Digital Marketing by Real Estate Developers in Mumbai

Considered one of the biggest property markets in India, Mumbai has many real estate developers trying to reach their target audience online. Digital Marketing is one of the primary channels to connect and engage with customers online and generate quality leads. Here’s a detailed report on the digital marketing strategies of the top real estate developers in Mumbai.  

Lodha Group

Lodha Group is one of the most profitable players in India. They are known for making landmark developments in residential and commercial spaces and pioneering new trends.

Website

UX Audit:

They have an interesting design of image slider that showcases all the project launches and  promotions. The project locator is a nice filter functionality to find project developments. Project page showcases the projects based on their location and has the information about the price too. This leads to the enquiry page with project brief and lead generation form. The website is, however, not mobile-friendly as the text is too small to read and the contents are wider than the screen.

Key Features:

  1. Projects are well showcased.
  2. Each project has a separate landing page with enquiry form.

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
148.60K 00:01:30 2.17 75.20%

SEO:

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 42 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 63/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 69/100

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 8000 followers. They do 20+ tweets a week and have no promoted tweets. They tweet about a wide array of topics ranging from their projects to the general industry based news. In spite of these, engagement is low on tweets.   

Facebook: They have an active page with around 100000 followers. The engagement is good, highlighting the use of promoted posts. Their content includes customer testimonials and event invites.

LinkedIn: They are very active on LinkedIn and have around 47000 followers. Below is a recent post about demonetisation, which received a good response

Lodha Post

Youtube: They have 720+ subscribers with not-so-engaging videos

Google+: Their Google+ account is active having 35 followers.

Instagram: The account is active and has 1500+ followers.

Content Marketing: Though the blog page is not very attractive, they are posting at least 4 articles per month. They have a live chat option on their blog.

 

Lodha group Infographic

Godrej Properties

Godrej Properties develops residential, commercial and township projects across 12 cities in India. They provide imaginative and extraordinary spaces keeping customers’ needs in mind.

Website

UX Audit:

They have a well-organised menu catering to different kinds of website users (buyers, investors, NRIs etc.) They also have a nice hierarchy for project menu, leading to different property projects. Individual project pages include features like project overview, highlights and enquiry form. Their page is mobile friendly.

Key Features:

  1.   Mobile Responsive
  2.   Enquiry Form
  3.   Live Chat Option

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
206.40K 00:02:08 1.89 77.91%

 

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 46 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 46/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 82/100

Social Media Presence:

Twitter:  They don’t have a twitter account for Godrej Properties.

Facebook:  They are not very active on Facebook but they still have around 58000 followers. Below is a recent video post, which has received some responses and views.

Godrej Post

LinkedIn: They are active in LinkedIn with around 36000 followers. Compared to other social channels they are more active on LinkedIn. 

Youtube: They have 740+ Subscribers and videos in their channel are pretty engaging, having a decent number of views.

Google+: They have an active Google+ account having 474 followers.

Instagram: They have 400+ followers on Instagram.

Content Marketing: They have been blogging since May 2016. They have 15 articles as of now, and they have a separate domain for blogging.

 

real-estate-infographic-mumbai-godrej-p

Tata Value Homes

Tata Value Homes is a subsidiary of Tata Housing. It is one of the larger real estate companies that focus on low-cost housing with modern amenities.

Website

UX Audit:

They have allocations to provide a quick filter for the audience based on the city/location of the user. The quick search option leads to a map with property locations highlighted for user convenience. Showcasing their featured projects on the homepage with prominence is an interesting feature. Laying out interesting blogs on the homepage is another noteworthy feature.

Key features:

  1. Enquiry Form
  2. Mobile Responsiveness
  3. Drop Down for selecting the appropriate city

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
70.50K 00:01:12 2.51 68.56%

SEO 

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 30 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 78/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 87/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have around 6000 followers. They aren’t tweeting on a regular basis and they use the same content across social media platforms.

Facebook: They have around 250000 followers and have boosted some posts a few months back, but recently they are not very active. Below is a boosted post shared a few months back which has a large number of likes and responses.

Tata value homes post

LinkedIn: They have only 110+ followers, and the page has no posts till date.

Youtube: They are current not active. Their last uploaded video was 4 months ago.

Google+: They have an active Google+ account with 85 followers.

Instagram: They are also active on Instagram having 1300+ followers.

Content Marketing: They have posted only 3 blogs in 2016, highlighting the missed opportunity in content marketing.

 

Tata value homes infographic

Mahindra Lifespaces

Mahindra Lifespaces is the real estate company of the Mahindra Group. They are the first Green Home Developer with Green Design & Healthy Living as their main focus across their projects.

Website

UX Audit:

The web page has nice project filter on the home page following the banner. Sticky enquire now button to provide constant CTA is an interesting feature. A section to attract NRI investors is also present. Menu dropdown feature is quite interesting, especially the categorized submenu for projects.

Key features:

  1. Enquiry Button
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
43.50K 00:01:34 1.65 76.17%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 39 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 55/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 73/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They are active on twitter with engaging tweets. Below is a public awareness tweet.

Mahindra lifespaces post

Facebook: They are very consistent in boosting posts and are active on Facebook, having around 125000 followers.

LinkedIn:  They have an active LinkedIn page, which has around 26000 followers. They are posting engaging contents on a regular basis.

Youtube: They have only 160+ subscribers. They upload two to three videos per month.

Google+: They are not active on Google+ and have only 6 followers

Instagram: They are active on Instagram having 50+ followers.

Content Marketing: They don’t have a company blog.

 

mahindra lifespaces infographic

Sobha Ltd

Sobha Group is one of the largest real estate organizations in India and the Middle East. They focus on delivering the highest levels of quality, with no compromise.

Website

UX Audit:

The premium images rolling in the banner connects the user to the luxury of the brand. The main menu could have been more prominent instead of being placed against the sliding banners. Apart from that, the site has a very nice organization of the project information – presented state-wise and sorted by price.

Key Features:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
259K 00:01:23 2.10 74.75%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 35 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 87/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 74/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They are very active in Twitter having around 5000 followers and they do 3 to 6 tweets a day which is a lot compared to other developers. They have a diverse set of tweets ranging from new project launches to general industry based news. Despite these, engagement is low on tweets.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 7 lac followers and they have been posting at least twice a day and the engagement is good. Below is an organic post which had a good response.

Sobha Developers

LinkedIn: They are very active in LinkedIn having around 16000  followers.

Youtube: They have an Active Youtube account with 570+ subscribers and they have interesting Testimonial videos.

Google+: They have an active Google+ account with 554 followers.

Instagram: They are active on Instagram with 3100+ followers

Content Marketing:  They have a blog, which is not active.They do not have any mention about their blog on their website.

 

real-estate-infographic-mumbai-sobha

Kolte Patil Developers Ltd

Founded 2 decades ago, Kolte-Patil has built residential, commercial, retail, and integrated township projects till date.

