Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Secret to a successful Influencer Campaign

The sixth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at our office on 27th August 2016. It received an excellent response with about 15 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part. The topic of discussion was the secret to a successful Influencer marketing campaign.

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

What is Influencer Marketing?

  • Word of Mouth – Digitally
  • Brand Ambassador
  • Key/Celebrity Influencers, Social Influencers and Peer Influencers

Word-of-mouth advertising has always been the most powerful tool, and influencer marketing is WOM Advertising 2.0.  In simple terms, it means shaping the opinions about your brand using the most influential people amidst your potential customers. If you are a brand, you make friends with the most influential people at a place where you want to sell. Now, they talk about your brand and recommend you to their followers (potential customers).

Why use Influencer marketing?

The main reason that brands are looking at influencer marketing are:

  • Ad Blockers
  • Neutral + Engaging – Not an Ad
  • SEO + Organic Growth

Given that word of mouth, marketing generates more sales than paid advertising; more brands are beginning to think about influencer marketing as part of their branding strategy. In the last 12-16 months, we have seen many interesting influencer marketing campaigns in India run by the likes of Cadbury, Allen Solly, Ford & much more.

How to identify right influencer?

For any influencer campaign, selecting the right influencer and partnering with them is crucial. Checking the influencer’s reach is the first thing you would need to do. This can be measured in terms of the number of followers/fans or the number of visitors to their blog/posts. Always remember to choose quality over quantity.

The following are the parameters you should be using while choosing the right influencer.

  • Moz Domain Authority– This is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.
  • Reach in Social channels– This will include page likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
  • Estimated traffic from similar web – This tool provides user engagement statistics for websites.
  • Blog Alexa Ranking – This tool provides commercial web traffic data and analytics.

Challenges in Influencer Marketing

  • Inability to attribute to ROI
  • Getting the right influencers and Lack of large quality influencers
  • Focusing on wrong goals/metrics – e.g. Twitter Hashtag
  • Transparency of Pricing – No metrics/benchmark

What ROI to expect?

  • Short Term: Engagement, Content Creation
  • Mid Term: SEO
  • Long Term: Brand Building, Loyalty, Sales

Challenges for an Influencer

Based on our interactions with influencers, the survey we ran amongst influencers, and learnings from various events such as Social Media Week Bengaluru, there are a few challenges in influencer marketing.

  • Brief is not always clear
  • Not enough freedom given
  • Payment delays
  • Changes mid-way during campaign
  • Not communicating expectations upfront

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

 

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai Pe Charcha meet.

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Measuring ROI from Digital Marketing

The fifth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at our office on 9th July 2016. It received a wonderful response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part. The topic of discussion  was Measuring ROI from Digital Marketing.

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

Types of Returns from Digital Marketing

There are two types of returns from digital marketing:

1. Tangible Returns:

These are metrics that translate into immediate business results such as Leads, Sales, Registrations and Traffic

2. Intangible Returns :

These are metrics that do not measure immediate business results such as brand awareness, customer engagement, customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

Which Metrics Should You Measure?

Metrics you measure will depend on your business goals and objectives.

For example, if your objective is lead generation, then you would measure metrics such as Leads/Enquiries Generated, Revenue from Sales, App Installs and Website Traffic.

On the other hand, if your objective is brand awareness, then you would measure metrics like likes/fans/followers, reach, impressions, mentions, social engagement, likes/comments/shares and retweets/reposts.

Tools to Measure Results

There are a number of tools available to measure the metrics mentioned above. They could be categorised as web, mobile, and social media analytics tools.

Web Analytics tools:

There are a number of web analytics tools that you could use. You could use Google Analytics to understand details about the volume and quality of your website traffic. Tools like Kissmetrics, help determine advanced analytics on the behaviour of your users.

Mobile App Analytics Tool

For those of you have the mobile app for your business, tools like Mixpanel and Appsflyer help you learn how people use your app. It also helps draw insights from this data to optimize and improve your marketing for better ROI.

Social Media Analytics Tools:

These tools help you analyze the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts by measuring metrics like likes/fans/followers, reach, impressions, mentions, engagement, likes/comments/shares and retweets/reposts. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have inbuilt analytics tools for marketers to analyze the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Other advanced analytics tools for social media intelligence include Radian6 and Simply Measured.

