Why are blogs important for every business?

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!

 

Top Platforms to discover Influencers for your Brand

With the quick rise in demand for Influencer Marketing, there is a need for tools and platforms to aid brands identify the right influencers and engage them. Many platforms have cropped up that either aid you to identify the influencers yourself via a DIY tool or connect you to the right influencers for your brand based on your requirements. Some of them are free while others are either freemium or paid platforms. Let us take a look at the top platforms to discover Influencers for your brand and help you connect and engage them in your marketing campaigns.

Top-10-Influencers-Infographic-Content

1. Klout

Klout is one of the most well-known tools in the Influencer Discovery and Engagement space. Launched way back in 2008, it analyzes the social network presence of an individual to arrive at Klout score. Last year, the tool was updated to serve as a content curation and content discovery platform for users.

Main features:

  • Research, segment and manage influencer lists
  • Quick overview of the social influencer of your brand’s potential influencers
  • Perks program feature to engage influencers (in Klout for Businesses)
  • Amplify reach via native ads (in Klout for Businesses)
  • Keyword search for influencers, though the functionality is not as advanced as others

2. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a paid tool that offers content marketing plus influencer identification on a single dashboard. Quite useful for content marketing by brands, it allows you insights into what type of content works best in your industry / target audience. There are multiple subscription plans available based on requirements of your brand, with the basic plan starting at $79 per month.

Main features:

  • Topic Search for the most popular content being shared
  • Research and track influencers based on keywords & hashtags
  • Influencers search has an option to segregate influencers based on different profiles like bloggers, journalists, etc.
  • Option to export data(csv/xls) for deeper analysis

3. Kred

Kred is a paid tool for influencer measurement that helps you to identify and engage with influencers based on its Kred Scores. The metrics behind the Kred Scores is more complex in comparison to Klout. The platform provides two types of score- the main Kred Influence Score and the Kred Outreach Score.

Main Features:

  • A more comprehensive scoring system that takes into account all aspectsofinfluencer activities on Twitter to arrive at the synopsis of an Influencer’s influence
    • Kred Influence Score based on followers, retweets, mentions and replies for a profile
    • Kred Outreach Score based on the frequency of the tweet/retweets, replies and mentions
  • Community level influencer filtering like sports, technology, marketing, etc.
  • Additional services like Rewards Service and Email Marketing to engage influencers

4. FollowerWonk

A simple tool from the house of Moz, FollowerWonk is a search engine & analytics tool that focuses exclusively on Twitter for Influencer discovery and tracking. Rich engagement metrics and competitor influencers following are some great insights provided by the tool.

Main features:

  • Twitter Profile Search based on parameters like bio, location, name & url to help you identify influencers based on your requirement
  • Breakdown followers based on Follower count, tweet count and authority
  • Audience Comparison Tool that allows comparison of profiles to check audience overlap and mutually exclusive audience vis-à-vis your competitors
  • Visual infographics and interactive charts for your tweets, followers and RTs
  • Export reports for future reference

5. Keyhole

Keyhole is a freemium Hashtag tracking tool to discover content & influencers associated with an event or campaign on social media. It can pull-out influencer profiles, conversations and top trending content using a particular hashtag.

Main features:

  • Currently available across Twitter & Instagram
  • Detailed insights such as top influencers, recent conversation sources, top links/sites & top posts
  • Easy exporting of any data to your clipboard
  • Additional features like Audience Intelligence Reports for paid subscription users

6. Influencer

Influencer.in is one of the leading influencer marketing platforms with more than 5000 influencers listed on the platform. The platform offers brand influencers across a wide range of categories such as lifestyle, fashion, sports, travel, healthcare, technology, etc.

Main features:

  • Tracking and identifying the right influencers for your brand
  • Campaign ideation and Influencer engagement
  • Customized Campaign Analytics and Tracking reports
  • Content marketing and amplification
  • Strong influencer network for the Indian market

7. Topsy

Topsy is an interesting tool that allows you to track the influencers who are sharing a specific piece of content – it can be your competitors article, link or a tweet. It allows you to pull out all users who share a content relevant to your industry and automatically filter the most influential sharers. It supports upto 10 different languages that includes English, French, German and Spanish.

 

Top-5 Content Management Systems for your website

If you are planning to build a website in the near future, you might be confused on which platform to use. While there is a whole bunch of content management systems (CMS) in the market, you might want to use the platform that allows you to do it without worrying too much about the technical aspects like coding.

What is a Content Management System?

