Digital Advertising

Top Digital Marketing Courses in India

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 10 March , 2019
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    • 9 min read

With the Indian internet population at over 500 million users (as of early 2019), the digital marketing industry is growing. With the industry showing an enormous projected growth potential and an expected paucity of trained professionals, many students, graduates and young professionals are looking to get on the digital marketing bandwagon. This has led to choice in terms of digital marketing courses in India.

To cater to the growing need for these courses, a number of companies and organizations have started various courses on Digital marketing. There are tons of books written on Digital Marketing and YouTube Channels covering digital marketing. Below is a guide on some of the best institutes that you could choose from.Since this is an extensive article we've split it into sections to make it easier for you to navigate and read through.

  1. Criteria for evaluating digital marketing courses
  2. Online Digital Marketing Courses in India
  3. Online Vs Classroom courses 
  4. Classroom and Offline Courses 
  5. Executive Programs on Digital Marketing
  6. Global Online Digital Marketing Courses

Short Video Guide on how to select the right digital marketing course in India:



Criteria you should use for evaluating social media & digital marketing courses

Before opting for a digital marketing course online or offline, here are some pointers to evaluate the desired institute or course structure.

  • Certification: Certification is no substitute for skills learned and hands-on industry experience but, nevertheless, can add to the CV of a fresher making an entry into the field or for a professional looking to make a career switch. Opt for certification courses recognized by various educational bodies and corporates.
  • Course Curriculum & Faculty Expertise: Gauge the Institute or the course offered based on the curriculum, faculty expertise, training modules and relevance to the current industry trends & practices.
  • Reviews and recommendations: Check for reviews and recommendations from industry experts & former students through online education portals or discussion forums. Reach out to alumni on LinkedIn/Twitter for their direct feedback, where possible.
  • Placements: Explore the institute's placement opportunities or institutional tie-ups for live projects & hands-on experience on acquired digital marketing skills.

Here are some of the popular websites/companies/institutes offering Digital Marketing courses (in no particular order) which will save you a considerable amount of time in research if you're looking for one for yourself. While some of them are online, some are offline and some hybrid and offer classes across Mumbai, Gurgaon, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc. Please do also read our post on top digital marketing blogs in India as these blogs can help you get started on the learning path.

Online Digital Marketing Courses in India

Manipal ProLearn

Manipal Global Education Services is a reputed organisation that offers online and classroom-based courses on digital marketing. Their online certification program spanning 30 hours of learning covers various aspects of digital marketing such as SEO, SEM, ORM and Analytics. Those interested in learning Google AdWords and advanced online marketing techniques can opt for their Digital Marketing Professional Program - a joint certification by Manipal ProLearn and Google India, that comprises of e-learning, classroom training and live projects.

Upgrad

MICA has partnered with Upgrad to help young professionals turn into digital marketing leaders of tomorrow. The course PG certification in Digital Marketing and Communication is a dedicated course that covers various facets of digital marketing such as social media marketing, content marketing, branding and marketing analytics. The duration of this course is 6.5 months. Some of the interesting aspects of this course are certifications from MICA and Facebook, case studies, projects and one on one mentoring with industry experts.

TalentEdge

TalentEdge provides a Specialised Executive Programme in Digital Marketing from MICA, Ahmedabad, ideal for early beginners and working professionals. They claim to have reached over 8,00,000 registered learners who have benefitted from the live lectures, case studies and content structure designed by MICA faculty & industry experts. Amit Kishore from MICA is the current lead faculty and comes with over 18 Yrs. of experience in strategic media planning & media research in India, Middle East, and West Africa & South East Asia. Apart from this, TalentEdge also offers an Executive Development Program in digital marketing from XLRI. The executive development program is a course for marketing managers who wish to understand the nuances of digital marketing techniques and tools to execute a campaign.  If you are an entrepreneur looking to scale up your business, then this is the digital marketing course you should take. The course curriculum is designed to help you understand the impact of digital technology and media on the growth and performance of your business.

Digital Vidya

Digital Vidya is Asia's leading Digital Marketing training company and the first to launch Social Media Marketing course series in India. Since 2009, they claim to have had participation from over 20,000 professionals and students, from over 10,000 organizations and institutions such as Philips, Google, eBay, Reliance, Star TV, Cisco, SAP, Naukri, Citibank, GM, Toyota, ITC, CNBC, NIIT, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow, in more than 1,200 Digital Marketing training programs conducted by them.

Digital Vidya also offers Digital Marketing (CDMM), Mobile Marketing (CMMM) and Social Media Certification programs (CSMMP) in association with V-Skills, a Govt. of India initiative. They conduct a free weekly digital marketing orientation session for those who want to understand how digital marketing can help them grow their career or scale their business. They also have an active placement cell with digital marketing employment opportunities for their alumni.

Disclaimer: Rohit Uttamchandani of Social Beat is a Trainer for Digital Vidya.

Simplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the leading platforms for online training and professional certification programs. They have around 30 courses in digital marketing that provide hands-on experience in various Digital marketing domains. Accredited by OMCP, these courses are aimed at helping working professionals & aspirants stay ahead of the digital curve with relevant skills.

Internet & Mobile Research Institute(IMRI)

Internet & Mobile Research Institute, headquartered in Bangalore is a full-service international digital media training centre. IMRI conducts a one-month Executive Programme course in SEO, PPC advertising, SMM & Web Analytics, a six-month Professional Program In Digital Marketing (EPDM) and a one-year Graduate Program for aspirants to jumpstart their digital marketing career.

AIMA

The All India Management Association (AIMA) along with Digital Vidya offers a joint Certification Programme in Digital Marketing and Analytics. The major digital marketing tools covered in this course are email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, affiliate marketing, digital display, mobile marketing, online video and social media analytics. Spread over a period of three months, this online course is divided into 6 modules, costing Rs. 36,000 + service tax.

Digigyan

Digigyan, a digital marketing institute based out of Delhi NCR region, offers e-commerce and digital marketing courses and training to students, professionals, entrepreneurs and corporates. The online course is certified by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

How to choose between Online and Classroom courses for digital marketing

Online Courses are generally more convenient for most people, especially working professionals as they can be attended from the comfort of one's home/office without having to travel to a training centre. The travel might even have to be to another city for those who live in cities where good classroom training courses are not conducted.

Also, with technology having improved, online instructor-led virtual classrooms are as good as actual classrooms, with webinar software allowing for both peers to peer interaction as well as student-teacher interaction. Webinar recordings are also available for those who miss out on sessions.

Classroom programs would only work best for you if you are the personality type that prefers learning in a classroom environment or if you're not too comfortable with learning in a live webinar format.

Classroom & Offline Courses for digital marketing

For those of you who prefer classroom or hybrid training, here is a list of institutes which conduct digital marketing classroom courses and workshops in various Indian cities:

IIDE

Located in Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Digital Education offers two courses on digital marketing and full stack programming. The digital marketing programme is designed to give freshers a robust introduction to the world of digital marketing and help professionals intensify their existing knowledge of all things digital. The programme is divided into a 6-month with classes conducted thrice a week, and independent certification courses conducted for three hours over one week.

The full stack programming course is an exhaustive 6-month program that gives students a profound understanding of the technical and practical aspects of web development and coding.

IIDE has two centres in Mumbai - Andheri and Jai Hind College and promises 100% placement to all students across Mumbai's top digital agencies.

NIIT

NIIT Imperia, in association with Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) Ireland, offers a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing for graduates and working professionals at their centres in most major cities in the country. This course is accredited by Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) of Ireland.  Apart from this, NIIT also offers two digital marketing programs for aspiring professionals namely advanced program in digital marketing strategy from IIM Lucknow and the second is an Executive program in digital and social media strategy from IIM Calcutta. These are exclusive courses which are designed for graduates and working professionals. The duration of these courses is 6 months. Apart from the course completion certification, the professional will also receive the IIM alumni status.

DMTI

Digital Marketing Training Institute conducts a Post Graduate Program in Digital Media Marketing in Mumbai. The course is a one-year, full-time program that focuses on the strategic and practical aspects of Digital Marketing. They have an active placements cell as well which helps course participants get jobs in the digital marketing space.

EduPristine

EduPristine is one of India's leading training providers for international certifications in Finance, Accounting and Analytics. They also conduct digital marketing classroom courses in 11 Indian cities. The course covers 60 hours of digital marketing classroom training over 12 Sundays. They also have a 48-hour online course spread over 6 weekends. On completion of the course, the participants are awarded a Certificate of Excellence in collaboration with the "Microsoft IT Academy Program".

DSIM

The Delhi School of Internet Marketing conducts an all in one advanced digital marketing live classroom course for working professionals, business owners and job-seekers, at their training centres in Delhi and Bangalore. They conduct an online instructor-led course as well on weekends. However, they do not seem to offer any digital marketing certification for participants who complete the course.

Simply Digital

Simply Digital, started by a group of IIT-IIM alumni conducts digital marketing and big data courses at their centres in Delhi and Gurgaon. They also have a placement cell to help students get internships in digital start-ups & final placements at all levels across sectors.

Learning Catalyst

Learning Catalyst, based out of Mumbai, specializes in niche web/mobile/digital related programs directed towards a wide segment of individuals with marketing, design and tech backgrounds. They have centres in 7 Indian cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad) where they conduct courses of various durations on SEM, SEO, SMM and a 6-week integrated digital marketing program. They conduct an online course on Google Hangouts as well.

Digital Nest

Digital Nest conducts an Advanced Digital Marketing Training Course in Hyderabad. The course includes 48 hours of classroom training with weekday/weekend classes. They also conduct workshops/seminars and webinars for corporate bodies and educational institutions.

Social Samosa

Social Samosa, one of the most popular social media news and information portals in India, conducts workshops and seminars on the basics of Social Media, Facebook and Twitter marketing in Mumbai. These one-day sessions can serve as a primer for those who want to gain a basic knowledge of the space.

Executive Programs & Management Development Programmes on Digital Marketing in India

Most of the courses listed above are best suited for students and working professionals. If you are someone in a fairly senior role who has more than 5 to 10 years of work experience under his/her belt, then it might be worthwhile considering doing an executive digital marketing course.

It's surprising to see that not many business schools in India are offering executive or management development programs around digital marketing. The few that do exist have been showcased below and we have tried to find a mix of programs that focus on digital marketing, e-commerce and analytics. If you have attended any of these programs please do leave your feedback in the comments below.

Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

ISB Hyderabad has a 3-day executive program titled "Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategies" priced at Rs.1,00,000 + GST. It is specifically targeted for professionals and leaders in the marketing and strategy domain. The program aims to give an overview of digital and social media marketing and how to get ROI from the medium.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

IIM Bangalore has a programme called "Digital Marketing for Business Growth" which they conduct mutiple times in their academic year. The programme aims to give an overview of digital marketing with a focus on the different social media marketing channels, search engine marketing (both search advertising & search engine optimization) and digital analytics. So it aims to give an overview of each of the key elements that can enable brands to get better engagement, leads and conversions. It also touches upon analytics and what metrics can be used to measure the performance of the digital campaigns.

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

IIM Lucknow does seem to have a programme on Digital Marketing by renowned Professor Moutusy Maity. She has done extensive research in e-commerce, m-commerce and CRM so the quality of the programme is likely to be very high. She has worked in the Industry (at Nielsen) and handled clients like PepsiCo and Eveready Batteries so she would definitely bring a practical experience to the table. We are yet to receive more details on the programme from them so we shall update it here shortly.

Great Lakes Institute of Management

Great Lakes has a very interesting Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence for working executives which has a large focus on digital analytics. It is a blended program with classroom & online sessions. It also gives exposure to tools like SAS, R, Tableau. The entire programme is designed by experts in the Industry and the students have to complete a project under the mentorship of industry leaders. It is offered in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune & Gurgaon at the moment.

Global Online Digital Marketing Courses

HootSuite Social Media Certification

Hootsuite, one of the most popular tools for social media scheduling and monitoring offers a program called HootSuite Podium covering the fundamentals of social media marketing, with six free online courses. They also offer a paid certification exam, after passing which participants are listed in HootSuite's public directory of social media professionals.

Hubspot Academy

Hubspot Academy offers a free Inbound Marketing Course & Certification marketers, entrepreneurs and students. They also conduct classroom training but only in the United States.

Apart from the courses listed above; there are various courses available on online learning sites including Google Digital Unlocked, Udemy, Udacity, Coursera and Gyaanexchange. If you are a self-learner keen on understanding the digital marketing space, there are various digital marketing blogs, articles, books and real-time case studies available online. You can also join relevant LinkedIn groups to participate in discussions & connect with industry experts.

All said Digital marketing is a field where just taking courses or following the industry trends alone will not make one an expert. Maximum learning can only be gleaned from actual hands-on, on-the-job experience. Hence, the success of these courses will eventually depend on the quality of digital professionals they send into the industry and how well they execute the acquired knowledge & digital skill sets.

If you are looking out for digital marketing or social media career opportunities in Chennai, Bengaluru or Mumbai then please check out our Career Opportunities. Reach out to us if you are looking for the top digital marketing agency in Bangalore, the best digital marketing agency in Mumbai and Chennai and grow your business.

Have you taken up any of these courses? Please share your experiences with us in the comments!


9 digital marketing trends in India that will shape 2019

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 25 February , 2019
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    • 6 min read

It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing is constantly in a state of flux. What works today might be completely obsolete tomorrow. If your brand is still continuing to use the same techniques in 2019 as you did in the previous year, expect to see declining results. To ensure your brands stay on top of its digital marketing game this year, here are nine of the most important trends to stay ahead of.

An explosion of vernacular content online

The online space in India is set to get even more colourful and diverse. As even larger numbers of users get access to low-cost internet and affordable mobile phones, there will be a greater demand for internet content in the languages they understand best. To cater to this growing internet audience, brands need to push vernacular to the front and centre of their digital marketing strategy. Right from their websites, to their apps, social media campaigns, performance advertising and even social media listening, Indic languages should be the focus.

