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

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

What are Lookalike Audiences?

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

Here are the benefits of Lookalike Audiences:

Scale your campaign quicker

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

Engage new target accounts

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

What is Interest Targeting?

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

What are Audience Templates?

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

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

Vox-pop videos: A pop of engagement in your video campaigns

What was the last post you engaged with on Social Media? If your answer begins with the phrase “A video on…”, then you are among the 80% of Internet users who engage with this popular format of content on a daily basis. Compelling videos are undoubtedly the best way to grab the attention of your target group and elevate the image of your brand.

There are multiple formats that a brand can try out when it comes to video marketing. From animation to explainer videos, you have plenty of options and formats to choose from. One such format that is gaining popularity is vox pop. It provides real-life original content on popular opinions that the audience can often relate to. It is also an incredibly effective way to communicate the brand’s USP while triggering a conversation among people on an important topic.

It helps communicate the brands’ message

It is safe to say that showcasing the USP of your brand in an interesting and insightful manner is the primary objective of every video campaign. Vox pops are your best weapon of choice in this context since they showcase people’s opinions on a broad topic and allow the brand to convey a strong message through people’s answers. What better way to reach the public, than through the public?

Last year, we created a vox pop for our client FundsIndia. The theme of the vox pop was centred around what people do on their phones all day. We received a variety of answers from browsing social media, to paying bills and booking tickets for entertainment. Based on people’s answers the interviewer raised awareness towards the use of the internet to invest money in a SIP or mutual fund. The vox pop helped communicate FundsIndia’s message of the importance of investing early to reap the benefits in the future. The video was promoted on Facebook and achieved high organic views and engagement.

Vox pops are budget friendly

Production videos are great. They do exceptionally well on both YouTube and social media channels as they have a personal connection with the target audience. However, the production costs involved in creating a video can often weigh you down and curb your creativity. Moreover, shooting a video with a studio setup will also result in a lot of overhead costs as they may include travel and sourcing actors. Vox pops, on the other hand, have little to no costs and are a budget-friendly option for new or growing companies. A mic, camera and quirky set of questions are all you need for production. You can gain a quick and creative piece of content at a minimal cost.

It sparks a conversation

Vox pops are great not only for getting insightful and relevant comments from users but it also helps a brand curate original content. People’s opinions on certain topics can help spark a conversation about an important issue or event. Not only does this give the company a unique name but it also encourages conversations about issues that people would not have normally thought of.

For Diwali, we steered clear of the usual celebratory videos for our client Ashok Leyland. To break through the clutter, we used a vox pop video to highlight the important role truck drivers play on this festival. To do this, we asked people what they did to celebrate the holiday. People shared their thoughts on what the festival meant to them- they talked about the sweets and gifts that bring meaning to the holiday. We used this opportunity to remind them of truck drivers who deliver the gifts and sweets across the country to make sure everyone has a great holiday. This sparked a conversation about the people who worked on Diwali and how they deserve to be celebrated as well.

“Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun hai?” was promoted on all the major social networking channels of Ashok Leyland with the hashtag #YehDiwaliBadiNirali. This was also one of the most trending vernacular vox-pop videos of 2018. The video garnered over 2.5 lakh views across platforms with 3.1K comments and 400+ shares.

Vox pops are relatable

Vox pop videos help voice the opinions of people in society. This provides for a very organic form of advertising as we get to hear people’s unfiltered thoughts on the topic discussed. People’s opinions and views on a topic can vary, making vox pop videos more relatable and memorable. It is a creative way of bringing research to life by producing compelling video content.

We did a vox pop video for our client, Sundaram Mutual, for Father’s day that everyone in our target audience would be able to relate to. The aim of the video was to communicate the importance of saving through our spending habits and how they differed from our dads’. When we asked millennials what they would do with 1 lakh rupees, most of the responses involved food or travel but when asked what their dad would do with the same 1 lakh rupees, the answers included saving money for the future or for their kid’s education. We received a great response to this video with 3 million views, 36K shares and over 600 comments.

In contrast to traditional advertising, vox pops are original. The real-life responses of people can often result in various emotions, both happy and sad. Vox pop videos can also increase engagement on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as people post their thoughts on the videos. The ability of vox pops to bring out so many emotions in people makes it a great form of advertising for many companies to help add value to their brand while spreading a positive message.

Unlocking growth through innovation – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

The recently concluded second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit held in Mumbai saw many industry leaders sharing key insights and discussing trends in the digital marketing landscape. Among our speakers was Mr Abraham Alapatt – President and Group Head: Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services and Innovation at Thomas Cook. Mr Alapatt spoke about unlocking growth through innovation. Let’s take a look at some key insights from his speech.

