Who doesn’t love a good story? We, humans are inherent suckers for good stories. They make us feel happy, sad, motivated, joyous, angry and the way they touch us and impact our thoughts, nothing else can. There is a reason why we spend hours binge-watching series, or why we watch movies or bury ourselves in books. All of these mediums have one thing in common – stories! It’s all around us.
Storytelling is a very powerful communication tool and is probably the best way to build a brand. Brands that have made a mark and who stand apart today have been successful in telling their stories in the most unique manner. There is also an art to storytelling and when done right it can help you get exceptionally good results!
We are all aware of the classic ways of storytelling through words and images. Today, however, the trend has shifted towards videos. This holds true especially when applied to digital marketing. Videos are more powerful than simple imagery and are super illustrative; they are also easily memorable and allow creating a stronger bond between the brand and the audience.
1. Opt for short videos to convey your message – Short videos go well with our hectic lives and concise attention spans. Also 70% of the smartphone users are consuming content via their mobile devices while they’re on the go, thus, the crisper & briefer the content, the better it is. Youtube is not the only video-embracing platform available online. There is no dearth of video-centric platforms and 90% of these platforms are famous for hosting short-form videos. Instagram, Vine and many other channels today host videos including Facebook & Twitter. The world’s first Instagram trailer was released back in 2013 for the movie Jobs which was a 15 second packed video with dramatic music, slow-motion shots of Ashton Kutcher reciting inspiring dialogs about eccentric, misfit rebels. It’s almost like the first full theatrical trailer for the movie, except shorter.
Creating short-form videos is all about how creative you can get in less than a minute. These videos are streamed to viewers on a range of platforms that increases the reach exponentially. They are also far more successful and have wider reach because they are “snackable” in nature and easier to consume and producing them costs far lesser than creating a long video.
2. Smartphones are the best chattels–It’s not necessary to film a video with the help of high-end equipment & lights. Your best asset is in your pocket – your smartphone. As a brand, it might come across as a ridiculous idea but it actually is a very cost-effective & quick way of creating videos. It is not necessary to get engulfed in creating huge budget videos. You can convey your story through an excellent video shot on your smartphone or tablet (of course with a good quality camera)
3. Your script is paramount –The script plays a huge role in the video as well. The content should be clear and precise with no ambiguity. The video holds no power if the visuals are perfect and the content is lacking. Both are of great importance. Thus, make sure you get your script right first. If you choose to outsource the production of a video inclusive of the conceptualization, it will cost you a substantial amount of money. However, if you decide to prepare the script beforehand then it might save you time & money. There are also affordable marketplaces from where you can subcontract video productions and these come at a remarkably low cost.
4. Affordable online marketplaces – The internet is a great place to find the solution for your woes, and this case is no different. There are some really affordable marketplaces like Fiverr.com that has professionals from all over the world who can help create the video of your choice at really affordable prices starting from 5$. All you have to do is describe how you want your video to be and they’ll get it done for you within a matter of 24-48 hours. The system is commendable and you get what you seek for at really good rates.
5. DIY Videos – However, if you do not wish you outsource your videos then there is also an option to create your own videos with readily available online tools. Even beginners can create videos like a pro! Example of such websites include Videoscribe, Animoto, Sparkol. With Videoscribe and Sparkol you can create amazing whiteboard style animation videos. Animoto is inclined towards servicing users who are looking for a really simple way to create a video. All you need to do is select images and upload them with soundtracks provided by the tool.
With these tips, you can surely make the right impression with your videos. To make an amazing video all you need is an idea, a good script and the right tools. Gone are the days where we had to buy expensive video equipment! With the development of technology, you can create the perfect video for your brand at an affordable rate!
Those four words, when combined, either embraces nostalgia or a magical moment about to be told… a story!
Story telling has been prevalent since the days of cave writings. However, as mankind progressed, new technologies emanated; and with superhighways of online interactions, brands are constantly swimming against a ferocious tide of customer attention. In a world where information is prevalent, visual design aids to strategize further by informing, engaging and delighting the audiences.
Good content & narrative makes a story alluring but a story viscerally explained and duly designed with the right tone, signals & aesthetics amplifies the content, etching an ordinary experience into an extraordinary experience. That’s the power of visual storytelling!
Having said that, how do we strategize design in our brand’s narrative?
According to a study by Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. A logically thought out visual design strategy with the right elements of photos, graphics, colors, type and videos swiftly connect the customers with the brand’s key values, garnering engagement to its true potential. However, a logical balance must be maintained in design as undue over telling the story may boomerang affecting the brand itself otherwise.
Here are some tips to help you jump-start your visual storytelling strategy.
The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. The magic is truly in the innovative use of images that reflect authenticity, cultural relevancy and real time human experiences; nurturing cascading effects amidst viewers by fermenting emotions and engagement to the story.
Most of the real estate and travel brands, for example, use visuals & images to their advantage, by taking their customers on a perspective tour of their products, amenities and the surrounding facilities. See how we leveraged the power of photography to take the consumer through a visual journey around the globe.
Akbar Travels #PictureYourself campaign
Use Infographics effectively
Infographics are a great way to compile information and present it in a visually and digestible format to tell a story about your brand’s journey. Infographics with compelling visuals and factual information ensues the content goes viral, enables analytical tracking and magnifies you as an expert.
Colors have the power to pitch different moods and brand values, as well as increase brand recognition by up to 80%. When used effectively, your brand’s color palette can evoke emotions nurturing your story. Are you a fun brand that wants to inspire creativity and youth? Then you may want to consider vibrant and fun colors. However, if you are a serious brand built on trust, you may want to use trustworthy colors. Playing with the same color over and again across all channels steamrolls to build a better brand connect.
