It was a delightful day when we got the news of being invited for the Google Partner Summit and being upgraded to a Premier Google Partner. So when the time came, Rohit & I packed our bags and took the journey to cover 13,876 kms from Chennai to San Francisco. The journey was not just the distance, but the fact that at the Summit we were amongst 900 partners around the world, who together controlled about 8% of the global digital advertising spend. It was indeed a delightful experience to be part of it.
“Now is our Moment” was an apt theme for the Google Partner Summit with multiple interactions with senior Google product managers and account managers interspersed with knowledge on how to manage talent as well as clients. It was a holistic agenda to help agencies like us succeed.
While a lot of the inputs provided at the Summit were confidential, we have summarized what we are allowed to share. Below were the 5 key takeaways for us:
Be there in the moment – Being there in the moment in the mobile first world is key and there was indeed a lot of discussion on the usual topics of mobile responsivness as well as website speed. There was discussion around the growing adaptation of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and infact Social Beat has already implemented AMP as well. With the responsive ads that Adwords has launched, the ads become a lot more immersive and adaptable to any device/ad unit size allowing brands to be there in the moment.The challenge with mobile has been that almost 75% of the audience start the interaction with the brand on one device, but complete it on another device. So measurement and tracking of ROI becomes a challenge. Fortunately, some tools like Optimizely help us resolve this.
Measure across devices, channels, offline – Measurement being key, there was discussion around multi device, multi channel and offline measurement since many visitors who search online do visit the retail store. We do have an interesting article on how search can help offline and omni channel retailers in India. While store visits as a conversion metric is already live in Google Adwords, there are many more exciting developments that we can watch out for in the online to offline measurement.
Leveraging Video for Brand Building & Sales – There is no doubt that video is the fastest growing medium in the digital space and many brands are creating engaging yet low cost videos for better brand recall and sales. Lucinda Barlow, Global Director of YouTube marketing pointed out that “There are only two things Americans do more than watch video: sleep & work” and that’s the reason why digital video is going to be even bigger going forward. YouTube has lined up some interesting features for ecommerce and omni channel retailers so watch our blogs for more info on this.
Virual Reality / AR – Part of the swag given by Google was the Cardboard which gave us a glimpse into the low cost Virtual Realty but what amazed us was the Google Day Dream (with Pixel) which is a very immersive VR experience and with devices becoming better and cheaper we are surely going to see more of them around. The experience brands can provide via VR is going to be a game changer and we look forward to exploring it. While Adwords is yet to integrate to VR/AR we do see that happening in the near future.
Machine Learning – Machine learning not only refines the experience we get at Google but is also helping agencies like us with programmatic advertising, some of which we have started experimenting with our clients using Double Click. Its only going to get better, allowing brands and agencies to deliver relevance at scale.
Apart from the product learnings, it was amazing for us to network and meet Google Partners from around the world and we even got to visit Googleplex and interact with product managers one on one (though we cannot share the details of these discussions yet).
Our newly acquired Premier Google Partner badge certifies us as a company trusted by Google, which is capable of providing the highest levels of service to clients.
We have fulfilled Google’s three main requirements for being a Premier Google Partner.
Google requires the team handling Adwords to prove their advanced AdWords knowledge by getting certified in AdWords. All team members handling Adwords campaigns at Social Beat are certified by Google to have the required levels of competency and proficiency to run successful campaigns.
Premier Google Partners are required to demonstrate that they are maximizing their clients’ performance by implementing Google’s recommended best practices in client accounts.
Google reviews Partner agencies’ client accounts to make sure that their clients are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes being made, client retention, and whether they’re making the most of their clients’ budgets.
The new badge is designed to recognize Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver great results for their customers
Contact Usto get your Adwords campaign started or to optimize an existing campaign for better ROI.
The third edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 23rd April 2016 received a wonderful response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion, led by Social Beat co-founder Suneil Chawla, was the effective use of digital advertising for customer acquisition and business growth.
As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:
Digital Advertising Terminology:
For those who are new to the world of digital advertising, there was a brief introduction to the terms that are used in the space:
Cost per Click (CPC): How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click. CPC is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of clicks generated.
Cost per Mille (Thousand Impressions) (CPM): Metric that shows how much it costs to serve 1,000 ad impressions. Also used as a standard measure for buying display ads, as inventory is generally sold on a CPM basis.
