprio thoughtfully staring into space from a five-story-sized building with a super expensive watch casually hanging on his wrist. (Although it might work perfectly.) That’s not subtle.

If we’re talking about watches, perhaps a street-style or a red carpet snap of a popular celebrity, who—casually, as if by accident—wears a certain product, will do. People will obviously notice, look the product up, possibly fall in love with it, and perhaps even buy it. And there you have it, that’s influencer marketing done right.

The ubiquitous power of social media

But modern influencers don’t need to wait for the paparazzi to photograph them. They have their own way—social media. Popular macro and micro bloggers, vloggers, social media gurus—they all already have a platform with a solid fanbase, perhaps even millions of influenceable (or gullible) viewers, waiting for a bait, ready to jump and swipe their credit cards in joy. Or, alternatively, if it’s more of a lifestyle promotion, to adopt it without much hesitation.

Imagine someone coming up to Jamie Oliver, the famous chef, and telling him about his new sustainable farming method, or a high-quality way of plant and livestock breeding. Jamie might go and think—wow, that’s fantastic, that deserves some attention. And he writes a blog post about it, Instagrams it, mentions it on a TV show, or uses the product in his restaurants and shows. It’s an organically-seeming relationship that doesn’t surprise anyone. Jamie and sustainable and healthy food/livestock production? Why not?

In the same way, beauty vloggers use certain products offered to them by make-up brands in their videos. Sportsmen and sportswomen wear Adidas or Nike exclusively, gaming Youtubers play with one console only, photographers praise a specific type of camera, successful entrepreneurs drive one brand of cars on repeat, a fitness guru drinks one type of protein shakes, and so on. It’s basically like a product placement in their life.

The key factor that you typically look for in an influencer is the element of personal trust. Ideally, influencers would be family relatives, because that degree of relationship usually makes trust inherent. But sadly, random family members have a small impact of only a few people and their rentability to companies is thus miniscule. That’s why popular celebrities are the safest bet. Their followers admire them, hang on their every word, and breed an irrational sense of trust to them.

A casual warning before you dive in

Understandably, there are negatives to these methods as well. Although they may sign extensive and detailed contracts, individuals are practically uncontrollable. They may fall out of liking dramatically, or start doing things that the brand cannot tolerate. Drug abuse, evading taxes, inappropriate statements made in public… the list goes on. And when your influencer’s image goes awry, so does yours.

Another important thing to consider is the extent of promotion. If, because of his dedication to a certain brand, the influencer loses the substance that he was recruited for, his influence and value for the company decreases. If his manner of promotion doesn’t seem genuine and is overtly made for profit, viewers are going to notice, and they’re not going to like it. They tend to, ironically, give their role models a lot of slack for making paid content, especially on social media.

The company in question should therefore take a detailed look at whom they’re going to trust with their product/message before their partnership begins. It must accurately evaluate the extent of their influence, character, target group, and abilities. Social media—which is where influencers are usually targeted today—are full of exaggeration and deception by default. But if chosen and done right, influencer marketing can work miracles and promote amazing ideas to the whole world.

What makes this type of marketing unique, and different from classic advertising is that it’s not necessarily aimed at increasing sales. It’s aimed at increasing public awareness.

You do not need to march straight into a store and buy the product as a result. Rather, you should have a certain image of this brand or company in your head, related to a sense of prestige or trust because of the influencer that promoted it. That feeling should stay with you, and potentially influence your consumerist behavior. What makes this type of marketing unique, and different from classic advertising is that it’s not necessarily aimed at increasing sales. It’s aimed at increasing public awareness.

We’ll dedicate two sessions to the topic of the influencer marketing on the second day of Outreach. Download the agenda to get more details.



I’ve once heard a man in a movie say: “blogging is like graffiti, but with words”—implying its damaging nature and disruptive effect on the public, just like those hideous words randomly scribbled on private property. Well, that’s no longer true.

Blogging is the new black. If anyone wants to make it big on social media, or in media in general, blogging—of some sort—is an absolute necessity. And whereas some years back, blogging used to mean long texts and opinion pieces (a.k.a. macro blogging), nowadays, it might just mean something as short and articulate as a single tweet. Alas, microblogging. And, interestingly enough, the two don’t necessarily act as polar opposites.

Curious to know what else awaits you at Outreach 2016? It's all in agenda.

Macro: length and depth

The differences between macro and micro blogging are profound, but mostly reflect a matter of length and depth. One of the most popular platforms used for macro blogging today is Wordpress, but there are many others (Blogger, Medium, LiveJournal, etc.) to choose from.

