Leveraging LinkedIn for B2C – Digital Leadership Summit Bangalore

The Digital Leadership Summit 2019 held at Bangalore was a massive success, to say the least. With insights shared by leaders of the industry. Mr. Ishan Gupta – Agency Lead,  New Business at LinkedIn shed light on how companies and B2C brands can use LinkedIn as a platform to grow their business and how leveraging on the LinkedIn network can help businesses. Let’s have a look at some of the key insights of the session.

  • Building a new agency partner program for mid-market and independent agencies.
  • 73% of the members are willing to accept B2C content.
  • More than 3 million mass affluent users can be targetted with the help of content.
  • Reaching the right professionals in the right context in the right environment
  • There is 7X more engagement on LinkedIn
  • Using data to help brands attract, engage and transact with customers.

New Customer Experiences

The linear supply models have become outdated in recent years. Customers today want a new and fresh experience while on the internet. According to recent statistics, almost 73% of members on the platform are ready to accept content which is consumer-centric. These users are keen to accept content that is B2C which also lifts the tag that LinkedIn is only a B2B platform or focuses only on B2B. This acceptance of B2C also makes the platform become the perfect environment for consumer brands to reach out to an audience with whom they can engage with while on the platform. Almost 98% of the existing advertisers believe that the platform is a great place to be on for engagement with consumers.

There is a significant amount of investment being made towards enhancing digital capabilities by brands. This includes creating a space for the brand within the digital ecosystem and making the brand visible to the consumers on various platforms. However, the most important part of the digitization of brands and businesses is customer experience. Good customer experience is very important for the brand and especially the in the digital space the digital customer experience is key to the success of the brand and as a result, almost 70% of the investments towards digitization of a brand or business goes towards creating a good customer experience.

Spending Capacity

LinkedIn is the largest platform with a global reach for professionals and it is with no doubt that the members of the platform are among the highest paid executives. One-fourth of the userbase of the platform belongs to the highest tax bracket. This also means that the spending capacity of one-fourth of the users is high enough for consumer brands and even luxury brands to target. Good digital customer experience is very important for a business and if the customer is satisfied with the digital experience more than 85% of the customers are willing to pay a premium of almost 16%. All this is possible only because of the good customer experience provided to a customer on a digital platform or marketplace.

Planning for the future

With almost a fourth of the user base being of the highest tax bracket, it is no surprise that the users will be planning for their future. This planning will also include investments of different kinds including investment in the securities market. One in seven users of the LinkedIn platform have invested their money in the market in the form of mutual funds. This makes for some very useful data for the mutual fund companies, and also gives them a clearer idea of their target group.

Meaningful Data

The data that is collected on the platform with the help of the userbase can help the B2C business. This data can be used for tailoring new products which can focus on a specific target group. The data helps in curating a buyer persona which makes it easier for companies to work on consumer products which can better suit the needs of the consumer. The average user of LinkedIn is on the platform for a specific reason and not just to browse or while away time which makes the platform different from social media platforms.

Targeting options

The best part of having an audience from a platform like LinkedIn is that audience engagement is really good. These audiences have been bucketed into various segments with the help of the new advertising platform.

Mass Affluent: There are more than 3 million mass affluent users on the platform. How the categorization of mass affluent works? Any individual having investible assets worth more than seventy lakh rupees is considered to be a mass affluent. This is the extent to which data can be narrowed down to for categorization purposes.

High Networth Individuals: This again is a very niche segment that can be used to target a certain category of individuals within the platform. The targetting of high net-worth individuals or HNI’s can be done by brands or businesses looking for clientele with a market offering that targets the niche markets.

Young and mobile: Brands, businesses and even jobs that target young and mobile people with the help of the new advertising platform. The target audience can be reached out to directly with the help of filtering in order to be target specific. This again helps in target specific marketing campaigns, this makes the campaign’s cost effective as well as direct.

Function and Industry: With the help of the new platform it becomes easier to narrow down on a person or target group working at a specific function or hierarchy within a specific industry. Making the options to target consumers even more specific and enhancing the interaction with the targetted audience much faster and more effective. This then helps in getting a better return on investment making the initial investment purposeful for the business.

The tool for the platform is effective to the extent where a person or a group of potential consumers can be targetted based on the basis of the school attended by them. Making the search and targetting of consumers more effective to say the least.

