Video Marketing

Top 10 Online Video Creation Tools for Indian Marketers

  • Pallavi Krishnachander
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  • 4 September , 2020
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    • 6 min read

According to Cisco, by 2022, 82 percent of the global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads(2019). Video Content Marketing is not a new development as we’ve witnessed these video ads on television for a long time. But with the commencement of the accelerated internet and with brands trying to bid for the consumer’s limited attention, video marketing seems to be the way to cut through the clutter for most brands. Videos are one of the most effective ways to communicate with the audience as it increases traffic, engagement, sales and helps them to understand our offerings in a comprehensive way. So, if you haven’t incorporated videos into your marketing profile, here’s your cue to do so! 

But take it from us, creating videos is not as difficult as it seems and there are some amazing tools to create your videos easily. So to help you further, we have compiled a list of top 10 tools and softwares for creating amazing videos to make the work easier for you in your video creating journey. Most of these have a free version making them affordable in the long run. And the icing on the cake? Many of them are Facebook recommended too! 

So without any further ado, here are the top 10 online video editors and free video makers for Indian marketers to create amazing video content: 

 

  • Animoto:
    Animoto is the DIYs of the video creation world used by all ages for creating and optimizing videos. It stands by its slogan: “make it simple, make it beautiful”. Animoto is a leading video creation tool and helps you create unique, tailor-made videos for your brand with a large library of pre-designed templates and the many aesthetic themes to choose from. The user can either upload their pictures and videos or use the high-resolution stock images by Getty. With its flexible controls, one can be assured of quality videos while the interface makes it fun to create and personalize! They are certified partners of Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Hubspot and are available for all devices on IOS and Windows desktop. To unlock all the features, you can upgrade to the annual subscription of $33 per month. 

 

  • Invideo:
    If you want to make professional looking videos in minutes, then Invideo is your answer. Invideo is an online video editor for android as well as iOS, with drag and drop features that make video creation simple. Invideo has an entire library of pre-made templates and media which are vibrant, stylish and pleasing. Another amazing feature is that it lets you turn your articles into a video in a jiffy by just pasting your content and selecting the images to go with it. You can also add music of your choice to your videos. It’s a one stop shop for anything video related from long form ads, bite sized ads to invites, brand intros and promos. They also provide various tutorials to get you started. Invideo has a free version where you can export up to 60 videos and the paid version starts at $20 per month to unlock the remaining exciting features.

 

  • Ripl:
    Ripl is a good video editing app and website, that lets you create engaging and professional looking content for social media. You can create anything from a story, to static posts to promo videos with the help of Ripl. It offers you an array of templates to choose from and gives you access to around 500,00+ stock images and videos that you can customize according to your brand requirements to create consistency across social media platforms. Once your content is ready, you can post it instantly from Ripl to multiple social media accounts and can also monitor the performance with the in-built engagement metrics. It also lets you schedule multiple posts in advance and share from any device. Ripl has a 7day free trial and the paid version starts from $14.99 per month. 

 

  • Videoshop:
    Videoshop is a popular phone app for video editing, available on both IOS and android that helps to create videos on the go. If you’re new to video editing, Videoshop is a must try. Apart from the basic features like text and filters, you can also modify the speed to create slow motion videos and include transitions and animated titles to elevate your video. One can also adjust the display and add voiceover for their video.  It helps beginners to get comfortable with optimizing videos by providing a user friendly interface and simple drag and drop features. The video will have a watermark which can be removed by upgrading to the premium version. 

 

  • Unfold:
    Unfold is widely popular with the masses for creating simple and elegant content. One of the most famous video editing apps, it offers stylized templates and fonts to turn your videos and photos into aesthetic stories. Unfold has a brand kit where you can store your creative assets. You can set your brand colours and add them to your palette and upload custom fonts and sync logos and stickers for consistent branding. An app used by global giants like Apple and Prada to aid their storytelling, it is considered the best application for video editing. It is available on IOS and Android with in- app purchases starting from ₹65, which is a great price for a good video editing app.

 

  • Mojo:
    Similar to Unfold, Mojo is another phone app for video editing and creating visually appealing stories on social media. Mojo helps in creating minimalistic, professional looking stories with brief animation to them. Plenty of formats and texts to choose from, it is suitable for any type of story and can be customised for Instagram, Facebook as well as Youtube. Mojo is a good free video editor app but to get access to all the templates, you may need to upgrade to Mojo Pro. Mojo works better on IOS as the android version doesn’t have all the features yet. 

 

  • Biteable:
    Biteable is an online video editor for android and IOS, which is simple and fun to use. It’s a great place to start making ads, explainers and other social media videos. You can create a video from scratch using your own photos and the animations available or select a professionally crafted template. There are diverse topics and templates to choose from, including the recent coronavirus themed videos used by brands to educate their audience. On the free plan, videos will be watermarked and they have 2 premium plans starting at $29 per month but you can save up to 50% if you choose the yearly billing option. 

 

  • Clideo
    Clideo is one of the best applications for video editing for beginners with basic features to simplify the process. The video creator has convenient resolution presets for Instagram, stories, Facebook and Youtube and an easy-to-use interface while keeping the files protected. You can edit, cut, compress, merge, add memes, use stop motion to create attractive videos. The files are protected as the videos are only stored for 24 hours and are also faster as it works on the browser. It’s a Freemium site, meaning it has both the free version and the paid version starting from $9 per month. 

 

  • Plotaverse:
    Have you seen those pictures where the waterfall seems to be moving while the other elements are still? It’s called animating a still picture and this app helps you do just that. Plotaverse is a “patented” phone app for video editing and a digital sharing platform available on all devices including IOS and Android PC. It brings images to life by converting still photos to motion art with simple drag and drop animation. It’s a 4 app in one having Plotagraph (photo animator), Plotamorph (photo FX editor), Plota FX (video FX editor) and a daily app challenge (having a new image to animate every day). This app helps to craft visually stunning motion images with features like photo & audio overlay, real- time animation speed control, photo animation presets and Apple pencil pressure sensitivity. It’s a good free video editor app so if you want to create those cool pictures with effects, then Plotaverse is the app to go to. 

 

  • Introcave
    Introcave is a famous video editing app for intros on youtube videos. Intros in videos have a bigger impact than we realize. Intros capture the attention and urge the viewer to watch the entire video. Introcave ensures that the intros for your videos are captivating enough. With an extremely simple interface and vast range of templates, it makes the intro creation effortless and professional. The process includes 3 simple steps. You choose the template that is suited for your brand, customize the font and add the colours according to your logo and download it. It’s that easy! Introcave is a good video editing app that has readymade templates for varied categories, durations and specific customizations. Apart from intros, you can also create logo animations and outros for your various social media and gaming channels. 

With a wide variety of tools, apps and websites to choose from, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to making your videos online for free. Here’s wishing you luck on your video journey and hope this helped to give you some perspective on how to elevate your videos for marketing.

Did we miss out on your favorite software for video editing? Let us know in the comments below!


6 Best Case Practices For Creating Thumbstopper Videos

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 24 June , 2020
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    • 4 min read

Why Thumbstopper?

The rapid rise of mobile devices as a medium of advertising has challenged all we know about how to capture attention and tell stories. 

Research has shown that the average attention span of a consumer is barely 8 seconds. To put it in context, one a second less than that of a goldfish.

According to Facebook, “Consumers take just quarter of a second to process an ad on mobile.”

Commensurate with this revelation, marketing professionals throughout the world are creating shorter, more attention grabbing content.

Recently, Malabar Gold and Social Beat came up with a campaign for International Men’s day to promote Malabar Gold’s ‘Men in Platinum collection’. Two thumbstopper videos were released which aimed to break the stereotype of the ‘macho culture’ and how all men should be appreciated for who they are. The video reached around 13 lakh people across Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Malabar Gold’s Facebook page saw an increase in user engagement by 450%! This proves that thumbstopper videos, when done right, can change the way brands can connect with their target audience. 

 

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Facebook came out with what they described as the “first-of-its-kind initiative to redefine short-form mobile video creativity in the country”, called the thumbstopper.

What is a Thumbstopper? And how to make an effective Thumbstopper?

The thumbstopper is essentially a 10 second long, vertical, short-form video creative built around a strong emotional core to narrate a brand’s story. 

This fascinating new content format solves every marketer’s problem of addressing short attention spans in an era of growing mobile advertising.  Here are ways to nail thumbstoppers for your brands.

A successful thumbstopper video should meet the following 6 critical criteria:

  1. Video Duration
  2. Brand Placement
  3. Striking Visuals
  4. Sound effects 
  5. Grand Opening
  6. Surprise element 

1. Video Duration

“52% of the total brand lift driven by video comes from impressions that were short-view, or under views under two seconds.” - "Video Viewability and Sales Lift Research" by Facebook and Oracle, Sept 2017. 

