The Ultimate Guide On Brand Marketing VIA Snapchat

A picture speaks a thousand words, a phrase that we are all familiar with. Snapchat, a social media messaging app proves this phrase right.  Similar to Instagram, Snapchat allows users to share pictures and videos for a set amount of time with friends after which the picture self-destructs. It was launched by Evan Spiegal and Bobby Murphy in the year 2011. It is widely popular amongst the teens and young adults and this trend is starting to gain momentum amongst the other generations as well. At Social Media Week’s around the world, Snapchat has become an increasingly discussed topic.

How to use it

Download the app

The Snapchat app is available on both google play and app store. Begin by downloading this app.

Source: Hubspot.com

Set it up

Once you have downloaded the next step is to sign up. Set up your account by entering your email, a username, and a password. However, it is advisable to choose a good username since Snapchat unlike other apps, does not allow you to change your user name once you set it.

Account settings: Adjust your privacy settings. To do this, click on the ghost icon above on the screen. This will lead you to the settings tab in which you can choose who can view your snaps and stories.

Profile picture: Snapchat lets you set an animated profile picture. Tap on the ghost icon on the top of your screen and click on your snapcode and then upload a picture of your brand.

Look for friends & customers

Now that you are all set, it’s time to connect with your friends. To add a new friend, click on the ghost icon and then say add friends, this lets you add customers or brand well-wishers either from your address book or by username or snapcode. You can also add fans by location.

Send snaps to your fans

To share a snap with your fans, open the camera and click on the circle button present on the screen below. You can also shoot a video for which you would have to press and hold the button a little longer.  You can also enhance the snap by adding filters, texts and images on it.

The latest Snapchat version offers you a variety of lenses that are fun to experiment with.  To use this, click and press on the screen, this would allow it to capture the shape of your face. Once this is done different lenses appear and you can choose and try different ones by scrolling left.

After you are done, you can send the snap by tapping the arrow in the bottom left side of the screen.

Share story

A snap story can be viewed by everyone on your friends/fans list. You can add multiple snaps and videos and this stays for twenty-four hours.

Follow the same steps as creating a snap, except instead of choosing few people to send it to, you need to choose ‘my story’ to post this.

Live chat

This feature on the app allows you to video chat with your fans. To start a video chat, click on the video button present below the chat tab. This can be an interesting way to showcase a new product launch or to talk about a new/interesting development with your brand.

Source: www.wired.com

The emojis

Snapchat has different emojis next to your contacts to denote the different levels of friendships which is based on your snap chat activity. Be careful while using this for your brand as these emojis also need to represent the tone of not just your brand but the message being amplified.

Source: askmen.com

How to use it for your business

Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social networks. This medium helps you to come up with some fun, engaging and creative campaigns. The app’s features like filters, geo-filters, adding text, emojis, etc adds the element of fun to snaps. Many brands have begun to use Snapchat as a part of their marketing strategy. Wondering how you can use Snapchat for your business? Here are few ways you can:

Live events

If your business is hosting or a part of an event, use this app to cover all the live happenings at the event. This way your audience members will be able to view your event live, no matter where they are.

MTV – Vmas Celebrity Story

Channel, MTV, created a live story during the VMAS, where they were updating snaps live from the event. They received around 12 million views on this platform. All the fans, no matter where they were, could view everything that happened at the award show. Watch this video here:

Behind the scenes

Take your fans behind the scenes. This is a great way to engage with your audience and get them excited. Capture some fun moments at work, like celebration or team lunch, etc. Experiment by using all the features of this app. This gives the users a different experience from what they would get from other social media platforms which in turn will make them want to engage with your brand on this platform.

Once the users get a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes it will make them feel that they are a part of an overall process.

Contests & offers

Just like other social platforms like twitter and Facebook, you can host fun and exciting contests on Snapchat. You can use this medium to provide the promo code for a sale that is happening in your store or website. This is a part of the shopping trend and seemed to have worked well with a few of the brands.

Influencer campaign

In today’s world, influencer marketing is one of the popular ways to reach a wide target audience. Tie up with influencers that have a high Snapchat score and a good number of followers on other social media platforms as well. Influencers who are avid Snapchat users will know ways to make the content even more interesting by using all the features of the app. Disney world  hired Mike Platco who’s personal account gets close to 120,000 views per snap, as an influencer when they launched their Snapchat account.  Mike is a great story teller as well as an artist and he utilized these skills of his on his snaps around the theme park.

