Advertising is Getting Tougher

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Advertising is Getting Tougher

Regulators Switch Focus, Brokers Join Forces

If you didn’t know it, trading binary options was hard enough to begin with. Sure, it is a simplified form of trading but that doesn’t mean squat in terms of technical analysis, fundamental analysis, trading signals and profitability. Binary trading is easier, but trading is hard. On top of that the industry is sketchy; there are very many great brokers offering an entertaining and reliable trading experience but there are 10X that many shady brokers, fraudulent signal services and unscrupulous internet marketers preying on greed and fear to induce deposits, trading and losses. What the regulators have started to recognized and to address is that much of the frauds being perpetrated today originate with third-party advertisers and marketers and not with the brokers themselves.

CySEC’s push to regulate the industry deserves most of the praise when it comes to keeping the brokers in check. Yes, there are still a lot of unregulated brokers flying low under the radar but in terms of readily available, reliable, regulated, legal and accountable binary options trading in the EU there are just too many brokers to choose from to waste time with an unregulated and unknown broker and this is where the scams come into play. Binary options traders who understand what trading is, what binary options are, how the industry works and the risks involved can easily make a good decision for themselves when it comes to choosing a broker, accepting a deposit and trading their account. It is the uninitiated, the unknowing, the naive and the vulnerable with no knowledge of trading or binary options who most often fall prey to shady marketing practices.

Ban On Binary Options Advertising

The problem for us traders is that the local regulators, the nation specific agencies such as France’s AMF and Italy’s ConSob, are taking aim at the marketing aspect of the industry irrespective of the individual brokers and their regulatory status. France is the first, but not the last, to enact such laws. The AMF has instituted a ban on binary, forex and CFD advertising for products with leverage greater than 1:20 following a report to parliament outlining the +4 billion Euros French citizens have lost to fraud over the past 6 years. The law will effect all forms of advertising including digital, email, television and other despite the legality of trading these types of financial products. There is some controversy surrounding the law as well, due to the fact that trading binary and forex is legal and regulated in France.

The Netherlands has followed in France’s footsteps, initiating a ban on forex, CFD and binary options advertising, and more are sure to follow. The Netherlands move follows a Q&A session between the finance minister and parliament In his comments he referred to binary options and other high return investment vehicles as “toxic” suggesting a full ban was on the way. However, like in France, the method in which the ban will be effected is in question and has yet to be finalized. The upcoming implementation of MiFID II will bring new regulations and perhaps make it easier to control the industry.

The Future Of Binary Options

Leaprate, in an exclusive story, revealed that the industry is fighting back so don’t worry, we’ll still be able to trade. Leading brokers and platform providers in the forex and binary options industry are forming an industry group to represent and lobby for the sector. Their intention is to represent the legitimate side of trading, free of aggressive marketing tactics, and help institute a shift of deposits from unregulated to regulated brands. Leaprate reported that about 50 brokers and technology providers held a meeting in Cyprus to set an official agenda including how to handle regulated brokers operating unregulated subsidiaries, technology providers selling to and supporting unregulated brokers, call center operations and practices and marketing channels (affiliates and third party advertisers).

The final outcome is yet to be seen but for sure, the landscape for unregulated brokers, aggressive marketers and scam artists is going to get harder and harder to navigate. On one side we have the regulators cracking down hard on all binary options, on the other we have the regulated industry fighting for their rights and the rights of legitimate traders. In between we have a shadow industry of scam artists and con men. I wonder who will win but I have a feeling it won’t be the scam artists and con men. Until then choose your broker wisely, opt for regulated over unregulated, be wary of false-regulation scams and keep having fun trading binary options.

Content Marketing to Engineers is Tough. And Getting Tougher

Every industrial marketer should sit up and take notice of some of the preliminary findings from a recent survey called the Engineering Marketers 2020 Survey conducted by ENGINEERING.COM. As you read through this article, pay close attention to the prediction and the recommendations for achieving success with industrial content marketing to engineers.

This post is a departure from my usual ones. It is a guest post written by John Hayes exclusively for my blog. In case you are not familiar with him (check him out on LinkedIn), he is the CEO of ENGINEERING.COM.

Take it away John!

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Welcome to 2020. Engineering marketers are now well versed in content marketing. In a recent survey, 89% of engineering marketers said that they were using content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

And most of them are having success. In fact, 75% of the marketers who use content marketing say that it is working.