As a thumb-rule thumbstoppers should not be longer than 10 seconds.It may be challenging to complete your story in such a short time. You can try and showcase a moment, a reaction or a visual representation of the product’s benefit.  For more complex stories, you can use more quick, multiple “chapters” that have a greater impact. 

2. Brand Placement

“Thumbstopper videos had a 2x lift in ad recall if branding occurs within the first three seconds” -  Stand Out in Feed: Optimizing Video Creative on Mobile" by Facebook IQ, Dec 2017 . It’s best to showcase your brand in the first 3 seconds of your thumbstopper. You can do this by showing a logo, well known spokespeople, striking colors, products or visuals. Also make sure that you communicate your brand promise in a simple & attention grabbing way to obtain the best results. You can do this by using cutaways to showcase multiple product colors or variants. 

Front-load your concept or script  - put your brand promise and key messages up front, in the most direct way possible. 

3. Striking Visuals 

MMA’s research shows that when an ad first appears on the screen (one tenth of a second), it is mostly seen as a blur but even this instant blur is enough to evoke an emotional response.

Make the most of the colors at your disposal: The usage of colour in advertising is often a very important strategy, since colours have a tremendous psychological impact on people. Our brain makes associations with certain colors that bridge the gap between your brand and your TG.

As a best practice, use of contrasting colors. This will make your creative stand out in a sea of monotony. 

And most importantly, embrace your brand colors. Use them repeatedly for your audience to associate your brand with those colors

4. Sound effects:

Facebook has created a system wherein you don’t have to turn up the volume to enjoy videos. This has got many brands and content creators thinking on how to embrace silence and find ways to grab viewers’ attention without sound: The thumstopper is no exception

  • Use knots and screenplays that do not involve dialogue and which are instead highly visually appealing.
  • Make good typography your best buddy. Text and graphics make your message easier to understand in a muted environment.
  • Make sure you always caption your thumbstopper video in case it contains dialogues. 
  • Make sure that the background score is soothing, feel-good and charms the viewer, just in case they decide to turn up the volume. 

5. Grand Opening 

MMA’s cognition study shows that people responded strongly to human faces, body parts or even icons that are shaped like bodies.

To get the maximum output, include a human element that is high on emotion. The hero should be at the center of the story. With all of us swiping quickly through our newsfeeds, your brand must make a real impact in just under 10 seconds. Hence, bring your most exciting frame upfront.

Capture attention with branding or text, quickly. An interesting way to open would be to use the hero element of your brand right in the beginning. You can also use vernacular videos as thumbstoppers with a grand opening as part of your video marketing strategy! 

Try using text captions to emphasize core messages at the outset. You can also add an interesting copy at the end of the thumbstopper so that the message is etched in your viewers’ memories. 

6. Surprise element:

Top-performing mobile ads always have a surprise element. Introducing surprise design elements may seem counter-intuitive, but it can transform the ad completely! 

Use the different creation tools that are already available on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Can the thumbstopper be a Boomerang or Hyperlapse? Have you used an IG sticker or Poll in your ad? The possibilities are endless! 

You can write a creative scene. Is it possible to use time as a creative device? Will a fresh copy approach work? 

There are several ways through which you can innovatively approach Thumstopper videos. In the end it’s all about creating a huge, positive impact for your brand.  The idea is to create memorable moments and create a lasting impression on your customer’s mind.

Through the Malabar Gold Campaign, Social Beat successfully managed to do this. Not only did the thumbstopper campaign create a visual impact, but also a social impact which aimed to change the way people currently perceive certain practices in society. Social Beat, one of India’s leading digital marketing agencies is helping several brands across the country leverage their video marketing efforts through innovative, path-breaking and high impact methods such as creating unique thumbstoppers. 

If you want your brand to reach out to millions of people, try the thumbstopper approach. You will not be disappointed!  


How can you create impactful videos during a lockdown

  • Divya Ram
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  • 28 May , 2020
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    • 4 min read

There are many things uniting us during this lockdown. One of which is our online content consumption, particularly videos. Does it feel like you’ve seen everything? Admit it. At some point, we’ve literally become one of the several memes we share daily.

Btw, my favorite pasta sauce (Arrabbiata FYI) tells me I eat healthy, read a lot and bring happiness to people. So… I have new goals for this month in lockdown.

As a consequence of the pandemic and uncertainty of the future, we are all dealing with anxiety and stress, literally keeping us up at night. Being restricted indoors and being inundated with grim news definitely doesn’t help. There has been a rise in good news movements across the world to bring some hope and positivity to people. 

We are actively seeking, looking at, and sharing meaningful content to boost each other in these strange times, to stay connected as we socially distance ourselves. 

It’s the ideal time for brands to publish content that can leave a lasting positive impact. Let’s talk numbers. 92% of marketers say video is an important part of their strategy as it provides positive ROI. 65% of users watch over three-quarters of a video and 92% of users on their mobile devices tend to share videos with their circle. 

But with video productions halted, what are the ways in which you can engage your target audience?

Brands have used user-generated content, home videos and existing footage to provide some hard-hitting content, highlighting the importance of staying home and relating it back to their brand. 

Here are some video types you can explore at this time (and where we can help!):

Home-made films: 

Let’s pretend we are in college and get back to the basics: boot-strap filmmaking. The idea plays a bigger role than the production quality. Sony Pictures & Kalyan Jewellers recently provided this gem which managed to connect all of the Indian audiences. UpGrad got some stars to film themselves at home to encourage upskilling while we sit at home.

With all of us missing the good ol’ office days, Tata Cliq came to us to create a campaign that could soothe work-from-home blues.  While content surrounding employees missing workplaces already existed, we decided to tell the story from a different perspective. The campaign film is narrated through different inanimate objects around office, telling employees #YouMadeItCliq. The film was executed using purchased stock footage and voice-overs from different theatre artists and radio jockeys to bring the objects to life. 

After Team Social Beat went into work-from-home mode, we produced a home-made video to check-in and remind each other the proper way to wash hands.  For Earth Day, we published a video made entirely from copyright-free videos sourced online. Using in-house talent to get the narration in place and minimal text narration, we encouraged people to remain conscious of the use of the earth’s resources, even after lockdown. 

There are several ways a video can be executed even with the on and off-screen talent sitting in their own homes. The video content is what sets it apart. While different themes can be explored, the two popular routes we see at this time is humour and the social/empathetic route. It’s crucial to focus on the message of the video as, in this scenario, the idea trumps production quality. 

Animated videos:

There are many types of animation videos we can leverage - typography, vector-based and sketch-based videos,  2D animation, explainer videos, and more

These videos can be used across channels to engage with your audience. As YouTube ads to social media posts and stories, depending on the type and duration, these videos can be churned out relatively quickly. Ideal to stay relevant, tap into trending topics, and publish timely content. 

An easily communicable disease making its way across the globe can be pretty terrifying, more so for those who have pre-existing medical conditions. Dr. Reddy’s reached out to us to create a film for their nutritional health drink, Celevida. The campaign film, #WinLifeEveryDay, showcases the key benefits of the health drink being a nutritional supplement for diabetics, supporting immunity and helping fight against infections.

Influencer videos:

Another group of people who are home and are experts at producing home-made videos that can help promote your brand in an authentic way - influencers. 

Influencer marketing campaigns are a no-brainer in the current climate. Not only do we consume a lot of influencer videos, we are guilty of turning into mini influencers with posts on new workouts, recipes, hobbies, and more! Even those of us who swore off TikTok have now participated in and posted our TikTok challenges. This is a safe space, you can admit it. 

Our influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in, has an extensive database of more than 40K influencers across categories like lifestyle, health, fashion, food, entertainment, and more! With the ban of TikTok in Jun 2020, there are a host of TikTok alternatives that have come up in India too.

For Himalaya Quista Pro, we partnered with influencers to share home workout tips and routines. boAt took to TikTok with the campaign #boAtheadStayINsane, creating challenges that can be done indoors and encouraging the audience to do the same. With social distancing in place, Khatabook took to TikTok to tell shopowners not to worry, they just need to download the app to get their pending payments. 

Since people are indoors and available, it’s a great time to go LIVE. There has been a jump in people viewing and participating in Live videos across TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Partnering with influencers and experts, through Live Q&As, FAQs, interviews, and more, brands can start a dialogue directly with their audience. 

As we can see… 

There are plenty of ways we can continue to engage our audience through videos. What’s important to ensure is that the message communicated through the video does not come across as insensitive and out-of-touch which will reverberate long after we cross this tunnel. It’s crucial to stay empathetic, true, and show solidarity in these unprecedented times. 