Cost per Lead (CPL): How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click that results in a lead conversion. CPL is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of leads generated.
Cost per action (CPA): A pricing method which calculates cost based on the number of times a user takes action based on an ad (conversions).
Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of impressions that results in a click through.
Digital Advertising Industry Benchmarks:
Following a brief discussion on how attendees were using digital advertising for their business, there was a discussion on the CTR, CPC, CPA and CPL benchmarks one can expect to see for different industries, based on the years of experience Social Beat has in the space. The table with the industry benchmarks is below:
Digital Advertising Exercises:
Event attendees then made four teams and brainstormed on a digital advertising exercise – Two teams worked on increasing the number of orders for an ecommerce client while two worked on expanding the business for a retail chain to 100+ stores across two Indian states.
The ecommerce exercise can be downloaded here and the retail chain exercise can be downloaded here.
Key takeaways from the exercises:
While scaling up digital advertising spends, always allocate more budgets to the platform or channel that is known to be performing and delivering results. So, for example if Google Adwords is proving better leads/orders and sales, revenue then grow that channel further. For many brands it might be Facebook, for some it could be Adwords, Third Party Platforms, Linkedin or even Pinterest.
Every platform will have some ceiling beyond which spends cannot be scaled up anymore without increasing CPA. Past data from individual platforms and from Google Analytics can help with this.
It might be prudent to allocate a small percentage of your advertising spends (anywhere between 5% to 10%) to experimenting with newer channels and avenues for customer acquisition.
Facebook tends to be the lowest cost of acquisition for most industries and is an excellent medium to target audiences who are not necessarily searching for your product/service yet.
Instagram’s growth and spread as a social media platform is literally a tech fairy tale. What started out as a purely recreational app by two young entrepreneurs is now nothing short of a global phenomenon. It’s been 18 months since Facebook acquired Instagram and has estimated 400 million monthly active users. After Facebook’s acquisition, Instagram has opened up advertising opportunities on its platform making it official, that Instagram has truly arrived as a powerful marketing platform.
However, if you plan to use this platform to market your brand, product or service, you must be aware that the regular, run-of-the-mill content and strategy will not work for Instagram. If done well, Instagram can not only increase your brand’s visibility but also can help you engage with your customers and generate business and revenue through it. So here’s a list of 9 ways to use Instagram effectively for your business
You Are What You Click
Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore you have to use images and videos that can tell your brand story effectively. Use high-quality product images yet ensure that they are not over salesy. The pictures must look organic and as natural as possible. Take this photo shared by Good Earth India
To launch their new kids collection, they have captured the essence of being a child by showcasing a little girl painting on the floor. By choosing to showcase the product in its natural setting instead of a typical product image, Good Earth manages to create a marketing free look while promoting their new collection for children.
Here’s another category of images that work – text. One may think that only images with people or objects do well on Instagram. Contrary to popular belief, images with text do well too. You can follow it up with a question in the caption to get great engagement. Check out this post by Buzzfeed Life about their latest blog post featuring 10 looks created out of a single LBD (Little Black Dress, for the uninitiated)
Ensure that your captions are brief yet engaging. Adding a question always helps to interact with your audience.
You can share plenty of behind-the-scene pictures and videos that can let people know about the team that works for the brand. Remember, the more real you are, the better people connect to your brand.
Once your Instagram profile creates this fun, creative and organic atmosphere, you can start seeing an increased traffic to your site and curiosity about your product/service.
Bio and Website Link
Unlike Facebook and most other social media platforms, Instagram does not allow clickable links on the posts or on the post description. However the profile bio allows you to write a brief about yourself or your business. Use this space to exactly convey what you would like to say to your audiences. Most brands also use a few emojis here to make this section stand out and support the text with some colour.
The website link added here is the only way your customer can be redirected from Instagram to your website (other than ads).
To subtly push your target audience to engage with your website, blog or your app, end most of your post content with a gentle reminder that the link to reach you is available in the bio. Check out this post by Photo Concierge showcasing stock images directing customers to a link of their choice.
As of March 2016, there are over 200,000 advertisers on Instagram and it’s a great tool to reach your target audience. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you will need to go through a Facebook Ad Account to run ads on Instagram. Here’s a quick guide on how to run Instagram ads
Visit the Facebook Ads Manager and create an account. Skip this process if you already have an ad account with Facebook.