Speaking to regional audiences involves more than just taking a brand’s main communication and translating it into various languages. Instead, it requires them to develop communications aimed specifically at these audiences, keeping their unique needs, challenges and desires at the core. Only by doing this can they create that all-important personal connection with consumers. 22 Languages, one of the top vernacular startups, is designed specifically to help brands reach out to a larger audience in vernacular languages.

Read our case study on How Multilingual Ads Helped Generate Higher-Quality Leads With Lower CPL to learn how vernacular techniques can produce unprecedented results for your brand.

Growth of voice search

The seeds of voice search were sowed back in 2018, but it is in 2019 that this trend will fully come into its own. Today, it isn’t just mobile that’s driving voice search, but the proliferation of smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice Assistant. The push for voice search will also be coming from the other end of the spectrum, from users who are just starting to use the internet or who might not even know how to type. But regardless of who the audience for voice search is, one thing is certain: SEO as we know it will have to change. Traditional keyword research will become obsolete since user queries will be completely different when using voice search. Voice also means that position zero, the ‘featured snippet’ will become even more coveted. 99% of voice search results draw from the featured snippet, so content creators will have to focus even harder on optimising their content for Google to pick it up. 

Videos and interactive content

While videos have been around for decades, they have only recently started exploding on digital platforms and social media. In 2019, if your brand doesn’t have a strong repertoire of engaging, high-quality videos, you could be missing out on a sizeable audience. YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, can become even more essential in 2019. Through techniques like YouTube SEO, brands can ensure that their content is visible to relevant audiences. For tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.

But the importance of videos extends beyond just YouTube. Videos on landing pages and in emails have been shown to improve performance and conversions. Facebook is also witnessing a growing popularity of videos. In one survey, around 44% of respondents admitted to watching at least 5 videos every day on the platform.

As videos gain momentum, multiple video formats are also being developed and explored. Interactive videos are emerging as a popular option due to the higher user engagement they deliver. In these videos, users are required to take some form of action which can influence the video. This could be either in terms of the content displayed or the storyline that the video takes. Apart from interactive content, live videos are also creating a stir. Currently, they are available on Instagram and Facebook, while YouTube is also starting to introduce it. Live videos are a great way for brands to showcase ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage and develop a more personal connect with their audience.

Smarter interactive chatbots

Chatbots have been slowly making an entry from 2017, however, chatbots in 2019 will be more intelligent than ever before. Most chatbots currently have a limited script, usually offering a fixed set of options that users can choose from. Once the query is narrowed down, users are often transferred to a human representative to resolve it. With the advent of AI, however, chatbots are likely to completely replace the human aspect previous involved. They are programmed to be smarter, respond to a wide number of queries in a meaningful way and resolve issues without requiring any human intervention. In fact, through AI, chatbots are likely to be able to keep up a long conversation with users without coders having to input a long script beforehand. As the technology matures, you can expect chatbots to become even more ubiquitous as brands capitalise on their low cost and higher efficiency. 

AI for better audience targeting

AI isn’t just for smarter chatbots; it is also becoming the most accurate way for brands to identify their core audience and develop core messaging for them. Through a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence, predictive customer analytics can eliminate much of the guesswork involved with digital marketing.

One way they do this is by assigning a ‘lead score’ to leads generated. AI can analyse large volumes of leads at a time, identify common patterns, group them into various buckets based on their behaviour and help you create hyper-personalised content for them. Since personalisation is key to nurturing leads, AI can almost certainly lead to higher conversions for marketers. AI can also identify similarities in current consumers and generate custom targeting options that marketers can utilise to ensure more accurate delivery of ads. This will help improve the quality of leads generated via digital. 

UX and AMP for desktop 

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was a crucial mobile ranking factor for websites in 2018. In 2019, the importance of AMP will not be limited to mobiles alone. Google recently made AMP available for desktops versions of websites as well. With this feature, users will be able to enjoy the same speed and easy navigation that AMP offers even while browsing on their desktop.

With the introduction of this feature, it’s time for brands to re-look at their website and how user-friendly it is. By making their websites (or at least critical, content-heavy sections like blogs) AMP-friendly, brands might be able to enjoy greater visibility on search engines. Since AMP pages are also easier for users to navigate through, an improved UX can encourage them to spend more time on the website and learn more information about the brand.

Find out how AMP landing pages helped us achieve a 33% lower cost-per-lead.

Growth of Programmatic Advertising

In 2019, almost 65% of all digital media buying will be programmatic. Programmatic is without a doubt the most cost-effective, efficient way for advertisers to purchase digital ad space. Unlike previous methods which required human intervention and manual bids, programmatic algorithms can determine the best media mix and automatically purchase it. This technology enables marketers to reach a scale previously unthought of. They can target larger audiences over a wider variety of channels with absolutely no time or effort lost. Since it can optimise in real-time, markets can do a lot more with their budgets and reduce their cost-per-leads.

Decline in organic search and traffic

With every new SERP feature that Google introduced, organic traffic takes a hit. Click-through-rates have been steadily dropping and 2019 will be a continuation of this trend. Answer boxes, for instance, answers a user’s query without them having to actually click on a link. So while your page might show up on a featured snippet, you might not notice a significant rise in organic traffic to that page.

So does this mean the sun has set on the SEO empire? Fortunately, no. This just means that marketers will need to re-align their SEO strategy. For example, they will need to start focusing more on creating brand awareness and driving up brand searches. When users start searching for your company’s name, Google cannot prevent users from clicking on your website. It also means tailoring your content specifically for higher click-through rates. You need to give users enough information that Google picks it up and displays it, but not enough for their curiosity to be satisfied. If users are only getting half an answer from your snippet, they are more likely to click on your page to get the full information.

Decline in organic reach on Instagram

Previously, organic reach on Facebook had taken a hit, with pages showing close to zero reach without paid promotions. In 2019, all signs are pointing towards Instagram going down the same route. As Instagram grows in popularity and adds new users every minute, it predictably wants brands to start paying for higher reach. If your company page doesn’t have adequate promotional budgets, then it’s time to scale up this year. But while showcasing your brand on Instagram might become more expensive, it’s still completely worth it. India currently has around 71 million active users and this number is only set to grow from here. Clearly, brands cannot afford to neglect this audience, paid or otherwise.

2019 is proving to be an exciting year for brands, giving them opportunities to experiment with new ad formats and strategies. By taking advantage of these upcoming trends, brands can gain a strong lead over their competition.

This article was originally published in Campaign India.


All you need to know about non skippable in-stream ads

  • Pooja Manoj
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  • 14 February , 2019
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    • 3 min read

As a landmark development, YouTube has now expanded its non-skippable ad format to more creators, brands and advertisers who are looking to monetise their content. One of the many advantages of non-skippable ads is that your brand can reach its target audience with a complete message.  Also, since there is no option to skip the video, your customers have no choice, but to watch the entire ad campaign. With a duration of 15 seconds, non-skippable in-stream ads are very short in nature and pop up before, in between or after a video.

Where do non-skippable in-stream ads appear?

Ideally, non-skippable ads appear on YouTube, partner sites and apps associated with the Google Display Network. The charges for the ads are estimated based on CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bidding. In this case, you need to pay each time when your ad is shown 1000 times.

Steps to implement your non-skippable in-stream ads

Choose your campaign type and marketing objective

When it comes to the goal of your marketing campaign, your ad campaign dashboard gives you a plethora of options such as sales, leads, product & brand consideration, app promotion, website traffic and brand awareness & reach. For non-skippable in-stream ads choose your primary marketing objective as “brand awareness & reach”.  The next step is to opt for your campaign type as “video”.

Set your campaign subtype as non-skippable reach

Ideally, YouTube offers 5 different forms of campaign subtypes such as standard awareness, skippable in-stream, non-skippable in-stream, outstream ads for mobile and ad sequence.  So, when your marketing objective is brand awareness & reach, you need to set your campaign subtype to non-skippable in-stream ads.

Create your ad campaign

The first step in executing your ad campaign is to give the title of your campaign. Make sure your campaign name is within the limit of 120 characters. The next important task is to enter your budget value. This can be either total or daily accepted value. Once you set your budget, you can customise your campaign flight dates and other settings such as language and location. It will be great if you opt for video partners on the Digital Network to ensure maximum reach.

Set your bidding strategy

For non-skippable in-stream ads, the bidding strategy should be set to Target CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Ideally, through Target CPM, you are signing up for the average amount for every thousand times when your ad is shown.

Create your video ad

Choose an appropriate YouTube video which will be used for the ad campaign. Please note that your video ad cannot be longer than 15 seconds. If you wish to run a 20 second video ad, you have to contact the Google team for a whitelist request.

Execute your ad campaign

This is the stage in which you are all set to display your non-skippable in-stream ad to your target audience. You can measure the performance of your ad campaign by checking the completion rate in intervals of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. However, statistics such as average cost per view, number of views and view rate will not be displayed in the case of non-skippable in-stream ads, since they are measured based on impressions alone.

With so many innovations and advanced features, this is the right time for brands and advertisers to venture into YouTube advertising. The biggest advantage is that new features like non-skippable in-stream ads play a huge role in executing cost-effective ad campaigns to reach the next billion internet users in India. Apart from this, they also give you the opportunity to monitor real time insights about the views of your ad campaign.

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


Social Beat Earns a Shopping Advertising Specialisation Badge

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 23 January , 2019
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    • 2 min read

We are excited to announce that Social Beat has earned the Google Premier Partner Shopping Ads Skills for Google Ads/Pay Per Click Advertising. Our newly acquired Google Premier Partner badge for Shopping Ads certifies that we have demonstrated expertise and sustained client performance in shopping advertising.

What are Google Shopping Ads?

Unlike traditional text ads that focus on the keywords you choose, Google Shopping ads determine when your product listing ads show up. Google considers the feed, the site and the bids that determine what search queries show your ads.

The success of Google Shopping ads depends on three elements:

  • The optimisation and creation of the feed
  • Continuous monitoring and optimisation that can make a good campaign great
  • Successful bidding that can double returns on ad spends

We have successfully incorporated these elements and leveraged the use of Google Shopping Ads to sustain client performance in shopping advertising.

Best Practices

Premier Google Partners are required to demonstrate that they are maximising their clients’ performance by implementing Google’s recommended best practices in client accounts using Shopping Ads.

As a Google Premier Partner in Shopping Ads, Social Beat can help us place our client’s products on Google Search, set up inventory on the Merchant Center and create Google Shopping campaigns.

Spends

The new badge is designed to recognise Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver great results for their customers.

Social Beat works with Google Sales Representatives to promote new and effective Google strategies to our clients. As a Google Premier Partner, we use proven techniques to help our clients increase their digital ROI. We aim to deliver the best results to our clients using Google’s strategies such as Mobile Innovation and Search Mobile and Display Innovation.

Contact us to get your Adwords campaign started or to optimise an existing campaign for better ROI.


How digital marketing will transform real estate industry in 2019

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 20 January , 2019
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    • 12 min read

Marketing for any product or service digitally has now become mandatory. With over 234 million internet users currently, the digital market has really opened up a plethora of opportunities for brands today. Real estate is one such industry that has really benefitted from the digital marketing wave. According to research, around 92% of potential buyers do vigorous research online before they ultimately make the purchase offline. Hence, making sure you have a strong digital marketing strategy is of the utmost importance to make your brand name stand out in the real estate industry. To learn more please do read our book on digital marketing or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

So, what makes digital marketing for real estate such a vital tool for developers and home seekers?

Digital Marketing for real estate - The benefits

Marketing techniques are open to evolve and get better over time. Additionally, if you are an ardent user of the digital space for marketing your products, you know it comes with numerous benefits. Apart from the urban space, digital marketing is evolving in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India as well. Real estate developers are yet to realise these benefits and are only scratching the surface when it comes to taking full advantage of what digital marketing has to offer. Here’s where digital marketing in real estate gives developers an edge, with a multitude of digital marketing trends to expect in 2017.

  • Cost-efficient: Needless to say, there is a lot of money that goes into a real estate project. Digital marketing offers comparatively lower pricing to that of traditional marketing, so it’s no surprise that marketers in the Real Estate industry are taking full advantage of the cost efficiency.
  • Increased exposure: Considering the numerous housing projects that vary in size, location and cost, having a digital marketing strategy lets you expand your overall reach and even customise that reach towards a selected target market.
  • Performance Analysis: Digital marketing offers numerous ways to keep track of an advertisement’s performance in the competitive marketplace, making it easier for real estate developers to understand what marketing technique works best for their products.
  • Creative licence: Be it an apartment, independent house, villa or plot of land, there are numerous ways for developers to showcase their products in the online marketplace.
  • Brand building: To succeed in the vast industry that is Real Estate, developers need a strong and reputable presence. Having an online presence is considered the next best brand building technique.

Real Estate digital marketing techniques that work wonders

For any real estate developer who is hoping to succeed, digital marketing is a great place to start. Developers not using this medium are losing out a plethora of opportunities that the medium has to offer. Here are some of the strategies that a developer can use:

  • Building a strong real estate brand through a website, social media marketing, content marketing and search engine optimisation
  • Acquiring customers through advertising on various platforms such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, lead nurturing techniques and influencer marketing
  • Customer engagement via YouTube videos and social media posts

Let's look at some digital marketing practices (in the Real Estate Industry) that will help achieve the above-mentioned goals.

1. Building the brand

Creating an online presence is the first, most important step, and serves as a backbone for all future digital marketing activities. To establish a powerful online presence, Real Estate developers need to focus on creating three things.

Creating a Website

For Real Estate, a website can serve two purposes: a virtual office that showcases the builder's latest projects or a virtual marketplace for home seekers to explore purchasing options. To make either one or both of these purposes work well, there are numerous tools and optimisation techniques that need to be implemented.

Even the design of the website matters as it can make a difference to user experience and one such design that has been making waves amongst the real estate websites is a Flat Design. Flat website designs are categorised by their simple, elegant and square’ish’ look; first noticed in the Windows 8 Tile User Interface. With minimalistic animations and loads of white space, the Flat website design has proven to be effective in page speed loading times, readability, mobile optimisation and ease of navigation.