I’ll leave you with this meme. 


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

  • Roshni Chhabria
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  • 20 April , 2020
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    • 5 min read

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Which Ad Inventory To Explore?

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

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

What metrics to track?

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

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

 

Prompt video viewers to consider the brand

 

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

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

 

Which Ad Inventory To Explore?

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

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

What metrics to track?

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

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

 

Drive the brand’s most engaged audiences to convert

 

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

 

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

Which Ad Inventory To Explore?

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

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

What metrics to track?

CPL is typically used to track metrics. 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 


Growth Marketing for Startups: Scale Your Way to the Top

  • Deepsikha Agarwal
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  • 26 March , 2020
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    • 7 min read

A product may be extraordinary, but only a stellar marketing approach will help give it the boost it requires to get the conversation going and keep it that way. In a digital age, leveraging growth marketing to lift your startup off the ground is a powerful way to grow your user base quickly, and growth hacking can be shaped to work with almost any marketing requirement. 

But to begin with, what is growth marketing? And how is it different from traditional marketing?

Growth Marketing versus Traditional Marketing

Growth marketing

Since your target audience isn’t aware of what you’re offering, your approach to marketing needs to be strategic. Simply put, growth marketing is a process of selecting and implementing scalable tactics used to swiftly drive a large reach on a budget. Experiential marketing allows you to test the waters, analyse trends and optimize marketing campaigns for optimal results. This helps increase acquisition, retention, recall, engagement, and a positive brand image, regardless of whether your company has a webpage, an app, or both. Growth marketing strategies will work for the common and unique components of both.

Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing focuses on the top of the funnel and follows the same principles in helping your brand build its market presence, but it does not implement optimized results the way growth marketing does. The latter nurtures the relationship with the audience, acting on the feedback of consumers, enabling growth in customer relationships, and thus, steady growth in the brand’s visibility.

With limited time, money, and manpower in the initial phases, it is unlikely that traditional marketing will be the right fit for bootstrapped startups that need to scale up quickly.

What are the elements of growth marketing?

Growth marketing for startups uses a combination of tools to drive growth and traffic, which can ultimately culminate as a marketing mix model strategy. With a 360-degree approach, growth marketing also doubles as full-funnel marketing, with brand-building aspects like search engine optimisation, performance marketing, and social media marketing. 

Here’s a look at how each element can work wonders for a brand.

Performance marketing

Assuming a startup has reached its market, the next step is to run ads online and track and analyse the data generated from various sources. Continually tracking and optimising campaigns will always be impactful since insights help pave a tailored path to achieve the desired results. 

Using programmatic and analytical solutions 

Media buying through programmatic solutions automates the process and enables the analysis and optimisation of campaigns with machine learning and AI. Using automated dashboards for analytical reporting allows you to consolidate campaign insights from various platforms to make swifter business decisions with a data-informed approach. There are also tools that help calculate the effectiveness of a brand’s campaigns in comparison to its competitors’. 

Leveraging and analysing first-party data 

Use Google Analytics and other tools to analyse which pages are witnessing better traffic and lesser traffic, and optimise both. Information like location, gender, age, clicks, session durations, ad engagement, and more, can all inform you on audience interests, helping you to build an insightful audience profile.

Case study

For our strategy for KhataBook, we leveraged TikTok, Facebook and Google to increase app installs, customer events, and acquisition, with different campaigns and creative resources. Alongside this, by using features such as ad scheduling and retargeting, we were able to achieve 1 million downloads on the Play Store. This goes to show that playing with different strategies will help you reach your goals eventually, but a lot faster. 

Social media marketing

Social media combines content and performance marketing to offer a one-stop-shop for guaranteed engagement. With so many different platforms for different kinds of enterprises, a startup only has to pick and choose which to use - from the most essential ones, like Instagram and Facebook, to niche ones, like LinkedIn and TikTok.

Leveraging the essential platforms

Your growth marketing strategy must include the Facebook family of apps, which includes Instagram, Twitter and even WhatsApp. With target audience segments and tools to run optimised ads, social media also enables measured results and insights. Apart from this, social media platforms offer readily available insights and data for the audience base you want to tap into. With hashtags volumes, follower counts, engagement through likes and views, and even digital marketplaces, your brand can drive ROI swiftly.

Extending your online presence

New platforms like TikTok are growing at breakneck speed and should be leveraged to increase your brand presence. By tracking the performance of your posts on a variety of platforms, you’ll be able to discern which platforms work best in terms of lead generation, audience engagement, and data collection. 

These platforms allow you to use multiple combinations of ad formats, such as video ads, HTML creatives, GIFs, and more. This is a great way to hack your content and see which creative resources are working best. 

Incentivize content

As discussed earlier, you can increase acquisitions by running referral campaigns. Audiences are always looking out for coupons, freebies, and bargains. Doing so will generate a buzz online around your brand, and will help to drive growth. While you should have these on your app or website, promoting these on your social media handles will give the campaign the boost it needs to generate and garner attention.

Engage with audiences

Social media is obviously the best way to engage with audiences far and wide, and it’s up to you to expand your strategy beyond likes and comments on posts. Explore the ‘stories' features that several of them offer, and come up with ways to be creative there. Data shows that over 400 million people engage with Instagram’s ‘stories’ feature daily. With both video and post formats available, adding elements like polls, countdowns, quizzes, filters, and stickers can increase your engagement rates exponentially. You can also ask customers to mention and tag you so that you can feature user-generated content as testimonials to your brand offering.

Influencer marketing

Social media is also great to connect with influencers and known personalities that can benefit your brand image. Seeking out conversations, tie-ups, and influencer posts work to create word-of-mouth marketing, amassing relevant audiences that are more likely to have a higher life-time value. Apart from the usual featured posts, other ideas include live streams on Instagram, re-tweeting posts, and following content based on viral social trends.

Content and SEO marketing

Content can be considered the driving force behind your organic marketing strategy. Continued and sustained audience engagement through authentic and valuable content will keep traffic incoming and ongoing, and your content will rank higher on search engines. It’s also more likely that these audiences will turn to you for trusted information over and over again, building customer loyalty.

The following growth marketing strategies are critical for increasing organic traffic and conversion rates. 

Blogs

Creating a blog is an essential hack to drive visibility and website traffic. Not only does it acquaint audiences with a startup’s product, but it also creates an opportunity to grow leads by offering relevant content in exchange for the visitor’s email. 

Other methods of creating content

Using out-of-the-box content marketing ideas will help your startup stand out from the competition. Based on the kind of product or service being offered, startups can choose to put out content through influencer marketing, customer testimonials, social media, by leveraging Quora and by creating multilingual content

Hacking your content

For startups, growth marketing with content also means efficiently using time and resources. Creating new content is essential, but it can also become time-consuming. In this case, repurposing existing content can help speed things up. For example, turn blogs into videos, ebooks, Instagram posts and more. This strategy builds your content base and simultaneously increases opportunities for shareability with your target audiences. It also offers variety to target different audience interests - someone who isn’t big on reading may be more open to watching a video on the same content. 

Encourage user-generated content

Ask customers to leave reviews whichever way they can, whether it’s through feedback forms, emails, or social media messages. A lot of brands that are just starting out also request their first batches of customers to send in their thoughts about the product through a note included with the packaging. This personal touch to the product compels them to comply, and you can then feature these across your online handles. This will build an element of trust for future customers and users.

Case study

To understand the facets of content, we can turn to our strategy for our client mfine, a cloud-based app where users can book instant consultations. They wanted to build a strong content strategy for overall organic growth. Since they are a newage startup, we analysed what would help them grow exponentially, and suggested running aggressive SEO strategies. This included building high-quality external backlinks, optimising existing pages with highly competitive keywords, building long-form content, and interlinking blogs and relevant pages.

This resulted in organic and increased visibility of their medical speciality pages, with an increase of 3,00,000 sessions in the span of 4 months. Traffic also increased steadily month by month, and 1000 of the keywords ranked on the first page of search results. The interlinks also helped decrease bounce rates and increased the amount of time spent on pages. All this goes to show that building on an organic strategy guarantees astounding results.

Video marketing 

Video marketing is a crucial part of content marketing as well but can be considered as a separate strategy owing to the number of ways you can go about it. Video content is one trend of the last decade that has taken off with virality, conveying dense amounts of information in a concise manner. To put things in perspective, 65% of viewers watch over 3/4th of a video, and 92% of viewers on mobile devices share videos with their circles. 

Types of video ads

By using a wide range of video ad formats across platforms, not only will you increase audience engagement, but you’ll also be able to track different parameters of data. From thumb stoppers, bumper and discovery ads to skippable and non-skippable ads, there’s a plethora of formats to play with. 

