5 Social Media Strategies To Boost Your E-Commerce Business

The e-commerce market is getting competitive by the day, and e-commerce businesses need to find unique ways to build relationships with their customers to create a loyal customer base.

For any e-commerce business, website traffic is the most important segment, and yet it is the most challenging one.

Social media is playing a very powerful role today in the evolution of online shopping. It provides a platform for conversations, reviews, information and expression. An e-commerce business can leverage on the opportunities provided by the social media platforms for their own benefit. According to an article by Magento, 93% consumers turn to social media to help them make buying choices, while 90% say they trust recommendations from their peers.

Several strategies have been listed by digital marketers on how e-commerce businesses can use social media to drive traffic to their website. Listed below are five powerful tactics you can use to embrace the reach of social media for higher benefits.

Smart Targeting and Dynamic Product Ads

Leaving your ad open out there in front of the masses is not such a great idea. Once you have figured out your prospective customer base, you can use targeting options provided by social media sites like Facebook to target your ads to the relevant customer base. Facebook provides you with numerous targeting options based on location, demographics, Interests, device type, etc. It also provides you with features like custom audiences, lookalike audiences and retargeting. Using these targeting options, you will be able to reach your potential customers and engage them more effectively. Smart Targeting will help you increase your ROI on Advertising to a great extent. Dynamic Product Ads can be used to retarget customers who have earlier shown interest in your products or services. To drive more sales across devices, dynamic product ads now provide a lot of flexibility and variety in functionality to e-commerce advertisers.

A classic example would be that of Cathay Pacific Airways. They used dynamic product ads for travel, to reach people who had earlier performed a search on their website. The ads featured an image of the destination city that people searched for to inspire them to act. The ads also included a “book now” button that linked directly to the booking process on the Cathay Pacific website.

Smart Targeting Cathay pacific

Another example is that of eBay. eBay is successfully using dynamic product ads and retargeting to motivate their customers based on the customer’s interest. They connect with their customers by showing them personalised and relevant products in their ads.

Ebay Carousel ads

Facebook Carousel ads are also a great way of showcasing e-commerce website products. They not only help to showcase the products in detail but, when used creatively, also help drive traffic to the e-commerce websites.

Using Influencers

Influencer marketing is the new buzz word and has currently penetrated in the marketing mix of many industries. Mostly food, travel and fashion are the three major industries where influencer marketing is really going up the ladder. Influencer marketing is a newer and organised term for the old-fashioned word of mouth marketing. The way people work through the buying process has changed due to the advent of the internet and social media. People now have become more efficient in their search process, and they look for comprehensive and authentic information online. While associating an influencer with your business, it is important to consider the influencer’s likability, credibility and trustworthiness. Remember that Influencers act as brand ambassadors for the audience and thus the information they put out there should be in sync with what the business stands for.

Influencers can be used in numerous ways: For product launches, reviews, engagement, campaigns, events and so on.

A very good example of this is the Influencer campaigns done by Nykaa.com. Nykaa is an e-commerce store that deals with skincare, beauty and makeup products. Nykaa.com engages with various beauty bloggers and influencers and weaves campaigns with them.  Beauty and fashion are two areas where people rely heavily on reviews and opinions of influencers. Nykaa leverages this very well.Ecommerce Influencer Marketing

Nykaa Influencer Marketing

Using Product Videos

The majority of online shoppers have agreed to the fact that not being able to physically touch and feel the products on e-commerce websites is their least favourite part of shopping online. This is especially true in the case of fashion and beauty industry. Product images from different angles and views may not completely explain a product’s functionality or provide a proper overview of the product. Videos are the new preferred form of media and e-commerce businesses should leverage on the high acceptance of videos among customers. Ecommerce businesses can use videos to bridge the gap between offline and online shopping experiences. Product videos can help in providing a holistic buying experience to the customer and also provide a clear overview of the different scenarios in which a product can be used. This makes it more appealing to online buyers. Product videos can not only be used on product pages but also on social media feeds of the e-commerce brands as well as part of Facebook or Google ads. Not only can these videos be used for Facebook and Google advertising, but they can also be used for advertising on YouTube. There are several versions of videos that are gaining popularity on social media. A few of them are live videos, 360-degree videos, 30-second videos, time lapse videos, stop motion videos and animated or white videos.

Product videos can be used to introduce a new product and show how the product works with other similar or commonly used products, from the brand, and to encourage conversions from existing customers.

Amazon Video Ads

Youtube Advertising

On1y is a food brand that caters to a very niche market segment. It provides spices, herbs and exotic seasoning. On1y uses a lot of innovative ways to engage with its audience on social media and at the same time create a buzz around its products. In the screenshot below, On1y has shared a Facebook live video of a food influencer interacting with customers and cooking up recipes using On1y spices.