Choose your colors in order of importance, primary color, the one which you want to be the primary voice of your brand, to the secondary palette (the ones you will use the least).
Choose colors that are functional and ensure good contrasting tones.
Use images that harmonize with your color palette.
For example, notice how google uses the primary color palette (red, blue, yellow and green) across all its imagery to reflect its playful and innovative culture.
Determine your Brand’s fonts
Further, the choice of fonts you choose also affects the way audiences perceive your brand & its personality. Consider using 2-3 fonts consistently in all channels; one for the title that should be expressive of the brand’s persona along with another easy-to-read font for the subtitle and the body copy.
Olympia #PursuitofLuxury series
In the #PursuitofLuxury series we did for a luxury real estate brand, Olympia, notice how we paired a sans serif font for the body copy with a script font for the title to add to the premium feel of the brand.
Elevate with the right filters and effects
Enhancing images with tints, vibrancy, saturation, hues or blurring will set the mood for the story giving it a unique look/feel that can reinforce the brand’s culture. Most importantly the filters must have the same synchrony to other elements as per your style guide.
Take a look at how we used the vintage time lapse effect to illustrate how luxury transcends time.
Olympia’s #LuxuryTranscendsTime series
Keep the Brand layout consistent
Ensure the position, size of logo, tagline and other brand visuals remain consistent. While using them over images, ensure that it can offset against its background.
Templatize to get recognized
Creating templates for campaigns will efficiently brand a story. Notice how weekly recipes posts on social media for On1y, a gourmet herbs and spices brand has the similar format which includes the brand colors, fonts, title, images and name. Such consistent elements ties each post together rousing the campaign’s cognizance.
Personalize your strategy
Embrace the special features, capabilities and audience demographics of videos, vine videos, gifs and memes to foster different types of engagement.
The vine video by Dunkin Donuts, where coffee and lattes represent football players is a fine example of how vine videos can be used to garner virality.
Give it a human touch
Adding a name and face in the form of characters or mascots to your brand story adds life to the narrative ensuring authenticity. A simple cartoon, illustration, hand sketches or animated short films can highlight the storyline while also sharing information about your brand.
In an innovative way to communicate the company’s heritage, Murugappa Group compiled a series of live sketched #SayingItSimply videos; followed by a social strategy designed to foster engagement.
Spice up your Brand’s online presence
The timeline cover photo provides for a good amount of real estate to capture due attention from social media followers like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. The online social space provides for a good amount of real estate to visually pitch your brand story.
The power of design in storytelling is no fairy tale. The race to get customer attention is on, and your brand’s visual voice is what will get your brand noticed. So put a strong visual story for your brand, if you want your business to have a happy ending.
Highlights from the Social Beat Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016:
Brand Awareness & Lead Generation are the primary goals for most brands
Measuring ROI from digital marketing is the biggest challenged faced
87% brands leverage digital & 38% of them allocate 1/3rd budget to digital marketing
Facebook & Google are still the most popular digital marketing channels
Bangalore, 18th Jul 2016: The Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016 was released by Social Beat, one of South India’s leading digital marketing agencies. The report is based on a survey conducted in May-June 2016. A total of 376 CMOs and Marketing Heads across India participated in the survey. The companies that participated in the study were from various sectors and verticals including e-Commerce, FMCG, Media/Entertainment, Healthcare, Education, Real Estate, and Travel.
Speaking on the report, Social Beat Co-Founder Vikas Chawla said “The report highlights the rise of digital marketing, though brands continue to use television and print mediums to have a 360-degree approach. It was encouraging to see that 87% of the brands surveyed leverage digital marketing. While brand awareness and lead generation/sales seem to be the primary goals set by the CMOs, digital marketing is increasingly being leveraged for Customer Engagement (46%) and customer service (35%) too.”
Speaking about the survey, Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat, said “Around 10% brands surveyed spend more than Rs. 1 crore annually on digital marketing while around 50% brands spend more than Rs. 6 Lakhs annually. Overall, 20% brands plan to increase their digital marketing spends by 25% in the next financial year. This is important in the context of growing internet and digital penetration in India – brands understand that digital is the way forward. With an expected 500 million internet users in India by 2017, brands understand the massive opportunity to reach out to their consumers.”
David Appasamy, who has recently joined Social Beat as Head of Brand & Strategy, added “The survey reflects the growing acceptance of digital platforms as an excellent means of engaging meaningfully with consumers, generating leads and increasing sales. It was particularly interesting to see that the digital marketing channels are already contributing to more than 30% sales for at least 40% of the brands surveyed.”
Tracking Return on Investment (ROI) is the biggest challenge being faced by brands, closely followed by content creation, quality lead generation and attracting talent. Currently, CMOs are using Sales / Leads, Engagement, Brand Reach and Mentions as the metrics to track the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Vikas added, “Most of CMOs that took the survey felt that they there is a lot of scope for improvement in quality lead generation, result tracking and creative campaigns. This presents a massive opportunity to digital marketers to fill the gap and help leverage the digital medium more effectively for brands”.
Much has already been said and written about managing brands: creating awareness and loyalty, refreshing them, launching brand extensions successfully and increasing revenues from a brand’s franchise year after year. Companies like P&G and Unilever honed this to a fine art and became sought after employers by eager MBAs raring to manage brands.