The need for innovation

Set up in 1881, Thomas Cook has been around for 137 years. Today Thomas Cook has grown in strengths from a travel agency to a brand that deals with travel, foreign exchange, business travel and many more. Thomas Cook’s massive growth since 2012 all boils down to innovation. For a brand or company to stay relevant and sustain success, they need to continually innovate to come up with new and fresh ideas for operations, products and service

Formalising the innovation process

Alapatt spoke about his role as head of innovation at Thomas Cook. Innovation isn’t something that is forced. Innovating your process or brand for the sake of innovation is redundant and will only do your company more harm than good. As a brand, try to look for a particular value to enhance. The easiest way for businesses to innovate is to find new customers or create a unique opportunity with an existing customer. The best way to this is by implementing a full-funnel marketing approach will help target and retain customers better. Take a look at our video on full-funnel marketing and how it can help your brand.

Digital-led innovation

Many brands are still yet to make the shift from traditional marketing to digital. Today, ignoring the power of digital marketing means leaving your brand in the dust. By employing a digital-first strategy, any brand can achieve higher reach, better engagement and an increase in generating high-quality leads. Here, Alapatt cited two examples. The first was targeting people who make pilgrimage visits. The Thomas Cook website lets users create personalised tours and packages centred around pilgrim centres around the country, pre-book the darshan and continue on the holiday. This feature helped them tap into a whole new target audience including those in tier I and tier II cities. The second was adding an “Explore” feature to target millennials. The explore button gave millennials the chance to create their own personalised list of activities including adventure sports, sightseeing, etc. as well as a prompt to download an app that shows your every route needed for your vacation. The idea behind these features on Thomas Cook’s website was essential to explore new categories to tap into India’s next billion internet users.

The emergence of Virtual Reality

Abraham Alapatt

Alapatt touched briefly upon Thomas Cook’s virtual reality feature that gives customers a sense of their planned vacation. In the last few years, virtual reality has become a significant part of mainstream digital marketing efforts. Google India’s Year in Search Report 2017 posits that the Indian travel market will hit $48 billion by 2020. Given these substantial numbers, VR is an excellent way for a brand’s audience to “experience” their products or services without direct physical effects. Not only does this help increase engagement, but combined with an effective digital marketing strategy, VR can help mould the future of marketing for your brand.

The power of video

YouTube is currently the world’s second most popular search engine. In India alone, there are now around 225 million active users on YouTube, with this number expected to increase to 500 million by 2020. Brands need to leverage the power of YouTube or face losing out on a sizeable audience. From ensuring your video content uses techniques like YouTube SEO to exploring multiple formats, brands can improve performance and conversions. Videos have been around for decades, but have recently found their spotlight in terms of social media and digital marketing. Going forward, videos and interactive content will be at the forefront of digital marketing trends in 2019 and beyond.

Innovation and social impact

Innovation does not need to be restricted to marketing efforts or revenue made. Several brands around the world focus on giving back to their community and society at large. Thomas Cook, too, with the aim of social impact started a Centre of Learning. The primary objective of this institution was to drive skilling and employability. They are also involved with multiple NGOs and government organisations that help uplift those in need. CSR via innovation is another way to scale up your business in 2019.

This session by Mr Abraham Alapatt was insightful for several of the attendees. The pace of growth today is astounding. Business models transformations that took ten years are now changing in as little time as three years. To stay ahead of the competition, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and brands must anticipate change and act with the future in mind while continuing to deliver results.

Building a brand through digital – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

One of the key highlights of the Digital Leadership Summit held in Mumbai was the panel discussion on the topic ‘Building a brand through digital marketing – Pushing the Frontiers’. The discussion moderated by Mr Suneil Chawla, the Co-Founder of Social Beat, had two reputed panellists: Mr Ajith Narasimhan from Sundaram Mutual Fund and Mr Vipin Guliani from Piramal Group. Let’s take a look at the key insights of the session.

Building a brand through digital marketing

Summary of the panel discussion

  • In order to build and sustain a brand, you must strategise your digital marketing techniques.
  • Digital Marketing is no longer just a marketing tool.
  • The customers of this generation need to be acquired, nurtured, retained and engaged with.
  • Today, customers are more interested in curated, solution-based products and goal-based offers.

Strategic nature of digital marketing

Everyone has been talking a lot about the increasing impact of digital marketing in building a brand. But the most important factor that needs to be discussed is the nature of the digital marketing technique, which in fact, plays a major role in achieving the desired results. That very thought started off the panel discussion. So how strategic or technical is digital marketing today?

Ajith from Sundaram Mutual Fund strongly believed in the strategic nature of digital marketing techniques. To substantiate his stand, he explained how the shift of mutual funds from being a push-driven product to a pull-driven product, paved the way towards the necessity of digital marketing today.

Due to major changes brought in by GST and demonetisation, mutual fund companies no longer need a medium of distributors to sell their products. Customers from the newer generation are more interested in getting serviced by the companies directly. Therefore, it becomes very important for companies to build a connection with the customers as well as retain that connect for a very long period of time. This is why the industry gives a highly strategic approach to digital marketing. Doing that helps them understand the need of the customers and provide them with services as per their requirements.

Vipin, from Piramal Group, too emphasised on the strategic nature of digital marketing today. When the aim is to build and sustain the brand, it becomes important to strategise digital marketing. However, he gave equal importance to the technical aspect of digital marketing as well. He was of the opinion that only the technical data mattered as far as the sale of the service or product was concerned.