Source: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/

Demonstrate your products

Launching a new product? Create a buzz around it and get your fans excited and geared up for your product launch. Give them a sneak- peek or a preview of the new product.

Apart from product launch, many brands make use of this platform to give a demo of their products.

Burberry leveraged this medium to feature their new collection before the actual show early this year. This way the brand was able to increase the engagement with its fans by getting them geared up and excited for the actual show.

Source: www.postano.com

 

Geo filters & Sponsored lenses

Create and add Geo filters for your brand. Sponsored geo filters work well for many brands. Since this lets you add your logo or anything specific onto the filters. Sponsored lense is another interesting way to engage the audience. This helps in terms of branding as well.

Beats, the famous headphones company used the sponsored lense to promote their black Friday sale. Users were able to add the lense over their photo to create funny videos in which the user’s eyes would get wide and their heads would move back and forth.

If you are not using Instagram or snapchat for your business, you are missing out on something! So go ahead and start exploring ways to leverage this platform.

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!

For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.

How Design Can Help Tell A Brand Story

“Once Upon A Time…”

Those four words, when combined, either embraces nostalgia or a magical moment about to be told… a story!

Story telling has been prevalent since the days of cave writings. However, as mankind progressed, new technologies emanated; and with superhighways of online interactions, brands are constantly swimming against a ferocious tide of customer attention. In a world where information is prevalent, visual design aids to strategize further by informing, engaging and delighting the audiences.

Good content & narrative makes a story alluring but a story viscerally explained and duly designed with the right tone, signals & aesthetics amplifies the content, etching an ordinary experience into an extraordinary experience. That’s the power of visual storytelling!

Having said that, how do we strategize design in our brand’s narrative?

According to a study by Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. A logically thought out visual design strategy with the right elements of photos, graphics, colors, type and videos swiftly connect the customers with the brand’s key values, garnering engagement to its true potential. However, a logical balance must be maintained in design as undue over telling the story may boomerang affecting the brand itself otherwise.

Here are some tips to help you jump-start your visual storytelling strategy.

Embrace visuals

The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. The magic is truly in the innovative use of images that reflect authenticity, cultural relevancy and real time human experiences; nurturing cascading effects amidst viewers by fermenting emotions and engagement to the story.

Most of the real estate and travel brands, for example, use visuals & images to their advantage, by taking their customers on a perspective tour of their products, amenities and the surrounding facilities. See how we leveraged the power of photography to take the consumer through a visual journey around the globe.

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Akbar Travels #PictureYourself campaign

Use Infographics effectively

Infographics are a great way to compile information and present it in a visually and digestible format to tell a story about your brand’s journey. Infographics with compelling visuals and factual information ensues the content goes viral, enables analytical tracking and magnifies you as an expert.

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View the full infographic: Housing.com/ Getinsights/ Akbar Travels

Set your color palette

Colors have the power to pitch different moods and brand values, as well as increase brand recognition by up to 80%. When used effectively, your brand’s color palette can evoke emotions nurturing your story. Are you a fun brand that wants to inspire creativity and youth? Then you may want to consider vibrant and fun colors. However, if you are a serious brand built on trust, you may want to use trustworthy colors. Playing with the same color over and again across all channels steamrolls to build a better brand connect.

  • Choose your colors in order of importance, primary color, the one which you want to be the primary voice of your brand, to the secondary palette (the ones you will use the least).
  • Choose colors that are functional and ensure good contrasting tones.
  • Use images that harmonize with your color palette.

For example, notice how google uses the primary color palette (red, blue, yellow and green) across all its imagery to reflect its playful and innovative culture.

Determine your Brand’s fonts

Further, the choice of fonts you choose also affects the way audiences perceive your brand & its personality. Consider using 2-3 fonts consistently in all channels; one for the title that should be expressive of the brand’s persona along with another easy-to-read font for the subtitle and the body copy.

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Olympia #PursuitofLuxury series

In the #PursuitofLuxury series we did for a luxury real estate brand, Olympia, notice how we paired a sans serif font for the body copy with a script font for the title to add to the premium feel of the brand.