With a rapid global shift towards digitization the digital customer experience of utmost importance for a business or a brand. A good digital experience for a customer helps the brand in attracting more customers while also having loyal customers. Engaging with the customers is important to help the brands understand their customers and the requirements in order to cater to the specific customer groups and their requirements.

 

LinkedIn Now allows Marketers to Target Ads to ‘Lookalike Audiences’

Over the last two years, LinkedIn has become a go-to advertising platform, especially for the B2B segments. With new features such as lead ads and matched audience, advertisers have been able to reach a qualified target audience at a competitive cost per leads.  In an effort to constantly improve the ad platform, LinkedIn has recently updated its ad targeting options, providing three new features – Lookalike Audiences, Interest Targeting and Audience Templates. These new options afford marketers the chance to scale their marketing efforts and improve ROI. Let’s take a closer look at these features.

What are Lookalike Audiences?

Lookalike Audiences is a feature already used by Facebook. This powerful tool helps you target and reach audiences who are similar to your ideal consumer. LinkedIn’s new tool combines traits of your ideal consumer with their company and member data to help you reach newer audiences that are similar to your existing customers, website visitors and target accounts.

Here are the benefits of Lookalike Audiences:

Scale your campaign quicker

Extend the reach of your ad campaigns to many more qualified prospective leads. Lookalike Audiences can help improve your campaign reach by 5-10x, while still reaching only high-quality audiences that matter to your brand.

Engage new target accounts

B2B marketers can use this tool to target their ads to companies they may not have considered before. These new companies will match a similar company profile to their ideal customer. Here’s more on how small businesses can leverage LinkedIn to generate leads.

What is Interest Targeting?

LinkedIn introduced its Interest Targeting feature in January of this year. This tool gives marketers the advantage of reaching LinkedIn users with relevant ads that match their professional interests. LinkedIn has further expanded its marketing capabilities by partnering with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. This adds an additional level of interest targeting whereby you can now reach users via the topics or content they search for and consume. All this is done in a way that completely respects members’ privacy.

What are Audience Templates?

Audience Templates are a boon for marketers who are new to advertising on LinkedIn or for existing marketers looking to reach newer audiences. With this new feature, you can choose from 20 predefined B2B audience templates that include characteristics like job titles, skills, groups and so on. With just a single click, you can create a set model to target specific audiences, without wasting too much time at set up.

Lookalike Audiences, Interest Targeting with Bing and Audience Templates are now available to all LinkedIn advertisers. Leveraging these three new features will help B2B brands bolster and scale their ad campaigns to reach a more extensive number of highly-qualified leads via digital. You can also read our blog on LinkedIn Showcase Pages and why you must use them for more information on LinkedIn’s marketing tools.

YouTube Brandcast India 2019 – Some key learnings for marketers

2019 marks the 11th year since YouTube’s entry into the Indian market. To help marketers and creators understand the massive impact YouTube has made in India and its importance in the digital ecosystem today, Youtube hosted the 2019 Brandcast in India.

YouTube currently has over 265M users in the country and this number is expected to reach 500M by 2020. This incredible number is in relation to the increase in the total number of internet users in India that has grown from 15M just five years ago to 100s of millions of users today. Its ability to provide a personalised media experience and offer content in various languages has made YouTube one of India’s most-used platforms.

YouTube has become a platform for all types of content

Over the last 11 years, YouTube has become a platform for storytellers and creators to share content in different languages and reach an engaged audience in rural areas and big cities alike. It has become a success story for numerous YouTubers like ‘Mostly Sane’ who uses YouTube to discuss social issues such as mental health (the channel is currently at 3M subscribers) and more recently Priyanka Chopra, who chose YouTube to extend her audience reach with hew new show ‘If I could do just one thing’.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, says it is the preferred social platform for creators and businesses alike due to its ability to reach out to a large audience pool in a personalised way. When Pepsi ran an ad campaign on YouTube, it saw a 14% increase in sales and 3.3x return in ad spend. Alternatively, Hyundai’s ad campaign had a massive audience reach of 221M. The ability to scale and impact on YouTube can result in business leading results. Currently, vernacular content is taking centre stage and has helped increase engagement across all channels.

How is the media landscape evolving?

Mark Patterson of Group M discussed the video revolution in India and how it has changed the way brands communicate with their customers. Group M is a media advertising company that has had a presence in Asia for more than 2 decades and is responsible for 1 in 2 ads in India.

