Tips to Recharge Your Remarketing

Below are a few tips that could help give your remarketing that boost it needs.

Page tagging – The most common types of remarketing ads are search, display, social media and email.

Firstly, you should determine your demographic’s purchasing habits, considering their gender and age. This is extremely important to keep your ads specific to the user and highly relevant.

You can better this by targeting users based on the pages that they visit. For example: if users show interest by visiting the landing page of your website once, you might want to consider re-emphasising exactly how your product could solve their problem. This way you could be gaining a loyal customer and a higher cost sale.

Balancing the frequency of your ad – Technically you are able to set up an impressions or frequency cap, which is going to allow you to target your users as much or as little as the strategy you are using requires.

If you are developing leads and relationships, then you may want to tone down the frequency with some reminders to keep them longer term.

Offer them incentives – By repeating the exact same ad it is naturally going to agitate the consumer, so try not to fatigue your audience with the same message and design for the whole duration. Change up your incentive and try to push the offer further.

Analysis & benchmarking – Make use of search funnels. On average, a website conversion rate is a bit more than 2%, yet only 61% of companies will do less than 5 tests every month when it comes to focusing on the conversion optimization.

By taking the time to run and test your experiments, it will give you a better depth of understanding as to where your users are dropping off and also how you could combat these issues.

At Right Click Media, digital marketing comes naturally to us. With directors who have many years of experience in the digital marketing industry, and a great team of dedicated marketers and technophiles doing what they are passionate about, Right Click Media prides itself on being one of the very best marketing agencies around. For more information, visit our website on www.rightclickmedia.co.za.

Google Algorithm Newsletter

Several times a year, Google aims to increase the performance of their search engine by releasing updates to its algorithms that are responsible for determining website page rankings. These major updates are necessary to improve customer experience when searching for relevant information, and are also aimed at helping advertisers get the most out of the search engine.
In an official statement made by Google on Twitter on 12 March 2018, they informed users that this update will likely effect websites that have been, up to now, ranking favourably. They stress that there is nothing that can be done to rectify this as yet.
The reason for this is that the update has been designed to give priority to those websites that had previously ranked unfavourably even though they were correctly optimised.

The published notice can be viewed below:
“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.
As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.
There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

This means that some of our valued clients may notice a slight drop in the ranking performance of their sites. While this is largely out of our control at the moment, the Right Click Media team would like to assure you that, in the face of this update, we are doing all we can to keep your site at the top of search engine rankings.
Ranking performance with regards to this update is out of our hands but we pride ourselves on staying up to date with all changes as they occur in the digital industry and we apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused, but are still look forward to helping your business and marketing campaign grow.

Sylvester Stallone Dies Again

Fake news has become a bit of a buzz-word in the digital world, as it seems to get more and more difficult to sift truth from dishonesty. In this week’s trending searches, we see Sylvester Stallone taking the light one more time as he is surrounded by fake news that reports him walking towards it. In fact, the fake news spread so quickly, that the veteran action hero felt the need to make an appearance to prove to everybody that he is alive if not well. This is not the first time the death of an iconic figure has been wrongfully reported on, but at least this time the misleading information didn’t come from a ‘reputable’ news network. In this instance, at least, the results of the masses grabbing on to fake news were minimal at best, unlike the once premature announcement of Nelson Mandela’s death which even had a negative impact on the South African economy. There seems to be an obsession with fake news, it has been going on for a while and shows little sign of abating. Since the rise of social media mixed up the bag of information gatekeeping privileges in our society, even trusted news sources have been pulling information from dodgy sources and reporting on fake news as though it were real, as is consistently being commented on by the Trump administration in the USA, who have gone so far as to issue ‘fake news awards’ to a number of otherwise respected agencies. As we work through our time in the information age, we need to become a little savvier, selective and critical of what we read, where it comes from, and to what extent we enable it to be spread. The fact that news as blatantly unconfirmed as this can be spread with such ease, should be a little worrying, and frankly, insulting to our collective intelligence.