Elevate with the right filters and effects

Enhancing images with tints, vibrancy, saturation, hues or blurring will set the mood for the story giving it a unique look/feel that can reinforce the brand’s culture. Most importantly the filters must have the same synchrony to other elements as per your style guide.

Take a look at how we used the vintage time lapse effect to illustrate how luxury transcends time.

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Olympia’s #LuxuryTranscendsTime series

Keep the Brand layout consistent

Ensure the position, size of logo, tagline and other brand visuals remain consistent. While using them over images, ensure that it can offset against its background.

Templatize to get recognized

Creating templates for campaigns will efficiently brand a story. Notice how weekly recipes posts on social media for On1y, a gourmet herbs and spices brand has the similar format which includes the brand colors, fonts, title, images and name. Such consistent elements ties each post together rousing the campaign’s cognizance.

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Personalize your strategy

Embrace the special features, capabilities and audience demographics of videos, vine videos, gifs and memes to foster different types of engagement.

The vine video by Dunkin Donuts, where coffee and lattes represent football players is a fine example of how vine videos can be used to garner virality.

Give it a human touch

Adding a name and face in the form of characters or mascots to your brand story adds life to the narrative ensuring authenticity. A simple cartoon, illustration, hand sketches or animated short films can highlight the storyline while also sharing information about your brand.

In an innovative way to communicate the company’s heritage, Murugappa Group compiled a series of live sketched #SayingItSimply videos; followed by a social strategy designed to foster engagement.

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Spice up your Brand’s online presence

The timeline cover photo provides for a good amount of real estate to capture due attention from social media followers like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. The online social space provides for a good amount of real estate to visually pitch your brand story.

The power of design in storytelling is no fairy tale. The race to get customer attention is on, and your brand’s visual voice is what will get your brand noticed. So put a strong visual story for your brand, if you want your business to have a happy ending.

Online reputation management can make or break your brand

Online Reputation Management has become an integral part of any brand’s digital strategy, as the online consumer base is constantly growing. According to a recent survey, 70% of Indians online prefer or have used Social Media for customer service or purchase recommendations at least once. With more and more consumers actively sharing and looking out for information online, it becomes crucial for brands to have a successful ORM strategy in place.

What is ORM?

It is the process of managing and improving your brand’s reputation through positive content promotion and prompt redressal of consumer complaints and grievances online. This customer-centric approach ensures credibility and helps monitor the brand sentiment online. In order to maintain a positive brand image, businesses need to constantly monitor conversations around their brand and the industry across social media, community forums, review sites, blogs and all over the internet. There are ORM tools available to track, analyse and manage online content, thereby making it easy for brands to streamline the process and carryout quality checks frequently.

Impact of Online Reputation Management

Understanding how Online Reputation Management can impact your brand identity and business objectives is important, no matter how big or small the enterprise is. Here are some pointers on the key aspects of ORM can make or break your brand:

Listen or Lose: Knowing what your customers are talking about your business online is very crucial for customer retention and acquiring new prospects. Majority of the consumers today refer to reviews and recommendations on various sites and social media platforms before making a purchase decision. Witnessing negative feedback about your service or product online can lead to distrust and drop in sales.

Hence, a timely response system needs to be in place to address customer grievances not just on social media, but also on review portals and forums that can show up on the Google Search results.

Respond to Regain Trust: One of the most common mistakes that brands make when it comes to Online Reputation Management is deleting or avoiding a customer complaint. Covering up an issue is never a solution, as customer stories tend to have a greater reach and impact. Consumers appreciate public signs of transparency and honesty; hence always respond to negative comments and take the issue offline if needed.

When the issue is resolved promptly, there are higher chances of this troubled customer turning into a brand evangelist and post positive feedback about the brand’s approach and customer service. To know how you can efficiently track and respond to feedback on social media, see our detailed blog.

Be Quick to Acknowledge Feedback: According to an average Internet user, a brand needs to respond to a consumer’s query or feedback online within 30 minutes or an hour. Prompt response with a relevant solution goes a long way in showing consumers that you are listening to them. It’s also one of the easiest ways to win back your customer’s trust and let them know you value them.

If you are unsure about something, it is always better to inform your customers that you are looking into the issue and will get in touch shortly regarding the corrective action. Because, more the time taken to respond, severe the damage is. If you are a B2C brand where the consumer engagement rate is high, opt for ORM tools that can help you streamline this process.

