How AI and first-party data can be leveraged for better audience targeting

In a constantly evolving economic landscape, there are many challenges that marketing leaders need to overcome. They are under constant pressure to improve the efficiency of marketing campaigns by lowering acquisition costs and increasing profitability. There has also been a significant shift in the data landscape along with increasing privacy concerns after the GDPR and Cambridge Analytica data scandal. 

A cost-effective way to overcome these challenges would be to start looking internally and utilizing existing business assets. Leading companies like Nestle, Ikea, and others, are also looking to leverage high-quality first-party data in their marketing strategies. First-party data becomes an important factor for a successful marketing campaign and marketers who don’t adapt would be missing out a great deal. 

Death of third-party cookies

Earlier this year, Google declared that Chrome, which is the most widely used browser in the world, would start eliminating support for third-party cookies. Third-party cookies are a simple line of code placed by websites on a user’s hard drive. These cookies form the basis of building behavioural profiles of users on the internet and help marketers in their targeting.

Companies who are at the centre of consumer data, including Facebook, Twitter and Oracle, are slowly moving away from third-party data. On the other hand, a widespread concern around data privacy has led to consumers becoming more aware and demanding increased levels of data privacy. Browsers like Chrome, Safari and Mozilla are now blocking third-party cookies in their browsers. 

All of this combined would have a large impact on the targeting options available for advertisers. With third-party cookies now becoming irrelevant, first-party data in marketing automatically becomes a brand’s best option to track and target customers for their online campaigns.

The rise of first-party data

Any data that you collect directly from consumers and with their consent is known as first-party data. This data is usually reliable and trustworthy and can help drive high-value leads and limit unnecessary ad spends. For a brand, their online sources for collecting first-party data in marketing would be the company’s website, app, CRM, social media, email marketing, surveys etc.

In November 2019, sportswear giant Nike had announced that they will stop selling on Amazon and focus on selling direct-to-consumer via its own website and app. This decision comes as a part of their vision to elevate consumer experiences and build direct and personal retail experiences with its consumers. Selling directly through their own online properties and retail stores would also mean Nike can completely control and own their first-party data. This move by Nike shows us that they are confident in driving all traffic to their own website to enhance the consumer experience and also lower acquisition costs and improve profitability. This might just be the tip-of-the-iceberg and actually be indicative of the start of a massive shift in how brands sell online and start opting for the direct-to-consumer strategy. And this, in turn, could lead first-party data in marketing to become a new digital marketing trend in the making.   

Tap into the power of first-party data using telephonic conversations with customers

For brands looking to accelerate their adoption of first-party data in marketing, one of the most important and invaluable assets they already own are in-bound consumer calls. As per a recent survey, consumers are increasingly turning to phone conversations during the path of their purchase journey. A lot of research happens online but they also prefer to call a brand when they want some specific information and are nearing the end of the decision-making process especially in case of high-value purchases or time-sensitive products and services. 

Consumers are having important conversations and asking brands for more information that is relevant to them. They are sharing their concerns, their purchase intent and so much more on these calls. These inbound calls are a treasure trove of highly valuable information and it’s time for brands to pay attention and listen to what their consumers are saying.

Policy Bazaar, India’s leading insurance aggregator strives to provide its customers with a smooth hassle-free experience by digitizing its processes. Considering that insurance is not a one size fits all sort of industry, Policy Bazaar has been constantly implementing AI and latest tech solutions including chatbots to understand their consumer personas and ensure to sell the right product to the right consumer. They were one of the earliest companies to discover a goldmine of consumer insights in their 35 million minutes of monthly talk time via voice analytics. One of the key insights they found after analysing the word cloud of their conversations was that a lot of their customers were using the word cashless. The marketing teams assumed that consumers would be more concerned with premiums, claims, bonuses etc., and so there was no focus on showcasing the cashless network. Within a week’s time, the team launched a new feature that would show the customers a list of cashless networks that were available in the policies they were interested in. 

AI in marketing intelligence can help turn calls into rich first-party data with actionable insights. Analysing these customer conversations and deriving key insights which can be implemented into the marketing campaigns and communication strategy will in-turn lead to a highly effective communication strategy, increase in conversion rates and lower acquisition costs. 

Improving customer engagement with personalized content 

Brands that are activating and collecting first-party data should be using this data to personalize the content on ads that are being shown to a particular user. In the case of e-commerce companies, understanding past purchase behaviour and knowing what your consumer likes or has added to their cart before will help you segment your audiences and show them relevant messages based on which step of the consumer journey they are in. Another key aspect is that brands should ensure to deliver personalized experiences across the entire marketing funnel of their campaigns. 