Mark highlighted the evolution of the media landscape and how mobile video has become a secret weapon for many marketers. One of the main reasons for this is the change in the way users consume content and seek entertainment. They look for three things: convenience, customisation and choice. Statistics show that 60-70% of people in India consume content on mobile video every day.

The digital spends in India remain comparatively low when compared to China where 64% of ad spends is digital while this is only at 18% in India. However, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world at a 14% GDP and digital ad spends is expected to catch up soon.

Mark Patterson also discussed the three main themes on the why and how of digital advertising in India and how YouTube affects these themes.

1. Driving results across through the funnel
YouTube has allowed marketers to have a mass reach and gain more awareness of their brand with tools such as YouTube Masthead.

2. Unlocking creativity
YouTube allows for personalised messaging that has helped deliver performance. This has resulted in a 20% uplift inconsideration, a 31% increase in awareness and a 900% increase in search queries.

3. Cross channel planning
While this is still a fairly new concept for most media agencies. Group M has taken a step in this direction by integrating YouTube reach data with Group M planning tools. This has helped them optimise maximum reach across multiple devices.

How a Youtube Masthead helped achieve incredible results for Sundaram Mutual- Case Study

It is no secret that Youtube has become the secret weapon for many marketers to reach their target audience. To take advantage of the immense reach that Youtube offers, Social Beat collaborated with our client Sundaram Mutual to create a masthead ad to promote their new fund. This campaign generated incredible results, proving the effectiveness of Youtube as a medium to reach out to the target market.  

The objective:

Sundaram was launching an open-ended equity scheme and wanted to create awareness around their product within a short period of time. Digital marketing has been proven to provide finance companies with the reach they require so Youtube was the obvious choice when it came to achieving the objective.

How was the campaign executed?

Mastheads are usually charged on a daily basis so we used the 24 hour period we had as effectively as we could. To enable maximum viewership we ran the campaign over the weekend. For the entirety of the day any individual that accessed Youtube through their desktop, tablet or mobile device saw the masthead ad at the top of their pages. This helped us increase our subscriber base and drive traffic to the website.

The results

The 20-second Sundaram masthead achieved phenomenal results. Sundaram’s subscriber base grew from 356 to an outstanding 56,000! It has increased since then and is currently standing at 57,000 and growing every day. The video also generated 14 million views in a span of 24 hours.

To achieve these incredible results, we adopted a digital-first marketing strategy to reach the target audience. We were also able to track and measure our results to scale the brand to new heights.

You can read more about our Youtube ad campaign with Sundaram Mutual here.

What do brands need to consider to increase ROI

Ben Jones, Creative Director at Google says that 30% of ROI is driven by media elements and targeting data. The other 70% comes from creative. There are three elements that affect ROI in digital:

1. The consumer’s attention

Many people assume that with all the content out there, the consumer’s attention span is decreasing but this is not true because people today prefer long-form content to short-form content. What has changed is how quickly consumers reject and accept the content they consume. The content needs to be longer, richer, deeper and grab the attention of the viewer faster.

2. Understanding customers better

Another way a brand can improve ROI is by understanding the customers better with more personalised messaging. They should change content according to the target audience and in a way that will allow the brand to relate to the customer better. Statistics show that customisation of the ads specific to the target market can result in a 10% lift in ad recall.

3. The content needs to be mobile optimised

Research has shown that In India 60-70% of content is consumed via the mobile device. Therefore, when creating content, brands need to keep in mind that the shots framed and the stories told are optimised for the mobile user. It is important for agencies to rethink their digital content strategies this way so they are able to get the brand message to the target audience better.

To help agencies adopt the above strategies in their content plan, a new Rethink Council has been created to identify how brands can rethink their marketing and targeting to measure and maximise creativity to connect to the customer.

YouTube Brandcast India 2019 ended with an insightful discussion with world-renowned director Zoya Akhtar. She highlighted the importance of the role YouTube played in her recent film ‘Gully Boy’ and how she was able to discover and do in-depth research for the movie through YouTube. YouTube also played a huge role in promoting the supporting content for the movie such as trailers and interviews.

YouTube has played a crucial role in the evolution of digital media in India and YouTube Brandcast 2019 highlighted the importance of the digital platform and how it has changed the way people consume content in India.

Social Beat featured in Insights Success magazine

Our co-founders, Suneil and Vikas Chawla, were recently featured in the March 2019 edition of Insights Success magazine, as part of “The Top Ten Mind-Blowing Corporate Media Solutions Provider”.