Website

UX Audit:

Interesting zoom in feature on the banner images attracts the users. Well organized menu putting out all the necessary information is a great feature. Book Online page showcases all the projects with the quick facility to book. They also have live chat option in all the pages.

Key Features:

  1. Live Chat
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
15.70K 00:05:08 5.1 37.32%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 34  for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 46/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 61/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter:  They have around 10000 followers and are highly active on Twitter. Their tweets are very engaging.

Facebook: They are having around 67000 followers and post twice a week.

LinkedIn: They have around 6000 followers and are moderately active on LinkedIn with 3 to 4 posts per month. Below is a post, which got pretty good responses.

kolte-patil-developers-limited-overview-linkedin

Youtube: They are not very active and have only 367 Subscribers. Their videos have a decent number of views.

Google+: They are active on Google+ with 114 followers.

Instagram: They are also active on Instagram having 1100+ followers.

Content Marketing: Though they do not have an attractive blog page, they are posting 2 articles every month.

 

kolte patil infographic

Hiranandani Developers

Pioneering new technologies & bold design, Hiranandani Developers have created residential townships & commercial complexes meeting the expectations & lifestyle of the people.

Website

UX Audit:

Their Homepage design focuses on all the launches/promotions. Placement of a common enquiry form across all projects, to make enquiries for the visitor easier is appreciable. The website is mobile friendly.

Key Features:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
11.40K 00:02:35 2.85 32.53%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 32 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 35/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 45/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have around 1400 followers and are highly active on Twitter with at least 4 to 5 tweets every day.

Facebook: They do have an active page with 71000 followers. Below is a Selfie contest post, which was engaging and had good responses.

LinkedIn:  They have only 190+ followers in LinkedIn and they haven’t posted anything until now.

Youtube: They have 630+ subscribers on Youtube. Though they are not active on YouTube, they have decent views for their engaging videos.

Google+: They are not active on Google+ and have only 29 followers.

Instagram: They are active in Instagram having 300+ followers.

Content Marketing:  They have their blog in Weebly and actively post articles about real estate, their ongoing projects, and latest industry related news.

 

real-estate-infographic-mumbai-hiranandani

K Raheja Corp

K Raheja is the most trusted destination developers of India. From residences to workplaces, hotels to retail destinations, they have made a meaningful impact on the evolution of modern-day living.

Website

UX Audit:

They have a Minimalistic home page with user engagement focussed to the menu. Explore our Projects feature introduces users to all the brands, where each brand project page comes with details of the project and enquiry provision. Their website is not mobile friendly because the text is too small to read and the content is wider than the screen.

Key Features:

  1. Minimalistic Design
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total Visits

Avg. Time on Site

Page Views

Bounce Rate

9.70K 00:01:14 2.60 19.55%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 30 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 51/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 62/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have only 180+ followers, and they have good quality tweets with no engagement. If they promote their tweets, they can get results.

Facebook: They have 4500 followers on Facebook. They are consistently posting 6 to 7 contents per week all are organic, so they are getting low responses and engagements. Below is an interesting post with not much engagement.

k-raheja-corp-fb

LinkedIn:  They are not active on LinkedIn but have around 10000 followers and they haven’t posted anything till now.

Youtube: They are not active on Youtube and have only 11 Subscribers, and their last upload was a year ago.

Google+: They do one post a week in Google+ but still they have only 8 followers.

Instagram: They have only 8 followers in Instagram.

Content Marketing:  They don’t have a company blog.

 

real-estate-infographic-mumbai-k-raheja-corp

Rustomjee Spaces

Rustomjee Spaces have transformed 10 million square feet of the city into premium townships, corporate parks, retail spaces, and 8,500+ homes with a special focus on Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Website

UX Audit:

The web page has a simple banner with prominent CTA and Project locator. There is a showcase of featured properties, and they do have an enquiry form. Project Explorer has filters that would help the user to find properties easily and closer to their choice and their website is mobile friendly.

Key Features:

  1. Enquiry Form
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
16.10K 00:02:11 6.08 55.04%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 32  for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 73/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 89/100

Social Media Presence:

Twitter:  They are active having 1400 followers on Twitter, and they have been consistently tweeting 6 to 9 tweets per week. They have no promoted tweets so there is only little responses. Below is an interesting tweet with little engagement.

Rustomjee post

Facebook: They have around 13000 followers posting 5 to 6 times per week with little response. All their posts are organic. They might get good engagements if they boost their quality posts.

LinkedIn:  They aren’t active past 3 months, but they have decent engagements in their previous posts.

Youtube: They have 220+ subscribers, and they are uploading 3 to 4 videos per month. They have decent views. All the videos are real estate Industry related.

Google+: They are not active on Google+ for the past 2 years.

Instagram: They do not have an Instagram account.

Content Marketing: They are maintaining 2 blogs and have been posting their project related and educative articles at least once per month.

 

real-estate-infographic-mumbai-rustomjee

Adani Realty

Adani Realty has been developing residential, commercial and social club projects across Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Kochi & Mundra.

Website

UX Audit:

Their web page has an interesting single scroll homepage design, which focuses on two utilities – one showcasing all their launches and promotions and the other leading the visitor directly to projects/gallery/other information via the menu. Elegant project showcase with the project overview and CTA’s leading to individual project websites are some of the noteworthy features.

Key Features:

  1. Enquiry Form
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
2.40K 00:01:45 1.6 37.01%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 16 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 67/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 86/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have 50+ Followers in Twitter and are moderately active. They do 4 tweets per month. Below is an interesting post having low engagement.

Adani realty post

Facebook: They are active in Facebook having around 4k followers, and they do at least one post per day and have boosted a contest campaign, which had a good response

LinkedIn: They have 785+ followers and are not that active. They do 4 posts per month and the engagement is low.

Youtube: They don’t have a Youtube channel.

Google+: They are not active in Google+

Instagram: They are not active on Instagram

Content Marketing: They have an active blog in their website itself, and there are around 300 articles.  

 

adani realty infographic

Oberoi Realty

Oberoi Realty has developed over 39 projects at strategic locations across the Mumbai skyline. Over the past three decades, they have been consistently providing high-design and quality residential, commercial, and retail spaces.

Website

UX Audit:

The banners and featured projects provide prominent information to the audience coming to their site. Individual project pages are organized state/city wise to make the navigation easier for the users. Schedule a visit is a useful provision for interested buyers/investors.

Key Features:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total Visits Avg. Time on Site Page Views Bounce Rate
148.60K 00:01:30 2.17 75.20%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 27 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 46/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 68/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They are moderately active having only 50+ followers, and they do 2 to 3 tweets per day mostly about their ongoing projects.