Tata Mutual Funds, a leading mutual funds investment company had launched a campaign called #SayNoToKatauti which aimed at striking the right chords with personalized content to deliver higher engagement and reach. The campaign had a series of four brand films that had a common messaging point of tax-saving investments. The protagonist in each of the videos was in different relatable and everyday scenarios, like watching a cricket match or ordering food, which was then targeted and shown to people based on their own interests. 

Personalized campaigns with AI marketing and first-party data would also automatically mean higher efficiency and reach of your campaigns across all your digital marketing platforms. On Facebook, you can create lookalike audiences from your first-party data which are very powerful and can help build the right mix of good quality and scale both. Google has also recently launched combined audiences which is enabling advertisers to narrow down their target audience and serve impressions to people who fit into two categories. For example, you could target people who have visited your site in the last 60 days and also are part of the in-market audience for your category. This combination makes your targeting more efficient and helps you spend your money effectively thereby improving your ROI.  

AI in marketing is also quickly becoming the future of digital. With AI marketing, you can make a campaign immersive and experiential for a user, encouraging them to engage with a website or ad better. AI can use first-party data to leverage information and display content or information tailored to their liking, thus increasing the likelihood of driving them through to the end of the funnel. A prime example of this is the streaming services that have taken the world by storm – whether it’s television or music. By using AI, these companies display personalised recommendations that push the user to engage further with the service, optimising their experience with first-party behavioural data. 

In today’s marketing scenario first-party data is becoming an increasingly popular choice and marketers are looking to utilize it across all platforms to accomplish their key marketing objectives. It is crucial for brands to take control and utilize their first-party data to improve ROI across their marketing efforts. Businesses must invest in building trusted and personalized relationships with consumers and raise the bar for transparency and data privacy. At Social Beat, we analyse first-party data from different sources to fuel campaigns and leverage different types of engaging content for target audiences to drive conversions. Is your company making the shift to first-party data? 

TikTok Marketing – The New Era of Digital in India

The new trendsetting kid on the block, TikTok has taken the media world by storm. TikTok’s explosive growth, compared to other social media platforms, quickly made it the most downloaded app worldwide. Covering 150 countries and regions in 75 different languages across Asia, America and Europe, it gained 1.5 billion downloads quickly across the globe. 

With over 178 million active monthly users in India, TikTok emerged as a platform with a continual increase in its user base, and on a mammoth scale. An interesting aspect to consider is that the initial audiences TikTok onboarded were new data users, who were virtually untapped in the digital space. It was an obvious wake-up call to leverage TikTok as a platform to target coveted Tier II and Tier III digital India. Moreover, 48% of the engagement was driven from the top metro Tier I cities.

It’s safe to say that a majority of the Indian Internet user base is now hooked to this entertainment-based content platform where anyone and everyone can become a creator. TikTok’s core objective was to bring the fun back to social media and provide a platform where anyone can be part of the trends or even start their own. 

Due to this, TikTok quickly became a hub where India spent their biggest and most meaningful moments. Over 4.9 billion lit up festive seasons like Diwali, Christmas and New Year with groovy dance moves, spectacular AR filters, entertaining skits, amongst many others. A defining example of this was witnessed during the ICC World Cup when over 1 billion engaged with the app.

With the ban of TikTok in Jun 2020, there are a host of TikTok alternatives that have come up in India.

The TikTok Magic Sauce 

TikTok is India’s breakout app in terms of year over year growth. But what’s the secret behind this aggressive growth? The ‘magic sauce’ lies in its wide variety of products that deliver on the promise of bringing back fun! Offering a range of optimizations, products like Branded Takeover, TopView Ads and Hashtag Challenges provide an immersive experience along with a chance at virality, and high impact broad reach and awareness. In-feed Video Ads enhance brand recall and drive brand affinity through its targeting, scalability and cost-efficiency.

The Indian Consumer Purchase Profile – Who’s Watching?

There was an increase in the 25+ age group using TikTok – the Indian consumer with high disposable income ready to be tapped in to make the impulse purchase by multiple brands. The common symptoms of the TikTok addiction across Gen Z is that these users open the app more than 6 times a day and consume content for 40 minutes at a stretch. More popular among Android users over iOS, brands offering affordable, aspirational products find it extremely easy to derive ROI from TikTok marketing.