This was when the television commercial and its production was the high point of months of research, mapping, positioning and creative options. Print and outdoor media supported the core TV effort, while promotions drove increase in sales through value offers to encourage brand switch and sampling by new users. It was always about using mass media to build brand image, and influence the audience to buy a brand based on promised benefits and lifestyle cues.
The disruption of the Internet
With the advent of the Internet and digital content, many things changed fundamentally. The Internet was mass media, but in a very different way: instead of being a ‘one-to-many’ communication (broadcast) that was information push, the Internet offered the chance of engaging (conversations) with many in an interactive manner. For it is a ‘many-to-many’ medium, with users generating content as they engage with each other.
The nature of the medium itself changed how brands reach out to audiences:
From brand message to rewarding the viewer
Digital marketing is, in a sense, permission marketing. How would you like it if a brand manager came in and put up a poster on your living room wall? Yet, when we advertise on Facebook, that is what we are doing in a sense! Their ‘walls’ belong to the users, not Facebook, not you. So if you’re going to be there, then you better reward them in some way: with a great story, with humour, with new information, with emotion or a new idea – commonly known as content marketing. It not only has to be worth their while to view, it must earn that place on their wall. And if it does, they will, in turn, share it on their friends’ walls like it was their own.
In the nineties, as the Internet spread and broadband began to proliferate, BMW was doing a big push into the US market which was then dominated by Mercedes. But BMW did not have the financial strength and budgets that Mercedes had on conventional media. The spread of broadband was an opportunity that BMW capitalized on with the famous BMW films. Only, instead of commercials on mass media, they produced short films by well-known directors starring Clive Owen and other stars based on the storyline. Central to each film and a star in its own right was, of course, a BMW: BMW Star and BMW Ticker.
In all, some ten films were produced over a three-year period and went viral quickly. The viewers it was aimed at, a younger, highly successful, independent thinking audience as compared to the older Benz traditionalists, owned the films and shared them widely with their peers. The result was electric, with BMW’s sales in the US surging without having to spend on mass media.
From mass messaging to personal engagement
In the days of conventional marketing, it was all about the message. Consumer research threw up problem statements and provided insights, based on which, brands were tweaked. Then came the all important messaging based on the problem that was being addressed. At all times, the communication was from the brand to its audience; one to many; a one way communication. Creativity played an important role as audiences were being bombarded with thousands of messages a day, from when they awoke to when they went to sleep. The power of an idea is what got the brand past the filter of the mind through relevance and originality-enough to get their attention. Still, it was one more message that they absorbed, with the outcome still in doubt!
With the Internet, everything changed. Ideas are still important, as is creativity, to reward the audience for viewing the message and provoking them to engage with the brand. This starts a conversation, and the beginning of building a relationship with the audience that relates to the brand based on the idea. The idea must reward the reader or viewer in some way: either through humour, or by giving them information of value they were unaware of, or by simply capturing their imagination in a sociable way.
Large media houses do not own the Internet, its users do. They not only ‘own’ it, they initiate its use according to their convenience. Their use of the Internet, depending on time of day and context, can be to consume the news, network with friends, send emails, work or entertain themselves. A single medium serves to satisfy all their needs depending on time or context. A good marketer knows what kind of message to reach to them, when and in what context, always keeping in mind that the message must earn its place on their walls with relevance and reward them. Done well, it will gain their ‘ownership’, so they share it with their friends.
It was a full house at the Social Media Week, Bangalore this year! A great line up of speakers and interesting mix of panel discussions kept us all hooked to our seats. The event was organized over two days and witnessed some great industry experts share their knowledge and experiences with the crowd. Be it two 18-year-old drop outs building a child-caring app – ‘MyChild’ which is now used in more than 135 countries or a ladysingle-handedlyy fighting against one age-old social stigma – Menstruation by using comic books and social media – It was everything a Social Media Week should be.
The event started on a high note with India’s Ad Guru, Prahlad Kakar’s session on Brand Building Through Story Telling. He took us through a journey we would never forget. Sharing stories from his personal life and experiences captivated the audience. A maestro at storytelling, he gave away some important tips on how to build a brand by telling its story in a manner that makes the brand a hero!
Following Kakar’s session, we had Arnav Ghosh from Blippar India talk about Visual Marketing and Changing Consumer Context. The session addressed the scope of Visual Search and how we’re moving towards a future where Physical reality and augmented reality will blend into one. He was highly lauded for his talk and presentation of Blippar, an app that turns everyday objects into consumer-centric interactions. We will be writing a blog post later this month on how Visual & Voice search are going to change digital marketing forever.
Speaking of Visual and Voice, how can one not mention one of the most interesting sessions on cricket by cricket journalists Prem Panicker, Gaurav Kalra and Bengaluru-based popular Twitter personality Ramesh Srivats. Cricket has not only changed as a game but also how people look at it now and what they have to say about every little aspect. Apart from taking part in debates and writing out blogs, Twitter has become the new medium to express or oppose one’s opinion. Though Twitter is infamous for its social media ‘Wars’, it has also given an option for fans to follow the game through live-tweeting. Ramesh agrees saying, “Discussions on cricket are like everything else on Twitter; part stupid and trolling, part insightful and intelligent.”
There were a couple of more interesting talks on People Intelligence and Monetizing Digital Content by Amartpreet Kaur and Mahesh Narayanan, Saavn respectively. There was a very interesting panel discussion with Ganga Ganapathi, VP, Ogilvy as the moderator and Anshul Chaturvedi, G.M, Wohoo and Anjali Gupta, IBM as panel members discussing on ROE (Return on Engagement). They talked about how digital has become an integral part of marketing strategies for brands and what engagement means to the brands. The three of them shared their views and thoughts on how to measure engagement and the effectiveness of campaigns online. Many a times engagement is a great short term goal before arriving at return on investment (which for many brands is leads, sales, revenue and referrals).