Facebook: They are active on Facebook with around 13000 followers posting 3 to 4 times a week. Their posts are organic and have decent engagements. Below is an interesting post about their project.

oberoi-realty

LinkedIn: They are moderately active with around 10000 followers. They do post 3 to 4 times per month, and the posts are engaging with good responses.

Youtube: They are not active this month but have 80+ subscribers. They have many testimonial videos which are having a good number of views and response.

Google+: They are not active on Google+.

Instagram: They are highly active on Instagram having 700+ followers.

Content Marketing:  They don’t have a company blog.

 

real-estate-infographic-mumbai-oberoi

Lesser known Indian marketing books that are worth reading

The best marketers are the ones who constantly try to improve their craft, no matter how good they are at it already. If you are looking to read some offbeat, lesser-known marketing books that will help you in enhancing your marketing skills even more, here is a list of such books written by our very own Indian authors.

Storm the Norm: Untold Stories of 20 Brands that Did it Best

Written by Anisha Motwani, this book is a unique collection of contemporary, true stories about Indian businesses and brands that rewrote the norms of their respective industries. All the twenty stories are not only inspiring, but they will also bring in some remarkable change in your approach towards marketing and business management.

Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles

This quirkily titled book written by Ambi Parameswaran, an ad veteran, discusses the story of Indian advertising over the past 50 years. Over a hundred ads have been studied and examined in this book by the author. This book will let you know how advertisements take inspirations and influences from politics, culture, society, etc. Reading this book will give you in-depth knowledge about Indian advertising scenario.

Is Your Marketing in Sync or Sinking?

Have you wondered why some start-ups become hugely famous while some just fade away? This book published by Notion Press and written by Yaagneshwaran Ganesh gives you an in-depth knowledge of the various marketing principles. While most marketing books talk about the macro concepts, this book speaks of the micro concepts of marketing as well; this is quite crucial for new-age marketers.

Learn Marketing in a Day

Marketing is no longer restricted only to management graduates. As marketing has become a pervasive, universal concept, learning about key marketing strategies has become important for everyone in the corporate field. This book written by Ajith P will act as a beginners’ guide to learn marketing.

Marketing Unplugged – Spotting the Elephants in the Room

How interesting would it be if there is a toolkit of new techniques that you can use to come up with new, innovative marketing strategies? Well, that’s what the Marketing Unplugged book has in store for you. This book written by Suman Srivastava is a book full of scholarly yet delightful ideas for marketing.

IIMA-Why I Am Paying More: Price Theory and Market Structures Made Simple

Satish Y. Deodhar has written a series of management books under the IIMA book series title. If you are looking to read the series, Why I Am Paying More is the right choice. This book explains the dynamics of pricing with respect to demand, supply, market structures, etc. Beautifully illustrated through various case studies and examples, this book is something that you can never put down.

India Reloaded: Inside India’s Resurgent Consumer Market

Dheeraj Sinha’s book on Indian consumer market is something that every marketing professional should read. Some brands and businesses fail in the Indian market mainly because of their assumptions about the Indian consumers. This book tries to break all those myths and misconceptions. It gives a fresh, new, and a genuine perspective about the Indian consumer market.

Linkedin Marketing: An Hour A Day

Social media marketing is the need of the moment. While there are a lot of books, guides, and online materials about Facebook and Twitter marketing, Linkedin is one of the important yet underrated forms of social media marketing. This book written by Viveka von Rosen is a step-to-step guide for succeeding in digital marketing, especially in Linkedin marketing. By reading this book, you will know about how to use this powerful social media platform (Linkedin) to make sure that your business gets noticed by the right set of audience.

The Sweet Spot: How to Maximise Marketing for Business Growth

As we all know the sweet spot is the optimum combination of factors or qualities to achieve success. True to the name, this book brings to your notice the sweet spots that you can explore and utilise in the field of marketing. In other words, just like how sportspeople make hardest shots or tasks look easy because of the sweet spot, this book also allows you to make your business grow in an innovative, seemingly easy way.

Brand Shastra: Use the Power of Marketing to Transform Your Life

Mainak Dhar has written a dozen of books in multiple genres. Considered to be one of the best-selling authors in India, Mainak Dhar primarily writes on science, marketing, and management. Brand Shastra is one of his latest books and is also listed under the Amazon’s list of Memorable Books of 2016 So Far. This book discusses the various aspects of marketing, ranging from primary promotions to B2B marketing. More than talking about the theories of marketing, this book explains the science and logic behind the various marketing tactics.

We hope, by now, you have a handful of books to be added to your to-be-read list. What are the other books published by Indian authors, that you would suggest for marketers to read? Let us know in the comments.

Guide to Using Facebook Live effectively

Mike Henry, a renowned writer in the media industry, once wisely said, “We’re in the operating world where one good video can lead to a massive social following.” With video being one of the trends to watch out for in the coming years, Mark Zuckerberg too joined the bandwagon and launched Facebook Live, allowing millions of users to gain the power to go live and broadcast themselves to anyone in the world. Going on air live is just a click away. Here is a guide to use Facebook Live effectively

How to Use It?

How to go on air with Facebook live?

All you need is your smart phone, the Facebook app and 12 simple steps to follow.

Step 1: Get to your Facebook profile on your Facebook app and click on the status bar like you’re going to create a new post.

Step 2: To go on air, click on to the “Live” tab that resembles a video camera with an eye.

 

Facebook Live tab

Step 3: You will find a pop up asking to access your camera and microphone. Allow Facebook to gain that access. Once you have allowed Facebook to gain the camera and microphone access for the first time, you will not receive the request again.

Facebook Live - Access the Microphone

Step 4: Click on the “Continue” tab on that initial page, which mentions, “Go Live on Facebook.” Clicking continue doesn’t mean your video has started recording to go live. It’s just a couple of steps away.

Step 5: Customise your privacy settings

If you want your Facebook Live video to go viral and have a lot of viewers, then you could customise your audience by clicking on Public. However, if you don’t want everyone to view your live video and want to just keep it to your known people, you could then click on ‘Friends.’ You could always customise your viewers by making a specific group of audience. However, if it’s your first attempt to use Facebook Live and you’re still trying to get used to it and understand how it works, then you can change your privacy settings to “Only Me.” The option to activate “Only Me” can be found by clicking on “More” and scrolling all the way to the last. Later on, Once you’re sure about your video and want it to go viral for the rest of the audience you can change your privacy settings accordingly.

Facebook Live - Customise your Privacy settingsFacebook Live - Customise your privacy settings

Step 6: Write a description.

Once you’ve got your privacy settings sorted, you will need to add in a description about the live video you will be sharing. This description will be more like a caption to the video that will best describe it for your audience. In order to gain a larger viewer list, make sure you have an attention grabbing description so that the audience would gain interest and tune in.

Facebook Live - Describe your live video

Step 7: Set up your Camera View.

