Learn Social Media Marketing Online – Top 10 Courses in India

Are you wondering how to learn social media marketing? You’ve landed on the right page. 

Social Media Marketing is becoming one of the fastest-growing aspects of Digital Marketing, which enables marketers to increase their brand awareness to a greater extent. 

Marketing through Social Media is important because: 

  • According to Statista, nearly 50% of the world’s population uses social media, and that’s over 3 billion users worldwide.
  • According to GlobalWebIndex, each person spends about 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networking sites and apps.

The data also proves that users have also started following popular brands and businesses on Social Media. The scenario has changed and it’s vital to learn social media marketing as every business needs to have a social media presence. It is important to constantly engage with the customers to keep the consumers remembered about your brand. 

Let’s dive deep into the importance and role of Social Media Marketing:

  1. Increased Brand Awareness: Social Media is a natural place to engage with your existing customers and target a new segment of customers on a day to day basis. This means that your business can grow exponentially.
  2. Enables connectivity: To connect with potential customers – it’s important to establish brand trust. The ability to create an emotional connection with your customers on Social Media helps in creating credibility for the brand to grow in the long run. 
  3. Increase Website Traffic: Social media posts and ads acts as a key to driving traffic to the website. Creating great content about your brand, delivers a great impression, and make the consumers click on it and land to the website. 
  4. Lead Generation: Marketing through social media is the easiest method to generate leads in the most cost-effective way. It offers an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers to show interest in the business and it does not require any hard-selling methods. The lead generation also helps in retargeting. 
  5. Boost Sales: As the number of users on Social Media is increasing, it’s important to include it as a major factor in the sales funnel – It helps in converting every new lead into a customer and to engage with them. Social Network is important for product search and E-commerce. 

How popular brands leveraged on marketing through Social Media:

Zomato: People know Zomato as an app that delivers food and offers dine-in options at various restaurants. It doesn’t mean that creating and maintaining a social media presence is not important. Zomato knows their target audience well and always comes up with creative posts to bring out the foodie in you. 

Parle-G: According to a survey, Parle-G is the largest selling biscuit brand in the world. They recently registered record selling of biscuits in the last 8 decades. We all know that Parle-G and chai combination is unbeatable. They symbolised the bond through an engaging post where people could tag their friends.

Being a social media marketer comes up with a lot of fun responsibilities. Yes, you heard me right! Can the responsibilities be fun? Absolutely!

If you are wondering how to be a social media marketer and if you are someone who loves being creative, then this is your chance! Upskilling yourself by learning Social Media Marketing is one of the top skills that would speak volumes on your resume. Social Media Marketers earn an average salary of 5.6 lakhs per year which is just at the start of your career. 

Everything being said, it’s your chance to start learning and now that you have understood the importance and role of social media marketing, let’s look at how to be a social media marketer in India. We have curated the top courses for you. If you are looking at broader courses around digital marketing, you can check out this link.

Let’s get started!

Name of the Platform Certifications provided Faculties Fees & Duration Key factors
Digigrad Digigrad & Social Beat Certified

Lalitha Shukla, Senior Manager-Digital Strategist, Social Beat

Srinidhi Maheshwari, Senior Manager- Digital Marketing, Social Beat

Aishwarya Merwade, Manager, Assetz

Rs.10,000 + GST – 4 weeks Harvard-style case study learning methodology
Digital Vidya Google, HubSpot, and Government of India

Kapil Nakra, Co-founder, Digital Vidya 

Shubhendu Jha, Co-Founder, WeBeeSocial  

Rs.11,900 + GST – One month Industry-based live projects
Simplilearn Simplilearn Certified Kapil Nakra, Co-founder, Digital Vidya  

 Shubhendu Jha, Co-Founder, WeBeeSocial 

Rs.15,999.- Self-paced learning. High-quality self-paced e-learning content 
Digital Academy 30 HubSpot & Facebook. An experience like classroom training. 
NIIT NIIT Certified Aditya Pandey, Lead Instructor – Digital Marketing with NIIT Ltd  Rs. 6,700/-  Innovative learning methods
Udemy Udemy Certified Rs.455/- Budget-friendly
Coursera Coursera Certified Chris J. Vargo, Assistant Professor – the University of Colorado
Boulder
Rs.3659/- Graded Assignments and Case Studies

Top Social Media Marketing Courses in India

Digigrad:

DigiGrad answers all your questions on how to be a social media marketer. DigiGrad is an educational initiative of Social Beat – a google premier partner and a recommended Facebook Agency. They aim at providing quality Digital training in an online classroom setting. It’s an IIM Alumni initiative and the mission is to deliver Harvard-style Case Study based Learning Methodology and live classes. 

Digigrad’s strong forward-thinking approach can be noticed from their vision – To train 1 lakh Digital Marketing Professionals, in the next two years.

The Social Media Marketing training course offered by Digigrad helps in gaining real-time industry experience with live projects, assignments, and assistance with Internships and placements opportunities. 

Why Digigrad?

  • Get an opportunity to learn from the award-winning Industry-leaders like
    Suneil Chawla, Co-founder, Social Beat – Alumnus, IIM Ahmedabad (2007) | Vikas Chawla, Co-founder, Social Beat Alumnus, London School of Economics (2009) | David Appaswamy, Head-Brand & Strategy, Social Beat | Abhishek Kumaar, Head, DigiGrad – Alumnus, IIM Ahmedabad (2014).
  • 20 hours of live classes: Enables students to understand the concepts in a much easier way and get answers to your queries from Instructors in real-time.
  • 15 hours of live case studies & assignments: Digigrad believes in practical learning. The assignments and case studies are based on real, ongoing projects of the agency to make learning more practical. 
  • Experiential training on platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter,YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Special Modules on Vernacular, Video & Voice Marketing.
  • Certifications: Certified by Digigrad and Social Beat.

What will you receive?

  • A social media marketing training course certificate of completion along with placement and internship assistance after the completion of the course. 
  • Get Lifetime Access to different learning materials and content

Course Duration and Fees structure: Rs.10,000 + GST and the duration of the course is for 4 weeks. They also have the digital marketing master program which covers aspects like content marketing, digital advertising and media planning too.