Now for the bad news. I predict that content marketing for industrial marketers is going to get tougher in 2020. In this post, I’ll outline what marketers say they are going to do with content in 2020, why it’s going to get tougher to build your audience, and finally, what you can do about it.

What are Engineering Marketers Planning for Content Marketing in 2020?

When we surveyed engineering marketers about their budgets for this year, they told us that they were planning to spend more on content marketing.

The following chart breaks it down by type of content. The orange columns indicate the percentage of marketers who are planning to spend more on webinars, case studies, blogging and video. These orange columns are at least 4X larger in every case than those columns indicating marketers who are planning to spend less (the blue columns).

Here’s the data in a table format for those of you who prefer to read it that way:

Type of content

Webinars

Marketers Spending More

26%

Marketers Spending Less

So what does that mean for engineering marketers? It means that your colleagues are doubling down on content marketing. By a factor of 9:1, more marketers are planning to increase their spending on blogging, for example, than are planning to decrease their blogging budgets. The same is true, only more so, for video budgets.

These increases are in the same range as engineering marketers committed last year when asked about their plans for 2020. For example, that makes at least two years running that marketers committed to increasing their video budgets by 37%. Two times 37% is a 74% increase in budget (if we don’t count compounding). That’s a big deal. Other line items show similar growth trajectories.

Why are engineering marketers planning to spend more on content?

In a word, content marketing works. When we asked marketers specifically whether content marketing was helping to deliver more qualified leads to their sales teams, 75% of marketers who use content marketing said “yes”.

75% of engineering marketers say that content marketing is helping them deliver more qualified leads to their sales teams.

And here’s a weird thing. There were a bunch of marketers who said No, content marketing was not helping them deliver more leads. Of those marketers who report that it is not working, most of them plan to keep investing the same or more in 2020 anyway, in hopes of making it successful. Here’s the breakdown:

That means there is going to be a staggering volume of content coming from industrial marketers in 2020. Even the ones who are doing it poorly plan to keep on spending money to churn out more and more content. And that content is all targeting the same audience.

In a survey of 1,003 engineers a few months ago we asked whether engineers are open to reading stories that are written by content marketers. More specifically, we asked, “How do you treat engineering stories that are sponsored by vendors?” More than half of all respondents (58%) said that they read the stories with the same level of skepticism that they read all engineering editorial, while 35% said that they read with more skepticism, but they still read it. Only 7% said that they ignore, or don’t read sponsored stories.

This is an excellent reason why engineering marketers are continuing to invest in content marketing – engineers are reading the stories. So why do I predict that content marketing is going to get tougher?

Why Content Marketing is Going to Get Tougher in 2020

I read recently that there are approximately 2M blog posts published every day. 2M! Mind boggled. That statistic is in keeping with the plans for industrial marketers pointed out above. Everyone is in the content game.

Try typing “engineering blog” into Google and see how many results you get. (I got 124,000,000). You can see where I’m heading with this. There is incredible competition for the attention of engineers, and they don’t have time to consume all the content that marketers want them to read.

The chances of Google finding and ranking your blog for any of the keywords that you are targeting is very slim, unless your company already has a huge following and excellent page rank.

A few short years ago, when content marketing was relatively fresh and new, you could write pretty much any old dreck and rank for the keywords you were targeting. And so that is exactly what happened. The Internet was flooded with tons of blog posts that were of pretty poor quality. And so the ante went up. Now to get any traffic at all you have to:

  1. Be a true subject matter expert
  2. Research your subject matter thoroughly to see what new facts or perspectives you can contribute
  3. Share information that isn’t available anywhere else – i.e., your secrets
  4. Promote your content through influencers, social media and paid distribution

But creating better content is expensive, isn’t it? You bet. And that’s a big reason why engineering marketers say that creating engaging content is the single biggest challenge they face in content marketing. Here are the rest of the “biggest” challenges in order, according to the 2020 engineering marketers survey. BTW – I’ll be hosting a webinar to share all the results on Feb 2 nd .

  1. Creating engaging content
  2. Resources for content creation (anyone know an engineer who wants to write?)
  3. Amplifying and distributing content

So what is an engineering marketer to do?

Three things you can do in 2020 to improve your content marketing success:

The Internet is deluged with ways to improve your content marketing success, so I’m going to highlight just three that even some of the savviest industrial marketers won’t know.

