business to business marketing

ROI Through Digital Marketing – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

  • Divya Premkumar
  • |
  • 7 January , 2019
  • |
    • 5 min read

The second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit was a grand success with key insights shared by industry leaders from across India. Among the interesting topics discussed, one of the panel discussions was on ROI through digital marketing videos. The panel was moderated by Vikas Chawla and our panellists included Pradeep Nidamarthi of Reliance Capital, Monish Ghatalia of Focus Communications and Prashin Jhobalia from the House of Hiranandani. They discussed the industry-wide approach to digital marketing.

Key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Adopt digital marketing as a vehicle and understand the digital behaviour of a person
  • In the real estate industry, identify the individual, their needs and reach out to them at the appropriate time
  • Digital marketing gives businesses the ability to show numbers as proof and justify spends
  • Focus on the number of leads and not just the number of impressions.
  • Don’t spend 99% of the budget for leads to covert, a sizeable amount is enough to achieve brand loyalty
  • There is no one secret sauce to digital marketing, the solution lies with the marketer. Understand your objectives and use relevant information to remarket to customers
  • People are going to become more aware of privacy so digital marketers need to err on the side of caution when using customer’s data
  • Although everything about marketing will change in the next five years, the way a customer thinks will not. Use that to leverage your business’ position in the market.

How has digital marketing impacted your business?

According to Pradeep Nidamarthi of Reliance Capital, the impact of digital marketing can vary from each organisation as they have a different outlook on its success. Some people in the organisation view it as a long-term strategy where the payoff occurs over time while others have a short-term view and look at digital marketing as something that should bring them value on a quarterly basis.

He says that the success metrics depend on the discovery, conversion and repurchase components of the main cycle. The impact of discovery on digital marketing is often hard to measure, so companies usually look at their engagement and conversion rates as the major success metrics.

Monish Ghatalia of Focus Communications said that one of the key metrics of the business is to understand the digital behaviour of the person. That is how they behave when they watch a commercial on TV vs when they watch an advert on Youtube. As customer behaviour changes, the mindset of the company has to change as well. Additionally, this shift from traditional to digital marketing can also affect various sectors of the business as they start thinking digitally. Statistics show that 5-10 per cent to 15-20 per cent of a business' marketing budget is used towards digital marketing when acquiring a new client.

“For the real estate industry, many companies are not as marketing savvy as they would like to be,” said Prashin Jhobalia of the House of Hiranandani. “This is because they find it a challenge to segregate their customers into different buckets.” However, the impact of digital marketing in the business is its ability to put up numbers as proof. This helps them understand what the money is put towards to justify spends and measure return on investment.

How has attribution changed the business?

Real estate needs depend on the need of the client and the stage of life they are currently in. Jhobalia believes that a business is able to market its brand to the company if they are able to identify this individual and reach out to them at the appropriate time.

“The customer journey is different for each business,” said Nidamarthi. For example, with Reliance Capital’s general insurance policy, if a person has decided that they want to buy insurance, they have already done the research on the different policies available before approaching Reliance. At this stage of purchase, there is not much the company can do to change the customer’s mind other than the price. Therefore, digital marketing does not have an impact if the customer is already aware of the product. But for products like mutual funds, digital marketing has an impact as the discovery process is longer. He adds that brands should not just spend money on impressions but should also give importance to the visits that lead to your digital property and the interaction with the customer.

What is the secret sauce of digital marketing?

Monish Ghatalia says that the fundamentals of marketing believe that more is more (that is, more budgets, more people). However, with digital marketing, the mindset has shifted to less is more. Digital allows us to build the core customer base and because we live in a sharing economy, we can convert this customer base as well. He believes that if 100 core customers are acquired and nurtured, they can lead a business to its next 1000 customers. Therefore, the secret sauce for the business is in its approach to acquiring clients and adopting the framework of the current digital marketing industry. Additionally, businesses should aim to move their customers from conversion to brand loyalty. Instead of spending 99% of the budget on lead conversion, they should spend only a  particular amount of the budget to go beyond just conversion and encourage customers to become loyal to the brand.

In the real estate industry, Jhobalia says that the secret sauce lies with the marketer and there is no single solution to success. The business needs to understand its objectives and use relevant information to remarket the brand to the customers.

All businesses have a digital marketing funnel and it is the duty of the companies to either drive people through the funnel or improve conversion through the funnel. Take a look at our in-depth video on full-funnel marketing here for more information.

Alternatively, the business needs to drive the right people into the funnel at the right time. According to  Nidamarthi of Reliance Capital, there are 4 steps that all companies need to use to maximise their digital marketing strategy:

Collate

Collect and collate your data from all the sources available. This can help you build the user journey from discovery to repurchase.

System

Once you have collected all the data, you should have a master view of all the channels used by the business. That is the channel used to promote a good or service and the frequency at which the ad is shown.

Process

The CRM process needs to be streamlined and constantly updated.

People

You need to have employees who are native to the digital world. They should have a good understanding of how digital marketing impacts the customer journey.

Having a good understanding of all these four components can help a business master their business digital marketing strategy.

Overcoming key challenges

Reliance Capital has numerous lines of businesses and each of them is in different stages of digital marketing with different regulators across the board. The biggest challenge for the companies over the next three to four years is that the common man will become more aware of privacy and will interpret it differently. When it comes to the use of data and systems, companies need to be more careful about how they use customer’s personal data and err on the side of caution.

According to Ghatalia, the biggest challenge faced by businesses is their ability to converge traditional marketing, digital marketing, technology, Artificial Intelligence and data. Companies need to understand that although these components will change in the next four to five years, the way a customer thinks will not. As a future marketer, they need to leverage this idea and be able to marry vehicle one (digital) to anything else in the digital market.

In the real estate industry, Prashin Jhobalia says that the ability of companies to recreate traditional content for digital media is a challenge. Another problem is the overpopulation of ads that creates competition within the industry. The developer might create an ad to target their customers while the distributors and brokers create different ads to target the same customers, this self-inflicted competition can create a lot of confusion in the industry. In order to overcome this challenge, businesses need to understand and react to the customer’s changing needs in a timely and efficient manner. One way of doing so is making use of vernacular ads.

The panel ended with a discussion with the audience, the panellists provided numerous thought-provoking ideas on the the future of digital marketing and improving ROI.


David Appasamy named among the 50 most influential strategy leaders

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 1 December , 2018
  • |
    • 2 min read

The World Marketing Congress and CMO Asia recognised the 50 most influential strategy leaders around the globe at the Mobile and Digital Marketing Summit 2018 held on the 27th of November at Taj Land’s End, Bandra, Mumbai. We are extremely happy to announce that Mr David Appasamy – Head of Brand and Strategy, Social Beat – has been selected as one of the top influential strategists from across the world.

David has an exemplary career spanning over 35 years with several leading companies such as ITC Ltd, Mudra DDB and Sify Technologies covering Business strategy, Brand and Marketing Management, Digital Marketing and Audience Engagement. From 2006-2011, David was the Co-Chair for the International Chamber of Commerce’s Task Force on Internet, Telecoms, Infrastructure and Services. In 2010 and 2011, he was also part of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) guiding the UN Secretary-General on Internet Governance.