Call Tracking:

With the growth in mobile use globally, the number of leads coming through phone calls is increasing rapidly as compared to leads through web forms. In this scenario, it is important to use tools like Knowlarity and Exotel to track call leads effectively and attribute them to the right source.

Measuring ROI from a Digital Marketing Channel

The simplest way to measure if ROI from a channel would be positive, is by checking if the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is greater than the cost of acquiring a customer through that channel.

The table below will help you with a simplified framework to calculate LTV. For more details on LTV calculation, you can read our article on Customer Lifecycle Value vs Cost of Acquisition in E-commerce.

LTV Metrics

Participants then did this analysis of LTV and cost of acquisition to calculate channel ROI for their businesses. They shared their learnings with the rest of the group. This was followed by an interactive discussion and Q&A session.

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

Edition 1 – Challenges Faced In Marketing A Startup

Edition 2 – Content Marketing Success In 2016

Edition 3  – 101 On Digital Advertising For Startups

Edition 4 – How To Use Instagram For Business

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai Pe Charcha meet.

What methodology do you use to calculate ROI from your digital marketing efforts? Do share your method, experience, and learnings in the comments below!

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – How To Use Instagram For Business

The fourth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at Karya Space on Saturday, May 28th 2016. The turnout for this event was fantastic with over 60 entrepreneurs, working professionals and social media influencers participating in the session. The topic for this session was all about Instagram and how it could be used to leverage business.

Instagram is a very powerful platform which when used correctly can help brands and business reach out to a niche and specific audience. The customers that brands acquire through Instagram can display strong loyalty towards the product or service.

Here’s the presentation that was discussed during the session

It was a very interactive session with the participants sharing their personal experiences with Instagram and asking plenty of questions. Here are few tweets shared by participants about the event.

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Here’s a quick recap for those who attended the session and for those who could not make it yet would like to leverage Instagram for their business

  1. Instagram is a young and an emerging platform and great for Indian brands to get in early
  2. Instagram pictures showcase not just a good looking product or a service but a lifestyle
  3. High quality and organic pictures work very well on this platform and products need to be showcased with a story
  4. Text showcased on images in a creative and aesthetic way can work very well to promote content like blogs and articles
  5. Instagram does not allow clickable links on the content accompanying the image. Therefor the bio and the website link becomes extremely important to direct the potential customers to the website
  6. Instagram Ads are a great way to reach the relevant target audience. To run ads on Instagram, one needs to use the Facebook ad manager and link the brands Instagram page to the corresponding Facebook page. More details are mentioned in the presentation shared above.
  7. Instagram ads work especially well for mobile apps and websites that are mobile optimized
  8. It is important to keep track of your followers and unfollowers through apps like Crowdfire, social rank etc
  9. Hashtags are very important to help the right audience and can be broadly divided into three categories – Popular, Industry related and Brand specific
  10. There are many influencers on Instagram who specialize in a certain industry, eg. Food, beauty, Fashion, Parenting etc. To help reach the right demographic brands need to leverage and tie with these influencers.
  11. Using analytical tools available online, it is imperative to understand the progress of the page and even analyze the best performing hashtags
  12. Maintaining a steady flow of interesting posts and content is crucial since a long break may result in losing the traction generated over time

While these pointers can help you, like any other platform, Instagram is constantly changing and brands will have to adapt and implement these changes. In fact over the past couple of days, Instagram has rolled out a massive algorithm change due to which you will see posts based on your interests rather than chronological order. The reach due to hashtags will decrease and your followers will be more important than ever.

What has you experience with Instagram been so far? Do share your feedback in the comments!

 

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – 101 on Digital Advertising for Startups

The third edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 23rd April 2016 received a wonderful response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion, led by Social Beat co-founder Suneil Chawla, was the effective use of digital advertising for customer acquisition and business growth.

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As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:

Digital Advertising Terminology:

For those who are new to the world of digital advertising, there was a brief introduction to the terms that are used in the space:

Cost per Click (CPC): How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click. CPC is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of clicks generated.

Cost per Mille (Thousand Impressions) (CPM): Metric that shows how much it costs to serve 1,000 ad impressions. Also used as a standard measure for buying display ads, as inventory is generally sold on a CPM basis.

Cost per Lead (CPL): How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click that results in a lead conversion. CPL is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of leads generated.

Cost per action (CPA):  A pricing method which calculates cost based on the number of times a user takes action based on an ad (conversions).

Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of impressions that results in a click through.