In simple terms, a Content Management System is a software tool that allows you to create, edit, publish and manage web content. The main objective of a CMS is to provide an intuitive interface to manage your content on the web.

There are many good content management systems like WordPress and Drupal; and they are all fantastic. But choosing one among them can be difficult because you do not know if the website is suited for the needs of your website. The server can sometimes be a challenge in having an effective CMS and we usually recommend the Linux based servers being provided by Bluehost or Amazon Web Services.

This article shall make you aware of the different aspects of the Top-5 Content Management Systems in the market and help you make an informed decision.

  1. WordPress

Homepage: www.wordpress.org

One of the world’s most popular content management systems, WordPress started out as a blogging platform, but has grown and advanced significantly over the years. Based on PHP & MySQL, WordPress is used by almost 23% of the top 10 million websites around the world. Examples of WordPress websites are Social Beat, ithought, etc.

Advantages:

  • It’s free and the easy installation offered does not require complex technical know how to maintain the website
  • User friendly dashboard for managing content
  • Multi-user and multi-blogging support
  • Wide number of plug-ins and themes, both paid and unpaid, for customizing your website
  • A large developer community and plenty of tutorials and documentation available for support
  • Easy linkage to your email platforms such as Mailchimp to allow you to keep in touch with customers

Disadvantages:

  • Standard installation can have security issues and is vulnerable to attacks. Needs to be addressed with continuous updates and monitoring of the website

 

  1. Drupal

Homepage: www.drupal.org

Drupal is the 2nd most popular PHP-based content management system. It’s a powerful, developer friendly platform that can be easily used for building complex websites. In the latest releases, database management modules have been added that allow managing SQL operations without writing SQL queries. Many big companies like General Electric, Time Warner and Sony Music, are using Drupal.

Advantages:

  • Less resource intensive than WordPress
  • Technically advanced in comparison to peers like WordPress and Joomla
  • Very flexible; has the feature to even edit the root files of the program
  • Easily customizable with numerous plug-ins & 6000+ modules available for easy extension of functionality
  • Powerful taxonomy & ability to tag and organize complex content
  • Faster load and response time
  • Powerful use cases available

Disadvantages:

  • Basic knowledge of HTML, PHP and other common programming languages is required
  • Theming system is complex along with a lack of high-quality plug-ins
  • Site complexity beyond a simple website or a blog requires technical know-how to keep it running

 

  1. Joomla

Homepage: www.joomla.org

Joomla is quite often, an intermediate choice between WordPress and Drupal, having the power of a Drupal website and at the same time managing the user-friendly nature of a WordPress website. Joomla has a lot of plug-ins and themes available to choose from, so you can easily customize your website based on your requirements. It’s suitable for creating back-end networks for a wide range of purposes like inventory control and reservation systems to online commerce websites.

Advantages:

  • Faster and easier to setup an online store; has more native support online commerce
  • A great platform to create social networks
  • Long history of development and an active developer community
  • Tons of plugins and add-on tools available
  • 7000+ plus extensions and an extensive help portal

Disadvantages:

  • Not easy for beginners
  • Modularity & expendability puts greater demand on server parameters
  • Lack of high-quality themes when compared to WordPress

 

  1. SilverStripe

Website: www.silverstripe.org

SilverStripe is another open source content management system, best serving the needs of developers slightly comfortable with coding. Built on an object-oriented framework called Sapphire, it has multiple platform modules allowing it to support a content formats like blogs as well as forums / communities. SilverStripe code is bound together through independent frameworks; thus providing it the capability to support any CSS Style Sheets and HTML codes.

Advantages:

  • Open standards for development leading to high development versatility
  • Easy back-end functions
  • Powerful content authoring tool with ability to publish/unpublish content on specific dates
  • Differential permission levels for different parts of the site to manage your own editor/author network
  • Strong developer community SilverStripe LTD to fall back for technical support

Disadvantages:

  • Less intuitive back-end in comparison to peers like WordPress
  • Less than 200 extension modules and not many high-quality themes available
  • Lack of documentation support

 

  1. TextPattern

Website: www.textpattern.com

A highly flexible content management system, TextPattern is a free, PHP based CMS that is more often skipped when looking at the top CMSs for websites. It leverages Textile to quickly convert plain text to XHTML, making it user-friendly for beginners.