The World Marketing Congress 2018

The 5th edition of the World Marketing Congress was held this year with the central theme of Futuristic Marketing. The conference covered various aspects such as digital initiatives, customer experience, advertising and branding. The conference also discussed the importance of linking sustainability with a brand’s identity and how to develop a sustainable brand by changing the dynamics of marketing strategies. Various industry experts also stressed the need for brands to focus on their marketing culture rather than only their products and services.  The other key aspects that were highlighted are the role of brands in empowering customers by using interesting engagement initiatives to create brand perceptions and nostalgic memories.

The 8th edition of Mobile and Digital Marketing Summit

This year’s World Marketing Congress also included the 8th edition of the Mobile and Digital Marketing Summit. This summit was organised jointly by the World Marketing Congress and CMO Asia. The main purpose of this summit was to discuss the future trends of digital marketing and the need for every brand to incorporate effective digital marketing strategies in order to establish a strong presence in today’s continuously evolving digital landscape. This summit was a great platform for industry experts to gather, explore, discuss and brainstorm ideas on formulating compelling strategies to reach India's next billion Internet users using digital marketing tools, case studies and global practices. 100 marketing wizards attended the summit from across the globe including market research experts, brand strategists and media professionals to discuss and ideate the best industry practices.

You can also read our other blogs on the top digital marketing events in India in 2019 and the second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit.


The winning formula to generate more B2B leads

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

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

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

Content Marketing

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

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

Blogs

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

Videos

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

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

Downloadable content

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

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

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

Reports and case studies

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

Webinars and podcasts

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

Search Engine Optimisation

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

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

LinkedIn

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

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

Sponsored Posts

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

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

LinkedIn Lead Ads

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

InMail Ads

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

Landing Page

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

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

Email Marketing

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

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

Case Study: Full-Funnel Approach for Sundaram Business Services

The objective

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

The challenge

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

The approach

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

Step 1: Promote blogs on LinkedIn

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

Step 2: Landing page

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

Step 3: Client testimonial

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

Step 4: LinkedIn ads

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

Step 5: Downloadable white paper

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

Results

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

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


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

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

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

How does it benefit marketers?

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

How does it benefit consumers?

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

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

Information generated in lead reports:

Marketers can get the following fields filled by potential consumers:

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

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

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


Vikas Chawla selected in LinkedIn’s Content 50

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 27 August , 2018
  • |
    • 2 min read

Getting recognition and accolades always brings along a warm feeling of privilege and gratitude. We are proud to announce that our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, has been listed as one of the top leaders in content marketing in Linkedin’s Content 50. LinkedIn is the world’s largest network of professionals so being hand-picked as one of the top 50 content marketers in this platform is sure a feather in our cap.

Content 50 is powered by Paul Writer – a marketing advisory firm that connects businesses around the globe. Through Content 50, LinkedIn recognises marketers in India who lead a team of digital wizards and create online strategies to enhance the journey of their customers. Each candidate is assessed on a wide range of parameters such as creativity, execution, targeting, innovation, effectiveness and accolades.

At Social Beat, we offer a 360-degree digital marketing approach to our clients. From social media marketing and web development to SEO and content marketing, we leave no stone unturned in making sure your brand stands out in the digital hemisphere. With upcoming digital trends like the growth of regional content online and lightning fast AMP-implemented pages, we helped our clients leverage the power of vernacular content and produce 33% lower CPL with landing pages that load faster. Getting recognised as one of the achievers in LinkedIn’s Content 50 has contributed to the wind beneath our wings.

The striking personalities sitting on the esteemed jury chair include Ms Virginia Sharma – Director, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn India – and Mr Ashish Bhasin – Chairman CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.

Few of the other jury members are:

  • Neena Dasgupta – CEO and Director, ZIRCA Digital Solutions Pvt Ltd
  • KV Sridhar Aka Pops – Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Hyper Collective
  • Vibha Bajaj – Head & Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communication, American Express
  • Anantha Singh Raghuvanshi – Executive director of Sales and Marketing, DLF Home Developers Ltd.
  • Manisha Lath Gupta – Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Clix Capital
  • Sanjay Mehta – Joint CEO, Mirum India
  • Pradeep Chopra – CEO, Digital Vidya

The list was unveiled at the Futurist Business Conclave 2018 held at The Leela Ambience, Gurgaon, on 24th of August, 2018. This was the 6th edition of the conclave that hosted panel discussions on the impact of AI on today’s digital front. The event also included a MasterClass that offered one-on-one discussions for invitees only.

Whether you are a real estate giant, a leading financial firm or an FMCG brand trying to grow your business by going digital, reach out to us at Social Beat and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.


How to improve the quality of leads generated via digital

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 18 May , 2018
  • |
    • 7 min read

In today’s Internet-driven age, it is safe to say that if digital marketing is a game, leads are the prize. No matter what vertical of business your brand belongs to, one of the most important quantifiable dimensions that can measure the success of your online campaigns is the number of leads they generate. With so much emphasis given to customer acquisition and lead generation, it is a no-brainer that the marketing team of your firm needs to focus on increasing the quality of leads for a higher rate of conversion. Let’s take a look at few of the fool-proof methods you can incorporate in your digital marketing strategies to increase the quality of your leads, which, in turn, can effortlessly help you grow your business.

Having a quick response time

As the saying goes, it is always better to strike the iron when it’s hot. This quote is particularly true when it comes to following up on leads just when they have shown interest in your product or service. It is a matter of concern that a lot of digital-savvy companies focus on a plethora of lead generation strategies but do so little when it comes to converting the leads to valuable consumers. According to a recent survey, only 37% of companies respond to their leads within a time period of one hour. Furthermore, only 16% of companies responded within the first 24 hours. These staggering statistics add weight to the fact that organisations need to focus on reducing their lead response time to enjoy high-quality leads. Customer Experience (CX) is critical to success and response time is one important part of that.

Cloud Telephony for better attribution

With cloud telephony its easy to not only record and do a quality test on the conversations but also understand which channel and campaigns are giving better results. With tools like Knowlarity and Exotel and integrations with your CRM, you can improve the quality of leads by attributing success to the correct digital channel. For example, by having separate virtual numbers for each channel you can understand which channel is getting better leads and better cost per sale or cost per customer.

Effective lead nurturing techniques

As the name suggests, lead nurturing is the process of developing a strong connection with potential consumers at each step of the conversion funnel. This is actively done through well-targeted content marketing, multi-channel nurturing approaches, and many other techniques discussed below.

Thinking out-of-the-inbox:

Email marketing is the first thing that comes to mind while exploring lead nurturing. However, with the fast-evolving online space, using just this method to nurture your leads will not get you anywhere. It is time to think beyond the constrained dimensions of their inbox and target them through other methods like social media marketing and dynamic website content.

Targeted content marketing:

Targeting your leads till they convert to long-term consumers is one of the biggest challenges faced by digital marketers. However, showcasing your product or service to the right audience at the right place and the right time might sound difficult, but it is not impossible. Start by studying your leads and understanding their needs and preferences in order to trigger their interest in your brand. Personalised emailers are one of the top digital marketing trends of 2018 and are here to stay. Target your audience with personalised emails that are triggered by their online behaviour to hit bull’s eye. Another targeted digital marketing trend is that of personalised home pages, which is considered as the secret ingredient to lead conversion.