Purpose of digital marketing

Both the panellists were of the same view that digital marketing has evolved to a great extent and is no longer just a marketing tool. Over the years, the type of customers who consume different products and services have changed to a great extent. The customers of this generation need to be acquired, nurtured, retained and engaged with.

The need to innovate new ideas in order to connect with and understand these customers is the need of the hour. Apart from giving companies the advantage of targeting the right customers, digital marketing also helps them to understand the needs of the customers and design their brands and services accordingly. Therefore, it becomes important to incorporate digital marketing techniques right when the idea of launching a product or a service comes into the picture.

Innovation in digital space

With changing times, the kind of products and services that customers need are also changing. Ajith was of the opinion that in the coming years, there will be a need to re-categorise the products completely. The need of the hour then would be curated solution-based products and goal based offers. That is when there will be a great scope for bringing in innovation in the digital space and engaging with India’s next billion internet users.

Vipin also agreed with him. The requirement now is to first find out what the customers need and then build the product. This involves a lot of research for which innovative ideas have to be developed to find the right information from the customers through the digital space.

Targeting customers with the right strategies

The number of consumers has increased rapidly. And not all the people who consume data are recurring customers. There is a need for customer profiling in order to put forth the right suggestions to the customers. Both the panellists agreed that the digital strategy that needed to be applied here varied in the case of B2C and B2B.

Since there has been a shift from mass targeting to micro-targeting, strategies, too, need to be changed. Instead of bombarding all the people with the same digital ads and search ads, it is important to connect with people based on their profiles. This data-driven model would do wonders in the area of lead generation.

In the case of B2B, the target audience is very limited. Therefore, a blended strategy could be used, wherein apart from directly trying to convince the distributors, the help of customers could be taken to influence the decision of the distributors. This could be done with the help of social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Is digital marketing worth the money?

The new generation needs easy access to everything. Today, it is not difficult to bring a customer on board if your products are given to them in the most simplified manner. Going the digital way makes sure that customers get instant satisfaction. Therefore, it is necessary to spend the money to upgrade the reach of the company.

As compared to the other mediums, digital marketing is the most objective way of measuring ROI. It becomes easy to determine the success or failure of one’s campaign if it’s ROI driven. Not only does it help to determine the number of engagements, but it also helps in finding out the right platforms that help in targeting a specific audience. With ROI driven marketing technique, brands can easily recognise the right social media platform to connect with their customers.

Both our panellists were of the opinion that digital marketing is a key player as far as the game of connecting with the customers or distributors is concerned.

Social Beat hosts 2nd edition of its Digital Leadership Summit at Mumbai

16th November 2018, Mumbai – We at Social Beat organised the second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit – a convergence of several business leaders across industries. The first edition took place at Chennai with a focus on driving ROI from digital marketing. One of the biggest talking points of the Summit this year was innovation through Voice, Video and Vernacular with CMOs from various sectors sharing their insights and experiences.

omkar rajadhyaksha

The keynote speaker, Mr Omkar Rajadyaksha from Google, kick-started the event on what businesses can scale up with Google in 2019. The Summit also focused on driving business results through digital marketing with marketers and brands voicing out common challenges they face and upcoming trends.

While there are around 450 million internet users in India currently, this number is set to hit 650 million by 2021. These numbers prove even more significant as the vast majority of new internet users will come from Tier II and Tier III cities. The summit highlighted the importance of tapping into India’s next billion internet users by harnessing the power of Voice, Vernacular and Video for an effective digital marketing strategy.

Ajit Narsimhan

The keynote session was followed by a panel discussion on building a brand through digital marketing. This session included Ajit Narasimhan, CMO of Sundaram Mutual Fund and Vipin Guliani, Group Head – Digital Marketing at Piramal Group. Moderating the panel, Suneil Chawla, Co-founder of Social Beat, said, “Digital spending is expected to grow 2.5x from $40 billion to $100 billion. This goes to show how businesses are leveraging the power of digital and how it will only continue to grow.”

David Appasamy

David Appasamy, Head – Brand and Strategy moderated another panel discussion on AI, Augmented Reality and Vernacular in the future of Digital Marketing.

Appasamy opined, “Digital platforms have, over the last decade, redefined the way we communicate, build our businesses or entertain ourselves at anytime, anywhere. Now artificial intelligence and augmented reality are taking it to a whole new level in terms of efficiency and experience while vernacular is opening up the platforms to native language speakers and new markets.” Appasamy was joined by Channan Sawhney, Head of Digital Marketing at Johnson & Johnson and Pratyush Kukreja, Head – Product Monetisation at Haptic.

Vikas Chawla

The next session focused on measuring return on investment through digital marketing. The speakers of the session were Prashin Jhobalia, Vice President – Marketing Strategy from House of Hiranandani, Monish Ghatalia, Founder of Focus Communications and Pradeep Nidamarthi, Head of Digital at Reliance Capital. Moderating the panel, Vikas Chawla, Co-Founder, Social Beat said, “Today we can track not just online customer acquisitions, but also store visits, leads, calls and brand awareness lifts. This allows marketers to truly attribute how much of an impact digital has on businesses across industries.”