Advantages:

  • User-friendly for non-technical users
  • Suitable for websites of varied sizes
  • Great documentation; complete manual available online

Disadvantages:

  • Minimal variety of themes (~120 front end themes available)
  • Fewer plugins
  • Small developer community

Popular Influencer Marketing Campaigns in India

The latest buzz word in the digital marketing world that is steadily catching up with brands is ‘Influencer Marketing’. Western companies have leveraged this strategy of marketing for the past few years and the trend is quickly catching up with Indian brands as well. Brands in India have actively come up with successful influencer campaigns for the past 2-3 years.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a term that has risen from the realization of brands about the power, peer influence and customer recommendation has over other forms of marketing. Especially in a time, where consumers have started using social media in huge numbers and have been public about their views about brands and products. Brands have realized that people are largely influenced by second-hand information from opinion leaders and this has led to a lot of brands identifying top influencers in their respective fields to try and reach out to consumers better.

Once brands have identified Influencers in their particular domain, it is important that they find a means with which they can connect to them and make them speak about the particular product. The engagement plans have to be well thought out and shouldn’t look too commercial. Here are a few popular influencer marketing campaigns in India, that companies have used to engage and leverage the power and reach of influencers.

  1. Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet – YoGa2bFree

One of the top influencer marketing campaigns in the country came from Lenovo for their Yoga 2 tablet range. Lenovo hired four famous twitter celebrities namely film critic Mihir Fadnavis, gadget guru Ankit Vengurlekar, actor Ashwin Mushran and food blogger Kalyan Karmakar. Rather than using these four influencers to simply do the customary sharing of features of the tablet, they were actually shown being trapped inside a box.

The campaign invited consumers to answer questions and find clues that could help free their favorite Twitterati. Participants who answered all their questions rightly would win a free Yoga Tablet. 

  1. Launch of Cadbury Glow

 A few mid-range twitter influencers along with Bollywood fashion and lifestyle blogger Miss Malini were roped in to promote Cadbury Glow which targeted the super-premium chocolate market. The campaign focused on the key aspect of Cadbury Glow which allowed people to share personalized notes, songs, photo albums and videos along with it.

One of Miss Malini’s friend made a video for her and shared it on twitter which she retweeted bringing in a lot of traction towards the product.

  1. Philips Air Fryer 

Philips had introduced its latest kitchen appliance Air Fryer in 2012 and there were very few who knew its application and use. It allowed deep frying of a variety of food items with 80% less oil consumption. Despite such a huge feature, the Air Fryer remained relatively unknown in the market.

This is where Philips along with its digital agency Ogilvy One roped in Sanjay Thumma who is known for his cookery channel on YouTube called Vahchef. The campaign started a six month long show called “Philips Superchef” that managed to create a lot of awareness amongst consumers.

  1. Colgate Charcoal Toothbrush 

Colgate launched its new SlimSoft Charcoal Toothbrush and decided to bring it into public view using an innovative and unique campaign. The campaign was for 3 days where key influencers targeted by Colgate were sent an item that was completely black in color each day. The first day was a black mug followed by a WhatTheBlack Times newspaper and on the final day the black charcoal toothbrush.

At the same time Colgate also started a #WhatTheBlack contest on Twitter where bloggers and top Twitteratis had to write their top 5 black things without actually revealing anything about the brand or product. This led to a lot of speculation among consumers who came up with a variety of guesses as to what the product was going to be. These two campaigns brought about a great deal of attention to the debut of the Charcoal Toothbrush.

  1. The Madras Song 

The Madras Song was released by the Murugappa Group to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Madras. Murugappa Group teamed up with socialbeat.in and roped in bloggers from diverse fields to blog and talk about the song. The song went viral and within 5 weeks generated almost 2.5 lakhs views.

Twitter hashtags like #FavMadrasMemory and #Madras375 Celebrations were created which turned out to become very popular among Chennaites.

  1. IBuyFresh

IBuyFresh’s campaign to reach out to its audience interested in cooking & recipes online invited influencers to visit their warehouse and blog their experience to help spread the word. The campaign received attention from local bloggers in the respective field and helped a great deal in popularizing the brand among consumers.

  1. Raintree Hotels

Popular luxury hospitality chain Raintree started an interesting influencer campaign to promote their recently renovated hotels. They invited top travel bloggers to stay and share the experience to fellow travel enthusiasts following them. The campaign worked remarkably well in letting people know about the renovation and the various special services offered.

  1. Opera Coast Campaign 

Opera’s latest browser, Opera Coast had features that would change the way people would use a browser in the iOS. The browser was designed without an address bar, forward and backward button and other features that made it completely unique from any conventional browser.