Link your Instagram profile to your page using the tab under ‘Settings’ on your business Facebook page
Select your goal from the options that are offered through Instagram. For instance you can send people to your website, get people to download your app or promote your Facebook post through your Instagram profile.
As of now, one cannot promote a post on Instagram unless it is shared on Facebook.
Now create the ad on the Facebook ads manager with the image and text of your choice.
When you reach the ad format section, you will have the option of deciding if you would like to show your ad on Instagram. Alternately, if you would only like to run your ad on Instagram, make sure that you uncheck the other platforms.
Now fix your budget, check the ad preview, hit ‘Place Order’ and your good to go!
Like any platform, you need to experiment with various combinations of ads and text to understand which ads are working well with your target demographic. Try the carousel format with multiple pictures or a video ad to get the desired business results.
It has been observed that running Facebook ads along with the Instagram ads can reduce your cost per conversion by around 20%.
Engage and Reach Out
Engagement with your followers is quite hard on a platform like Facebook, but Instagram is the perfect place to really engage with your followers. It’s also a place that is geared more for organic and real conversations.
Your followers are a gold mine of potential customers. Creating a loyal fan base is a surefire way to generate customers. Of course, unlike running ads, this process takes a bit of time, effort and patience.
Sorting and keeping in touch with followers is vital. Tools like SocialRank are a fantastic way to organize, manage and identify your Instagram followers.
SocialRank essentially pulls out the profiles of all your followers and lets you sort them out based on your preferences. You can create lists of your most valuable followers and ensure that you follow them back. A thoughtful message on their special posts can go a long way in ensuring brand affinity.
Another interesting way to grow your community is by searching relevant non-followers and liking as well commenting on their posts. Richard Lazazzera, Author of What to Sell Online : The definitive guide, ran a small experiment wherein he shortlisted 100 of his competitors’ followers and liked as well commented on their posts. He managed to get a whopping 34% follow back from this group.
Follow : 14% followback
Follow + Like : 22% followback
Follow + Like + Comment : 34% followback
This clearly shows that the more effort you put into your Instagram profile, the better are your chances to build a strong and relevant community which in turn helps with business results.
Another great way to engage with your users, is by reposting customer content. Most brands heavily rely on this and it’s a great way to make them feel special. Use the Repost app to share your customer’s content and tag them on the post! Infact, there are many tools that help you manage your Instagram profile. Here’s another list of top tools to help you with Instagram.
Keep Your Account Clean
Instagram is a platform where often unfollowing is as important as following!
Since following others is a definitive way to increase your reach, you have to constantly unfollow the people who do not engage with you in any way. Some accounts that you follow may have become inactive and can be weeded out.
Crowdfire is the perfect app to help keep your account clean. Through its simple dashboard, you can quickly see the number of people who follow/do not follow you. It also pops up the profiles of your recent unfollowers which can help you unfollow them as well. Alternately, it helps you quickly find the list of your competitors to follow. With this dashboard, you can ensure that your account is always fresh and updated!
Hashtag Your Way To Glory
We all love hashtags. We are all guilty of using them all the time. But nowhere are hashtags more important than on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and we recommend using it well. The hashtags can be broadly divided into three categories
Popular Hashtags (#tbt, #photooftheday, #igers #popular)
Industry Related Hashtags (#Fashion, #FoodPorn, #instatech, #FitnessFreak)
Brand Related Hashtag (#Vogue , #UberCode, #MyntraFashion)
Ideally, each post must have a few from each of these categories. Do not forget to coin a hashtag for your brand and promote it regularly till it can catch on and have its own identity among your customers.
Many brands also use clever hashtags to communicate an emotion or trend related to their product. Just like this Starbucks post, where they use the #BeGoodToYourself hashtag along with their tea to indicate a feeling of wellness and indulgence.
Instagram influencers are very powerful and have almost the same impact as a popular brand ambassador for your business. Anybody who has a large following and content that interests your customers can be an influencer.
The key to getting the most out of influencer marketing is ensuring that it is done using several influencers and within a short time period. Your customer’s memory is short and to ensure that your brand is noticed, a Blitz Krieg approach to influencer marketing can go a long way. This is especially true when you are launching a new product in the market.
One of the best case studies to understand the impact of Instagram influencers is the launch of the Uwheel, a self-balancing two-wheeled hoverboard. The co-founder’s girlfriend recruited famous rappers, singers, socialites, and other Instagram influencers to talk about the Uwheel, all at once. Some of the posts and reviews were paid for while some others were given the Uwheel in exchange for a word about their business and product on their profile. And suddenly, Uwheel was all everyone was talking about!
