Interview with Ryan Vermaak, new Digital Account Manager


Meet Ryan Vermaak, newest team member at AdMarula. Ryan joins us in the role of Digital Account Manager and will be working on new media accounts, as well as with existing clients and their marketing teams to optimize their campaigns and ensure the best execution of their digital strategies. Ryan is a Marketing Graduate from the AAA school of Advertising and recently relocated from Johannesburg to the Western Cape. Describe yourself in 3 words. Driven, honest & passionate. Tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing since you graduated? After graduating from university, I co-founded a small business in Johannesburg (operating within the motor industry) which was specifically field-service driven and mainly serving the industrial sector. I mainly focused on the day-to-day running of the business and took charge of all marketing responsibilities. After countless visits to the Western Cape, my heart had been stolen and so I sold my share in the company and decided to relocate down the beautiful coast. I then joined a leather manufacturing company in Stellenbosch as the Marketing and Sales Manager for a short stint, before being fortunate enough to join the AdMarula team. What do you love most about working in Digital? I love the ever-changing environment which digital presents and the challenges which come along with it, it keeps me on my toes and feeds my desire to continuously keep learning. I feel as though we are only at the tip of the iceberg and there is so much more to come within the digital space. What will your key responsibilities be in your new role? I will be building strong relationships with AdMarula’s media clients to continue growing their paid media accounts across a host of different channels. I will take the time to understand each client’s specific needs and find the best solutions to deliver the best possible results through paid media. With AdMarula’s tried and tested technology I will be able to provide and suggest new ways of achieving success for each client. The most important lesson you’ve learnt in your career so far? Be teachable! Each and every business/industry is different and so I find it important to keep an open mind when listening to what it is a client is aiming to achieve. This will also open you up to learning something new on a daily basis and keep you on a constant learning curve. Where do you believe the Digital industry is heading in South Africa? Being a developing market, I believe that South Africa will soon see an influx of users in the digital space and so the room for growth and development is endless. With a growing middle class and the availability of smartphones becoming easily accessible I also see a boost of new users consuming digital media in the near future. Any advice for aspiring digital marketers? Position yourself within an agency that has a proven track record for success. Here you will learn a lot and hone in on your skills to become a master of the trade. When I’m not working, I’m… Spending time on the beach, walking my two doggies, and the odd picnic with my girlfriend. I enjoy playing around with recipes and having friends over to enjoy a weekend braai while watching the sport of the day.

Biggest digital marketing trends for 2021


The last 12 months have changed the world – perhaps for good. We have had to deal with an unthinkable amount of change in a relatively short space of time, and very few industries have been left untouched. But what trends are we likely to see in Digital Marketing in 2021? So far it seems to be centered around two distinct, yet contradicting principles; becoming more human/personal to the user, while simultaneously becoming more sophisticated technologically, especially when it comes to optimization and campaign management.   Inclusivity Users no longer want to see  want to see the same homogeneous content we’re accustomed to from previous decades. In 2021, digital marketing includes media and subject matters that cover a variety of races, sexualities, religions, etc., as well as representation for people with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. This includes the content for your imagery and videos, but also the topics you discuss in social media and blogs, or even the line of products you offer. Featured snippets & no-click searches For many, many years, the goal of SEO has been to get your listing in the “position number one” spot of search results. Now, going into 2021, the end-goal is continuing to shift to more SEO visibility in “position zero.” Position zero refers to Google’s “featured snippet”, and 2021 SEO marketing trends are prioritizing it above all else. The featured snippet works differently than other search results entries—for one thing, it’s separated by a small box and located at the top. More importantly, it also displays extra, relevant information with the attempt at answering the user’s question without them needed to click on it, prompting the nickname “no-click search.” Sustainability: loud and proud Just like the digital marketing trend of inclusivity, people in 2021 are similarly passionate about environmentalism. They want to make sure the brands receiving their money are just as concerned for planet earth as they are. With 81% of consumers strongly feeling companies should help improve the environment, what we’re seeing is a popularity boost for sustainable and eco-friendly brands, especially for younger consumers. This goes well-beyond the market for green products—every brand can benefit by broadcasting their sustainable practices. Ad-blocker blockers The digital marketing trends of 2021 aren’t all about positivity and progress—it’s also about overcoming obstacles like ad blockers. With 27% of internet users expected to use ad blockers in 2021, many marketers are having their primary stream of traffic automatically cut off at the source, including PPC campaigns. If your ads do fall victim to ad blockers, your best strategy is to adapt—don’t waste time trying to convince potential customers to change their own preferences. Readjust your advertising budget to suit other, more fruitful campaigns, like influencer marketing or sponsored content. Younger audiences don’t respond well to display ads anyway, but they do respond well to influencer marketing, so making the switch is advisable in any situation. Interactive content Here’s a trend that’s technically been around for awhile, but it’s just now being recognized as a best practice. Interactive content doesn’t just promote more engagement, it also improves the user’s enjoyment. Interactive content like quizzes, open-ended questions, surveys, contests, giveaways, polls, calculator widgets, etc., can do wonders for your brand. At the very least, they increase the length of time users engage with you, which helps your standing in algorithm-based searches and feeds. Local SEO Google frequently updates their local SEO algorithm, so if you’re a local business, you should continuously update your business’ appearance in local results too. In a way, local SEO is even more powerful than broad SEO—people searching for a specific type of business with their geographic location have more intent to purchase, so it’s easier to convert them. For starters, you have to get verified by Google. You can do this by signing up for Google My Business and either claiming your listing or creating a new one. This helps you rank higher in Google SERPS, and also gives you the chance to offer additional information about your company to online searchers. Don’t forget we’re here to help so shout if you need anything! The Publisher Management Team