ResponsivenessWhile Facebook already has ‘Responsiveness’ badges on Brand Pages, Twitter is testing it out on select accounts

 

Climb the Search Engine Ladder: There are close to 91 Million searches performed on Google each day. How many of those do you think could be about your brand? Big or small, leverage on SEO to make positive content dominate the Google Search results and push down the negative references about your brand. Promoting fresh, useful and positive content on various web pages about your brand can help in outranking negative comments over a period of time.

Most brands also take an integrated approach to effectively use Influencer Marketing in order to create positive word-of-mouth. This includes creation of blogs or reviews across community platforms, online review portals and social media.

Customer Delight Made Easy: Being available online and making customer interactions meaningful helps in exceeding their expectations. A happy customer likes to share positive experiences and eventually becomes a brand loyalist. Businesses in the servicing industry can take the ORM route to dominate the competitive marketplace and demonstrate their trustworthiness & commitment to customers.

In order to achieve this, brands need to actively track brand mentions and follow conversations online to respond and initiate conversations. Being proactive not only helps to keep negative sentiments at bay, but also helps in building a positive brand perception.

Customer Delight

JetBlue is an airline company in United States, well known for its customer service. When Twitter user Alexa Burrows randomly tweeted about the end of her holiday and jokingly asked the airline company for a welcome home parade, JetBlue did go that extra mile to delight the customer and created a positive brand experience.

 

Establish your Brand Personality: Even though most brands are online and making efforts to improve customer experience, only few stand out. A unique approach towards addressing concerns and encouraging conversations helps in building the brand and differentiating yourself from the competitors. Online Reputation Management also serves as an opportunity to showcase your brand persona and cultivate a social media voice that will amaze your consumers.

Being witty and creative is one of the easiest ways to get noticed and make an impact on digital media platforms. Below is an example of Ola’s quirky response to a customer.

Brand Personality

Online Reputation Management could be the missing piece in your digital strategy if you’re looking to create a difference and delight customers, but not there yet. Have you deployed effective ORM strategies for your brand and witnessed how it’s making or breaking your brand? Do write to us in the ‘Comments’ section.

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”.

You may also find it interesting to read our book on Digital Marketing Insights for 2017, which can be purchased on Amazon.

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

Instagram Analytics – What Can A Brand Expect

Analytics is by far one of the most important tools to help a company sell on the social media platform. Yes, driving traffic to the website is equally important, but how do you find out what happens after that? That is where web and social media analytics comes to play. Every social networking site has its own set of analytics that are both accurate and user-friendly. While Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest has inbuilt analytics, Instagram was lacking in it. Though Instagram shares the same ad platform as Facebook, the platform does not yet have an analytics tool like Facebook’s Insights and Audience Insights. Fortunately, there are a number of third-party Instagram analytics tools available for businesses and marketers to measure their marketing efforts until recently when Instagram announced its insights feature – Instagram ‘Business Tool’that will be made available directly in the app for its users!

While this happened, Instagram again made heads turn for yet another new launch – ‘Business Profiles’. This tool is truly an advantage for small businesses, which can enjoy the ease of mobile marketing on Instagram which will also help reduce the gap between the consumers and the brands. While Instagram’s carousal ad sets and videos have already been helpful for easy marketing, introducing mobile ad-buying and Analytics, which will help view the most viewed and liked posts, post engagement rate, website clicks, impressions, reach and a lot more is definitely a big step for Instagram that has been appreciated by 500 million users who see 95 million posts amongst which a minimum of 48 million posts are ads by marketers every day. If you are still deciding whether to use Instagram for your brand – here is a guide on how startups can use Instagram.

 

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Key Features of Instagram Analytics

Instagram Analytics dominantly focuses on Follower Demographics and Post Analytics. Below, you can view your top posts segregated by Instagram based on its impressions for a 7 day or a 30 day period. This will help you understand how many people viewed your posts other than just liking it, giving you an accurate engagement rate, thereby helping you understand if there is a need to improve your marketing.

 

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Amongst all the information that is available, Follower Demographics is a very useful tool, especially for the small time marketers. It helps them discover where their audiences are coming from. Apart from exact locations, it also helps determine the right time to market to them from different time zones.

 

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Again, similar to any other analytics tool, Instagram also lets you break your audience by gender and age to quickly analyze if men or women have contributed to the most number of views, likes and engagement rate.