As per the Kantar Survey Data 2019, it was recorded that there was higher purchasing intent among TikTok audiences as compared to other online shoppers, with nearly 50% having shopped online in the last 3 months. The cherry on top of the cake? The TikTok user’s purchasing power was measured to show them spending more monthly on online shopping as compared to non-TikTok users, with the share of wallet for online shopping 17% higher than non-users. This data proves that marketing on TikTok is an open playing field for brands that are heavy on e-commerce, fashion, and retail, while simultaneously remaining scalable for fintech and BFSI.

Popular Content Trends on TikTok

TikTok is powered by the creation of native content that communicates that the user, not the product, is in control of what they’re watching. Think of it this way: TikTok is seen as a daily dose of video therapy that gives you a break from your everyday routine, available across a variety of content categories. It’s more than dance –  it’s entertainment, beauty, music, fitness, travel, and so much more, making it the pandora’s box of native, creative and highly engaging content. Moreover, since the content is in video formats, it enables users to create or consume in their native tongue. The availability of vernacular content itself has been a key driver of app installs, user engagement, and many other important metrics.

Emerging Trends on TikTok

Seen majorly as an entertainment platform, TikTok is growing its roots into popular topics like food and DIY, while also setting its base in education. For example, #EduTok is a trending hashtag, that began as an in-app challenge. TikTok encouraged users to create and share videos with educational content to promote learning for the Indian community on the platform. This initiative took off immediately, and till date, continues to be a popular trend among users.

The challenge has seen over 10 million videos created and shared with the hashtag till date and continues to grow rapidly, having amassed over 48 billion views and 1.8 billion shares. This educational initiative has worked well to propel TikTok’s dedication to growing India’s creative economy to reach and contribute to the lives of digital users across platforms.

@parastomarGot your own business ? You need ##khatabook @khatabook.com♬ original sound – Paras Tomar

 

Delivering ROI using TikTok Marketing

Khatabook – Vernacular Approach to drive App Installs

Customer acquisition was one of the key objectives for a booming fintech startup like Khatabook. We partnered with them to tap into a new audience, and with the help of vernacular influencer videos, we started targeting regional users, which helped establish TikTok as one of the important pillars for customer acquisition

Strategy:

The TikTok marketing strategy for Khatabook was centred around a robust performance strategy that was executed to drive app installs. We created concepts that communicated the USPs of the app in a clear and concise manner and collaborated with 250 influencers across the country who created videos in 15 different languages. The content was also created around seasonal and festive events like Diwali and the Indian Premier League.

Result:

After we implemented the TikTok marketing strategy with vernacular content created by influencers, we saw where our CTR was 0.04%, later increased to 0.8% which led to 60% incremental growth in install volume and 20% reduction in cost per install. Till now we have uploaded more than 200 influencers’ videos in TikTok Ads that give us exponential visibility across channels and more creative assets to use.

Bewakoof – Delivering Profit through E-Commerce Sales 

We partnered with Bewakoof to target TikTok as a platform and scale it up to convert it as a profit delivering platform. We capitalized on home production videos which Bewakoof had made in-house to target our relevant audience.

Strategy:

We realized that dedicated product videos worked better than collection videos. Therefore, we created videos for the best seller t-shirts that Bewakoof had to offer and started leveraging them for performance marketing on TikTok. Since TikTok is a video-heavy platform, we ran at least 4-5 videos for different products at the same time to ensure zero dip in CTRs, therefore clicks and ergo performance. Using a two-pronged approach, we were able to target users for sales through app and website conversion campaigns.

Result:

By marketing on TikTok with influencer videos in regional content, our install to purchase ratio jumped from 3.02% to 26.55% and our ROI increased from 0.78 to 3.11.

Swiggy – Driving 44 Mn+ Views and Engagement with Delivery Partners on TikTok

Swiggy Starhunt was an exclusive campaign, created to engage with the company’s delivery partners, the true champions who deliver to satisfy our food hankerings no matter what the obstacle, be it traffic or the weather. The campaign was designed with the objective of creating an opportunity for engagement and fun to offer them a break.

Strategy:

With creatives and media like videos, GIFs, posts, and more, in 11 different regions languages, our social media strategy was created with the intention of reaching audiences across India. To give the campaign an extra push and get the buzz going, we collaborated with 7 TikTok influencers to help us out. 

Results:

The TikTok marketing campaign resulted in an organic reach of 57 lakhs, with the active participation of over 350 of Swiggy’s unsung heroes! Over 1500 videos were uploaded onto the social media platform, with delivery partners showcasing their talents, garnering over a whopping 44 million views! The campaign was a huge success and provided impactful awareness among delivery partners.