While a good website design is pleasing to the eyes, it only scratches the surface of what matters especially in the Real Estate sector. A stellar design needs to be accompanied by great content to create an impact. Writing good content that effectively communicates a Real Estate brand’s message and intrigues the user to go ahead for a purchase is vital. Presenting your target audience with engaging content is a sure-shot way to grab their attention and generate leads.

Real Estate is a very broad topic, so to fit everything into a single website, other strategies can be utilised to showcase everything a Real Estate developer has to offer.

  • Multiple Web pages: Aside from having a homepage that gives a gist of the Real Estate builder’s brand, having multiple web pages that provide more information on the brand and interlink with one another through clever content navigation is essential. More pages ultimately result in users spending more time on the website, which directly affects the website's rank on search engines.
  • Landing Pages: Landing pages act as mini e-commerce portals that explain in detail about a particular brand's upcoming, on-going or released Real Estate project. Landing pages that are interactive or those that have video presentations have proven to yield 403% more inquiries than regular pages.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • SEO is the glue that holds an entire digital marketing campaign together. As a matter of fact, digital marketers for Real Estate must have an SEO planner right at the beginning of their marketing strategy. From SEO plugins to various link building techniques, the driving force of good SEO, especially for Real Estate, is keyword research.
  • Statistics show that 80% of home buyers search for properties online which means having a list of search keywords incorporated into a content marketing strategy will pay off well. Potential customers will most likely be presented with search results about a property that has those keywords. Additionally, real estate companies can also leverage local SEO and Google maps to promote their business.
  • Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. Real estate companies will have to focus on making their content discoverable and the best way to do so is to create content like pillar posts that are discoverable, sharable and informative. Pillar content is different from blog posts and other long-form content. They are much longer than blog posts, almost like guides on a particular topic. They help you rank for multiple queries on a single topic and generate organic leads and traffic in the long run.Courtesy: Hubspot
  • For example, pillar pages are a great way to rank for common real estate keywords like "home loan application" or "first-time homebuyers". A pillar content on either of these topics will act a complete guide for your audience, you can link back to other blogs on your website and internal linking will signal Google to prioritise your website and give it a better ranking.                        https://www.shriramproperties.com/first-time-home-buyers-guide-india/

Here is an example of pillar content we created for one of our leading real estate clients, Shriram Properties. The pillar page is currently ranking for a total of 1000 keywords out of which 150 keywords are ranking on page one.

Creating a Blog

When people need help or are looking for something, they do one of two things – seek out a person or a place or browse the internet. Blogging has come a long way from being a casual online tool for storytelling to an essential element of a digital marketing strategy.

Blogs are a long, short or creative source of information and if there is one thing Google loves, it is loads of valuable information. Research shows that websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages. Google recognises and ranks these websites easily due to the information provided, ultimately leading to that site showing up on the first page of search results.

Considering how broad a topic Real Estate is, builders must take advantage of the power of blogging and focus on sharing information to potential home buyers. Blogs that give detailed information on upcoming properties, tips on home buying and guides on investment options are just some of the many topics a Real Estate blog can include.

Having a strong social media presence

The platform of Social Media offers brands a unique way to get more personal with their audience, and it is no different in the case of Real Estate.

There are numerous platforms for Social Media Marketing available today and some of the most useful ones for Real Estate developers include:

  • Facebook: India has the world’s largest number of Facebook users (195 million and counting), so there is a clear and open platform for Real Estate developers to take advantage of the numerous advertising techniques Facebook has to offer.
  • YouTube: Videos are, without a doubt, the most watched medium on the planet. Real Estate developers can use optimised YouTube videos to add a layer of instructiveness to their promotional campaigns.  
  • Twitter: This micro-blogging giant has proven to be a rather useful marketing tool in the recent years. Twitter serves as a great platform for Real Estate developers to invite credible 3rd party sources to influence purchase decisions. For more insight on this, make sure you check out our extensive Twitter marketing guide for businesses in India.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the go-to medium for anyone looking to expand their business to business portfolio. Real Estate developers can connect to 3rd party realtors, architects, interior designers, house maintenance providers and so on.

2. Acquiring Customers

Having an online presence won't be fruitful if your potential customers are not aware of that presence. Real Estate developers depend heavily on lead generation, and digital marketing offers the quickest, easiest and most ROI friendly lead generation method. Here are some of the ways Real Estate developers can acquire customers via digital media.

Advertising

Advertising online is one of the best ways to ensure you are reaching your potential target Group. If done right, it can be the best lead generation tool for real estate developers. Be it Facebook or Google or even other platforms such as Bing and Yahoo, using lead generation, website conversion ads or even interactive ads to engage with your target audience and collect leads.

Facebook Ads

As of July 2017, there are 241 million active users in India on Facebook. This is a primary reason why advertising on Facebook is something every builder needs to try. From website conversion ads to lead ads and carousel ads, builders should try a combination of videos and images to drive enquiries and site visits.  Facebook also has detailed targeting by demographics, age and behaviour. Additionally, you can also target your website visitors and those you have engaged with your post so that the ad is displayed to a more specific and niche crowd making the probability of selling the property even higher than before.

Ads in regional languages have started rolling out, and marketers have begun incorporating this concept into their marketing strategies to reach out to their target audience. When a potential home buyer reads an ad in his regional language, he develops a bond of trust and comfort with the seller and is more likely to make a purchase, or at least recommend that product to a friend.

With Facebook’s Brand Reach and Frequency campaigns, brands can even get assured visibility and reach, similar to what a front-page newspaper ad gives.

Google Ads

Google AdWords is a paid digital marketing strategy that is run on the Google search engine. Adwords smart display campaigns run strongly through a set of rules and guidelines and work best when incorporated into SEO tools and strategies.

Let's say a home seeker is typing "flats in OMR" in the search box; if the digital marketer has incorporated the keywords "flats in OMR" along with some other relevant search queries, Google will pick up that ad and display it in the search results. The placement of the ad depends entirely on the budget set for the campaign. You can also optimise your AdWords campaign for profound results.

Google’s algorithms are ever changing and evolving to be more consumer-friendly, and 2017 has some cool new digital marketing trends that every marketer must keep close tabs on.

Drip email marketing

Drip emails are automated emails that are sent out based on a predefined time or user actions. Real Estate developers can target and constantly stay in touch with a group of people based on certain criteria retrieved from a strong email marketing database. Let's say that a customer has visited a property website and shown interest by subscribing to property newsletters. Digital marketers can use the information provided by the customer to send emails about the development and completion of the property and news on various other related properties.

Drip emails are a powerful lead nurturer, with statistics showing a 119% increase click-through rate via trustworthy emails.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is the Internet's word-of-mouth marketing method and can prove very effective to generate leads for Real Estate Developers. Just like word-of-mouth, influencer marketing uses popular bloggers and other professionals in the Real Estate industry to promote a particular property. Influencer marketing channels include both blogs and social media channels, so Real estate developers must carefully choose the appropriate kind of influencer to market their properties.      

Influencer.in provides a one-stop platform for Real Estate developers to search and connect with the best influencers in the country; they can choose from either working on long campaigns with a selected influencer or contacting multiple micro-influencers over various social media platforms to spread the word.

3. Customer Engagement

The age-old marketing rule of getting new customers while retaining existing customers applies in the digital space as well. Of course, the most popular tool for customer engagement today is social media, and Facebook ranks high up on the list, especially for the Real Estate industry. There are a plethora of social media trends benefiting the real estate industry. Here are some interesting ways developers can utilise Facebook and YouTube for customer engagement.

Facebook engagement

  • Post real estate investment advice albeit with a funny picture
  • Post product comparison images and let the followers vote
  • Post interesting facts about the locality where the property is being developed
  • Post about celebrity or high-profile activity that is happening in the locality where the property is being developed
  • Post about festivals and celebratory occasions while adding a twist that relates to a property
  • Share information about daily real estate activities

YouTube engagement

  • Post videos on property interiors
  • DIY practical tips on home improvement
  • Property reviews
  • Live feed of upcoming events that relate to the property
  • Virtual reality property experience

4. Multilingual Marketing

As of 2017, India had 450 million active internet users. While these numbers are set to increase over the next few years, what’s interesting to note is that by 2021, 9 out of 10 internet users will be Indian language users. These massive numbers indicate a much larger audience group for real estate developers to tap into. The easiest way to do this, is by employing multilingual marketing as part of their digital strategy. Take a look at our detailed video on why every Indian brand MUST have a Multilingual Digital Strategy and Vernacular Communication.

Be it ads, a landing page or even an entire website, when a potential customer sees content in his own native tongue, several things happen. You create brand awareness and increase brand recall, you build your customer’s trust in your product or brand and finally, you have a higher chance of converting potential leads. In the case of real estate companies, your buyer is likely to purchase a home or at the very least recommend your company to a friend.

Keeping the vernacular approach in mind, real estate companies can use vernacular content in their ads to reach their target audience using Facebook Marketing Solutions. One thing to remember is that you can’t stop with just your ads – your entire digital strategy must include an end-to-end multilingual marketing approach. You can read how regional ads resulted in a 70% drop in CPL for one of our biggest real estate clients.  

5. Full Funnel Marketing

The sales funnel of yore has been proclaimed as outdated by many. Today’s digital marketing funnel is a cocktail of strategies targeted at gathering better quality leads, converting them successfully and then nurturing your leads/customers so they keep coming back. Of course, the important aspect of lead generation is quality content. The various phases in a digital full-funnel marketing approach are Awareness, Consideration, Conversion and Retention. You can check out our detailed video of Full Funnel Marketing via digital for an in-depth explanation.

The reason the digital marketing funnel is so important for real estate companies is because back in the day, only the final level was considered important. Driving conversions was the only target real estate brands poured their resources into. However, that’s where the problem lies. Without your audience knowing who you are or the products and services you offer, your brand cannot expect to have a high conversion rate. It is therefore imperative that real estate companies include a solid full-funnel marketing approach in their digital strategies.

7. YouTube Marketing

If a picture paints a thousand words imagine what a video could do. Videos have been around for decades and have taken the world by storm across industries – be it education, entertainment, information, etc. YouTube is currently the world’s second largest search engine with over 225 million monthly active users in India alone. Suffice to say that your real estate brand needs to have a comprehensive YouTube strategy to tape into this sizeable audience. It is important to note, however, that you don’t have to stop with just YouTube. Real estate brands will have to explore multiple video formats across social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc and create customised strategies for each. Today, interactive videos are currently an extremely popular trend due to the higher user engagement they deliver. You can also read our blog on tips to create compelling videos that convert.

Case Study: Digital Marketing for a leading real estate developer in Chennai

One of our esteemed clients is a Chennai based Real Estate enterprise which laid its foundations in 2004. Known for providing niche residential segments like luxury villas and high-rise apartments, the company has since produced 68 projects, selling to over 4000 happy residents.

Our client wanted to scale up its digital presence through powerful digital marketing, focusing on five primary goals.

An intense digital marketing campaign followed, running on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google search, resulting in an impressive turnaround that showed:

  • Over 500 Crores in sales from digital enquiries
  • 10x increase in lead generation
  • Cost per lead reduction by 30%
  • Organic Traffic increase by 3x
  • 4x increase in leads from organic traffic
  • Fan base on Facebook has grown to an engaged community of over 1,40,000 fans

Real estate is the most reliable and secure long-term investment you can make, and the ability to purchase a home will only get easier with newer technologies coming into the digital space, which is capable of giving you a real-time experience of any property right through a screen.

 


How a masthead ad for Sundaram Mutual delivered phenomenal results

  • Rhea
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  • 18 January , 2019
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    • 2 min read

YouTube might have initially been conceptualised as a platform for users to upload and share videos with friends, but today it has evolved into the second largest search engine in the world. This platform has also been quickly gaining popularity among the Indian internet audience. At the YouTube Brandcast 2018, it was revealed that an incredible 225 million Indians are actively using YouTube every month. Clearly, brands cannot afford to ignore the immense reach YouTube offers them.

To take advantage of this, Social Beat collaborated with our client, Sundaram Mutual to leverage a ‘masthead’ ad to introduce their new fund. This strategy achieved unprecedented results for our client, proving that it’s time for brands to shift to YouTube ads from traditional advertising.

What are Masthead ads?

Mastheads ads are one of the fastest ways for brands to garner high views and build awareness among viewers. These videos are displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for the entire day. Because of this, any viewer going onto the platform will be able to see the video. By creating compelling video content that converts, these ads can even be an important tool to generate leads.

Objective behind the campaign

Sundaram Mutual is an asset management company with over 20 years of experience in fund management. The company’s biggest differentiator is their strong customer base, built on a foundation of sustained outperformance in the mid-cap space. In keeping with this philosophy, Sundaram Mutual was launching an open-ended equity scheme for which they wanted to generate awareness in a very short period of time. With the reach that digital marketing for finance can provide, YouTube was the obvious choice to help them achieve their objective.

Because of the nature of the product, the target audience was very wide. The primary age group targeted was been 25-55 and included individuals from tier 1, 2 and 3 regions of India. Since the target audience was broad, a masthead ad would be the most effective tool to reach out to them and generate awareness almost overnight.

Execution

Masthead ads are charged on a daily basis, so we had to make the most of the 24 hours we had at our disposal. To do this, we ran the campaign during the weekend to achieve maximum viewership. For the entirety of that day, all individuals who visited YouTube, either through the mobile app or through the desktop version, would see the masthead ad at the top of the page.

 

 

This approach would help us gain video views, increase the subscriber base and drive traffic to the website.

Results

Our 20-second masthead ad surpassed our expectations, delivering incredible results for Sundaram Mutual. In the 24 hours that the masthead ad was live, Sundaram Mutual’s subscriber base went from just 363 to a whopping 56,000! Currently, the number of subscribers has increased even further, standing at 57,000+. The video also garnered 14 million video views in the 24 hour period.