Influencer marketing video

Focus on Engagement

Social media for e-commerce is not simply about pushing across products and promotions. Many e-commerce companies fail to understand this. Social media can be used very well for engaging audiences online through high value textual and visual content. Ecommerce brands can find it very tempting to simply fill timelines with product promotions and advertisements. However, social media provides numerous ways by which e-commerce brands can make online shopping a delightful experience for consumers. You can engage audiences through live polls, live videos, user generated content, contests and much more. Topical posts and festive posts can also be used to attract audience attention. To garner high level of engagement, it is important to understand the need of the customers. Understanding this will help brands to curate content accordingly.

Social media can also be used by e-commerce brands to provide better customer service. Nowadays, a lot of customers look for solutions on the internet and prefer quick communication over the internet rather than going through a long phone call. At the same time, brands must encourage satisfied customers to write reviews and rate the products/e-commerce brands. Reviews and ratings go a long way in building a brand’s credibility online.

Content Marketing via Blogs & Infographics

Blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your e-commerce website. It helps your site rank higher in SEO through several internal links and backlinks. Blogging is also a good way to reach out to customer problems and be a problem solver. Most customers search for solutions to their problems online and blogging can be a great way to provide solutions to them. Long form content helps to drive more traffic and definitely helps in higher search page ranking. Blog posts also help to subtly introduce products or promote products in an indirect way. For instance, a blog post on the topic “summer dressing” by a fashion e-commerce site could consist of summer looks using products from the e-commerce site. This will not only create attractive and useful content for the readers but will also serve the e-commerce brand’s purpose of showcasing their products. Similarly, a blog post on “Top 10 budget smartphones” by an e-commerce brand like Flipkart or Snapdeal which sells mobile phones could include descriptions of each smartphone comprising of unique features and direct links to the products on the e-commerce site.

Blog Content Marketing

Finally, it is important for e-commerce brands to identify the right social media channels to leverage their brand. Social media platforms, if used creatively and strategically can help e-commerce businesses reach their target audience in a much faster way. The importance of social media has been adequately realised by fashion and food industries among others. However, e-commerce brands can also leverage the benefits of social media by strategizing and creating fool-proof social media plans.

Social Media Trends for Real Estate in 2017

Over the past few years, social media marketing has been one of the key marketing strategies for leading real estate developers to reach out to their potential buyers. For some developers, over 1/3rd of their sales comes from the digital medium. Advertising your property on social media platforms is a guaranteed way to showcase your property to the real estate investors and increase the possibility of a sale. However, just posting images of your next upcoming project may not be captivating enough. Here are some new trends that real estate developers can leverage upon.

360 Degree Videos & Photos

What if you could give your potential home buyers the luxury of a walkthrough of their new apartment without them leaving their homes? Sounds too good to be true? The latest trend of 360 videos will let you do just that. It is an excellent way to connect with your target audience and show them home buyer what is in store for them if they buy your apartment or villa.

While virtual reality is making an entry in the marketing scene, it is not mainstream yet because of the cost of the VR gears. However, if you are looking for an engaging video, then a 360-degree video is a good starting point. These videos can be created through low-cost tools as well. 

This trend is highly beneficial for real estate for developers to showcase their upcoming projects. Apart from the 360 videos, developers can also use 360-degree photos to showcase an immersive 360-degree experience. Both the 360 video and photo produce more engagement and message retention than regular videos or photos.

Casa Grande, one of India’s leading real estate developers, have used this marketing strategy to connect with their potential customers. For the launch of one of their projects in ECR, Chennai, they used 360 videos to exhibit to the potential clients what is in store for the project.

360 videos to showcase your brand

Growing importance of interactive ads

With organic reach on Facebook almost dead, brands are using focused advertising to reach their potential audience on Social Media. While the regular lead generation and website conversion ads are a great way to reach your target audience, it is also important to engage with the potential audience to understand them to improve the quality of your leads. A good way to do this is by using interactive ads. Interactive ads are the next generation of ads, which has taken social media marketing by storm. These ads increase the engagement by interacting with potential customers. A typical example of an interactive ad are the Facebook live polls hosted by companies to produce user-generated data to study what the customers are interested in buying. For example, a real estate developer can put up a poll on Facebook to check if their clients prefer sea-facing apartments or pool-facing apartments. This will give them a rough insight of what their customers want and can even use this data in pricing their property.

If you are looking at the next level of interactive advertising, try out M-Canvas ads, a mobile-only advertising service with very interactive and engaging ad formats. They are unlike any other format available on social media. They are highly interactive and uses a mix of images, video, and carousel to create a memorable and stunning visual experience on mobile. Moreover, these ads allow you to interact within the publisher i.e while you are reading your news article on the same page you can interact with the ad, rather than going to a different page. Once you click, the ads expand and give your further information and ensure the viewer interacts with the ad to take the next steps.