Digital Vidya: 

Digital Vidya is a leading professional training institution that aims at providing the right skill-set for freshers and professionals. They have provided quality education for over 35+ professionals across 55+ countries. Digital Vidya has also successfully partnered with top Social tycoons such as Facebook, LinkedIn, NASSCOM & Vskills to make the learning experience better. 

The Social Media Marketing Training Course offered by Digital Vidya acts as an eye-opener for all the passionate marketers. Digital Vidya offers live instructor-led sessions which makes the learning more interactive. 

Why Digital Vidya?

  • Get an opportunity to learn from the Industry-experts such as
    Kapil Nakra, Co-founder, Digital Vidya | Shubhendu Jha, Co-Founder, WeBeeSocial | Pradeep Chopra, Co-founder, Digital Vidya | Rohit Uttamchandani, Senior Manager, Social Beat.
  • 12+ hours of live classes: Digital Vidya specialises in providing instructor-led live sessions which covers all aspects of marketing through Social Media in a detailed which covers around 10 modules.
  • 4+ Hands-on projects: Digital Vidya trains students based on industry-based projects to get hands-on experience on how an agency works for different clients. 
  • Certifications: Get Certified from Google, Hubspot, and Government of India. 

What will you receive?

  • Free Social Media tools worth Rs.40,000 +
  • Lifetime access to all the learning materials 
  • 100% Interview Guarantee

Course Duration and Fees structure: Rs.11,900 + GST and the duration of the course is one month. 

Simplilearn

Simplilearn is on a journey to transform lives by empowering people through Digital skills. Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading certification training providers in various areas and offers one of the best digital marketing certification programs. They have empowered over one million professionals and companies across 150+ countries. Simplilearn has been named as the 8th most influential education brand in the world by LinkedIn. The Simplilearn’s Advance Social Media Marketing Training Course Certification will help you transform as a successful Social Media Marketer. Learn social media marketing and become a specialist in creating creative copies, influencer marketing, and much more. 

Why Simplilearn?

  • Get an opportunity to learn from the Industry-leaders such as Stéphane Hamel Google Product Strategy Expert, Expert Data Analyst | Greg JarboeExpert Content marketer, President of SEO-PR, Author. 
  • 65 Hours of Blended learning: The modules are designed in such a way that anyone can learn and it starts from the basic level and goes till advanced. The seven modules consist of all the platforms and tools in Social Media. 
  • 25+ real-life industry-based live projects: Simplilearnprovides the opportunity to work on projects based on Content marketing, converged media & social media strategies.
  • Tools covered: Facebook insights | Youtube Analytics | Buffer | Hootsuite | Social Studio. 
  • Certifications: Certificate from Simplilearn

What will you receive?

  • Self-paced learning with lifetime access to all the learning materials
  • 24×7 learner assistance and support.

Course Duration and Fees structure: Rs.15,999. Simplilearn offers Self-paced learning. 

Digital Academy 360

Their vision is to redefine the education system in India and transform the journey of their students into leading professionals. Digital Academy 360 was awarded as the “Best Digital Learning Institute of the year” by Indian Education Awards 2019. They focus on teaching the course from a basic to an advanced level. Their social media marketing training courses are suitable for both beginners and professionals. Digital Academy 360 was also the first institute to kick start a content writing classroom training program.  Learn social media marketing through their Social Media Master program designed for freshers, working professionals, entrepreneurs & freelancers. 

Why Digital Academy 360?

  • 54 Hours Classroom Training: Aims at providing 80% practical and 20% theoretical knowledge covering 16+ topics and 6+ Social media tools. 
  • 5+ Top Industry Case studies: Enabling professionals to gain practical knowledge through designing creative strategies for live projects. It also helps you in understanding the actual corporate environment. 
  • Live Projects: Students will work on agency projects which would enable them to develop websites, run ad campaigns and create digital marketing strategies.
  • Certifications: Get certified from Digital Academy 30, Facebook, and Hubspot. 
  • Tools covered: Hootsuite, Buffer, Canva, IFTTT, Tweetdeck

NIIT

NIIT is a leading Skills and Talent Development Corporation with a strong focus on assuming a leadership role in the Digital Learning World. Through NIIT Digital, learners can access their learning materials from anywhere and they have put together a great team of Industry-experts to deliver effective learning through online live classes. 

NIIT was recognized as ‘Best Education Company to work with” at Indian Education Congress & Awards 2020. The Social Media Marketing training course offered by NIIT is designed based on the new age goals and makes you equipped to build effective strategies. 

The programme is designed to make beginners learn social media marketing and be conversant with Social Media tools and techniques. 

Why NIIT? 

  • Get an opportunity to learn from the Industry-expert: Aditya Pandey, Lead Instructor – Digital Marketing with NIIT Ltd who is an expert in Digital Marketing and passionate about teaching. 
  • 40 hours of live classes: The curriculum is built based on the industry and offers Hybrid learning: live classes + E-learning. The online classes give the students classroom-like experience which enhances the practical experience.
  • Role plays & Case studies: NIIT enables online & skill-based tests along with role-playing & case studies.
  • Experiential training on platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus. 
  • Certifications: NIIT Certificate

What will you receive?

  • Learning Resources
  • Peer and faculty connect
  • NIIT Centre support for mentoring

Fees structure: Rs. 6,700/- 

Our top picks for Pre-recorded courses

Udemy

Udemy is the leading global platform for learning and they are helping individuals reach their goals by pursuing their dream career. Udemy’s vision is to transform learning experiences by giving access to online courses to anyone from anywhere. Udemy is the leading global marketplace for teaching and learning, connecting millions of students to the skills they need to succeed. The courses at Udemy helps students and professionals to keep up with the rapidly evolving workplace. The Social Media Marketing training course offered by Udemy specializes mainly at learning advertising on different platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and much more. 