These unprecedented results only strengthen the fact that brands need to have a digital-first marketing strategy. Through targeted marketing options and easy trackability of results, YouTube can help your brand scale new heights. Do reach out to us to learn more about our Video Marketing services.


YouTube Stories: A brand new effective tool for community engagement

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 27 December , 2018
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    • 3 min read

YouTube is going the extra mile to maintain its position as the world’s second most used search engine with the introduction of their Instagram-like stories feature, available exclusively on mobile. According to YouTube Brandcast 2018, 225 million active Indian users access the platform through their phones on a monthly basis, making this feature the need of the hour. However, though the concept is similar to Instagram Stories, there is a significant number of differences between the two. To begin with, YouTube Stories last for seven days and appear on the feeds of both subscribers and non-subscribers. Also, the comments and reactions to the posts can be viewed publicly, increasing community engagement on the platform. Brands find this feature very convenient to showcase teaser videos of upcoming collaborations or put up making-of-the-video snippets. Intrigued to know more? Read on!

How to create a YouTube story?

YouTube stories are a great way to connect with your target group on a more casual note. You can create a YouTube story for your brand by signing into your YouTube account and tapping the camera icon and choosing “Story”. Then, you can either record a video by holding the capture button or put up a picture by tapping on it. You can also upload an existing video or photo from your gallery.

There are a plethora of tools available to edit your story as well. You can trim your video, add background music, text, stickers and video links. Not to mention, you can also choose from a wide variety of in-built filters to enhance your story.

Where can stories be viewed?

The stories put up by your brand can be viewed on the stories tab of your page. Though they can be accessed by the public, it is highly likely for them to feature on the subscriptions feed of your subscribers. Additionally, non-subscribers can directly subscribe to your channel through your story, making it convenient for both content creators and viewers.

YouTube Stories can also be used as an effective tool to measure engagement and reach. Brands can keep a tab on the total number of views and comments each story has garnered. You can also see the total number of views generated by all your stories. Your viewers will not have access to this information, making it a useful instrument to customise your content according to the number of views generated.

How to respond to comments on your story?

You can easily respond and moderate comments on your YouTube Story by going to your stories tab and tapping on the comments icon. If you would like to highlight the comment in your next story, tap on the “Reply in Story” option available under each comment. You can respond with a video or a picture by simply recording or uploading the same, and tapping on “Post”. Your comment will appear in the form of a sticker on your story. It can either be pinched to resize or dragged to be placed in a desired location.

Videos are undoubtedly one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2019 and are here to say. YouTube Stories are only going to fuel this growth further. Whether you are a leading real estate developer, a financial giant or a top pharmaceutical company, it is time you leverage the community engagement of YouTube Stories and tell your brand story.

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


WhatsApp for business in India: Everything you need to know

  • Rhea
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  • 15 December , 2018
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    • 7 min read

Since it first launched, WhatsApp has quickly taken over SMS as the most preferred form of messaging among Indians. WhatsApp currently has 225+ million users in India, which is around half of the total number of internet users in the country.  It a mobile app that’s here to stay in India.The growing number of Indians using WhatsApp can be attributed to the sudden drop in data costs and the introduction of low cost smartphones. Because of this, the app quickly became popular among Indians of all ages and economic backgrounds as it offered a free, simple way to connect with each other. But WhatsApp wasn’t just used for personal conversations among friends and families. For a long time, owners of small businesses like grocery stores and tailors used the app informally to communicate with their customers. Taking notice of this huge potential, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp for Business, a feature which can help brands engage with India’s next billion internet users. This new feature aims to simplify the process for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to connect with their customers.

How Does WhatsApp for Business Work?

WhatsApp for Business is currently only available as an Android app which can be downloaded for free from the Play Store. iPhone users will have to wait a little while longer until WhatsApp for Business rolls out an iTunes app as well. WhatsApp for Business is exclusively for business owners to communicate with their customers. In other words, businesses will use WhatsApp for Business to speak to their customers who will receive these messages on their regular WhatsApp account. To register on it, businesses will need a number that isn’t connected to their personal WhatsApp account. If you don’t have a separate business number, you will need to either get one or transfer your personal number to your WhatsApp for Business account. Once the app verifies your number, you can start setting up your business profile and begin communicating with customers.

Business Features Available

 WhatsApp for business looks almost identical to the regular WhatsApp, however, there are a few key differences. A number of tools have been added to the business app, facilitating easier communication for business users.

Business Profile

Once on the app, WhatsApp allows you to create a ‘Business Profile’ on your account that needs to contain important information such as your business’s email ID, contact number and address. There is also a location feature which allows business to locate their store on the map. Filling in this information will help users understand your business better. Over time Whatsapp also aims to verify each business and link their FB profiles as well, so that only authenticated businesses and stores can reach out to their customers.

Messaging Tools

WhatsApp for Business also makes it very simple to engage with your customers, even if your consumer base grows very large. The ‘Messaging Tools’ feature allows you to create message templates which can be sent out to your customers automatically. ‘Quick Replies’ allows you to set message templates to questions that your customers frequently ask, so you can easily respond to them. These include ‘thank you’ messages every time your customers order something or details about your products and prices. You can also set up ‘Greetings’ messages which are sent when you are first interacting with a customer and ‘Away’ messages which are sent when you are unable to respond to them at that time.

When Whatsapp for Business was first showcased to our team at the FB SME Council in India, it was made abundantly clear that it is not going to serve as a bulk/promotional messaging service. The intent is to provide customers the convenience to reach brands and vice versa. So its ideally meant to keep in touch with existing customers or leads.

Message Statistics Tools

One of the key features WhatsApp for Business offers is an easy way for business owners to understand how well their messages are performing. For now, the current version of WhatsApp for Web offers basic statistics such as the number of messages delivered and number of messages actually opened. The data collected from these statistics can offer business owners invaluable information on the efficacy of their message strategies. This information allows them to identify the type of content their target audience will find engaging. This can help them come up with more targeted message strategies that will resonate better with their audience. While the current statistics offered are very straightforward, future updates of WhatsApp for Business might include more detailed statistical tools.

How Will This Affect Current Users?

One of the biggest hurdles that WhatsApp for Business faces is that non-business users might not like receiving business messages in their WhatsApp inbox. Most of our SMS inboxes are filled with promotional messages from businesses with barely any messages from our actual contacts. With the introduction of WhatsApp for Business in India, especially since it’s free, these businesses might start using WhatsApp instead to message people. Because WhatsApp is such a personal form of communication, the fear of spam is ever-present, with users expressing concern over their WhatsApp inbox also becoming flooded with promotional messages.

However, WhatsApp has ensured that it is putting the users first even with the introduction of WhatsApp for Web. If users are receiving too many messages from a business or they aren’t interested in the business, they can easily block the business or report it as spam. The rigorous verification procedure ensures that the business on the app are legitimate, reducing the chances of spam. WhatsApp is also introducing a verification badge against businesses if their WhatsApp for Business number matches the number registered against their business. This feature will help users understand which businesses are authentic.

How Will WhatsApp Payments Affect WhatsApp for Business?

After the success of an initial beta version of the service, WhatsApp launched the WhatsApp Payments feature in India for Android during early February of 2018. This feature is very similar to other digital payments services like PayTM as it operates through the United Payments Interface (UPI) and supports most of the major banks used in India. Once you have verified your bank account details, you can directly transfer money from your account to other users through WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Payments and WhatsApp for Business in India are two new features which can work together in synergy. It can enable small business to reach out to their customers who can then pay for their products or services directly through WhatsApp. Since the upper limit for the amount of money which can be transferred through WhatsApp Payments is set at Rs. 5,000, it makes its features best suited for SMEs. For example, using WhatsApp for Business and WhatsApp Payments, users can easily order and pay for their weekly groceries from the local convenience store. This can go a long way in helping small business improve their sales.

Other frequently asked questions

How does WhatsApp for business work?

As the name suggests, WhatsApp for Business works like a typical WhatsApp account but has additional privileges that are tailor-made for businesses. Aptly titled “WhatsApp Business”, the app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, you can register with a phone number that is exclusively used for your business. You can then stay connected with your consumers with interactive tools that let you respond to messages easily, sort your messages as per your preferences and automate your replies, among other functional tasks.

How much does WhatsApp for Business cost?

Just like the regular app, WhatsApp for Business is also free. The only expense you will face is setting up a distinctive mobile number that will be used exclusively for your business. You will need this to register your business on the app. However, WhatsApp may begin charging businesses in the future for these services.

How to apply for WhatsApp Business?

You begin by downloading the app titled “WhatsApp Business” from the Google Play Store. Once you agree with the terms and conditions, you will have to register with a phone number used exclusively by your business. Once the number is verified, you can begin using the app to stay connected with your consumers.

How to download WhatsApp for Business for iPhone?

WhatsApp for Business is currently available only on the Google Play Store. You will need an Android device to download and use it. However, the app is under development for iPhone users and will be available on iStore soon.

How is WhatsApp for Business different from WhatsApp?

Apart from it being exclusively designed for businesses, WhatsApp Business has a distinctive feature called “Business Profiles”. This tab helps consumers generate more information about the business such as the official email ID, website and store address. This tab also accommodates a small description of the business to give consumers detailed insights into the kind of products or services offered.

WhatsApp for Business also offers a plethora of handy messaging tools to make it easier for to interact with consumers by sorting messages, creating automated replies and designing frequentlyused templates for messaging.

What are the messaging tools offered by WhatsApp Business?

There are many messaging tools available in WhatsApp Business that make it easier for businesses to interact with their consumers. For example, you have a “Quick Replies” option to send instant answers to frequent questions. You can also create a template to greet your consumers with a greetings message or a thank you note. Additionally, you can create a customised “Away Message” to let your customers know you are currently not available and will get back to them shortly.

Apart from tools for easy execution, WhatsApp Business also offers statistical data of your messaging pattern. You can keep a tab on the number of messages sent, delivered and opened to give you a fair idea of how consumers are responding to your messages.

While WhatsApp for Business is still in its nascent stage, it definitely has the potential to explode in India. Evolving digital marketing techniques in tier 2 and tier 3 cities should definitely begin to utilise WhatsApp for Business in their strategies. For small businesses, it could prove to be an important tool to help them expand their profits in the face of growing competitions from larger corporations. We also understand that APIs to allow for managing larger number of conversations is on the cards so the future of Whatsapp for Business is indeed exciting.


Social Beat wins for Mobile Innovation at Google Premier Partner Awards

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 7 December , 2018
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    • 3 min read

Since becoming a Google Premier Partner, Social Beat has strived to push the boundaries in digital marketing to deliver the best ROI for our clients. We are happy to announce that after being nominated as a finalist for the Mobile and Display Innovation 2018 by Google, our consistent efforts have been rewarded! Social Beat has been selected as the winner of the Mobile Innovation Award at the Google Premier Partner Awards in Mumbai. This award is a testimony as to why brands need a digital-first marketing strategy.

This marks the second consecutive year we have been awarded by Google. In the 2017 edition, Social Beat won the Display Innovation Award for our groundbreaking work with Casagrand. Google only chooses five agencies for this award every year and we are honoured to be one of them.

About the client:

India Home Health Care (IHHC), a partner of BAYADA Home Health Care, is committed to providing high-quality care for the health and well-being of loved ones from the comfort of their home. Their team includes professionally-trained registered and associated nurses, medical doctors, medical care-takers, occupational therapists and attendants.

Objectives:

The objective for India Home Health Care was to boost their lead generation strategy to acquire better quality leads at the lowest price possible.

Challenges:

Some of the obstacles in our path to achieve this objective were:

  • There were too many competitors in the market that were bidding for the same keywords.
  • There was an increase in the average cost per click by 30% making it difficult for the company to engage with their audience and retain them
  • There are many restrictions in the healthcare industry such as retargeting. This along with competitors made it hard to reach out to the audience about IHCC.

Our Solutions:

To overcome these challenges, we had to think out of the box. Some of the path-breaking techniques we implemented were:

  • In order to achieve long-term goals, we came up with the strategy of launching AMP landing pages and increased conversions with the help of Google Optimise.
  • Through the SEMRUSH tool, we researched paid keywords that competitors were using and their creatives. This information was used to start a competitor search campaign and bid higher on their keywords as well as increase location bids.
  • We enabled RLSA with effective copies and bid higher for them to improve conversions.
  • Through A/B testing of campaign and effective ad copies of AMP landing pages, conversion rates increased to 0.24% in a short period of time along with low cost per lead.
  • Google Analytics is a very useful tool that helped us get useful advanced audience insights that were used for search and display campaigns.
  • The move from Last-Click model to the Position Attribution Model allowed us to understand the process more effectively.

Results

These strategies helped us achieve unprecedented outcomes for our client, IHHC. Our conversion rate increased from 2.16% to 6.17% with a page load time of less than 3 seconds and a 33% decrease in the cost per lead. After the implementation of AMP, the quality score of the keywords increased to 8/10 and conversions increased by 20%. 90% of the campaign was moved to mobile and this resulted in 95% conversions and a 16% click-through rate. The change to the Position-Attribution model allowed us to better understand the consumer decision making process.

We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our Social Beat team that consistently exceeds client expectations to achieve the best results for them.

You can also read our blog to learn more about How AMP lowered CPL by 33% for IHHC.


Scaling your business through Google – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 4 December , 2018
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    • 5 min read

The second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit was a grand success with key insights shared by industry leaders from across the nation. Mr Omkar Rajadhyaksha – Managed Partners Lead, New Business at Google – was our first speaker who threw light on the strategic methods brands can take up to grow their business through Google in 2019 with focus on futuristic digital marketing trends to look forward to. Let’s take a look at the key insights of the session.

Summary of the session

  • A mobile-first approach is the way to go to reach consumers effectively.
  • Videos are the future with a 400% increase in consumption through mobile on YouTube.
  • Multilingual marketing is the need of the hour with 88% of users preferring vernacular over English.
  • Voice assistants have transformed the way consumers are searching for content online.
  • Brands need to anticipate the intent-rich moments in a consumer’s journey to push them to conversion.
  • Online-offline integration is key to capture the entire 360° of a consumer’s journey.