 

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The ‘Followers’ module is yet another major advantage for marketers to keep a track of the time and the number of hours their consumers are on Instagram on a selected day. This will again help them understand the right day and time to advertise which will surely be beneficial to grow the brand.

 

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Apart from hardcore analytics tools, Instagram has also been experimenting with a few other profile features that seem to be quite useful for businesses to lead traffic to their websites and increase their sales. One of these features is the new ‘Contact’ button besides the usual ‘Following’ button.

 

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The ‘Contact’ button is a linkable location tag which when clicked will show two things – ‘Email’ the user or ‘Get Directions’ on your maps to their store.Since finding the location of Instagram brands has been a major pain point for both marketers and users alike, this new feature will be of some aid.

 

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The second feature is a direct plus-point for brands/products that have been looked around or searched a lot in social media. While hashtags are used on Facebook and Twitter to quickly spot these products, Instagram has introduced an extra line underneath the name in the profile.

 

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While these features are not yet open to all users, they have been introduced for marketers in the US, Australia and New Zealand and in the following months, will be accessible on a global level, including India. Boasting over 300,000 marketers leveraging on Instagram, it has become an ideal platform for small businesses to resort to a much easier and visually appealing mode of marketing that will be directly benefited by this new Analytics tool amongst the others and other special features for brand building.

We will have a more detailed analysis once we are able to use the tool for more brands.

How can brands market themselves in the digital age?

Much has already been said and written about managing brands: creating awareness and loyalty, refreshing them, launching brand extensions successfully and increasing revenues from a brand’s franchise year after year. Companies like P&G and Unilever honed this to a fine art and became sought after employers by eager MBAs raring to manage brands.

This was when the television commercial and its production was the high point of months of research, mapping, positioning and creative options. Print and outdoor media supported the core TV effort, while promotions drove an increase in sales through value offer to encourage brand switch and sampling by new users. It was always about using mass media to build brand image, and influence the audience to buy a brand based on promised benefits and lifestyle cues.

The disruption of the Internet

With the advent of the Internet and digital content, many things changed fundamentally. The Internet was mass media, but in a very different way: instead of being a ‘one-to-many’ communication (broadcast) that was information push, the Internet offered the chance of engaging (conversations) with many in an interactive manner. For it is a ‘many-to-many’ medium, with users generating content as they engage with each other.

The nature of the medium itself changed how brands reach out to audiences:

  • From brand message to rewarding the viewer

Digital marketing is, in a sense, permission marketing. How would you like it if a brand manager came in and put up a poster on your living room wall? Yet, when we advertise on Facebook, that is what we are doing in a sense! Their ‘walls’ belong to the users, not Facebook, not you. So if you’re going to be there, then you better reward them in some way: with a great story, with humour, with new information, with emotion or a new idea – commonly known as content marketing. It not only has to be worth their while to view, it must earn that place on their wall. And if it does, they will, in turn, share it on their friends’ walls like it was their own.

One example is this video by the BBC on Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday.

  • From awareness to the audience owning the message

It is no longer about just pushing out information on a brand or product and building its image based on benefits and lifestyle cues. It’s about engaging with audiences and starting conversations.

In the nineties, as the Internet spread and broadband began to proliferate, BMW was doing a big push into the US market which was then dominated by Mercedes. But BMW did not have the financial strength and budgets that Mercedes had on conventional media. The spread of broadband was an opportunity that BMW capitalized on with the famous BMW films. Only, instead of commercials on mass media, they produced short films by well-known directors starring Clive Owen and other stars based on the storyline. Central to each film and a star in its own right was, of course, a BMW: BMW Star and BMW Ticker.

In all, some ten films were produced over a three-year period and went viral quickly. The viewers it was aimed at, a younger, highly successful, independent thinking audience as compared to the older Benz traditionalists, owned the films and shared them widely with their peers. The result was electric, with BMW’s sales in the US surging without having to spend on mass media.

  •  From mass messaging to personal engagement

In the days of conventional marketing, it was all about the message. Consumer research threw up problem statements and provided insights, based on which, brands were tweaked. Then came the all important messaging based on the problem that was being addressed. At all times, the communication was from the brand to its audience; one to many; a one way communication. Creativity played an important role as audiences were being bombarded with thousands of messages a day, from when they awoke to when they went to sleep. The power of an idea is what got the brand past the filter of the mind through relevance and originality-enough to get their attention. Still, it was one more message that they absorbed, with the outcome still in doubt!