Lead scoring based on content consumption:

In an attempt to nurture leads, organisations are resorting to the new-age technique of lead scoring. In this method, leads are rated based on how valuable they are to the organisation. The score is calculated based on how interested your leads are in your product or service and their position in the conversion funnel. These leads are then prioritised as cold, warm or hot leads and targeted accordingly, giving you a better idea of which leads are of high quality and which are not.

Effective follow-up:

Vigorous follow up is the base of lead nurturing. It shows that you care about the interest a potential client has shown in your organisation and are willing to go the extra mile to cater to their needs. It is one of the fool-proof ways to increase the quality of your leads. The best way to track your follow-up is to create a table of all the leads generated, with their contact details and the status of the follow-up process. You can also colour code the different stages of follow-up to make sure you are not missing out on a good lead. While calling back, it is a good idea to delve into the behaviour pattern of your lead to understand what is stopping them from converting. This is also a great time to analyse your marketing approach and check if the glitch is in your sales team, targeting or the medium of communication. Finally, low-quality leads that still do not convert in spite of these efforts can be disregarded as junk leads to clean up the database.

A step-by-step lead nurturing plan to convert leads to customers

Lead nurturing is a slow and steady process that is guaranteed to boost your business since the leads have already shown interest in your services. The process can be kick-started with an intensive blend of activities over various digital channels for a period of a few months, based on the type of business you run and the nature of the audience you are planning to target.

You can begin by sending out emailers to the leads that explain your services with gripping content in the form of blogs and short reads. They can also be targeted through Whatsapp messages, testimonials and relatable videos on Facebook and Instagram. The following month, you can focus on engaging the leads through interactive contests and polls that will indirectly help in word-of-mouth marketing of your product. These contests can be run on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or even Youtube, depending on the type of audience you are planning to target. The high-quality leads generated from these contests can later be targeted with irresistible offers that are guaranteed to close the deal and convert your leads to valuable consumers.

Ads with optimal messaging

Google and social media ads are a great way to generate leads. However, when it comes to producing high-quality leads, it is best to pack your ad with as much information as possible about the product or service you are trying to sell. For example, if you are a real estate developer running ads on a ready-to-occupy project in an upcoming area, it is a good idea to showcase all the USPs of the development in your ad. From the starting price range and amenities provided to the infrastructure of the location and the number of bedrooms, make sure your ad provides much-needed clarity on the project, so your targeted customers will have no reason to not click on them.

We ran the above Facebook ad for Ceebros – one of the most sought-after real estate developers in the nation. It covers all the information a potential customer would need to show further interest in the project. From the details about the location to the starting price range, it provides top-notch clarity on the project. This will, in turn, result in generating high-quality leads.

End-to-end messaging in regional content

There is no doubt that regional content is the future of the online space. With more than 450 million active Internet users in the nation and the steady growth of digital marketing in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India, advertising your brand in regional languages is the only way you can engage with India’s next billion Internet users. Leveraging the reach of regional content is a good strategy to add to your marketing approach in order to improve the quality of your leads. You can start with a well-optimised landing page which is a sure-shot lead generation technique that works wonders for all brands, whether you cater to the FMCG industry or the finance sector.

In order to make sure you do not lose out on high-quality leads, it is a good idea to take up an end-to-end messaging approach with regional content. Begin by understanding your audience and opting for a survey-oriented strategy to target them accurately with ads in the language they prefer. Right from the messaging in the ad and the content on the landing page to the medium in which telemarketers speak to the leads, make sure the entire cycle is in the same language. Communicating in a language that a prospective lead will be comfortable in provides much more clarity and adds a personal touch to the process.

Additionally, it is a good idea to ensure your landing page is AMP optimised. An Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) takes much lesser time to load, making it a great tool to grasp the short attention span of a potential consumer. Viewers spend more time understanding the product rather than waiting for the page to load. Moreover, accelerated mobile pages are exclusive to pages viewed on mobile. Considering the fact that a large portion of online users in India access the Internet through mobile, accelerated mobile pages are your best bet to maintain and improve the quality of leads generated via your landing page.

We leveraged the lead generation strategy of landing pages in vernacular content for Shriram – one of the leading real estate giants of the nation. The approach resulted in an increase in overall click volume with a spike in leads. You can also check out our detailed Google case study on how this multilingual approach helped in 90 percent growth of leads for another leading brand.

Attracting high-quality leads and nurturing them into valuable customers is the backbone of digital marketing. Featured below, is an infographic that summarises the above-mentioned points, so you can implement these techniques in your marketing strategy and grow your business.

Increasing the quality of leads is one of the biggest challenges digital marketers face in today’s day and age. It is time you add these simple techniques and tips in your digital marketing strategy to generate hot leads and boost your sales.

For a step-by-step guide on how to create the perfect lead nurturing strategy for your brand, be sure to check out the video below.


Social Beat at the NASSCOM Content Marketing Masterclass

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 21 November , 2017
  • |
    • 2 min read

Social Beat was proud to be part of the NASSCOM Content Marketing Masterclass which took place at Holiday Inn, OMR, on the 16th of November, 2017. The session was led by David Appasamy, head of Branding and Strategy at Social Beat and provided insight on how content marketing can be effective for lead generation in the B2B sector. The session introduced the attendees to the strategic imperative of marketing and highlighted the importance of content marketing in the digital space.

The insightful session threw light on how content marketing builds credibility, confidence, and preference by establishing thought leadership and helps win attention, engage with and convert prospects into customers. It also focused on the ways in which this marketing strategy enhances and amplifies other marketing initiatives such as Social Media Marketing, digital advertising, and lead generation.

The Masterclass included a workshop to provide insights into:

  • Where organizations stand with respect to the Marketing function
  • An organisation’s level of Marketing evolution to launch a Content Marketing initiative
  • What it takes to launch a Content Marketing initiative and sustain it
  • The level of expertise and budgets required

You can view the presentation from the workshop below:


Less is more – a content marketing strategy that always works

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 31 October , 2017
  • |
    • 4 min read

As the old saying goes, “Content is King” and the dynamic industry of digital marketing is not an exception to this universal notion. In today’s digital world, content marketing is the go-to marketing strategy to make your brand trend by targeting your audience and engaging them with your brand. However, it is a common theory to only associate blogs to content. Our minds have been tuned to the fact that good content can only be written in the form of chunks of text. But, in reality, there are many types of content, from catchy videos and hilarious gifs to stunning pictures and gripping podcasts. The plan is to engage your target audience through a means of information which they find interesting and which also promotes your brand in a subtle way.

Nevertheless, with the plethora of information available online at the mere click of a button, making your content rank in the first page of search engines with a strong SEO strategy is quite a herculean task. The key lies in creating content that your target group relates to and religiously promoting it in social media to reach out to your potential consumers. Good targeting will lead to higher engagement on the post, which will lead to a domino effect of it ultimately being flagged off as viral content.