Abraham Alapatt
The Summit also had a session on how brands can grow and innovate through digital by Mr Abraham Alapatt, Group President and Head – Marketing, Service Quality and Innovation at Thomas Cook.

The Summit concluded with an interactive workshop where attendees were asked to draft their digital strategy guided by the digital experts at Social Beat.

A number of members of the press and digital news publications were among the attendees and the Summit received a lot of coverage, from afaqs! in particular.

Social Beat nominated for Social Samosa’s 40 Under 40

We are happy to announce that our co-founder Vikas Chawla, Head of Social Media Innovation – Anuradha Nair and Creative Head – Panisa Shah have received nominations under the first edition of Social Samosa’s 40 Under 40.

Social Samosa 40 Under 40 is a salute to pioneers in the field of marketing and advertising in India – to celebrate thought leaders and entrepreneurs who have disrupted and impacted growth within the ecosystem.

Google India’s Year in Search report estimates that by 2020, more than 650 million Indians will be online. In the last two years, digital underwent a major paradigm shift – from a support-marketing channel to a full-fledged business platform of its own. According to the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018 that we recently released, 68% of brands leverage digital marketing to promote their products and services.

Those nominated for #SS40under40 are those individuals who strive to leverage our country’s growing digital audience and formulate the best strategies to engage with the next billion internet users in India.

The nominations are spread across 10 categories namely – Account Management, Analytics, Brand Management, Business, Content Marketing, Creative, Digital Marketing, Media Entrepreneurship/Leadership, Media Planning, and Strategy.

Each candidate is nominated and assessed based on creativity, planning and execution, strategy, ability to analyse numbers and trends and implement them, crafting their brand’s message and how effectively they engage with consumers.

After a whopping 450 plus entries, Vikas was shortlisted among 228 other nominees by a jury of marketing stalwarts namely:

  • Babita Baruah – Managing Partner, WPP GTB India.
  • Jyotsna Makkar – Head of Marketing, India HMD Global
  • Sunder Madakshira – Head Marketing – Adobe India
  • Kartik Sharma – Chief Executive Officer, Wavemaker – South Asia
  • Lloyd Mathias – Former APAC Marketing Head – HP
  • Rakesh Hinduja – Executive Director and Branch Head – Leo Burnett, Mumbai
  • Gopa Kumar – Executive VP – Isobar India
  • Roopak Saluja – Founder & Chief Executive Officer – The 120 Media Collective

We wish good luck to our Social Beat members in the final selection!

For more insights into the awards, visit 40under40.socialsamosa.com

Social Beat is finalist for Search, Mobile & Display innovation 2018 by Google

We at Social Beat are proud to announce that, for the second consecutive year, we are a finalist in the Google Premier Partner awards in three categories – Search Innovation, Mobile Innovation and Display Innovation. A Google Partner since 2014, we have continually forged ahead in our endeavours to deliver the best ROI for our clients. Following are a few case studies exemplifying the quality of our work and dedication to our clients.

Success in Search Innovation for a leading pre-school and daycare chain

 KLAY is one of India’s top pre-school and daycare chains. They approached us with the goal of closing admissions for their schools and day care centres. To help KLAY achieve their goal, we decided to use a comprehensive Google Search Advertising campaign. Our strategy included using RLSA to bid higher for those who visited the KLAY website earlier, CPA bidding, Dynamic Search Ads, etc. We also invested heavily in Call-Only Ads by understanding consumer behaviour in this industry rather than just focusing on landing page conversions. We also utilised AMP pages (these load faster than regular landing pages) and finally, In-Market Audiences in Search.

Our extensive strategy and approach helped achieve the following results:

  • 181% increase in website enquiry conversions
  • 17.5% decrease in average CPC

Success in Mobile Innovation for a leading healthcare service company

Our client, India Home Health Care (IHHC) is a leading healthcare service company came to us with the objective of increasing quality leads while maintaining a low cost per lead. Since the competition in the healthcare space in India is extremely high, we conducted extensive research to understand their target group before scaling up the campaign.  Since a majority of the leads for IHHC came through mobile, enabling AMP would have a strong impact. As this would significantly reduce the load-time of these pages, we predicted that it could generate higher leads for IHHC.

Apart from this, we also created smart remarketing lists and using them for RLSA to get better conversions and results, improving the Landing Page UX, focussing on Call Only Ads and Device Bid Adjustments.

Our comprehensive campaign strategy helped IHHC achieve:

  • Increased Conversion Rate from 2.16% to 6.17%
  • 33% decrease in cost-per-lead (CPL)
  • Increased Quality Score to an average 8
  • 20% increase in leads generated
  • 90% of leads from mobile users

Here’s a detailed account of how an AMP Landing Page produced 33% lower CPL for IHHC.