With the Internet, everything changed. Ideas are still important, as is creativity, to reward the audience for viewing the message and provoking them to engage with the brand. This starts a conversation, and the beginning of building a relationship with the audience that relates to the brand based on the idea. The idea must reward the reader or viewer in some way: either through humour, or by giving them information of value they were unaware of, or by simply capturing their imagination in a sociable way.

Like this Nike ad which uses Messi as a role model.

In conclusion:

Large media houses do not own the Internet, its users do. They not only ‘own’ it, they initiate its use according to their convenience. Their use of the Internet, depending on time of day and context, can be to consume the news, network with friends, send emails, work or entertain themselves. A single medium serves to satisfy all their needs depending on time or context. A good marketer knows what kind of message to reach to them, when and in what context, always keeping in mind that the message must earn its place on their walls with relevance and reward them. Done well, it will gain their ‘ownership’, so they share it with their friends.

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.

Rohit-Digital-CPC

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!

David Appasamy to head Brand & Strategy at Social Beat

Social Beat is delighted to bring on board David Appasamy to head Brand and Strategy for the company. He will be working closely with the core team to achieve the company’s vision of being amongst the top 10 digital agencies in India by 2018.

Speaking on the appointment, Co-Founder Suneil Chawla said, “We not only share the same Alma Mater, IIM Ahmedabad, but also a shared vision of leveraging the digital medium to deliver business results to the brands and companies we work with. We look forward to David driving strategy and growth along with a focus on key client acquisition”. David comes with over 35 years in companies like ITC Ltd, Mudra DDB and Sify Technologies covering Business Strategy, Brand & Marketing Management, Digital Marketing and Audience Engagement.

Talking about his new role, David stated, “The Internet, and what it represents for companies as a medium for business and marketing, has always been my passion. I am delighted to be part of a start-up that is firmly established and recognised, and excited to focus on growth strategies and the Social Beat brand as a Digital Marketing specialist.”

Co-Founder, Vikas Chawla said “We see David playing a key role in mentoring the core team that the company has built over the last 4 years. As we move towards the next phase of growth, nurturing talent and expanding across the country and globally is going to be key. We are delighted to have David be part of this journey.”

In the past, David has served on the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) advising the UN Secretary General on Internet Governance in 2010 and 2011. He was Co-Chair, International Chamber of Commerce’s Task Force on Internet & Telecoms Infrastructure & Services from 2006 to 2011. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the IIM Ahmedabad Chennai Chapter focusing on making it a vibrant, inclusive and rewarding experience for alumni members. David is also involved in multiple social activities including Roofs for the Roofless and the Appasamy Trust focused on self-employment and education.

About Social Beat

Founded in 2012, Social Beat is South India’s leading digital agency which helps companies build their brand and get business results via the digital medium.

Social Beat is a certified Google Partner and a trusted online expert with offices in Chennai & Bangalore. The 40 member team offers integrated digital marketing solutions including website development, app development, user experience consulting, social media marketing, content marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, digital advertising & influencer marketing. Social Beat has two digital products – the first is an influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in and the around user-generated content called Rewardify.

With focus verticals of real estate, e-commerce, healthcare & B2B, they have over 100 clients including Citibank, Saint Gobain, Murugappa Group, Akbar Travels, Sterling Holidays, PN Gadgil, Musafir.com, Casa Grande, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Hospitals, Sterling Holidays, Chain, Olympia Group, Raintree Hotels, Forum Mall, India Home Health Care, Sulekha.com, Cambridge English & JVC Headphones amongst others.

In recognition of its excellent performance and contribution to the field of digital marketing, Social Beat’s co-founder Suneil Chawla was awarded the Best Digital Marketing Professional by CMO Council 2014 and the Outstanding Digital Person Of the Year award at the Digital Marketing Conclave & Awards 2014 conducted by Think Media Inc and VIT University Business School.

Website: https://www.socialbeat.in/

Media Contact: Vikas Chawla, team@socialbeat.in / 044-42065648

Mobile First Strategy to leverage micro moments of consumers

Micro Moments has become a buzzword in the digital marketing environment in recent times. Especially, after Google’s content marketing team, Think with Google, came up with this phrase, more and more digital marketers are trying to utilize the micro moments to benefit their brands.

