How to Leverage Instagram for your business: A marketing guide

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If your brand has visually appealing products or a unique story to tell, there cannot be a better stage than Instagram. From luxury brands to media houses to automotives, each have carved a niche of their own and are leveraging Instagram for their businesses. In fact, automotive brands are the most engaged and well-represented. Lot of marketers contemplate whether Instagram can be an effective social media platform for their brand? Even if many marketers want to leverage Instagram for their business, they lack a quick guide that has the tips to build a successful presence on Instagram.

According to a McKinsey study,

  • 75% luxury shoppers carry smartphones
  • 86% brands among the Interbrand 100 have an Instagram account
  • 45% of these shoppers’ purchase decisions are influenced by digital content

A quick look at the above stats convey the fact that 50% of the sales funnel can be readily delivered to potential customers even before they step into your store. This raises an important question: does the might of premium luxury brand correlate to the might on digital platforms like Instagram?

Luxury & retail brands are way ahead of the pack: A Case Study

Hermes, that promotes a lifestyle rather than products, have leveraged videos, short poetic films on Instagram that strikes profound luxurious experiences. For brands like Gucci & Louis Vuitton, the majority of posts revolve around showcasing new collections and designs and getting engagement for the same. In many cases, they have also leveraged digital influencers to promote the products by tagging them and showcasing shots taken by them. Tiffany is another brand that a strong following on Instagram that is just not nominal. The strength of relationship can be gauged from the fact that the engagement on follower base is the highest among the brands mentioned. Let us look at some top tips to help build a strong Instagram presence.

Top 6 tips for deriving maximum returns from your Instagram presence:

1. Long captions aren’t a big NO! 

Including hashtags, the average caption length on Instagram is 135-140 characters which marks a significant focus from brands to avoid long captions. But there is no apparent proof of lower engagement rates for posts with lengthier captions as long as it adds to the visual story of the post.

2. Hashtags rule the roost! 

Hashtags allow access to specific interest groups and they are a great way to mark content that are discoverable organically. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags to be used, and studies show that posts with at least one hashtag get ~12% more engagement. Then, there’s no reason to shy away from using them.

3. Caption content is a NECESSARY integral!

@mentions generally results in more engagement underlying the fact that though the caption length may be immaterial, caption content definitely matters.

4. Geo-tagging boosts engagement 

The posts tagged with location gets ~30% more engagement when compared to their orphan counterparts because there are multiple apps and 3rd party discovery tools that allows location-based searches and content discovery.

5. Videos ≠ Photos 

It’s good to mix the content form and it’s true for any channel. On its own, videos are a great form of content but cannot replace photos on Instagram. Hence, it’s suggested to focus on photos as the central pillar of your Instagram strategy.

6. Call-to-Actions are important

A simple CTA like “select the design you like most” or “Tag your friend who would like this” would be ideal to help boost the number of comments and tags your post gets. The virality of your post has an exponential relationship with the number of comments and tags you get.

Instagram is cool, but it isn’t for our business! 

Does this quote have any resemblance to your boardroom discussions on your marketing strategy? The apprehensions are misplaced.

If your brand doesn’t have glamorous models to endorse your product or a Louis Vuitton bag to display, then does your brand have a place on Instagram? The answer is YES. There are ample examples of brands who lack stunning images but have succeeded in creating an engaged audience on sheer basis of their creative prowess and evoking original content.

From Google to conglomerates like GE to tractor manufacturers like John Deere, most brands are fast coming on Instagram and have many have quickly built an engaging community around their brand. In fact, General Electric is one of the biggest B2B companies on Instagram with ~180000 followers.

Intel definitely needs a mention considering the impressive posts that showcase their products and common problems to solve using technology. This gains good traction as it’s not just hard-selling Intel’s products. In recent times, Instagram has emerged as an effective platform for the hospitality industry with players like Raintree Hotels leveraging geo-location tracking to get walk-ins & bookings.