So How Did Our Action Hero Die This Time?
According to sources on Facebook and other social media channels, Sylvester Stallone recently passed away after a drawn out battle with prostate cancer. The clever writers even accompanied the article with an image of Stallone sporting a sickly look and thinning hair as proof. This comes after a number of hoaxes over the years have been trying to convince fans he is dead. In September of 2016, similar headlines rang that Stallone had been found dead in his home in the early hours of the morning. The difference being that the event in 2016 was not reported on by an amateur social blogger, but actually by CNN themselves.
This should be incredibly concerning for the average news consumer, since international news agencies such as CNN are our go-to places for news that we can trust to hold at least some truth to them. If CNN is neglecting to fact check their reports, then quite frankly it’s not our celebrities dying off that should worry us, but rather the integrity of our informants.

Countering the Rumours
The most recent epidemic of viral fake news got so out of hand that Stallone himself had to issue a statement to prove that he is still going strong. He light-heartedly released a statement on 19 Feb saying “Please ignore this stupidity… Alive and well and happy and healthy… still punching” on Twitter (which has ironically become a more integral source of information than some of our most trusted news agencies.

A Moment for Conspiracy
While in all likeliness the fake news came about as the brain-child of a bored blogger, there is always the chance that it served as a publicity stunt for the up and coming Rocky movie from which the images in the news report were pulled. Though going on the track record of social media platforms and even news agencies, I am more inclined to believe that Stallone and anyone responsible for his publicity, likely had nothing to do with it.
Fostering Honest, Integral and Unbiased News Reports
This brings to light an issue which our collective society has yet to find an amicable way of addressing, that of the reliability of the information we are fed from news sources which we are supposed to put our trust in. While there aren’t many societal side-effects of fake news reporting on the death of celebrities, instances such as this one should shake up the confidence we hold in our understanding of war, politics and global events as they are reported to us.
While many hold back this era of fake news in the opinion that it is undermining our understanding of the world, many others are seeing it as a bit of light shed on the condition of our news-sources as a whole. There is no real way to confirm whether or not fake news is a relatively new phenomenon, or if it has been a latent problem for longer than anyone (other than perhaps people like Rupert Murdock) could ever know.
Propaganda, hype, sensationalism and news seem to have always gone hand in hand, or at least have been since the rise of the internet and social media in our society. As media analyst and comedian, Charlie Brooker sees it, as the net began to take the market share away from news channels (particularly those on television), they had to step up their game and make news exciting so that it would still be consumed by the masses who are quickly moving away to online media.
Is what we are seeing in this instance just another case of sensationalism, or are media users to blame for sharing content without actually checking it?
US President Donald Trump, who is no stranger to being on the wrong end of fake-news, blames media houses like CNN, and has gone so far as to award certain agencies with a ‘Fake News Award’ in a bid to playfully get them to accept the responsibility of abusing their roles as informants.
It’s not True Just Because It’s Online
From the side of consumers, and each one of us is one, we need to be a little more careful of the way in which we consume media, particularly with web channels where most sources have very little integrity, knowledge and understanding to begin with. There seems to be a prevailing opinion that because something is online, it must be true. If everything you read on the internet came from an integral source, it would be far more difficult than it currently is for people to start their own websites. The same applies to television and radio. Remember that just because you heard it through sound waves or read it in a text, does not make it true.
Becoming a Critical Reader
All that we can really do in this regard is to become a more difficult audience to fool. We need to start consuming media with a critical and unbelieving eye. In short, we need to be less trusting of what we read. News sources should be cross examined and looked at in comparison to their competitors, while an active effort should be taken by readers to verify the information they are taking in. In addition to using more than one source to gather information, a critical reader should be extremely selective of the sources they choose to engage with.
Selecting a newsworthy source can be a little difficult, and requires readers to be well-versed in the format, structure and grammatical patterns that otherwise characterise news reports. With enough practice doing this, the reader should be able to spot irregularities such as spelling and grammar errors, incomplete information as well as the use of inappropriate terminology in a news-text. Wherever errors are found, one can assume that the editor of a news firm had nothing to do with letting it slip by them, and likely weren’t even involved in the process of publishing it. In short, it is probably fake.
Look out for evidence of sensationalism as well. You have probably read a number of articles in your life that have tried to report on events as though they came out of a spy novel or action movie. The bottom line is that news is not exciting and energetic; it is boring, official and should never read like a James Patterson novel. If it does, it is likely riddled with too much opinion and bias, or is simply not even worth taking in since it is probably an exaggeration if not completely untrue.