Success in Display Innovation for a leading real estate company

Shriram Properties is one of South India’s leading real estate developers. They came to us hoping to achieve the objective of driving sales to their properties through Google Display advertising. Employing a creative and innovative approach, we used Custom Affinity 2.0 by developing audiences profile of those who visit competitor thank you page URLs, channel partners and In App targeting. We also utilised AMPs, Multilingual Ads and Landing Pages along with Google Optimise to enhance UX.

Our strategy has resulted in the following outcomes for Shriram Properties:

  • 59% of total conversions came from our Display Campaigns
  • 30% reduction in CPC
  • 65% of leads were qualified as prospective home buyers

Here’s an in-depth look at how we helped Shriram Properties achieve these numbers.

Social Beat is part of a select group of digital specialists that Google celebrates as Premier Partners. To qualify as a Premier Partner, digital marketing agencies and professionals must prove their expertise in using and applying Google’s advertising products. As a young digital marketing agency, we thrive on creativity and innovation. We are constantly pushing the envelope in terms of marketing with an ROI-driven focus to meet, achieve and exceed our clients’ goals and expectations. Whether you are a Real Estate Giant, a leading Financial Firm or An FMCG Brand trying to grow your business by going digital, reach out to us at Social Beat and Engage With India’s Next Billion Internet Users.

Top 12 Vernacular Startups in India

A billion faces and a million tongues – there’s no better way to describe a country as culturally and linguistically diverse as India. According to the latest census, there are 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts and over 19, 500 dialects.

The recent and comprehensive ‘Year in Search’ report by Google India shed light on the way Indians consume content. With close to 450 million internet users, the report projects that number to go up to 650 million by 2020.

Taking advantage of affordable smartphones and low-cost data plans, India’s digital growth story has shifted from the metros to Tier I and Tier II cities.

Another April 2017 report by KPMG and Google showed two key findings:

  • Indian language internet users are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18% versus English language users at 3%
  • 9 out every ten new users over the next five years will use the internet in a vernacular language.

Suffice to say these vast numbers clearly indicate a potential for vernacular content in India’s digital market and the overall growth of regional content online. Considering how these numbers can drive and impact digital use and revenue, there are now several startups that have chosen to focus on indigenous content to enable and accommodate India’s next billion Internet users.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top twelve vernacular startups in India:

DailyHunt

Founded in 2009, DailyHunt is one of India’s leading news and local language content platforms. The brainchild of former Nokia employees, Chandrashekar Sohoni and Umesh Kulkarni, DailyHunt is headquartered in Bengaluru and offers its users over 100,000 news articles in 14 vernacular languages licensed form 800 publication partners daily. Daily hunt also lets you advertise on their platform, making it convenient for marketers to target the right audience.

22 Languages

22 Languages is a platform that helps brands create content in 22 official Indian languages. With this, you can create ads, website ads, Apps and blogs in local languages. With a large network of native writers, this platform is perfect for brands that are looking to tap the next billion users with their multilingual marketing strategies.

ShareChat

In an attempt to leverage and drive the number of vernacular content users, ShareChat proposes to be India’s answer to Facebook, Twitter and similar social networking platforms. Headquartered in Bengaluru, ShareChat was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kanpur alumni Bhanu Singh Pratap, Farid Ahsan and Ankush Sachdeva. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, ShareChat enables users to post and share videos, songs, images and other content, as well as discover content that is topical and trending. Users can interact with content in several Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, etc.

Roposo

Roposo is a social media sharing platform that lets its users create images, video and other shareable content using editing tools. Based out of Gurugram, Roposo was founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumni Avinash Saxena, Mayank Bhangadia and Kaushal Shubhank. The app is currently available in 8 languages namely Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali, for users to explore and expresses themselves in. Roposo further plans to introduce languages like Odiya and Assamese among others and state that users can share content on their app without the risk of their message being lost in translation.

Clip App

Similar to Roposo, Clip App is a digital media video sharing startup that lets users watch, create, edit and share funny videos and images in the local and regional languages. With over 97% of videos in India being consumed in non-English languages, this platform can be used to find and edit videos for a brand’s social media. The content created can then be shared on various platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. The Bengaluru-based startup was founded in March 2017 by Ashish Gupta, Nav Agarwala and Swapnil Upadhyay. Clip App is available for download on the Google Play Store.

Vokal

Founded in 2017 by Mayank Bidawatka and Aprameya Radhakrishna, Vokal is a P2P knowledge-sharing platform that enables its users to ask queries and receive responses in the local language of their choice in the form of audio. The founders wanted to provide Indians accessing the internet in their vernacular, the chance to assimilate quality indigenous content.

BetterButter

Based out of New Delhi, BetterButter is a recipe-discovery platform that allows its users to discover and share local, regional and international recipes in their indigenous languages. Founded in 2015 by Sukhmani Bedi and Niyaz Laiq, BetterButter has a repository of over 50,000 recipes and videos. The site currently offers its recipes in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and English and is gearing up to add Gujarati, Telugu and Bengali in the first quarter of 2018-19.

BetterButter’s Hindi service was launched in March 2017 and has seen more than two lakh hits, while Tamil reached over 25,000. Marathi, started in December 2017, saw over 5,000.