Just before you’re all set to Go Live, make sure your camera is facing the direction. You can shoot either with your front camera or rear. You can either hold your phone vertically or horizontally as the video will be in a square format and it won’t matter.

Facebook Live - Set up your Camera view

Step 8: Click on the “Go Live” blue button to begin broadcasting.

Once you have got all the prior steps in place to kick start the Live Broadcast, all you need to do is just click on to the “Go Live” button which will then have a countdown 3,2,1… and the next thing you will see is that you’re on air going live. As soon as you start streaming and going live, you will find yourself on your own as well as others news feed based on the customised privacy settings.

Your online broadcast can as long as 90 minutes. However, do remember that the longer your broadcast is, better the chances of a larger viewership.

Facebook Live - Go live

Step 9: Interaction with commenters and viewers:

In order to make the most of Facebook Live, your aim has to be to engage with your audience by being on air and interacting with them. With Facebook live, there are two ways through, which you can interact with your viewers:

  1. By speaking and responding directly to the audience through the video.
  2. By having a designated person responding to the comments

These comments and reactions can be viewed just below the broadcast live. The earlier comments will be much further downwards as these comments are present in the reverse chronological order like on twitter. While responding to viewers, if you wish to block any particular viewer, you could do so by just clicking on the profile picture on the viewer’s comment and clicking on “Block.” You can always unblock a viewer that you have already blocked.

Facebook Live - Interaction with commenters and viewers

(Image Credit: Hubspot)

Step 10: Click “Finish” to end the broadcast.

Once you do this, the video will stay on your Timeline or Page like any other video post.

Step 11: Save the Broadcast to your camera role

Once you’re done with your broadcast on Facebook, you will come across an option allowing you to save your video to the camera roll like given below, so that you can always have the original copy.

Facebook Live - Save video to camera roll

Step 12: Kudos! You have officially broadcasted your first Facebook Live video. In order to review the video, can always go back to your timeline and do so. You can also change the privacy settings, description or even delete the video just like any other post.

  Facebook Live - Change privacy settings

 

How can brands leverage Facebook Live: 

Live videos can not only help individuals post fun videos but can also help brands reach out to their audience and help build a closer relationship with their fans.  When done well, these videos can be used as a medium to engage the audience and create an active conversation.

From behind the scenes videos to product a launch, this new feature is ideal to showcase some unique content. In fact, brands can also use this feature to give an opportunity to fan to exclusive look at what’s unfolding behind the scenes in real time. For example, Dunkin Donuts, a US-based brand did exactly that. Their first Facebook Live video was that of a behind the scenes look into their kitchen for Valentine’s Day. Their fans were able to see their chef’s make a heart shaped donuts. The video went viral immediately and saw great engagement and plenty of views within minutes. The video has more than 39,000 views till date.

 

How to analyse your performance on Facebook Live: 

 

The performance analytics of Facebook Live video is similar to that of normal videos you put up on Facebook. However, live videos do have some add-ons.

Facebook allows you to analyse a lot of metrics for the live video like, minutes viewed, unique viewers, video views, 10-second views, average % completion, peak live viewers, people reached, reactions, comments, and shares.

Apart from all of this, Facebook also lets you view and keep a check of relevant analysis of “peak live viewers” in the form of graphs for a particular piece of time during the video in order to know the interaction taken place.

ANALYZE YOUR PERFORMANCE OF THE LIVE VIDEO

ANALYZE YOUR PERFORMANCE OF THE LIVE VIDEO

(Image Credit: Hubspot)

How to access Facebook Live analytics on a Business page: 

Step 1: Click on the “Insight” tab on the Facebook page.

Step 2: On the left-hand side of the screen, click on the “Videos” tab.

Step 3: To open all your videos and their analytics in a new video, scroll down and click on the “Video Library” tab. Under the “Video library” window, the Facebook Live videos that were recorded will have the human silhouette icon.

Step 4: Select the video that you wish to see the analytics for and over time, you will have a graph view as well.

Want to get the most out of Facebook Live? 

The following tips and tricks will help in using Facebook Live effectively:

  1. Do a trial and testing of Facebook Live by using the “Only Me” privacy setting.
  2. If you are on a live form with the number of viewers joining at different intervals, do keep in mind to reintroduce yourself and let viewers know what is happening so that all your viewers are in the loop.
  3. Keep your video engaging and spontaneous to interact better with your views and get the best out of them so that they stay longer too.
  4. Remember while engaging with commenters; call them out by name as it creates a better connection.
  5. In order to gain more followers, go live for at least 10 minutes so that your video gets shows up on the news feed for various other viewers.
  6. Always have someone else watch over and respond to comments to make the process easier as it gets hard to reply to pop-up up comments every second.
  7. Don’t forget to sign off by saying a good bye and a thank you to your audience.

 

There you go, hope this was helpful in order to understand better on “How to Use Facebook Live.”

 

 

How to drive conversions with Instagram

By now, everyone knows what Instagram is – the social media platform that enable its users to take pictures and short videos and share them in the app (and on multiple other platforms as well, but that is a completely different blog for another day). Nevertheless, a new day is on the rise… Instagram is not only hashtags and pretty pictures. Over the last few years, the app has evolved from a teenage forum where girls would hit like when their BFF uploaded yet another selfie, to becoming a platform of huge potential revenue when it comes to all sorts of business.

As of now, Instagram drives sales with a high average in orders, and according to Shopify, Instagram referrals actually results in an average order value of $65, which is second only to Polyvore’s $66.75. Even though most visits will not end up resulting in a purchase, the ones that do, will result in considerably higher revenue than other social networks –take for example YouTube’s $37.63 average order value. Another major piece of the puzzle is the number of active users, and seeing as the user base for Instagram in India alone is estimated to be almost 6 million active mobile users every month the question should no longer be “should your company have an Instagram Handle”, but rather “how do you maximize your income through your Instagram”? E-commerce, Fashion, Real Estate, Hospitality, Medical Care… you name it, every single industry can profit from Instagram, when used correctly. Read on, and we will make sure that you are fully prepared to dive into the ocean of endless possibilities by teaching you how to leverage Instagram to build relations that ultimately can help to drive conversion with this unique social media platform.

Your Images

Just like the key to any good fairy tale is to start it off with “once upon a time” and end it with “and they lived happily ever after”, the key to crack the Instagram code, is your pictures. They are easier to digest than text, and they are more effective for evoking emotions, which will enhance the chances that your message will be remembered. When it comes to visuals on social, Instagram is supreme. You want to use images that drives sales, and studies show the first real data on Instagram’s capability to drive sales and perhaps more important, the essentials of a picture that boosts sales conversions. The University of Wisconsin conducted a study and learned valuable insights, which we are more than happy to share with you. Here follows a list, in random order, of what their study showed was important when it comes to what type of pictures that drives sales:

  • No filters
  • High level of the colours blue and yellow
  • No question marks or exclamations
  • Longer captions
  • From infrequent posters with a high number of followers

This knowledge can be seen as somewhat of a hurdle for some, since the elements that used to inspire engagement (likes and comments) are not the same as the ones that now trigger sales conversions. No need to worry though, this simply means that one must now use a mix of criteria when creating Instagram photos.