As a macro blogger, one thing you absolutely need to have is something to say. People assume that if you produce a 500 word text (on average), you’re not just trying to fill web space for the sake of advertisers, but instead you offer something meaningful and compelling for them to spend their 10 minutes on.

The modern web generation has a very short attention span - they won’t waste their time. They like information neat, brief, and fast—which is why they often opt for the newest development of blogging and shield away from the educative 500 word texts to a condensed tweet—to micro blogging.

Micro: short, brief, modern

Micro blogging is fast, dynamic, and simple—at least on the surface. It imitates talk rather than actual writing, and evokes an immediate and reciprocal conversation devoid of hierarchy. The reader has the means to respond with the same methods as the author, almost immediately, and the author might see this instantly (if he’s online, which he probably is).

The modern generation likes to respond and actively debate the things that matter to them. Leaving a comment beneath a long blog post just doesn’t cut it. That’s why the place where the magic happens isn’t generally under a blog post, but instead, in the comment thread of its social media post.

How the two align

Complementarily. One might have thought of these two as of foes, and expected only one of them to emerge from this modern blogging battle as a winner, but in such case, one has been wrong. If you follow Twitter and Facebook (and all the other social media family members), you must have noticed one thing: tweets and posts are rarely just comprised of fluent text.

Instead, what you see is a plethora of hashtags, links, and replies to other members of the community. In other words, a micro blogging post is rarely just about itself, it’s not the l’art pour l’art principle. Rather, it’s a way to direct the readers (followers) to something bigger than the tweet/post itself. Such as: a macro blog.

Macro blogging: dead indeed?

There's no reason to think that you can’t succeed nowadays as a macro blogger, just because the mainstream seems to lean towards the micro. You must have something very interesting to say, of course, but that’s an obvious point. Don’t ever start a blog—micro or macro—if you have nothing interesting to say to the world wide web.

Once you do have something compelling to offer, though, the only way to spread it to the general public is by employing weapons of micro blogging into the process. No one’s going to find out about a new blog just like that, on their own. You need to hand it to them on a silver platter, and that silver platter is called Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Without them, you’re helpless, but with them, you’ve got what it takes to make it in the endless sea of ruthless blogger competition.    

Do you have what it takes to be a macro blogger?

When deciding what blogging path you should be taking, content is effectively what decides. What is it that you want to write about? Do you want to spread opinions, news, and ideas that could sway crowds and spread across the web like a virus? Or is the blog just a side-way to advertise your main product, which could be a website, a company, a gadget, service, a startup, or a person? If your case is the latter, do you really have enough to say about your product to fill whole articles that people will want to read—again and again?

Another thing you should consider is the amount of time you have to devote to your blog. Working on a macro blog is a whole new another thing than managing social media. For a micro blog, a few short (but well-worded and meaningful) posts a day will do the job. Refer with them to events, news; keep your follower platform updated, and make sure they never miss a thing.

But if your regular content extends further than a post or a tweet can encompass, you obviously should try macro blogging--assuming you know the craft. If not, employ someone with good writing skills, and make sure the things they write about are interesting. Do not write just to fill space. Engaging, useful and regular content is what most customers look for. It draws you in, but not for too long; it informs, educates, broadens perspectives; reaffirms your active position in a society.

If you’ve opted for a macro blog format, but detest the concept of social media, having to constantly update them, or, alternatively, think that their methods are too redundant to cause a stir anymore, try a newsletter. All modern customers have an e-mail address (and even the old-fashioned ones mostly do), and thus, delivering the content this way makes it unmissable.

You might make your newsletter in the style of a content advertisement with titles and brief descriptions only, and the option to be redirected to the official website to read the whole thing (like most online media outlets do), or include articles in their entirety to be read within a single e-mail (like Lena Dunham’s and Jenni Kronner's LENNY Letter). The latter case is not a breakthrough invention, and yet it’s so smart and simple that people love it (and actually tend to read it).

A conclusion of functional reciprocality:

Web professionals, freelancers, and digital natives have mostly already grasped the importance of micro blogging and its symbiotic relationship with the macro world. Some admit to only tweeting about the things that they would have had to blog about in the past. Yet while fast news and briefness are a very valuable commodity today, there will always be demand for deeper digging.

That’s the job of macro blogging, a job it still has and a job that is not on the leave—at least not anytime soon. So while it’s necessary to master micro blogging to become mainstream, leaving the macro zone is not a natural consequence thereof. You may stay, and you may thrive. But choose your words wisely.   

Micro and macro blogging are the core of the roundtable discussion which will happen on the first day of the Outreach 2016. Download the agenda and see what else to expect from the event.

