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

Measuring ROI of Digital Marketing – Panel at the Digital Summit

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

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

Return-Investment-Panel-Social-Beat-Digital-Leadership-Summit-2016-Chennai

Summary of the Panel Discussion

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

Perspective on ROI from the Panelists

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

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

Which digital channels are scaleable and to what extent?

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

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

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

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

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

Influencer Marketing & Platforms other than Google & Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tools to Calculate ROI

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

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

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

Facebook Marketing Trends: What to expect in 2017

Facebook Marketing has become an integral part of any digital marketing strategy and it has revolutionized the way we look at the online marketing industry. Over the last 12 years, Facebook has seen a 360-degree shift, transforming from a simple social networking site to the face of a multi-billion dollar company allowing brands to find new customers, increase their sales, create brand awareness and much more. When we ran an industry survey amongst CMOs and Brand Heads across India we found that close to 90% Brands in India are already leveraging Facebook. Advertisers are spending more money than ever before on Facebook as it has emerged as one of the biggest platforms to engage with their target audience. Keeping this in mind, new features are being regularly added to Facebook and marketers have to constantly make alterations to their strategies to ensure their content is still reaching its target audience. Below are a few points that have been gathered keeping in mind the recent changes which may give us clues as to what 2017 will hold for both consumers and businesses.

Less Is More – Page Posts & Organic Reach

Following the decrease in the organic reach of Facebook page posts last year, Locowise conducted a small study to analyze how page posting frequency impacts reach, engagement and negative feedback.

Locowise study about facebook page frequency

The study reveals that pages that posted once a week or less on their official page reached an average of 15% of the audience who liked their page per post. Interestingly, pages that posted two to four times a week reached only 10% of the page audience and pages that posted once a day reached a lower average of 8.42% per post. This means that organic reach drops with an increase in the number of posts, and over posting content is a common mistake marketers tend to make on FB. This also means that the quality of content and FB posts needs to be extremely high and we are likely to see many brands evolving into fewer but highly engaging posts.

Another study by social@ogilvy reveals that for large pages with more than 5,00,000 Likes, the organic reach has seen a remarkable decline when compared to other smaller pages. It is believed that marketing managers can expect the organic reach to further approach zero in the future. The detailed analysis and data interpretations along with the recommendations are available to read here in the full white paper.

socialogilvystudyorganicreach

 

The number of users on Facebook has doubled from 845 million to 1654 million over the last five years. There are more brands than ever who are joining the bandwagon of Facebook marketing and these brands are posting multiple posts every day. All of this creates more noise and unimaginable amounts of content that will simply be filtered out and never reach the news feed of a specific user. With so much information to be filtered, Facebook uses complex algorithms to pick and show content to users they are most relevant to them and those that they are most likely to engage with.So it can be assumed that increased brand post frequency is aiding in the drop of organic reach.

However, the only exception to this organic reach debate was seen in the news & media industry.  The organic reach of news publishers seems to remain steady, even with a higher posting frequency. Here’s the result of analysis of 3,318 profiles, by Sotrender.

sotrenderstudy1

sotrenderstudy2

Videos – Future of Marketing For Brands

Videos are the next step in the social media evolution and will most likely dominate the online advertising and marketing industry. As per the stats by Facebook, users watch an average of 100 million hours of video every day and most of these are on their mobile devices. Daily views have increased from 1 billion to 8 billion in the last one year. These stats are proof that users have started consuming more of video content and it is essential that brands leverage this in their favor to engage with the potential customers. Video content is the best medium for storytelling and is a great opportunity for brands to connect with their audience.

Live videos were one of the major updates announced earlier this year by Facebook. This gave live videos prime placement in the Facebook app and also adds new ways to find, create, share, and react to them. This move efficiently makes live videos one of the central features of Facebook. Live videos offer a new way to interact on a platform that can feel so familiar that it risks feeling stale. Broadcasting live to your social circle gives you a certain thrill or even just watching a friend’s live broadcast, can bring in a fresh feeling of excitement and make you want to interact on the same old platform in a new way. On an average, Facebook says people are commenting 10 times more on live videos than they do on regular videos. This clearly means that brands must explore Live videos over recorded videos as this would help drive higher engagement levels with the audience. Facebook also rolled out an update where advertisers could add a video element for FB Carousel Ads.  The shift towards video as a tool for marketing is evident and is definitely here to stay.

We also have an interesting blog on how to create low cost videos to tell your brand story – in case you are creating videos for the first time.