Contact Right Click Media
Here at Right Click Media we consider ourselves professionals in a range of online disciplines, and as such look forward to a future where online information sources can be used with trust and confidence, and therefor would like to see our affiliates growing in their ability to spot dodgy content wherever it may be. To find out more about our digital marketing agency’s services for SEO, web development and social media marketing services, give us a call or visit our website for further details.

Streaming Killed the Television Star

Television has been the holy-grail of video advertising since its release in South Africa way back in the late 70’s. Of course the rest of the world started taking advantage of this long before we did. However, over the last decade or so, the face of video broadcasting has changed substantially thanks to the functionality of the internet; and now we are seeing strategies such as YouTube advertising starting to take the foreground. But what does this mean for your marketing efforts?
The rise of viewer controlled video broadcasting
When television was still an exciting phenomenon, many media theorists built entire careers behind designing theories on how the technology would affect society and commerce, and what it would eventually evolve into. One such person, Marshal McLuhan felt that television, as it was during the time of his theories, was incredibly primitive. He had no concern for the quality of audio or visual connections or HD viewing, he predicted that television would become more interactive to cater better to the user: and while our television sets took their time in becoming smart in this way, the internet stole these plans out from right under it, in the form of video streaming sites such as YouTube.
Where television missed the boat
Television only started to take advantage of this by piggy-backing off of the success of YouTube, designing products that could stream such content as well as smart-phones, PCs and other similar devices. Though in keeping to its roots, television missed out on quite a few advantages posed by YouTube:
• Streaming sites such as YouTube make it possible to engage with content on the go by broadcasting from mobile devices; which means a wider audience, more of the time.
• No TV licences are necessary to engage with YouTube from devices other than televisions, making it easier for these users to engage with your content.
• Users have better gatekeeping privileges, which means that they are able to customise their viewing choices in a way that television cannot allow.
• The interactive nature of YouTube can be used to promote links to websites and other marketing material to keep prospective customers engaged.
• Targeted marketing on YouTube means that advertisers can use it to reach demographics with the highest potential for conversions, instead of generalising their audience on television networks.
• Sites such as YouTube allow marketers to produce effective campaigns at less of a cost than television advertising. This is because less stringent gate-keeping control is imposed on these channels, which ultimately leads to lowered production costs; while the actual cost of flying advertising on these mediums is generally lower than with television.
Contact Right Click Media for Details
If you would like to know more about how we can help you with YouTube video setup, contact a representative from Right Click Media today, or visit our website for further details on our various digital marketing services.