How has the digital ecosystem evolved?

A mobile-first ecosystem

With 650 million active Internet users in the nation, almost half our population is consuming content online. However, 7 out of every 10 Indians access the Internet through mobile, entirely surpassing the desktop and creating a mobile-first ecosystem for brands to leverage. To add to this, the introduction of Jio has led to a five times increase in 4G data being consumed, when compared to the 2G and 3G plans used before. This has contributed majorly to the online growth of brands. Though the nation is still lagging behind in terms of speed, the easy access to inexpensive data plans, coupled with the drop in the prices of smartphones, is a good start.

Video content is exploding

After Google, YouTube is the second most-used search engine proving that videos are the future. This platform alone has witnessed a 400% increase in video consumption through mobile alone. These staggering numbers only prove that organisations should leverage the reach of videos to tell their brand story. The most-searched genre is that of entertainment with the top searches being comedy clips and song covers. The other genres that are very popular are food-related content, how-to series and mobile unboxing videos that have also contributed majorly to the expansion of YouTube.

Regional content

The growth of regional content has been one of the biggest digital marketing trends in the past few years and is showing no signs of fading away. As per a recent Indian Readership Survey (IRS), each one of the top twenty publications read across the nation is in a regional language except for Times of India that ranked in the eleventh position. Furthermore, there is no surprise that the same behaviour is being translated online. As per a recent survey conducted by KMPG, a whopping 88 percent of online users said they would click on a multilingual ad rather than one that is in English.

Search and shop

Consumers are adopting innovative ways to search and shop, and voice assistants are playing a huge role in this aspect. As per a recent survey conducted by Google, 28% of queries are made by voice on search apps. Furthermore, there has been a 400 percent increase in Hindi voice searches ever since Hindi was introduced as a language on the assistant. There has also been a 63% increase in phone-unboxing searches, especially when the phone is bought online, with a 70% increase in price-related searches for smartphones falling in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000.

Intent is everything

With digital and mobile merging together as one, the whole formula for brands to drive growth has evolved. Google closely observed the online behaviour of 100,000 active users and noticed that the marketing funnel is no longer just about awareness, consideration and purchase. It is filled with intent-rich moments of consumers when they make direct queries online, redefining the traditional funnel-like approach. The new-and-improved marketing funnel is now not as streamlined and has the potential of adopting an hourglass, diamond or a pyramid shape based on the intent-rich moments of consumers. These moments of intent, also known as micro-moments, play a huge role in either expanding or narrowing down the consideration set of the funnel. This proves that a consumer’s online journey is unpredictable and brands need to anticipate these micro-moments to target a custom intent audience.

Google’s digital utilities

So where does Google fit in all this? The world’s largest search engine has seven different products to offer based on utility. From Google Maps and Google Chrome to Gmail, these digital utilities are free and help in the day-to-day digital routines of consumers. They are updated regularly through machine learning and artificial intelligence to adapt to the lifestyle of the users. Furthermore, these products can be monetised to ensure your brand is present across the intent-rich moments of your consumers.

New products introduced by Google

TrueView for action form ads: YouTube has come a long way from a mere video platform to the cusp of performance and branding. Organisations can now drive performance through YouTube with TrueView for Action form ads that present the user with a pre-filled form along with the ad. This is a classic example of how brands can reach out to viewers during an intent-rich moment.

YouTube home feed ads: Just like masthead ads, YouTube home feed ads are plastered on top of the YouTube home feed every day, targeted based on the content consumption pattern of the user. These ads have the potential to create a billion impressions with 100 million unique ones pan India per day. They are all the more enriching since they are in video formats and are far more effective than search and display ads that are almost static today.

Display ads in Discover: Formerly known as Google feed ads, these ads are designed to look and feel native to organic cards for seamless brand placement on Google feeds. However, it is important to focus on the creative and the messaging of the ad and not go in for plain Jane designs.

Offline and online integration

A lot of digital-first brands are looking at brick and motor. Since the consumer journey has now altered the traditional marketing funnel with more research going into the consideration stage, online brands are adapting to this change with pop-ups and stalls to showcase their products. Even if consumers are completely convinced to buy your product online, they prefer visiting the physical store to experience the look and feel before investing. This proves that it is a merit to integrate your online store with offline sales to capture the entire 360° of the consumer journey. Users get influenced online and experience the product offline making it a win-win for both brands and consumers.

Key takeaways from the sessions

Focusing on business outcomes

Whichever sector your firm belongs to, marketers should hold their digital media accountable for business. Instead of basic digital metrics like the number of clicks and the CTR, you should also tie up your media spend to revenue, profit margin, gross margin and other business metrics.

Stop marketing to the average

It is time we stop considering the average value of metrics to measure digital performance. Instead, brands need to identify the consumers who spend more on online products and let go of the ones who are left over by your competitors. It is essential to look for profitable consumers who will build your business.

Automate everything

As the saying goes - the only thing that is constant is change! Google’s digital utilities work on automation to learn from the changes and provide higher ROI. It is safe to say that in today’s digital age, automation is the way to go. If not, your brand will definitely be left behind by its competitors!

The insightful session by Mr Omkar Rajadhyaksha was an eye-opener for leading brands and marketers. Whether you are a top real estate developer, financial giant, FMCG brand or a B2B organisation, make sure you adapt to the evolving digital ecosystem and grow your business.

 

 


A complete guide to digital marketing for real estate

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 3 December , 2018
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    • 1 min read

Yes, it's true. You cannot ignore the power of digital marketing, especially if you are a real estate developer. With potential homeowners using the Internet to research their future purchase, a strong and powerful digital marketing strategy is what will help real estate developers beat the competition. But with so much information available online, where do you start? We bring you a detailed and extensive guide to digital marketing for real estate to bring you one step closer to your marketing goals. Our guide covers:

  • The benefits of digital marketing for real estate
  • Digital marketing strategies for real estate developers
  • Integrated lead generation strategy for real estate
  • Power of social media
  • Digital marketing for real estate: A case study

Read More


How multilingual ads generated high-quality leads & lower CPL

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 25 November , 2018
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    • 4 min read

As the saying goes – The only thing constant is change. Internet usage has evolved in India from being a mere medium to connect with friends to an expansive forum to grow your business and widen your reach. With the drop in the prices of smartphones and the introduction of affordable data plans by Reliance Jio, users from the tier 2 and tier 3 regions of the nation have joined the digital bandwagon and brands are leaving no stone unturned in targeting them.

However, when it comes to generating high-quality leads for your brand, just detailed targeting is not enough. Marketers need to find an emotional connect with the potential target audience to create a solid bond of trust and increase brand assurance. Keeping this in mind, we used multilingual advertising to help our real estate clients reach their target audience using Facebook marketing solutions. Keeping the vernacular approach in mind, we leveraged the reach and convenience of Facebook Form ads with the sole objective of lead generation. However, it was not just the ads that were vernacular, even the content in the forms was presented in a regional language to provide an end-to-end multilingual approach.

Regional ads resulted in 70% drop in CPL for Casagrand

Casagrand is one of the top property developers in the country with a strong presence in the south. In an attempt to promote their recent project – Casagrand Smart Town – we used Facebook to advertise the project. Since the project is located in Thalambur, in the IT corridor of Chennai, we targeted both people working in the region and those who are looking for investing options in the area. The project is smartly priced at Rs 24 Lakhs, making it a great option for first time home buyers as well.

To begin with, we ran English ads on Facebook which resulted in a high CPL. Understanding the target audience is also Tamil speaking, we ran the same ads in Tamil as well. The regional ads generated 3x the number of leads and the CPL was almost 1/3rd. This resulted in almost a 9x better engagement with the same investment. This only proves that targeting your audience with a multilingual ad strategy helps both the consumers and the marketers.

3 site visits and over 25% drop in CPL for L&T

L&T is a household name in our nation, known for top-notch residential and commercial developments that are landmarks of their own. L&T Praganya Eden Park is an integrated township located in Siruseri, with spectacular 3BHK apartments packed with new-age amenities and facilities. Again, since Siruseri is a hot destination for both IT professionals who travel to the locality every day for work and real estate investors looking for burgeoning areas to buy a home in, we targeted both the groups on Facebook through Tamil ads.

The campaign resulted in over 25% reduction of CPL with the average CPL of the campaign being 15% lesser than average CPLs in this micro market. Additionally, it generated multiple leads with 3 site visits.

20% increase in qualified leads with 15% walk-ins for Nisarg

Nisarg Greens located in Ambernath East, Mumbai, is one of the most coveted gated communities of the region with 1, 2 and 3 BHK apartments built in a luxurious plot of 25 acres. This property was promoted in Marathi to connect with the local audience and generate high-quality leads instantly. The price point of this project is attractive, making it a great buy for young families and those who have just started working. Consumers were targeted with an end-to-end multilingual marketing approach with both the lead forms and the ads being presented in Marathi. The campaign resulted in a 20% increase in qualified leads, out of which a whopping 15% contributed to walk-ins, and one successful booking!

64% drop in CPL and 75% increase in leads for Lancor

Lancor Lumina 2020 is a newly launched community enclave offering premium lifestyle 2 and 3 BHK apartments in the fast-appreciating locality of Guduvanchery. The project was promoted on Facebook in both English and Tamil ads. The English ads and Tamil ads were run one after the other and resulted in 64% drop in CPL and 75% more number of leads.

This case study is an important example of the power of social media marketing and multilingual advertising. However, it is vital to understand that multilingual marketing is not just about translation. It is about creating an end-to-end marketing strategy in the language your target audience is comfortable in. This is exactly what we offer at 22 Languages.

With higher sales numbers and lower cost per lead, Digital Marketing Has Transformed The Real Estate Industry. Don’t forget to check out our Comprehensive Guide For Digital Marketing For Real Estate for a more in-depth analysis.


The winning formula to generate more B2B leads

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 12 November , 2018
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    • 9 min read

Whatever be the type of business you are running or the industry you are from, generating leads is what it all comes down to. Without leads, a business has no profit, no revenue and ultimately, no business. However, generating these leads can be a major challenge for companies in the B2B space. Most B2B businesses operate in a very niche segment, which automatically reduces the number of potential leads that can be generated. To add to that, personal relationships with clients has always been the key deciding factor for companies in this sector looking to acquire new customers. These elements might make generating B2B leads more difficult than for other sectors, but it’s not impossible! With the right mix of proven techniques, your business can acquire high-quality leads through the digital medium.

So, as a business owner or an entrepreneur, how do you generate leads to grow your B2B business? Let’s take a look at few of the tried-and-tested ways.

Content Marketing

As the age-old saying goes, Content is King. The biggest advantage of using content marketing instead of advertising as your lead generation strategy is that it reaches users who have activated ad blockers. Advertising your product through search engine-optimised content marketing also helps in boosting organic traffic to your website.

Let’s take a look at the various forms of content you can use to leverage content marketing for greater brand awareness.

Blogs

Blogs have become essential for every business and are the best way to generate informative and educational content about your brand. Blogs are also a guaranteed SEO- friendly marketing method that generates organic traffic to your website. By consistently adding authoritative high-quality content on your blog, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your domain. Over time, your blog will help build a strong community of interested individuals that you can tap into to generate leads.

Videos

If pictures can speak a thousand words, it is safe to say that videos present the viewers with a thousand pictures. They give viewers a detailed insight into the products and services offered by your company which plays a huge role in influencing their decision to convert into leads. Videos can also present complicated concepts in a very engaging manner that is easy to understand. This can help potential clients get a better understand of your products and services. From a whiteboard video explaining a solution to a particular problem in your industry to a product-centric video, opportunities are aplenty.

For Sundaram Business Services, we created a short explainer video detailing how accounting firms would benefit from outsourcing their routine tasks. This video encapsulates Sundaram Business Services’ USPs in a crisper and more compelling manner than any other medium would be able to.

Downloadable content

E-book and white papers are excellent examples of content that can be a powerful tool for lead generation. There are two ways you can achieve this objective:

  • By displaying the full content along with an option to download it as well
  • Providing a brief synopsis and asking audiences to fill out a lead form to download the full e-book/white paper.

This method gives you a hand-picked database of clients who are particularly interested in your brand as they took the time and effort to fill a form just to read your content. To generate quality leads, make sure your content is extremely informative and educational with the right proportion of generic and promotional content. The best way to do this is to understand what your audience is searching for and write about the topic to cater to their needs.

Reports and case studies

Backing up your content with infographics, reports, graphs and other forms of research adds credibility to your claims. In order to explain your services and their advantages more effectively, take your content strategy up a notch and present your audience with an informative case study. Nothing convinces potential clients better than examples of how much you have succeeded in the past with other B2B clients.

Webinars and podcasts

Content marketing is all about being actively involved in the digital space. Bring out your brand name by conducting webinars or interactive podcasts on topics which are trending among your audience segment audience to spark interest. This will create awareness about your organisation and indirectly showcases your products and services for the world to see.

Search Engine Optimisation

It isn’t just writing high-quality content that is important, but optimising it for search engine rankings. SEO is a guaranteed way to boost your brand image and increase your website traffic.

The logic is simple. Most people searching for B2B services on the internet are looking to close the deal. Presenting them with your website is a guaranteed way to effective lead generation for your organisation. As per a recent study, the close rate of an SEO lead is a whopping 14.6% while the close rate of a sponsored lead is a mere 1.7%. Additionally, of the overall local Google traffic, 67% of searches end up in a conversion. With such stunning numbers, there is no doubt that SEO is the most-effective long-term lead generation strategy for B2B businesses.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world, so when it comes to finding potential clients for your B2B business, it is indispensable. It offers more defined targeting options that Facebook does, helping you find your exact target audience, no matter how niche your segment is. The key to successfully using LinkedIn for lead generation is to adopt a ‘full-funnel approach’. Once you create a target audience, ensure that all your promotions are sent to this same template. This ensures that your brand engages with them right from the awareness stage to the final conversion step.

Read on to find out what are the tools you can leverage on LinkedIn to widen your clientele.