You can use multiple tools for Instagram including some focussed on e-commerce.

User Generated Content

Posting user generated content is one of the most powerful ways to boost the credibility of your company. As consumers, we tend to perceive content originating from our peers as being authentic, because we trust that the everyday community has less of a vested interest in making a corporation look god compared to its employees. Keep in mind that consumer decision making is not always driven by price or quality, but in fact, a lot of consumers choose brands they associate with a lifestyle that sits well with them.

For example, if you buy a BMW, you are not just buying a car, you are buying into a lifestyle. Visual user generated content, which basically is the foundation Instagram is built on, is all the more impactful, as it allows us to see products being used in real-life situations, which again makes it easier for us to imagine ourselves using these products or services. So re-post your followers content if it aligns with yours, because not only does this help to create a bond with the consumer through shared interests, it also portraits the product in real life. The emotional bond that is created when using UGC is exactly why ads with this content converts better on Instagram than the refined studio shots created by professionals.

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Another very important tool to use is to leverage the reach of influencers on instagram. It is a known fact that consumers are more likely to trust a recommendation from friends and family as opposed to a brand or a vendor. This is why it is good business for companies to use social media Influencers and user generated content to get the word out about their product, offer, service or whatever they wish to convey to their online audience. Influencer marketing has the power to drive sales, sign ups and app installs by using links and promotion codes which can be tracked. Tracking and analysing the data and ‘Call Per Click’ are numbers that are going to help you modify your spend in order to generate revenue from Instagram. Instagram also its own analytics tool now.

Determine what metrics you care to track and make sure you keep a weekly or maybe a monthly report to monitor your progress. You also have to take advantage of targeting since Instagram now has the same targeting, creative and measurement abilities as Facebook. It is up to you to use the features and get the best possible results from your Instagram ads and campaigns.

Brands are excited about the success they have seen with website conversion ads on Instagram and the potential the platform has to offer –and quite frankly, so are we! Tell us what has been your experience in using Instagram. Click here to continue reading blog articles around Instagram.

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How UX can make or break your business – Digital Chai Pe Charcha

The seventh edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held in Workafella, one of the best business centres in Chennai on 8th October, 2016. The event saw over 25 participants who were a mix of entrepreneurs, digital marketers, and professionals. User Experience, an important element in any website or app these days, the entire session was insightful, engaging and very informative!

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What is UX or User Experience?

UX or User Experience is exactly what the name suggests – the overall experience one has when they land on your website or your app and the interaction with the company, its services, and its products throughout.  In short, the way a website or an app works plus the look and feel of it all together making your user want to come back to your site.

Benefits of good UX –

Research shows that the overall experience of a user right from landing on your site, navigating and scanning through your pages till moving out of your site to another, the emotions that the user feels throughout – satisfied or unhappy – plays a major role on how your brand performs online in comparison to your competitors.

It helps in converting a user into a potential customer and not just that – but converting them at a low cost.

What makes a good UX –

  • Security & Privacy of its users handled with attention
  • Feedback & reviews from real buyers that connects with new users
  • Company is reliable & trustworthy – Transparent information on the roots & founders of the business

Building a new website 

  • Research and Analyze

Do a quick study on who your competitors are and analyze their digital mediums. Understand what they do to provide their users with a great experience on their site. Work on your content, have collaborative discussions and put down the necessary inputs to go on your site.

  • Strategize

Have a good idea on the different elements you would like to add on to your site – be it a revised sitemap or navigation flowcharts by analyzing user personas and scenarios.

  • Product Design

Work on your website with a neat and clear wireframe that should include digital touch-points further building the virality loop.

  • Test and Iterate

After your new website is ready to launch, have a quick A/B testing and experiment with heat maps on your site. Analyze the results and rework on the design perspective if necessary.

Evaluate the UX of an existing website

  • Functionality of your site / app

The speed at which a new user navigates on your site, understands your business and moves through different pages says a lot about the flow of your site.

  • Navigation & Information architecture

The user needs to have a smooth experience while navigating through your site, moving from page to page and gathering all the information required.

  • Forms

If your site has a landing page with a form, make sure the form is simple with limited fields keeping in mind to not ask for information that is too personal to the user or fields that will require the user to go back and forth too many times.

  • Trust and Credibility

Your user’s information should remain confidential and should not be hampered with.

  • Aesthetics

How good is your site’s layout and balance? Is there a consistency in the font? Are the clickable items clear to the user and is the entire page pleasant and easy to navigate?

UX can be improvised with the help of some efficient tools. To improve the overall look and feel of your site, make use of customer surveys, user interviews and case studies. To track your customers’ behavior on your site, experiment with Zarget, Inspectlet, CrazyEgg, Optimizely, Google Analytics and MouseFlow. To understand prototyping, try Balsamiq, Axure, Invision and Pen & Paper.

When the site’s design and flow is focused on establishing a good user experience, the bond between the company and your customer grows building the brand as well as the overall experience of the user with the company.

Click here to understand more on how UX Can Make or Break Your Business

Those of you who missed the first six editions of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha can check them out below:

Measuring ROI of Digital Marketing – Panel at the Digital Summit

When we conducted our Indian Industry Digital Marketing Survey we found that many brands were facing challenges in measuring the return that their digital marketing and social media marketing efforts were giving. Hence, we included an eclectic panel discussion on “Measuring ROI of Digital Marketing” at our Digital Leadership Summit.

We had four panelists moderated by Suneil from Social Beat: Mr. Vijay Anand – Sulekha.com, Mr. Arasu Shankar – Eshakti.com, Ms. Lavanya Hariharan – Zapluk and Mr. Shriram Sanjeevi – Oyethere.com.

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Summary of the Panel Discussion

    • Channels that provide higher ROI will depend on product and customer segment
    • Google & Facebook continue to dominate as primary digital channels for most businesses
    • For products/services wherein search volume is lower – then social would be a better channel to start with
    • Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest allow for better product showcase and for visual products these would be interesting channels
    • Building the brand and social trust is important for long term ROI and can be achieved through a mix of social media channels
    • Influencer marketing is a very strong channel for ROI and also gets higher trust from consumers
    • Instagram, Snapchat, Emailers are other ways to build ROI depending on the business.
    • Life Time Value (LTV) is an important metric as marketing spend cannot be attributed to just the first transaction
    • Tools like Google Analytics & Improvely can help in measuring ROI

Perspective on ROI from the Panelists

Suneil started off by asking the audience as to how many of them believed you could get ROI from digital marketing; it was a pleasant surprise to see that over 60% of the audience believed it could. We as a digital agency couldn’t agree more. The panel started with a discussion on what each of them feels about the results from digital marketing. We also have had a Digital Chai Pe Charcha on ROI of Digital Marketing, and you can read it here.