That being said, brands have begun adding heaps and loads of content to their marketing plans. From expansive blogs to informative videos, they are leaving no stone unturned in making sure their brand is out there. But is that enough? Sure this will make the brand get out there but is it really “out there”?

How to make your content stand out?

The secret, to making content truly stand out of the oodles of information flooding the Internet, is to post limited information which is 10X better than what is already out there and is packed with the potential to go viral. However, the only way you can truly reach your audience is by vigorously promoting it. Splashing your content on various digital platforms through paid promotions and ads will boost your reach and also give it the push it needs to go viral. A viral post creates a lot of buzz in the target group and ultimately helps in generating leads for the business.

The “Less is More” content marketing strategy

At Social Beat, we religiously follow the “Less is more” content marketing strategy in which we focus on producing high-quality content to amplify on digital media rather than expansive quantities of average content. The idea is to create original and relatable content that also uplifts your brand name and gives it the recognition it deserves. The strategy involves the following approaches:

  • Creating content which can be used for research and reference
  • Gathering authentic information which is relatable and sharable
  • Long-form 10x content with focus on SEO
  • Vigorously promoting the content on social platforms

As per Buzzsumo, Brian Dean of Backlinko has executed this content strategy to great effect. Brian has published just 53 posts over the last five years, less than one a month. These posts have driven nearly 4m visitors to his site. The average shares and links per post are what most of us can only dream of: an average of 2,490 shares, and 275 links from unique domains, for each post.

The winning formula

One such post that went viral with a paid reach of 3,51,565 and an organic reach of 64,79,859 is an informative video for one of our clients from the finance sector. Since our client provides financial services, we engaged their target audience with an explanatory video on the money-saving lessons we can learn from an ant. With total ad spends of Rs. 5000, we reached a total of 68,31,424 people, with 21,65,549 video views and 93,241 shares on Facebook. Additionally, we also customized the ad by using a regional language to make it more relatable and simple for the target audience. This way, we struck gold by amplifying content through both content marketing and native advertising.

To sum it up, it is all about quality instead of quantity in the powerful world of content marketing. Creating engaging content and pushing it to go viral with vigorous promotions and effective ads can not only help in branding your company but also boosts your reputation and authority.

The old-school way of content marketing

Brands usually are under the misconception that the more content you create, the more visibility you’ll achieve. However, this is not true. Keeping the “Less is More” content strategy in mind, let’s take at a look at the current ad spends model of a company and the ways we can improvise on spending the same amount for a wider reach.

Current working model: 90% effort on Content Creation and 10% on Content Promotion

As per the current model, if Rs. 50,000 is allotted for content marketing, Rs. 40,000 of it is used for generating content, and Rs, 10,000 is used to promote posts on social media. Following is a rough estimate of the reach and total number of clicks tracked on a monthly basis:

 

Ad spends (FB Promotions) Rs 10,000
Content creation by Influencers Rs 40,000

Total

Rs 50000
Total no. of people reached 1,50,000
Total clicks 10,000

Suggested working model: 20% effort on Content creation and 80% effort on Content promotion

By applying the “Less is More” content marketing strategy, the brand will focus on reaching a wider set of audience and generating more leads with the same amount spent on promotions. The plan is to generate content of premium quality and authenticity and promote it on social media for a higher number of link clicks and prolonged engagement in the same budget.

Ad spends (FB Promotions) Rs 30,000
Content creation by Influencers Rs 20,000
Total Rs 50000
Total no. of people reached 4,50,000
Total clicks 30,000

With all the statistics mentioned above, it is safe to say that though creating gripping content will help you achieve your content marketing goals, the key lies in promoting it effectively. Creating a handful of relatable posts every month and promoting it vigorously on networking channels is the foolproof way of grabbing the attention of a visitor and converting them into a loyal customer.


How to transform your lead generation via a landing page?

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 24 October , 2017
  • |
    • 6 min read

If you are running a business online, you should know by now that generating leads is everything. Lead generation is the single most important aspect of digital marketing that helps your business grow.

If you are looking to capture more targeted leads through digital media, one of the main things that you would need is a well optimised, highly targeted landing page. Still not convinced? Here’s an example!

Conversion Rate Experts, world's leading agency for conversion rate optimisation (CRO), helped Moz, then SEOmoz, generate $1,000,000 million with just one landing page that had an alluring call to action. What's more? This revenue was generated by the fantastic landing page and few emails within four months.

You can read the complete case study here.

One of the takeaways from the above case study is that improved user experience helps in lead generation.

So, are you looking to improve the user experience of your landing pages and, in turn, increase your lead generation? Read on!

Designing and managing the perfect landing page

Consider your landing page as a system that will convince your page visitors to become your customers. A well-designed landing page, by itself, can help increase lead generation and conversion. Here are some tips to create an appealing landing page.

Use a captivating headline which increases the curiosity of the visitors

Instead of a typical headline, which screams "buy me," use an enchanting headline that would garner your visitors' attention.

For example, a landing page headline like this – Your One Stop for a Beautiful Kitchen – would interest the visitors a lot more than headlines that talk only about selling.

Understand your audience

This is easier said than done. How can you possibly understand someone whom you hardly know? However, understanding your prospective audience and designing the page keeping them in mind is absolutely necessary.

In terms of design, a good idea would be to have a quick A/B testing done and experiment with heat maps on your site. Analyse the results and rework on the design perspective if necessary.

If you are creating a landing page to get your visitors to download your content,  one way to do that is to research on what people are searching for in your domain and offer them that. Keeping the target audience in mind, we built a landing page for one of our esteemed clients, Casagrand. Casagrand is one of Chennai’s leading real estate developers with premium projects completed in and around the city. Since their target audience mainly consisted of potential home buyers, we created a handy e-book titled, “Chennai Home Buyers Guide” which consisted of useful tips and suggestions to make the process of buying a home easy and hassle-free. We created a landing page in which visitors had to fill in their details for a free copy of the e-book. This strategy was a win-win for both the customers and our client as the customers walked away with a detailed e-book on buying a home and Casagrand just got a lead of a potential home buyer who is looking for projects to invest in.

Be precise in your stand

You might be tempted to put all the information you have on the landing page. However, you must understand that the landing page design has only one purpose to serve - to get users to click on your call-to-action (CTA).

When you overload the page with too much information, it might have an adverse effect as it might become daunting to someone reading it for the first time. Understand that most users are going to read your landing page content and see the design for the first time. They must be able to grab the information they are looking for from the website. That’s when they will become potential customers for your business.

Furthermore, highlight the major benefits of your service or product on the landing page in a significant and striking manner. This will appeal to visitors and persuade them to become your customers.

Here’s an example of a landing page that is to the point.

This landing page scrolls through six sections with each section describing information that users would like to know. In the image shown above, the section project info has listed all the efficient and important project information in the form of bullets; this would be easy for people to read and understand quickly.

Opt for the right tools

To accomplish a task efficiently, you must use the right tool. As the good old saying goes, “You can use a screwdriver to pound in nails, but it's a lot harder.” You don’t have to do it the hard way always. Understand that sometimes the right way can be easy too.