Sponsored Posts

Promoting your blogs on LinkedIn through Sponsored Posts is essential to widening their reach. This tool allows your content to be seen by a highly-relevant target audience who might not have otherwise come across your brand or content. By promoting blogs based on topics that your audience will find useful, you can initiate a relationship with your audience. Being consistent with your promotions will ultimately increase brand awareness and improve your audience’s perception of your company.

We leveraged LinkedIn Sponsored Posts for one of our B2B clients – BijliPay. We promoted an extensive in-house blog on the benefits of choosing mPOS devices over the traditional POS devices. The blog gives the reader a detailed insight into the services provided by BijliPay and indirectly works as a lead generation platform to convert the reader into a potential client.

LinkedIn Lead Ads

LinkedIn lead ads take lead generation for B2B businesses to the next level. They work like usual lead ads, except that when you click on the call to action, the browser takes the user to a pre-filled lead form. The form is pre-filled with information retrieved from the user’s profile, eliminating the need to fill it up manually. Apart from saving a lot of time and effort, this feature allows users to fill in the lead form in the LinkedIn page itself without the need to visit a landing page or website. These ads are particularly effective after you have been promoting your content to the same target audience. Since the audience is already aware of your brand and has started to trust you, they will be more likely to submit the form.

InMail Ads

InMail Ads are ads presented in the form of emails to the LinkedIn inbox of your target audience. This form of marketing is extremely effective as you get to handpick your audience based on their LinkedIn profile and do not need their personal or professional email ids to reach them. Additionally, these emails have a guaranteed delivery rate as they are sent only to the active LinkedIn users. Apart from products and services, you can also use InMails to promote your content and initiate downloads of ebooks and promotional videos.

Landing Page

No lead generation strategy is complete without a landing page. A landing page is a single page website that collects the visitor’s information through a lead form.  Whether you are promoting your product or allowing visitors to download content (ebooks, webinars and podcasts), building a landing page is often the solution. A targeted landing page will help you capture leads at a higher rate and will help the sales team initiate the lead nurturing process to ultimately convert the leads generated.

A good landing page, especially for B2B, needs to always have a clear headline, copy and direct call-to-action, so that the target audience understands exactly what they are signing up for.  This is exactly what we did for one of our B2B clients, LatentView. The landing page for their downloadable white paper clearly conveys what the company does and what value audiences will get from the white paper.

Email Marketing

So you’ve generated an extensive database, with the methods mentioned above, of potential clients who have shown interest in your services. But, what next? The B2B space has notoriously long lead cycles, which can prove expensive and time-consuming for companies. That’s when the tried-and-tested method of email marketing comes into the picture.

Email marketing is probably one of the first types of digital marketing, and it still remains a go-to strategy for many organisations. Since emails are one of the most personal forms of communication, they can help you initiate and sustain a strong relationship with potential clients.  With email marketing, it’s generally best to keep it simple and use plain-text emails than designed templates. This makes it seem more personal, encouraging people to actually read them. Additionally, you can customise your email as per the preferences of your potential clients with various techniques of retargeting and make your services even more irresistible to them. All you need is a strong email marketing database and a fool-proof email campaign checklist for guaranteed lead conversions.

Case Study: Full-Funnel Approach for Sundaram Business Services

The objective

Sundaram Business Services is a business process outsourcing company headquartered in India, with operations in UK and Australia. As a B2B company, a majority of their leads came through referrals and by networking. To scale up, they needed a strong digital marketing technique that could help them acquire new clients faster and more effectively.

The challenge

The target audience for Sundaram Business Services is very niche and difficult to identify. With such a limited audience, generating high-quality leads that had the potential to convert would be more difficult than it would be for a B2C brand with a widespread audience. Additionally, since B2B client relationships are longstanding and based on trust, convincing accounting firms to start outsourcing to Sundaram Business Services would be challenging through digital marketing alone.

The approach

Starting lead generation ads in isolation wouldn’t help for a B2B brand as it only targets individuals at the bottom of the funnel. To successfully acquire high-quality leads, we needed a full-funnel strategy:

Step 1: Promote blogs on LinkedIn

The Sundaram Business Services blog is a complete knowledge repository, with the right mix of highly relevant and trending topics. We utilised this invaluable tool to its full potential by promoting the blogs on LinkedIn. This created brand awareness and developed our reputation as an expertise in the field of accounting.

Step 2: Landing page

We created a specialised landing page for Sundaram Business Services which provided concise details of the services and USPs of the brand. By bidding for high search volume keywords, we ensured that our landing page would show up for relevant searches. This further increased brand awareness.

Step 3: Client testimonial

Credibility and trust are the foundation of any B2B relationship. To build this for Sundaram Business Services, we created a client testimonial video and promoted it on LinkedIn. This showed our audience the positive relationship we share with our clients.

Step 4: LinkedIn ads

After building awareness and trust among our target audience, we started lead form ads on LinkedIn to actively start generating leads. These ads provided a clear picture of the service we provide and the benefit firms can gain by partnering with us.

Step 5: Downloadable white paper

Since the B2B space is so small, we knew we had to go the extra mile to ensure high quality leads. Content driven marketing is key to generating leads for B2B. Because of this, we promoted an authoritative white paper for which users had to submit a pre-filled form to download. This white paper was by far the best lead generation technique we used for Sundaram Business Services. The white paper was downloaded by CFOs from some of the top companies in India, providing us with valuable information we wouldn’t have been able to achieve through any other strategy.

Results

Through the white paper, we were able to achieve an 800% reduction in cost-per-lead with 0 junk leads. In such a niche segment, these results were truly remarkable. It ensured an optimal use of advertising budgets and a large volume of premium leads we could use to initiate the lead nurturing process. These incredible results only prove that content is the only way forward for generating B2B leads.

If you are from the B2B sector, its time you implement each one of the above-mentioned marketing strategies in your workplace to take your business to revolutionary heights.


TrueView for action Form ads for higher conversions

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 10 November , 2018
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    • 2 min read

Last month, Google introduced a contact form extension for search ads and following its success, they are now replicating it for YouTube TrueView for action. This pre-filled form extension will allow advertisers to generate leads from a channel that has always been known for its top-of-the-funnel marketing approach. Excited to know more? Read on.

How does it work?

By leveraging TrueView for action Form ads, your brand can drive leads through an in-line form submission by the consumer. Your video will have a CTA which will lead viewers to a pre-filled form where they can submit their details (name, email and phone number) in order to learn more about your brand. This way, users can submit information directly to the advertisers in an easy and hassle-free manner, creating a win-win situation for both the marketers and consumers.

Things to consider while implementing YouTube form ads

There are a few pointers to keep in mind while implementing TrueView for action Form ads to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Few of them are discussed below:

  • TrueView for action Form ads are compatible with all forms of YouTube targeting including custom intent audiences, remarketing and customer match audiences. So, it is a good idea to experiment with all forms of targeting in order to generate high-quality leads for your brand.
  • Pay attention to your ad copies. Make sure that the headline of your form and the respective CTA is descriptive enough and in line with the objective of your campaign.

Featured below is an example of a TrueView for action Form ad implemented for a car insurance company. As you can see, when the user clicks on the CTA button “Send me more info”, they are presented with a form that appears as a drop down. The form is pre-filled making it easier for the user to submit their details and get one step closer to converting to the brand.

With TrueView for action Form ads, digital marketers can easily engage with India’s next billion Internet users by tapping the Google and YouTube audiences who are engaging with their YouTube ads. Whether you are a leading real estate developer, an FMCG giant or a top financial organisation, it is time you add TrueView for action Form ads to your digital marketing strategy. For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.

 


Custom intent audiences for YouTube targeting

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 15 October , 2018
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    • 3 min read

A lot of brands are making the shift from traditional advertising to YouTube ads and there is no surprise why. Marketers have always opted for YouTube ads for top-of-the-funnel objectives like brand awareness and recognition. But, with YouTube introducing custom intent audiences for better targeting, you can now reach potential consumers who are on the verge of making a decision. Let’s find out how.

How can you benefit from custom intent audiences?

Unlike in-market audiences, custom intent audiences help marketers tailor-make their target group as per the video they are promoting or the services they are providing. Since the targeting is much more concise, they provide a higher return on investment. In fact, according to Google, this approach was built keeping performance advertising in mind, proving to be all the more effective in your marketing strategy. Additionally, you can create your target group with the help of high purchase intent keywords to drive more relevant traffic to your video.

For example, let’s consider your brand is one of the leading providers of shock-proof wires and cables. You are planning to promote your recent ad that introduces a new line of waterproof and shockproof cables to the market. Through traditional in-market audience targeting options, you can reach a generic set of audiences that cover industries, factories and other B2B organisations who are closest to your target group. But with custom intent audiences, you have the option of targeting on a deeper level with high intent keywords. You can reach the users who are specifically looking for your brand and your competitor’s, along with specific keywords of the type of product offered in the video.

How to create a custom intent audience?

Creating a custom intent audience is your best bet when it is hard to find an in-market audience that is relevant to your video content. Go to the audience targeting window and scroll down. You will find a “New custom intent audience” option right below the in-market audience targeting options. Once you click on it, you can tailor-make your audience on the basis of high-performing keywords that align with the services offered in the video.

Apart from providing a deeper level of targeting, custom intent audiences also help brands target users who have keyed in similar queries on Google search. Additionally, once you select a few purchase intent keywords, you can also choose from other recommended keywords that are suggested based on your targeting.

Tips to get the most out of your custom intent audience

  • For more accurate targeting, make sure you include at least 50 high intent keywords in your audience.
  • Also, since the keywords are most likely to provide a broad match, the overall reach of your content will be wider than expected.
  • Make sure you add user intent as one of the targeting options to generate higher views and better engagement metrics. You can also target the users who have visited related URLs or those for a deeper reach.
  • Another effective way to enhance your targeting is by filtering your viewers based on life events and other content consumption patterns.
  • It is a good idea to keep the content of your video in mind while selecting high intent keywords. The closer the keyword is to the message delivered in the video, the better the accuracy of the targeting.

In a nutshell, it is safe to say that a custom intent audience will give you a much more control on targeting while running ads on YouTube. Whether you are a real estate giant, a leading FMCG brand, or a top financial organisation, it is time you leverage the power of custom intent audiences to expand your reach.

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


Lead Form Ad Extensions on Google Search – Why are we so excited about it?

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 11 September , 2018
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    • 2 min read

Following the success of lead forms across multiple platforms, Google has decided to introduce a contact form extension for search ads (see the full Google for India video for more info). This form extension, which is still in the pilot stage, gives an option of a form directly on the search ad itself, similar to the lead ads on Facebook and LinkedIn. The new initiative will appear in the mobile search results page and will be a game changer for both marketers and consumers. According to Google search report, 80% of traffic comes from mobile devices, which means this update will help brands reach the next billion internet users.

How does it benefit marketers?

  • Form ads can help brands generate high-quality leads due to the high-intent of the users who fill them up.
  • It eliminates the need to click on the ad and go to the landing page to fill the form, providing the twin benefit of speed and convenience. Moreover, brands that don’t have a landing page yet, this can be an ideal way to generate enquiries.
  • With 80% of searches coming from mobile, the mobile-optimised design of the form ads is a win-win for both the consumers and the marketers.
  • The forms can be optimised without the hassle of coordinating with the technology team.
  • Finally, it allows campaigns to go live instantly with limited technology/CRM integrations. Though CRM integrations might not be available at launch it is likely to happen as the product is enhanced.

How does it benefit consumers?

  • Since the ads are targeted to the user based on their previous content consumption pattern, the forms are more relevant.
  • Compared to mobile pages, the forms load faster and provide a better user experience. Similar to how AMP Landing Pages improve the experience.
  • The forms are usually pre-filled with the information of the user, reducing the friction of filling and making it even easier to hit “Submit”. The quality of leads is something that needs to be tested once the extension is launched.

You can also check out our all you need to know video on lead forms on Google.

Information generated in lead reports:

Marketers can get the following fields filled by potential consumers:

  • Name of the lead
  • Email ID of the lead
  • Phone number
  • Gclid
  • Campaign ID
  • Ad group ID

Form ads also provide the time stamp of lead submission. In the initial phase, the leads will be sent to a Google spreadsheet which can be created during the setup process.

This update from Google is still in the testing stage but with the list of benefits it provides, there is no doubt that it going to stay! We are excited to try it out for our clients. Watch this space for more.


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

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 29 August , 2018
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    • 3 min read

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.


Are interactive ads changing the way brands advertise?

  • Rhea
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  • 23 August , 2018
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    • 5 min read

Interactive ads allow users to engage with them or explore them in new ways. The average digitally-active user is exposed to hundreds of ads every single day! With so many ads bombarding them, people automatically turn on their filters and are able to ignore a majority of these. While this coping mechanism might help a user wade through an ads-saturated world, it can also be a source of great concern for brands. With brands spending huge amounts on advertising, they can’t afford to have their audience simply ignore their ads. So how do you prevent a user from scrolling past, turning off or forgetting about your ad? The answer might lie in the new format of advertising: interactive ads.

What are interactive ads?

Interactive ads create immersive experiences for audiences that capture their attention completely. The rich technology that has fuelled interactive ads allows users to experiment and engage with your ads. This helps create a lasting impression on your audience, as a result of which ads perform better. While these ads work on desktop and tablet too, mobile is the platform showing greatest results. As more users spend most of their screen time on mobile phones, this is another reason why brands should start experimenting with interactive ads. Modern-day audiences, millennials, in particular, don’t want to be passive spectators. While digital advertising as a whole offers users a personalised two-way form of communication, interactive ads go one step further.

Why you should start using interactive ads

Interactive ads have delivered clear results for brands using them. If you start using the magic of interactive ads in your strategy, be prepared to see these four results:

1. Better engagement on ads

You might have a beautifully designed landing page, but how do you get users to actually click on it and submit their details? Most interactive ads also come with a call-to-action which takes a user to the brand’s landing page or product page. Since interactive ads are more engaging than other formats, users are more likely to actually click on the button. Interactive ads are also more fun than most other forms of advertising. Interactive campaigns in the past have witnessed a 300 per cent higher CTR, positive brand perception and higher recall than other forms of advertising.