Using a marketing budget of $61,200 their team was able to generate a revenue of over 1 million dollars and since then Uwheel as a brand, has not turned back. Read all about it here.
Wanted to get started with influencers for your business soon? Here’s a fantastic list of influencers to help you get started!
Like all social media platforms, Instagram analytics can help you understand your account and follower behaviour to help optimize your business. Using tools like Social Insight or Iconosquare you can find out more about important analytical points. For instance, the best time to post your content, most engaging content, most engaging filters etc.
These tools help generate comprehensive reports that can speak volumes about the user behaviour and help you understand what works and what does not for your Instagram account.
With Instagram, consistency is very important. You must keep sharing your content in different forms to be relevant and sustain the community you have built. One way to achieve this is by scheduling your posts in advance. Use tools like Schedugram and Latergramme so that your workload does not stop you from posting regularly on Instagram.
However, do remember that the name Instagram is inspired from the act of capturing a moment the instant it happens. Nothing works better than taking a picture while as it happens and sharing it immediately with your followers. A successful sales figure, a new product launch, a new business venture – share it when it takes place! During a recent interview, Eva Chen, Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships, speaks about how Instagram is more than just a numbers game and airbrushed photographs. Even grainy but real videos that were taken in poor lighting can do well on Instagram if they truly capture real life. So don’t be afraid to share it all.
Here are some more interesting case studies about using Instagram for business. Instagram is truly a treasure trove of new opportunities to expand your business and generate revenue. While it does work better for businesses that are more visual in nature, it still is emerging as the number one way to interact with the younger audiences with great spending potential. Have you tried to use Instagram for your business? We would love hear from you in our comments section!
Not so long ago, Facebook took a plunge into uncharted territories by launching Carousel Ads. Though this ad type was initially meant to showcase multiple products in one ad, Facebook crafted a strategy for the Carousel Ads to tease e-commerce clients and make them buy more ads on the platform. But the Carousel Ads slowly moved across verticals, towards becoming one of the advanced Facebook Advertising techniques that is extremely engaging in promoting businesses.
1). Showcase products in detail
Carousel Ads allow you to place up to 5 cards with images that can communicate messages effectively. If it’s a single product that you are highlighting, it would be prudent to describe its features in detail, keeping the CTR on an inclined angle. A ballet shoe manufacturer made effective use of showcasing a product, where each card of the ad focused on one distinct feature. They also used the headline copy to provide defined context to each image.
2). Tour your product
It always sums up to be a perfect formula when you try to deliver a good idea of what customers can expect from your offering. This will improve the quality of enquiries/leads, thereby increasing the probability of sales through Facebook. An automobile giant promoted one of its newly launched Coupé by creating an expressive Carousel Ad campaign that displayed features that made the car stand out from its competitors. The cards highlighted the key specs and of model and attracted genuine customers to engage with the carousel ad.
3). Tell a story Stories are an incredibly effective way for branding, talking to customers, and engaging with them. A popular western airline company created an effective carousal ad campaign to market their vacation packages to The Grand Canyon. They infused a panorama of the location to tell a story that triggered people to book their air tickets to visit the location.
The Monetary Game
Can Carousel Ads be used as a solution to drive clicks to the website? We conducted a small experiment to test the hypothesis on the Clicks to Website Ads, for a glass manufacturing giant. Here’s how the results panned out:
The Clicks to Website Ad had a CTR of 3.09% versus a 4.32% from the Carousel Ad for website clicks
The CPC for the Clicks to Website Ad was 5.06 INR versus 3.49 INR from the Carousel Ad for website clicks
In our view, with a little bit of testing and optimization to avoid common mistakes, the effectiveness of the Carousel Ads in driving clicks to URL destinations, is very cost effective. Have you experimented with Carousel Ads as a way to drive clicks to your business? We love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below this post.
Every business big or small, belonging to any category is using digital marketing to help their business grow and reach the masses. Internet marketers know that Google Adwords is an excellent way to drive traffic to a website. Setting up an Adwords campaign is not just about making ads and running them but also getting the best results for the amount invested.
So, how are the best results obtained?
The best results are obtained when the campaign is setup properly (check out our definitive adwords campaign launch checklist) and optimized properly on a regular basis. Therefore, optimizing Adwords campaign is important, else if not managed properly, it can prove to be expensive for the business.