  • Lavanya from Zapluk highlighted that they got a lot of organic growth once they started using the digital medium and in fact got 80% increase in customer base in just a month. As she rightly pointed out, it was a combination of brand building and lead generation activities.
  • Vijay from Sulekha.com candidly shared that they were one of the highest spenders in the city on Google and that digital is critical to their survival. He shared that Sulekha gets around 250 million visitors via organic search and another 20-30 million via paid search in a year, and it’s their strongest channel for new user acquisition.
  • Shriram from OyeThere.com said they use a 360-degree approach with a mix of digital and offline marketing based on his two decades of retail experience. He rightly pointed out that it’s a myth that digital gives immediate returns. Startups need to focus on building a brand, building the consumer trust and scaling up the service – then results come over time.

Which digital channels are scaleable and to what extent?

The entire panel did agree that the choice of the channel varies with the services/products and the consumer segment. It’s also very important to be smart as you scale adverting, as Arasu pointed out. It’s essential to be clear on what is the message you want to give about your brand.

Vijay continued to be a strong propagator of Google Organic and Google Adwords and said it’s the most scalable as SEO efforts now start showing results in a few days, for existing/older sites. Since they focus on services with low engagement from end consumers they, tend to focus less on social media channels. They did spend 15 crores on their TVC campaign earlier this year it only gives 5000 incremental visitors a day which is minuscule for them as they get about 6-7 lakh visitors a day. Vijay added that for brand building to show results, you need to be at it all the time.

On the other hand, Lavanya, Arasu & Shriram all spoke on how social media and in specific Facebook Marketing has worked extremely well for their businesses to get scaleable results. Lavanya highlighted that for a service wherein the consumer still doesn’t know it exists, the search volume on Google is extremely low hence Facebook & Twitter were the driving growth as they were able to achieve leads along with building the brand and engagement around it.

Arasu & Lavanya also touched upon the importance of building the trust factor with consumers regarding answering their questions and doubts and also in terms of showcasing the products/service in a more holistic way. As Arasu rightly pointed out that Facebook allows for better product showcase via the carousel ads, videos, etc. Even brand awareness and the brand story is better executed via channels like Facebook and Instagram. Talking about the social trust that’s built out, Arasu added that they now see existing customers answering queries raised by potential clients and that it’s a game changer for them.

Shriram added that the approach they take depends on the message, the channel also changes. For example, when they ran a huge campaign around Kabali by selling t-shirts, giving away movie tickets and more; Facebook worked very well for that as it’s a mass channel.

Influencer Marketing & Platforms other than Google & Facebook

We couldn’t agree more with Arasu when he said that “Channel will depend on product and customer segment.” For example, if you are looking to target millennials then Snapchat would be an ideal platform. If your product or service is visual and you are targeting a sub 40-year-old audience, then Instagram would be an excellent channel but there is indeed a demographic difference across channels. eShakti also focusses a lot on Pinterest as it’s relevant to many a fashion brand.

Emailer Marketing still works if it’s with your own audience. Vijay of Sulekha spoke about how emailer marketing is an important channel and delivers results when done smartly with smart targeting, in spite of Gmail pushing a lot of emails to the Promotions tab. Of course, once a user is acquired it’s up to the brand to retain them and emailers is a great way to do that.

Influencer Marketing was another channel that works very well and eShakti uses it extensively. Arasu shared that they work with 1000s of bloggers and they have built their network over a period. They calculate the ROI of influencers via direct referral traffic as well as transactions driven by the unique referral code given to each influencer. He also gave an interesting insight that there is higher trust from a consumer that comes via an influencer, so the 5-10% off that they give is covered up there.

There was an interesting question from the audience – Dr. Manoj from Dr. Smilez Group of Dental Centers asked about how they got very low engagement low on social as customers were not very keen on sharing their dental experiences. Lavanya shared her similar experiences as not a lot of women would like to share they got a beauty service or a wax treatment as it’s a personal service. The way Zapluk approaches it is  to given them an offer or incentive but in the long run, content marketing is the key. Shriram added saying that ROI cannot always be attributed to direct sales – brand building and marketing is also to be measured

Importance of Life Time Value (LTV) of the Customer in calculating ROI

Everyone on the panel agreed that the return on marketing spend is not immediate; hence Life Time Value is an important metric to help scale up business and understand whether it’s moving towards profitability.

The LTV depends on different businesses, and we got varied perspective from the panel. Arasu spoke about phenomenal ROI wherein it just takes them 1.2 transactions to recover marketing cost as they have high-value transactions and very high repeat purchase. For Zapluk and Pamperazi it was three transactions to get the back marketing cost. Whereas for a brand like Sulekha, the end consumer was not paying anything, so it’s difficult to ascertain LTV.

Arasu mentioned that they look at the time taken to recover the marketing cost of acquiring the customer and for them, it’s usually the first 1-2 months whereas it is 3-4 months for Zapluk. Key metrics remain around customer acquisition, retention and finally on how to make them spend more and more often. It of courses varies by cohort, seasonality’s (for example, summer is a strong season for eshakti), types of customers, depends on the marketing channel and the marketing campaign that you run.

Shriram again had a very different perspective and said that “The word LTV is over done. Companies that boasted of High LTvs have shut down in the last couple of months because LTV was more of a myth.” He gave an example of Chennai’s leading retail chain Viveks wherein in many cases three generations have been shopping there and apparently they are also grappling with LTV. He also questioned how come Flipkart only had 32% growth in spite of the perceivable high LTV.

Tools to Calculate ROI

One of the participants had a very relevant question – Sejal from Zoho asked what are the tools use for calculating ROI. In most cases, Google Analytics along with data from Google Adwords, FB Ads, Instagram Analytics and other social media analytics tools would suffice. Suneil added that Improvely could be a great tool to understand muti-touch attribution as consumers often interact with the brand multiple times before the sale is closed. This tool allows you to see the history of the person and how they interacted with your brand. Read more about Improvely and other similar analytics tools here.

Suneil also added that there is sometimes a time lag between generating a lead to sale and ROI can be improved if you can figure out how to leverage that time frame to communicate about the brand and the offerings.

Vijay spoke about Google Analytics Premium (GAP) which is more relevant for larger organisations as its costs around USD 90,000 a year. He talked about Google Analytics data being heavily sampled; wherein GAP has unsampled data which can also be downloaded. GAP has only around 15 clients in India but Vijay recommends it’s to e-commerce and digital businesses as repeat customers are harder to track in free analytics tools and attribution is not always clear.