It is one of the best ways to showcase real estate products. For example, if your end goal is for your customer to enquire about the project, you can show a sneak preview of the project’s interiors with Call to Action that prompts viewers to take the next step. An audience who’s interested enough to swipe all the way through your ad is likely willing to click through to your website and make the enquiry. These canvas ads are a new concept that is catching up, and we see it as a trend that is here to stay.

Micro-Targeting

Micro-targeting is a marketing strategy of using consumer data and demographics to identify the interests of specific individuals and then influence their action of making a purchase. If a property is for sale on OMR in Chennai or in Whitefield in Bangalore or BKC in Mumbai, with three bedrooms, three baths and is close to the IT corridor, then it is most likely to be bought by a working professional in his 30s with a family of two kids. With the help of micro-targeting, real estate developers can reach out to their target audience by specifying the demographics and the geography of the potential customer on Facebook. You can even target users around the world whose hometown matches the city where the project is. Hence, their ads are displayed to a more specific and niche crowd making the probability of selling the property even higher than before.

Growth of regional content and regional ads

Hindi Content has been growing faster than English content, and this is likely to increase even further in 2017. This is not only the case for content but also advertising. if you looking to reach a wider audience, especially in the tier II and III cities, then using regional content is a must. Ads in regional languages have started rolling out, and marketers have begun incorporating this concept into their marketing strategies to reach out to their target audience. When a potential home buyer reads an ad in his regional language, he develops a bond of trust and comfort with the seller and is more likely to make a purchase, or at least recommend that product to a friend.

For example, Aryan Housing, one of the leading real estate developers based out of Mumbai, ran a campaign of ads in Marathi to connect with their local audience and received a phenomenal response.
Aryan - MarathiUnderstand this trend; Google has also recently started ads and keyword targeting in Indian languages to widen their reach.

Adwords
Integrating Offline and Online marketing

While the majority of the first time home buyers are researching online, they make the end decision of buying the property offline only. So for a real estate company, integrated offline and online marketing efforts is highly essential. While it is important to run ads and get leads, it is also important to understand that consumers do not make purchase decisions based on a single ad or message alone.  Potential buyers gather all their information from various channels and this data gathered through several stages of the buying process are the building blocks of sales.

If you have a potential lead from an online ad and your sales team is following up with them, it is important to also reach out that potential lead online as well. You could use automated email or drip email to reach them until they actually make the purchase. Real Estate developers can target and constantly stay in touch with a group of people based on certain criteria. Let’s say that a customer has visited property website and shown interest by coming for a site visit, digital marketers can use the information provided by the customer to send emails about the development and completion of the property and news on various other related properties. Drip emails are a powerful lead nurturer, with statistics showing an 119% increase click-through rate via trustworthy emails.

“Across the funnel” marketing

Advertising across social media platforms is all about building your brand and making it a household name for people to connect to and rely on. In “Across the Funnel” marketing, real estate developers build their brand names through four essential steps. They initially start the process by running engaging campaigns on social media, which explain their products and attract potential buyers. Then, they work towards increasing traffic to their websites and drive site visits and enquiries through their conversion data. Lastly, they customise their audience by eradicating cold leads and focus on customers who have actively shown interest in their marketing campaigns.  With Facebook’s Brand Reach & Frequency campaigns, brands can even get assured visibility and reach, similar to what a front page newspaper ad gives.

All of these social media marketing strategies are currently trending in 2017 and are here to stay! Which of these techniques will you be adapting in your social media marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments below.Content marketing blogs to follow.

This article was originally published in Realty Plus Magazine. 

 

Social Beat & Facebook conduct Digital Marketing Masterclass in Mumbai

In Apr 2017, Social Beat in partnership with Facebook India conducted the second edition of the Digital Marketing Masterclass. With a packed audience of 50, we had an insightful session on how to approach digital marketing to build a brand and to acquire quality sales or leads.

The top three expectations, shared by the audience, that was elaborated during the session were:

  • Reducing Cost Per Acquisition
  • Scaling Up Leads/Orders
  • Effective Measurement of results

So, if you are facing similar challenges, then read on!

Mobile First Marketing

From Facebook’s own research, users on average spent 3 hours on mobile per day that signifies that your consumer is on mobile for 3 hours and you have the opportunity of 3 hours to be in front of your consumer!

One thing we all need to understand is that Facebook is a discovering platform. Your brand personality has to stand out in the consumer’s mind and there need to be multiple touch points and impressions to make the connect. The Reach & Frequency category of campaigns can be useful in achieving this goal. Moreover, Facebook users are active throughout the day, unlike most other mediums (TV, print or radio) and in fact, 35%+ of Facebook Users are active at any given time.

Did you know that on average in a single day people check their Facebook feed 14 times? As many as 62% of the audience check their phones over 30 times a day. That means you are getting 14 times the opportunity to sell your product via Facebook. With over 184 million Facebook users in India, it gives brands a tremendous opportunity. Moreover, as per the report from NCCSAB, 210 million is the consuming population in India out of which, 142 million can be reached through Facebook.