Vernacular.ai

It is safe to say that Chatbots are the next big digital marketing wave and a personal way of connecting with your customers. Using this strategy for your website can increase leads and help you understand your customers better. But what if your customers prefer vernacular content? That is where Vernacular.ai comes in.

It provides its clients with multi-lingual chatbots to help their users interact in their preferred local language. The AI-enabled startup utilises National Language Processing to create its products. Headquartered in Bengaluru and founded in 2016 by Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraja and Manoj Sarda, Vernacular.ai’s chatbots enable businesses to provide their users with a seamless customer experience enhanced by Artificial Intelligence and multi-lingual support.

Samosa Labs

Samosa Labs is a chat entertainment app based out of Hyderabad and provides its users with a platform to create audio files and GIFs that can be shared across Facebook and WhatsApp and other social media platforms. In order to penetrate the regional language market, Samosa Labs gives its users the ability to create content in several Indian languages. It was founded in 2015 by Rahul Reddy Koora, Abhilash Inumella and Abhimanyu Pamulapati.

Lokal

Bengaluru-based local news startup, Lokal is the newest one to join the pack. Founded in July 2018 by Vishal Chaudhary and Jani Pasha, Lokal provides users with a platform to read local news based on their location and choice of local language. The news is delivered through a curated network of local journalists in a given area and freelancers. You can download the Lokal app from Google Play Store.

NewsDog

NewsDog is a news aggregator founded in 2016. It aims to provide Indian users with content in 10 different Indian languages. Based out of Beijing, the startup was founded by Maggie Ma and Forrest Chen and currently serves 50 million users.

Agrahyah Technologies

With Voice being one of the newest marketing segments poised for exponential growth in the near future, a number of companies are looking to ride that wave. Bootstrapped firm Agrahyah Technologies is one of them. Founded in Mumbai in October 2016, Agrahyah Technologies is the brain-child of Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Uppal Shah and Rushabh Vasa. The software company is a solutions provider for voice-first platforms like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc. Their suite of Indian language digital content, mobile apps and voice products aims to help the average Indian access the internet by removing the barrier of English.

Regional languages have the power like no other to truly connect with your target audience. For example, our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career helps budding entrepreneurs to make it big in life with useful insights shared in Tamil. Check out one of our best-performing videos below. Be sure to also visit our Arrear Irundalum Career website for further career guidance tips in Tamil.

India is a multilingual nation in the true sense of the word, and now startups and established companies alike are looking to tap into the power of vernacular interface and content. We at Social Beat, too, have witnessed first-hand the power of vernacular content by coming up with a ground-breaking social media campaign in regional content for our client Cholamandalam Finance.

Case Study: Mahindra Lifespaces achieves a 4x higher return via Facebook

Mahindra Lifespaces is one among India’s most reputed real estate developers and a pioneer in sustainable urbanisation in a number of cities across India. A part of the Mahindra Group conglomerate, Mahindra Lifespace’s residential footprint spans 23 million sq.ft. of completed, on-going and forthcoming projects.

We are delighted to announce that Facebook has recently published a case study on Mahindra Lifespsaces’ breakthrough success using Facebook marketing solutions. The article stands testimony to the power of social media and how brands must leverage it in today’s digital landscape.

Between December 2016 and December 2017, Mahindra Lifespaces achieved:

  • 4x higher return on ad spend
  • 30% lower cost per lead
  • 4,000 leads from NRIs
  • 20% of sales of a sold-out Chennai project attributable to Facebook

Find out about how we helped our real estate client grow with real estate digital marketing for Facebook Marketing Solutions.

Case Study: Mahindra Lifespaces achieves a 4x higher return via Facebook

The goal

Mahindra Lifespaces approached us with the intention of generating quality leads that would subsequently transform into sales for their various properties across North and South India. To achieve this, we came up with a comprehensive campaign that would follow customers right from brand awareness, through the consideration phase and finally making a purchase. We focussed on building a strong brand presence for Mahindra Lifespaces to attract and nurture leads.

How we did it

To help our client achieve their goals, we focused on pushing top-of-mind awareness to generate high-converting leads for their various projects. To create this awareness, the first thing we did was use video ads, particularly walkthrough videos to show what was unique about a particular project. As video is one of the key trends in social media, we also experimented with a special Mother’s Day video that resonated with our clients’ audience and helped stand out from other real estate players.

Another idea we implemented was incorporating movement in all our ads – we used still images to create slideshow ads and carousel ads to showcase the interior of several projects, within a single ad unit. Lead ads complemented this initiative – it became easier for people to submit their details for more information and this resulted in better quality leads.

To appropriately and effectively target Mahindra Lifespaces audience, we built Custom Audiences of people who engaged with our clients’ Facebook Page, website, landing pages and those who opened lead forms but did not complete and submit them. Additionally, the real estate developer also created lookalike audiences based on everyone who completed the lead forms and engaged with the video ads.

Mahindra Lifespaces also used Facebook’s automatic placement option so that the ads would appear across the Facebook family of apps.