The evening continued on an exciting pitch and witnessed digital expert Kiruba Shankar shared his knowledge on the future of communication and how podcasts play an important role in it. The session was interactive and had a lot of guests sharing their thoughts and ideas. Kiruba himself has multiple podcasts which can be seen here.
Day one of the Social media week ended on an exciting note and anticipation for the second day was higher. Sandy Carter from IBM shared her views on Social Intelligence and how important it is for a marketer to identify negative and positive sentiments. She is responsible for IBM’s worldwide focus on startups and having her kickoff day 2 at the event was an absolute delight. She spoke at length at about how even startups are starting to leverage big data and actionable people intelligence to connect with consumers around the world. She gave an example of Chocolate Jhony who has been able to leverage SnapChat and other social media channels to expand to multiple geographies.
Following Sandy Carter’s sessions were various more interesting sessions on Influencer Marketing, Snapchat and on breaking a taboo through social media. A gripping debate on “The ugly face of influencer marketing” amongst some of the industry experts like Kiruba Shankar, NanditaIyer, Karthik Srinivasan and G.Nivedithwas probably one of the best sessions of the day. There was a lot of discussion on whether influencers should sell their soul by reviewing and writing about topics that they don’t personally use. For example, should a technology blogger partner with a beer brand or a fashion brand. Challenges faced by influencers were also covered and many of these are similar to the Influencer Industry Report we had launched earlier this year.
There was also a stand-up comedy by Satish Perumal whose rib-ticklers cracked up every single soul in the room! His joke of the day had to be – In a city where people are dying because of potholes, the only person who can use a helipad has left the country!
A jolly-good week with people from all walks of life coming together to tell their story on how social media – a medium – is more than just Sharing, Liking or Commenting, was what SMW’16 was all about. While leaving the event with the same enthusiasm was one thing, learning to ‘Tell A Story To Sell Your Brand’ was another insight that we take back to our working desks.
For those who could not make it to the event, here are some key bytes from the sessions from both the days –
“Storytelling is the heart of every communication” – Mr. PrahladKakar
“Visual Marketing is the bridge between the physical and digital worlds” – Arnav Ghosh, Blippar
“Content is always paid for, either the brand pays for it or the users pay directly to consume the content” – Mahesh Narayanan, Saavn
“A brand is the strongest when it is clear about what it has to offer to its customers” – Ganga Ganapathi, VP, Ogilvy
“As the industry matures, most Influencers will have disclosures and be more true to their identity” – Kiruba Shankar
Social media gives you a new kind of surround sound from cricket matches. – PremPanicker
“Social intelligence moves the needle of your social media presence to social business”. – Sandy Carter, IBM
“Occasional trending does not build long-term emotional connect with consumers” – Alokedeep Singh, Titan
For those who attended the event, do share your experiences and highlights in the comments below!
Top issues faced by Influencers 1. Don’t value effort 2. Brief is not clear 3. Payment delay 4. Umpteen campaign changes #SMWiBLR
India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore boasts of over 1700 startups and is considered as the world’s second fastest growing startup ecosystem. The city has some of the most successful and funded startups such as Flipkart and Urban Ladder. So what makes these startups so successful?
Great Product + Great Marketing = Successful Startup
Startups are leveraging digital marketing effectively and marketing themselves on a shoe-string budget to drive brand awareness and sales. Here is a look at some of the innovative social media campaigns by funded startups in Bangalore.
Funding so far: $3.2 billion in 12 rounds from 16 investors
Flipkart is one of India’s largest ecommerce portals to buy a wide range of products including electronics, books, clothing and accessories.
Flipkart, known for its innovative social media campaigns, came up with a campaign to create a buzz around the revamped mobile application and increase new users. They came up with a hashtag #DoThumbThing. The idea of this campaign was – people use their thumb to do almost all their activities on their phone, so now use the power of your thumb to shop for anything on your app.
As part of the campaign, the brand did the following things:
Thumb main hain Dum! #DoThumbThing
Shop on the Flipkart Mobile App & get a voucher worth Rs. 150 from Book My Show! #DoThumbThing
Convenient shopping now at your fingertips. #DoThumbThing with the Flipkart Mobile App!
Tweet how your thumb has changed the world & win a power bank! #DoThumbThing
Dress up your thumb and win #DoThumbThing contest on @instagram
The campaign worked so well that the app on the Play store got a rating of over 4.3 with installs in the range of 10 Million to 50 Million.
Funding so far: 8 million in series A and B funding
Zivame.com is a leading website to buy lingerie with over 2000 lingerie styles to choose from. Zivame.com last year ran a #SalesmanWaliBracampaign for all the victims of bra shopping tragedy where women have been forced to buy lingerie from sales men who are not competent. Zivame.com – the lingerie expert asked their women followers on social media to share their various horror and awkward stories.
The quirky visuals, gifs and campaign hashtag coined by Zivame created a buzz on all platforms and created a good brand recall for Zivame.
Urban Ladder is an online furniture and home décor company with presence in 12 cities across India.
Late last year, the brand created a stir on social media by creating a short film “The Homecoming” to celebrate the essence of family. This short but impactful film was created with a core objective of creating brand awareness among its target audience. The film showcases a couple taking a decision to move into their son’s home.