Key aspects for a marketer to keep in mind when leveraging mobile

  • In a Facebook study, ~76% of video ads required sound to be understood, but most users watch them without any sound. So, it’s critical to understand these consumer insights when making videos and other creative content. E.g. Hotels.com Video which has received 2.3 million views on FB and cleverly used the video captions.
  • Since the speed of content consumption is faster on mobile, it’s important to have the brand and copy/captions to convey the message within the first few seconds.

Should we target to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India?

As per the statistics, 33% of the users are from metros. So 67% of the Facebook universe belongs to the population from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities – which is contrary to popular perception. This is also going to give rise to content creation and consumption in regional languages.

Understanding Marketing on Instagram

Facebook is the platform to keep in touch with family and friends whereas Instagram is the platform where people look for inspiration, photos and brands to follow.

Top Interests on Instagram are:

  • Music
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Photography

Moreover, the Instagram user is a more evolved and engaged user with a premium lifestyle. For example, while only 5% of the population in India has mobile postpaid connections, 25% of Instagram users have postpaid connections – highlighting that a luxury or premium brand cannot be ignoring a platform like Instagram.

The art of Audience Targeting

Facebook is 85% accurate and when further information like age and gender is included, the accuracy rate goes up to 90%.
The top reasons why Facebook is more effective is

  • Availability (with users active 14 times a day)
  • Flexibility (of audience and targeting)
  • Efficiency: Minimal Waste
  • Re-targeting
  • 100% Declared Audience Attributes (Not Inferred)

Types of Audience Targeting on Facebook

• Core Audience Targeting:

This feature allows us to reach a precise audience based on four main targeting types:

  • Location
  • Demographic
  • Interests and
  • Behaviours

For example: When targeting NRIs to sell your property – The audience which is core to Facebook is provided with age and gender information. Behaviour targeting will help us target people living in a joint family, who are frequent travellers internationally and nationally, who have travel apps and are newly married.

  • Custom audience: These set of the audience is created by uploading your customer database of:
  • – email addresses
  • – phone numbers
  • – website audience using Facebook Pixel
  • – facebook user IDs
  • – app user IDs and Facebook will match this data to as many user profiles as possible.

The custom audience is an excellent way to make use of CRM data. The CRM tool can also help in lead nurturing, which is critical to improving the final conversion of leads to home buyers. Research by Social Beat shows that there is a 60% better chance of converting if called within 2 hours.

Another medium we can customise our audience is with the use of Facebook Pixel, which creates a list of users who came to your website, converted into the site, visiting more than a certain number of times in the last 30 days etc.
The custom audience also helps in improving the quality of the leads. Users frequently visiting your website are more like to become home buyers and can be given more focus.

  • Lookalike audience

Lookalike audiences are a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because…

  • – Their profiles are similar to custom audiences you have uploaded
  • – phone numbers
  • – Their interests and demographics are similar to users who have visited your website
  • – They’re similar to users who have hit one of your conversion pixels

You’re telling Facebook that you want an audience created of people who are most like your email list, website visitors, people who have hit one of your conversion pixels, etc. Facebook will create an audience based off data points on a Facebook profile that would denote similarity.
You can also create an International Lookalike audience – because people are same everywhere! Eg: People have visited your luxury product landing page. You can create a lookalike of similar users internationally!

Coming to brand!

Facebook Brand awareness tracks people who look for sponsored content. If you plan to go ahead with lead ads in the first go, it will go to the people who have filled the leads in the past. You are missing out on the potential to reach a newer audience.

How does Brand awareness work?

  • Step 1: As a person, when I see your sponsored content on my feed, I will read. Once I find it interesting, I will go to your website to check your offerings, credibility, and products, etc.
  • Step 2: Next time, when your sponsored content again appears on my feed, I will go through your ad again.
  • Step 3: Multiple visibility of your content and ads, will make me curious and viola I fill your ad and I am one of your leads!

Point to note: Investing in your brand awareness is similar to running ads on radio and television. You need to frequently appear on the wall of the people!

For Brand awareness videos, relevant content and E-books along with the below ideas can be tried

  • Amplifying content and infographics (Facebook Canvas can be an interesting medium to do this)
  • Carousel ads to showcase different attributes of the brand
  • Amplifying with videos, 360-degree virtual tour
  • Engagement Campaigns to get shareability
  • Need for content experiment: Run regional ads in local languages
  • More formats: Video for leads ads carousel

Sequencing of ads is also possible by using custom audiences after using Reach & Frequency ads and we have seen some tremendous results come through this.

