Online marketing is an ever-changing beast that needs quite a lot of time and effort put into it for businesses to make the best of it. One of the most important ways of staying on top of things is to read up about the subject as much as possible.
There are some brilliant online marketing resources online, however there’s hardly any material that is specific to online marketing in Malta. A few months ago, we decided to change that.
Our first step was to start educating businesses on the island about online marketing (with specific insight into the local market) by blogging useful tips and sending out a regular email newsletter about the subject.
We also realised that, until we learnt more about how the market works, and where it’s going, we could not really predict what’s coming next. And predicting what’s coming next is a cornerstone of what we do.
The step that followed was pretty straightforward
There is no collection of data about how Maltese businesses view online marketing, so we decided to take a longer look at how it is evolving by running a survey with some of the businesses we know, love and respect.
The resulting report, The Online Marketing Landscape in Malta 2014-2015, is a comprehensive overview of the opinions and expectations of Maltese entrepreneurs and marketers on every aspect of local digital marketing.
Some of the answers we came across were not surprising.
Most businesses we surveyed have their own website and Facebook page. The common theme throughout the survey, however, seemed to be Facebook. Whereas the world seems to be moving away from Facebook slowly, the Maltese market is still very much in love with it. It’s the social network of choice for most of the businesses who filled in the survey, and that was not surprising.
What was slightly surprising, however, was that when asked about issues they have online, most Maltese businesses defaulted to answering about Facebook marketing, even though the questions were about digital marketing in general. This implies that, as time goes by, Facebook is becoming synonymous with online marketing locally.
This is somewhat of an issue for local publishers because the vast majority of survey respondents chose to spend their advertising Euros on Facebook. There are, however, two great opportunities for people who want to take their online marketing further.
The first is that there are loads of other social networks you could be on – tap Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or even Snapchat and you’ve got an audience that is still relatively untapped by local advertisers.
The second is for businesses who can make the best of Facebook. Even if you just learn to improve your odds of being seen, you have an inherent advantage over your competitors.
So make 2015 the year of alternative social media. If you can’t, then make it the year you master Facebook marketing
Besides this gem, in the 22-page report you’ll find many other important takeaways.
For example, 87% of local businesses are focused on increasing their social media presence in 2015.
Another is that companies that incorporated digital marketing into their strategy in 2014 are pouring more budget than ever to scale up their efforts in the coming year. Brands that are spending money online are only going to spend more online next year.
But there is trouble in paradise, not all the results portrayed a rosy picture. Tracking results and ROI seems to be one of the biggest problems companies are facing. We found out that even though around 70% of businesses tracked their online marketing efforts in 2014, 93% of them want to do a better job of it this year.
There is far too much information to report in such a short space, however the report also answers questions such as what is the greatest perceived benefit of online marketing for local companies. We also asked about where advertising money was spent in 2014, how companies plan to spend in 2015 and what marketers would like to do better over the coming months.
So download the report and go through it.
Then sit back and take a long hard think about your online marketing strategy over the next few months. Based on the new information you now have access to, planning it out well is the best way to get the most out of your effort and spend.
If you want to learn more about the state of online marketing in Malta, you can download a copy of the full report for free here. If you’re only interested in receiving our newsletter with online marketing tips, you can subscribe to our newsletter by using the form to the right.