Best Practices for your Brand 

Leveraging vernacular

Marketing on TikTok by adopting a granular approach and leveraging vernacular, your brand would be able to tap into key regions across India and engage them better to create memorable customer experiences. 

Partnering with influencers 

Matching the brand with TikTok’s native audience and creating content utilising influencer marketing will not only provide your brand with a better chance of being shared and viewed but also provides the opportunity to create viral moments to increase organic traction. 

Post frequently

By maintaining a frequency of regular, engaging and entertaining content you would be able to build brand awareness and affinity to ensure that your brand is staying relevant and trending. 

Facebook has now launched Instagram Reels which is a 15-second short video post that can be shared on your story, feed or in the explore section. You can also edit the Reels with options like audio, speed, timer and effects.

With each day comes a new trend and also an increase in the variety of products and scalability on a completely dynamic platform, like TikTok. Social Beat uses an array of social media platforms to have a wider impact and reach, and TikTok marketing is that fast-moving bus with drop points in the untappable regions – get your brand on the bus before they miss it!

Marketing during and post Covid 19 – Guide for Indian Marketers

There are few instances in a brand’s lifetime when it encounters a real litmus test. A test to see if the brand values it professes and communicates time and again to its audience are genuine or just marketing fluff. Today, we see ourselves right in the midst of this test. As the Covid-19 coronavirus spreads rapidly across the world with a complete disregard for national borders, class or gender, communities everywhere are seeing a complete overhaul of ‘life as we know it’. In this time, marketing, which has always focused on staying relevant by leveraging trending topics, sees itself in a conflict. Not creating posts around the coronavirus might make the brand sound out of touch, but talking about the virus for the sake of it can come across as insensitive. 

So how does a brand stay true to its values and build equity during these challenging times? Here are some essential points every brand should keep in mind. 

Do not stall marketing activities

It’s clear that the overall public health crisis and the drastic changes in buying behaviour caused by the Coronavirus have led the economy to go into a slowdown. In fact, the economic impact of the Coronavirus is expected to continue long after the last patient is treated. While companies across sectors have been hit, the biggest blow has undoubtedly been to the travel and hospitality industry. The chart below illustrates this best.

digital marketing during coronavirus

If you are noticing a steep fall in your organic and paid traffic, it might be tempting to pause all activities until the situation stabilizes. However, sustaining marketing during the Coronavirus period is important because it ensures that you don’t lose brand visibility and recall among your target audience. Pausing your campaigns could mean that you will have to work twice as hard to regain your brand presence once the Coronavirus disappears. We recommend that brands continue to invest in brand marketing, even if it’s at a minimal level.

While marketing your products and services might not result in any impact at a time like this, you can start posting positive and informative content that can help your consumers. Posts that create public health awareness or uplift your audience’s spirits during this time can be the best way forward.

Steer clear from scare tactics

With so much false information making the rounds, it’s important that brands stay true to official facts stated by the world’s leading health organizations. Given the immense reach and power to influence that every brand has, it’s crucial that we evaluate every piece of information we put out. Brands should also keep a close eye on the tone of their communications. Doomsday-esque messages might bring in the shares and engagement, but our responsibility as brands is greater than that. Always include credible sources whenever you share a post on Coronavirus facts or safety tips. This could go a long way in ensuring every person takes the necessary safety precautions to combat the virus.

In one survey of what customers expect from brands during the coronavirus period, 28% said that brands should be a trusted source of information, while 27% said that brands should attack the crisis and show that it can be fought and 15% said that brands should offer practical advice that can help consumers face their new normal. Achieving these three goals can help your brand far more than sending out negative messages can.

You can learn more about the survey and other strategies to build a strong marketing plan in times of crisis through this video.

 

Build goodwill through user-centric initiatives

The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic doesn’t necessarily mean that brands have to go into damage control mode. This could be one of the best times for a brand to create a lasting positive impression on their audience by providing something of genuine value. LinkedIn is one of the best examples of this, having come out with a number of complementary courses and resources on working from home and maintaining productivity to help those in self-quarantine. You can also use this time to branch into new techniques like influencer marketing and vernacular content, or a combination of the two, to reach your audience and build credibility. For instance, influencers can spread social awareness messages in the various regional languages your audience is most comfortable with to get the word across. 