Thus, by building a vigorous campaign of video ads to raise awareness, and using Facebook’s marketing solutions, Mahindra Lifespaces was able to generate quality leads and boost conversions.

Click here to read the full case study. Do also check out our digital marketing guide for the real estate industry.

Google India Search Report 2017: Online Consumer Behaviour

While bidding farewell to 2017, Google India came out with a comprehensive report titled, ‘Year in Search’ which throws light into the way Indian consumes content. Google’s annual report offers a unique perspective on India’s most significant trends, major events and local and topical interests that reflect the ever-changing psyche of India’s online millions.

As of 2017, India’s internet users were estimated a little north of 400 million. Today, that number is closer to 450 million. While that number constitutes less than 30% of our total population, it is the second largest online market after China – and it is only growing. By 2020, the Year in Search India report estimates more than 650 million Indians will be online. That’s double the population of the United States.

Every day, more and more Indians are discovering the internet and integrating it into their daily lives – to look for information, entertainment, answers and everything in between.

The report spans 11 verticals and delves into consumer behaviour to reveal what goes on in the minds of India’s next billion internet users and the implications this has for brands and marketers. Here are the top five emerging trends identified in the report.

Non-metros emerged as superstars

Non-metros in India are quickly catching up with the major cities regarding internet usage. Voice, vernacular and video are three key pillars that are showing strong and steady growth. Search queries are growing at a faster rate in non-metros than metros. In fact, 2 in 3 queries are from non-metro cities. And given the growth of regional content online, Hindi is of course still the dominant language; other regional languages like Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Punjabi are swiftly gaining prominence online.

This only goes to show that brands would have to focus on Tier II and III cities and digital marketing strategies would have to focus on languages apart from English. This is the only way to reach the right target audience.

Digital drives revenues

2017 saw digital undergo a major paradigm shift – from a support-marketing channel to a full-fledged business platform of its own. According to the digital marketing industry report that we recently released, 68% of brands leverage digital marketing to promote their products and services.

Sectors like auto, banking, finance and insurance (BFSI) showed a direct correlation between online research and offline purchase. A leading OEM’s sales were driven 20% by digital. Similarly, sectors like FMCG and banking saw entire transactions being carried out online. Consumers relied on Search to educate themselves and discover products before finally converting online. For instance, consumers not only searched for hair care tips online but also looked for products that would help them solve their hair problems. As per the report, the Internet will influence $45 billion of FMCG sales in India. This is further proof of how digital will revolutionise the FMCG sector.

Digital transactions and e-commerce

Growth spurts in e-commerce, travel, finance and digital media have driven online consumer expenditure, which is expected to grow 2.5 times to $100 billion by 2020. Furthermore, the report projects that India’s online spender base will expand 2-3x its current volume to reach an astounding 180-200 million by 2020. There was a 70% growth in Telco-owned owned mobile wallets like Airtel Money, Vodafone mPesa, etc. All these figures point to a robust e-commerce ecosystem.

The omnichannel experience

The online and offline are merging to create a holistic story. The lines between digital and physical consumer behaviours continue to blur. Take for example – a 50% increase in search volume for “stores near me” indicating that online searches for stores are an now an integral part of a consumer’s shopping experience. Similarly, the auto industry saw an astounding 79% of car buyers making purchases after watching a video online. These examples reinforce the fact that what happens online directly affects what happens next offline.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Newer technologies like AI and machine learning are upping the ante, leveraged as marketing and business solutions. Across categories, Google’s Year in Search shows several examples of a market primed to take on the benefits of AI and machine learning. India’s auto industry saw intending car buyers take favourably to 360-degree video and virtual reality, which could potentially replace test drives. Insurance players turned to AI-chatbots to efficiently answer user queries at scale. Concurrently, content consumption patterns on video viewing platforms continue to be influenced by machine learning.

Sector-specific trends

Auto

As per the Google trends in India report, online searches related to the auto sector are on the rise. This is more so in non-metros where digital sales drove 20% of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales.

Two wheeler insurance saw a 100% increase in queries, while searches related to parts and accessories and servicing saw a 43% and 70% rise each.

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

The report also states that car buyers are now looking for a more omnichannel experience. This is evidenced by a 50% reduction in offline touch points during the buying process. Car buyers are relying more on the internet for videos regarding their vehicles and virtual test drives prior to finalising. In fact, 71% of consumers believe VR test drives and 360 videos could replace the conventional method of test-driving a vehicle. Videos are the simplest way of building your brand and utilising the video medium was one of the key digital marketing trends of 2017.

Banking, finance and insurance

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

Business and personal home loan queries saw a massive surge, as did searches related to banking solutions and information about mutual funds. BFSI brands have also seen a significant impact on driving consideration and overall digital acquisition as a result of using a “search bar” as a call to action. Businesses also began utilising machine learning for speech to text translations and sentiment predictions in their call centre transcripts, all of which have resulted in a seamless experience and improved efficiency for customers and businesses alike. All in all, leveraging digital marketing for the financial industry has proved beneficial.