The Ideal Platforms for Seasonal Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has become an essential part of the advertising task for most businesses out there, with each one taking a unique approach and using their own mix of channels to achieve the right audiences at the right times. Many of these businesses rely on seasonal activities to pique the interests of their potential customers through events and promotions. Summer sales, Spring giveaways and Winter challenges are but a few of these approaches; all of which should be portrayed through the correct mediums to achieve their maximum effect. So, if you are due a little seasonal advertising, here are some of the platforms which will give you the best foundation to do so.
Marketing through Facebook
Seasonal events often fall squarely in the social sphere. Therefore, social media platforms such as Facebook are generally a good starting point for seasonal campaigns. Facebook is great for sharing content, promoting events and creating an environment of two-way communication between you and your target audience; while also serving as a bulletin board, discussion forum and public-space to showcase customer reviews. This makes it a wholly useful medium for seasonal digital marketing.
Showcase your brand through Instagram
Instagram is a popular choice for platforms that allow for the sharing of images and content, which makes it the ideal medium for marketers looking to run seasonal campaigns. The platform can be used to showcase events, communicate new products and promotions, or can simply be used to communicate your brand’s identity with your audience. By having prospective customers interact with your Instagram campaign, they will spread your message through word of mouth (so to speak), which will go a long way towards strengthening the presence of your brand.
Engage your audience through YouTube
YouTube is growing in popularity by the minute, so much so that television is arguably in trouble of becoming redundant. Seasonal advertisers can find many advantages to this medium, including the ability to target users who would be most likely to take an interest in your brand, while providing quantifiable metrics on your campaign’s effectiveness.
Content on your own website
Regardless of how many other platforms you make use of, your own website is the most important; seasonal or not. Conversions from your other campaigns will likely happen after being redirected to your site, which means that your site needs to be in top condition, responsive, and informative at all times.
Where seasonal advertising is concerned, you need to churn out relevant content for your website to keep your audience interested in your campaign, while ensuring that your SEO is in order. Before starting a seasonal promotion, it would therefore be beneficial to your campaign if you audit your site, its keywords and content before launching your campaign.
Contact Right Click Media to find out more
For more details on how our company can take your marketing campaign to new heights, speak to a consultant from Right Click Media for details on how we can grow both your campaign and your company through effective and measurable advertising techniques. Visit our website for details today.

What is Meant by ‘Content is King’?

Say the words ‘content is king’ to any digital marketing campaign manager and you are likely to get a sigh as a response. It is an old saying, usually an absent-minded soliloquy that all marketing professionals know, and it represents one of the most difficult creative tasks for all campaign managers: that of coming us with consistent, new, interesting and relevant articles, blogs, news-posts or informative passages on their websites.
Anyone who has ever sat in front of a blank word document will know how difficult this can be; throw in the careful use of keywords and negative keywords, and this conundrum only becomes more challenging.
Though the savvy marketer knows how effective the correct employment of content can be for a campaign, so to give you a similar understanding, here are a few crucial reasons why (and I do dislike the triteness of the saying) content is king.
Search engine optimisation for organic rankings and authority
Paying attention to the creation of quality blogs on your site is a great way to make use of keywords that are intended to boost the organic rankings of your website; it is so effective that it is widely regarded as a crucial part of SEO.
On the other hand, consistent content also allows you to build up a repertoire of backlinks which gives your site authority in your industry, further boosting SEO results and exposing your brand to a wider (or more specific) target audience.
Fostering customer engagement
If you create genuinely interesting and unique content that is written to be read (and not simply for SEO purposes) you are encouraging your consumers to engage more fully with your brand.
There is a lot of content available on the web, and the vast majority of it is poorly duplicated from others, is riddled with errors or is downright boring to get through; while these campaigns might serve the purposes of SERPs, they will likely not actually attract any customers, and could end up in a high bounce-rate as users briskly exit your website out of boredom.
Genuinely engaging and interesting content, on the other hand, will be shared, spoken about and will go a long way towards converting potential customers.
Content adds value to your brand
By producing customers that adds value to the daily lives of consumers through tips, advice or useful information will effectively strengthen your brand by adding value to it. Users will associate your image, service or product with the means to enrich their lives or to make them easier, painting your campaign in a very good light.
Contact Right Click Media to learn more
If you would like assistance with your campaign from an agency that understands how to leverage content to make the most out of their search engine optimisation packages, contact a representative from Right Click Media today, or visit our website for further details on our digital marketing services.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive website design is the most commonly used web approach. This approach makes use of CSS media queries in order to modify the presentation of a website based of the size of the device display. The number of responsive sites is increasing fast, from the Boston Globe to Disney to Indochino.
One of the biggest advantages of this approach is that the designers are able to use a single template for all types of devices, and just use CSS to determine how the content is rendered on the different screen sizes. Also, the designers are still able to work in HTML and CSS, technologies that they are already familiar with. Additionally, there is also a fast growing number of open-source, responsive-friendly toolkits that will assist in simplifying the responsive site building process.
The testing and design phase can be very fussy, as it may be difficult for you to customize the user experience for all possible devices or context. We’ve seen those responsive site layouts where it looks like a bunch of puzzle pieces that don’t always fit together. A responsive web design works best with a mobile-first approach, where the mobile use case will be prioritized during the development process. There are progressive enhancements that are then used to address desktop and tablet use cases.
The numbers are high because the responsive approach will cover all devices. Your user is only busy using one device, but they still have to wait for all of their resources and page elements in order to load before they can use it. So basically, performance is going to affect your bottom line. On a smartphone, the conversion rate drops by another 3.5% when your users have to wait just one second. When at the 3 second mark, 57% of users are going to have left your website completely.
While responsive design is very quickly becoming the de facto standard, it is also busy creating new challenges for online businesses, which includes how to optimize mobile performance, how to handle images and often means that websites need to be rebuilt from the ground up with a mobile first approach.
Right Click Media id a digital marketing agency based in Johannesburg. We offer specialized services in SEO, website development, social media and much more. Visit our website on www.rightclickmedia.co.za for more information.