Case Studies

There are numerous case studies that one can find on the Facebook Business Success page but we discussed a few in detail and you can read them up via the below links:

Tracking Return on Investment & Scaling up Leads/Sales

We have a more detailed blog on tracking ROI from digital marketing, which you may find useful.

Mumbai Masterclass

Questions asked during the Masterclass

In spite of getting so many leads, why leads are failing to convert into a sale?

There are some common mistakes marketers make, which should be avoided in order to improve conversions:

  • Following up with your lead within 6 hours and not after 1 week of the lead being generated
  • Not disclosing the lead source to the sales person – leading to lack of clarity during conversation
  • Being able to attribute all digital leads by using cloud telephony – to understand the true impact of digital marketing

How can you improve the quality of leads via the Lead Gen Ads?

  • Add Customizable questions – which products/services are you interested in, ask a good time to call etc. This is because it is important to build a faithful relationship first then making a sale. Remember that buying a home is usually a very involved decision
  • Use Context card – tells users why they are filling the form

What are the elements critical in a lead generation focussed Ad Creative?

Its important to the have the below elements & approach to getting the best quality leads and conversion:

  • Visuals & Videos can be experimented with – For example if you are a real estate company, the exterior, interior, walkthrough video, video selling the project etc. Sometimes even generic images with family and kids can also work for specific projects.
  • Transparency is key – Location in the city, Price, Type of Property (Apartment, Villa, Plot etc), Expected Handover Date are some key details that can be included in the ad
  • Have the right Call to Action (Learn More or Contact Us or View More) and sometimes combining it with offers

We have tried regional content but it hasnt worked?

  • In our experience regional content and communication works if the entire experience is in that language, which means that the landing page, the customer care, email communication etc is also in the same regional language. WE need to provide a seamless experience for it to work – it can be messaging in hindi but then we take them to a landing page which is in English.
  • The other aspect is that, maybe the audience that interacts with regional content is different – maybe they would prefer talking to someone rather than give the enquiry online – so as a brand we need to make this easier and give multiple options to consumers.

How to rank a one-page website?

One page websites are becoming the talk of the town as many companies are switching to these. But what do they mean? Are they search friendly? What should you do to rank them high on Google? You will have all such questions. So let’s take them one by one.

What is a Single Page Website?

A single page website aims to provide minimalist but just enough information for a user to make a decision and act upon it. It has no additional pages and tries to remove all the complexity and varied user journey that a multi-page website would have. A single page website drives the user’s attention to the most relevant content. Various real estate companies like Mahindra Lifespaces, Baashyaam Constructions and Ramcons are taking its resort. However, you can have additional pages such as Terms & Conditions page, Privacy Policy, Refunds, Returns  & Shipping pages, options for alternative languages. These links can be embedded in the footer of the web page.

Ramcons Insignia

 

Mahindra Lifespaces

 

Pros & Cons of a Single Page Website

Pros:

  1. Mobile responsiveness is better as scrolling works for the mobile phone and the user experience is simple and efficient.
  2. You can show the entire journey you want the user to experience through a single page.
  3. Controlling the flow of information is easier, and you can focus on a particular product or service
  4. You can incorporate a lot of images to make it visually attractive.

Cons:

  1. Excessive scrolling can be a challenge if there is too much content on a single page.
  2. Website speed is an extremely critical factor. Depending on how the site is built, the load time can be longer.
  3. Difficult to measure, which content section drives visitors to your web page.
  4. One page web pages are not user-friendly for blog-centric companies.
  5. Not great for SEO as you only have the opportunity of one URL showing up in search results.

How to rank Single Page Website?

SEO tricks for one page website

  • Content Section

Since it is a one-page website, your content needs to be extraordinary, with a lot of images for the audience to be hooked on to it.  However, make sure there is enough content, and the readability is not compromised. Also, keep the content updated and fresh, as that is what Google loves. You can keep a navigation bar for various sections on the top so that the visitor can directly jump to that position rather than scrolling through the entire page.

Baashyam Constructions

  • Exercise DIVs for different content sections

One of the best practices when it comes to coding for a one-page website is to have separate div for different content sections.  It makes the code look organised and neat. These div id names do not directly improve the search engine rank but help indirectly through the anchor tags.

<div id=“overview”>…content…</div>

<div id=“amenities”>…content…</div>

<div id=“gallery”>…content…</div>

<div id=“floor plan”>…content…</div>

  • Use Anchor Links

Anchor links will help the visitor navigate to a particular portion of the web page. These will create search engine friendly URL on your web page. You can also create anchor text backlinks on the site, on your blogs as below.

<div id=“overview”>…content…</div>

//Creating its anchor link

<a href=”overview”>Overview</a>

//backlink example
<a href=“http://ramcons.in/#amenities”>Amenities</a>

  • Employ multiple H1 Tags and other on page factors

Paginate your content using various H1 headers and forms. This technique will control the flow of information, and they will also act as keywords for our page. Hence they will help in SEO. You can also look at our detailed blog on the On Page SEO factors that matter to see how you can employ some of these techniques for your web page.