There are lots of simple landing page creation tools out there, and each one is unique. You must analyse and pick the right tools for you. Some of the tools that we recommend are:

Instapage – it’s a simple, hassle-free landing page tool. It’s a drag-and-drop software tool that has a lot of professional web design templates.

Unbounce – This is another drag-and-drop software tool. It’s quite simple and recommended for beginners.

LeadPages – One of the most well-known landing page creator tools available online is LeadPages. Most top bloggers and businesses use this tool.

Use relevant and alluring visuals

“A picture is worth a thousand words” – This good old saying holds good, especially while creating high-converting landing pages.

Imagine reading the below-mentioned blog page with zero visuals! Tough, isn't it? Even a blog needs images and other forms of visual support, so landing pages must definitely be visually intense.

It is always a good idea to use images, videos, 360-degree photos/videos, infographics, maps, etc. Visuals help users to understand your page quicker. Additionally, having an image or video on your landing page leaves a more enduring impression on users’ minds than written content. Check out our blog on the type of content your target audience will find engaging for a detailed understanding of how content marketing can make your brand trend.

Another visual element that matters a lot is the font that you use; use fonts that are catchy and don’t come across as too overpowering.

Optimize your call-to-action/sign-up section for conversions

If you think that you can simply use some opt-in or CTA form and gain leads, you are absolutely wrong. The type of information you put in your CTA form and the way you design it play a major role in increasing conversions. For example, instead of simply asking someone to sign up to your page, you can ask them to sign up to get newsletters or sign up to get daily tips. Also, captions like “connect with us for…” may work well in increasing sign-ups and conversions.

Use customer testimonials

Using real-time customer testimonials is a great way to increase the credibility of your business. Reviews by customers will definitely create a positive image about your business to first-time visitors of your page, and this might, in turn, help in converting them into your customers. It's a proven fact that customer testimonials improve sales. This option could be left out, for the time being, if you are a new business.

Follow-up emails

Last but not the least, following up with your leads or subscribers is important. Once you have designed a landing page by keeping all these aspects in your mind, you can definitely expect quite a significant number of leads generated from the landing page. Once that happens, the next step is to convert your subscribers into customers. One way of doing that is to call them up on the numbers provided and talk to them about your business. A subtle way is to send them emails.

However, while sending emails, you must not restrict to sending promotional emails or regular newsletters. Alternatively, it is advisable to send your subscribers a series of crafted emails that will appeal to them. At times, include details about deals and offers, but don't make this a practice. For more insights, check out our blog on the different ways email marketing can work for you.

Never be afraid of sending more emails. However, refrain yourself from sending emails that follow a standard template. The more you send personalised or crafty emails, the more are the chances of converting your subscribers into customers.

Managing your business and marketing it digitally consumes equal, or at times, even more, time, money, and energy when compared to its traditional counterpart. By creating an influential and captivating landing page, you are investing in a driving force to convert your visitors to potential clients.


Why 2017 is the year of LinkedIn

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 2 June , 2017
  • |
    • 6 min read

LinkedIn, over the last few years has come a long way from being just a job search portal to a platform for lead generation, especially for B2B and small business. The platform has globally around 500 million users and 42 million Indian users, making it an ideal platform to promote your content. However, with Facebook having a sophisticated advertising platform and ad formats, more marketers preferred Facebook for lead generation. Understand this, LinkedIn recently introduced changes to its advertising methods, making it a comprehensive platform to generate leads. Here is a look at all the changes that marketers need to know.

If you have used the Facebook Ads Manager, using the LinkedIn advertising platform will not be too difficult.

LinkedIn Lead ads

The LinkedIn lead ads are the coolest and newest update that the platform has introduced. It is also the most useful one for any B2B business. You can use the LinkedIn lead forms for your sponsored content and campaigns. It works like a regular ad but when you click on the call to action, it takes you to a pre-filled lead from within the platform, making the entire experience seamless and hassle-free for users. The form is prefilled because the form already extracts most of the information from the user's profile. With more marketers going the mobile first route, this ad format is an excellent option to explore, especially since it does not take you to a landing page or a website, making the process much faster and easy to navigate on the mobile.

Here is a guide on how to create the lead form ad.

Step 1 - Select the Lead Forms option

Go on to the LinkedIn advert manager and select the preferred language, type the name of the campaign and choose the ad format as, “ Collect Leads Using LinkedIn.”  

Step 2 - Choose the content

Choose the content that you would like to promote. You can choose from the available content that you have posted or post new content for your target audience.

Step 3 - Set up the lead form

The next step is to set up the lead form itself. Enter a form name, a headline and other information needed. Treat it as a landing page and give all the necessary information including a powerful call to action to make sure that the user fills out the form.  

Step 4 - Choose the fields for the form

The next step is to create the form and you can choose up to seven fields that you want to collect from your lead form including name, email address, job title and phone number.

Step 5 - Thank you Message

You also have the option to set a thank you message and display a URL that can take the user to, once some fill out the form. This can be a landing page or website.

Step 6 - Select the target audience

Selecting the target audience is the most important step to collecting the right leads. LinkedIn gives you the option to choose from a wide range of them based on demographics, job titles, location, industry, skills, gender, etc. Once you have selected the audience, choose the budget and define your bid type from CPC or CPM and voila, your ad is now ready!

Measuring results from the Lead Forms

Apart from giving you the basic information of the cost per lead, LinkedIn also tells you how many people opened the advert, how many of them opened the form and how many submitted as well. You can also download the leads from your form and used that data for future campaigns.

Matched audience

LinkedIn already has detailed targeting options, which allows marketers to target potential audience by the company, job title, etc. However, the platform has now expanded and introduced a concept called matched audience. Matched audience lets you retarget website visitors and add your contact database. This option gives you the chance to target people who are familiar with your business, giving you a better chance of capturing the lead and driving sales. Using matched audience, you can target:

Website Visitors

As the name suggests, with this feature, you can target people who visit your website. Make sure you add the LinkedIn pixel on all pages of your website, just like how you add the Facebook pixel and create a custom audience in the tools section of campaign manager.

Contact targeting

If you have a database of your customers, with contact targeting, you can add them to your LinkedIn campaign manager and target them.

Account Targeting

Account targeting lets you reach powerful people who call the shots within your target accounts. All you need to do is upload a list of target companies to match against the 8+ million company pages on the platform.

InMail ads

Sponsored InMail ads look just like a regular email and present the opportunity to marketers to send personalised messages to their target audience. The InMail ads act as an email marketing campaign, which is sent to the target audience’s LinkedIn inbox, without having to acquire their email ids. The best part about this feature is that it has 100% delivery as the emails are sent only to people who are active on the platform when it is being sent.

InMail ads are a great way to showcase your product, branded content, webinars and promote content downloads such as ebooks and infographics.

With the Sponsored InMail ads, you can target a variety of target audience relevant to your business just like the lead ads. The ads are only sent to a user once in 60 days so it eliminates the question of spam and crowd.

Best practices for creating InMail ads

  • Keep the subject line catchy
  • Personalise your greetings and your target audience by their first name.
  • Use compelling text and visuals
  • Use a powerful call to action
  • Use relevant target audience

Why do LinkedIn ads work?