The kind of content you create with your videos also matters, since these will increase engagement, traffic, session duration, and customer loyalty in the long run. Your videos may fall into three broad categories, namely awareness, educational, and entertainment. Examples of these include:

  • Explainer videos, walk-throughs
  • Product tutorials, reviews, and reveals
  • Round-ups
  • PSAs
  • Case studies
  • Theatrical or humorous cuts/skits
  • Behind the scenes
  • Vlogs 
  • Q&A, interviews
  • Announcements, live sessions
  • Influencer tie-ups

Vernacular content

Implementing strategies in regional languages is, once again, another tangent of content marketing. With higher Internet connectivity in today’s day and age, new data users are increasing, and in India, it is estimated that there will be an unprecedented billion users that will make the move online. With this new wave of users, a new challenge is posed - ensuring that your content is in a language they can read and speak. 

Since over half of these audience segments come from Tier II and Tier III cities, having a multilingual marketing strategy can bring your brand to the forefront in a line of competitors. Moreover, it will not be enough to implement this on your webpage, but with your app, videos, creatives, ads, and all other content as well.

Case study

For KhataBook, we leveraged the growth of regional content online and created close to 200-300 videos in regional languages across platforms. On TikTok, we partnered with influencers who created these videos for us, and their relatable content in different vernaculars, with a large focus on the top South Indian languages, helped us garner 1 million app downloads, making the campaign a huge success.

Online and offline integration

While traditional marketing shouldn’t be your sole approach to hacking your startup’s growth, it is not entirely redundant to your strategy. By using the strategy of online to offline attribution, a company can work to uniquely build a strong brand presence. 

Conclusion

Combining all these strategies and tools might seem daunting at first, but they’re a lot easier to implement, and don’t take as much time to get started with either. Seeing results will take a few months, but with steady optimisation and performance tracking, you’ll be knocking your goals out of the park in no time. All it takes is an analytical approach to see what works and what doesn’t, and then tweaking it over and over again as you watch the numbers rise.


3 evergreen marketing trends of the last decade

  • Deepsikha Agarwal
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  • 24 February , 2020
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    • 5 min read

Marketing is all around us. It is more than the ads we see plastered across billboards, the jingles on our radios, and the ads on our TVs. With new digital platforms mushrooming, marketing has definitely evolved over the first decade of the 21st century. Having said that, there are certain aspects of marketing that form the crux of it and have remained timeless essentials that work to build a brand. Here are three such trends:

1. Storytelling

The art of storytelling remains powerful and paramount in the world of marketing. Simply because stories serve as effective communication that consumers connect with. Things that move us, be it with humour, emotion, or anything else, leave an impact, and brands have been quick to grasp the many benefits of utilizing this. Using storytelling captures attention and reels people in to see the story through to the end. This increases brand recall, awareness, and more importantly a connection with a brand that consumers can identify with. 

This is best understood through stories of how some brands used engaging narratives to set the stage to pack an emotional or meaningful punch, or vox-pop videos to increase engagement. Be it the films that BMW launched in the early 2000s to showcase their cars or the recent Puma campaign on what it is to be a “proper” woman that used the stories of successful women like Mary Kom, Dutee Chand, Anjali Lama, and others, to celebrate and give expression to individuality and women empowerment. The common aspect of both these campaigns is effective storytelling that got the audience’s attention. This is an evergreen trend that will continue to be the most important aspect of marketing. 

Using storytelling to spread awareness on gender disparity - Wonderchef

Our #DearManHoldThePan social experiment campaign with WonderChef used impactful storytelling to address gender disparity, starting in the kitchen, between a woman’s role in the kitchen in comparison to that of a man. Cooking is an essential life skill that shouldn’t be gendered as a role, and this is the story we wanted to bring out. The video sees conversations with different men and women based on their real-life experiences, notably proving that women still bear the brunt of kitchen responsibilities. Garnering over 2 million combined views on Facebook and Instagram, the video went viral upon its launch, with scores of people coming forward in agreement. Our influencer campaign #IHeldThePan had the likes of Jay Bhanushali, Swapnil Joshi and 73 other such famous personalities speak up for the cause, proving that storytelling is not only a great way to showcase your creativity, but also guarantees results.

2. Influencer/word-of-mouth marketing

How many times have we tried a product just because a friend said it worked well for them? We all do this. Hearing from someone else that a certain product worked for them, or about an interesting ad that piqued their interest can do wonders for a brand. This is where influencer marketing comes into play and this type of word-of-mouth advertising has remained a strong driver for customer engagement. Brands have employed influencers and celebrities alike to promote their products for them. 

People follow these personalities as they can identify closely with them and want to be like them. Word of mouth creates an image of trust and reliability around the product and serves as first-hand product testimonies. 

Case in point, Himalaya facial wipes, which focused solely on marketing through word of mouth, employed influencers from a range of different niches - from lifestyle and fashion. These influencers used facial wipes and created engaging content on both their blogs and social media handles.  The content was eye-catching, tailored to the kind of followers each influencer had garnered. By exuding class through the product itself, and reliability through the firsthand nature of its marketing, their facial wipes were featured in images across the globe, helping them to amass a total impression of 10 lakh and a total engagement and clicks of 1.7 lakhs. 

Driving app installs and purchases through influencer marketing - Bewakoof

With the objective of connecting Bewakoof with the relevant audience, we partnered with 9 millennial influencers from across India on TikTok. We asked them to create content to promote Bewakoof’s merchandise, with a call-to-action encouraging viewers and followers to download the app. The videos used the popular method of displaying before and after transformations, showing them as their most stylish selves once they wore Bewakoof’s line of apparel. This word-of-mouth marketing drove engagement and helped Bewakoof achieve over 25,000 app installs and more than 750 conversions, with a great return on ad spends. These results drive home the fact that consumers are more likely to listen to people they look up to, who vouch for the reliability of a product.

3. Personalisation

As we mentioned before, people connect with brands more when they identify with them. One of the key ways to make that happen is by creating personalised content for audiences. It is a crucial part of the customer journey and the experience itself. This is why brands incorporate personalisation with three relevant and significant elements in their marketing strategies - geographic, demographic and language. Personalisation, as a trend has remained unchanging because of how fundamental it is in any campaign. Segmenting your audiences and showing them customised messaging based on their likes and interests can positively influence any campaign and the brand connect. Personalised design and content, too, play an integral role in delivering results.

With marketers having access to real-time data and AI coming into play, personalisation is going to become a lot more accurate, making the customer journey much more enjoyable if used the right way. 

Driving higher impact at a lower cost with testimonial ads - Sundaram 

In order to bring out the long-term rewards of investing in mutual funds, we helped Sundaram run ads that showcased the end results of doing so. We created ads with customized investment journeys for different audience segments. These ads displayed different visuals which implied that by investing in mutual funds, people could reach their financial goals to achieve their dreams. For example, we targeted travel enthusiasts who searched for travel and investment-related brands and competitor keywords by placing ads on travel sites. Similarly, we ran personalized ads for car enthusiasts who had also searched for investment-related keywords. In our targeting segments, we excluded audiences who searched for car parts, servicing or accessories to ensure relevant audiences saw the ads. To add to that, the ads used images customized for a better fit instead of generic stock images. This resulted in a staggering 91% increase in conversion rates, a 32% decrease in cost per lead, and a 39% increase in click-through rates. This goes to show that personalisation gets messages across better, with higher impact. 

So while this decade saw some great new marketing trends come up, only the methods that get to the heart of the matter and look at long-term gains really stick their landing. As the world around us changes, these techniques also evolve and grow to accommodate newer inputs. With a whole new decade upon us, marketing in 2020 will see new technologies unfurl and change the playing field, pulling brands to think out of the box. 

This article was originally published in Business Standard.


YouTube Brandcast India 2019 – Some key learnings for marketers

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 11 April , 2019
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    • 5 min read

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

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

YouTube has become a platform for all types of content

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

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

How is the media landscape evolving?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The objective:

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

How was the campaign executed?

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

The results

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

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

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

What do brands need to consider to increase ROI

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

1. The consumer’s attention

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

2. Understanding customers better

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

3. The content needs to be mobile optimised

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

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

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

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


YouTube SEO tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 12 March , 2019
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    • < 1 min read

There are currently around 225 million active Indian users on YouTube, with this number expected to increase to 500 million by 2020. Interestingly, this platform’s popularity spans across age groups, languages and regions. 60 percent of videos are watched by audiences outside the top 6 cities in India. Brands are also increasingly switching to YouTube ads from traditional media

SEO in 2019 and beyond requires us to rethink our very concept of search engines in order to rank for them. Google might be the undisputed king in this realm, but YouTube closely follows as the second largest search engine in the world. To grow your organic traffic, marketers cannot afford to ignore YouTube SEO.