The beauty of this film is that it is a simple concept that strikes a chord with the common man and has a fundamental message that beautiful homes are not just made from fancy furniture but emotions and thoughts play an important role. The video garnered ~900K views on YouTube and has been shared on social media platforms widely.
Ola is one of India’s most popular cab booking app. It is the also the largest platform with 40,000+ cars across 22 cities and growing!
Ola has come up with many innovative campaigns and one of the most popular campaigns they did was the #ChaloNiklo campaign. The brand leveraged Twitter & Facebook by posting engaging photo ads and video ads featuring content of its #ChaloNiklo campaign. The Twitter Contest helped them create a buzz around the hashtag. Ola also directed people to its website with link ads in the News Feed and right column, and ran mobile app ads to drive people directly to its mobile app.
Another interesting campaign that the brand ran was the #TypesOfFans social media campaign during IPL season 5. The campaign offered a drivers’ view of the different types of cricket fans that they get to travel with during IPL season 5. They made a video dedicating it to crazy cricket fans and the amusing behavior that they display. They also conducted a contest on Twitter, where the brand was able to get entries from cricket fans and engage with them.
Styletag.com is an online curated fashion and lifestyle startup.
Fashion brand Styetag launched a powerful campaign titled “Face of Courage” and the firm hired acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal to model its ‘Viva n Diva’ collection. Apart from this, the brand also announced that they would donate 30% of its revenue from this initiative to Agarwal and the Chhanv Foundation, which supports acid attack survivors.
“This initiative directly associates us with issues of importance,” said founder Sanjay Shroff, “thereby making us more recognizable to our clientele, the women of India.” The campaign did well on social media and the brand got recognition with a lot of stories, both online and offline.
Chumbak sells designer t-shirts, tins, coffee mugs and other quirky Indian products. Chumbak launched #bobbymissing campaign to promote the opening of their New Delhi store to create a buzz and engage with their customers and fans on social media. They used a character from their popular Bobble Heads collection and constantly updated their pages with candid images announcing the spotting of the missing Bobble Head Bobby in various big events and cities, which got them good traction on social media. The campaign ended with Bobby finally making an appearance thus introducing their Delhi store.
Think we have missed out something? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Events and Conferences are a great time to Network, Showcase your Product/Service and Learning from the best in your industry. But, choosing the best marketing events to attend can be a difficult task. Hence, we bring out our compilation of the top marketing events in Bangalore.
1. Click Asia Summit
Click Asia Summit is Asia’s largest digital marketing Summit which focusses on the digital transformation of business. This Summit follows a hybrid model that presents the speaker sessions and panel discussion together and help dive deeper into the topic of discussion. Click Asia Summit happens for 2 days in the month of April and speaker sessions usually run for an hour, which allows up to three speakers to deliver a twenty-minute talk in TED-style, followed by an open discussion with the audience. Time = money = learning is the motto of this event. They have 50+ global organisation partners, 60+ speakers, 400+global delegates, 50+ media partners across 20+ countries under their umbrella which offers a great deal of opportunity to network with top CXOs, leading marketers in the industry, agency heads, brand managers and almost everyone who are passionate about digital marketing.
Few highlights of Click Asia Summit 2016:
Ayal Steiner, MD of OutBrain for Asia Pacific gave an insight into how content marketing gives a complete picture of your brand storyline
Aryan Bonnici, MD of Hubspot discussed on the content marketing trends of 2016.
Robert Scoble’s digital food for thought on Entrepreneur in residence.
2. The Smart CEO Startup 50 Conference & Awards
It is one of a kind, clutter-free conference that focuses on gathering high-end entrepreneurship knowledge from investors and entrepreneurs from various sectors. This flagship event by The SmartCEO Magazine aims to impact the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem through thought -provoking discussions and knowledge-sharing sessions. Followed by this, is the Smart CEO Startup50 Awards that aims to reward, recognize and honor startup entrepreneurs who’ve built wonderful businesses in a short span of time.
Few highlights of The SmartCEO Startup50 Conference and Awards-
1. Keynote Talk by Krishnan Raman, Founder & CEO, Flutura Decision Science about the importance of #First100Days
2. Investor Panel titled “VCs are from Venus, Entrepreneurs are from Mars”, spearheaded by Kae Capital’s Shubhankar Bhattacharya
3. 20-minute TED-Style talk by various successful entrepreneurs
4. Gala Awards Night to recognize and honor India’s Top 50 Startups from various sectors
5. Interactive session with leading entrepreneurs like Ashok Soota of Happiest Minds and K. Ganesh of Portea Medical & Growth Story
This year, the event is happening on 21st October at the Taj West End, Bengaluru. To register for the event, visit http://goo.gl/MjDrT4 now!
3. Surge Conference
Surge Conference is one of the largest marketing conferences in Bangalore which happens usually in February every year. Over 5000+ attendees from 72 countries made their way to attend this conference this year. The conference incorporates some of the best marketing minds from top companies in the world and also celebrities from Bollywood to add more spice to the conference. Hence, not only you will have an exposure to all the marketing trends but you can have fun networking with your favourites in town as well.
Few highlights of Surge Conference 2016 were:
Twitter’s GM of Developer Platform, Rich Paret, dazzled the stage and talked about the role of Twitter in the mobile revolution.
Founder of the OnePlus, Pete Lau took through the vision of One plus, the brand being a silent killer and what we can expect next from the company.
Free tickets were offered to female entrepreneurs to attend this conference with a motive to increase participation from women.