Mobile Is King

The fact that a business needs to have a mobile-friendly website is much talked about and is not a new concept. Last year, Google announced that, for the first time mobile searches surpassed desktop searches.  This eventually led to a new situation where Google’s algorithm started to penalize sites that were not optimized for mobile devices.  For the last few years, marketing experts have been stressing on the fact that there is an obvious need for businesses to optimize the sites for the ever-increasing number of mobile users. Facebook Inc announced that it has over 142 million users in India, of which about 133 million access the social network via their mobile devices. This means that a staggering 90% of users are using facebook on their phones in India. It is essential that marketers who are trying to engage with and attract potential customers in order to redirect them to their website, ensure that their website is mobile optimized and are able to leverage every micro moment of Indian consumers.  In today’s Smartphone era, mobile-optimization is the norm and an essential item that can no longer be placed on the back burner to address later.

Ads are Inevitable

A few years ago, advertising on social media platforms was a very niche concept with not too many players in the market. In this new age of online marketing, many brands have become aware of the importance of ads across various social media channels, especially Facebook.  Today, with the various targeting and advertising options on Facebook, we can reach out to millions of potential customers in any part of the world. Facebook advertising is a strong tool that can be used by brands to meet their marketing objectives.

facebookads

Facebook ads allow you to choose from a wide range of possible adverts including but not restricted to Page Post Engagement, Clicks to a website, Conversions on Website, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Ads etc. Over the last few years, Facebook has evolved into a paid marketing platform more than an organic one so it is essential for marketers to leverage the power of the various adverts available. You can read our detailed guide on measuring ROI from social media.

Shop On Facebook

In an attempt to make it easier for brands to reach out to potential customers and drive sales on mobile devices Facebook has started rolling out the Shop section in phases. This section allows a brand to list out their products and let consumers browse through the catalog and purchase products that they like from within Facebook. The social network does not charge you to add a shop section to your Page nor does it take any percentage of the money you make through it. In the upcoming year, more businesses will start selling stuff directly from Facebook as this new section is set to change the way we look at e-commerce and social selling. Ofcourse it also has had Product Ads for E-commerce companies for a long time now – these can be also be leveraged parallely.

shoponfb1 shoponfb2

 

We have left out Instagram Marketing from this conversation, as it warrants its own blog. We are also seeing some interesting developments around Instagram analytics and Instagram targeting going forward.

Do let us know what other features you expect FB to evolve in the coming months.

How To Create Low Cost Videos To Tell Your Brand Story

Who doesn’t love a good story? We, humans are inherent suckers for good stories. They make us feel happy, sad, motivated, joyous, angry and the way they touch us and impact our thoughts, nothing else can. There is a reason why we spend hours binge-watching series, or why we watch movies or bury ourselves in books. All of these mediums have one thing in common – stories! It’s all around us.

Storytelling is a very powerful communication tool and is probably the best way to build a brand. Brands that have made a mark and who stand apart today have been successful in telling their stories in the most unique manner. There is also an art to storytelling and when done right it can help you get exceptionally good results!

We are all aware of the classic ways of storytelling through words and images. Today, however, the trend has shifted towards videos. This holds true especially when applied to digital marketing. Videos are more powerful than simple imagery and are super illustrative; they are also easily memorable and allow creating a stronger bond between the brand and the audience.

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

1. Opt for short videos to convey your message – Short videos go well with our hectic lives and concise attention spans. Also 70% of the smartphone users are consuming content via their mobile devices while they’re on the go, thus, the crisper & briefer the content, the better it is. Youtube is not the only video-embracing platform available online. There is no dearth of video-centric platforms and 90% of these platforms are famous for hosting short-form videos. Instagram, Vine and many other channels today host videos including Facebook & Twitter. The world’s first Instagram trailer was released back in 2013 for the movie Jobs which was a 15 second packed video with dramatic music, slow-motion shots of Ashton Kutcher reciting inspiring dialogs about eccentric, misfit rebels. It’s almost like the first full theatrical trailer for the movie, except shorter.

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Creating short-form videos is all about how creative you can get in less than a minute. These videos are streamed to viewers on a range of platforms that increases the reach exponentially. They are also far more successful and have wider reach because they are “snackable” in nature and easier to consume and producing them costs far lesser than creating a long video.

2. Smartphones are the best chattels–It’s not necessary to film a video with the help of high-end equipment & lights. Your best asset is in your pocket – your smartphone. As a brand, it might come across as a ridiculous idea but it actually is a very cost-effective & quick way of creating videos. It is not necessary to get engulfed in creating huge budget videos. You can convey your story through an excellent video shot on your smartphone or tablet (of course with a good quality camera)

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 3. Your script is paramount –The script plays a huge role in the video as well. The content should be clear and precise with no ambiguity. The video holds no power if the visuals are perfect and the content is lacking. Both are of great importance. Thus, make sure you get your script right first. If you choose to outsource the production of a video inclusive of the conceptualization, it will cost you a substantial amount of money. However, if you decide to prepare the script beforehand then it might save you time & money. There are also affordable marketplaces from where you can subcontract video productions and these come at a remarkably low cost.