  • Create awareness about your brand
  • Reach decision makers - From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to senior level executive, LinkedIn has all the top decision makers who can potentially see your advert.
  • Increase the reputation of the brand

Who Should Advertise On LinkedIn?

With more than 500 million users and various ad formats, LinkedIn has become the go-to platform to promote content. If you are a small to medium size business and want to sell to decision makers, LinkedIn is the perfect place to be.  According to data, more than 80% of the leads generated for B2B companies come through LinkedIn. From promoting relevant content to showcasing the product, B2B services can create a niche market for themselves on LinkedIn.

Although LinkedIn is synonymous with the B2B sector, we have tried it out for B2C sectors as well. It especially works well for real estate, education, finance, the publishing industry, etc. With the right targeting, a business can increase their visibility and possibly generate leads.  Given below is an example of how one of our real estate clients, Mahindra Lifespaces, leveraged LinkedIn lead ads to improve the quality of sales. To promote one of their properties on GST Road, Chennai, they look to LinkedIn lead ad feature to target senior level executives. The ad opened to a lead form within the platform, giving a convenient way for potential investors to contact the buyer. With LinkedIn, Mahindra Lifespaces saw a 5x increase in leads at about 20% of the cost.


Which one of these updates are you trying out for your business? Let us know by leaving a comment.


How to use Instagram for Business (And a guide on Instagram Ads)

  • Anuradha Nair
  • |
  • 25 April , 2016
  • |
    • 9 min read

Instagram’s growth and spread as a social media platform is literally a tech fairy tale. What started out as a purely recreational app by two young entrepreneurs is now nothing short of a global phenomenon. It’s been 18 months since Facebook acquired Instagram and has estimated 400 million monthly active users. After Facebook’s acquisition, Instagram has opened up advertising opportunities on its platform making it official, that Instagram has truly arrived as a powerful marketing platform.

However, if you plan to use this platform to market your brand, product or service, you must be aware that the regular, run-of-the-mill content and strategy will not work for Instagram. If done well, Instagram can not only increase your brand’s visibility but also can help you engage with your customers and generate business and revenue through it. So here’s a list of 9 ways to use Instagram effectively for your business

  1. You Are What You Click

Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore you have to use images and videos that can tell your brand story effectively. Use high-quality product images yet ensure that they are not over salesy. The pictures must look organic and as natural as possible. Take this photo shared by Good Earth India

To launch their new kids collection, they have captured the essence of being a child by showcasing a little girl painting on the floor. By choosing to showcase the product in its natural setting instead of a typical product image, Good Earth manages to create a marketing free look while promoting their new collection for children.

Here’s another category of images that work – text. One may think that only images with people or objects do well on Instagram. Contrary to popular belief, images with text do well too. You can follow it up with a question in the caption to get great engagement. Check out this post by Buzzfeed Life about their latest blog post featuring 10 looks created out of a single LBD (Little Black Dress, for the uninitiated)

Ensure that your captions are brief yet engaging. Adding a question always helps to interact with your audience.

You can share plenty of behind-the-scene pictures and videos that can let people know about the team that works for the brand. Remember, the more real you are, the better people connect to your brand.

Once your Instagram profile creates this fun, creative and organic atmosphere, you can start seeing an increased traffic to your site and curiosity about your product/service.

  1. Bio and Website Link

Unlike Facebook and most other social media platforms, Instagram does not allow clickable links on the posts or on the post description. However the profile bio allows you to write a brief about yourself or your business. Use this space to exactly convey what you would like to say to your audiences. Most brands also use a few emojis here to make this section stand out and support the text with some colour.

The website link added here is the only way your customer can be redirected from Instagram to your website (other than ads).

To subtly push your target audience to engage with your website, blog or your app, end most of your post content with a gentle reminder that the link to reach you is available in the bio. Check out this post by Photo Concierge showcasing stock images directing customers to a link of their choice.

  1. Instagram Ads

As of March 2016, there are over 200,000 advertisers on Instagram and it’s a great tool to reach your target audience. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you will need to go through a Facebook Ad Account to run ads on Instagram. Here’s a quick guide on how to run Instagram ads

  • Visit the Facebook Ads Manager and create an account. Skip this process if you already have an ad account with Facebook.
  • Link your Instagram profile to your page using the tab under ‘Settings’ on your business Facebook page
  • Select your goal from the options that are offered through Instagram. For instance you can send people to your website, get people to download your app or promote your Facebook post through your Instagram profile.
  • As of now, one cannot promote a post on Instagram unless it is shared on Facebook.

 

  • Now create the ad on the Facebook ads manager with the image and text of your choice.
  • When you reach the ad format section, you will have the option of deciding if you would like to show your ad on Instagram. Alternately, if you would only like to run your ad on Instagram, make sure that you uncheck the other platforms.
  • Now fix your budget, check the ad preview, hit ‘Place Order’ and your good to go!

 

Like any platform, you need to experiment with various combinations of ads and text to understand which ads are working well with your target demographic. Try the carousel format with multiple pictures or a video ad to get the desired business results.

It has been observed that running Facebook ads along with the Instagram ads can reduce your cost per conversion by around 20%.

  1. Engage and Reach Out

Engagement with your followers is quite hard on a platform like Facebook, but Instagram is the perfect place to really engage with your followers. It’s also a place that is geared more for organic and real conversations.

Your followers are a gold mine of potential customers. Creating a loyal fan base is a surefire way to generate customers. Of course, unlike running ads, this process takes a bit of time, effort and patience.

Sorting and keeping in touch with followers is vital. Tools like SocialRank are a fantastic way to organize, manage and identify your Instagram followers.

SocialRank essentially pulls out the profiles of all your followers and lets you sort them out based on your preferences. You can create lists of your most valuable followers and ensure that you follow them back. A thoughtful message on their special posts can go a long way in ensuring brand affinity.

Another interesting way to grow your community is by searching relevant non-followers and liking as well commenting on their posts. Richard Lazazzera, Author of What to Sell Online : The definitive guide, ran a small experiment wherein he shortlisted 100 of his competitors’ followers and liked as well commented on their posts. He managed to get a whopping 34% follow back from this group.

  • Follow : 14% followback
  • Follow + Like : 22% followback
  • Follow + Like + Comment : 34% followback

This clearly shows that the more effort you put into your Instagram profile, the better are your chances to build a strong and relevant community which in turn helps with business results.

Another great way to engage with your users, is by reposting customer content. Most brands heavily rely on this and it’s a great way to make them feel special. Use the Repost app to share your customer’s content and tag them on the post! Infact, there are many tools that help you manage your Instagram profile. Here’s another list of top tools to help you with Instagram.

  1. Keep Your Account Clean

Instagram is a platform where often unfollowing is as important as following!

Since following others is a definitive way to increase your reach, you have to constantly unfollow the people who do not engage with you in any way. Some accounts that you follow may have become inactive and can be weeded out.

Crowdfire is the perfect app to help keep your account clean. Through its simple dashboard, you can quickly see the number of people who follow/do not follow you. It also pops up the profiles of your recent unfollowers which can help you unfollow them as well. Alternately, it helps you quickly find the list of your competitors to follow. With this dashboard, you can ensure that your account is always fresh and updated!