3. Brand Owners Summit (AFAQ)
Every brand manager is the owner of their brand. They are the real brand ambassadors. The Brand Owners Summit gives unique opportunities for all the brand managers in the country to interact and share thoughts on brand building strategies. It is a 2 day Summit which happens in the month of March in Bangalore and the occasion is graceful by the presence of top branding strategists across the country. The Bangalore Brand Summit brings together Bangalore’s top brand owners and senior executives to discuss trends, debate ideas and share their knowledge. The event concludes with awards recognizing the hottest brands. If you are a branding freak, then this is the right place to know anything and everything on branding techniques. This summit focusses on complete learning experience from various brand gurus who are successful in shaping their brands, values and ideas.
Few highlights of Brand Owner’s Summit 2014 Bangalore:
Krishna Kumar Natarajan, MD and CEO of Mind tree explained how branding will directly have tangible effects on sales
Madan Padakki founder of Head Held high played videos on brand building which left the audience awestruck
Amuleek Singh of Chai point made a deep dive into mobile marketing
4. Great Indian IT marketing Summit
Information technology cannot be marketed in a conventional manner. Digital channels like LinkedIn and Facebook are found to work well for IT marketing. It requires a lot of understanding and must be delivered in a simple yet effective manner to the target customers. This Summit is focussed on IT specific marketing fraternity and helps marketing leaders in IT industry to share their ideas on technology-driven marketing. This Summit takes place in the month of February in Bangalore. This Summit also takes pleasure in awarding top performers in the field of IT marketing who are popularly called as Chief marketing technologists.
5. Social Media Week
Events like Social Media Week not only give an opportunity to meet people offline, who you have otherwise interacted on various online media, but also a chance to learn from others who are in this space. Just like a TED event it has multiple community organisers across the globe and provides an opportunity to organise an independent event during one of the editions of SMW conference. It is very easy to organise because of the standardised structure regardless of the location of the city.
SMW Bangalore opened its chapter in the year 2014. The Social Media Week will be happening in Bangalore from June 6 -10, 2016 which has a lot of buzz and popularity compared to the previous SMW with the progress of digital marketing in India. It is a worldwide conference that shares the best ideas from best minds on how social media is playing a key role in changing the business, society, culture around the globe. For the world active in social media platforms and conventional marketing seeing a dilution in terms of reach and ROI, this summit will give you insights on social media marketing and the various platforms which are gaining popularity.
6. NASSCOM Product Conclave
This conclave regularly remains the talk of the town in the month of October every year. For product marketers, new product developers and product innovation seekers this conclave is the right platform to view some of the best product exhibits which can turn your way of thinking and helps in designing future products. For the budding entrepreneurs, you will realise the potentials of your idea and ground realities in the market. Events such as leap-frogging and speed-dating with investors will help you overcome the start-up shyness and fear of presenting your B plan to unknowns.
Nasscom product conclave Bangalore 2015 conducted 5 major events namely:
Summit which included summits on design, IoT, growth hacks, cyber security.
Moonshot is an interesting hacking event where you have to find a strong solution to one of the biggest global problem.
Conclave which included Mainstage talks, Workshops, Panels, Roundtable, Huddles
Product showcases which included the showcase of 100+ innovative products
Maker Faire which was an exhibit of innovation, creativity and resourcefulness from across India
Connects which was a networking activity which included investor speed dating where you have to speed dates an investor, wow them and woo them in a short span of time
7. Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC)
Global Mobile Internet Conference made a debut to India in the year 2014 and was held in Bangalore in September 2015. With over 2700 attendees, 43 exhibitors, and 150 media representatives, GMIC has become India’s largest internet conference ever. The motive of this conference is to bring in innovation in the field of mobile internet to bridge industries and geographies and saw the participation of all leading companies in the space of mobile internet. It is a globally recognized conference where you get good opportunity to network with some of the top guys in the mobile internet space.
Few highlights of GMIC 2015:
The GMIC 2015 had four stage of events namely
Innovator stage – GMIC main arena for speakers
Developer stage which featured new developing platforms and kits with focus on mobile tech developers
IoT track – Talks about connections which are turning the lifestyle into entirely new dimension
G-Startup – Platform for start-ups to enter into competition
Do feel free to comment below or reach out to us in case you feel any other event in Bangalore deserves to be a part of this list.
Have you written a blog post or a great story but have no idea where to look for pictures to accompany the same? Or are you looking for some high quality images for your design project? Well, worry not! We have put together a list of best websites for buying royalty free images in India.
Owned by Mash Audio Visuals Private Limited, Images Bazaar provides creative professional images under different categories. Founded by Sandeep Maheshwari, Images Bazaar has the world’s largest collection of Indian images, with over 10 lakh photographs, videos, illustrations and 3D imagery shot by over 10,400 photographers.
Bangalore based Photoconcierge is a collaborative digital marketplace for photographs, illustrations and videos. The company provides a stock repository of photos, vectors and videos to marketers and individuals. With a wide range of photographs and network, the company is a perfect resource-pool to help you find photographs that match your every need.
Photosindia.com is a premier stock image agency that combines the entire processes of stock photography to bring you high quality and wide variety of pictures. With a team of highly enthusiastic and creative visualizers, photographers, software professionals, photosindia is a one stop solution for all your image requirements.
Thinkstock offers user generated premium royalty-free images, vectors and illustrations selected from Getty Images, iStock and other worldwide image partners. The unique thing about Thinkstock images is that you can download and use any image at any file size without affecting your price. It is also the only subscription that offers images from over 40 collections.
Shutterstock is the largest and most exciting platform for creative professionals to license content – including images, videos and music – as well as innovative tools that power the creative process. Founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer, they have millions of royalty free tock photos, illustrations, and vectors for all your needs.