  • Encourage linking to social media

Social media does matter for SEO, and hence it is a good idea to link to various social media platforms so that you can reach out to a larger audience for online marketing. You can also implement various other link building methods, which are listed on our blog.

Some additional interesting facts

Bounce rates could be high for a single page website because Google Analytics will not account for numerous page views unless you refresh the page.

Single page websites may not be useful for every business, but they are quite appealing and create unique user experience altogether. You can use such tricks to rank your page higher.

Do share your views and suggestions in the comments section and if you have more hacks to rank the single page website higher, feel free to share with us.

A Beginner’s Guide to App Marketing

There’s an app for everything these days. If you are a heavy user, you probably have numerous apps installed on your smartphone. Each app in your phone serves a purpose, giving you a good reason to use when required. Only thing is, there are too many apps that share similar features and functionality, so you need to come up with ingenious ways to make your app stand out.

At present, there are more than 4 million apps in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store combined, and these numbers are increasing at a huge rate. To stand out in this overflowing marketplace, your app needs powerful marketing and promotion. Here’s a quick guide on the many ways you can market your newly launched mobile app.

Optimise your app for app stores

Even before you begin marketing your app, you need to be 100 percent sure it is prepped and ready for displaying on a selected app store. Little things like the app icon, software updates, and app descriptions play a big role in your app’s awareness and life cycle in a store. Keep a cheat sheet for app store optimisation next to you throughout the development and marketing of your app.

Create a Landing Page

A lot of apps launching today are really just an extension of a product or service that already has a strong presence on the web. If you’re going the reverse way, you still need some sort of website presence that can be used as a promotive platform. The best option is a landing page, which can be used to promote your app organically. Let’s say you’re writing an informative blog article that centres around your app-based product or people search for the product you offer on Google; if the first point of communication is a landing page, there’s a big chance that searchers get converted into a user of your app.

Make the most you can out of the freedom of expression offered on the landing page. You can provide detailed information about your product and even create a mock version of your app to give users a taste of what to expect.

Human, a fitness initiative, launched as an app to inspire people of all ages to get active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. To boost awareness for the app, a landing page was created that explained in detail the various features and benefits of using the app. The landing page included app screenshots, a simulator that showed real-time statistics of the app’s usage and various testimonials. Installs of Human hit the 1 million mark and the app was also rated amongst the best of 2014

Utilise paid promotions – App install ads

Advertising is the fastest way to create awareness about a product and the same can be said for your app. There are a number of third party services that enable you to create and promote app install ads, so keep your finances in check and work out the best possible deals for advertising your app.

Facebook and Google’s app install campaigns are the best to start with. Here are the steps:

  • Create a campaign with relevant targets such as location, audience and budget
  • Design ad copy creatives with a Unique Selling Proposition
  • For Google search, choose relevant keywords that the Target Audience would normally search for
  • Launch the campaign
  • Measure the results with important metrics and optimise accordingly

Get social

If shelling out money for advertising isn’t a good option for you, try the alternative route with social media promotions. Blogging, hashtagging, and page posts are some of the many techniques you can utilise on social media. Audience engagement helps build trust and value for your app and works wonders in the long run, provided you have patience and perseverance when using this marketing method.

Request for app ratings and reviews

One of the quickest ways to increase app installs is to request current users to write reviews and rate your app. App Store algorithms calculate app popularity through user reviews and number of downloads, which ultimately push your app to the Top Charts. You can implement the review and rating feature in your app via a number of unique ways; asking for reviews after multiple usages of the app or providing additional app features after a review or rating is done.

Install Mobile App Tracking

Just like Google’s numerous tools that help keep track of a website’s performance or the number of views and clicks on an ad, Mobile App Tracking tools help you track the number of times your app installed. Even when you promote your app through paid advertising, you can use app tracker tools to see from which method of promotion your app is benefiting most. Doing so helps in managing your ad expenses as well as gives you some pointers on what needs to change to enhance your app’s user experience.

Do you know any other interesting tricks of the app marketing trade? Share your ideas in the comments below.

This article was originally published on BusinessLine on Campus 

2017 Digital Marketing Trends – Digital Chai Pe Charcha

The ninth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha in Chennai was held on 25th February 2017.It received an excellent response with about 35 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part.  The topic of discussion was Digital Marketing Trends to expect in 2017.

Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from the session:

You may find it interesting to read our other blogs on Digital Marketing.

Casa Grande and Social Beat win BBC Knowledge Award

We are delighted to share that Social Beat and Casa Grande, a leading real estate developer in South India, were recently awarded the Best Search Marketing and Display Campaign at the BBC Knowledge National Digital Marketing Awards at Taj Lands’ End, Mumbai.