Pokémon Go: a Social Phenomenon with Profound Lessons for Marketers

Pokémon Go: a Social Phenomenon with Profound Lessons for Marketers

We understand – writing about the latest mobile games from a marketing perspective might sound childish, trendy or shallow but as a phenomenon that united people, made them do stuff they normally wouldn't, Pokémon Go can be worth looking at. Even just for a while.

If you are curious enough, here are some deep lessons on creating a social experience, knocking on the door of the people’s past, right timing and other ideas that worked for the game. And who knows, maybe some of them will work for you.



The lesson is old as a mammoth: interactivity raises engagement. The creators made the users not just press buttons, but they actually made people go outside to explore places.

Walking on the streets for ordinary people is most of the time an automatic activity: to get from A to B. But Pokémon Go created a new experience, it motivated players to do things and visit places that they otherwise would not.

The game perfectly combined the digital and real world, raising not only involvement but also encouraged social interaction with peers.

Social Experience


While we’ve been talking about interactivity as person-to-machine communication, social experience happens between individuals. In a nutshell, this term implies any interaction with other people. The game unites people in various ways: Pokémon battles, game related gatherings, online discussions and so on.

The lesson: since we are all social creatures, communication is essential. It does not necessarily mean people should be sharing posts about using your product. Your product or related content has to be the reason for two or more individuals to talk.


By using a well-established brand, the game talks to users’ childhood memories and feelings. People in their 20’s were raised on these TV series. And if 20 years ago, catching pokémon in real life was a dream for many kids, today’s technology made it possible.

Nostalgia is what made this game truly popular. Without this factor, the game wouldn’t achieve such success.

The lesson: sometimes it is good to address to people’s emotions and feelings connected to their past. They will feel more connected with your brand. To build the right message that would evoke nostalgia, study the generation of your target audience, particularly the most sensitive periods of their lives – their childhood and teenage years: what they were doing as kids, what books they read, what games they played, etc.

But use it sensibly: nostalgia is a feeling that marketers embrace a lot these days, mainly due to remembrance optimism. Everybody loves to say “Back in my days…” from time to time. But it does not mean it will work every time. Why it works for Pokémon is that the nostalgia is authentic and perfectly timed. Without these two factors, it would look fake and cheesy.

The Right Time

Sometimes timing matters the most. Pokémon Go did a double good job at choosing the time to launch.
1. July - is the perfect month for people spending hours outside. February, probably, wouldn’t be as good.
2. The year 2016: most of the people who watched the series are in their 20’s or early 30’s now. They most likely own smartphones.

The lesson: pay attention to every small detail. If you decided to release a product / update / campaign, check if time is right. For that, again, know closely who your audience is. 

Perfect Combination of Technologies

This is not about the technology itself. This is about the way how you combine different technologies. Never before the augmented reality games had such a popularity. In Pokémon Go, the combination of GPS and smartphone camera was just the right choice.

And here is the advantage of the augmented reality game: you don’t need to have an additional device (as e.g. for virtual reality). So basically, users already had everything they needed - a smartphone.

The lesson: don’t overfill your product with different features, trying to fit all latest technologies. Use only the ones that make sense. That is why football is still so popular. All you need is a ball and few friends to have fun. Additional complexity will not improve the experience.

Augmented and Virtual reality will be discussed at Outreach 2016. Download agenda to learn more.

Bottom line

Take 10 successful projects and each project’s success factors will differ. Some things in this article might work for your business - some not. Nevertheless, it is always good to know those factors: in combination with deep knowledge of your product and audience you can make the most out of it.

Interactive Video: A Bridge between your Brand and Customers

Interactive Video: A Bridge between your Brand and Customers

This post is brought to you by our platinum sponsor Exponential. Download the agenda of the Outreach conference, and see you in Dubai on November 16th and 17th!

Noise created by millions of ads made people blind to pushed messages. Standard one-sided advertising does not work as well as it did 10 years ago. Today, if you want to make people notice, react and engage with your brand, you should go beyond that. Go interactive.


What is Interactive Video

Simply put, interactive video enables users to directly interact or play with it through clicks, touch, voice etc. It is a great way to engage your customers by giving them control over your content.

The number of ways how to use interactive video is limited only by your imagination. Brands find their own ways to use it to their advantage in the best way.

The most common uses are:

Education: Interactive videos are widely used by companies in their recruitment process, training their employees or evaluation. A good example is Deloitte gamification recruitment video. Another way is to create a “how to” interactive video to familiarize your customers with your products.