Sylvester Stallone Dies Again

Fake news has become a bit of a buzz-word in the digital world, as it seems to get more and more difficult to sift truth from dishonesty. In this week’s trending searches, we see Sylvester Stallone taking the light one more time as he is surrounded by fake news that reports him walking towards it. In fact, the fake news spread so quickly, that the veteran action hero felt the need to make an appearance to prove to everybody that he is alive if not well. This is not the first time the death of an iconic figure has been wrongfully reported on, but at least this time the misleading information didn’t come from a ‘reputable’ news network. In this instance, at least, the results of the masses grabbing on to fake news were minimal at best, unlike the once premature announcement of Nelson Mandela’s death which even had a negative impact on the South African economy. There seems to be an obsession with fake news, it has been going on for a while and shows little sign of abating. Since the rise of social media mixed up the bag of information gatekeeping privileges in our society, even trusted news sources have been pulling information from dodgy sources and reporting on fake news as though it were real, as is consistently being commented on by the Trump administration in the USA, who have gone so far as to issue ‘fake news awards’ to a number of otherwise respected agencies. As we work through our time in the information age, we need to become a little savvier, selective and critical of what we read, where it comes from, and to what extent we enable it to be spread. The fact that news as blatantly unconfirmed as this can be spread with such ease, should be a little worrying, and frankly, insulting to our collective intelligence.

So How Did Our Action Hero Die This Time?

According to sources on Facebook and other social media channels, Sylvester Stallone recently passed away after a drawn out battle with prostate cancer. The clever writers even accompanied the article with an image of Stallone sporting a sickly look and thinning hair as proof. This comes after a number of hoaxes over the years have been trying to convince fans he is dead. In September of 2016, similar headlines rang that Stallone had been found dead in his home in the early hours of the morning. The difference being that the event in 2016 was not reported on by an amateur social blogger, but actually by CNN themselves.

This should be incredibly concerning for the average news consumer, since international news agencies such as CNN are our go-to places for news that we can trust to hold at least some truth to them. If CNN is neglecting to fact check their reports, then quite frankly it’s not our celebrities dying off that should worry us, but rather the integrity of our informants.

Countering the Rumours

The most recent epidemic of viral fake news got so out of hand that Stallone himself had to issue a statement to prove that he is still going strong. He light-heartedly released a statement on 19 Feb saying “Please ignore this stupidity… Alive and well and happy and healthy… still punching” on Twitter (which has ironically become a more integral source of information than some of our most trusted news agencies.