Our comprehensive YouTube SEO guide covers eight helpful YouTube SEO tips that you can start implementing immediately!

Read more:

 

 

 


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

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 8 March , 2019
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    • 4 min read

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

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

It helps communicate the brands' message

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

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

Vox pops are budget friendly

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

It sparks a conversation

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

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

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

Vox pops are relatable

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

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

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


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. 

Be sure to watch our detailed video on a complete guide to Voice Search Marketing for more tips and insights.

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 India

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. Programmatic advertising is rapidly growing in India with Google Marketing Platform (GMP) leading the way. 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.

If you're looking for more information into digital marketing trends that will shape India in 2019, do check out our co-founder Vikas' in-depth video below.

The great thing about the digital space is that trends are always shifting, making space for new trends to come up. Check out our article on the trends we predict will shape 2020.

Entertainment Goes Online- India’s $5 billion video streaming opportunity

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

The Over-the-top (OTT) content is the next big thing in video content according to the report  ‘Entertainment Goes Online’ published by the Boston Consulting Group. OTT is video content consumed over the internet as opposed to traditional media. The report states that the OTT market is estimated to become a $5 billion market by 2023. This shift in the market is a result of various elements such as the rising affluence in the country, an increase in the infiltration of data and smartphones into rural areas and the adoption of this data across numerous demographics in the market including older generations and women. In recent years, the OTT space in India has become incredibly competitive and is attracting various players with different business models such as Netflix and Amazon.

Why has the OTT market increased in India?

The study Entertainment Goes Online is a consumer survey report that aims to understand the reasons why consumers prefer OTT content over traditional forms of media. The results of the survey show that there is a demand for different forms of OTT like SVOD (subscription-based platforms), AVOD (advertising-based platforms) and TVOD (transaction-based platforms) where these models can not just co-exist but thrive as well. There are many reasons why OTT content has become so popular in India:

1. Improved connectivity in rural areas and a fall in data costs

Thanks to the introduction of Reliance Jio, data has become more affordable and accessible to people all over India. Research has shown that after the introduction of Jio, the quarterly consumption of data has increased by tenfold with the growth driven primarily by the consumption of data on a mobile device. On-the-go data consumption is more efficient and the Reliance Jio has made this accessible for all thereby creating a large market for OTT consumption.

2. Increase in the use of smartphones

In the last 5 years, there has been a large growth in the usage of TVs and smartphones in India and it has become an integral part of everyone’s lives. There are 3 billion smartphones worldwide with 450+ million of them in the Indian market. Smart TVs have also become increasingly popular and do not require a setup box allowing consumers to watch content on the web, on a mobile app or on their Smart TVs.

3. The supply of content

Indians usually consumed video content on Youtube but the OTT market started off with content from local market players. With the entry of global companies such as Netflix and Amazon, Indian consumers are prepared to pay more for compelling content. The variety of content available on these platforms has led to the growth in viewership around the country which has fed into an increase in online video advertising as well. In India, the OTT content platform Hotstar has had a massive reach in the audience and a 10x growth since its launch in 2015. Till date, there have been 350Mn installs, 180 Mn monthly active users with each user spending 43 minutes on the platform each day.

4. Favourable demographics

India is witnessing a large shift in the income distribution in the country with an increase in its affluent population. This upward mobilisation and increased access to smartphones have led to greater online consumption via OTT. One of India’s major media platforms, Hotstar, gets 88% of its traffic from the age group of 18-34. Additionally, the availability of internet in rural parts of India has expanded the demand for OTT content. Research shows that by 2020 50% of internet users will be from rural areas in India. The favourable demographics create a large market for OTT to take off in India.

Key learnings from the study

The study conducted by BCG identified three types of viewers in the Indian market:

  • Traditionalist- These consumers usually consume content on conventional forms of media. They watch TV but not OTT and account for 60% of those surveyed.
  • OTT experimenter- These are people that consume content on OTT and traditional forms of media. They are avid watchers of AVOD and account for 30 per cent of those surveyed.  
  • Early adopter- This is a person that consumes content on OTT platforms only. While this is still an urban phenomenon, more people will join this group in the upcoming years. They are heavy watchers of SVOD and accounted for 10 per cent of those surveyed.

By 2023, it is estimated that 48% of India’s internet users will be from rural parts. This will provide a largely untapped market for new OTT players who will have the opportunity to tap into rural markets that have access to the internet. ‘‘Indian content, including music, Bollywood content and cricket, have a large following in the Indian diaspora also. OTT players with Indian content have the potential to tap into this market too’”, said Gaurav Jindal, Principal at the Boston Consulting Group.

According to Kanchan Samtani, a Partner and Director at Boston Consulting Group, ‘one of the key insights in the study were that although OTTs use top-notch hero content to attract consumers, these customers do not stick on for long unless they are engaged by strong marketing efforts on the part of the OTT.’

How can OTT players capture the Indian market?

Although the market for OTT companies is large, there is still a long way to go before the market catches up to its counterparts in the western world. The BCG report examines six ways OTT companies can penetrate the Indian market:

1. Breaking the clutter: A strong marketing challenge

Many consumers today are faced with a choice of more than 30 OTT platforms that they consider to be mostly homogeneous. Many companies assume that consumers are rational and can decide which platform is right for them, but in reality, it is the duty of the companies to guide customers to their various choices and let them know how the platform can meet their entertainment needs.

2. Differentiated content is king

The best way for OTT platforms to gain customers is to differentiate themselves from other companies. There are many companies that provide the same type of ‘hero’ content so in order to be successful OTT, companies need to create an identity for themselves and provide unique content. There are still numerous untapped ‘niches’ in the Indian market such as music and programs for kids. There is also a desire to view and listen to Bollywood music which is still a feature that is not available on most OTT platforms along with a lack of kid-specific content on the platforms.

3. The strategy needs to be geographically focused

Creating more content in a regional language that is more culturally specific is in demand among consumers in India. The vernacular content can help the OTT platform cover smaller segments such as news, religion or spiritual content. There is also a market for ‘relevant focused religious plays’ in various parts of the country. Therefore it is important for OTT companies to leverage this to their advantage and pick important markets and invest carefully. Additionally, focusing on regional content can help an OTT platform differentiate themselves from their competitors. The OTT platform Hotstar offers over 40K hours of regional programming. It is estimated that up to 40% of their users consume content in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Malayalam.

4. Consumer data, consumer insight, big data and analytics

Big data has become increasingly popular in recent years and it helps companies gain a competitive advantage in the market. Analysing data can help gain an understanding of consumer insights and the data analytics can help monetize the OTT platform.

OTT creates a large amount of data and it is vital for companies in the industry to understand where consumers come from and what they watch. This can help predict consumers interests moving forward so they can provide a service in the most cost-effective manner. Understanding customer interests at this granular level can help companies take their platform to the next level.

5. Establishing a new currency for the OTT industry for measurement

OTT companies need to create a currency to measure the impact of advertisers is synonymous with the value added. The currency is especially useful for AVOD models where the currency can help take a more holistic approach to the value and analyse the quantum, quality and segments. A common currency will also bring more acceptance among ad buyers which can help increase the number of OTT watchers.

6. Invest in the right tech, create a user-friendly, economically viable product

Consumers demand a lot from online platforms and are often influenced by various touchpoints. OTT platform companies need to be able to understand and address their concerns on technology in an effective way in order to scale their business. The companies need to create a user-friendly platform to help build critical mass. This critical mass will help platforms improve their overall customer service experience across different devices.

There is a big opportunity in the over-the-top market in India. It is important for companies to scale their business and monetise this opportunity which can help result in significant gains. With the rise in the affordability and accessibility of platforms, there will be a lot of competition in this market and only a few companies may emerge victorious.


Social Beat and TATA Mutual remind taxpayers to say #NoToKatauti

  • Rhea
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  • 18 February , 2019
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    • 3 min read

The main challenge for a mutual funds company in India is attracting a wider audience, especially among the younger demographic. Investments are often considered too complicated for a layperson to understand, with little to no short-term gains. But while the benefits of investments remain a vague concept, individuals are all too familiar with the pain of having their salaries reduced because of taxes. TATA Mutual Funds has woven these twin concerns to raise awareness of the tax-saving benefits of investing in an ELSS scheme.

To capitalise on the growing potential of video and market their product in a completely innovative way, TATA Mutual Fund collaborated with Social Beat, a leading digital marketing solutions company. Social Beat conceptualised a video campaign for them that would break through the clutter and stand out in the competitive mutual funds space in India. Comprising of four short videos based around a common theme, the video campaign highlighted the importance of investing in an ELSS tax-saving scheme.