SB wind best search and dispay campaign award

Casa Grande was looking to scale up its digital presence and sales through lead generation online. We ran highly successful Ad Campaigns across Facebook, LinkedIn & the Google Search and Display Network leading to a 10x growth in number of leads generated and a 30% reduction in cost-per-lead.

Key Results achieved:

  • Number of leads generated increased 10x.
  • Organic Traffic increased 3x
  • Leads from organic Traffic increased 4x
  • Fan base on Facebook grown to an engaged community of over 1,40,000 fans

The Digital Marketing Awards recognises extraordinary work done by the marketing fraternity to take their brands into the digital era and we congratulate the entire Casa Grande Marketing team and Social Beat team on this milestone.

Social Beat is now in Mumbai

Last year, we started an exciting journey and opened an office in Bangalore and now we are proud to launch our new office in Mumbai.

We are now one of the leading end-to-end digital marketing partners in India, offering the entire gamut of digital marketing services that include Website and App Development, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Digital Advertising and Influencer Marketing.

Our ROI-driven approach to digital marketing has helped us consistently deliver business results for clients across sectors including real estate, finance, e-commerce, start-ups, retail, FMCG and healthcare. We have partnered with over 100 clients including Citibank, Saint Gobain, Akbar Travels, Murugappa Group, Forum Mall, Urban Clap, Casa Grande, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Chain, Raintree Hotels, India Home Health Care, Notion Press, Sulekha.com, Cambridge English, PNG Jewellers, JVC Headphones amongst others.

Here is our awesome team at Mumbai creating magic. Meet our colleagues, Monisha Shivdasani and Tanvi Balekundri.

Social beat in mumbai

We look forward to delighting clients in Mumbai. Feel free to reach out to us at team@socialbeat.in or drop by at our office.

Our Mumbai address: B Wing,  5th floor, Ackruti Trade Centre, MIDC, Andheri (E), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400093.

8 Digital Marketing Trends to expect in 2017

With another year gone by, new technology, tools, and trends have emerged in digital marketing. Keeping this in mind, we have put together eight key trends that we think would be ones to watch out for in 2017.

Mobile UX will be a key focus area

With 90% of mobile usage on FB and more than half of the searches happening via mobile, its already a focus area. We are going to see brands invest a lot more in the mobile user experience, especially when it comes to speed. Google has already launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Facebook is expanding its Instant Articles feature, both of which is going to expand their reach in 2017. Google is also pushing the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) framework to enable websites to give theirs user an app like experience via the browser. Even social media engagement via mobile is going to change with brands adapting to how they can get more engagement on mobile devices.

Less is more when it comes to content

Brands often believed that more content is always better, but with millions of content pieces and social media posts going out every day, the opposite is true. 2017 is going to see a sharp trend towards brands focusing on high value content, which is engaging and far more personalised. With voice search growing in scale (currently at 20% of mobile searches in USA) many of our digital activities are going to be conversation. Even more a reason why content needs to be unique and stand out from the competition. Google also tends to pick more structured and details content for their “Answer Box”, which comes above the regular search results.

Everyone can run digital marketing at scale with automation and machine learning

With automation and machine learning playing a large role in advertising this year will see even smaller brands adapting programmatic advertising. With platforms like Double Click for Google as well as Power Editor for Facebook, a lot of elements will get automated. Google has also launched responsive display advertising allowing for brands to run ads of multiple sizes without having a design team. YouTube is also soon launching a feature to allow for automated product showcase below videos, wherein machine learning would determine which product it is, rather than the brand manually having to tag which videos showcase their products.

Regional language content will grow multi-fold in adoption

The last time Google reported data on this, it showcased that Hindi content was growing faster than English content and this is likely to grow even further in 2017. With Netflix, Amazon Prime and others spearheading the video content in multiple languages, we are also going to see written and visual content growing in regional languages, especially Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali. Facebook has also launched an auto-translate feature for all the Brand Pages – though nascent it is bound to improve this year.

Even small brands will leverage the video medium

Building the brand is key and what better way than videos? Its never been easier to create videos with the help of free and low cost tools. As per statistics by Facebook, users watch an average of 100 million hours of video every day and most of these are on their mobile devices. Facebook has made it even easier with its Facebook Live feature, which is a very engaging tool, especially for the entertainment, fashion and hospitality industries.

Attribution will continue to be grey area

Especially for online/offline the attribution will continue to be a grey area. While there have been many initiatives launched and many in the pipeline, most restaurants, retailers and offline stores find it difficult to attribute walk ins and business results to the digital medium. Facebook and Google Maps have been improving their proximity data to understand if users are at a specific location and encourage them to review the location. Google is also in early stage testing of beacons to allow for better attribution but it’s still 1.5 – 2 years away from mass adoption.