A Moment for Conspiracy

While in all likeliness the fake news came about as the brain-child of a bored blogger, there is always the chance that it served as a publicity stunt for the up and coming Rocky movie from which the images in the news report were pulled. Though going on the track record of social media platforms and even news agencies, I am more inclined to believe that Stallone and anyone responsible for his publicity, likely had nothing to do with it.

Fostering Honest, Integral and Unbiased News Reports

This brings to light an issue which our collective society has yet to find an amicable way of addressing, that of the reliability of the information we are fed from news sources which we are supposed to put our trust in. While there aren’t many societal side-effects of fake news reporting on the death of celebrities, instances such as this one should shake up the confidence we hold in our understanding of war, politics and global events as they are reported to us.

While many hold back this era of fake news in the opinion that it is undermining our understanding of the world, many others are seeing it as a bit of light shed on the condition of our news-sources as a whole. There is no real way to confirm whether or not fake news is a relatively new phenomenon, or if it has been a latent problem for longer than anyone (other than perhaps people like Rupert Murdock) could ever know.

Propaganda, hype, sensationalism and news seem to have always gone hand in hand, or at least have been since the rise of the internet and social media in our society. As media analyst and comedian, Charlie Brooker sees it, as the net began to take the market share away from news channels (particularly those on television), they had to step up their game and make news exciting so that it would still be consumed by the masses who are quickly moving away to online media.

Is what we are seeing in this instance just another case of sensationalism, or are media users to blame for sharing content without actually checking it?

US President Donald Trump, who is no stranger to being on the wrong end of fake-news, blames media houses like CNN, and has gone so far as to award certain agencies with a ‘Fake News Award’ in a bid to playfully get them to accept the responsibility of abusing their roles as informants.

It’s not True Just Because It’s Online

From the side of consumers, and each one of us is one, we need to be a little more careful of the way in which we consume media, particularly with web channels where most sources have very little integrity, knowledge and understanding to begin with. There seems to be a prevailing opinion that because something is online, it must be true. If everything you read on the internet came from an integral source, it would be far more difficult than it currently is for people to start their own websites. The same applies to television and radio. Remember that just because you heard it through sound waves or read it in a text, does not make it true.

Becoming a Critical Reader

All that we can really do in this regard is to become a more difficult audience to fool. We need to start consuming media with a critical and unbelieving eye. In short, we need to be less trusting of what we read. News sources should be cross examined and looked at in comparison to their competitors, while an active effort should be taken by readers to verify the information they are taking in. In addition to using more than one source to gather information, a critical reader should be extremely selective of the sources they choose to engage with.

Selecting a newsworthy source can be a little difficult, and requires readers to be well-versed in the format, structure and grammatical patterns that otherwise characterise news reports. With enough practice doing this, the reader should be able to spot irregularities such as spelling and grammar errors, incomplete information as well as the use of inappropriate terminology in a news-text. Wherever errors are found, one can assume that the editor of a news firm had nothing to do with letting it slip by them, and likely weren’t even involved in the process of publishing it. In short, it is probably fake.

Look out for evidence of sensationalism as well. You have probably read a number of articles in your life that have tried to report on events as though they came out of a spy novel or action movie. The bottom line is that news is not exciting and energetic; it is boring, official and should never read like a James Patterson novel. If it does, it is likely riddled with too much opinion and bias, or is simply not even worth taking in since it is probably an exaggeration if not completely untrue.

Contact Right Click Media

Here at Right Click Media we consider ourselves professionals in a range of online disciplines, and as such look forward to a future where online information sources can be used with trust and confidence, and therefor would like to see our affiliates growing in their ability to spot dodgy content wherever it may be. To find out more about our digital marketing agency’s services for SEO, web development and social media marketing services, give us a call or visit our website for further details.