The course briefly provides the strategies and principles of Social Media Marketing that has worked with leading brands, providing you with all answers on how to be a social media marketer! 

Why Udemy? 

  • 8 – Hours on-demand Videos: The course will equip you with all the skills you need to be a successful social media marketer starting from Facebook advertising, SEO, blogs, and much more. 
  • Articles and Resources: Udemy gives access to more than 36 articles and 24 downloadable resources for extensive learning apart from the videos. 

What will you receive?

  • Full-time access to all the videos and learning resources.
  • Access to mobile devices and TV. 
  • Certificate of Completion from Udemy. 

Course duration & Fees structure: Self-paced learning at Rs.455/-

Coursera

Coursera visualizes a world where anyone and everyone is given the ability to transform their career by accessing the world’s top learning resources from Coursera. Every course is taught by highly qualified instructors from leading universities all over the world. Coursera also provides a plethora of free courses that provide access to learning resources and videos. They offer guided projects, specializations, professional certificates, and online degrees. The Social Media Marketing training course offered by Coursera is for beginners who are just starting to learn Social Media marketing basics. This course helps you in learning from basic to advanced advertising techniques such as lookalike modelling and audience retargeting on three major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Why Coursera?

  • Get an opportunity to learn from the Industry-expert: Chris J. Vargo, Assistant Professor – the University of Colorado Boulder who specializes in data analytics and digital advertising.
  • 10-hours on-demand videos: Comprises of more than four different modules that encompass effective social media targeting and advertising.
  • Case studies: After successful completion of every module, Coursera provides case study assignments for a better understanding of the subject matter.

What will you receive?

  • Full-time access to all the videos and learning resources.
  • Certificate of Completion from Coursera
  • Self-paced learning option along with assignments and graded quizzes. 

Fees structure: Self-paced learning at Rs.3659/-

Conclusion: On the whole, all these social media marketing training courses will help you in pursuing your career goals and will provide you with valuable insights on how to be a social media marketer.

If you are someone who is looking to dive deeper into Digital Marketing and build a successful digital marketing career in India, have a look at courses offered by Digigrad – They are budget-friendly and offer live classes. 

Happy Learning!

Picking the Right Marketing Automation Tool – Ultimate Guide for Indian Marketers

As marketers, all of us often feel like we are spending a bulk of our time on tasks that are important, but take up too much of our time. This time could be better used for developing a overall marketing strategy for your brand or on furthering your knowledge within your chosen industry. Is there a solution to help you do this? Luckily, the answer is yes! Marketing automation is a gamechanger in the industry because it can free up your time from repetitive, monotonous tasks.

Wondering what is marketing automation? Well, in a nutshell, marketing automation is the process by which you automate certain marketing tasks, thus reducing the total time spent on these tasks. Since marketing automation uses machine learning and AI, it also offers more accurate results, free from human error. If you haven’t started using marketing automation in your

Facebook’s Messenger Rooms updated to attract and invite more users

With our workplaces and schools confined to our homes, group chats and video calls are the new normal post the spread of the coronavirus. Thanks to this, we have numerous video communication platforms, from both new and old brands, becoming a staple in our household. Currently, the Zoom meetings app sits at No.1 on the app store but Facebook’s Messenger Rooms is gearing up to change that.

 

Technically developed by Facebook back in 2014, Rooms was introduced for users to create spaces and invite other users into that space for personal as well as professional purposes, while also given the option to be anonymous. This was shut down in December 2014. Things, however, took a turn during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Facebook reintroduced a video conferencing system under the same name in April 2020. 

 

Much like the Zoom app, Facebook too would enable you to start video calling friends and family through a link on your newsfeed or groups/events page. But after their most recent dip from the 10th position to the 15th position on the U.S. app store, the company has decided to revamp their version to improve rankings while also incorporating new and improved features for better user satisfaction and experience.

 

In the newest version of Messenger Rooms, users will now find the Rooms they have been invited to at the top of their chat box in order to find them easily. The option of creating a Room has also been made easier by displaying the option at the center of the chatbox. You will also be able to set future start dates and customize audience selection. In addition to this, you will also be able to join, edit, delete, and invite other users through the “Manage Rooms” feature.

 

In terms of personalization, Messenger Rooms are now enabling fun frames and customized backgrounds where you can use your own pictures and other multimedia as backgrounds, in addition to previously offered options like lighting filters and 360-degree backgrounds.

 

With many video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google meets, Houseparty, etc, Facebook is rolling out different options like Instagram Reels and Messenger Rooms to facilitate superior social video chatting experience in order to maintain its top app status. Earlier this month, it also began integrating chat systems for Instagram and Messenger, to help the latter retain its app status.

Digital customer journey in a post-COVID world

Most of us are easing into the new normal, but we can’t help but wonder if we will go back to our way of life before the COVID-19 outbreak struck us. While some countries are quickly recovering from the virus attack, it is far from over for a few as they are still grappling with the virus. The pandemic has caused many organizations and industries to suffer as companies are wondering how to improve customer experience in the new normal.

The digital customer journey has changed rapidly ever since the pandemic, transforming their purchase pathways. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event; however, businesses should be prepared for a return to ‘normal,’ such as adapting to current circumstances and understanding the ever-evolving online consumer behavior and customer needs. 

The spending sentiments of consumers have been different across different categories. While the demand has significantly increased for daily essentials, at-home entertainment, healthcare, and education, there has been a dip in need for travel, outdoor recreation, real estate, and automobiles. With the growing income uncertainty, consumers are wary about where they spend their money and how they spend it.