Measurement: The final frontier

Whether your brand is new on Instagram or have built a strong presence, measurement is an essential part of the strategy to optimize the efforts and extract maximum returns on your investment. Some of the metrics that can help you in this direction are:

  1. Total Engagement

The total engagement is the sum of likes and comments garnered by your posts. This gives basic insights on how well your strategy has worked to keep your audience active.

  1. Engagement per Post

When some posts get impressive engagement while others fall flat, this metric can work as a good measure to optimize the content being pushed on the basis of what is working well with your audience.

  1. Interaction Density

In a given time period, the total engagement gained divided by the total followers shows engagement as a %age of followers; which can be used to study the period-on-period impact of your strategy.

  1. Hashtag Volume

This is only applicable in case of unique hashtag campaigns with affinity to our brand. In such cases, it’s a fair measure of how ‘viral’ your campaign has been.

  1. Total followers

This is an important metric to track the popularity of your Instagram account. The higher the number of followers, the better the chances are of gaining engagements on your post, thus boosting the other metrics discussed here.

  1. Follower Sensitivity

It’s the rate of growth of followers, period-on-period; that can act as an essential measure to track the best performing campaigns and content types.

In case you would like any other information to be included that can be helpful for marketing businesses by leverage Instagram, please do let us know your thoughts as a comment to the post. We shall be more than happy to explore your feedback.

Popular Influencer Marketing Campaigns in India

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

We also have a list of top influencer marketing campaigns that ran in 2017 and 2016.

What is Influencer Marketing?

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

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

  1. Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet – YoGa2bFree

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

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

  1. Launch of Cadbury Glow

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

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

  1. Philips Air Fryer 

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

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

  1. Colgate Charcoal Toothbrush 

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

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

  1. The Madras Song 

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

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

  1. IBuyFresh

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

  1. Raintree Hotels

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

  1. Opera Coast Campaign 

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

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

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

  1. Ford India Campaign 

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

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

  1. Allen Solly #ShootforSolly 

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

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

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

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

Click here to launch your Influencer Markerting campaign in India

Top 10 live chat softwares for your website

Live Chat is an efficient communication medium for proactively engaging customers and converting them into leads. This can be done at ease with the help of well trained agents using some of the many Live Chat tools avalable. However, deciding which one to pick be a bit confusing. Hence, we have put together a list of the 10 best live chat softwares for your website that can help boost sales and service your customers.

Before we go into the details and the USPs of each of the live chat softwares available, here’s a quick comparison of the features these platforms have to offer and their pricing:

Top live chat options Social Beat

 

SNAP ENGAGE

USP: Social Discovery to help better understand the customer

Facebook ,Twitter and LinkedIn icons are bound with the chat option and if the agent feels that he/she can connect with the potential customer through social networking sites the customer can give a friend request or follow the customer directly from the chat area. This feature is called as ‘social discovery’, which is a unique feature and it also helps the agent to know about the customers better and further chats can be made more customisable. The details of the customers can be seen only after accepting the chat requests. Apart fom this, Snap Engage also allows the agents to remotely control the user’s browser and help them navigate to the right pages quickly. Also, tthere are blogs written in their website which helps the agent to enhance his/her skill to be a star agent. Unlimited access to sites is provided by Snap Engage. CRM and help desk can be integrated.

PRICING

The basic price is $60 in which 4 agents can be employed.

ZOPIM

USP: Competitive Pricing

Zopim is an affordable, easy to use Live Chat option. When you engage with a customer, a separate pop up doesn’t appear on the screen for every customer, instead all the windows and controls are integrated with the dash board they offer, unlike many other chat options. Automated chats are possible so that you can reach out to customers, before they complete their conversation. Integrating with Zen Desk can help in multi-channel support like emails and social media. Chat history is available by which it becomes easy for the agent to know the customer.

PRICING

Free version is available and the basic version costs for $11 (single agent) per month.