What Your Business is Missing by Not Being on Social Media

We all know of social media; it has been a hot topic of conversation for the past few years now. The opinions of social media kind of run down the middle, either you enjoy being a part of it and enjoy connecting with people who have lost touch and finding new like-minded communities, or you believe that social media is a dangerous medium to be associated with. However, you view it; it is not going to go away anytime soon.

Social Media and Businesses

Social media is not just for personal relationships, it is great for businesses and brands too. The benefits are easy to find and easy to understand. For instance, social media for a business is a great way to communicate with your audience for little cost, compared to tradition communication, and you are able to have a direct line of discussion with your consumers. You are able to have a measured reach with social media, which gives you a better idea of how to progress with your messages in the future.

Is Social Media Right for You?

You might be wondering if social media is right for you and your business, of course social media is not the best fit for every brand because your audience might not be active on it or on certain platforms. The decision is best made after plenty of research has been done to justify your choice. Of course social media is not a one size fits all strategy. However, if it is a great option for your brand, it should not be missed lightly.

What Are You Missing Out On?

There are of course, the obvious benefits to social media that everyone has written about in the past, but there a few things that it offers that could be of value to your business. Social media is a great tool for quick research, either it can be a poll, or the followers could explain their thoughts and opinions in the comment section. There are tools that allow you to gain deeper insights into your audiences and your approach to social media, such as Facebook Insights, Google analytics, and so many other websites that offer data from your pages for free that let you know that you’re on the right track and not wasting your time.

Getting the Value from Social Media

Do not deny your business the opportunity to reach a vast audience and gain a greater understanding of them. Get in touch with Right Click Media has the best solutions for your business’s page to be able to get the best from their social media accounts. They have the expertise to help your business grow online and reap the deeper benefits of social media that go beyond counting likes and retweets.

Will South Africa Leverage Digital to Catch Up with the Rest of the World?

In the wake of Wednesday’s (14/02/2018) regime change that saw former president Jacob Zuma and his keepers finally backed in to a corner, the South African streets are filled with electricity and hope for a brighter future as the warm smile of Cyril Ramaphosa ushers in the chance of a much brighter future for us all.

With almost a decade of damage control for the new president to deal with in the coming months, we wait with baited breath to get a better look at what the successful businessman has planned for our future; and after all the silent suffering we faced during the Zuma era, our country is finally expecting some good things to come our way. Still, the task of mopping up and finishing unfinished and mismanaged tasks left by the previous administration is a colossal one. One such area concerns our development into the digital age, which in all honesty, has barely been touched on in a South African context where end-users and civilians have fallen by the wayside in favour of draining money from businesses.

Mobile and email scams have frolicked freely through our digital domains, exorbitant connection and data rates as well as poor service delivery have characterised even the best of our internet service providers, and our communications infrastructure falls far behind some of the least developed countries in the world. Our privacy is disrespected, our personal information sold on to lead generating sweat-shops that call from unregistered numbers in an environment where everything needs to be RICAd. Regulation is too relaxed in many cases and for some reason we still have expensive services for shaped and capped connections; and these are just the issues dealing with service provision and infrastructure; we haven’t even touched on the state of our communications industry as a whole. But South Africans have grown used to the current state of things, we think it is normal; while the rest of the world sales past us at high speeds that come at less of a cost and are available on a much larger scale.

Quite frankly we should be angry, infuriated and disappointed by what has passed for an acceptable national communications policy; and I’m even speaking from the vantage point of a sect of the South African society that has the easiest time gaining access to communications infrastructure; what hope then do those living and studying in rural areas have? In the face of the coming change, hopefully a much better one.