To start with, more and more consumers are using smart phones for most of their browsing. According to two different Google consumer surveys, almost 68% of smart phone users say that they check their smart phone within 15 minutes of waking up every morning; also, 30% of these users admit that they actually get anxious, when they don’t have their smart phones with them. In most countries, searches happen more via mobiles than desktop computers. This means that digital marketers, who intend to make an impression with their clients, should adapt mobile first strategy religiously.

According to the often quoted KPCB Internet Trends Report, it is said that most people check their phones about 150 times a day and they spend 177 minutes on an average with their phones per day. This means that, on an average, a mobile session lasts for just 70 seconds. Apart from texting their partners, sharing their selfies or travel pictures, commenting on their friends’ photos, there is a specific point of time where people look at their smart phones to get influenced by brands. These small moments where the consumers look for information on their phones are the micro moments that every digital marketer should utilize.

Four types of micro moments

According to Think with Google, these micro moments can be classified into four, namely:

  1. I-want-to-know moments: More and more users are looking up for information online. On the go, many users search for different information ranging from routes to their destination to deals in ecommerce sites. The amount of such consumers have increased significantly in the past few years.
  2. I-want-to-go-moments: More than ¾ of users use their smart phone users use search engine via their phone to look for any local store or company. Even to look up for something as trivial as an electrician or florist, people use their smart phones. According to Google Trends report, in the year 2014-2015, there is 2x increase in “near me” based search interest.
  3. I-want-to-do moments: While doing a task, most users use their smart phones to look see instructions. Be it any DIY craft or a simple day-to-day recipe, people use their smart phones to check how to do what they want to do.
  4. I-want-to-buy moments: This is the most explicit micro moment. Before purchasing a product online or offline, more than 80% people actually look up their phones for consultation before buying. Also, mobile conversion rates for ecommerce sites have significantly increased in the recent times.

These are the four micro moments that are crucial for any business. With consumers’ online attention span being very low, i.e. as low as few seconds, to leverage these micro moments of consumers, brands must adapt mobile first strategy.

Four ways to leverage consumers’ micro moments:

To grasp your consumers’ micro moments, a brand must refine all its contents to be mobile responsive and follow these four approaches.

1. Being there for the users always

One of the interesting facts about most consumers is that they might not be rigid on what brand they want. If they are looking at their phone for information or merely browsing, they might be more interested to buy your products if the information you provide interest them. Especially, while looking for information, users pick the business that are there in their search results and that have the most attention-seeking content.

By being there always in their smart phone, via both paid and organic methods, you stand a more chance than your competitors to convert them into your customers. One may think that by merely being there in the social media, how can a brand make the smart phone users become its consumers. The true fact is that by being there when users need some information, your brand is helping customers in their decision journey.

Also, at this point, mobile first strategy plays a major role. Since most of the searches happen via mobile phones, your website, landing pages, ads, posts, and any content should be mobile responsive. Also, it must be interesting and crisp to be read within those micro moments.

2. Providing users the information they need

While you can make an amazing first impression with the first approach, to make the users your clients/customers, you need to do something more; in fact, you must do something more powerful. Bounce rate of many sites and uninstalling of many apps are on a rise; the main reason for this is that most of these brands fail to be useful to their customers in the four micro moments explained above.

If your consumer is on a search engine searching to buy a product related to your brand, he or she is more likely to pick your brand over a hundred others when your content is useful than the others. We have a detailed strategy on how to create 10X better content than your competitors. With mobile first strategy, you are in a good spot because it allows you create and showcase more pertinent content in these micro moments. This is why in our view a blog is important for every business. Using information like their past search history, location, time of search, and keywords, one can efficiently decide what to showcase to which user.

For example, if you are a brand that has multiple products, based on the target group, their preferences, you can use retargeting to showcase products/creatives that are useful to them. Rest assured, you would have definitely leveraged their micro moment.