Research points out that the fundamental themes will create different types of behavioural changes in the digital customer journey, some long-lasting than the others. The themes include:

  •  Social distancing
    The practice of social distancing has decreased the number of visits to public places by 85% during the pandemic.
  • Health and hygiene
    Personal health and hygiene have also been a rising concern to many. 49% of consumers intend to invest more in vitamins and healthcare supplements.
  • Income uncertainty
    With layoffs and pay cuts hitting an all-time high, there is a lot of income uncertainty concerning spending amongst the consumers. 54% of the consumers expect their overall household income to reduce in the next six months.Based on the themes mentioned above, eleven trends have emerged that would profoundly impact the digital customer journey while making purchases in the new normal. These trends can be bucketed into the following categories:

    • Reversal of past trends
    • Acceleration of Existing Trends
    • New Habits
  • Reversal of past trendsThese pertain to a change that has occurred from how the consumers have behaved in the past. These trends are likely to last until the recovery period. They include the following:
    • Bringing the outside inside
      Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, over 77% of the consumers showed an inclination towards experiences which include travel, entertainment, indulgence, adventure, and personal development. With social distancing, indoors are being the ‘new outdoors’ with conventional outdoor activities being experienced inside homes. For instance, people are anticipating the return of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament later this year virtually. Although not being held in a stadium packed with cricket fans, it brings a great opportunity for brands to tap into IPL advertising through OTT platforms like Hotstar. Similarly, due to the pandemic, outdoor movements will continue to be restricted, especially in crowded spaces like cricket stadiums. This will make consumers to be more apprehensive towards stepping out and experiencing conventional outdoor activities. The change in consumer behaviour brings the opportunity for brands to adapt their marketing during COVID-19 by customizing their services for in-home consumption.
    • Trust in brand above all else
      Consumers are gravitating to brands that they can trust, focusing on the origin of the product and the brand’s response to a crisis. This online consumer behaviour provides equal opportunities for all brands to build trust, strengthen, and deepen their relationships with their consumers.
    • Trading down and bargain hunting
      Markets may witness trading down in the short term as micro market opportunities would emerge. Income uncertainty has created a mixed sentiment between planned reduction and an increase in spending across categories. The expectations of deals and discounts are one of the key reasons to increase expenditure. Companies should explore value for money offers like discounts on volumes and loyalty to improve customer experience. A majority of those who have decided to reduce spending prefer buying cheaper variants of the product or consider other brands. Showcasing the value for money for the products will help win this segment.
    • Shopping for utility
      With the onset of the pandemic, people are becoming more conscious of what they purchase, thereby making more utility-led purchases. Prior to the viral outbreak, the purchases across categories were primarily driven by celebratory and experimental needs. However, due to the growing income uncertainty, this trend has changed in the current scenario, and purchases are mostly triggered by functional needs. Marketers could design their brand messaging around in-demand use cases to reach their target audiences and use interactive features like AR filters for a personalized digital customer journey.

    Acceleration of existing trends

    Since consumer behaviour was already moving towards these trends, they have the potential to become permanent shifts that are linked to positive reinforcements. Consumer behaviour shifts include:

    • Embracing digital services and experiences
      An increase in the consumption of news, social media, games, and entertainment has been witnessed across digital platforms as people are spending more time indoors. With the growing need to stay connected, entertained, and well informed, online consumer behaviour has skyrocketed!Over 3 billion consumers have actively been using Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Messenger every month. The demand to connect virtually has increased as voice and video calls have more than doubled in Whatsapp and Messenger across most affected places by COVID-19.Consumers are also seen embracing the digital medium in other historically offline categories like education, healthcare and fitness. An effective marketing strategy would be to leverage on this change in behaviour by creating strong, impactful content during the lockdown. With digital payment platforms also playing an important role in the digital customer journey, brands can pivot their businesses online by using the digital medium extensively to attract and engage with customers.
    • Accelerated adoption of e-commerce and O2O
      In a survey conducted among six countries which included China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines, the surge in online consumer behaviour for essentials like household care, personal care, fresh food, packaged goods and healthcare has been the highest in India. Indian consumers are expected to spend higher on E-commerce for traditionally offline categories as well.
    • Strive for health and wellness
      The COVID-19 outbreak has made consumers more conscious about their health and wellness. There has been a 120% spike in online searches for health and immunity.This presents an interesting opportunity for brands across categories to emerge as leaders, demonstrate thought advocacy, and enter lucrative adjacencies in health and wellness. By doing so, brands can engage and attract consumers with tailored messaging around health and wellness, thereby improving customer experience.
    • Rise of “Smart Shopper”
      The prominence of research and ‘smart shopping’ is expected to grow even post the pandemic. Researching before the purchase will become more critical due to an increase in health awareness and caution around spending. Therefore, it would be ideal for brands to create a digital customer journey that is helpful to this ‘smart shopper’. By enabling friction-less digital discovery, brands can provide clear information around decision-making criteria and seamless pathways that allow an involved buying experience.

    New Habits

    As the name suggests, this type of consumer behaviour pertains to developing new habits during the pandemic. While it is too early to determine how long this behaviour would stick around, consumers who gain from implementing it are bound to retain this habit. The trends under this type of consumer behaviour include:

    • Remote way of living
      With the increased need to physically distance ourselves from people, social media has played a pivotal role in filling the communication void. To improve customer experience, brands have started tapping into digital mediums to leverage on the need to virtually connect with their customers. Product messaging is now centered around Working From Home (WFH). Brands are also leveraging on the need to socialize virtually by organizing virtual parties and global event streaming with celebrities and influencers to support COVID-19 relief.
    • Self reliance and doing everything yourself
      Social distancing has triggered a ‘Do it Yourself’ habit amongst the consumers. Consumers have picked up new chores and hobbies during the lockdown which has led to increased traction on social media platforms. This creates an opportunity for brands to innovate and engage via moment marketing.
    • Superior hygiene and clean living
      Superior hygiene and clean living are now part of the new norm. With an increased focus on hygiene, brands are offering category extensions or benefit articulation around hygiene themes. Various established brands like Marico, ITC, HUL and CavinKare are penetrating into the hygiene product category to improve customer experience. Brands in the service sector are showcasing their hygiene practices as their key differentiator from the rest in the industry. Some companies have also made innovations in hygiene and sanitization spaces to cater to the evolving demand.From the above mentioned trends, it is evident that the purchase pathway is undergoing a fundamental change. What can you, as a brand, do to make the most of this change?
    • Proliferation through digital channels
      In the pre-purchasing funnel, brands can achieve this by:

