Digital marketing, the World Bank?

Last updated 5 years ago

Digital marketing, the World Bank?

On December 4th and 5th 2017 I was at the World Bank Group's head office in Washington DC for a Youth Summit. Specifically the meeting was about the future of businesses, development work, jobs and various similar futuristic conversations. I was specifically keen to follow up on the World Bank's head on his talk about the future of the bank's investment. He says in most of his meetings with his clients, the Ministers of Finance and Heads of States from developing countries; clients want the bank's capital on industrialization. They are stuck in the industrial revolution. However, in similar talks with the likes of Alibaba, Amazon and Google CEOs, he realizes that the future is rather on ICT and not traditional industries.

That made me want to rethink the future of our own proposed water processing and bottling plant. That is not today's focus so I will put that in the parking lot for now.

I also have a keen interest in digital and online engagement so I attended a side session on digital marketing. The presenters of this topic were the World Bank Group's digital team. They told us that the future of marketing is no longer about stuff you make, but about stories you tell. Unlike traditional media houses, most digital marketing platforms have a global reach, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Most of these platforms present track-able and measurable results, provide for personalised information and define clear market targets based on either gender, age, geographical footprint, or otherwise. This can easily be achieved through websites with digital analytical tools such as

I learnt that work on a website is an ongoing mission, in fact, the World Bank's digital team works on their site every day. They highly recommended daily website updates based on clients' feedback as standard practice for digital teams in our respective organisations.

Tools such as Google Search Console, a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters that allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites was introduced. This tool monitors your site's performance in Google Search results, makes sure that Google can access your content, help you submit new content for crawling and remove content you don't want shown in search results, monitors and resolves malware or spam issues so your site stays clean!

Furthermore, this tool tells you how the world sees your site by informing you which queries caused your site to appear in search results. Did some queries result in more traffic to your site than others? What information is highlighted in rich search results? Which sites are linking to your website? Is your mobile site performing well for visitors searching on mobile?

We were also introduced to Google Trends, a public web facility that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. This and many tools will give you a glimpse of how certain terms are more likely to generate more traffic if used in your digital campaigns than others. There are other tools such as Buzzsumo, which analyzes which content performs best for any topic or competitor (it also helps you find key influencers to promote your content). AWeber - gives you tools and templates to help you be an email marketing pro, Egoi, another tool for email marketing, etc. all of which can be useful to informing your digital campaigns.

Although content is arguably key when it comes to digital engagement, the day on which content is posted also matters. Monday is regarded as the best day for social media posting. Time? Be the first to post, you do not want to appear reposting information you ought to have been the first posting.

The best way to frame your posts is by telling your audience what to do; research has shown they tend to follow such orders. Use phrases like 'Read it,' 'Watch it,' etc. In addition, search for trending hashtags and create posts that connect with your work. Above all, use images. Studies show that people love and will engage 150% more with tweets that have images than those with only text. Posts with questions and symbols are likely to engage more people than flat, sentence-only posts. There is also evidence that 74% of content with videos is four times more engaging as compared to other content.

Lastly, almost all successful digital campaigns are run in partnerships. Partner with like-minded organisations, ethical business brands, and celebrities - be sure your reach will skyrocket.

@Kiiya JK is the Chief Executive of @SemaTanzania and a passionate seeker of knowledge.