Shopping: Interactive videos create distinctive shopping experience. Many online stores offer their products while the video is playing and allow customers to directly add an item to the cart without interruption.

Marketing: interactive video catches customers’ attention by involving them into an interactive story.

Entertainment: very similar to the marketing purpose, interactive video attracts more views.


Why to use it

Visual content is shared on social media 40 times more than other content and it catches attention better than plain text (80% compared to 20%) [1]. This is a crucial argument in favor of the video content marketing.

Since interactive videos offer several paths the user can take and the result of each video will be different, it is significantly more powerful than a normal linear video. While in standard video ads the viewer is rather passive, interactive video gives him the possibility of choosing his way through it.

In the report “The POWER OF video-driven experiences” Exponential names these explicit advantages of interactive video:

  • It is more memorable: up to 94% of viewers could recall the interactive video ad.
  • Users spend more time watching interactive video: up to 205% longer than the standard video ad.
  • it has high emotional engagement
  • Users find interactive videos more compelling than standard ads



Adjusting websites to mobile screen is a must which makes it logical to adjust your interactive videos to smartphones as well. Especially when your target audience is in Middle East – e.g. smartphones in UAE are one of the fastest growing channels.
The popularity of interactive videos is still growing and, with proven effectiveness, there is something else for you to consider. Besides the advantages stated in this article, interactive videos are another way to analyze customer’s behavior.

The topic of interactive video is not over – it will be the topic of the Outreach 2016 conference in Dubai in November.


Download the agenda of the Outreach conference, and see you in Dubai on November 16th and 17th!



9 Social Media Tools for Agencies and Corporate Marketers for Better Research, Engagement and Analytics

9 Social Media Tools for Agencies and Corporate Marketers for Better Research, Engagement and Analytics

This post is brought to you by the Outreach conference, the comprehensive digital marketing event in the Middle East. Download the agenda of the event, and see you in Dubai on November 16th and 17th!

Things change at the speed of light. Today you are leading a successful Facebook page with tens of thousands of followers, catching likes, shares and comments like a pro. Tomorrow - you are a desert. What you need is to constantly search for new approaches and possibilities to grow your business.

Combining social media routine and discovering new opportunities takes time - and you wish a day could have more than 24 hours.

We have compiled a list of 9 social media tools which will be handy when you want to improve engagement with your brand, make your social media routine faster, perform the influencers' and competitor research and harvest the results of your campaigns.


Free and paid from $10/month

You’re launching a new campaign that starts at a particular time, posting one by one on each platform will take your time.

If you haven’t used Buffer before, try it out: it allows you to post your content simultaneously on all your platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+.
You can either create one post for all, or modify individually for each.

If you have just one account per platform, you can use a free option that allows you to create, schedule, optimize and analyze your posts.

Free and paid

If your link looks like this:

Shorten it.

That’s what does: makes your link look nice, short and neat.

But that's not all: if you create an account, it will show you basic stats of the link: clicks, location, referring channels - all that with the free version.

One problem arises: people might not trust your link, because they won’t see where it leads before they click. In this case it is good to invest in the Enterprise version that will allow to create a Branded Short Domain for you and get an in-depth analytics of your customer behavior.


Paid from $99/month

It’s a tedious and yet a rewarding process: searching for the new post ideas that will resonate with your public and identifying emerging trends. Buzzsumo shows you the most shared content across social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.

It also allows you to search the influencers of your niche and follow them directly from Buzzsumo. With this tool you can see what content they share and what works best for them.

Besides, it gives extensive data on your competitors: platforms they are using, content they post, their followers’ engagement, etc.


Paid from $99/month

Inkybee is suitable if you are running an agency. It provides a wide range of tools: from research to outreach.
Some of the features:

  • Review on influencers: sizes of audience, level of engagement, social media connections, frequency of posts.
  • Blog search and discovery
  • Contact management: creates contacts from the emails of influencers, automatically connects you with their social media profiles
  • Measure outreach: see what worked and what didn’t.


Paid from $29/month

Some feedback or mentions of your brand requires your immediate action. If you fail to do so, you either lose an opportunity to empower your brand or save its reputation.

Mention is an advanced tool for tracking your brand mentions online. It gives you real time reporting and allows you to receive and react to mentions, assign tasks.

Works with several platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest,



A great hashtag management tool. Not only can you research the most relevant to your business tags, but also create your own tagboard. You simply add your new hashtag, its description and image to the tagboard and receive notifications when someone is talking to you or mention your hashtag across social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Flickr, Vine.

Download the agenda of the Outreach conference - full overview of 8 tracks and 40 topics.