      • Creating a social connect while social distancing by understanding the consumer’s needs and engaging with them.
      • Connecting with consumers through hyper localisation.
      • Bringing life to experiences, like product launches and in-person demos with digital access.
      • Showcasing value for money through discounts and bundles, thereby optimizing portfolios for value creation.
      • Building efficiency in acquisition through an effective media mix model.
      • Ensuring personalized engagement through moment marketing.
      • Gaining the consumer’s trust by providing them with engaging content on safety and well being.
    • Delivering a targeted, and seamless shopping experience will be the key to win
      At the purchase level of the funnel, brands can provide a seamless shopping experience to their customers by:

      • Recreating In-Person experiences with innovations like AR and VR Filters. By doing so, the touch-and-feel barriers can be resolved in the digital customer journey.
      • Owning platforms and influencing marketplaces.
      • Creating cohorts for a deep customer connection.
      • Creating financial access for customers through payment options like EMI and spot loans.
    • Opportunity to retain and develop brand advocates in the new normal
      The digital customer journey does not end with the consumer purchasing a product. Consumers have to be nurtured in the post-purchase funnel. This can be done by:

      • Strengthening CRM solutions for post-sales communication.
      • Upselling and cross-selling by remarketing with customized offers and incentivizing social peer recommendation to create post-purchase advocacy.

The global viral outbreak period is truly about understanding your customer’s needs in the new normal and improving customer experiences that would cater to these needs. By putting your customers’ interests first while marketing during COVID-19, this can be a time for your company’s brand to lead.

**Statistics and details pertaining to this blog have been obtained from the Facebook and BCG report – Turn the Tide Unlock the new consumer path to purchase

Beginners guide to programmatic advertising & DV360

What is programmatic advertising?

 

Programmatic advertising is not as complex as it sounds. It is a way to buy automatically & manage digital campaigns, rather than buying them from publishers directly.

Programmatic advertising is an automatic approach of RTB, which will be used on a particular inventory for a particular set of users. 

Demystifying the Jargons of Programmatic Advertising:

Real-Time Bidding (RTB): Buying and selling of advertisement space online through real-time auction that occur in milliseconds. 

Demand-Side Platform (DSP): A software which is utilized by publicists to purchase advertisements consequently. A portion of the main DSP stages are Turn, MediaMath, Invite Media, and DataXu. 

Supply-Side Platform (SSP): Technology stage utilized by distributors to sell publicizing space consequently. A portion of the main SSP stages are Google, OpenX, Right Media, and PubMatic. 

Data Management Platform (DMP):  An information stockroom that is basically a product that has data about purchasers and clients. DMP holds data principally through cookies that are utilized for publicist focusing on.

Ad Exchange: Digital commercial center where publicists and distributors purchase and sell advertisements. A portion of the main advertisement trade stages for automatic publicizing are OpenX, The Rubicon Project, and Google. 

First-Party Data:  First-party data comes legitimately from the source, either the computerized distributer or the stage holder. For example, in the event that you decide to publicize on Facebook, you can get data about the crowd to tailor your campaign. 

Third-Party Data: Third-Party Data is any data gathered by an element that won’t have an immediate relationship with the client the information is being gathered on. More often than not, It is gathered from an assortment of sites and stages and afterward is bunched together by outsider information suppliers, for example, DMP.

Types of programmatic advertising

  • Programmatic RTB: 

Like Google ads calculate the bidding in real-time for all advertisers, the same applies to Programmatic RTB.

RTB is done programmatically and the highest bidder’s ad is displayed. Below are the steps on how it works –

  1. The User visits a website
  2. The Website communicates with an ad exchange/SSP
  3. SSP offers information to DSPs
  4. Advertisers place bids through a DSP
  5. Highest bid wins the ad
  • Private Marketplace (PMP):

Private marketplace works as RTB in similar sectors, which is available only to advertisers that require invitation. Usually publishers block or reserve premium ad inventory for some selected advertisers. Most of the demand side platforms have their own private marketplace which is exclusively available to DSP customers.

  • Preferred Deals:

This is a type of deal where the advertisers chooses the ad inventory even before displaying in the private marketplace by open auction at a fixed price.

This is also called spot buying as the purchase and negotiation happens on the spot and targeting, pricing etc are agreed by both the parties.

The advertiser also gets to see the publisher’s ad inventory which can help in deciding whether or not to make a purchase depending on the ad impression.

  • Programmatic Guaranteed:

This type of deal follows the usual path of media buying, where publisher & advertiser is given a chance of negotiating on one-on-one basis. Bidding process is not followed in programmatic guaranteed. Once the negotiation is over the inventory is sold to the advertiser.

Programmatic guaranteed is also called programmatic direct or automated guaranteed.

How does programmatic ad buying work?

Step 1: User clicks on a Landing page or website

Step 2: The owner of the site puts the ad up for auction

Step 3: Advertisers including competitors offer bids for the ad impression

Step 4: Highest bidder in the step 3 wins the auction

Step 5: winning ad is served on the website to the user who clicked on the ad

Last Step: Hopefully the user who clicked on the ad, converts!

The framework will assess the client examination once an advertisement is purchased on a portion of the measurements which is Behavior, Social commitment, Engagement level, Time per visit and Location. 

The above information from the measurements will help the framework in arranging, estimating and choosing what setting would be applicable to a particular client. In like manner the promotion would be shown as an advertisement on the applicable situation. 

For instance, when clients filter a few web journals which are identified with “Wellbeing and Fitness”, The advertisement tech framework assesses and gauges the client conduct and shows a promotion that is identified with “offers on GYM Equipments” or “Sound eating routine food diagram”. 

Through the above measures we can focus on the correct promotion to the ideal individual at the perfect time which reflects in expanding the proficiency of an advertisement campaign. 

Key Benefits of using Programmatic Advertising:

-Programmatic advertising works towards targeting your KPIs more closely which results in improving and increasing your overall ROI.