  1. Write fewer, but better posts. Check out the size of this post, for example. As those of you who have read my blog for years (OK, both of you) will notice, the posts in the last year have become substantially more substantial. Every post has way more meat in it. That makes it more valuable, and more shareable, which means that it will rank better.If you have a limited budget, and who doesn’t, you will have more success writing four 2,000 word posts than writing 20 posts that are 400 words each.
  2. Reach out to influencers to help you spread the word about your stories. Here’s an example, I’m writing this post on Achinta’s Industrial Marketing Today blog because Achinta, aside from being a very good guy, is a powerful influencer in the world of Industrial Marketing. Yes, it sounds like sucking up, but it’s still good business. [Ed.: Thanks John and right back at you!]For those of you who don’t have an Achinta in your circle, consider paying a publication to write and publish your stories for you. We do a ton of this at ENGINEERING.com and our customers are coming back, so it’s working.
  3. Plan to spend more on content distribution. You can’t count on getting the word out on your own.Engineering marketers told us that paying for amplification and distribution is another big reason why their content marketing budgets are going up in 2020.

So that’s my bit of a rant on content marketing for engineers in 2020. If you found this post useful, please click one of the sharing buttons. If you disagree or agree with any of this, please say so in the comments on the blog or on Linkedin.

It’s not too late to complete the engineering marketers 2020 survey – I would love to have your input. And if you want to see all of the results, please consider joining us for the webinar on Feb 2 nd .

Life of Nigerian marketing agencies getting tougher

T his is not the best time for Nigeria’s marketing agencies. Last two years have really been tough for the industry that generates communication strategies and approaches employed to improve the growth of companies.

The operators tone when a call is put across to them clearly indicates that things are not really rosy as some of them owe salaries, landlords and other bills. Clients are equally putting them in tight corner with debts.

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As INEC releases last Saturday’s election results, many of the agencies’ CEOs are hoping for a better manager of the mono-economy waiting to be diversified.

In the last three years, companies including multinationals that the agencies rely on for businesses have increasingly reduced their marketing communication budgets due to poor economic performance and unfavourable policies by government.

Ehi Braimah, CEO of Neo Media and Marketing agency based in Lagos described 2020 as a difficult year for business owners and entrepreneurs. This difficulty manifested in low spending power of consumers, government regulations which include excise duty affecting clients, stiff competition and the fight for relevance, difficulty in sourcing foreign exchange and reduced FDIs. This may not change in 2020.

Early last year, the agencies had hoped to leverage spin-off businesses that will emanate from both W/Cup hosted in Russia in June and pre-election 2020 campaigns by political parties.

But even after Nigeria exited recession mid last year, Innocent Oboh of Dijo Communication late last year told BusinessDay that recession is still biting as there has not been substantial increase in marketing communication budget.

According to him, this is against anticipations at the beginning of 2020 based on some activities such as World Cup, pre-election and come-back from recession year. Referring to 2020, he said “This is one of the years there was World Cup and there was not much activities and events heralding the tournament”, he said.

Pre-election campaign did not favour the marketing communication agencies as most political parties employed the services of below-the-line firms for printing of materials. The print media was worst hit as the politicians engaged in more street campaigns.

John Ehiguese, the CEO of MediaCraft, said typically, an election year should represent a season of boom for IMC agencies, but “unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case this time around.

He attributed this to poor campaign funding, favourable disposition to foreign agencies by political parties and engagement of mostly unregistered but non communication firms for printing of campaign materials.

“Some of the major political parties seem to be more comfortable contracting the services of foreign communication firms to run their campaigns. This is bad judgement, because there is no way such firms can understand the political terrain, and be able to deliver, like Nigerians would. We do have the expertise and competences here in the country. And even where we do not, several of our agencies have foreign affiliations and partnerships that they can tap into, to bridge the gap. In any case, how can local professionals raise their game, and grow, if you do not give them a chance?” Ehiguese who is the president of Public Relations Consultants Association asked.

Unfortunately, months ahead do not appear to be bright for the agencies as their clients are still hard hit by unfavourable environment. Many of them suspended product promotions and brand campaigns because of the elections.

The agencies believed that if President Muhammadu Buhari eventually wins the presidential election, the economic situation may remain the same. But if Abubakar Atiku, his main opposition takes over power, it may take some time before his policies will begin to impact on the economy.

The tough situation, according analysts really calls for new survival thinking among the agencies. This includes mergers and acquisitions, diversification and creation of new businesses and relocation of offices to better but low rent areas.

As Lanre Adisa of Noah’s Ark put it recently, the industry definitely needs to rethink its business models. “We need to open our minds to unlearning some old things while we embrace new thinking”

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