Imagedb has a collection of high quality, diverse range of over 80,000 Indian stock images. Apart from this, Imagedb also has footage and other services including image key wording, retouching, masking or clipping path, Image filterization etc. The company also arranges for commercial shoots for clients, depending on their needs.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net offers pictures and illustrations for free of charge, for business, personal, charitable or educational use. The pictures that are available for free are small in size however, the website also lets you download larger size images but it comes with a cost. Once you have chosen the image you want, the portal lets you download them without even registering.
ImagesKart was founded to provide advertising and communication agencies visual content key to researching, purchasing, and downloading of Indian Images. The company has more than 5000 contributors spread across India and aboard.
Unsplash provides free and high-resolution photos that have been submitted, free of any usage restrictions, by established and up and coming photographers. Every 10 days, 10 new images are added to the website. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero so you can copy and modify them at your will.
IndianPhotoStock has a unique mix of stock images and fine art photography by Sanjay Marathe. The website hosts more than 20,000 images of India and USA and has pictures of travel, monuments, people, culture, festivals, infrastructure, agriculture, cities, villages, rural life and many more subjects.
An American stock image company, Getty Images has an archive of over 80 million images and illustration and more than 50,000 hours of stock film footage. They have a large central repository online where you can browse for images and buy the rights. Cost of the images varies from the size and resolution of the image. Apart from this they also offer custom photo services for their corporate clients.
Dreamstime is one of India’s leading stock image companies that provide high quality digital images and illustrations at an affordable price. Currently the website has around 15,000,000 registered members, more than 300,000 contributing photographers and over 44,000,000 photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors.
If you are looking for Indian contemporary stock images, then Stockimagebank is the place to go. The company provides high quality images to agencies such as JWT, O&M, Leo Burnette, Lowe Lintas and clients such as Sony, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G in India & across the globe.
Dinodia has all pictures relating to India including historic pictures from 1980 onwards. They also house, paintings, illustrations, black and white images and contemporary color images. With a total archive of over 50 million images online, Dinodia, paintings, illustrations, black and white images and contemporary color images. They also have over 100 contributors who take pictures for clients in case they don’t have images a particular client is looking for.
Think we have missed out something? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Blogs are no longer just an expression of an individual or a platform to share one’s ideas and thoughts. Blogs have started to be one of the most influential and useful tools in the market space. It’s an excellent way to showcase thought leadership as well as keep consumers updated on what’s happening in the company and with the products/services. It is important to note that, in business blogging, the blogs must be related to the key area of the business and needs to be engaging for the readers. That being said, there are still a lot of businesses that are not very active in the blogging in spite of the inherent benefits of blogging. This blog aims to bring out the importance of business blog!
Increases traffic to your website
A website is a great asset to any company and anything that brings traffic to the site only doubles the asset’s value. The traffic on a website is very crucial, which indeed serves in achieving the objective of the site. One of the main reasons why people don’t return to a brand’s website is because it is idle and inactive. Blogs give the internet users a great reason to visit your site and increase the traffic. According to a HubSpot survey, 60% of the brands who have constant blogging on their websites acquire more customers than the others. Blogs help people or potential customers discover your website amongst million others. This happens when the blogs are informational and also related to what users would like to read from your website. It is also said that blogging shows a professional approach for the brand business. By providing useful information, it attracts people to visit the site even repeatedly. Who wouldn’t like more visitors to their website, anyway?
Increases Search Engine traffic
To appear in SERP #1 is a dream! And to get there, you need to really work hard . There are more than 200 aspects which determine your rank in Google. But, nothing like some good content! Blogs are now a vital part of Search Engine Optimization and can be leveraged upon in two ways. One, include it as just an additional index page to your website which Google then identifies and eventually will garner organic search results. Another way is to include targeted keywords and links which will help in increasing the ranking of the site by getting you noticed more in the search results. This exercise becomes easier with the help of SEO plug-ins. By using an SEO plug-in like Yoast which calculates the density of the appearance of the focus keyword in the blog will check whether the right keyword is used on the blog. Research shows blogging increases inbound links by 97 percent, the most important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Quality content and regular updates are an indication to Google that the website is active with a routine content flow! Explore some of the latest SEO hacks, here.
Customer Acquisition and Lead generation
The ultimate goal for every business, big or small is to generate revenue and blogs help you do that. Regular blogging, as mentioned earlier increases the traffic to your website. Small businesses with blogs are said to generate more leads by 126%. The increase in traffic will result in more people taking note of your business and eventually exploring the rest of your website where all your business services are listed. This is a great way of acquiring customers without bombarding them with self-promotional content. While creating content you should keep in mind that every person who visits your website has the potential to be a customer. When your target audience finds your blog interesting, they may be more interested in your business than they were before and the chances of conversion are higher.
Content creation for social media platforms
Another reason why blogs are important to your business is that they create a huge content value for Social Media Marketing. It is almost mandatory for brands to have an identity on social media and the only differentiation is content. Content defines your brand identity and helps you stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Creating quality content in the form of blogs and sharing them on the social media channels can help get more reach. The number of likes, shares, retweets will testify for your content. Here’s an interesting and informative blog post that was shared on social media for amplification.There are many other ways to amplify your content online. Click here to read about it.
Helps in building the brand
Branding is the core element to develop your business. Every business is striving hard to create a brand for them and to make people see them as THE BRAND and not just any brand. Blogging is a huge opportunity for you to build a brand for your company. It is, after all, the most organic method of getting people to notice your brand online. The key is to create a blog which adds value and is unique in its content approach and style. By creating specific, targeted content, you may focus more specifically on your target audience leading to increasing your exposure among people. Learn how Content Marketing is one best way to give your brand an image!