 

Digital Advertising Industry Benchmarks:

Following a brief discussion on how attendees were using digital advertising for their business, there was a discussion on the CTR, CPC, CPA and CPL benchmarks one can expect to see for different industries, based on the years of experience Social Beat has in the space. The table with the industry benchmarks is below:

Digital-Advertising-Industry-Benchmarks

 

Digital Advertising Exercises:

Event attendees then made four teams and brainstormed on a digital advertising exercise – Two teams worked on increasing the number of orders for an ecommerce client while two worked on expanding the business for a retail chain to 100+ stores across two Indian states.

The ecommerce exercise can be downloaded here and the retail chain exercise can be downloaded here.

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Key takeaways from the exercises:

  1. While scaling up digital advertising spends, always allocate more budgets to the platform or channel that is known to be performing and delivering results. So, for example if Google Adwords is proving better leads/orders and sales, revenue then grow that channel further. For many brands it might be Facebook, for some it could be Adwords, Third Party Platforms, Linkedin or even Pinterest.
  2. Every platform will have some ceiling beyond which spends cannot be scaled up anymore without increasing CPA. Past data from individual platforms and from Google Analytics can help with this.
  3. It might be prudent to allocate a small percentage of your advertising spends (anywhere between 5% to 10%) to experimenting with newer channels and avenues for customer acquisition.
  4. Facebook tends to be the lowest cost of acquisition for most industries and is an excellent medium to target audiences who are not necessarily searching for your product/service yet.
  5. More detailed ideas on leveraging digital advertising can be seen here.

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

Edition 1Challenges faced in marketing a startup

Edition 2Content Marketing Success in 2016

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai Pe Charcha meet.

Are there any challenges you face when it comes to digital advertising for your brand? Do let us know in the comments below and we will be happy to help you out.

Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Content Marketing Success in 2016

The second edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 27th Feb 2016 received a great response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion was achieving content marketing success in 2016 and beyond.

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As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:

Why Content Marketing is essential:

Content marketing is a key part of any marketing strategy and is known to produce business results, as shown by the Hubspot survey below:

Hubspot Survey

Also, as compared to paid media, it has a more sustained long-term impact:

Earned Media Source: Neil Patel

Also, with most users being bombarded with ads from a large number of brands and with the use of ad blocking growing at a rapid pace, inbound marketing through valuable content works better and helps reach out to an audience that paid ads would never reach.

Ad Fatigue

“10x Content” is required to make your content stand out:

With over 27 million pieces of content being produced every day, creating content that is good and unique alone doesn’t work. You need to create content which as defined by Rand Fishkin is “Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”

Creating 10X Content:

Read your audience’s minds:

The key is to find questions that your target audience is looking for answers to and problems they are looking to solve. Tools and platforms that could help you with this research are:

Combine User-focused content with search engine focused content:

Once you find topics that you could create 10x content on you would also need to check if there is a large enough number of users who are searching for content around those topics. This is where Google Keyword Planner comes into play and helps you figure out which topics you should create content on to get large volumes of organic traffic.

Find the most successful content around the topic:

Once you decide on a topic to create content on, you need to research the topic, do a competitive analysis and find the most successful content around it. This can be done by searching for different keyword variations on Google Search to identify top ranked content or by using a tool like Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the topic.

Make your content better than any other top content out there:

Ensure your content:

  • Is longer, detailed, more thorough
  • Is more up-to-date
  • Contains better visuals – infographics, images, slideshares, videos
  • Has an enhanced User Experience

For more detailed steps on creating 10x content check out our blog on 10 ways to create 10x content. Some examples of what 10x content could possibly look like are listed below:

Content Amplification is Key:

Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. Some avenues for content amplification that you could use would be:

  • Promote on Social Networks
  • Use LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads & Promoted Tweets.
  • Notify your email list
  • Respond to questions on Quora, Reddit, comment on blogs, take part in industry forums
  • Leverage the reach of influencers
  • Get featured in industry roundups

You could also check out or blogs on 21 SEO Link Building Techniques for 2016 and the 15 Best Social Bookmarking Websites to promote your content. For other useful content amplification strategies, you can also take a look at our slideshare below:

Q & A from the session:

Some of the questions that came up during the discussion with the answers are listed below as well:

Q: Is content marketing the way forward for SEO as well?