Optimizing an Adwords campaign is the most complex task, as every aspect of the account like click through rate, poor performing ads, using correct keywords, avg. cost and much more, needs to be analyzed. The optimizing process is continual and will have to be paid constant attention to, in order to maximise revenue and gather sufficient data about the account performance.
Here are a few tips to optimize your Google Adwords Account at different levels of the account.
1. Checking on bid adjustments: Bid adjustments allow you to show your ads more or less frequently based on when, where and how people search. Bid adjustments are set by percentages which can be either increased or decreased.
Mobile Bid Adjustments: Depending on the number of clicks and converted clicks, you can increase or decrease your mobile bid adjustments. As the image below shows, since the conversions from mobile are higher, the mobile bid adjustments have been increased by 50%.
Location Bid Adjustments: If a campaign has no location selected the ads will show on all locations. To avoid unwanted impressions and clicks always select the location before the campaign is live. Location bid adjustments help you decide which locations you want to focus more on, based on their performance. As the image shows that conversions are higher in Greater London, the bid has been increased by 25% making your ads appear more frequently.
2. Search v/s Search partner networks: Check how ads are performing on the other search network partners with Google. If conversions are less you can always go to the all settings tab and chose to not show ads on other Google search networks. By clicking on that option your ads will not show on other Google networks.
3. Top v/s others: By selecting the top v/s others option under the segment tab, a table with statistics appear showing where your ads appeared on the Google search top (above the organic search) and otherwise (below the organic search).
The below image depicts that conversions are higher when the ads are on top, so to always remain above the organic search one can increase their CPC and get higher conversions.
Similarly, sometimes being below organic search i.e. “Google search other” shows higher conversions than Google search top. In this case you do not bother about increasing your bids to be on the top.
4. Ad Schedule: By adjusting the ad scheduling bid you can show your ads on specific days and also at specific times. At the campaign click on the dimensions option and see which day ads conversions are higher, based on this data adjust your ad bids.
The below report show that conversions are higher on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Based on which the ad schedule bid adjustments have been increased so that ads appear more number of times on those days leading to higher conversions.
Ad group level
Pause poor performing ads: For an Adwords campaign to succeed and meet the business goals you need to regularly review and refine your ads performance. Ads with high conversions and CTR are performing well and which do not have conversions and CTR are not performing well. Such ads can be paused.
AB test ads: AB test ads basically mean that in the same ad group you have the same ad with different variations. The elements of variation could be: Ad text, the negative keywords for the ads and different landing pages. This AB test ad method will help you see which variation is performing better. Based on the data the other ads can be paused or changed.
Pause Unproductive Keywords: At the campaign level choose the keywords tab and click on the download button. This keywords performance report will give you the details on how each keyword is performing and what is the avg. Position, converted clicks, CTR, Cost, Clicks and impression.Based on the statistics from the report pause keywords which are expensive and have less or no conversions and CTR.
Improve Keyword Quality Scores: The quality score of any keyword depends on the ad relevance, expected CTR and the landing page relevance. So, to improve the quality score for your keywords, ensure that your ads have relevant keywords in them and that keywords are grouped correctly to ensure relevant ad copy is served to users.
Add Negative Keywords: A search terms report shows the keywords customers are searching for. Based on this report you can either “add” or “exclude” the keywords at the campaign, ad group and the ad level.
Manage Keywords Bids: When you select each keyword you chose how much you are willing to pay. This is known as the keywords maximum cost per click. Based on how your keywords are performing you can increase bids for better performing keywords – keywords with large conversions and low cost per click.
And it’s done! Those were few tips to optimize your Google Adwords campaign in a profitable manner. If there are any other Adwords optimization techniques you use that are not mentioned, then do let us know in the comments below.
The foundation to leverage on any social media tool is to ask yourself, ‘’Is this tool right for my business?’’ The answer to this question should not be driven by your competitor or market ally, who has plunged into using the tool, to aid his business. Are you a small business pondering your thoughts upon selecting LinkedIn as a platform for lead generation? Well, the dilemmas can be swept aside as LinkedIn will act as a lifeline to stay in front of your customers and also help you reach out to new prospects.