Establishes authority and expertise
A good blog always answers a question, solves a problem or gives something valuable for a takeaway. When a brand constantly shares blogs that are useful to the customers, it develops an authoritative image in their minds. For example, for a group of angel investors, blog topics like- Tips for entrepreneurs, How to grow as a startup etc. along with other business strategies are going to be of some value to their readers. The ultimate aim is that when a user reads your blog, he/she should finish it with some value-addition. When people find answers or solutions on our blog, they are more likely to become your follower and they start seeing you as a source of information. Here are 10 ways to create better content for your readers.
Increases customer interaction
It is important for any brand to stay connected with their audience. The underlying factor behind the success of any business is the concern to satisfy the end customer and not just run your firm for money. To do so, brands should establish a good rapport with the customers. To improve on the customer interactions front, brands need to establish higher recall. The question is how do blogs help in this aspect? A higher recall can be established for your brand when you provide knowledge to your consumers and this, in turn, improves the relationship your brand has with the customers. It helps build trust which turns into brand loyalty eventually.
In a world where content speaks for itself and does half the job of a brand, blogs are the most crucial thing to look upon as a marketer. When blogging becomes a strategy in your marketing plan, you get a powerful tool to fight against your online competitors. If your company hasn’t started blogging, this piece is an indicator that it should!
Was this blog useful? Share your thoughts on other reasons you started blogging!
86% businesses now leverage content marketing in one form or another
70% audience want to learn about products via content instead of direct advertisement
More than 67% clients ask their content marketing agencies about native advertising
Outbound and Interruption Marketing is losing its sheen in favor of Content Marketing and Native Advertising. Though they seem similar but there is quite a difference between the two forms of marketing. This article will help you understand the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating valuable and useful non-promotional content by brands. The important part in the first sentence is “valuable and “useful”. Self-serving and promotional content cannot be placed in the content marketing bucket: Value-add is the only secret.
Goals of Content Marketing:
The goals for content marketing can be broadly categorized as follows:
Content Marketing can be done in varied formats but some of the key ones are discussed here.
Videos are one of the most engaging form of content on the web. The consumer web video traffic is expected to reach ~80% by 2019-2020. For a long time, video marketing was considered a game for the big brands. But off late, this trend has been broken with small businesses and startups leveraging the medium to showcase excellent meaningful content. OYO Rooms launched a video on the occasion of Independence Day that garnered more than 3 lakh views in a couple of days. The Madras Song by Murugappa Group was launched as a tribute to the city of Madras on the occasion of Madras Week. The video stole the limelight during the 375th year celebrations of Madras.
Infographics are graphics that showcase long content in a visual and interesting manner. Our brain absorbs and process visuals faster than any other form of content. Hence, infographics as a form of content can be a great way to showcase information and make your blog more engaging.
Slideshares and Case Studies are another fascinating form of content marketing. These are more suggested for B2B businesses. Companies are looking out for specific information and if your case study or a Slide Share can help fit into the gap, you will gain a relevant mindspace among your potential customers.
Relevant and Informative Social Media Content can go a long way to help create an engaged community of potential customers. Innovative and clutter-breaking content can help your brand quickly carve out a niche on social media. Petwish – a startup in the pet food space, did an interesting content series around different dog breeds in India. The content quickly became viral among the pet lovers across India, which was an excellent audience for the brand.
Podcasts or audio telecasts are possibly one of the most underrated content marketing tactics. It gives you access and visibility to a different set of audience – who are tuned to short content in a format where they can multitask “on the go”. For example, a motivational podcast while on the way to office in the morning or solid investment advice from an avid investor that will help you plan your investment strategy for the coming week.
Metrics to track the effectiveness of Content Marketing:
Number of shares and likes
Number of backlinks/mentions to your content
Number of leads
Tips for an effective content marketing strategy:
Identify the needs of your target audience
Create 10x content – make it better and more thorough than anyone out there
User-generated content needs to be a part of your content strategy
Content Amplification is important – creating content alone won’t help until it reaches the right audience
It’s a long term game so do not expect quick-fire results
What is Native Advertising?
Native Advertising is a form of paid advertising where the content put out seems similar to the native content of the platform. You would have come across one or the other form of native advertising daily – while reading an e-newspaper, browsing through an ecommerce portal or on your favorite Google Search Engine. According to Business Insider, The global native advertising spend is estimated to cross $21 billion by the year 2018.
Goals of Native Advertising
Increase brand / product awareness
Supplement Content Marketing in amplification
Drive traffic to your website or landing page
Boost lead generation and Sales
Different Forms of Native Advertising
Content Recommendations are one of the most prominent form of native advertising. You would have seen sections at the end of news articles under the title “Recommended Articles” powered by recommendation engines. These native ads are done via platforms like Outbrain, Taboola and Content.Ad.
Influencer Marketing is a rapidly growing form of native advertising. Under this, the influencers and bloggers talk about your brand or product on their blogs or social media channels with a backlink to your online property. The articles are seeded along with the other articles on the blog.
Search Engine Ads are those that surface on top of your search results. This form turns out cheaper than the other forms of native advertising, based on the cost per lead or sale.
In-Feed Ads are presented within the list of natural articles from the publication. Though these ads are well-blended within the native experience of the reader on the platform but they are marked as sponsored ads for the benefit of the customer.
Promoted Listings are the product listings that show up on top of the category page on ecommerce websites.