 4. Affordable online marketplaces – The internet is a great place to find the solution for your woes, and this case is no different. There are some really affordable marketplaces like Fiverr.com that has professionals from all over the world who can help create the video of your choice at really affordable prices starting from 5$. All you have to do is describe how you want your video to be and they’ll get it done for you within a matter of 24-48 hours. The system is commendable and you get what you seek for at really good rates.

 

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5. DIY Videos – However, if you do not wish you outsource your videos then there is also an option to create your own videos with readily available online tools. Even beginners can create videos like a pro! Example of such websites include Videoscribe, Animoto, Sparkol. With Videoscribe and Sparkol you can create amazing whiteboard style animation videos. Animoto is inclined towards servicing users who are looking for a really simple way to create a video. All you need to do is select images and upload them with soundtracks provided by the tool.

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With these tips, you can surely make the right impression with your videos. To make an amazing video all you need is an idea, a good script and the right tools. Gone are the days where we had to buy expensive video equipment! With the development of technology, you can create the perfect video for your brand at an affordable rate!

Social Beat releases the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016

Highlights from the Social Beat Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016:

  • Brand Awareness & Lead Generation are the primary goals for most brands
  • Measuring ROI from digital marketing is the biggest challenged faced
  • 87% brands leverage digital & 38% of them allocate 1/3rd budget to digital marketing
  • Facebook & Google are still the most popular digital marketing channels

Bangalore, 18th Jul 2016: The Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016 was released by Social Beat, one of South India’s leading digital marketing agencies. The report is based on a survey conducted in May-June 2016. A total of 376 CMOs and Marketing Heads across India participated in the survey. The companies that participated in the study were from various sectors and verticals including e-Commerce, FMCG, Media/Entertainment, Healthcare, Education, Real Estate, and Travel.

Speaking on the report, Social Beat Co-Founder Vikas Chawla said “The report highlights the rise of digital marketing, though brands continue to use television and print mediums to have a 360-degree approach. It was encouraging to see that 87% of the brands surveyed leverage digital marketing. While brand awareness and lead generation/sales seem to be the primary goals set by the CMOs, digital marketing is increasingly being leveraged for Customer Engagement (46%) and customer service (35%) too.”

The responses from the survey indicate that digital marketing spends are about one-third of the total marketing spends. The results here are considerably different from the IAMAI – IMRB International Report which pegs the digital spends at 12% of the total marketing spends.

Speaking about the survey, Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat, said “Around 10% brands surveyed spend more than Rs. 1 crore annually on digital marketing while around 50% brands spend more than Rs. 6 Lakhs annually. Overall, 20% brands plan to increase their digital marketing spends by 25% in the next financial year. This is important in the context of growing internet and digital penetration in India – brands understand that digital is the way forward. With an expected 500 million internet users in India by 2017, brands understand the massive opportunity to reach out to their consumers.”

David Appasamy, who has recently joined Social Beat as Head of Brand & Strategy, added “The survey reflects the growing acceptance of digital platforms as an excellent means of engaging meaningfully with consumers, generating leads and increasing sales. It was particularly interesting to see that the digital marketing channels are already contributing to more than 30% sales for at least 40% of the brands surveyed.”

Tracking Return on Investment (ROI) is the biggest challenge being faced by brands, closely followed by content creation, quality lead generation and attracting talent. Currently, CMOs are using Sales / Leads, Engagement, Brand Reach and Mentions as the metrics to track the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Most of the respondents said they focus on Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing and Emailers for marketing their brand online. Not surprisingly, Facebook (89%) and Google (78%) have emerged as the most popular platforms followed by Twitter (56%) and LinkedIn (51%). Penetration of smartphones, faster internet connectivity and interesting video content have resulted in 51% brands targeting YouTube for marketing their brand. It would be interesting to track the growth of newer channels like Instagram and Snapchat in India for brand marketing in the near future.

Vikas added, “Most of CMOs that took the survey felt that they there is a lot of scope for improvement in quality lead generation, result tracking and creative campaigns. This presents a massive opportunity to digital marketers to fill the gap and help leverage the digital medium more effectively for brands”.

Media Coverage for the Report

Economic Times Brand Equity: 38% brands allocate a third of their budget to digital marketing: Report

Business Standard: 87% brands prefer digital marketing: Report

Exchange4Media: 87% brands leverage digital; Facebook & Google platforms most preferred: Social Beat Report

Economic Times: 87 per cent brands prefer digital marketing: Report

The full report and infographic can be seen below:

Digital Marketing Industry Report India - 2016 Digital Marketing Industry Report India – 2016