In digital marketing, your network is everything. Publishing a brilliant article on your website with 1,00,000 flares can make your feel ecstatic and boost your credibility. But it won’t matter if you aren’t speaking to the right audience. That’s where LinkedIn has stepped into the arena. It has become a prime channel where brands share content. This makes it easier for small business to connect with brand advocates, potential customers, and industry influencers, all at the same place. While content is one of the dual weapons, LinkedIn gears your business with, lead generation is the other ammunition. With access to over 400 million members on the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn enables sales lead generation by allowing sales professionals to easily and quickly find the right prospects. Here are some of the most successful lead generation strategies that your business can leverage on, for generating leads.
Make an Effective Debut
There is nothing like effectively introducing yourself as a business to create an impact on users. Take care to optimise your profile and pay attention to your feed and website descriptions. Being descriptive builds trust and captures the eye of prospects more efficiently. Using the necessary keywords will help your business get captured during filtered searches.
Nothing works like direct one-on-one networking. Invest in a couple of minutes each working day, clicking the “connect” button on the “People You May Know” list that LinkedIn displays on your feed. Through time you will broaden your network and will become someone known for doing so. Remember that everyone you talk to about business or meet during the course of a business day is a potential LinkedIn connection.
Capitalize on LinkedIn Applications
The platform gives you the option to add interesting apps that will improve the experience people have on your LinkedIn page. You can add blog posts, let people know what you are reading, and even set up polls to find out what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects. For example, your business can use SlideShare to display a webinar or use a PowerPoint deck of how your business helps in solving a customer’s problem.
Rendezvous on LinkedIn Groups
Participating in LinkedIn Groups is the one of the key moves to generate leads. If you are a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them. In addition to this, group members can also view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Take some time to search for groups to join where your targeted buyers are likely to be members. Start by contributing to conversations, be helpful in answering questions, and provide links to assets you have on your site that might help members of the group. Put your most valuable assets behind a short form on your site to capture LinkedIn visitor’s details. And voila, you now have a new lead! Alternatively, joining groups that are outside your industry that might help you grow your business too. Stretching out a little bit, helps your business expand its reach. For example: If you’re an Social Media Specialist, you don’t want to just join an Social Media Professionals Group – you’ll want to join groups for Digital Marketing, Startups, App Marketing, and other groups outside of your immediate circle.
Sponsored Updates + Valuable Content
Many small businesses have started to run LinkedIn Sponsored Update campaigns to generate leads for their business. While regular updates can be a hit or miss in terms of impressions; using sponsored updates allows you to share updates that don’t appear as ads, at first glance. Start by generating a whole lot of original content (blogs). Then trial with creating 20 sponsored updates over the space of two months to promote it to your target audience. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off! NewsCred ran a series of sponsored update campaigns that netted them 288 new followers and 71 leads, over a span of 2 months. The company also found the campaign to be 75% less expensive than the Google AdWords lead gen campaigns they were running in parallel. It is to be noted that research has revealed leads collected via LinkedIn are three times more likely to convert into customers than leads collected via any other digital advertising platform.
Priming LinkedIn Direct Ads (Text Ads)
LinkedIn’s advertising platform can be used to drive new prospects to your landing page, LinkedIn group or other destination. The ads work the same way Google paid search ads work. You simply write a headline, add some copy and create a destination link. Then you bid on how much you’ll pay LinkedIn every time someone clicks on the ad. If you pay Rs.100 to LinkedIn for a click, and it takes 50 clicks before you convert a customer, then you’ve just spent Rs.500 for 1 customer. If your product sells for Rs.5000 each, investing Rs.500 to generate Rs.5000 is not a bad return-on-investment. In our experience, text ads deliver high impressions but fail to capture leads effectively, when compared to the sponsored updates.
Building a successful marketing strategy for your business depends on choosing the right marketing mix and implementing plans that drive results. According to a recent study, marketers are expected to further increase their marketing spends this year, of which digital might consume up to 35% of their overall budgets. With digital marketing gaining more importance, it becomes inevitable for brands to think beyond Facebook & Twitter and explore new opportunities.
Have you ever enjoyed window shopping at a mall or maintained a scrapbook with clippings and articles you love or find useful? Pinterest works on a similar model where users can find, share and pin (read as ‘save’) visual content pertaining to a wide range of topics and interests. It allows users to create ‘pinboards’, organized based on themes / topics where the pinned items get saved.
Launched in 2010, Pinterest was summarized to be a ‘catalogue of ideas’ for people looking for inspiration. Be it a DIY project, a chocolate cake recipe or a wedding gown inspiration – wide range of visually appealing content is sourced or uploaded by users all over the web. They have also recently launched their advertising platform, which can enable promoted pins & boards.