Of course, brands in the healthcare space are best positioned to launch medical marketing strategies during this time. A hospital specializing in the treatment of diabetes can provide content specifically designed to help at-risk diabetes patients protect themselves from the virus. Below is an awareness video created by Dr. V Mohan, which exemplifies this: 

 

But virtually any sector can offer content of value during this time. For instance, an early learning education brand can start offering online webinars to continue a child’s education despite schools being closed. These strategies can help users build a positive association with your brand that will outlast the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that empathy is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. Brands need to listen closely to what their audience is saying and sharing on different platforms and then respond accordingly in a way that builds solidarity. It will also be useful to take a step back and audit your new marketing campaigns and messaging to check if they are having the intended effect. All too often, a well-meaning ad can be downplayed by an insensitive ‘Subscribe Now’ button that pops up at the end of it.

This presentation covers the blueprint that brands should follow to engage with their customers during the coronavirus crisis and examples of some of the brands who have been most successful at it.

Use the down-time to update your brand assets

Are there any existing evergreen brand assets like ebooks and whitepapers on your website that need to be updated and improved? Or perhaps, there have been long-standing plans to create new guides, a new video or webinar series or new pages on your website. Most companies have ideas in the pipeline which never go live because of a lack of time or organizational bandwidth. The relative slowdown due to the Coronavirus could often translate into a lesser workload. This means you can finally take all of those ideas off the backburner and actually start bringing them to life! You can approach this time as an opportunity to revamp your existing brand assets and create new ones that will rake in results once the Coronavirus clears up.

Keep your store information updated

Just as important as spreading accurate information about the virus is spreading accurate information about your brand itself. Since most physical outlets are shut, you should ensure that the most accurate information about your working hours is updated on your GMB listings and on social platforms. Change your working hours to ‘Closed’ if you have a physical presence and are not operational. If you are an e-commerce brand and are unable to ship products, make sure that your database of consumers receives a notification about it and that this information is displayed on your website. 

Prepare for post-Coronavirus marketing

While the situation might be grim now, there’s no doubt that it will pass eventually. Brands need to gear up for when this happens by putting in place a contingency plan. This is especially true of the travel, hospitality and entertainment industry. Once the pandemic clears, the world isn’t going to go back to normal overnight. Post-Coronavirus consumers are very likely to still be fearful of travel or of visiting crowded locations like malls and movie theatres. Experts postulate that there will be ten major shifts even once the coronavirus pandemic clears up:

  • Increased levels of anxiousness and depression
  • Decreased trust in hygiene of people and products
  • Travel restrictions
  • Permanent shift to work-from-home setups, at least for some job roles
  • Rise in conflict
  • High levels of unemployment
  • Increased home deliveries
  • Lesser contact with older people
  • Expanding our identity beyond just our job role
  • Value of certified immune consumers

This presentation goes into the above ten factors and breaks down how brands can navigate through them to increase their ROI on post-COVID-19 marketing.

In this scenario, brands need to put in place a holistic full-funnel marketing plan to instil confidence in their audience and reassure them of the safety of their safety. Special promotional activities and offers might be required to help brands gain traction.

 

The sudden spread of the Coronavirus has certainly come as a shock to consumers and brands everywhere. But with the right strategies, brands can emerge from this trying period with greater brand equity, more engaged audiences and powerful new assets. The most important thing to focus on now, of course, is to stay safe until this tides over!

Brands that have launched important updates during COVID-19

Brands across sectors have seen a large scale shift with the decline in the economy, which has taken a hard hit during the ongoing pandemic. And in these last few weeks, as the world has grappled with the Coronavirus and its unprecedented impact, brands have quickly stepped up to roll out important changes and updates to make these times a little bit better. Here’s a look at a few of them.

Google

Google is the number one search engine across the globe, and with people turning to them every day to look for answers on COVID-19, it’s important that their information is accurate and up to date. 

Which is why now, when you look up anything related to the coronavirus on Google, every search will trigger and display a dedicated Knowledge Panel which provides users with accurate information. 

Google has also announced that arrangements have been made for some teams to work closely with the World Health Organisation through the ongoing health crisis. The information gathered in this interface enables Google to provide and update information on the Knowledge Panel with real-time news and verified advice. 

At the same time, so many of Google’s products are integrated into a person’s workday – with Gmail, Google Ads, Analytics, etc. With the Coronavirus, there have been certain products that have been seeing more engagement and traction, and to make working remotely easier, Google provided free access to all features of the advanced version of Hangouts. This is applicable around the world to G-Suite users, as well as customers in the field of education, and will run till July 1st, 2020.