2. Higher lead conversion

For most brands, the metric they’re chasing after isn’t just lead generation, but actual conversions of those leads. Interactive ads have an average of 3x conversion rates than other formats like video ads, with this number going up to 7x for some campaigns. On the face of it, interactive ads might appear to have a higher CPL than other forms of advertising like display. However, users who engage with the ad can be retargeted via display campaigns, leading to higher conversions and improved quality of leads generated via digital.

3. Generates more data

Data is the foundation of every marketing strategy and is immensely valuable to marketers everywhere. Interactive ads offer a huge goldmine of data that can go deeper than other kinds of ads. You can gain granular information on how long people viewed your ad, what they clicked on, if they answered any questions, whether they replayed it and if they shared it with others. This data can help you formulate a more refined approach, improving the performance of future campaigns as well.

Interactive ad formats

Like other forms of advertising, the platform you choose for an interactive ad will also depend upon your target audience and your defined metrics for success. Here are the top-performing interactive ad formats that brands need to sit up and take notice of.

1. mCanvas

mCanvas is a rich media ad format that helps brands communicate their story in an experiential way. It is designed exclusively for mobile, a platform that is becoming popular in India.

Ads designed for mCanvas are beautiful and visually appealing, which plays a large role in attracting higher CTRs and user engagement. After clicking on an ad, mCanvas is able to detect smartphone sensors, allowing users to interact with the ad by shaking, tilting or speaking a command. mCanvas also allows brands to reach out to their consumers in a more focused way through a number of targeting options.

For Piramal Mahalaxmi, we decided to look beyond the commonly used digital marketing strategies for real estate in India. We used captivating images of the view from the property to create interactive experiences through mCanvas. Through mCanvas ads on premium placement sites, we were able to direct a number of high-quality leads to our landing page. We retargeted them through Google Display Network, which fetched us a sizeable number of conversions. In this way, mCanvas was an innovative strategy for digital marketing for real estate that helped us push leads through the conversion funnel.  

2. Rich media ads

A rich media ad includes interactive features like videos, audio, gifs and other elements that make it stand out from a static display ad. With rich media, there is no limit to the creativity brands can use to captivate their audience. These ads are created through HTML5 technology, allowing multiple content formats to be placed in the same ad. An ad, for example, can play a video and conduct a poll simultaneously. Rich media ads can help brands achieve the twin objectives of higher CTR and greater brand awareness.

One of the best examples of how rich media lets brand push creative boundaries is Nissan’s 2016 World T20 tournament campaign. Nissan detected an opportunity in the fact that many Indians weren’t able to watch television and keep track of live scores. They developed a series of rich media banner ads that also kept track of live scores. The ads were also interactive because they asked users to vote for their favourite teams before a match started. Nissan’s innovative approach helped them stand out from the numerous other brands advertising during cricket season. Their rich media interactive ads delivered a 4x increase in website visits and 10x higher interaction rates compared to industry standards.

A commonly used form of rich media ads is Lightbox.

Lightbox

 

 

Lightbox is a format of interactive ads developed by Google. When you click or hover over a Lightbox ad, it responds by expanding. A Lightbox ad can expand to fill your entire screen, play a video or take you through a carousel of images. The ads also generally end with a link to your website. Since these ads are more engaging than traditional formats, it increases the likelihood that a user will actually click on your website link. Lightbox ads automatically adapt themselves to fit your screen size, so they work perfectly on mobile, tablets and desktops. The same display targeting options are also available for Lightbox ads, helping brands ensure they reach the right audience.

3. Interactive video ads

Video ads are one of the best-performing advertising mediums with 64 per cent of viewers buying the product after watching branded videos. When combined with interactive features, they become even more effective. Interactive videos transform what is usually a passive viewing experience into one that actively engages with them. Viewers can answer questions during a video, influence sequences of the storyline and even play games. Interactive videos capture your audience’s attention completely and can be a powerful way to generate leads or send viewers to your website.

 

 

At Social Beat, for example, we used an interactive format for our Team video to make it more fun and engaging. Questions popped up at regular intervals and viewers could click on them for answers. This held their attention for a longer time and even helped them learn more about our brand in the process.

Interactive ads have delivered proven results across the board for FMCG, BFSI and B2B brands. With audiences today looking for greater value from advertisements, interactive formats certainly have the upper hand.


How AMP landing pages produced 33% lower CPL for a healthcare provider

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 3 August , 2018
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    • 3 min read

India Home Health Care (IHHC) is a leading provider of home nursing and other Healthcare services. They work in partnership with BAYADA Home Health Care to provide patients with registered nurses, visiting doctors, physical therapists and more from the comfort of their home.

The challenge

Mobile devices account for 90 per cent of total traffic to IHHC’s website, with most users accessing the landing page through 3G and 4G connections. However, the landing page loaded much more slowly than other pages on the site, negatively impacting lead generation. To maintain their foothold in the extremely competitive healthcare space, the IHHC team set out to increase their mobile leads by improving the landing page load time. They also hoped to increase conversion rates and reduce cost per conversion.

Goal: India Home Health Care (IHHC) wanted to generate a higher number and quality of leads at a lower cost-per-lead (CPL).

The approach

To make the most of high mobile traffic to the landing page, the IHHC team wanted a faster, more seamless experience for potential clients using their smartphones and tablets. Their digital marketing partner Social Beat (a Premier Google Partner) recommended Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source library that helps developers easily create fast-loading, mobile optimized web pages that scroll smoothly and look great on both mobile devices and desktops. Working with Social Beat, IHHC began to develop AMP landing pages for their Google ads to improve campaign performance. Implementing AMP was very straightforward, with each page taking only a day or two to build. Soon after the January 2018 launch, IHHC modified their AMP code to more easily monitor the pages’ effectiveness and track leads from their Google Ads campaigns. First, they added the <amp-call-tracking> tag, which automatically replaces static phone numbers with dynamically- generated numbers used for call tracking. Next, because some people prefer to submit a contact form, IHHC used the amp-analytics component to automatically sync form submissions with their Google Analytics account. Whether potential customers contact IHHC by phone or through the website, each new lead is automatically incorporated into the company’s CRM system. This enables them to accurately measure the impact of their AMP landing pages and Google Ads campaigns on final sales.

The results

Within three months of launching their AMP landing pages, IHHC had reduced their average cost per lead by 33 per cent, while total conversions grew by 20 per cent. Meanwhile, the bounce rate was cut nearly in half for potential customers who reach an AMP page compared to those who visit the regular website. IHHC attributes these significant improvements to faster load times that help visitors get the information they need so they don’t grow frustrated and leave. AMP’s call-tracking support has proven particularly valuable, spotlighting ad messaging strategies that resonate with prospects.

Market impact

“Our AMP pages load nearly instantly, which means that customers get a better user experience and they can focus entirely on learning about the high-quality services that IHHC and BAYADA provide.” —Revathy Sankaran, IT Manager, India Home Healthcare.

Since using AMP to optimize their ad landing pages for mobile, IHHC has generated more high-quality leads at a lower cost. Next, the team intends to create an AMP version of the entire website for mobile visitors who don’t find the company through a Google ad. They also plan to experiment with AMP HTML, which allows advertisers to build ads that load just as quickly as an AMP page on mobile, and Progressive Web Apps, which work with AMP to create immersive, full-screen experiences that don’t require installation.

We are also happy to inform that the case study has been published by Google.

Download the full case study for more details.

As the number of mobile internet users in India and around the world continues to grow, making pages more mobile-friendly will become one of the biggest objectives for brands to reach the next billion users.  Implementing AMP could be one of the most effective ways for brands to become more discoverable and ultimately, gain higher conversions, whether you are a Real Estate Giant or a leading FMCG Company. So do try it out and let us know the results you get!

 


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

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 1 August , 2018
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    • 2 min read

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.

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.


Should brands switch to YouTube ads from traditional advertising?

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 17 July , 2018
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    • 7 min read

From downloading low-quality music videos on Napster to watching the latest shows in HD on Hotstar, the data consumption pattern of online users has come a long way since the advent of the Internet. Today, the personal-is-the-new-premium approach presented by YouTube has pushed brands to allocate their marketing budgets to the second most-used search engine in the world and rethink the immeasurable mass reach offered by traditional TV ads.  The truth remains that, the screen doesn’t matter as long as consumers have the power to choose what they want to watch. With 100 million Indian users every day and 225 million average Indian users every month, YouTube is the new game-changing element in every marketer's agenda.

Breaking the habit

Do you reach out to your mobile phone when your favourite TV show breaks for a commercial? You are not alone! According to a recent survey, 87% of TV viewers have another screen in front of them while watching TV. It is also estimated that by 2025, nearly half of the current TV viewers will unsubscribe to paid television services. This only proves that the days of watching irrelevant commercials on the idiot box are over as consumers have shifted to video platforms like YouTube where they have the power to exhibit a fluid behaviour.

YouTube is where primetime entertainment lies! This platform has the most-engaged database of a whopping 1.3 billion users who are watching 5 billion videos every single day. It is time brands adapted their media plans to where their consumers are engaged the most, making Youtube ads a clear winner to where your marketing dollars need to go.

Brands showcase TV ads based on the Gross Rating Point (GRP). This measure determines the frequency at which you want your ads to be played and the reach of the ad depending on the time when it is played. But the biggest question of the hour is that who are the people you are playing your ads to? Did the ad influence their consumer patterns? By marketing your brand through YouTube Ads, you have better control over the advertising process.

YouTube ads – a game-changer in every marketing strategy

Let’s take a look at the reasons why brands should leverage the power of YouTube ads and adapt to the fast-changing viewing habits of consumers.

Track results

By optimizing AdWords for video ads, you can easily track the results of your YouTube ads. With simple steps in place before launching your video ad campaign, you can make the most of your marketing budget and generate higher ROI. You can track the number of views your YouTube ads have generated and the amount of engagement caused in the form of likes and shares, to begin with. You can also measure the performance of your YouTube ads with the View-Through-Rate (VTR). This metric reflects the rate at which consumers have viewed your ad and will be high if your ad is doing well. You can also track the number of leads your ad has generated depending on the goals you have set based on your brand.

Reach the right audience

Unlike TV ads, you can hand-pick the audience you wish to target with your YouTube ads. There are a plethora of factors you can use to screen your target group. Few of them are discussed below.

Demographics: You can filter your audience based on their location, age, gender, income, relationship status and much more.

Interests: Targeting people who are interested in what you offer is a great way to advertise your brand. Reach out to a niche audience who already has your attention to improve the quality of your leads.

Keywords: Make your ads play only to the viewers who have typed in the keywords related to a popular video on YouTube.

Behaviour: The targeting provided by YouTube ads is so extensive that you can also play your ads to the viewers who have visited your website, as a re-targeting technique.

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

Types of YouTube ads

There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to YouTube advertising, catering to different target segments. From 6 second ads to longer versions, which are skippable, YouTube has it all making it a more powerful tool than traditional forms of advertising.

YouTube ads are divided into three broad categories.

TrueView ads

TrueView ads are the most common type of YouTube ads that play before a particular video. Marketers can choose from skippable TrueView ads that can be anywhere between 12 seconds to 6 minutes and non-skippable ads that cannot cross more than 20 seconds.

TrueView ads are charged only when viewers watched them for more than 30 seconds, until the end of the ad if the video is shorter, or if they click on a call-to-action. These ads are further classified into the following:

In-Display Ads: In-Display ads show up on your YouTube home screen and also in search results, just like the ads that appear in a Google search. They also appear in the related videos section while watching a particular YouTube video.

In-Stream Ads: In-stream ads appear before the video of your choice begins to play. They have the option to be skipped after 5 seconds and can also display overlaying text as a call-to-action based on the brand being advertised on YouTube.

Masthead Ads

Masthead ads provide high reach and awareness as they are displayed as the main banner on the YouTube homepage. This type of YouTube ads is charged on a day-to-day basis and come with a variety of key benefits. They are primarily used to create a buzz about your brand by reaching out to consumers in a wide range of demographics.

A masthead ad is much more cost-effective than a TV ad as it helps brands reach an approximate of 350 to 400 billion consumers at Rs. 70 lakhs – which is still lesser than how much brands pay for a primetime slot on the TV. Additionally, the frequency with which the ads will be displayed to the viewers is much higher, and the brands can also use the database to re-target the people who have viewed their ad.

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are the shortest form of ads available at slots of just 6 seconds. They play before the YouTube video chosen by the viewer and are an excellent way to complement a larger video ad campaign. Since these ads are shorter, advertisers need to focus only on the primary aspect of the brand they want their audience to recall.

Case Study: How a real estate company leveraged the reach of YouTube ads

Asta Properties – one of the leading real estate developers in Chennai – used a media mix of print ads and YouTube ads to advertise the launch of their premium new property, Asta AVM. Instead of opting for the traditional approach of TV and print, they marketed their new development through YouTube ads and the results were outstanding.

We helped them run ads in both Tamil and English to tap into the potential of regional content online and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.  We were able to reach 17,52,661 users through YouTube with 3954 clicks on the whole. We targeted an audience within the age group of 35 to 54 years of age who are looking to buy properties and can afford an investment of Rs. 1.5 crores and above.

The biggest benefit with YouTube ads is the cost-effective approach they provide. A TV ad for the same campaign would cost a whopping Rs. 2000 per second on leading Tamil channels like Star Vijay with no means to track the performance of the ad or target the people who have seen your ad. A bumper ad, on the other hand, costs just around Rs. 1.20 for 1000 impressions, based on the sector of the brand.

Case Study: How a retail brand increased the number of store visits through YouTube ads

We used the detailed targeting methods of YouTube ads to reach out to potential customers for Specsmakers – a leading eyewear company in the southern states of India. We implemented the onion peel strategy to understand the buying pattern of potential consumers and leveraged those results in their marketing campaigns for enhanced lead generation. This survey-oriented strategy included reaching out to the target audience and asking them a set of questions that threw light on their online consumer behaviour. The audience was then categorised into primary and secondary circles and targeted better through YouTube ads.