The campaign used kinetic sand which is a soft, stretchy and non-sticky sand that can be used to make innovative shapes. The brand identified a particular set of creative professionals as influencers which included artists, media & ad folks, illusionists, entrepreneurs and musicians. Each of the influencer was sent a surprise package containing kinetic sand and a personal note asking them to spend time making something with the sand.

The influencers pleasantly surprised by the package, shared their experience about the iOS browser and also how they liked the surprise campaign.

  1. Ford India Campaign 

Ford launched Ford Fiesta Powershift Automatic via social media to promote the ‘Real People, Real Experience’ approach. It invited auto enthusiasts in the country to drive the newly launched car and thereby prompted them to share their experience through their respective media.

The event was held in Buddh Racing track in Noida and the track was specially designed for drivers to discover the key features in the car. The list of people included bloggers, businessmen, photographers and designers who were all known to be auto enthusiasts. The campaign drew a lot of attention from people across various social media like Twitter, Facebook etc.

  1. Allen Solly #ShootforSolly 

To promote the brand’s entire chino range, Allen Solly came up with the #ShootforSolly campaign. The brand handpicked 22 people across 7 cities in India consisting of 11 eminent personalities and 11 budding photographers.

The models were asked to pick up a pair of Allen Solly chinos and shirts and then coordinate with the selected photographer for a photo shoot to be planned completely by the model and photographer.

Allen Solly not only managed to make the 22 influencers talk about the campaign, but also created a buzz about the chinos and how they suited different styles and body types.

All these campaigns focused on the essential aspects of Influencer Marketing. They targeted the right influencers and built a campaign that would naturally make influencers directly or indirectly endorse their product. These campaigns are excellent examples of Influencer Marketing done right.

Click here to launch your Influencer Markerting campaign in India

Top 12 Digital Marketing Blogs in India

top-12-india

A while ago we shared the worlds’ best digital marketing blogs which covered a comprehensive range of the kind of content that is being created and shared worldwide. And then we got to wondering, how well-versed is the Indian market with the digital era?

In 2014, we witnessed an increasing number of Indian brands going digital. From Real Estate to HealthCare, players across industries have ensured that they get their digital id cards and access to the world of online marketing for we all know that the future is going digital, so might as well board the ship to future!

Boarding the ship just won’t do. The key is to keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends and digital discoveries and use them to the best of your capabilities to expand your business. After all, digital media is all about growing. So, after a lot of back-breaking research, we got down to rounding up some of the best digital marketing blogs in India which could help you guide your way forward in the online space.

1. SOCIAL SAMOSA

Social Samosa

Founded by Aditya Gupta and Ankit Gaba, Social Samosa is the provenance of high-toned content which encompasses of agency highlights, in-depth case studies, interviews with prominent icons in the digital world, campaign reviews along with tips and tools that could help you grow profoundly in the social media expanse. The idea is to help businesses understand the world of social media locally and globally. We do guest blog at Social Samosa and you can check our post on Kickstarting a digital agency. Here are a few recommended blogs from this hub of knowledge –

5 Ways in which the brand can engage the blogger community

A Blogger’s Cheatsheet for Generating Topic Ideas Through Effective Search

 

2. AFAQS!

Afaqs

One of the blogs we refer to on a more-than-regular basis to keep up to speed with the advertising world. Afaqs is a one stop destination for all things related to advertisements and marketing in the digital space. What sets Afaqs apart is that there is a lot more to take away as compared to any other content hub. Right from tidbits about industry’s who’s who, online trending campaigns, guest articles by prominent figures from the ad world, social media statistics to new revelations in the digital world, Afaqs covers everything! We found these articles most interesting from last week –

How the Psychology of Color Can Increase Your Website Conversions

April 1 : The Day That Was For Brands

 

3. CAMPAIGN INDIA

CIndia

Like Campaign Asia, the blogs at Campaign India cover the trending topics in digital media and they act like a solo powerhouse of information that is adequate for online marketers. The content found on this platform is mostly news and opinions from the digital world. Some of the most popular blogs are –

Gamification : Beyond the Buzz World

Why behavioural economics can help brands to tell a great story

 

4. SOCIAL BEAT

socialbeat

Focused mainly towards entrepreneurs who are looking to create a footprint in the world of digital marketing, Social Beat blogs cater to a variety of industries. The content in the blogs aims at helping businessmen understand how different strategies can help them grow their business online. The blogs are enriched with quality insights and goal-oriented strategies. The founders of Social Beat, Suneil Chawla and Vikas Chawla strongly believe in delivering explicit business results to their clients and that’s what inspired them to share such content.