How to use Pinterest for your brand
Big or small, businesses can use this highly visual medium to showcase expertise and disseminate content to reach a wider audience. In order to build a strong customer base and eventually some loyalty, brands can market their products and drive traffic to their website.
Pinterest is not only the second biggest online network to drive referral traffic, but also the one with a higher shelf life. Even pins that are two months old can drive significant amount of traffic, with visually appealing images and keyword rich descriptions. In order to effectively use Pinterest to build your brand and achieve marketing goals, please find below some tips:
1. Set up your account
With the growing user base and average time spent on this platform, Pinterest seems to have become the new favorite for marketers around the world. In order to get started on this platform, sign-up for the business account that provides exclusive features to help you grow and monitor results.
Business name, category, website and bio are all you need to create your presence on Pinterest. It provides analytics, rich pins and advertising in terms of promoted pins which are not available otherwise. In case you already have a personal account for your business with good fan-following and referral traffic, Pinterest allows you to convert it into a business account without losing any data.
2. Plan your approach
Visuals are the most powerful medium for brands to capture the attention of its target audience and communicate better. Good and compelling visual elements tend to perform better for brands and result in higher engagement.
Retail brands should showcase relevant, high quality and vertical images of their products for users to like, repin or follow your account for more. Even brands with intangible products or services can benefit from Pinterest with the right content and strategy in place. Businesses that belong to healthcare, finance, education and other sectors can creatively modify their existing content into visual elements or share new content that is relevant to their business and target audience.
3. Create boards and pins
It is ideal to start with 8-10 boards with content categories that are relevant to your audience and business. Instead of just promoting your own products and speaking the brand language, look for relevant keywords or topics that are most searched by your target audience. Curate content based on user interests and create boards for broad themes & categories.
With Pinterest being the second largest social network to drive referral traffic, make sure you pin images, videos or infographics with links to your website. These backlinks can be included in the descriptive copy or photo caption for higher click through rates. You can see the profile of one our clients, Gehna over here.
4. Engage with your audience
In order to be easily discoverable as a brand and engage with your audience, repin relevant content across Pinterest and create group boards. This enables brands to invite bloggers or influencers to contribute to different themes and ideas. It also helps in building a community and interacting through contests, theme boards or by liking / commenting on their repins & personal collections. As Jeff Bullas mentions in his article, Shopify users referred by Pinterest, spend an average of $80 compared to Facebook referral of $40.
5. Boost your SEO efforts
Use the right keywords & hashtags in your descriptions & image titles to get noticed and gain more traction. In order to create quality backlinks and visits to your social media handles, add these links to your profile and individual pins that will drive traffic. Much like other platforms, local businesses can tag their location to pins and profiles to reach relevant audience on Pinterest. You can also see some of our other link building techniques tips here.
6. Make your website or blog Pinterest-ready
Pinterest is a great platform to discover new products, as it caters to a wide range of categories such as fashion, home décor, art, food, gadgets, travel, etc. Marketers can add a ‘Pin’ button to their products on the site to make it easier for visitors to share it across. For e-commerce players or businesses that sell online – these pin buttons can help in generating more sales and traffic.
Is Pinterest soon to be a part of your digital marketing mix?
Or stepping up your existing Pinterest marketing game?
Let us know about your experience so far in the ‘Comments’ section.
Facebook has announced that they will shortly be introducing product ads, wherein advertisers can showcase and promote multiple products and even entire product catalogs through ads on the social network. This seems to be great news for advertisers, especially for ecommerce companies as this will enable more products to be shown to a wider audience.
“Product ads can be customized for use throughout the customer journey, from discovery/awareness through purchase. Here are some options:
Advertisers can automatically reach people who visited their website/app (via Custom Audiences), or reach people based on specific interests, locations, etc.
Advertisers can curate ads as they see fit. For instance, they can highlight products that were viewed on their website/mobile app or showcase best selling products. Or they can create a multi-product ad that highlights the different benefits of a single product.”
With Facebook deploying constant tweaks to its news feed algorithm, the reach of organic Facebook Page posts have dramatically dropped over the last 6-8 months and is going to drop further in 2015, as per Facebook’s announcement on the News Feed.