Digital solutions today are an indispensable part of any brand or company’s marketing mix. While there are several digital agencies in India, the founding brothers spoke in-depth about what sets Social Beat apart from their peers – a client-centric approach backed by creativity.

Suneil and Vikas opine that while multiple agencies are churning out impressive results, one of the biggest challenges facing India’s digital marketing landscape is attracting and retaining quality talent for both the creative and digital marketing areas. The other challenge lies in the dynamism of the landscape and its ever-changing trends. You can take a look at the top digital marketing trends in India that will shape 2019.

To overcome these challenges, the founders speak about adopting new technology for better solutions for their customers including influencer marketing platform Influencer.in and multilingual content marketing platform 22 Languages.

The duo also spoke in depth about Social Beat’s YouTube knowledge series – Digital Bytes that sheds light on current and upcoming digital marketing trends, as well as Social Beat’s book, “Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018” – that provides comprehensive insights into how brands today leverage the power of digital to intensify their marketing efforts.

The success of any company lies in the well-being of its employees. And Social Beat prides itself on creating an inclusive, transparent and empowering work-culture. The founders allude to creativity and enthusiasm running high throughout the organisation that has helped Social Beat grow from strength to strength since its inception six years ago.

Read the entire article on Social Beat: A Homegrown Digital Marketing Leader here.

Featured Snippet: How to ace the coveted Answer Box on Google

If you’re trying to successfully drive traffic to your website’s blog page, getting to the top of Google’s search results is your biggest task. However, if you thought ranking at the number one position was the ultimate goal, you now have a new contender – the Google Answer Box or Featured Snippet.

What is the Google Answer Box?

Google introduced its new Answer Box feature in 2015. Referred to as the Google Answer Box or Rank 0 or Featured Snippet, this feature is a box you see above all search queries on Google. The Answer Box provides users with quick and easy answers or “snippets” of information. These answers are selected from content that ranks on page one,  but not necessarily Position One.

Google Answer Boxes are not only convenient for users who are looking for answers, but it is also an excellent opportunity for brands to gain more page visitors, as Google Answer Boxes get a 2x higher click-through rate and steal most of the organic traffic on the internet.

Before we dive into a few more details, here’s a quick video on the benefits of Google Answer Boxes and how you can rank for them.

Types of Google Answer Boxes

Before we get into how you can optimise your content to get a Google Answer Box, let’s take a look at the four different kinds of Featured Snippets.

  • Paragraphs – These are the most common type of Featured Snippets. Here, answers to a particular search query will appear in the form of a paragraph. The answer to the query might be longer in the source page, but the Google Answer Box will display a small, quick response that works.

paragraph featured snippet

Optimising content for Paragraph Featured Snippet

Paragraph Featured Snippets will only include a short section of your content – around 40 to 50 words, so be sure to provide your answer within that limit. To maximise your chances of getting a Paragraph Featured Snippet, use the query as the title and then answer the query directly below, as seen in the example.

  • Lists – These Featured Snippets will be either in the form of a numbered list or a bulleted one.

Numbered Featured Snippets appear for content that explains a step-by-step process. For example, a recipe or DIY project.

DIY project featured snippet

Bulleted Featured Snippets, on the other hand, will display content in a bulleted list where the order of the information doesn’t matter.

Bulleted Featured snippet

Optimising content for List Featured Snippets

To optimise your content for a Numbered or Bulleted List Featured Snippet, you need to ensure that your content is formatted in the form of bullet points. Like in the case of a Paragraph Featured Snippet, you can maximise your chances of getting picked up by having the query as your main title and answering it directly below, this time as a list. Another way to optimise your content is by outlining steps in your blog post, and using each step as a heading.

  • Tables – Table Featured Snippets are great for showing a collection of data. You don’t necessarily have to format your information in the form of a table as Google will do it for you.

Table featured snippet

Optimising content for Table Featured Snippets

Start by doing the work for Google – put your information in a table. Not only will this make your website’s visitors happy to get all the information they need at a glance, but it also makes it easier for Google to find your content. Finally, start with an appropriate heading followed by your table of data.

  • Video – Of late, a lot of videos have been showing up in the coveted “Position Zero” spot. Googles chooses videos to help answer a number of “how to” queries, highlighting a few seconds of a clip in a particular video that will best answer the searcher’s query. You can see the highlighted clip (the blue bar) in the image below:

Video featured snippet

For further information on how to get your videos to rank, head over to our in-depth article on YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Videos in 2019.