3. Catching up with users’ speed

If your mobile site or app takes a long time to load, the users are more likely to leave your site/app for other that of other brands. All your efforts of providing useful content and being there goes waste, if the speed at which your information loads is slow. To optimize your mobile site and app speed to suit the speed of your customers, you must follow these steps:

  1. Keep it simple: Having too many forms, additional or redundant steps, etc. makes your customer bored. Have a one step sign up form, i.e. via Facebook or Google. Also, enable click-to-call options, instead of displaying phone numbers. Similarly, all addresses must be linked to GPS to open via maps directly. This way, the users will be able to do what they want to do without any hindrances.
  2. Foresee users’ expectations: From predictions to drop down menus, from enabling auto-fill option to getting past browsing history, try everything that will speed up the process. You can also display products/services on the app based on their past search history.
  3. Combine the best UI with simple design: As much as an attention-seeking UI is important, it will be of no use, if it takes too long to load. Therefore, the app/mobile site must not only be designed to be user-friendly but must also be designed in a way that it loads quickly.

Almost 40% of users wait not more than 3 seconds for a site to load before leaving the site, if you do not optimize your site better, all your other efforts becomes futile.

4. Measuring your strategy

You have done your best by being there, being useful, and being quick. With mobile first approach, these efforts will definitely reap results. The results can either be customers or leads to prospective customers. However, on the longer run, measuring and reviewing your micro moments strategy is what helps you to refine and evolve with the evolving trends.

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.

EventTweet1

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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!

 

Top Learnings from the comScore Advertising Benchmarks Report – 2016

ComScore recently published a report that highlights the advertising benchmarks for the year 2016. As a leading global cross-platform measurement company that accurately assesses audiences, brands, and consumers, comScore has analyzed and published a report on how ad blocking, invalid traffic, and viewability of ads are impacting delivery of advertisements across the globe. The report also lists what the concerned industries can do to tackle these challenges. The following is a brief summary on the key learning from the report.

The digital marketing industry, particularly the digital advertising industry, has experienced constant and powerful growth that has not show any signs of decline, so far. However, in order to continue its global rise, the industry needs to guarantee clean ad delivery, i.e. ads should be viewable to the consumers, and it should be free from fraud. Nevertheless, an ad that is not seen by consumers cannot have any impact.

Based on research and data mining, the comScore report enlightens us with some key learning across the following three extensive categories.

1. The growing global phenomenon of ad blocking

Issue:

Young users aged 18-24 are more likely to block desktop ads than any other average user. In fact, young males are 100% more likely and young females are 42% more likely to block ads in comparison with other users from the US. Moreover, users from higher income segments block ads more than average users.

How to resolve this:

The sole way to resolve this issue is to refocus on user experience. These statistics are a wake-up call for all the digital advertisers to improve their ad quality in terms of content as well as user experience. Seeking less invasive options, with or without advertising, can also be a good alternative.

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2. The rise in sophisticated ad fraud

Issue:

In December 2015, almost 80% of the global invalid traffic (IVT) was sophisticated. Additionally, ads that have less transparency like video ads on programmatic exchanges are almost 4.5 times more prone to IVT than its direct counterparts. In general, with wider CPMs, videos give a higher chance for IVT than display ads.

How to resolve this:

Sophisticated IVT requires advanced analytics to detect. Therefore, it is very crucial to protect websites and all ad campaigns using latest methods like comScore Triple Detection Technology, which goes beyond the standard filtration. This sophisticated IVT detection tool uses three key data assets, viz. ad tags, census page tags and a panel of humans. Detection methods like these not only measures invalid traffic, but also provides more protection. If sophisticated IVT detection methods are not in place, the whole advertising processes might go into waste.

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3. 50% of the ads worldwide are still not seen

Issue:

According to this comScore global report, more than half of ads worldwide still don’t have the opportunity to be seen. The desktop display viewability ranges from 39%-50% across all markets. Video viewability is even lesser; this is due to IVT on programmatic video exchanges. According to research, direct buys see higher viewability than their programmatic counterparts.

How to resolve this:

For better viewability and impact, one needs to improve delivery. Invalid traffic together with low viewability can create mayhem in any campaign. Therefore, when the performance of a campaign is evaluated only by using ads that have an opportunity to make an impression, advertising can be made two times more efficient. This will help publishers prove the worth of their advertising and marketers measure the true return on investment (ROI).

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To summarize, ad blocking, invalid traffic (IVT), and low viewability are the three key challenges in digital advertising. However, by taking the above mentioned steps, clean campaign impressions and potent results can be guaranteed.

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