Pay with a tweet

Free and paid

Let’s say, you have recently written an amazing in-depth report on social media engagement in Dubai. Even though you don’t intend your content to be paid, you still want to increase awareness with the book. And there is a tool that can help you ensure more shares.

With “Pay with a tweet” you can create a “download & share” button. The basic principle of how it works: fill out all needed fields in a form (name of your product, networks to share through, a text that will appear in the shared post, add link to your website, access link to the product etc), review how it will look and embed to your website. Done.

After, when your visitor clicks the button, a new window opens and guides through the whole process of downloading. The service makes sure that the link is available one time per one user, unless you set by yourself the opposite.

Quill Engage

Free and paid from $19.99/month

If you feel overwhelmed by Google Analytics data, this tool helps you “translate” the data into a human language in a form of report. A simple and neat document is sent to your email address periodically and contains essential data: KPIs, including sessions, pageviews and bounce rate, referral traffic, conversions and goals, etc.

KingSumo Headlines

Paid from $99/lifetime

A/B tests are great when you know how to use them right. They tell you what works better for you: green or red button; picture 1 or picture 2; headline A or headline B.

For social media title is important: it sells your content.

KingSumo Headlines is a plug-in for WordPress websites. It makes your testing faster and easier: when writing an article, add not just one, but 2/5/10 variants of headlines you would like to test. After test is run, you see which article headline received the most clicks.

How you can apply it in social media: you know which title triggers the most of your visitors’ reaction. Based on that, you can select the best headline when you post something on social networks.

The list cannot be complete: every day new tools appear and some of them become “lifesavers” for social media marketing. We have presented you the ones that, in our opinion, undertake many time-consuming tasks while leaving you a room for developing your business.

If you use some other helpful tool that is not on the list, share it with us!

Download the agenda of the Outreach conference, and see you in Dubai on November 16th and 17th!

Four Things That Dubai Marketers Think Are Important This Year

Four Things That Dubai Marketers Think Are Important This Year

Every conference we do at Fleming. follows the same quality rule:

  1. Conference producer (in this case, our fabulous Ruchi Nema) assembles a pool of advisors that live & breathe the market.
  2. We discuss with them what matters the most and build a conference agenda based on that

Based on the same process, we selected topics for this year's Outreach about to happen this November in Dubai (Download full topic overview here).

In this post, you'll find four of the conference topics - and the speakers who will deliver talks about them.

1. Stories

Anwar Al Amin

The best books make you want to read just one more chapter, until you realize you cannot give it away.  That’s a great example of how powerful stories can be.

Stories engage people, drag them into a different world and create emotional bonds. They are much easier to memorize and recall after.

Unlike the typical "Buy now" digital ads, which are often ignored, stories communicate with audiences on deeper levels, so they want to have just “one more bite”.

Although storytelling became a buzzword, only few companies embraced it successfully.

Anwar Al Amin, an Ad Films Director at AAFilmz, with a solid experience of creating engaging ad films will bring this topic up on the first day of the Outreach conference in Dubai. He will present the highlights of the latest storytelling campaigns that yielded successful results, and explain how to align and sequence the story with your value proposition.

2. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Augmented and virtual reality created another opportunity for companies to engage with their customers.

Virtual reality - computer generated environment simulating real life and allowing users to interact within.

Augmented reality - a live view on a real life environment with supplemented computer generated elements (sound, video, graphics or GPS data)

Not only is it the “latest thing”, but it also brings new interactive and engaging element in the “ordinary” world of marketing, where novelty is not only appreciated, but expected.

That’s why this hot topic is a part of the conference, and our guest speaker Clyde DeSouza from VR Filmmaker will explain how companies are combining Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to influence marketing campaigns.

3. Real-time

In a nutshell, real time marketing is build around current trends and events.

Ability to react fast on certain events increases your chances to attract customers. Thanks to social networks, real-time marketing became more effective. Now up-to-date information is easy to obtain and all it takes minutes to connect this info with you message.

To explain you how, our special guest Rafael Prandini, Real Time & Commercial Experiences Director at Coca Cola, will take a closer look at this approach and present the main learnings from the real time marketing plan for Rio 2016.

4. A perfect launch

The number of startups doesn't seem to be declining, especially with the development of technologies. However, only a small percentage of all initiatives lucks out.

Joy Ajlouny, the co-founder of Fetchr will tell how to turn your startup into an international company, share her experience from launching Bon Faire and Fetchr, and explain how to take advantage of failures.

This was an overview of some of the topics that will be discussed at the Outreach 2016 in Dubai, 16 - 17 November. But there is much more: download the conference agenda to see all the topics.