How Digital drove success of Carat Lane – Digital Leadership Summit

Below is the gist of the talk given by Mithun Sacheti on “How Digital drove the success of Carat Lane” at the Digital Leadership Summit in Chennai in August 2016.

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Key Highlights from his talk include:

  • Discovery is going to be driven by digital, consumption will remain omnichannel depending on the product/service
  • Consumers often make the decision online, but still, like to see the product in high-value purchases
  • Omni-channel is the approach towards profitability and Carat Lane has seen that with their Delhi centre, which contributes to 38% revenue and is a profitable city for them.
  • Extremely data driven approach with 4000 data points being tracked every month
  • Even spends on TV are tracked diligently
  • Key metrics to track: Cost per lead, Cost per conversion and Cost per visitor/traffic
  • Early days for digital transformation with more to see in the coming years

Mithun started off by highlighting that Chennai as the choice for Carat Lane did not come from the fact that he was based here but based on research that Chennai has the fastest clearing airport in the country. He goes on to talk about how opening the first Jaipur Gems store was challenging. Their biggest learning over the initial years was getting a clear understanding of the top/key customers since they used to get only about three walk-ins a day when they started out. They soon realized that making customers discover the store and new products is key. So when they opened their next store in Coimbatore, they were able to combine their learnings to ensure that 500 key customers walked into the store just on day 1.

How did they get into e-commerce?

They realised that discovery of products is a problem because of the limited walk-ins in retail as well as the limited scope to discover products before walking into the store. E-Commerce fundamentally changes the discovery process.

Today consumers make a choice before entering the retail store – the decision is usually made online. This is why global e-commerce started with books so that the discovery & shopping can happen online. For other products discovery is still lead by digital, but consumption is happening across e-commerce, offline retail, kiosks, etc.

In 2011, Carat Lane opened its first retail store – but they got it wrong in many ways. Firstly, they did not put much jewellery over there, though in hindsight they understood that consumers come in to try out the product. In Mithun’s words “We assumed customers were as obsessed with technology, as we were”. This changed when they opened their future stores. Moreover, their Perfect Look app allows you try out jewellery real time, and this was a big hit amongst consumers.

Why do consumers have distrust amongst e-commerce companies?

Mithun highlights on e-commerce evolution in India and candidly pointed out that between 2000 to 2009 there were early adopters who did not focus on last mile delivery and consumer experience – players like Indiatimes, Rediff, infibeam. This mostly led to distrust from consumers because they went through such bad experiences from these brands. This, of course, changed when the new age e-commerce companies started, including Carat Lane in 2008.

Is ROI real in E-Commerce?

Mithun was candid in saying that “Understanding of ROI was missing when we started, but we understood it the right way.”

In 2012 when the company evaluated its results, it realized that cost of acquisition was so high; it would take three transactions to make the customer profitable but an Indian consumer shop for jewellery twice a year so there was something wrong in the approach.

Their retail stores were a game changer because the process of discovery started falling in place. Consumers now started coming to the store with the product photograph wanting to try the product. It became evident that conversions will happen where they have an omnichannel presence. Two years ago they opened six stores in Delhi and now 38% of their revenue comes from Delhi and is the only profitable city of operation at the moment.

Is it an analytics business or a jewellery business?

Carat Lane is an extremely metric driven business, as Mithun pointed out. They track 4000 data points every month, but the critical ones are

  1. Cost per lead
  2. Cost per conversion
  3. Cost per visitor/traffic

Mithun aptly put it “There is never too little data”. Data helps bring clarity, and while it took Carat Lane 6 years to figure it out, it finally made sense. In the early days, the cost of consumer acquisition was never in focus. You need to know how much you are willing to pay for each of the above actions, as the business profitability depends on that. Each company needs to create its own attribution model – based on customer type. Google Analytics is a good starting point.

Mithun spoke at length about the advanced analysis that is done on TV ad spends. They used tools to find out in which tv program & which ad break & which ad slot had the highest visitors and highest brand search of Carat Lane. As per Mithun, searches & traffic ultimately reflect in conversions & sales assuming you have a great product + great UX. Of course, it’s not a perfect model. You can have assumptions and capture the ROI, in case there are two ads at the same time

On Startups, Funding & more

Speaking on how they used the funding they got, Mithun admits “Money is like oxygen, the human body is like iron – money can corrupt you”. They have learnt it the hard way and now moving towards profitability with a data-driven approach.

Talking about his investor, Lee Fixel, he mentioned an interesting quote. Apparently, Lee said, “My Fund has ten lives. You as an entrepreneur has 2-3 lives. Carat Lane has one life. If you think omnichannel is the right approach, then let’s do it.”

On closing. Mithun said that Digital would own discovery and budgets will move digital – which was also reflected in the Social Beat Industry Report. We, of course, agree when he said that India would be driving the digital transformation and even today with the worst internet bandwidth ever we have achieved this much – it’s only up to our imagination what the future holds!

7 ways universities and colleges can use digital medium in India

According to HT Digital and IMRB Report (India) on “Student online behavior,” 93% of students access the Internet every day and 73% of students use the mobile phone. Nearly 91% access the internet to collect information about colleges and courses. Thus, going online for universities and colleges has become inevitable. Although this calls for investments in creating digital assets, building strategies and online advertising, the costs are quickly realized, easy to the track and attributable. The ROI is much higher in comparison to any traditional mediums used.

The following are 7 ways that universities and colleges can use digital medium in India.

1. Creating an SEO- friendly robust website to attract the right audience

A good website is a blend of three elements, namely aesthetics, functionality, and ease of use. A website is a very strong representation of any brand on the internet. The three elements are elaborated below

Aesthetics:

A well-designed website for a University or college needs to address the following factors-

  • Depict the values, mission, and vision of the institution
  • Demonstrate the key USP’s and highlight courses
  • Images to have an emotional connect with students/parents and represent the current look and feel of the institution concerned

Functionality:

The functionality of the website is what determines the final design aspects, these have to be defined ahead, and some of them are listed below

  • Provide Information on courses
  • Drive More applications from new students
  • Serve as a Medium of Communication for existing students, parents, and even donors
  • Build an Alumni Network
  • Facilitate payments

User- friendly:

Unless a website is not created with the end user in mind, it will fail to give the results that it had intended to achieve. It has to be “easy to use” and intuitive. The following are key aspects to keep in mind. These aspects may not be always set right a 100%, but a study of user behavior over a period of time can help better these aspects

  • Easy Navigation
  • Simple Tabs
  • Quick rendering on desktop
  • Easy call-to-action
  • Easily searchable on popular search engine

Developing a mobile version of the website is also a great way to boost the recruitment of students, as today many young people have access to a smartphone or mobile device. Also, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key to drive organic traffic to the website, without traffic there is no point of having a website. The SEO will drive students/parents looking for relevant courses and information to the website.