Here are some insightful blogs –

3 Ways to track phone calls generated via Google Analytics, Adwords & G+

Top 10 ways to use Google Analytics for analysing actionable results

 

5. LIGHTHOUSE INSIGHTS

Lighthouse insights

From latest news to top digital media trends, Lighthouse Insights provides everything. Timely interviews with eminent personalities from the creative world are also covered in their content hemisphere. These articles are something to look forward to for people who love nibbling on digi facts and understandings.

How Brands Are Using Meerkat And Periscope For Live Streaming

Talking About Death Is A Cultural Taboo In India, Says Anisha Motwani, Director & CMO At Max       Life Insurance

 

6. INDIBLOGGER

Indiblogger

Indiblogger is one of the largest blogging forums in the country. Bloggers from all over India share their understanding, thoughts, opinions, experiences which are more or less first hand content. The best part about first hand content is that it is experience and understanding rich. What’s more? The content is segregated under various categories. So if you happen to be looking for content related to marketing, all you have to do is select Business > Marketing & Advertising under the IndiVine tab.

This is also an excellent forum to share your content and achieve visibility for the same

 

7. SORAV JAIN

soravjain

He is one of those few marketing professionals who dare to think beyond the horizon. Sorav Jain is famous for his social media marketing proficiency and is respected in the industry for it. This young lad was included in the list of “Top 25 Social Media Professionals of India” and went on to  organizing events like India Search and Social Summit 2010. His blogs are the perfect reference for online marketers who are looking for content which talks about marketing campaigns in depth and numerous case studies. His blogs also delve into a lot of dos and donts for industry specific marketers.  Some of the blogs we recommend for you are –

12 Social Media and Digital Marketing Investment Tips / Prediction for 2015

5 Essential things to remember while doing Online Reputation Management

 

8. SEO TECHY WORLD

SEOtechyworld

More or less like Moz, the content that is available on this platform is inclined towards Search engine optimization and content marketing.

Some of the interesting blogs are –

Here’s What to Do With Your Content, Before You Click Publish

WordPress.org VS WordPress.com: Comparative Guide

Apart from Content marketing & SEO, this platform also covers topics that are relevant to online marketers and whatever there is to understand about the digital space.

 

9. BHAT NATURALLY

bhat

Lakshmipathy Bhat is one of the top bloggers in India and one of the top notch advertising professionals in India. What started as a medium to convey his opinions and views on advertising as a business has today become a center where news & views related to the ad world ( traditional & digital ) are shared. Most of his posts are about advertising campaigns noteworthy – global and Indian. When a good TVC or an ambient digital marketing idea catches his attention, he pens down his views and thoughts about it. Subscribe to his blogs, because they are loaded with his keen observations which are hard to come by.

Knorr – Flavor of Home: all the ingredients of a viral hit

Listerine: when creative is the differentiator

 

  1. SIMPLIFY 360

simplify360

Popular for its social media listening tools, Simplify 360 blogs give us great insights about the topics that trend online and help us discover the world of real-time conversations that come extremely handy in the process of brand building online. The content shared here is based mostly on social media monitoring and helps marketers understand the depth of the campaigns online. In order for a brand/business to grow in all dimensions, it is necessary to stay updated with the digital marketing trends and be able to bank on real time engagements. With the help of the insightful content that is shared on this platform, the whole process just gets easier.

Here are some topics worth exploring –

What Customers Expect From Banks?

What is what about #CWC15 on Social Media

 

11. DESI CREATIVE

Desi Cretaive

As the name suggests, the type of content available on this forum is purely creative. Founded by National Award Winning Cinematographer and an ex-advertising creative professional, Paramvir Singh, this blog forum talks all about ads and how creative they are. For a business to become a brand, it is important for a degree of creativity to be present because end of day, that’s what sets you apart from the rest and helps you break the clutter in the market. So all things desi and all things creative, this blog will give you a great deal of understanding of the different levels of creativity in the digital space.

Some mind-blowing creative posts just for you –

Parking For PlayGround – Spec Work

Ola Air By Happy, Bangalore

 

12. EXCHANGE4MEDIA

E4M

Exchange4Media was set up for publishing niche, applicable and quality content for the advertising and media professionals. It is more like a one-stop information board that caters to the entire media industry with analytical data, news, and detailed opinions that matter, in-depth analysis of events, tracking trends in the marketing world. The best part is all the branches of marketing are covered here, be it traditional or digital.