A: The focus of SEO has shifted from just keyword optimization and link building to not only producing quality content that addresses users’ needs but also delivering that content to the user with the best experience possible. Content is now the new SEO and creating 10X content is going to be the way forward in 2016.

Q: How do you measure results from Content Marketing?

A: Three metrics would help measure the impact of your content marketing efforts:

  • The social impact – Shares on social media platforms
  • Organic and Referral Traffic – Number of visitors to the blog from Google Search, Social Media and other referral sites
  • Conversions from the blog – Enquiries generated from your content marketing efforts.

Q: How long do content marketing efforts take to start showing tangible business results?

A: There is only one right answer here and that is – it depends. There are multiple factors that will impact your success timelines like your existing domain authority, the time and effort invested in content creation and promotion and the content promotion budgets, if any. Typically content gets indexed in a few days and you can start getting traffic but time period to get business results can vary from 3-4 months all the way up to even a year. For example, when we started our influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in it took us 4 months before we started getting tangible results in the form of enquiries via our content or via google organic traffic.

Q: What tools can be used to create Infographics when one does not have a design team?

A: Piktochart, Infogram and Canva are good tools to help you craft beautiful infographics

Q: Does post regional language content help content marketing efforts?

A: Yes, translating content to regional languages can help reach out to a newer audience, provided that audience is relevant to your business. Regional language content can also help increasing search traffic to your website, as shown in this article on the growth of regional content as well as this case study by Neil Patel.

Q: How do I know my content is 10x?

A: Whether your content is 10x or not is a little subjective – what may appear 10x to you may not look like 10x to someone else. Nevertheless, below are some validation questions to help you figure out if your content is 10x:

  • Is your content longer, detailed, more thorough and more up-to-date than any other content on the web?
  • Does the content contain better visuals – infographics, images, slideshares, videos?
  • Does your blog have an excellent User Experience?
  • If you were your target audience, would you find this content valuable enough to link to it or share it?

Here’s what some of our participants had to say about the session:

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Those of you who missed the inaugural edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha last month can check out the meeting summary here. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.

Are there any digital marketing challenges or problems you face in your organization? Do let us know and we would be happy to include them as discussion topics in upcoming Digital Chai Pe Charcha sessions.

Digital Chai pe Charcha – Digital Marketing for Startups

 ‘Great Product + Great Marketing = Great Startup’

In Dec 2015, we had an idea of creating a platform and open community for discussing challenges faced in marketing a startup – and this was the birth of “Digital Chai pe Charcha”. It got off to flying start in its first edition at our office on 8th January 2016. With limited promotion, we had a full house with 30 participants. The open discussion threw up interesting questions and insights from the diverse community comprising first-time entrepreneurs, seasoned professionals, digital marketers, journalists, PR professionals to social media influencers.

We discussed 7 broad topics and have summarized them below:

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1. Validating Your Product

  • To kick things off,  we first discussed how entrepreneurs can get a quick sense of the market and customers, without spending months on building their product, website or ecommerce store.
  • While we usually recommend WordPress as the platform for most businesses – this can take anywhere between a few weeks to months to build. The quickest way to start off is to create a landing page for your app, business or store. Tools like Unbounce and Instapage allow you to develop landing pages within a day. They can also be a great medium to understand whether customers would like to take up your product/service and at the same time start building an emailer list. You can even get low cost images from platforms like PhotoConcierge.
  • Another way the digital medium can validate a product is to get feedback via platforms like Product Hunt, BetaList & Inbound.org or survey tools like Get Insights, Survey Monkey. Platforms like GetInsights have an existing audience panel so it helps in getting the survey results quickly. Some participants did raise concerns on the authenticity of these audience panels and in these cases, sending a survey (via Survey Monkey or Google Forms) to your own personal network might be worthwhile.
  • Reach out to your personal network for validation tests. Don’t hesitate in asking for initial feedback as it will help shape your product.