2. Social media to connect, inform, educate, and create awareness:

Colleges and Universities must use social media to engage with current/ prospective students and parents. They should use social media to connect in a proactive manner, by engaging and demonstrating that the institution cares for its stakeholders. Content built with the right balance of words and visuals is well received and attractive to target audience. Several channels such as Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter and new age channels such as Instagram can be tapped to achieve various goals. A mix of content and imagery

  • Making announcements: As a medium of communication of important events and matters, such as graduation/exam dates, new rules, new courses, etc.
  • Showcasing facilities, such as new infrastructure, e.g. library, swimming pools, dorm facilities, etc. that are an important part of the student life
  • Drawing feedback from students to make certain decisions that require stakeholder inputs
  • Serving as a thought leader by proactively providing interesting content around career and study areas
  • Showcasing important events in the campus, such as annual days, sports days, etc.
  • Driving awareness of world events and internal events (e.g. fundraisers, blood donation camps, etc.) that concern the student population
  • Building a strong and loyal alumni network and encouraging participation. Posts on career achievements, promotions, etc. will help reconnect alumni, grow the University’s exposure and increase the SEO value of alumni and the college/university

3. Social listening to build solutions and proactively connects with students:

Social listening enables universities and colleges to proactively listen to the students and their concerns across platforms. These tools can be used to build solutions to serve the students/ parents. Many universities in the west use twitter tools to engage with students and the community. Also, intercepting prospective/ current student conversations and directing them to the right information in real time/ quickly helps build a lasting impression about the educational institution

4. Digital advertising to drive admissions, placements and increase visibility:

Digital advertising can be used to drive admissions, reach out for campus placements and to improve visibility the in the short term on search engines. Digital Ads can be placed across the Google network and on social media, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and can be targeted and optimized to reach the right audience. In the current generation, the students rarely use the traditional press for information gathering and hence making any spends primarily on digital ads makes more sense. The ROI is both traceable and visible, making every penny spent, accounted.

5. Mailers for consistent contact and generating inquiries:

Well-designed mailers serve two primary purposes for a college/university. A mailer is a personal touch-point with the receivers and hence,

  • For communicating regularly with existing students, i.e. newsletters, announcements, etc.
  • Generating admission inquiries from databases of prospective students and their parents

6. Blogs to educate and drive traffic to the website:

Students are constantly looking for information to further their study and careers, much in advance of them even graduating from schools. They use the internet to help them prepare better for tests, chose educational institutions or look for career guidance. A University / college can plug into this requirement and serve as a thought leader in the educational space, thereby adding value to their branding. Blogs are a good way to attract prospective students and also improve search rankings on Google.

 7. Using online for payments and application process:

It is a humongous task to have prospective applicants and current students pay fees and make other payments over bank counters. A college/university website can integrate this functionality into their website and increase application conversions as well as ensure compliance of fee and other payments on time by students. The website and Social Media can also be used to communicate deadlines periodically for the same purpose

Going digital for University / College is not a decision anymore; it is just a “Must”. It is not what needs to be done, but “how to do it” that will make one university/college differentiate from the rest. It is important therefore to set the key USPs and define measurable goals before building a strategy and making expenses on the digital assets and advertisements.

Social Beat held its 1st Digital Leadership Summit

Key Highlights from the Social Beat Digital Leadership Summit 2016:

  • Measuring ROI from digital marketing and content marketing are the biggest challenges faced
  • Carat Lane tracks 4000 data points in order to measure the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns – says Mithun Sacheti, Founder of Carat Lane
  • Lifetime value of the customer is key to understanding ROI from any medium, including digital
  • Different digital channels work differently depending on the brands and the right attribution model helps track the results effectively
  • Content Marketing is less about marketing and more about content. Brand are allocating as much as 15% of their total marketing budget towards content marketing.

Chennai, 5th Aug 2016: The 1st Social Beat Digital Leadership Summit 2016 was a congregation of over 125 CMOs, Brand Heads & CXOs from varied industries. Mithun Sacheti, the Keynote Speaker kick started the Summit and shared insights on how a data driven approach at Carat Lane has helped it acquire customers and build a brand. Carat Lane’s internal team analyses over 4000 data points, from across channels, including TV, Retail, Print, Radio and Online Marketing.

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Speaking at the event, Mithun Sacheti, Founder Carat Lane said “Digital is going to be key for every business in India. The discovery of products and services is going to happen via digital, through consumption will be omni channel across digital, retail and other channels.” Emphasising on the importance of data and analytics Mithun said “The beauty of digital is that you can analyse and measure everything. It’s never too much data to decide your action items. At Carat Lane we analyse over 4000 data points on a monthly basis.”

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The keynote session was followed by a panel discussion on Measuring ROI from digital marketing. Moderating the panel, Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat, said “Depending on whether the business has a product which has high search volume or is an impulse purchase, Google or social media will be more effective.” Arasu Shankar from eShakti.com said “Apart from tracking the cost of acquiring a customer, it is important to understand the lifetime value of the customer in order to be able to understand the profitability of the business”.

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Peshwa Acharya, CMO of Sterling Holidays speaking at the event said “Digital transformation has already happened from the consumer’s perspective. Now it’s time for brands to wake up to this opportunity. There will be many inflection points, for example, COD in ecommerce. Brands need to anticipate and leverage these inflection points to their advantage.”

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The last discussion was around How Content Marketing can work for your brand with two successful brands, Matrimony and Murugappa Group sharing their experiences. Vijaylakshmi D, Senior Associate Vice President at Murugappa Group speaking on their successful content strategy around Madras Song said “Murugappa Group always had a strong connect with the city of Madras and we have had ongoing activities around this. When we looked at how do we connect with today’s generation we decided to use music and video as the medium to create the Madras Song to engage people to share their live for Madras.”. Murugappa Group in fact allocates close to 15% of marketing budget towards content marketing.

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Rajasekar KS, GM – Social Media & Content for Matrimony.com speaking on their HappyMarriages content initiative said “Content Marketing is more about content and less about marketing. If you can understand your consumer’s problems and leverage that to build content, then it will strike the right cord with the audience.”

 

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Speaking at the occasion, Vikas Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat summarised, “The digital medium is a powerful medium and only creativity is the limit. We hope that the experience sharing by CMOs and Marketing Heads would enable the entire industry to learn and grow their digital presence.”

Thanks to the entire organising team at Social Beat for pulling off the Summit – Kudos to them! And a big thank you to our partners – Zarget, Sublime Factory & Brandwave.

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How To Create Low Cost Videos To Tell Your Brand Story

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.

Videos in digital marketing can prove to be extremely powerful & worthwhile for both brands and consumers. A lot of effort goes into conceptualizing & producing a video and it can prove to be quite costly. But today, there are a lot of ways in which you can create good quality videos with a low budget.

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.

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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)

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 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.

 

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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.

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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!