OLARK

USP: Customizable GUI 

The customisable graphical user interface GUI makes Olark stand out from the rest. When it is Christmas time, it gets updated to the Christmas theme. Every celebration can be more fun with the GUI it offers. The logo of the organisation can also be incorporated in the paid versions of Olark. After every chat, rating can be given for the chat from which instant feedback of the conversation through live chat can be noted. Another noteworthy component of Olark is ‘savethecart’ feature by which the agent can know what is the product that is stored in the cart and based upon this the chat can be done and targeting becomes easy.

PRICING

The basic version costs $15 (single agent) whereas the free version limits in the number of chats.

VELARO CHAT

USP: Geo targeting and content targeting

The geographical location of the website visitor can be tracked along with the content what they are looking for so that even the greeting by the agent can be of the language which the viewer  follows which gives a personal connect to the user and the user is more likely to buy the product. Keeping track of the content can also help in product that can be promoted through chat as a follow up.  Unlimited access to sites and can be managed centrally. There are three versions like other chats that include basic business, smart business and enterprise Omni.

PRICING

The basic price is $29.95 and free version is available with limited features

OGG CHAT

USP: Integration with G-talk and Instant Messenger

Ogg Chat can be integrated with G-Talk and Instant messenger. Separate desired departments can be created and operators can be added to the chat. Every operator can include a schedule chart to keep a track on the pending schedule. Some data are available that can be used to analyse like brief chat history but however real time monitoring of the viewers, usage of canned messages is a considerable setback.

PRICING

The basic version of the product costs $9.95 and all plans include a 14-day free trial

LIVE HELP NOW

USP: Real time translation

Internationalisation is possible as it offers real time translation feature. Languages are translated instantly which makes it easy to use in non-English speaking nations. The admin interface isn’t much cluttered. It is a simple, user friendly admin which the consumer may like to use. Prioritising the mails become easy with the email management system that is offered. All the information about the clients can be viewed in one click, but a separate window opens up every time which may be tough to view for a series of clients.

PRICING

A 30 day free trial is available with constraints and the basic version of LiveHelpNow chat costs $21 per month

KAYAKO

USP: Quick response through the Mobile application

Users find the mobile application very useful as the agents can respond to the queries from any place. However, the user interface doesn’t support any other language other than English which is seen as a drawback. Live Chat tickets can be administered through e-mail. Service Level Agreements are complex when compared to other chat options. Kayako allows the user to create a macro which enables automatic response to some of the basic and repeated queries as it reduces the response time of the agent.

PRICING: The basic version of the Kayako Live Chat costs $24 and three versions of Kayako are called as Case, Fusion and Engage

CASENGO

USP: Ease of file sharing

Casengo has one inbox for all the chats, emails and social media posts. The cloud based application allows the responders to post their answers in a quicker phase than other options. The customers of online retailers and other small businesses have the response in a very fast time period.  Most of the live chats, attachments can be sent only through downloadable links, where as the file itself can be sent as an attachment, however sending multiple attachments is not an easy task using Casengo.

PRICING:

The basic version costs $9.65 (9Euros), Free version can be used in which enables only the chat option

COMM100LIVECHAT

USP: Guaranteed 100 percent uptime

Comm100livechat, as the name suggests this live chat claims to produce 100 percent uptime. A typing indicator allows agents to see what their customers are typing before they submit their message. With ‘MaximumOn’ technology, the software also ensures that your live chat program runs continuously without interruptions, despite failures at both server and data center levels. Chats can also be extended onto mobile platforms; including on iOS and Android devices.A drag-and-drop file transfer feature allows agents to share a file that provides all the requested information. However, no real time translation is available and no co-browsing option is available.

PRICING

The basic version of the live chat costs $29 and there are different versions based on the Shared Server and dedicated Server

WEBSITE ALIVE CHAT

USP: An all in one live chat with email integration

If your business is a small firm and is looking for a one stop solution that integrates e-mail with your live chat options, website live chat can serve your business. It supports till 20 multiple chats with quick tabs to enable swift performance.  The user interface helps to edit the interface without coding. Internal operator chat that helps to interact internally when a query hard to manage by an agent can be used to clear his doubts.

PRICING

The basic version of the live chat costs $20 and there are different versions available with different pricing.

 

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