The idea behind the campaign

Cometh March and the heebie-jeebies flare up like rashes. One dreads to look at the pay-slip as the fear of ‘katauti’ gets amplified. Tata Mutual Fund’s latest campaign on ELSS captures this feeling of being short-changed. A series of 4 ads have protagonists across demographics including a working woman, a management trainee, a sportsman and an executive relaxing in his home.

TATA Mutual Funds looked to Social Beat to highlight this common grouse by presenting their ELSS scheme in a completely different way. Speaking about the objective behind their campaign, Mr Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat, said, “We wanted to make the ELSS scheme more relatable for audiences. The one factor that our entire audience has in common is that no one likes their income being reduced because of tax. We distilled this idea into the central concept for our campaign: ‘How people feel when they don’t get what they deserve’. This idea gave us plenty of room to play around with and communicate the benefits of an ELSS scheme in a creative way.”

Conceptualising and creating the campaign

Building on this concept, the team at Social Beat created four videos based around common storylines that most people can relate to. They used everyday scenarios that everyone, no matter what their age or gender, can identify with, for instance, shopping for groceries and ordering a pizza. The frustration that the characters feel when they get one less slice of pizza than what they expected or when the vendor gives them fewer vegetables than what they asked for, is similar to what many of us go through when our salaries are reduced because of tax. This idea was distilled into the catchy hashtag #NoToKatauti.”

The final launch

The videos are currently being promoted on YouTube and Facebook. With an incredible 225 million and 240 million Indians respectively on these platforms, they are certain to attract a large viewership. “Content is the crucial differentiator when there is product parity. Technology helps make an incisive reach to the correct set of audiences. We chose to take up video on digital because of its growth as a primary form of content consumption. Initial reactions to our films have been that of “Hey! This is exactly how I feel when my March payslip has a ‘skimmed’ salary for the month!” The Distributor Community too have lapped up the commercial and shared positive feedback. With over a million impressions and counting, this is easily amongst our most successful online campaigns,” says M.V.S.Murthy, Head – Marketing, Digital & Corporate Communications, Tata Mutual Fund

For a BFSI company looking to create brand awareness and improving customer retention, videos have clearly become one of the most effective strategies to employ.

This article originally appeared 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.


7 tips to create compelling videos that convert

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 8 January , 2019
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    • 6 min read

Looking for ways to create thumb-stopping content for your brand? Then videos are definitely your best bet! Video content was one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2018 and is here to stay. Thanks to the cheaper data plans available in the market today, videos can easily be streamed online, without any hassle, on screens of all sizes. Furthermore, smartphones have evolved with high-precision cameras, editing suites and a plethora of video-based apps, making videos easily shareable on all platforms. Moreover, with so much content being shared in the digital landscape, brands are looking for newer ways to stand out of the crowd. These reasons have paved the way for videos to be the lever in boosting conversions for a brand.

Now that you are convinced that video marketing is the way to go, let’s take a look at a few fool-proof video editing tips to make compelling videos that increase conversion rates for your business.

Be precise and direct

Plan your video in such a way that it is crisp, short and communicates your message quickly and effectively. The first 3 to 4 seconds of your video are most crucial. Make sure your brand name and objective of the campaign is communicated within this time. According to a recent Facebook survey, you can expect a 20% increase in the number of people finishing the video by practising this technique. Additionally, it is important to incorporate text on videos since most videos are watched in mute, especially on mobile. You can use text in the form of subtitles or any other medium to keep viewers engaged and communicate your brand story even with no sound.

You can also experiment with short versions of your video instead of treating it as one big aspect. One of the best video editing tips is to cut it down with multiple storylines. You can also add effects and use the multitude of formats offered by Facebook and Instagram to make it interesting. By doing this, you can create multiple videos that target different audiences, widening your chances of going viral. Here is a sample video that we did for a real estate builder:

Tap trending topics

Emotional content works wonders on viewers, especially when portrayed in the form of a touching video. Increase the visibility of your brand by tapping trending topics that may not directly speak about your products and services but creates a stir because of the emotional quotient. This is one of the most effective video making tips that will help in creating soul-stirring original content which is always a hit in the digital space.

When Sundaram Mutual – one of the top clients in the finance sector – approached us for a video campaign, we decided to go outside-the-box and create a vox pop video. The video was launched on Father’s Day and spoke about the various financial lessons you’ve learnt from your father.

Go across platforms

When it comes to video making tips, it is best to tap audiences across all social media platforms to get the most out of your campaign. With most platforms giving priority to content that drives more engagement, videos have the potential to be your trump card to get ahead of your competitors. Leading social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram also give users the chance to share your videos, increasing the chances of them going viral. However, it is important to make sure the videos are targeted at the right set of audiences who relate to the product or service being showcased.

With 225 Indian users active on YouTube every month, a lot of brands are making the shift from traditional forms of advertising to YouTube ads. You can choose from a wide range of types of YouTube ads based on various factors like reach, budget and length of the ad, to name a few. Featured below is a YouTube bumper ad of one of our real estate clients – Asta Properties – who leveraged the reach of YouTube ads to introduce a newly launched project.

The ad played in Tamil and English, witnessing an outstanding reach of around 18,000 users with more than 4,000 clicks. The ad was targeted to users who were interested in a real estate investment of Rs. 1.5 crores, within the age group of 35 to 54 years.

Speaking about going across platforms, one of the most important video editing tips is to check the aspect ratio of your video for full-sized viewing on hand-held devices. As per a recent study, 97% of consumers access Facebook through mobile and Instagram has witnessed a 150% increase in video consumption in 2018. A traditional 16:9 video occupies very less space on mobile screens. Instead, change the aspect ratio of your video to 1:1. This will occupy the entire mobile screen and reduce distractions from other posts. Here's a video on how to optimise your video for Instagram and Facebook for more insights:

Optimise your videos for discovery

Just like any other form of content, videos too need to be optimised to be discovered on search. As per a recent study, 74% of active social media users follow brands on YouTube, stressing on the fact that search engine optimisation for YouTube is now as important as ever. Additionally, with voice search emerging as a top trend in digital marketing, ensure your video is optimised with long-tail keywords that answer the public. Create a comprehensive on page and off page SEO strategy with the right meta-descriptions, a custom thumbnail, a click-worthy title and alt text to ensure your video ranks on the first page of search engines. It is also important to add an appropriate call-to-action and social share buttons to push potential consumers further down the marketing funnel. These are the most crucial video making tips that can either make or break a 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.

Do not forget your landing page

Landing pages are known to be the weapons of mass conversions and what better way to engage with your potential consumers than an attention-grabbing video? Videos provide a lot more information about your brand with much lesser effort and half as much time. This creates a win-win situation for users being able to get a better understanding of your services and your landing page generating a good amount of high-quality leads for your brand.

We leveraged the reach and high engagement of videos in a landing page for Shriram Properties – one of our top real estate clients. The video provided users with a walkthrough of one of their new projects, giving them a closer look at the property even before the site visit. This, in turn, generated a higher rate of conversions.

Apart from attracting users with engaging content, brands can also generate a list of potential leads who have viewed the video through event tracking on Google Analytics. These leads can then be retargeted and further nurtured until they ultimately convert to your brand.

Try influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing techniques that give your brand the visibility it deserves with a word-of-mouth approach. Pick an influencer that resonates with your brand and come up with influencer marketing campaigns across the platforms that are relevant to your audience. Influencers come up with trendy and engaging videos that extend your brand’s reach to their loyal follower database. This, in turn, can open up new opportunities for your brand and boost sales.

We partnered with BioMiracle India to create awareness about their new collagen sheet masks with the help of top beauty and lifestyle influencer Sushmita Agarwal. The video featured on her Instagram handle threw light on how the sheet masks need to be used with peppy background music, driving high engagement and brand awareness. It received almost 8,000 views with profound reach.

Go vernacular

With the introduction of cheaper data plans by Reliance Jio and the drop in the prices of smartphones, Internet usage has seeped into the tier 2 and tier 3 regions of India, releasing a whole new wave of consumers waiting to be targeted. Videos are now more relevant than ever, with brands going the extra mile to engage with India’s next billion users. In order to reach India – all of it – it is important to incorporate videos in vernacular languages for increased brand awareness. This is one of futuristic video making tips that will ensure conversions!

We leveraged the power of videos in regional languages for Cholamandalam Finance by creating an animated video on the life-changing financial lessons one can learn from an ant. The video was targeted at small business owners and people in tier 2 and tier 3 regions. The video received around 96,000 views with 3,116 shares. The same video was created in Hindi which received a whopping 2.3 million views and 80,528 shares, proving that the growth of regional content online is here to stay!