-With Programmatic advertising, advertisers have access to adjust metrics such as CPMs, CPCs, CPVs etc. which helps us in cost-effectiveness.

-There are a lot of things which we can explore on this platform. Gaining customer insights is one of them, and will enable you to take the learnings through programmatic technology and apply them across all types to improve overall advertising campaign performance, which results in a comprehensive marketing approach.

-Programmatic helps you to achieve your goal by reaching a larger audience which results in diversity and scalability

Frequency Capping Across Platforms

Control the frequency and analyze the performance of ads across multiple channels like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Native, OTTs and Publishers with the help of campaign manager and DV360

-Avoid overexposing ads to the same user across platforms 

-Acquire a wider pool of audience within the same budget. Thus, programmatic can help you get the best ROI.

-Get a single view of your audience across platforms 

Innovative and Interactive Ad Formats:

Create exclusive, interactive ads like Parallax, Flipbook, Cue Cards, and Audio banners

-Give your audience a better experience

-Drive engagement with your target audience 

-Helps increase CTR and boost Ad Recall

Premium Inventory & 3rd Party Lists:

-Access a more premium inventory and expand your reach across various publishers, OTT’s, audio streaming services, and third-party lists.

-Leverage 3rd Party Lists to reach niche audience segments relevant to your business

Improved Tracking on Programmatic:

-With improved targeting, you can optimize budget allocation with efficiency and produce elevated results

-Track impressions served to a single user across platforms

-Gives a view of the entire customer journey and overlap of audience across platforms for better Media Planning decisions

-Run Sequenced Messaging campaigns even on the Display Network to drive your audience down the marketing funnel 

Comprehensive Targeting:

-With comprehensive targeting options paired with audience insights and mining, you can optimize campaigns to deliver maximum results 

-Improved targeting using AI & Machine Learning with advanced bid strategies and data-driven creatives to deliver personalization to a target audience

-Leverage Combined Audience – Create a combined audience using Google Audience, 1st Party Audience & 3rd Party Audience to target even niche audiences effectively. 

Example – Your target audience is a CEO/CXO of a company size between 200-1000 in the US? 

That can be done!

The benefit with First-Party Data:

– As some of you might know, third Party Cookie tracking will be depreciated from Jan 2022 from Chrome (and soon other browsers). This is going to lead to many brands trying to build their first-party data and programmatic is best suited to manage this and build on your existing user data.

YouTube Trueview via DV360:

-Provides precise tracking with extensive targeting abilities 

-Explore Google Audiences, 1st and 3rd Party Data, also create combined audiences to reach the right target audience 

-Track post view and view through conversation for large scale trueview and bumper campaigns

-Leverage AI & ML for better-optimized campaigns

-Track Completed views and CPCV and not just views and CPV. 

Few Disadvantages of leveraging Programmatic Advertising:

Transparency from your agency: Since programmatic is usually executed via the agency, it’s very important to have access to the dashboard to understand key metrics. Most programmatic platforms also allow partners to add a % of their fee to the media cost (screenshot from DV360 below). It is known as Partner Cost in DV360. For example, if the CPM is INR 200, the partner can add a 20% margin on it wherein your dashboard would show a CPM of INR 240 (20% higher than INR 200)

Privacy issues: Privacy concerns have arisen as programmatic ads are based on individual internet user’s information. This applies to most forms of digital media advertising.

Ad blockers: Most internet users complain about how the ads pop up then have resorted to using ad blockers or using search engines like DuckDuckGo and this trend is likely to increase.

Create a Programmatic campaign in just 3 steps:

Step 1 — All about Strategy

Firstly select your marketing campaign goal, then choose the type of programmatic ad campaign which would be suitable to your goal and strategy and lastly in the first stage would be to sign up for the right demand side platform.

Step 2 — Execution

First step in the execution is to set the estimated budget of your advertising campaign. Next would be selecting the basic targeting options. Last option is to select the creative type and upload the same.

Step 3 — Optimization

-To optimize the campaign the first step is to Receive Real-Time Reports and Analyze the data.

-According to the Analyzed data optimize the campaign settings

-Customize the targeting based on the analysis and Retarget the users who didn’t convert

Optimization Secrets:

  1. Allow the campaign time to collect enough data so you’re able to take a data-driven approach, Try not to optimize excessively fast 
  2. Similar to the previous point, Try not to optimize too often or too rarely as this will again not give the system enough data to collect. Always give enough time, spend & data between the changes.
  3. It is important to monitor all the progressions made even if it’s a small one. This record will help us to see what changes produce what results so that you can measure and alter the changes accordingly

 

Deep dive into Display & Video 360

DV360 is the extended version of DCM (DoubleClick Bid Manager), Campaign Manager, Data Studio & lastly Audience Center. This tool acts as a single tool which can be used for planning, organizing, designing, finding inventory, buying inventory, measuring & optimizing campaigns. Find out how we achieved a greater brand reach for a BFSI client using DV360.

What can be done in Display & Video 360?

-Collaborate across teams

-Gain transparency and control

-Get faster, smarter insights

Display & Video 360 is grouped around five integrated segments:

  1. Campaigns: 

This is where you build and execute the media plan. You can create, optimize & monitor the campaigns, Line items & Insertion orders.

  1. Audiences:

This is where you manage your audiences. Audiences can be set based on frequency caps, Audience bucket can be created & Audience profile analysis also can be made in this segment.

  1. Creatives:

Here, you tie your creative strategy to your data and your media plan. There are different variations of creatives, below are the following-

  1. The ad Canvas: You can design the ads visually with real-time previews on the Ad Canvas
  2. The Format Gallery: You can discovery new innovative formats, experiment them on Ad canvas & also browse Google Web Designer templates for custom solutions

c: Data-driven Creatives: You can create a variation of your message which suits with different audiences

  1. Inventory:

This segment allows you to discover and manage high-quality inventory from top broadcasters and publishers, which also includes exploring new opportunities in Marketplace and negotiating deals

  1. Insights:

All the campaign metrics can be found in this segment which helps in analyzing and measuring the performance across Display & Video 360 and take action on those results.