Google has also included Coronavirus as a featured search on its trends page. The most commonly asked questions can help guide healthcare professionals and companies address these queries and provide useful information during a time of unfamiliarity and little knowledge of the disease. 

TikTok

Similar to Google, TikTok has provided users with an Information Center on COVID-19. This is visible on their app in the upper right-hand corner, as an icon shaped like a shield. When users click on this, they are directed to a live page, updated continuously with news-clippings and videos from official sources, updates from WHO, information on global and domestic numbers, myth busters, FAQs, and basic preventive measures, amongst other COVID-19 initiatives.

This is an insightful way of leveraging content during these times, especially since TikTok has really taken off during these last few months with the spread of the virus. New challenges have shown up as people attempt new things while locked indoors around the world, and this has led to a massive surge in the number of downloads. In the week of March 16, 2020, TikTok witnessed an 18% increase in the number of downloads, with 2 million that week alone. 

With the prevailing rise of this social media platform, TikTok’s move to provide information on COVID-related updates allows the app to be a one-stop destination for both entertainment and news. Marketers and influencers may also move to leverage TikTok marketing during COVID-19 as the situation of lockdown and social distancing remains in place.

                  

Facebook

Google is not the only brand to have made remote connectivity easier. Facebook has finally launched the desktop version of its Messenger app. Facebook has been planning to release this update for a while now, but having witnessed the increase in use and number of downloads of video calling apps during these times, this update comes at the perfect time. 

The app can be downloaded on any OS and can be launched separately. It enables users to log in and use Messenger just as they would on any browser – with features to chat with different contacts, share media, and of course, video call friends and family to stay connected.

Instagram

Instagram rolled out a co-watch feature on its app to bring people closer together by providing access to share screens and scroll feeds with one another. This feature is a useful one as it provides a new way for users to connect and share with one another when everyone is under lockdown at home, unable to connect face-to-face. 

The new feature also comes at a time when the time spent online has increased and enables users to explore a new way to use Instagram to entertain themselves.

 

Why a full-funnel marketing strategy on digital is a game-changer

With the advent of technology and social media, a consumer’s journey to make a purchase has become very complex. Consumers can now easily discover new brands on various social media platforms and are researching multiple brands, choosing to compare the pricing/offers before making a final decision. This new consumer decision journey has given rise to a highly evolved and aware consumer. 

So, how can brands modify the marketing funnel to engage with this new digital-age consumer? The full-funnel approach is one of the most significant aspects of a marketing strategy as this helps brands convert the prospective audience into customers. This can be done on digital platforms by showcasing relevant messaging to the target audiences, moving them along the funnel from ‘Awareness’ to ‘Consideration’ and finally ‘Conversion’. 

Most marketers, however, tend to focus on the bottom-of-the-funnel directly and optimise all digital campaigns to drive consumer action. However, this could lead to increased cost per acquisitions and lower conversion rates. While performance-based campaigns are key as these drive business results, it would not be an optimal strategy to focus on these alone as consumers need to be aware of the brand and build an affinity towards the same before making a purchase or enquiring.

With the shift from traditional to digital, it is also essential that a brand adapts their marketing funnel with a digital-first marketing strategy. This approach implies that it is essential for the brand to have a mobile-first approach for all digital assets in order to reach and engage with potential customers. Brands should leverage Accelerated Mobile Pages to improve the speed of landing pages and interactive ad formats to ensure the best experience for consumers. 

Create brand awareness by using video for top-of-the-funnel campaigns

In the first stage, the focus should be on creating awareness of the brand and its legacy. It is considered a good idea to leverage short videos in this stage to engage with potential buyers. Brands should also look at highlighting the benefits for the consumer by showcasing how the product or service can help them and resolve a pain point. 

The top-of-the-funnel should be looked at as a process of casting a wider net to reach potential consumers. The users at this stage might not be familiar with the brand and only be cold prospects. Using the full-funnel marketing strategy, brands could push consumers towards the next stage of the marketing funnel.

Brands could explore various options like masthead on YouTube or Reach & Frequency campaigns on Facebook/Instagram to drive the high-impact reach for the brand’s top of the funnel strategy. One other interesting option could be to explore vernacular videos for brand awareness depending on the brand’s target audience. With the launch of Jio, smartphones and data plans have become quite affordable, leading to increased consumption of vernacular content. In the current scenario, brands should look to adopt a multi-lingual marketing strategy to tap into the next billion users

Which Ad Inventory To Explore?