The ads helped us increase the number of footfalls to their stores by a whopping 400 customers during the campaign period which was less than 20 days. The ad showcased an irresistible offer provided by the brand and was in the form of a bumper ad, creating the exact amount of excitement and hype.

The same ad on TV will cost around Rs. 6000 on prime channels like Colors during the peak hours of viewership, which is a strikingly high budget compared to the average Rs. 1.50 for 1000 impressions offered by YouTube ads. Furthermore, you can leverage a wide range of performance metrics to track the performance of your ad.

YouTube is the most underrated advertising platform, primarily because TV is the go-to medium when it comes to video marketing. However, times are changing now. The annual viewership of YouTube is growing by 40 to 50% every year, so if the traditional medium of television is still on your marketing agenda, it is time to revisit your strategy.

Whether you are from the finance industry, FMCG market or the real estate sector, switch to YouTube ads to bring out the true potential of your brand and attract potential consumers like a moth to a flame.

 


How in-app ads delivered 76.38% lower Cost per Lead

  • Rhea
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  • 10 July , 2018
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    • 3 min read

A recent study by Nielsen and BCG revealed that India has a $100 billion opportunity for brands as the amount of time consumers spend on mobile and the number of digital transactions conducted increases. As 81% of users research their options on a mobile phone before actually making a purchase, reaching them through mobile platforms is becoming increasingly important. This is why, for digital marketers, in-app marketing has become one of the most important channels to drive customer awareness and generate leads.

Mahindra Lifespaces took advantage of this trend in their lead generation strategy. The phenomenal results they achieved proved that a mobile-centric approach might be the future of advertising for brands.

Background

Mahindra Lifespaces is one of India’s leading real estate developers with multiple projects spread across the country. They are the pioneer in developing environmentally sustainable projects and deliver premium living spaces to their customers. To match the company’s novel approach, they also needed an innovative digital advertising strategy to help them stay ahead of competing brands and expand their customer base.

Goal

For this campaign, the objective was to leverage in-app ads to drive more leads for Mahindra Lifespaces at a significantly lower cost per lead as compared to other targeting strategies previously used.

Approach

For the Mahindra Windchimes project in Bengaluru, we made extensive use of in-app ads to tap into a huge potential consumer base. In-app ads are placed strategically within selected apps, so customers are exposed to it while spending time on the app. With consumers today spending more time on essential mobile apps, reaching them through this medium has proved to be one of the most effective strategies. In-app marketing will also prove to be one of the biggest ways digital marketing will transform the real estate sector.

To do this, we implemented a three-step approach to developing an effective in-app marketing strategy.

Defining the Target Audience

The demographic targeted for this campaign was the 35+ age group as this would be the segment who were advancing their careers and looking to buy a home. All marital statuses and both genders were also targeted, however, males performed better.

Selecting App Platforms

After setting the target audience, we then needed to research into what kind of apps this segment would be most active on. Based on their interests, we targeted apps that belonged to the following categories:

  • Business - document editors/viewers, email management, job searches, etc.
  • Finance - banking, digital payments, financial news, ATM finders, tax calculators, etc.
  • Photography - camera and editing tools, photo management, file sharing, etc.
  • Books and reference - book readers, reference books, dictionaries, thesaurus, etc.
  • House & Home - house and apartment searches, interior decoration, home improvement, mortgage calculators, etc.

These apps would be the most effective ways to maximise reach among our target audience.

Utilising Powerful Images

As in-app advertising is a largely visual medium, the display creatives used needed to be catchy, informative and entice customers to visit the page. A mix of high-performing standard display creatives was successfully used to capture the target audience’s attention.

Results Achieved

With this advanced targeting strategy, we were able to generate unprecedented results for Mahindra Lifespaces. Utilising in-app ads helped us not only generate more leads but also led to higher conversion rates.  These ads helped us accomplish two major outcomes:

  • With in-app ads, we were able to deliver conversions that were 76.38% cheaper than other display targeting campaigns.
  • In-app ads also helped us increase conversion rates by 267.92% compared to previous display targeting campaigns used.

In a nutshell, in-app advertising helped us gain higher conversions at a lower cost. This proves just how effective platform apps can be for brands looking to boost their lead generation and conversion strategy.

With the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018 stating that 40% of brands are looking for lead generation through digital marketing, implementing in-app ads could be one of the most important methods for them to achieve this goal. The faster brands adapt to this advertising strategy, the better equipped they will be to reach larger customer bases.

 


Marketing for Real Estate Companies: Time to shift from print to digital media?

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 7 July , 2018
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    • 6 min read

In this age of new media marketing, digital marketing has proved to be a game-changer. While any proponent of an effective marketing mix model would suggest a healthy mix of conventional as well as unconventional modes, digital media certainly leads by a margin when you bring the ROI perspective into play for real estate industry. The advent of digital media has paved way for a marketing approach that now wants to track penny-to-penny spend on each marketing effort and the returns derived from it.

Digital marketing is predominantly being used by every firm out there and is proving to be an extremely successful means of spreading awareness and creating a brand value. The same is true for the real estate businesses.

The challenge is stiff competition in the real estate industry

The biggest challenge for real estate companies is that in this highly competitive space, the brands are looking forward to boosting their digital presence and generating leads. In order to enable the real estate companies to establish a digital identity and leverage upon it, they need foolproof innovative digital marketing strategies with lead generation at the centre-stage.

The website should be user-friendly & mobile responsive

There are a couple of things to be kept in mind while designing a website and implementing digital marketing strategies for real estate companies. First and foremost, it is the website that needs attention. The purpose of the website could vary from capturing leads to brand-building. A website must be user-friendly and must ensure “call-to-action”. Great content always helps in increasing visibility on the digital platform.

Creative usage of social media to build brand & generate leads

On social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, what matters is how creative your contents or posts are. The frequency is not an issue as long as your posts are able to garner enough audience engagement. Real estate companies need to project their unique strengths in the most creative manner possible on the digital space. A lot of online tools and applications are available nowadays that help in automated updates on the social media sites.

SEO to rank higher in search results

Social media follows SEO (Search engine optimization). Earlier, the pre-conceived notion was that just having a website is enough. But actually just having a website takes us nowhere. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing play a key role in the integrated approach towards getting traffic on the website and generating leads. SEO results give an imperative method of ranking on the digital space and the higher the company is ranked, the better chances of gaining leads from their websites.

While SEO is usually only associated with Google search, brands should not ignore YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world. For tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.

Print media v/s Digital media: Digital gives a better ROI

Traditionally, the real estate companies invest highly in print ads, but the returns they get on their investments is comparatively lower when compared to the Google ads. Our research in the space throws up a couple of interesting facts. The research results clearly show that on investing the same amount of money in digital marketing and the print media, the real estate companies are able to realize results which are at approximately 2.5 times better. The detailed statistics are as shown below in the table:

*ROI comparison for Print v/s Digital media

A 1/4thpage advertisement in a newspaper costs about Rs. 7 lakhs, which is bound to target one million or more audience. However, the conversion rate is surprisingly low. One print ad worth Rs. 7 lakhs results in about 400 website visits, out of which about 130 leads are generated. In the end, the company gets only 3 to 4 buyers for the properties at an average. In comparison, Google ads, with the similar investment of Rs. 7 lakhs results in about 400 leads which convert into more than 10 buyers.

Leverage the power of YouTube advertising

If pictures speak a thousand words, it is safe to say that videos speak a million. Videos are the new bannermen of content marketing and advertising on video platforms like YouTube can be a tipping point for your brand. You can tailor-make your video campaigns for YouTube by displaying your ad when a potential home-buyer performs a search with relevant keywords. This will help you reach out to a hand-picked audience that is genuinely interested in buying a property – a feature which is still foreign in traditional modes of advertising like television, radio and print.

According to YouTube Brandcast 2018, seven out of ten viewers watch ads on YouTube with the sound on. This only proves that apart from detailed targeting, YouTube ads offer a plethora of other benefits, pushing brands to switch to YouTube ads from traditional media. Few of the key advantages are discussed below:

Track your performance:

You can easily link the video ads to your AdWords account and track the results of your campaign. From the number of views generated and the reach of the ad to the amount of engagement caused, you can track every level of the marketing funnel and make most of your allocated budgets.

Reach the right audience:

Unlike traditional media, YouTube ads give you the power to pick your audience for higher conversion rates. You can create a customised target group based on a wide range of factors like the demographics, interests, content consumption behaviour and the keywords used to search, to name a few.

Choose from a multitude of ad formats:

There are numerous YouTube ad formats to choose from, based on where you want your ad to be displayed, how long your ad is and the objective of your campaign. For instance, TrueView ads are the ads that play before a particular YouTube video. You can opt for skippable ads that can be up to 6 minutes in length or non-skippable ads that have a limit of 20 seconds.

The other common type of ads is the bumper ad which plays before the YouTube video but are only 6 seconds long. These ads are great to showcase the launch of a new property or an irresistible offer. Featured below is the bumper ad created for Asta Properties for the launch of their premium project – Asta AVM.

Get the most out of your marketing budget:

The best aspect of Youtube ads is the cost-effective approach they provide. A TV ad, during the main time slot, costs around Rs. 2000 per second, with no targeting options or tracking benefits. The same ad played in the form of a bumper ad on YouTube will cost just Rs. 1.20 for 1000 impressions. To add to that, you can also retarget the people who have viewed your ad or visited your website for a higher rate of conversion.

Widen your reach with regional ads

Advertising your property through regional content is a great way to break into the tier 2 and tier 3 cities of the nation and engage with the next billion Internet users in India. The free data plans launched by Reliance Jio and the drop in the prices of smartphones have sparked the growth of regional content in the nation. It is time real estate developers took this to their advantage and re-designed their campaigns in vernacular languages to widen their reach.

Casagrand – one of the leading real estate developers in Chennai – leveraged the reach of regional ads to showcase their new project. The ad helped in increasing brand awareness and generating high-quality leads, creating a win-win situation for the developer.

The way forward for real estate companies: It’s never too late

Most of the real estate companies currently, do not have a commendable social media presence but it’s never too late. There is immense potential in the digital media to leverage for the real estate companies. The efficiency & optimization control should be at the forefront of any decision by an organization. And when that decision has the potential to catapult the number of leads by 250%, then there is no reason why the real estate companies should not go digital.

If you have feedback or any comments, feel free to reply to this blog post. You can also read our complete guide for digital marketing for real estate.


Bidding adieu to AdWords: Google’s new simplified approach for advertisers

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 4 July , 2018
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    • 3 min read

As the saying goes, the only competition that matters is the competition you have with yourself – and Google is the best illustrative example of this quote. The world’s favourite search engine has crossed yet another milestone by outgrowing their primitive advertising and publishing platforms. Google AdWords, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 Suite will now be available in an all-new avatar to showcase the full potential of their services with upgraded solutions that make advertising and publishing much simpler for online marketers. This, in turn, will help in improving the quality of leads and increasing sales. Let’s take a look at what Google’s rebranding strategy has in store for us and how brands can benefit from it.

Google Ads

The integrated platform of Google AdWords has now been transformed to Google Ads with a new identity and an extensive list of digital advertising services. As the name suggests, Google Ads supports all the prevailing ad formats, from text and display ads to video and app installs. These ads can be showcased on a variety of platforms including YouTube, Search, Gmail and Maps, to name a few.

Google AdWords was launched 18 years ago as a platform to generate text ads on Search. Over the years, the tool has grown multifold with extensive types of ads available on various platforms. This paved the way for Google AdWords to be rebranded as Google Ads, with advanced features to create a flexible program for advertisers based on their marketing goals.

According to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s head of Ads and Commerce, “With Google Ads as opposed to Google AdWords, it is moving the imperceptible default opinion that you get as an advertiser when you hear ‘Google AdWords’ … you think, ‘Oh, Words. Search.’ It’s basically a slight cognitive dissonance to all the other great things that we are doing in terms of both the format and surfaces these ads can show. And so, Google Ads, in our opinion, is a much more straightforward representation of what Google advertising can provide. It’s that simplicity and alignment of the core message from the first instant you hear the name, which is the goal.”

Google Marketing Platform

The second tool launched by Google in their rebranding efforts is the Google Marketing Platform which is an integration of DoubleClick advertiser products and Analytics 360. This tool will help online marketers analyse the performance of their pages and optimise the digital media spends on one single platform.

Google noticed the pattern in which marketers used both DoubleClick and Analytics 360 in their advertising strategies by consecutively using the two platforms. The advertisers who integrated both the platforms on their own witnessed better results with optimum usage. With the Google Marketing Platform, advertisers can now directly reap the benefits of both the tools to plan, analyse and optimize their media spends.

The Google Marketing Platform also introduced a brand new Display & Video 360 feature that combines a range of Google’s display advertising solutions. The products under this feature include DoubleClick Bid Manager (BDM), DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Studio and Google Audience Center 360.

Additionally, DoubleClick Search, which is used as a search management platform by enterprises, has been rebranded as Search Ads 360. The comprehensive platform also features an integration center for marketers to hand-pick the tools of their preference and integrate them, providing a tailor-made program for every advertising strategy.

Google Ad Manager

The third consolidated platform launched in the rebranding series is the Google Ad Manager. This platform acts as an umbrella tool which integrates DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX). Through Google Ad Manager, advertisers can leverage the ad-serving solution of DoubleClick for Publishers and sell advertising inventory through the solutions provided by DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This will lead to “AdX buyers” being referred to as “Authorised buyers” in the near future.

Whether you come from real estate, BFSI, FMCG or any other industry, the new integrated tools launched by Google will be a game-changer for digital marketers. These platforms are scheduled to be rolled out by the end of July with the common objective of simplifying the advertising process for marketers to maintain the pace, energy and enthusiasm with which digital marketing is skyrocketing in today’s world.


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