What this means is that Business Pages will need to constantly innovate to provide interesting and engaging content to their users in order to reach their News Feed. That being said, advertising and boosting posts is going to be a more significant aspect of every brand that wants to leverage FB. To aid in battling this scenario, we have compiled a list of lessons learnt that includes certain targeting techniques which can help you make the most of your ad campaigns, reaching more number of potential audiences with relevant messaging.
Your company can create a Custom Audience by uploading your email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook user IDs. This could be a list of your existing customers or prospects you met through your other promotional activities.
By uploading this database on FB, your Facebook Page can have unique campaigns targeted towards these audiences. Let’s assume you are running an ecommerce site and you have 1000 users who bought t-shirts from you in the last 3 months. By uploading this database onto FB you can feature your new T-Shirt launches to this audience.
The use cases for Custom Audiences are endless and it also comes handy in filtering down large audiences with a specific set of interests.
Even if your database is small, Facebook allows you to expand it by creating a “Look-alike audience” which creates an audience similar to that of your uploaded database – they take into account demographic data and interests.
Using a Landing Page to run Website Conversion Ads
If you’re going to run an ad campaign on Facebook, make sure that the traffic is driven to a dedicated landing page where your visitors can be converted into potential leads/customers. In our experience over the last one year, running page like ads and boosted posts can have limited impact on the end result of your business (i.e. conversions or leads or online orders). Website Conversion Ads or Website Click Ads on Facebook can be far more effective medium to leverage the large and relevant audience that Facebook has in India.
A landing page is critical to deriving results because the landing page has a single focus and is able to convert a higher percentage of visitors into leads or customers. Please do keep in mind that the Landing Page should ideally be an expansion of what the ad/promotion tries to showcase. Below is a snapshot of a landing page & ad for Saint-Gobain Glass.
The behaviour section of Facebook Ad targeting is an often underutilized feature, but actually one of the most powerful targeting mediums.
Using this section, your page can target FB users who have certain mobile/internet behaviour. For example, users who use 2G internet connection vis a vis 3G or 4G internet connection. Or users who run small businesses or manage a FB page of their own. Or users who are regular travellers or regular photo uploaders. Or users who use specific mobile devices (iPhone 6, Nexus 5, Note 3 etc.) or Feature Phones vs. Smartphones.
Another interesting targeting medium under behaviour is called “Online Spenders”. This has proven to be very effective for e-commerce companies. Facebook through its Website Conversion ads knows which users are spending online. This has immensely helped in making the targeting niche for online shopping sites that we have advertised for.
They also have an Expat Category if businesses are interested in targeting NRIs outside India or targeting Expats who reside in India.
Apart from the regular targeting of Age, Gender & Location, there are interesting targeting filters under Life Events. They have categories like Friends of users who have recently engaged or recently moved homes – these categories can be interesting for a company into gifting. Another category is “Anniversary within 30 days” so it can be interesting for restaurants, hotels, travel companies and gifting companies who can target users whose anniversary is coming up. Another interesting category is called “Parents” where Pages can target expectant mothers as well as parents who have children of specific age groups – this can be very effective for a business like a kids store, play school, entertainment centre etc. Many such categories exist so check them out to see if its fits your business needs.
Job Role/Company – It can be useful for a B2B company to form a strong inbound marketing strategy by targeting users in a specific industry or job position.
Demographics, in general, will help you increase your ad’s performance and reduce the effective cost per click and cost per action, narrowing your audience to a greater extent.
Helps target those audiences who have expressed interest in subject matters or brandsthat are connected with the ads. This helps the brand/business tap the most responsive set of population who might be interested in the product.
For example, a business which is selling musical instruments, it can target users who have interest in Guitars, Keyboards, Yamaha & Casio. These interests span not just broad topics but even specific brands (i.e. Yamaha & Casio in the above example). This can also be used to target users of competitor brands or websites.
Creative / Images used in the Facebook Ad / Post
The right images & text used connects with the audiences and creates an appeal for the product being advertised.
While creating an ad, one must ensure that the text used must contain a brief (preferably 3-4 words) description of the product/service being advertised in the form of popular adjectives. This description along with a clear call to action can help in getting a higher click through rate.
Mentioning the price is also important since it gives the audience an idea of whether they can afford the product or not.
Images that are used for the creative should not be cluttered with too much text or design. The neater and confusion-free they are, the better the ads work. Facebook of course has the 20% text rule so Facebook ads cannot have more than 20% text.