Here are some of the latest news articles –

Indian mobile ad spend won’t reach $1 billion till 2018: eMarketer report

Flipkart announces new additions to leadership

Top 12 Digital Marketing Blogs in the World

“In digital marketing, if you stop learning, you die!” For all those who work, think & breathe digital, this holds true. Digital Marketing is a dynamic, ever-evolving and fast space. This space is so rapid that each day brings along a new lesson, a new idea, and a new angle. The best part is there is always scope for more learning, henceforth, improvisation. And for a digital marketer, the learning curve never ceases to be.

Here’s a compilation of a few learning sources from around the world that can help you stay up-to-date with the digital media trends –

1. Moz Search Engine Optimization can often seem like a trailing game for marketers who don’t have the amenity of a dedicated search engine team. In a cut-throat competitive scenario, SEO techniques and great content often become the shining knights in armors and it is required for the marketers to keep themselves updated with the ins and outs of the SEO ranking. Moz blog is one such explicit resource that helps to brush up on topics that underlie many routine activities involved in the digital practice. The blog encompasses everything related to content marketing, search engine optimization, latest updates by Google, responsive design, and building communities. Whiteboard Friday blogs are something my team and I look forward to since there is plenty to take away from Rand Fishkin’s juicy insights on interesting SEO & Content Marketing topics every week!

moz-whiteboard friday

 

2. Convince & Convert The name says it all! Their blog section is more like a splendid guide to digital marketing and they definitely help in improving social media and content marketing strategies because of all the abundant data which is based on audits, strategic marketing plans, guidelines for content and social media marketing. The best part about the blogs that are shared is that they are entirely focused on helping businesses grow online. Topics like “How to get heard in a noisy world” , “5 simple tweaks to optimize your form conversion” , “How to turn B2B prospects into customers” etc. explore the whole wide area of the digital space to the online marketers and help them understand what could be done better to gain conversions.

ConvinceNConvert

 

3. QuickSprout Founded by Neil Patel, one of the top 10 online marketers in the world the blog offers all that can be instrumental in revenue growth. Neil is a web analytics and conversion expert and also the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. The blog has a lavish range of case studies loaded with interesting web insights, all focused towards manifold increment in web traffic and conversions. Here’s one for reference which we found extremely interesting –

Quicksprout

4. Social Media Examiner One of my all-time favorite posts from this social media focused blog forum would be the one which is titled “26 Creative Ways to Publish Social Media Updates”. The reason being that brands struggle to produce innovative content for social media and this article displays 26 different ways one can approach storytelling on social media. Social Media Examiner is an excellent content source for outstanding tactical coverage of all things social media from Mike Stelzner and his brilliant team.

al-26-creative-ways-to-publish-480

5. Hubspot The inbound marketing blog showcases anything and everything related to marketing and sales. The articles delve into precise how-to-topics and the trends that hover in the industry. When you are looking for specific marketing solutions/answers and are looking to adopt new ideas and practices, stop by hubspot! We recently came across a blog from Hubstop “How to Grow your E-mail List by Running a Contest” and tried applying the key points to one of our campaigns whose main aim was to build engagement whilst compile a brand new subscriber database and guess what? It works!

hubspot

6. Content Marketing Institute This is the dynamo of content marketing industry. The multi-author editorial team delivers informative content and tactful insights daily for the advanced content marketers around the globe.

content marketing institute

The above featured blogs showcase how content marketing can do so much more than just getting people interested in reading your content. We believe that great content eventually leads to business generation and the kind of insights available from Content Marketing Institute helps us think through our content strategy and improvise it on a regular affair.

7. Search Engine Land Owned by Danny Sullivan, a leading SEO expert in the online marketing space, this is the best venue to grasp in-depth information about SEO, SEM and social media. As digital marketers, we indulge in a lot of advertising online through social media channels and Google. But the key lies in constantly improving and optimizing the ads to get conversions at the best possible prices. Search Engine Land offers information in abundance that revolves around how Google works and search engine marketing. Some of the popular blogs are as follows.

search engine
8. JeffBulas.com Jeff Bullas is a blogging prodigy and a social media marketing genius. All his blogs are about ‘everything social media’ and e-mail marketing and have straight-forward approach of sharing information that can be extremely viable in driving the businesses towards an optimum visibility online. He was titled by Linkedin as a “Top Social Media Expert You Need To Know” and he has also made it to the Forbes’ Top 40 Social Marketing List. Some of his most interesting blogs are around how visual media works best for tapping your audiences and why is it necessary to be visually appealing on digital media.

jeff

 

9. Simply Measured It is pretty simple with the kind of information Simply Measured has in store for the readers. Strong information backed with data insights and powerful social analytics is what the blog provides which is required by businesses to help them grow.