Is IPL advertising a hidden opportunity for Indian Marketers?

With the deadly virus and the national lockdown upon us, there has been very little to look forward to during this year. But thanks to OTT (Over the Top) platforms and the nation’s undying love for cricket, we are now anticipating the return of the fun-filled Indian Premier League (IPL) in the second half of this year. The 2020 IPL, like so many other events this year, will be held like never before. For one, the stadiums won’t be packed with tens of thousands of passionate fans, as the tournament will be conducted in UAE with limited spectators. More importantly, the advertising engine that drives revenue for the IPL will be largely limited to digital platforms. OTT platforms like Hotstar are in prime position to capture even greater audiences and thus, have become the sole focus for brands. If you want to grab eyeballs during the 2020 IPL, a keen understanding of advertising on OTT platforms is crucial. 

What are OTT platforms?

OTT platforms are one of the fastest-growing networks of today’s Indian online marketing world. With more people turning to digital platforms for all their needs due to the lockdown, these platforms have witnessed a tremendous spike in the last couple of months. With the current speed of growth, it is now roughly estimated that by the end of 2023, the Indian OTT marketing world would have a whopping 500 million viewers online. 

One of the nation’s very own OTT platforms that is also the most-subscribed app in India, is Hotstar. Hotstar is owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, which is a subsidiary of Star India. As of May 2020, there are 8 million paid subscribers and 300 million active subscribers on Hotstar alone. Since IPL streaming is a service provided to paid subscribers, we think it is safe to say that we can expect another spike in the number of subscribers for the sake of the Indian Premier League.

 

But as marketers and advertisers, is Hotstar just a mere OTT platform and the IPL, just a game? Or a spectacular opportunity for advertisers to create brand awareness?

 

Ultimately, video advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising. An average person in India spends approximately 3.5 hours on video streaming on smartphones. In addition to that, 69% of internet users have one or more entertainment or video applications downloaded on their phones. With more than 95% of Indian households being single television households, the video-in-hand demand has made a huge difference to video advertising. This is probably why the 2019 IPL broke viewership records with up to 462 million viewers watching the game online and upto 300 million viewers watching it on Hotstar. 

 

Why should brands advertise on Hotstar in the 2020 IPL?

The following are some of the reasons why brands should advertise in this nation’s most awaited game on Hotstar:

  1. Higher viewership:

    After last year’s record-breaking viewership of 462 million viewers (300 million from Hotstar alone), this year we expect an outstanding increase in the viewership rate owing to the lockdown as well as the Disney+Hotstar audience pool of 250 million viewers.

  2. Lower IPL advertising rates:

    With the previous IPL advertising rates being expensive and affordable only to the biggies of advertising, many small scale businesses could not advertise in the IPL. This year, however, the IPL offers a starting package of 1 lakh INR only – which means more brands will be advertising on this medium.

  3. Hotstar audience interest:

    As per the audience interest, 66% are annual travelers, 60% are monthly online shoppers, 40% are degree/diploma holders, 70% are investors of stocks and MFs, and 90% have paid subscriptions. This opens up a vast variety of opportunities for brands to reach their audiences. 

  4. High Ad inventory:

    With around 56 matches, each match has around 2,300 seconds of ad inventory. 

  5. High Engagement:

    Hotstar advertisement in  IPL 2020 offers remarkable engagement from viewers right through Pre, as well as Post live show updates and Highlights. 

  6. Option to choose from different ad formats as per your marketing goal.
  7. Option to filter your potential brand audience through location, gender, interests, etc.
  8. An increasing number of viewers on Disney+Hotstar applications each day.

 

Who must absolutely advertise on Hotstar IPL 2020?

  • Brands that want to boost their sales after being sidelined by the lockdown.
  • Brands that want to introduce new products/services to a larger audience
  • Brands whose target audiences are young, digital-first, and/or urban.

 

Best Advertising Options for Hotstar IPL 2020:

Since the public will not be able to physically attend the matches this year,  the IPL experience is going to be different from the previous years. The same goes for advertising in IPL. Some of the most popular Hotstar advertisement practices in IPL are as follows:

  • Billboards:

    Similar to an outdoor advertising billboard, a billboard is a big banner of your brand that can be in the form of an image, video, or a series of images as a photo carousel. A billboard may be placed on any content page such as the home page, news, sports, movies, etc.

  • Midrolls:

    10-30 seconds of unskippable ads that play during live match breaks/between programs. This is the most popular form of advertising used by a larger number of brands.

  • Features:

    These ads are non-clickable ads that pop up during the crucial moments of the game. This ensures high engagement and visibility that offers a remarkable boost to your brand.

  • Branded Cards:

    These are banners that carry the brand logo and their message and are placed right below the live streaming of the match in the social live feed.

 

IPL Advertising is a great opportunity for both moderate as well as high budget advertisers. It is used by a variety and a large number of brands in order to reach their target audience. Since Hotstar is the most subscribed application and IPL is the most-watched game, the two put together a remarkable number of viewers and a large audience of different likes and dislikes. With reduced rates and higher user engagement after the Disney tie-up with Hotstar, now is the best time to invest in advertising on Hotstar!

Building a brand for GenZ in India – In conversation with Simeran Bhasin, Founder, BRAG

When you live the brand, it is so much easier to build it. Simeran Bhasin, Co-Founder of Innerwear Brand, BRAG, has lived by this policy that has constantly helped her gain over two decades of experience with brands across diverse consumer segments including kids, youth, and luxury. After having worked with Fastrack by Titan, Manipal Hotels, Britannia, and Wildcraft in 2014, she turned entrepreneur and launched India’s 1st and only young girl focused Innerwear brand – BRAG, in 2016. 

During our webinar series, Simeran Bhasin shared her journey of working with some of the most iconic brands, her insights on making a campaign successful for GenZ, and how she scaled up Fastrack, Wildcraft, and now BRAG at a national level. Throwing light upon her learnings throughout her journey, she believes that it’s important to stay true to the brand essence and that each brand should find a way to become relevant to its consumers in order for it to become a success. 