Still, if the issues of our network infrastructure are to be addressed, our country, and government in particular, will need to pay close attention to a number of areas:

Telecommunications needs Healthier Competition

Perhaps one of the main reasons why we are falling behind in the digital sphere is that there simply isn’t enough competition out there to compel internet service providers to up their game in a way that better suits the needs and budgets of their consumers. Whether through fibre, LTE, broadband or mobile data, South Africa has some of the highest tariffs in the world, and by a long shot. We are simply paying too much for services which are rarely even mediocre, because we don’t have any competitive choices.

Service delivery and available data packages also leave something to be desired, both in their pricing and quality. 20megabit speeds are a standard in other parts of the world, representing some of the most affordable connection solutions available to them; while over here, many households are paying a fortune for 1megabit lines that are inconsistent, unsecure and unreliable. In fact, in many cases, that mere 1mb is being shared across multiple account holders who are getting a pathetic fraction of what they are overpaying for.

Customer relations from these service providers also deserves a staggering amount of criticism, and it simply comes down to not enough competition to warrant trying harder. A quick Google search of a handful of our local service providers shows reviews of overwhelming dissatisfaction with client services, support and billing procedures that treat customers like forgettable numbers.

There also needs to be a more competitive market with regards to research and development into new and innovative ways to provide these services. South Africans are in a state of excitement over the introduction of fibre lines, while other countries (some of which are in worse economical positions than ourselves) have been surfing the web through fibre lines for years now, and at much less of a cost. To put this in perspective, consider that the average internet user in South Korea does so from a 100mb line; whereas here, that pleasure is reserved almost exclusively for businesses since only they can afford it.

We also need to foster a better culture of trust between service providers and their subscribers, and this won’t happen until we feel like we are getting a fair deal. At the moment we enter into contracts begrudgingly, almost expecting to have to fight for the services we are paying from, regardless of who the provider is. In such an environment, only mistrust can flourish, which is bad for the South African communications industry as a whole.

Increasing Network Infrastructure

One of the biggest challenges to the communications industry in our country, concerns the availability and spread of the infrastructure needed to provide connectivity to the masses. Network infrastructure is collected mainly around cities and residential areas where it is profitable to have them placed, while massive sects and rural areas struggle with basic phone signal.

Arguably, in this day and age, access to the internet should be considered a basic human right, though with the infrastructure currently available to us, this goal is little more than a pipe-dream.

Solutions to this problem may well take months, even years to come to fruition, and so we need to put a long-term goal in place. Starting not only with infrastructural development, we also need to concentrate on developing individual skills so that our future in the digital age can be more-or-less secured. Getting such an endeavour right will be no small task, and will require the combined efforts of government agencies, independent committees, as well as internet service providers.

By making access available to everyone, we could empower massive sects of the population who currently have limited access to information, education and news.

Expanding Business through Digital

From the side of government, there needs to be more consistent, codified and properly enforced policies that regulate the use of, and delivery of connections to the internet. More stringent policies for protecting the privacy and security of consumers, businesses and agencies also need to be implemented to ensure that the web can be surfed safely by users.

Policies that protect business interests and online integrity also need to be developed on a continual basis, while those involved in the communications industry should be trained and provided with the essential skills necessary for facilitating a fairer and more transparent marketplace.

The infrastructure should also be put in place that allows all businesses to leverage digital mediums for their marketing and communications purposes to the best effect, with minimal interference and in such a way that stands up to the best practices of digital communication.

Lastly, closer attention needs to be paid to the protection of consumers who often fall prey to online scams and phishing schemes which may have devastating financial effects on them, while also putting mechanisms in place that hold guilty parties accountable wherever malpractice is found.

In Conclusion

We still have some way to go before we have the ideal digital terrain in our fair country, but for the first time in nearly a decade it looks like we might actually be on the right path. Though as the situation gets more beneficial all-round, now is the time to take charge of the resources available to you and your business with regards to the digital domain. Contact Right Click Media today to find out more about how we can help to grow your business through carefully planned and conducted digital marketing strategies tailored to your business and target audience; or feel free to visit our website to learn more about our SEO, web development, social marketing and mobile application development services.

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