How to further optimise your content?

Now that you know the basics of optimising your content for the different types of Featured Snippets, let’s delve a little deeper into a few more best practices you can adopt for your content to get its own Google Answer Box.

Be clear and concise

The first rule of getting a Featured Snippet is ensuring your content answers specific queries. More often than not, when a user types in a query, it is in the form of implicit or explicit questions and long phrases.  Structuring your content to answer these questions and phrases effectively is how to rank in Position 0.

Invest in coimbatore

For example, if the query you wish to get a Google Answer Box for is “Best residential localities in Coimbatore” try and match it as closely as possible to that keyword so that you have the chance to appear as a Featured Snippet. Additionally, make sure your answer is precise and that you stay within the prescribed word limit of 40 to 50 words (a maximum of 100 words) or 3 to 4 sentences. If you’re looking for more information to rank higher in the search results, take a look at our blog on must know Google Search tips and tricks.

Target queries that already have a Google Answer Box

Efficient and effective keyword research is the cornerstone to any great piece of content. Creating content without adequate keyword research is like shooting an arrow in the dark – you stand very little chance of ranking in Google’s SERPs.

Before you begin writing content for a Google Answer Box, start your keyword research by looking for question-type queries – those that begin with what, why or how, as well as long-tail queries with no question words. The aim here is to include a seed keyword with as many long-tail keywords as you can in your article. This way, you can create well-written long-form content that answers multiple related questions in a clear and cohesive manner.

Answer the public

To intensify your keyword research, there are a number of tools at your disposal, namely Moz’ Keyword Explorer, Answer The Public or Ahrefs. These tools will be able to throw up more results related to your search query helping your broaden your search for keywords that trigger a Google Answer Box.

People also ask - featured snippet

You can also browse through Google’s own “People also ask” section to further research your topic or selected keyword. These related questions can offer massive insights into what Google considers related topics to your own. You can also check out our blog on On-page and Off-page SEO Tips for 2019 for more information.

Very often, many of Google’s Answer Boxes are filled with content that doesn’t fully answer user queries. Target such examples and ensure your content is better aligned to what users are looking for. If your competition has a Google Answer Box for a particular keyword, read through the content and analyse if you can create similar content or can modify your own existing content to better respond to the search query. This increases your chances of getting your own Answer Box and staying in Position 0 for much longer.

Optimise your UX for better crawlability

Getting a Featured Snippet isn’t just about the quality of your content. You can also improve the design and experience you provide your visitors. Not only do phenomenal UI and UX play critical roles signal Google to rank your website higher, but also heighten your chances of holding on to your Featured Snippet.

Constantly monitor and track progress

Once you’ve achieved your Featured Snippet, work does not end. Answer Box results can change in mere seconds, so the onus is on you to constantly track your progress – for how long you have managed to sustain your Position 0 or if you have slipped down the rankings. Try different things like opting for a table or a list instead of giving information in the form of a paragraph, or answering queries that appear in Google’s related search queries. Including high-resolution images with the right captions and tags and structuring your content with appropriate headings and sub-headings in H2 and H3 tags are also a few ways to help you improve your content and the user experience you provide.

Optimise for Voice

The final point to keep in mind is optimising your content for voice search. India is seeing a 270% year-on-year growth in voice searches, as revealed in the 2017 Google India ‘Year in Search’ Report. As marketers, it becomes imperative for you to action change and leverage the power of Voice Search marketing to tap into India’s next billion users. A vast majority of them will be accessing the internet from Tier II and Tier III cities and Voice Search is a more convenient option than typed queries, particularly because they will be engaging in vernacular languages.

Additionally, Voice Search queries are very often picked up from Featured Snippets, particularly by smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home. Brands will need to constantly update and optimise their content to stay in Position Zero to feature prominently for Voice Search queries. You can also check out our detailed video on Voice Search Marketing for more information.

With these tips in hand, you’re now ready to win your own Google Answer Box! Remember to implement all of these strategies as Google’s Answer Box feature is in a constant state of flux, with rankings and results changing overnight. Keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest trends in digital marketing, will enable you to rank higher, achieve a Featured snippet and sustain it for an extended period of time. Before you go, take a look at our informative video that further explains how to optimise your content for a Google Answer Box.

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