Simply Measured

The type of information and content available at Simply Measured helps us stay updated on what’s new in the online space  and how it could be beneficial to us. For online marketers to understand how a new discovery can be used to it’s full potential to build leads and the brand, there is no other venue better than this one.

 

10. Audience Bloom Audience Bloom is a hub for data and content that is productive in nature. The content has great in depth information about various social media and SEO tools that can be extremely helpful in staying up to date with the digital trends.

Audience Bloom

The reason why my team and I go gaga over the posts shared by Audience Bloom is because apart from the usual digital mantras, they also cover topics that are realistic in nature and help digital marketers as individuals in expanding their knowledge horizon. I as a social media manager, of course have some favorites like the ones mentioned below –

audience

 

11. Youtube Google Business Channel A splendid forum for knowledge sharing and google insights in the form of video blogs makes it more interesting for the viewers. The blog contains multiple videos about how Google functions and tools that can helpful in leveraging Google products.

Youtube google+

What could be better than watching videos and accumulating knowledge? A couple of recommended videos would be “Promoting App Installs With Ad Words” and “Online Branding – Win Customers In a Moment”.

 

12. Campaign Asia Campaign Asia is an authoritative voice of media that showcases and highlights the emerging trends in the digital world.

Campaign Asia

Stay up to date with the giant marketing trends and do what’s best to stay ahead of the race in the digital world with the help of these tidbits. We are on it! If there are other blogs that you follow please do share them with us!

Content Marketing helps startups connect – Social Beat featured in the Economic Times

For Spidey fans a trivia which says Andrew Garfield admitted to shedding tears the first time he wore the Spiderman costume shooting for The Amazing Spiderman, could be priceless. And for a startup that sells super hero merchandise, this exclusive trivia on their interactive blog could mean serious business. Stories told through videos and blogs are taking the place of advertisements for several startups that are using content to engage with customers.

“Every industry has a story to tell, if they look hard enough. And people continue to love interesting narrative,” said Lakshmanan Narayan, founder of Chennai-based Unmetric, a social media intelligence platform whose company has been serving clients like Toyota, American Airlines and Lowe’s. Most startups working in the online space find content-based marketing or content marketing as a medium to connect to the customer and prefer it over direct marketing. Without pitching brands directly, content marketing looks at generating relevant content that educates and creates awareness among customers.

“Content marketing allows us to engage the customers better by sharing information that is useful for them,” said Rishi Khaithan, cofounder of BuildMyEvent, a Mumbai-based platform, which connects its customers to venues for their events. It also provides platforms for its vendors to connect with the customers via their blog instead of individual marketing.

“Startups don’t have the money to compete with the big names,” said Vikas Chawla of Social Beat, a Chennai-based digital agency delivering social media marketing and ecommerce consulting. “They have to do things in a different way either around the product or around content. Content marketing helps them to do that.”

“People get sick of ads,” says Pradeep Rajadas of Sociall.in, a Chennai-based social media marketing company . “Diversity keeps you engaged. So you have to start spinning stories to which customers can connect to and through which you can promote your brand,” he added. Sociall has developed and marketed content for city-based real estate companies, focusing on the lifestyle, neighbourhood, appreciation of land and so on. The company has also produced content around “investment opportunities” in technology productivity hacks from tech, ROI from your latest smartphone purchase and so on for a gadget retailer.

This article was originally published in the Economic times

 

Our co-founder Suneil Chawla featured in The Times of India

Social Beat co-founder Suneil Chawla featured in The Times of India coverage on how companies are leveraging the reach of bloggers and influencers for building their brand visibility online. We have also recently launched our new initiative for Influencer Marketing in India which can be seen at www.influencer.in

TOI Coverage1

 

Social Beat Influencers & Bloggers Meet in Chennai

IMG_20141213_193554

Riding on the social media wave, #Influencer #Marketing has emerged as the next big thing. We have also recently launched our new initiative for Influencer Marketing in India which can be seen at www.influencer.in. In this context, the Social Beat Influencers’s Meet was held at the Hotel Vestin Park today. The guest list included content marketing experts, bloggers and social media influencers, as follows:

  • Mr. Rajasekar, Head – Content & Social Media marketing, Bharat Matrimony
  • Naveena Vijayan, Sub-editor, The New Indian Express
  • Sarath Babu, Twitter Influencer & Blogger
  • Shrinidhi Hande, Travel & Lifestyle Blogger
  • Pari Vasisht, Food & Home Blogger
  • Balaji Vijayaraghavan, Co-founder, Insightz Media Pvt. Ltd.