Starting with your journey with Fastrack – from watches to a lifestyle brand for the youth, was the transition easy?

“Everyone in the team at Fastrack was excited about trying something new. I always believed that we have to live the brand to build it and connect with it. That was our starting point. In a company like Titan, the transition was easy. Entrepreneurship is in the blood of Titan. It’s the organization that allowed us to explore innovative avenues for the brand. It’s comparatively easier to build a new brand from scratch or with a relatively smaller brand that is open to experimentation.” 

How has it been like to scale brands with national presence? 

“It’s simply the amalgamation of a universal business insight, a relevant product insight, and the brand insight that gives the nationality and scalability of the brand across the country. Simultaneously, working on the other aspects of the brand to understand the consumers comes into play that help in scaling brands on a national scale.”

How did the insights garnered from other brands help in building BRAG? 

“One has to put oneself into the consumer’s shoes. We were always building a brand for ourselves. Having human bodies come in indefinite shapes and sizes, making the age-appropriate product and creating age-appropriate communication were some of the key parts of BRAG’s brand strategy. With some key hits and misses from the brand, having multiple channels explored, and a direct-to-consumer approach, it all fell into place.”

How would you define BRAG’s vision and why did you pick this particular brand name? 

“Brag’s vision has always been “To bring girls’ innerwear out of the closet and onto the streets”. It inspires and aspires for women to speak. Product stereotype, business model stereotype, and the gender stereotypes were the hurdles that we jumped to create the brand. BRAG- the name was short, simple and it connected with our target group. We, as marketers, need to make it simpler for the consumers. The aim was always to leave behind a legacy and create an impact, however, we have seen the definitions of impact change every few months. The priorities shifted from having a cool product to a comfortable one. It’s been a vertical learning curve.” 

Insights, Hits, Misses, and more…

“The approach was never to start off as a direct-to-consumer brand. 95% of India shopped for innerwear from offline stores. The game has changed now. Indian retailers have always been a tough nut to crack but they saw BRAG as an opportunity. Our biggest validation came from them. Soon, we were on leading brands’ radars. BRAG’s biggest selling product was for tweens but we were targeting teens. That was an opportunity from the brand to tap onto which gave birth to Ms.Brag (beginner bra for tweens), contributing to 80% of the revenue. The biggest learning for us was to change the consumers (especially teens) mindsets and selling the idea of ‘comfort’ with innerwear, who were habitual to a conventional bra. It was more difficult than convincing a beginner. Switching is a very big challenge and we faced too many barriers. The girls loved what the product looked like, more than what it felt like.  Some very strong cultural nuances like these would come up in conversations, revealing external-driven purchase processes. For example, how is it fitting vs how is it looking during the trial sessions? So changing behavior was one of the learnings.”

What according to you are the key drivers to build a brand for GenZ according to you? 

“Building brands is not just about identifying the demographic and we tend to get caught up in this a lot. It’s the mindset of the youth in the context of the age segment that is more important. Today, youth brands include Levis and we have seen 70-year-olds wear Levis. They are young at heart. At Fastrack, we defined it as the ‘campus-mindset’ that exists in older generations and younger ones too but the center of the gravity of the mindset is always on the campus. If we get stuck at the age, we still might go too wide and won’t be sharply defined brands. GenZ is extremely authentic and honest as consumers, and they are aware of almost everything, from gender-sensitivity to democracy. When they consume content, they are much more opinionated that previous generations.”

Marketing strategies and channels – what was so different about BRAG? 

“Balance between communication for the teens as well as the mothers was crucial. How will the brand look like if the consumer came across the content and how would a mum see it.  In the case of tweens, it’s the mother who is taking the user to the product. Hence, we are doing education for the mothers but it’s in the voice of a young girl and we have a separate brand presence on social media for that. Indirectly, communication is what a mum would relate to. It has to be more fun and less awkward, all of that coming from a tween girl to her mother. The trust is built differently hence a separate platform is dedicated to that audience set. As a brand, we also cannot forget to talk to the other set of consumers who have their own voice (the teens) because that might backfire. The content has to be relatable to both the groups.”

New Market Segment Vs Competing in an Existing one – what are your thoughts? 

Playing within the segment is relatively simpler because we don’t need to sell the relevance of the product. For a new segment, you have to build awareness around the need from scratch. That takes a lot of effort and it was the biggest learning for me. It’s not only about creating awareness for the brand but also of the need. Behavior change takes a lot more effort. The risk also revolves around being too early in the market. In the case of existing competition, we need to convince people that what they are buying is not good enough.”

Changing strategies, Changing times during Covid-19 – any message for the branding agencies? 

“Marketing is largely a variable expense. Given that there are fewer brands in the e-commerce space, marketing budgets will reduce. Brands are going to cut down projects. For agencies,  It’s also crucial to recognize ongoing expenses, make operations leaner, and pick smaller projects to meet expenses and keep the cash flow going. It also comes with figuring out of the box solutions towards communication and media, which was probably not part of the mandate in the past. Being overly supporting and going beyond the original mandate will be much appreciated. Humanizing the decisions is the key when it comes to supporting employees…”

Building a brand’s digital community – what should be the starting point of this? 

“Ensuring the ‘why’ in place is crucial. Clear purpose, brand persona, brand tonality need to be in place, along with having a strong target group in mind, keeping your communication streamlined. The sharper it is, the greater the chance of success would be. Every brand is online today and everyone is saying they are cool. We  should also be very clear on what we will not do or talk about and it should be all part of the brand too.” 

Can Purpose become the Brand’s Voice? 

“Yes, the purpose can become the brand voice. The purpose can go hand in hand with the brand’s personality and can be used to communicate the end goal. We talk about things that matter to the brand. It may or may not directly talk about the product sometimes. Today, all of us are curating our feeds based on interest so every creation of the brand revolves around the interest. You will attract consumers of that kind.”

Watch the complete session of Simeran Bhasin in conversation with Social Beat. Feel free to drop your questions if you still have questions for Simeran.

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