 

Whether you are a real estate company, leading FMCG brand, a top financial organisation or a leading insurance firm, make sure you incorporate these video editing tips and ideas in your next video campaign to increase your conversion rates and boost your sales.


Vernacular videos for brand awareness – A case study

  • Pooja Manoj
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  • 2 January , 2019
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    • 2 min read

Ashok Leyland is a pioneer in the commercial vehicle space and is the 12th largest manufacturer of trucks and 4th largest manufacturer of buses in the world. Below is a case study of a video campaign we executed for them.

Objective

Being one of the leading manufacturers of trucks in the nation, Ashok Leyland wanted to honour and express their gratitude towards truck drivers for their love, support and unrelenting efforts. The brand was looking for an engaging video with an emotional connection to celebrate the true unsung heroes this Diwali. The objective was to bring out the fact that it is because of the tireless efforts of these truck drivers that the entire world can celebrate Diwali with great pomp and gaiety.

Our approach

Since a majority of the target group for Ashok Leyland are small business owners from the tier 2 and tier 3 cities of the nation, we took up a multilingual approach for better reach. Affordable data plans and drop in the prices of smartphones has led to an increase in consumption of vernacular content.  In this regard, adopting a multilingual marketing strategy is crucial as it has enormous power to influence the next billion internet users in India.  Since most of the truck drivers communicate in regional languages, we recommended a Hindi vox-pop video as the best medium due to its engaging and interactive nature. Hence, the video “Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun Hai?” was born. As part of this vox-pop digital marketing campaign, people were questioned about various aspects of their Diwali celebrations. They were also asked to guess the people who worked continuously without taking a day off even for Diwali. The most common responses of the people were soldiers, doctors, milk vendors and security guards. Few respondents spoke about the role of truck drivers in transporting raw materials from various production hubs. Due to its conversational nature, the video was extremely powerful in recognising the valuable contributions of the truck drivers towards nation building.

The Reach

“Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun hai?” was promoted on all the major social networking channels of Ashok Leyland with the hashtag #YehDiwaliBadiNirali. This was also one of the most trending vernacular vox-pop videos of 2018.  The video garnered over 2.5 lakh views across platforms with 3.1K comments and 400+ shares. Another highlighting feature of this video is that it was extremely successful in tapping the emotional chord of the audience. The viewers were enlightened on how happiness reaches them with the help of these truck drivers. The campaign has greatly uplifted Ashok Leyland into a socially responsible brand by throwing a positive light on the company and portraying it as a goodwill ambassador of its stakeholders.

These numbers are proof that multilingual marketing is the way to go. The reach of vernacular content and interactive nature of videos go hand-in-hand in widening your audience and telling 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.


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.


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.

 


Google India Search Report 2017: Online Consumer Behaviour

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 17 June , 2018
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    • 8 min read

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

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

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

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

Non-metros emerged as superstars

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

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

Digital drives revenues

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

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

Digital transactions and e-commerce

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

The omnichannel experience

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

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

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

Sector-specific trends

Auto

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

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

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

Banking, finance and insurance

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

E-Commerce

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

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

Education

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

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

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

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

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


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

Local and classifieds

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

Real estate

Real estate, too, saw a 43% jump in search queries and a 49% growth in searches related to affordable housing.

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

Media and Entertainment

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

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

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

Retail

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

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

Tech

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

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

Telecom

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

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

Travel

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

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

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


What can brands do to engage with India’s next billion Internet users

  • Rhea
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  • 11 June , 2018
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    • 5 min read

India is at a crucial moment in its digital story where it is slowly emerging as the most important internet audience in the world. While the global number of internet user growth has more or less peaked at around 10 percent annually, India’s internet users grew by an incredible 28 percent up until 2016. Currently, there are about 450,000,000 internet users in India and going by current trends, 635.8 million Indians will be online by 2021. These developments offer both a unique opportunity and a challenge for brands. In order to make full use of the growing digital audience, brands need to find the best strategy to engage with the next billion internet users in India.

What are Indians Doing Online?

Indians are a sizeable presence across almost every major digital platform. Facebook is, by far, the most popular social media platform, with 240 million Indians users and most accessing it through their phones. These numbers prove that Facebook is a goldmine for brands looking to engage with their audience in the most impactful way. By effectively utilising the top tools for social media analytics, brands can understand their consumers better and create more targeted campaigns.

There are currently 225 million Indians on YouTube, making it the second most used digital platform in India. This is significant, because YouTube ads can be a very effective way to attract and engage new consumers. There are also 50 million Instagram users in India, while there are 45 million Indians on LinkedIn. WhatsApp has quickly surpassed the previously used SMS as India’s favourite text messaging service. 240 million Indians use WhatsApp daily to send around 50 billion messages globally. This points towards the use of WhatsApp for business becoming increasingly important for brands.

What Has Sparked This Growth?

While internet usage in India has been steadily growing over the years, there was a definite tipping point where the number of internet users in India exploded. There are two main catalysts for this development: the availability of low cost smartphones and most significant of all, the launch of Reliance Jio. Jio started its services in September 2016 with a bang, offering its users free data. Even once the offer ended, the data plans for Jio remained much lower in comparison to other network providers. This sudden easy access to the internet led to India having the highest amount of data consumption in the world. Of the 150 crore GB consumed by Indians, 100 crore GB was consumed through the Jio network alone. What is perhaps the most exciting part is that internet penetration currently stands at only 27 percent. This means that the number of Indians online is only going to grow from here, offering a huge advantage for brands.

How Can Brands Engage With These Consumers?

With India’s internet audience growing by the minute, the stage is set for brands to tap into this huge market and engage with their consumers. Consumer engagement requires brands to realign their priorities from solely revenue-generation to actually creating value for their consumers. In India, brands can do this in a number of ways.

Understand audiences to personalise marketing strategies

In order to create content that consumers will actually find valuable, brands need to know who they’re speaking to. By 2020, almost 40 percent of all internet users in India will be women. This points towards the growing importance of creating content that women will find relevant. Doing so will also involve challenging long-held assumptions with regards to gender and interest areas. For example, 60 percent of those who shopped for sporting goods and viewed related videos on YouTube were not men, but women. Additionally, 60% of those who searched for car-related information online were also women. Having an intimate understanding of audiences can help brands generate content that their users will actually find valuable. This is a crucial step in building a relationship with audiences.

Brands can create user-centric content to rank organically on Google as well as on YouTube. 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.

Create campaigns specifically for mobile

One of the most interesting characteristics of India’s internet usage is that most Indians haven’t followed the general pattern of internet adoption. While globally, most people first used a computer and then migrated to mobile phones, Indians seem to have skipped the computer stage completely. According to a survey by Statcounter, Indians use their phones to access the internet almost 80 percent of the time. This means that brands should be producing content specifically designed for mobile phones if they want to engage the next billion internet consumers.

Use regional languages to reach a wider audience

While the number of English-speaking internet users in India is largely static, the number of regional language users is growing at a breakneck pace. One of the key reasons for this growth is internet penetration in tier II and III cities, along with villages. Digital marketing is constantly evolving in tier II and tier III cities and brands need to take note of this growth. In fact, Google estimates that about 30% of users in India are from rural areas. If brands want to develop a personal relationship with their consumers, then a strong regional language strategy is crucial. Tamil is the leading regional language used among internet users in India with 42 percent while 39 percent of users are Hindi-speaking.

Optimize brands for voice search

Voice search in India might still be in the nascent stage at the moment, but it is growing at a steady rate. Google estimates that 28 percent of all searches are voice searches. Even more promising is the fact that there has been a 400 percent growth in Hindi voice search. Voice search has vast implications for SEO because traditional keywords aren’t used when speaking naturally. For brands, this means that they have to find new ways to become discoverable through voice search results to stay visible on digital platforms.

Utilise the AdWords 'Missed Call' extension

Adding call extensions to your ads can significantly increase click-through rates as well as conversion rates. But with a sizeable number of mobile users in India, especially in smaller cities and towns, using prepaid connections, the cost of making a call might stop them from contacting your business. This is why AdWords has recently rolled out a ‘Missed Call’ feature which can help address this concern. When a user selects the Missed Call option on an ad, a call is placed and is then immediately cut. After this, the user will receive an automated call telling them to stay on the line while their call is connected to the business. During the same time, the business will also receive a call from Google. Once both the user and the business are on the call, they will be connected to each other. This feature can help brands engage with their consumers better as well as track conversions more effectively.