Consolidation in the social media networks

Brands have always found it difficult to be active on multiple social media networks and we do expect some consolidation. Twitter has been in talks of selling out and even growth of Snapchat has not increased. As platforms evolve and mature, we will see brands also focusing on select platforms that make sense – usually a maximum of 2-3 platforms.

Virtual Reality will not take us over by storm, just yet

There has been a lot of talk around virtual reality devices, including the launch of the DayDream by Google. While the experience it provides is phenomenal, it is not going to be main stream yet. While the cost of devices is getting lower, the adoption of these rather bulky devices is still limited to a select few tech savvy individuals at least in India.

The article was originally published at Business Standard

An ultimate guide to using Instagram Stories

From merely a selfie-sharing app, Instagram has come a long way and now has over 300 million monthly active users sharing 70 million photos per day that garner over 2.5 billion likes daily. Instagram recently launched a new feature named stories, which has a striking resemblance to Snapchat’s feature of the same name. They are essentially photos and videos that last just a day and just like Snapchat; they can be enhanced with drawings or special filters.

Stories are not part of the main feeds and are in a separate space where you can post as frequently as you want without worrying about spamming your friend’s feeds. Wondering how to use this and how you can leverage this feature in your marketing strategy? Worry not! We have the answers.

How to use it

  1. Tap the plus sign in the upper left corner of your screen to get started.

inst stories

  1. Take a picture by clicking on the round icon. If you are looking to make videos, press the round button continuously for 10 seconds.

If you don’t want to take pictures and want to upload from your existing gallery, just swipe down to choose your photos or videos.

step 2

  1. Once you are done with taking pictures, you can use one of the three pen options to doodle on your images.

Additionally, stories also let’s add filters. All you need to do is swipe right.

step 3

  1. Now that your masterpiece is done, just tap the checkmark icon to share.

Your story will now appear on top of your friend’s feeds. It is also visible on your profile page.  You can also save this story for later use. All you need to do is open your story and click on the three dots on the bottom right, then selecting “Save Photo.”

  1. Get to know the analytics

You can see who saw your pictures and videos by swiping up when seeing the photo or video. If you do not want someone seeing it, all you need to do is hit the “X” next to their name to block them from seeing anything you add to your Story.

You can also change your privacy settings to make sure certain people on your feeds don’t get to see your stories. Go to the setting icon in your profile and choose to hide your story from certain users or restrict who can respond to it.

How can brands leverage Instagram stories?

After Facebook took over Instagram, Instagram opened up to advertising on their platform, and more brands have started using Instagram for business. Instagram also has an inbuilt analytics tool, which helps you track the most viewed and liked posts, post engagement rate, website clicks and impressions.

If your brand already has a fairly decent base, Instagram Stories is something you must quickly jump to create a buzz. Wondering how to leverage stories? Here are a few ideas.

  • Behind the scenes

One of the best and easiest ways to use this cool, new feature is during an event. Give your audience a sneak peak of what is going on behind the scenes. Be it a photo shoot or just a short video to show how things are working at your office, it is an excellent way to connect with your audience.    Here is an example of a brand that leveraged this feature,  Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) shared a compilation of videos and photos of a photo shoot highlighting its Mercedes-AMG model.

  • Endorsing a sale

For any retail brand or e-commerce brand, Instagram stories are an excellent way to announce a sale. With a combination of images and videos, you can send out promotional messages about your upcoming sale. In fact, J-Crew, an American multi-brand retailer did just that. Before their one-day sale of “Jane in Pink”” sunglasses, they took to Instagram Stories to highlight their sale.

endorsing a sale

Source:  Simply measured

  • Teaser videos

If you are having an event in your office or if you are just looking to make a big announcement about your brand, take to Stories to tease your audience about it. If you are making your big announcement through Facebook Live videos, you can use stories to notify people about a Facebook Live broadcast to get more viewers for your live video. This is a great way to promote both your platforms at once.

  • Showcase your product

If you are looking to promote your product, Instagram stories are a great way to do that. You can not only show how your product works but also show them unique ways to use your product well.  This will not only increase visibility but also gives them reasons to buy the product and driving conversions. Be it makeup tutorials with a specific product or styling ideas with a scarf, there is no better way to educate your audience about your product than these stories. Even Starbucks highlighted its chilled cold brew and iced Americano with cream using Stories.

starbucks

Source: Instagram

  • Celebrating milestones

Has your company just turned one or five or did you just win a big award? Well, congratulations! It is important to announce these to your target audience, and this is where Instagram stories come in. Using series of interview video and images, you can create engaging content to highlight your milestone.

South West Airline is a classic example of this. When they retired their 737-500 planes, they took to stories to make this announcement.

showcasing milestones

Source: Social Media Examiner

Showcasing these milestones is an excellent way to humanise your brand and keep your audience and potential customers interested in what you do and how you do it.

Are you going to be using Instagram stories? Share your thought in the comment section below.

This article was originally published in Techstory

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