2. Acquiring your First set of Users

  • Leverage your Personal Network in acquiring your first set of customers. Reach out and ask for referrals and test users.
  • LinkedIn, if leveraged properly, can be a great tool for the purpose. The premium LinkedIn account allows In-mails to your potential customers. Moreover, directly targeting relevant customers on Linkedin & Twitter can be very beneficial in not only getting first time users but also getting valuable feedback on your product. If it’s a consumer business even sites like BetaList can help.
  • Offering free trials to induce usage can help in showcasing the value your product adds to your customers. If they like it, then they might want to turn into paying customers. Many SAAS based companies do have a freemium model to cater to this.
  • Contrary to belief, Email Marketing is still very effective. Build a database of email ids, but avoid purchasing databases – it doesn’t work. Effective ways to build your own database can be to have a prominent email/lead collection mechanism on your landing page. You could also use tools like SumoMe, attend networking events and create good content on your website to induce newsletter signups. Platforms like MailChimp can be used for Emailer Marketing and they have integrations with WordPress, Unbounce or other email collection platforms.
  • Adding a Live Chat feature on the landing page, app or website can also help directly interact with customers and build on to your emailer list. This way you can also find out what questions customers have, before they take up your product/service.
  • Quora is fairly popular in India. Search for people looking for solutions where your product can fit in. Answer questions with backlinks to your product page/website. It will help in the long term.

3. Marketing on a Shoe-String Budget

Startups do not have big pockets for marketing activities. In the face of budget constraints, how can they build a brand and acquire customers? Some ideas discussed were:

  • Create User / Google focused content to help your product get discovered at the right place & time. Long-form content has excellent SEO value as well as drive relevant traffic to your website. If you are interested in understanding the basics of SEO for Startups then do check out this slideshare. There are a bunch of SEO tools as well, which can be of use.
  • Creating Unique & Fresh content is important. Avoid creating duplicate content as you might not get much traction. It would be prudent to instead focus the time and energy on developing content that will be interesting for your users. Amplifying the content is also critical as there are millions of content pieces out there.
  • Plan well ahead of time. Nothing beats strategic planning. Develop a content marketing calendar with different placeholders for blog articles and social media content – this could be around relevant themes e.g. Valentine’s Day, Launch of a Movie etc. You can check out an investment & wealth management company leveraged Star Wars to showcase Investment Lessons from Star Wars. Be interesting, be regular.
  • Some interesting points that came up for discussion like the ideal number of hashtags to use and how to get your social media profiles verified.
  • Digital Advertising, while integral was not discussed as it warranted a separate discussion of its own.

4. Save Time with Free Tools

There is a whole host of tools out there that can be leveraged to help you amplify your marketing efforts. Some tools you can explore are:

  • IFTTT is a useful tool to create automated actions across a wide variety of platforms from Twitter and Facebook, Youtube to Gmail and Instagram. You can use it for different purposes by building your own custom recipes. One useful application can be to create automated twitter lists in area of your interest and track people in your domain. A sample recipe can be – when someone tweets in my area with #Offers hashtag, I add him to my list “OffersNearMe”.
  • Hootsuite can be a one stop solution to schedule and track your social media posts. It saves you the hassle of logging into different accounts every time you want to post. The Instagram post schedule feature was recently launched by Hootsuite and does not have automated posts functionality. For Instagram, Schedugram or Stribr can be a better tool to use.
  • BuzzSumo is the best in-class tool for content research. You can track the best performing content in your industry that will help devise a strong content marketing plan for your brand. It is also useful for tracking influencers in different domains based on geography and interest area.
  • Feedly, It & Twitter Lists can be explored to track curated content. They fetch content in your interest areas and present it on your feed which can be shared on your social media channels.
  • Many other free social media tools are available – you can check out a complete list here.

5. Build an online brand persona but strike a balance vis-à-vis traditional marketing

  • You need to be clear what your startup or product stands for. It will help you in creating the brand persona – this is important for online as well as offline branding for your company.
  • Brainstorm and come up with your brand colors, tone and maintain the uniformity across channels. While this may change over time, uniformity across channels and mediums is critical.
  • Not all of your customers are online hence, traditional marketing is here to stay and would be wise for companies to go for a balanced mix in their marketing budget.

6. Traditional Vs Digital Marketing

  • One of the questions that got asked during the discussion was, how do you split the marketing budgets between traditional and digital mediums. We are already seeing brands spend atleast 15% of their budgets on social media, but in our experience many of the forward looking businesses are going to spend as much as 50% on digital marketing in 2016. This of course depends on the industry and business model as well.
  • You can also see what trends we predict for digital marketing in India in 2016.

7. Track & Measure the results

Here’s what some of the participants had to say:

 

 

Based on the suggestions from the participants, we are going to make this a monthly initiative with each month having a focused topic. You can check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.

Please feel free to comment below or tweet to us, in case you would like to add to the existing list of pointers for startups. We would love to add them in the article.