  1. Hashtag Your Way To Glory

We all love hashtags. We are all guilty of using them all the time. But nowhere are hashtags more important than on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and we recommend using it well. The hashtags can be broadly divided into three categories

  • Popular Hashtags (#tbt, #photooftheday, #igers #popular)
  • Industry Related Hashtags (#Fashion, #FoodPorn, #instatech, #FitnessFreak)
  • Brand Related Hashtag (#Vogue , #UberCode, #MyntraFashion)

Ideally, each post must have a few from each of these categories. Do not forget to coin a hashtag for your brand and promote it regularly till it can catch on and have its own identity among your customers.

Many brands also use clever hashtags to communicate an emotion or trend related to their product. Just like this Starbucks post, where they use the #BeGoodToYourself hashtag along with their tea to indicate a feeling of wellness and indulgence.

Here’s a great guide to the most popular hashtags for the year 2016.

  1. Instagram Influencers

Instagram influencers are very powerful and have almost the same impact as a popular brand ambassador for your business. Anybody who has a large following and content that interests your customers can be an influencer.

The key to getting the most out of influencer marketing is ensuring that it is done using several influencers and within a short time period. Your customer’s memory is short and to ensure that your brand is noticed, a Blitz Krieg approach to influencer marketing can go a long way. This is especially true when you are launching a new product in the market.

One of the best case studies to understand the impact of Instagram influencers is the launch of the Uwheel, a self-balancing two-wheeled hoverboard.  The co-founder’s girlfriend recruited famous rappers, singers, socialites, and other Instagram influencers to talk about the Uwheel, all at once. Some of the posts and reviews were paid for while some others were given the Uwheel in exchange for a word about their business and product on their profile. And suddenly, Uwheel was all everyone was talking about!

Using a marketing budget of $61,200 their team was able to generate a revenue of over 1 million dollars and since then Uwheel as a brand, has not turned back. Read all about it here.

Wanted to get started with influencers for your business soon? Here’s a fantastic list of influencers to help you get started!

  1. Analyse This

Like all social media platforms, Instagram analytics can help you understand your account and follower behaviour to help optimize your business. Using tools like Social Insight or Iconosquare you can find out more about important analytical points. For instance, the best time to post your content, most engaging content, most engaging filters etc.

These tools help generate comprehensive reports that can speak volumes about the user behaviour and help you understand what works and what does not for your Instagram account.

  1. Post Regularly

With Instagram, consistency is very important. You must keep sharing your content in different forms to be relevant and sustain the community you have built. One way to achieve this is by scheduling your posts in advance. Use tools like Schedugram and Latergramme so that your workload does not stop you from posting regularly on Instagram.

However, do remember that the name Instagram is inspired from the act of capturing a moment the instant it happens. Nothing works better than taking a picture while as it happens and sharing it immediately with your followers. A successful sales figure, a new product launch, a new business venture – share it when it takes place! During a recent interview, Eva Chen, Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships, speaks about how Instagram is more than just a numbers game and airbrushed photographs. Even grainy but real videos that were taken in poor lighting can do well on Instagram if they truly capture real life. So don’t be afraid to share it all.

Here are some more interesting case studies about using Instagram for business. Instagram is truly a treasure trove of new opportunities to expand your business and generate revenue. While it does work better for businesses that are more visual in nature, it still is emerging as the number one way to interact with the younger audiences with great spending potential. Have you tried to use Instagram for your business? We would love hear from you in our comments section!

 

 


Leveraging LinkedIn to generate leads for a Small Business

  • Varun
  • |
  • 16 March , 2016
  • |
    • 5 min read

The foundation to leverage on any social media tool is to ask yourself, ‘’Is this tool right for my business?’’ The answer to this question should not be driven by your competitor or market ally, who has plunged into using the tool, to aid his business. Are you a small business pondering your thoughts upon selecting LinkedIn as a platform for lead generation? Well, the dilemmas can be swept aside as LinkedIn will act as a lifeline to stay in front of your customers and also help you reach out to new prospects.

In digital marketing, your network is everything. Publishing a brilliant article on your website with 1,00,000 flares can make your feel ecstatic and boost your credibility. But it won’t matter if you aren’t speaking to the right audience. That’s where LinkedIn has stepped into the arena. It has become a prime channel where brands share content. This makes it easier for small business to connect with brand advocates, potential customers, and industry influencers, all at the same place. While content is one of the dual weapons, LinkedIn gears your business with, lead generation is the other ammunition. With access to over 400 million members on the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn enables sales lead generation by allowing sales professionals to easily and quickly find the right prospects. Here are some of the most successful lead generation strategies that your business can leverage on, for generating leads.

Make an Effective Debut
There is nothing like effectively introducing yourself as a business to create an impact on users. Take care to optimise your profile and pay attention to your feed and website descriptions. Being descriptive builds trust and captures the eye of prospects more efficiently. Using the necessary keywords will help your business get captured during filtered searches.

Make Connections
Nothing works like direct one-on-one networking. Invest in a couple of minutes each working day, clicking the "connect" button on the "People You May Know" list that LinkedIn displays on your feed. Through time you will broaden your network and will become someone known for doing so. Remember that everyone you talk to about business or meet during the course of a business day is a potential LinkedIn connection.

Capitalize on LinkedIn Applications
The platform gives you the option to add interesting apps that will improve the experience people have on your LinkedIn page. You can add blog posts, let people know what you are reading, and even set up polls to find out what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects. For example, your business can use SlideShare to display a webinar or use a PowerPoint deck of how your business helps in solving a customer’s problem.

Rendezvous on LinkedIn Groups
Participating in LinkedIn Groups is the one of the key moves to generate leads. If you are a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them. In addition to this, group members can also view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Take some time to search for groups to join where your targeted buyers are likely to be members. Start by contributing to conversations, be helpful in answering questions, and provide links to assets you have on your site that might help members of the group. Put your most valuable assets behind a short form on your site to capture LinkedIn visitor’s details. And voila, you now have a new lead! Alternatively, joining groups that are outside your industry that might help you grow your business too. Stretching out a little bit, helps your business expand its reach. For example: If you’re an Social Media Specialist, you don’t want to just join an Social Media Professionals Group - you’ll want to join groups for Digital Marketing, Startups, App Marketing, and other groups outside of your immediate circle.

Sponsored Updates + Valuable Content
Many small businesses have started to run LinkedIn Sponsored Update campaigns to generate leads for their business. While regular updates can be a hit or miss in terms of impressions; using sponsored updates allows you to share updates that don’t appear as ads, at first glance. Start by generating a whole lot of original content (blogs). Then trial with creating 20 sponsored updates over the space of two months to promote it to your target audience. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off! NewsCred ran a series of sponsored update campaigns that netted them 288 new followers and 71 leads, over a span of 2 months. The company also found the campaign to be 75% less expensive than the Google AdWords lead gen campaigns they were running in parallel. It is to be noted that research has revealed leads collected via LinkedIn are three times more likely to convert into customers than leads collected via any other digital advertising platform.