The agenda revolved around content marketing, its evolution and future trends. The key discussion points that came up for discussion are briefly mentioned as follows:

  • Content Strategy for blogs: With content marketing driving businesses, brands who haven’t taken to blogging as a marketing medium are missing out. According to Mr. Rajasekar, Head of Content Marketing at Bharat Matrimony – blogging by brands should not just revolve around lead generation in the short-term. The blog strategy should have a 360-degree approach whereby they should look at brand-building as well as providing relevant information to the readers who can be their future customers. This is a long-term strategy that can yield multi-fold returns for their efforts.
  • Key goal of influencers: The influencers need to develop a niche for themselves in their area of  interest, like lifestyle, travel, etc. Apart from various monetization opportunities, it also gives them a chance to establish themselves as an industry or domain expert.
  • Monetization of blogs: If you have an excellent blog, then you can look forward to monetizing it easily via various ways like collaboration with brands and Google AdSense. Google AdSense is an advertising program that works based on relevant content targeting. For example, in case a food blogger activates the AdSense program, then ads related to restaurants, food, etc. shows up next to the blog posts.
  • Freedom of speech working with brands: The freedom of speech issue discussed was one of the key points discussed. When bloggers work for brands, there is an important question involved – while reviewing a product, a blogger has a responsibility towards his readers but when one is paid by the brands on the other side to review the product, do you have the freedom to write about the cons? What should be done in such a case of conflict in interest? The panel was of the view that it’s ultimately the readers who should be the priority in the above scenario, as they have a responsibility towards their followers.
  • Creating the DNA in organizations to take user feedback from social media and implement policies: When brands go online, it is a double-edged sword. While it makes it easier for brands to reach their customers, it also opens an easy way for their customers to share their feedback in the public space. While good feedback is welcome, but negative feedback is dreaded by many brands. The discussion brought about an important aspect that it’s not the negative feedback that matters, but how you handle them. The organization’s DNA should have the ability to quickly handle negative feedback and improve the organization. Once a negative feedback is addressed appropriately, the now-converted happy customers will be the biggest brand ambassadors for their brand.

The meet ended on an enthusiastic note with demand for more such events in Chennai. We are equally excited about the next Influencer meet. Watch this space for more updates.

 

Top lifestyle bloggers in Chennai

Firstly, thanks for the positive response to our article on top digital marketing courses and top venue booking websites in India. Now, we have come out with the list of top lifestyle bloggers in Chennai, as part of our series on top bloggers & influencers in India. So, here goes the list, in no specific order:

 

mADHU

Blog: http://theurgetowander.com/

This blog, aimed at individual travelers, inspires you to cut your strings holding you back and go out exploring. A great array of experiences and cultural perspectives from her travel. The visual aesthetics of the blog is worth mentioning. The lines – “Come wander with me”, aptly describe the essence of the blog.

Srinidhi

Blog: http://www.enidhi.net/

This blog has existed for more than 8 years now and has a good following. It has posts on a wide spectrum of topics ranging from travel, product/service reviews, event coverage and print media articles. The product / services review section is a good catch, with lots of details available for each review on autos to services.

Naveena

Blog: http://naveenavijayan.wordpress.com/

Her blog talks about a whole spectrum of things under the sun ranging from lifestyle to health and environment. Her style of writing is unique with well-articulated thoughts put down. A tinge of poetic fervor is apparent in her writings.

Vinod

Blog: http://citychennai.wordpress.com/

It’s easy to find blogs that go gaga over Chennai or blogs that lie at the opposite end of the spectrum. One of the rare blogs to find that talks about all facets of the emotion called Madras. As the title goes – Good, Bad & Ugly Chennai, is an excellent read for someone who wants to learn about life in Chennai.

Shantaram

Blog: http://chennaimadras.blogspot.in/

This would give you a chance to peek into the soul of “the Queen of Coromandel”. A unique thing about this blog is that one Chennai photo is posted daily here.

ashwini

Blog: http://ash-aqua-girl.blogspot.in/2012/04/chennai-bloggers.html

An excellent blog to read everything “Wow” about Singara Chennai.

abhirami

Blog: http://am-howtonameit.blogspot.in/

An ex-journalist, her blog talks about the life and times of Chennai. Her reviews of simple aspects of Chennai life like an auto-rickshaw ride, make for an interesting read.