E-Commerce

2017 was a good year for the e-commerce sector. There was a 41% growth in shopping queries, most of these coming from non-metros. The most significant growth markets are Patna, Lucknow. By 2020, digital spending and women shoppers are expected to grow by 2.5x.

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

The largest e-commerce category is fashion with a 53% growth in fashion e-commerce queries. Other fast-growing sectors include baby care, growing at 36% and groceries showing an average growth rate of 65-70% between 2017 and 2020. The report evidences that online shopping is increasing beyond India’s metros; searches in Hindi and other regional languages have gone up by 61% with Hindi commanding the highest share.

Education

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

Education is rapidly coming up online; it comes as no surprise that learning and education related searches grew by 2x, while education content on YouTube grew to 4x. Non-metros showed more than 100% growth, with maximum interest in courses that taught new technology, i.e. machine learning, cloud computing, artificial intelligence.

For young Indians today, there are a plethora of jobs and career options you can take up with the reach and convenience of the Internet. Follow our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career for tips and tricks on making it big in life by following your passion. Here’s a quick video on Job Interview Tips to help get you started. You can also check out our Arrear Irundalum Career website for further career guidance tips!

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Digital is spearheading business for the FMCG category, particularly the beauty industry. 2017 saw a 60% increase in beauty related searches and searches related to parenting and baby care buying decisions.

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

Much of this is also influenced by YouTube as there is a 4x growth in watch time for baby care videos. According to YouTube Brandcast 2018, more than 50% of women professionals watch YouTube videos for more information before purchasing in categories like beauty, real estate and automobiles.


Trying this for one of your FMCG clients, On1y, we created an unusual video to advertise their brand and to keep their viewers engaged. The overall reach for the video was over 10,000,000, the total views on YouTube were over 480,000.

Local and classifieds

Online gaming is showing a staggering growth rate; online gamers are expected to reach 310 million by 2021. There was a 2x growth in online gaming queries, with 55% of them coming from outside of the top metros. There was a 70% growth in online food ordering and home deliveries, with 4 lakh orders daily on average. Foodtech startups like Swiggy Zomato have completely transformed the way urban India eats, and currently, rule India’s food tech landscape. Google search is also playing matchmaker and headhunter with a 40% increase in job searches and a 38% growth seen in dating app searches and matrimonial websites.

Real estate

Real estate, too, saw a 43% jump in search queries and a 49% growth in searches related to affordable housing.Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

Showcasing properties on digital platforms is one of the most effective ways for developers to sell their properties. With a multitude of techniques including advertising on various platforms, multilingual content and a strong search engine marketing, real estate developers can generate even a 190 crore in revenue using the digital media.

Media and Entertainment

Regional content ruled all aspects of entertainment with a 100% growth in vernacular entertainment watch time on YouTube. There were high conversions and growth in watch time when viewers were exposed to a TV ad for a show online.

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

We have witnessed first-hand the power of regional content on YouTube. For the ‘Good Netizen Good Citizen’ Campaign by The Murugappa Group, we at Social Beat conceptualised for a video that would resonate with their audience base. Since The Murugappa Group is based out of Tamil Nadu, Tamil language content would be more natural for their audiences to understand and relate to.

These videos performed incredibly well on YouTube – one of them even received over 570,000 views. Users actively engaged with the video, commenting and sharing it on various social media platforms.

Retail

Providing shoppers with an omnichannel shopping experience is proving valuable for businesses. Shoppers Stop worked with Google to connect their offline sales with their digital marketing spends. This got them a 2.5x Return on Ad Spends (ROAS).

Our client Gehna, too, follows an omnichannel approach with a physical boutique and presence online, selling on Facebook, Amazon and on their website.

Gehna

Gehna Amazon

Tech

Indians in non-metros embraced India’s fast-growing internet penetration and used it to research before buying new gadgets, which resulted in a 45% growth in queries for consumer electronics. New and niche technologies also witnessed a boost in search queries to the tune of 3x more interest in smart home devices and 2x growth in both in smart homes, appliances and lighting, and smartwatches and fitness bands.

Business-related tech took off in a big way as well, with an increased interest in accounting software, website builders and HR and finance/payroll categories.

Telecom

With the advent of 4G in India, most of our internet traffic this year came from outside India’s top eight cities. Consumption patterns fluctuated with searches for mobile data jumped to 70% for 4G and dropped to 30% for 2G and 3G.

With the top 4 telcos offering competitive prices, consumers took full advantage – searches for offers shot up by 141%. There was a substantial increase in payment bank searches – nearly 174% as consumers are now looking beyond cash and card payments.

Travel

Google Search Report 2017: What it tells us about consumer behaviour online

India loves to travel, and by 2020, the Indian travel market is poised to hit $48 billion, with Tier 2 cities leading this growth. Voice and fast loading mobile experiences and brand awareness are emerging key factors in travel-related searches.

This report only proves that digital marketing is the most important medium to market your brand. Whether you are a real estate giant or an FMCG brand, if you have an ambitious project in mind, reach out to us.

For more information, insights and opportunities in your vertical, download the report here.

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