Encourage a two-way conversation

Digital marketing allows brands to not just speak to their consumers, but also to listen to them in return. This unique opportunity for a two-way conversation is crucial for building consumer engagement. To be able to have a meaningful conversation, brands need to understand exactly who their audience is, where their interests lie and what their concerns are. In the context of the current Indian audience trends, brands can only reach out to the next billion internet users once they look beyond the urban metros.

The Indian internet audience is more diverse than ever before. Only by gaining a deep understanding of India’s unique audience can brands develop marketing strategies that will resonate with their consumers.


What brands can learn from YouTube brandcast 2018

  • Rhea
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  • 28 March , 2018
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    • 5 min read

To mark its 10 year anniversary in India, YouTube hosted Brandcast 2018, an event to help marketers understand how Indians consume video content. Since it first launched in 2008, YouTube’s rising popularity has been inextricably linked with India’s own growth story, giving it a special understanding of the Indian internet audience. Today, around 225 million Indians actively use YouTube every month just through their mobile phone. This number is set to increase to 500 million by the year 2020. With such a rapidly expanding audience base, YouTube is becoming increasingly more important for brands to effectively leverage. Interestingly, YouTube’s reach is over 80% amongst the 55+ segment.

Brandcast 2018 provided invaluable insights into who is accessing YouTube, what content they are watching and how they are consuming it.

Opportunities for Brands on YouTube

YouTube has become one of the most important platforms for brands to engage with their consumers. The most remarkable feature of YouTube is that ads here have a very high reach and a viewability rate of as high as 95%. The viewability rate refers to the number of audience members who have actually viewed the ad. YouTube’s audience is one of the most engaged across all platforms and is also the best way to create a brand story. Brandcast 2018 revealed how actively users consume content on YouTube:

  • 65% of YouTube viewers subscribe to their favourite channels while 85% of them watch newly uploaded videos within two days.
  • 7 out of 10 viewers watch ads on YouTube with the sound on.
  • More than 50% of female professionals watch YouTube videos for more information before making a purchase in categories like beauty, automobiles and real estate.

Clearly, YouTube can be extremely effective for brands to capture the attention of their audiences. You can learn more about creating videos that rank on YouTube in our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.

Case Study: On1y #ForkTheBananaLeaf Campaign

 The use of creativity and engaging content works very well on YouTube since audiences are more inclined to spend a long time viewing your video. For the #ForkTheBananaLeaf campaign, On1y created a funny, unusual video to advertise their brand and to keep their viewers engaged. On1y is a premium spice brand with a signature grinder to ensure you get maximum flavour. They chose to speak about their product USP in an unusual way and effectively use humour to capture the attention of their audience.

The Concept:

On1y wanted to steer away from the predictable storylines and advertise their product in a way that would increase brand recall among their audiences. To do this, they depicted a traditional South Indian wedding with the couple waiting to be served food on a banana leaf. However, instead of traditional South Indian food, they are served international dishes like pasta and pizza. While confused at first, they begin to love the food once they sprinkle seasonings by On1y over them. The idea of food with a twist was a unique play on the ‘twist’ of the grinder that is one of On1y’s biggest USPs.

The Results:

This video worked phenomenally well for On1y and went viral in a very short time. The overall reach for the video was over 10,000,000, the total views on YouTube were over 480,000. Capitalising on the huge success of the video, they also release a ‘Behind the Scenes’ video which also garnered a high number of views. This clearly showed that audiences were so engaged by the original video that they were willing to watch the second video about the same product.

Special Features on YouTube to increase brand presence

YouTube has a number of different features and advertising options to help brands achieve their business goals.

Bumper Ads: 6-second videos which can increase brand reach

TrueView: In-stream ads which play when a viewer is watching another video

Video Ads Sequencing: A customised video funnel brands can create to take viewers through a journey

Director’s Mix: Make different versions of background copy on the same video based on various parameters of the target audience.

These tools allow brands to increase brand awareness, brand recall, physical store visits and ultimately, sales.

  • Livon (Marico Industries) got a 7X conversion rate through the TruView Ad format with 65% increase in modern trade and e-commerce.
  • Duracell created a Trust is Power campaign and used six-second bumper ads to complement their longer hero ads to increase brand awareness.
  • Uber saw a 63% increase in first rides at an 18% lower cost/first trip after a YouTube Director's Mix campaign. Additionally, Australia’s Campbell's Soup used the tool to generate customised creative for different audiences, leading to over 1.5M total views and a 55% increase in Campbell's Simply Soup sales.
  • Zain, a leading Saudi mobile and data services provider, achieved a 50% increase in brand search queries through video sequencing

Influencer Marketing - A growing trend on YouTube

Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most effective strategies brands can use to build brand awareness and credibility. India has witnessed a growing number of powerful influencers in many different categories. Many of the biggest influencers today across all categories can be found on YouTube. From just 16 YouTube channels in India with over a million subscribers in 2014, there are now 300 channels. Indians today are using YouTube as a way to gain more information, rather than just for entertainment. They turn to YouTube influencers they trust to provide them with reviews, tips and tutorials. The Brandcast 2018 event revealed very important figures about how powerful influencers on YouTube really are.

  • 7 out of 10 people relate to YouTube influencers more than celebrities
  • 76% of businessmen who regularly consume video content say that YouTubers shape their perception of culture
  • 65% of audiences who view videos have brand opinions which have been strongly influenced by a YouTube influencer they follow
  • More than 75% of moms’ brand opinions have been shaped by YouTube influencers

These numbers prove that YouTube is an indispensable platform for brands trying to widen their consumer base.

Rising Importance of Regional Content

The biggest avenue for growth is going to be regional audiences in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. While English-speaking audiences have almost peaked, regional language users online are only going to grow from here. Access to the affordable high-speed internet as well as the availability of low-cost smartphones has made the internet more accessible than ever before. Brandcast 2018 also revealed figures which prove that multilingual marketing is going to be becoming increasingly important for brands.

  • 90% of time spent on digital videos in India is not on English videos
  • 60% of video content is consumed by cities outside the top 6 cities in India

It has almost become a necessity for brands to explore regional language content in their marking strategy.

Case Study: Murugappa ‘Update Azhagi’

At Social Beat, we have witnessed first-hand the power of regional content on YouTube. For the ‘Good Netizen Good Citizen’ campaign by the Murugappa Group, we conceptualised ideas for a video that would resonate with their audience base. As they are based out of Tamil Nadu, their target audience would be able to better understand and relate to Tamil language content.

The Concept:

 The goal of the video was to effectively utilise humour to spread a message about responsible sharing on the internet and to be a good ‘netizen’. They created funny, yet thought-provoking series of videos on internet etiquette. From a young woman who over-shares every mundane detail of her life with strangers to the way Whatsapp rumours are spread, these informative videos are aimed at raising social awareness on the responsible use of social media and the Internet. 

The Results:

These Tamil videos performed incredibly well on YouTube with one of the videos even getting over 570,000 views. Users also actively engaged with the video, leaving comments and sharing it on various social media platforms. Undoubtedly, the fact that the video was in Tamil, played a very important role in the fact that it went viral. You can watch the entire series of the Good Netizen Good Citizen videos here.

According to the latest numbers, Tamil is currently the most used regional language in India among internet users with 42, while Hindi follows with 39 percent. Clearly, unless brands incorporate a strong regional language strategy in their marketing, they will be unable to engage with India’s next billion internet users.

 YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for brands to reach out to their consumers. As its reach in India continues to grow, brands will need to learn how to effectively utilise it to grow their presence.


Cholamandalam Finance and Social Beat tap vernacular content

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 12 March , 2018
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    • < 1 min read

There is no doubt that reaching your target audience through vernacular content is one of the biggest trends of digital marketing. Though the early internet users in the nation are predominantly fluent in English, marketers have noticed that the current crop of digital-savvy individuals find multilingual content much more engaging and relatable. Keeping a tab on this trend, many brands have leveraged the reach of vernacular content to engage with India’s next billion internet users.

We, at Social Beat, took advantage of the reach of vernacular content and the engagement of video content to come up with a ground-breaking social media campaign for our client Cholamandalam Finance. Since the brand mostly caters to small-business owners and entrepreneurs from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, we targeted their audience with an animated video featuring the life lessons we can learn from an ant. The video was initially made in English and gained a traction reach of 409,609 with 3k shares. Seeing these numbers, we released the same video in Hindi which went viral.

The Hindi video currently has reached 2.2 million views with 94% of it being organic. Furthermore, 2 million of these views are unique. The post has reached 7 million users through 79k shares and 50k reactions. These stats are a testimony to the fact that the digital space is evolving and adapting itself to the needs and preferences of its new breed of internet users.

Need more convincing that vernacular is the need of the hour? Follow our Hindi YouTube channel Paisa Pujari for financial tips for individuals from all walks of life. Here's a video to get you started:

 


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