YouTube: Bumper Ad, Masthead, TrueView For Reach are the best ad inventories to explore using YouTube.

Facebook/Instagram: Reach & Frequency Campaigns and Brand-Awareness are instrumental in ad inventories to explore using Facebook/Instagram.

What metrics to track?

The metrics to track go as Cost Per Thousand Impressions and Cost Per Video View.

Keep In Mind: As brands, avoid using product-specific/sales material in this stage of the funnel. 

Prompt video viewers to consider the brand

Users who engage with the brand’s top-of-the-funnel activity will have to familiarise themselves with the brand through more details about the product/service via relevant content. It is recommended to leverage the power of thumb-stopping content to re-engage with these users. Brands should share more context about the product/service so that consumers could consider engaging with them and finally making the purchase. The middle of the funnel should be looked at as a broad set of interested audiences who are not customers yet but are strongly considering the particular brand. 

At this stage, the key focus should be on showcasing educational content in order to build trust and consideration for the brand. Case studies, Blog posts, White Papers, Ebooks, etc. are simple yet very effective tools for the brand’s middle of the funnel strategy. On Facebook, brands could explore Instant Experience ads which can help nurture intent and further drive engagement.  

Which Ad Inventory To Explore?

YouTube: Bearing Ad Inventory in mind, Trueview In-Stream Ad is typically explored on YouTube.

Facebook: In terms of Ad Inventory for Facebook, the way to go is through Traffic, Engagement, and Video Views.

What metrics to track?

To track metrics, CPC, Ad Recall and Landing Page Views are taken into account.

Keep In Mind: Alongside sharing educational content, brands should start positioning their product/service at this stage. 

Drive the brand’s most engaged audiences to convert

Once users are aware and have developed consideration for the brand, it is time to drive action with focused creatives and clear Call-To-Actions. At this stage, the consumer is already aware of the brand and is in a ready-to-buy frame of mind. With the right communication strategy, the users can easily convert into customers from a prospect lead. The focus here is to make the final pitch and keep it straight forward with the brand’s product/service details and pricing. Some potential buyers might require the extra push in the form of a time-bound offers/discounted prices to make the final decision. In the last state of the funnel, brands should highlight why consumers should opt for their product/service instead of their competitor’s as part of the content strategy.  It might also be interesting to segment different audience types based on demographics/behaviour and show customers highly personalised content in this stage to drive the conversion. 

By following a full-funnel, approach brands should be able to generate high-quality leads as the users have gone through the entire customer journey of awareness and consideration before purchasing or enquiring from the brand. This is especially important in industries such as Real Estate where the purchase cycle is relatively long, and consumers are continually researching options. 

Which Ad Inventory To Explore?

YouTube: TrueView For Action is often explored bearing YouTube Ad Inventory in mind.

Facebook: The best Ad Inventory to explore using Facebook is Lead Gen/Website Conversion.

What metrics to track?

CPL is typically used to track metrics. 

Keep In Mind: Showcasing a time-bound offer in this stage can create an urgency and prompt consumers to take action. 

For a more in-depth explanation on full-funnel marketing, take a look at this video:

Analyse those leads, work on strategies that converts them to customers, and drive revenue to the business. At the end of the day, a full-funnel strategy involves a lot of work and time, but with an efficient marketing machine, the battle is half won. 

Voice Commerce – The Future of E-Commerce in India

By now, we’re sure you’re aware that smartphones play a huge role in driving sales in retail. But did you know that 28% of the search queries in India are done by voice?

BigCommerce reports that by 2021, mobile eCommerce sales are said to account for 54% of the total eCommerce sales & it also projects a 270% growth in voice-based queries in India.

What’s the current trend with Voice Search?

Most e-commerce brands are looking at voice as an opportunity to grow and expand their businesses. Reports state that 43% of brands surveyed agree that Voice Search in e-commerce is an opportunity to harness while 26% agree on the same to a reasonable extent. With added risks, the benefits still seem to outweigh for most brands. Voice assistants are now part of most homes’ everyday life, starting from morning alarms, reminders to turn off their cookers to even playing music. This seems to be a promising touchpoint for e-commerce as consumers could soon begin online transactions through voice, as the technology becomes more pervasive in their everyday lives. 

To learn more about Voice Search trends, watch our video on The Complete Guide to Voice Search Marketing 

Voice shopping happens to be one of the latest trends shaping the future of eCommerce and as we all know, retail is growing faster than anything else.

So, how did it all begin?