Priming LinkedIn Direct Ads (Text Ads)
LinkedIn’s advertising platform can be used to drive new prospects to your landing page, LinkedIn group or other destination. The ads work the same way Google paid search ads work. You simply write a headline, add some copy and create a destination link. Then you bid on how much you’ll pay LinkedIn every time someone clicks on the ad. If you pay Rs.100 to LinkedIn for a click, and it takes 50 clicks before you convert a customer, then you’ve just spent Rs.500 for 1 customer. If your product sells for Rs.5000 each, investing Rs.500 to generate Rs.5000 is not a bad return-on-investment. In our experience, text ads deliver high impressions but fail to capture leads effectively, when compared to the sponsored updates.

For more information on how you can leverage LinkedIn for your B2C or B2B brands, take a look at what Ishan Gupta of LinkedIn has to say.


Effective Digital Marketing to generate Business for B2B

  • Vikas Chawla
  • |
  • 10 October , 2015
  • |
    • 1 min read

On 9th Oct 2015, CII organized the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Conference with the theme “Strategies for the Future”in Chennai, India. Our Co-Founder, Vikas Chawla took a session on Effective Digital Marketing to generate Business for B2B to a packed audience at Hilton. It was followed by a very interesting Q&A on the challenges faced by B2B businesses and as to how they can leverage the digital medium effectively - especially for small and medium enterprises.


How to get more B2B leads using LinkedIn

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 30 September , 2014
  • |
    • 2 min read

A quick glance at the above stats conveys a simple but important message: Be it business owners, industry experts, students or entrepreneurs - LinkedIn cannot be ignored. And, B2B companies have more reasons to be active on LinkedIn – it’s an excellent platform to generate quality leads. Here’s how you can get more B2B leads using LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are an excellent platform to connect with peers within your industry. It allows you to join up to 50 groups, and you should make the most of it by joining groups in your industry. Once you are part of a LinkedIn group, you can easily filter the members based on your criteria and your prospect list is ready.

Direct Sponsored Content

The direct sponsored content feature helps to promote an industry whitepaper, a case-study or a blog post right in your prospects feed. The features such as Localization helps in precise targeting for your sponsored content to a specific region. Instead of a direct sales pitch, content that helps the prospects in their business has higher chances of getting more traction.

Long-form content can get you a double bonus

The long-form posts on LinkedIn is an excellent way to showcase your brand or expertise in the relevant target segment. In a lot of cases discussed in my network, long-form professional content also help in the professional job searches. It also has more reach compared to the short-form posts.

Reverse engineering the content strategy

A “spray-pray” approach for content marketing will never produce results. Reverse engineering can give your content strategy a definitive edge. What this means is – instead of sharing only “hard-sell” content, you can share content that will benefit your target audience. For example, it can be simple tips to help their businesses or new developments in their industry.

The more attractive it is, the more traction it gets

A closer look at the LinkedIn stats suggest that the visually attractive posts helps a long way in getting traction for your content. Just addition of an image to the content post can help to get 90-100% more engagement than a post without an image. Addition of SlideShare presentations can give another big jump in the engagement rates.

Do you leverage LinkedIn to generate leads for your business? Comment & let us know why or why not.

References:

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/05/04/new-research-2014-linkedin-user-trends-and-10-top-surprises/
  2. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/#.VCnAIfmSySo

LinkedIn Showcase Pages – Why you must use them

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
  • |
  • 1 April , 2014
  • |
    • 4 min read

The social media space has always been extremely dynamic with all players constantly rolling out changes to their platforms. It was LinkedIn’s turn last week when they announced that, from 14th April 2014, they will be doing away with the Products and Services tab from Company Pages.

Exit Products & Services Tab

The move has evoked mixed reactions from users with most being unhappy with it. A large number of businesses have invested a lot of time and effort to showcase all their products and services on the page and to get recommendations from their clients. Come April 14th, this page will disappear and all the work that has been put in will be gone. All the recommendations will be gone too, and the official Linked In announcement suggests you “copy them from the tab into your own document” or request a copy through a support request, if you want to keep them.

Another group of users believe that the move to do away with the tab makes perfect sense since a very small number of visitors to the page actually clicked on the Products & Services Tab. The tab also lacked images, and the Static content on it is not as much as viewed as content updates, which have a far greater reach. In fact, analytics for the Social Beat company page on LinkedIn show that barely 10% of page visitors clicked on the Product & Services tab.

 

Social Beat Product & Services Page Analytics

 

Many also view the change as LinkedIn’s attempt to do away with static content (which, once written, remains on the page for people to see), thereby forcing users to use dynamic updates to communicate with their follower base. These could be monetized much more easily using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates.

Either way, change has to be embraced and the best made out of it. So, now that the Products and Services page has been done away with, how do you showcase your businesses products and services and get visibility for them on LinkedIn? The answer lies in LinkedIn Showcase pages.

Enter Showcase Pages

Introduced by LinkedIn in November 2013, Showcase Pages are dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business, products and services and build relationships with the right community. They are like sub-pages of the main company page and each of them can be used to promote specific products and services to a specific buyer persona.

LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool and it is worth investing time and effort to make the transition to Showcase pages. Here are the advantages of Showcase pages, which is why you must use them.

 

Social Beat - Showcase page for SEO

 

Why you must use Showcase pages

  • Build a Targeted audience – You now have a dedicated page to post updates for each particular aspect of your business and build a targeted audience for that product or service. And if your content is appealing enough for your audience to share it, you will be able to organically expand your reach for each product/service.
  • Focus: Showcase pages focus entirely on the product or service. There are no careers, products, or services tabs on them as they are on Company pages.
  • Analytics: Showcase pages have their own analytics on follower engagement, trends and demographics.
  • Two-column layout: Unlike Company pages, where updates show up in a single column format, Showcase page updates show up in two columns which make it easier for users to scroll through content. Showcase pages also have a larger and more prominent hero image.
  • All showcase pages branch off from the company page and link back to them, creating a centralized page structure. You can create upto 10 showcase pages.
  • Users can follow only that part of your business that they are most interested in and receive updates tailor-made for them.

 

Showcase Page Structure

 

Teething Trouble

Showcase pages do have some limitations and constraints as well, a major one being the trouble with choosing a name for the page URL. Although LinkedIn showcase pages are centralized under a single Company Page, the URL for each Showcase page is not currently nested under the Company url. For eg, the Social Beat showcase page for Social Media carries the url  http://www.linkedin.com/company/effective-use-of-social-media while it should have ideally been http://www.linkedin.com/company/Social-Beat/effective-use-of-social-media. This has made it extremely difficult and challenging to choose names for Showcase pages.

Some other Showcase Page constraints include the need for each Showcase page to be managed, updated and edited separately, and the 10-page limit which may not work well for larger companies.

However, Showcase pages are still in their initial stage and these constraints could just be considered teething trouble which LinkedIn would definitely work on improvising as these pages become more mainstream and popular. For now, it is best to work through these limitations and focus on leveraging this new feature for business growth.

 

What is your take on LinkedIn Showcase pages? Have you begun building them for your business?


WE MEAN GOOD BUSINESS