IBM, a tech giant, started way back in 1961, the first-ever speech recognition software. When you look back at the iPhone, Siri, for example, was started in 2011 followed by Amazon which released Alexa in 2014. It’s not novel but it has certainly become more relevant these days with more households using voice assistants in their daily lives. Voice assistance technology is definitely creating a large impact on E-commerce.

What is Voice commerce? 

Voice Commerce is a technology that provides the user with an alternative option to purchase a product online instead of using a keyboard and mouse. It is 3 times faster than the web interface. In other words, it screams convenience. 

How would Voice commerce enhance a customer’s buying experience?

  1. Shopping through Voice Search technology evidently simplifies and eases the process of transacting online. For starters – It is hands-free. Multitasking happens to the new fad for most busy households these days. All that the customer needs is to search and buy something online using a virtual Voice Search assistant such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri etc. With the assistance of voice shopping, completing a purchase becomes simple and can be done at any time of the day – even when you’re in the shower or eating if your voice assistant can hear you!

  2. Apart from being extremely convenient for first-time orders, it is also useful for repetitive orders. Since the Voice Search algorithm knows what you’ve purchased previously, it can help you with repeat orders.

Here are some disadvantages to keep in mind:

  1. You may face a slight difficulty in browsing, especially in the B2B space when product names are difficult to pronounce or if you have too many product codes or multiple colours, the technology might not be developed enough to grasp the subtle nuances and modify the searches just yet.

  2. Privacy concerns. Research states that many people do not feel comfortable about having a voice assistant or a microphone that’s always listening to private conversations in their household or office as they see this as a  breach of privacy. However, customers are gradually adapting to it in the current scenario and brands are leveraging the fact that Voice Search is growing rapidly in the market and if you do wait too long to optimise your technology for Voice commerce, you will fall behind.  

3 ways to leverage voice commerce for your brand to drive more sales:

  1. Build Google Norm Actions / Alexa Skills

With voice being the future, it is important that E-Commerce brands grasp & leverage these trends for their growth. Both Google and Amazon have made this easy for brands to get started with easy-to-use Voice Search assistant templates.

Jetson Ai is an all in one platform to manage your brand’s voice strategy – It is a voice-first market place which helps you connect with consumers across various voice assistants. With Jetson Ai, you can manage all your voice interactions from a single dashboard. Apart from this it also studies and learns about your consumers’ past purchase behaviour and customises their future interactions, making the journey as frictionless as possible.

  1. Build a multilingual voice experience

Various brands have seen rapid growth in consumption of vernacular content overall social media platforms.

Niki.ai is one such company that has a multilingual voice experience which enables consumers to interact with you in their preferred language. This is an interesting strategy which would help you reach India’s next billion internet users.

Niki ai helps consumers from tier 2 & 3 cities make purchases online through voice on Redbus, Cleartrip and BookMyShow.

  1. Build conversational experiences across the customer’s purchase journey

The second thing you could explore is to build a conversational user experience across the consumer purchase journey starting from research, product queries to FAQ’s even. This has kindled companies’ interest by presenting a super-intelligent interface that’s going to help grow their businesses. Not only do they understand the text transcription of the consumers, but also the intention behind using those words. 

One such platform is Haptik. An intelligent voice virtual assistant which builds Voice Search based conversational Ai chatbots to help business enable voice commerce. 

These are three possible ways to build delightful voice commerce experiences for your consumers.

How have brands leveraged voice commerce?

A lot of brands have successfully leveraged voice to enhance their business. Some classic examples include Big Bazaar, Dominos, Whirlpool etc.

Smart search was introduced by BigBazaar in 2017 where anyone who searches with a prefix of Big Bazaar on Google was also given exclusive offers. With the success of this campaign and to reach out to more customers and benefit them, Big Bazaar also leveraged voice. 

Early last year, Dominos, rolled out their voice ordering app to make ordering pizza more accurate and efficient for their customers. This turned out to be an extremely successful campaign. With their inbuilt voice technology, they had a headstart over all other competitors!

What does Voice commerce hold for the future?

Voice commerce is not only a trend but is a complete shift in the way we communicate and share things with the world. This also helps brands innovate and launch campaigns which further enhances the brand reputation and in turn leads to a better ROI – This also widens the consumer base to newer audiences. Brands already selling on platforms such as Amazon need to start looking at ways to optimise their listings and create new opportunities on the platform itself starting today. A lot of research and surveys show that optimising for Voice Search definitely gives you a competitive advantage. This is why retailers have already started to use Voice commerce to expand their ROI and keep up with fast-growing technology.

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