content marketing

Vikas Chawla selected in LinkedIn’s Content 50

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 27 August , 2018
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    • 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.


7 reasons why you need to use Quora in your digital marketing strategy

  • Rhea
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  • 21 December , 2017
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    • 4 min read

At first glance, Quora doesn’t seem like it would be an important tool for a marketer. However, underestimating the value of Quora can be one of the worst mistakes you can make for your brand. Quora has 1.5 million visitors every month. That’s 1.5 million visitors who have the potential to discover your brand and become prospective leads. This is why one of the biggest digital marketing trends of recent times has been the growing focus on Quora. Quora has a distinct edge over other question and answer forums because of its highly monitored content. User profiles are strictly verified and content is routinely checked for quality. Building your brand’s presence on Quora can help increase awareness of your brand, increase traffic to your site and even generate leads. Here are seven crucial reasons why your brand needs to make use of Quora in its overall marketing strategy.

1. It Helps Your Consumers Find and Learn About Your Brand

The biggest advantage Quora offers is that it is made up of a large community built on trust and whose members rely on each other for information. When you provide informative answers to questions users pose, you’re automatically increasing the credibility of your brand. Quora allows you to engage in meaningful conversations with your target audience and establish your brand as an expert in your field.

However, it’s important that you never attempt to oversell your brand on Quora. The community on Quora is distrustful of marketers and hates self-promotional material. When you’re marketing your brand on Quora, ‘less is more’ is a strategy that always works. Instead of speaking about your brand in great detail, focus instead on providing informative answers to the questions being asked. This will gradually build your brand credibility and bring users organically to your site.

2. It Can Improve Your Search Result Rankings

Google search results often include Quora posts among its highest ranking sites. This makes Quora a powerful SEO tool to drive organic traffic to your site. You could even increase your chances of showing up in the top results by strategically using important keywords with the help of keyword research tools. However, you need to make sure your content is relevant. Dropping keywords with abandon and speaking extensively about your brand with little to no connection to the actual question will decrease your chances of showing up in search results.

3. It Helps You Find Crucial Influencers

One of the biggest digital marketing trends this year has been the growing importance of influencer marketing. If you’re struggling to find key influencers for your brand, Quora could be a great resource. There are many users who are identified as key contributors by Quora because of their highly informative answers. Users rely the most on these key contributors because they have repeatedly established their credibility. You can engage with these contributors by answering their questions or by providing comments to their answers. You can even directly reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in helping you promote your brand.

4. It Can Help You Market Your Content

If you have excellent content and blog posts on your brand’s website, then Quora is one of the best ways to amplify your content. Again, the key here is to be subtle about promoting your website. Instead of replying to a question with, ‘Visit my website for information about this’, introduce it slowly within your answer. Your answer needs to cultivate interest that will actually make users curious enough to visit your blog. Provide key information within your answers and link your content to it by saying that you’ve written about it in more detail on your blog.

You can also use Quora to crowdsource information for your article. You can mention that you’re writing a blog on ‘How to Improve SEO Rankings’ and ask users for their tips on the subject. When users feel like they have actively contributed to a blog post, they will even be more likely to share it themselves.

5. It Helps You Gain Insights into Your Target Audience

You don’t need to conduct expensive, complicated surveys when you have a simple resource like Quora at your disposal. Instead of guessing what your target audience needs, why not let them tell you directly? The questions on Quora are an invaluable source of information about what type of content your target audience will find engaging. If a number of people are asking questions about the same problem, can your brand be the solution to it? Questions (and their answers) are great ways to learn more about your customers, the way they think, what they use and what they need. By actively catering to their problems, your brand can continue to stay relevant.

6. It Can Help You Come Up With Content Ideas

If you’re stumped for new content ideas, trawling through Quora can help you ideate. A good blog post needs to provide answers to relevant questions anyway so what better place to find these questions that Quora? For example, if a number of people are asking, ‘How do I increase my Instagram engagement?’ then you immediately have an idea for a relevant blog post. Using questions on Quora to ideate for your blog also serves up another advantage. You can link the blog post you’ve written along with your answer to the question and amplify it further.

7. It Can Help You Establish Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is a coveted badge every marketer wants for their brand. Establishing thought leadership makes your brand an authority in its field and increases trust in it. Building thought leadership can take some time, but the payoff makes it all worth it. One of the best ways to establish thought leadership is through Quora. By providing meaningful, informative answers to your consumer’s questions, you’re demonstrating the extensive knowledge you have on the subject. Many brands struggle with building thought leadership because they don’t know how to steer a conversation in the direction of their brand’s offerings. Quora saves you the trouble because the conversation already exists; you just need to contribute to it.

Clearly, no marketer can afford to ignore Quora if they want to successfully build their brand’s digital presence. Quora is even more essential when it comes to marketing for a start-up because it helps new consumers come across your brand. So take full advantage of this site for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

This article was previously published as Quora: A must-have in your digital marketing playbook on Business Line on Campus.


Social Beat at the NASSCOM Content Marketing Masterclass

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 21 November , 2017
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    • 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
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  • 31 October , 2017
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    • 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 InfluencersRs 40,000

Total

Rs 50000
Total no. of people reached1,50,000
Total clicks10,000

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 InfluencersRs 20,000
TotalRs 50000
Total no. of people reached4,50,000
Total clicks30,000

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.


10 Must Have SEO Plugins for WordPress

  • Sankar
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  • 13 September , 2017
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    • 3 min read

Having a blog has become mandatory for all organisations. However, with so many blogs out there, how do you ensure your blog is search engine friendly? The best way to do that is through SEO and content. If you are using a WordPress blog, here are 10 plugins that you should use.

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress. It can handle almost all on page elements except markup data and schema tags.

Notable features included in this plug-ins are:

  • Title and Description
  • XML Sitemaps
  • Breadcrumbs
  • File Editor
  • SEO and Readability Score

If you are looking to install this plugin, read this step by step tutorial to set up this free SEO plugin.   

2. Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

AMP is a project designed by Google and Twitter to make mobile pages to load quickly. AMP is a kind of Facebook Instant Articles. There are many plugins available to implement AMP in Wordpress sites. The best plugin for AMP in WordPress is "AMP for WP - Accelerated Mobile Pages." Once it is implemented, the page loads quickly, especially on mobile devices.

3. W3 Total Cache

Increasing the website speed is one of the key factors in ensuring your website ranks on Google. It increases the speed by serving static pages rather than dynamic content. The plugin optimises HTML, CSS, and JavaScript resources by compressing them and thereby ensuring the page loads fast.

4. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

All in one rich snippet is a free plugin, which currently has 79 5-star reviews from the WordPress community. This plugin is used basically to provide a summary of the page in the search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing and even in Facebook news feeds. It does so by using an interactive format with star ratings, author photo, image, etc. Many webmasters use this plugin to get higher rankings in search results.

5. ShortPixel Image Optimizer

ShortPixel Image Optimizer has over 50,000 Installs and the main motive of this plugin is to compress JPG, PNG, GIF and even PDF document. By doing so, it reduces the load time of the website and increases rankings of your website in search results. It also has the option to bulk optimize through media library. This plugin supports both HTTP and Https version of the website.

6. BJ Lazy Load

This plugin allows us to load your website quickly which is good for SEO. It replaces web site's post images, thumbnails, gravatar images and iframes with a placeholder & loads content as it gets close to enter the browser window when the visitor scrolls the page.

7. Rel Nofollow Checkbox

Using outbound and inbound links are extremely important for a blog post. However, when you use outbound links, it is important to make sure it is a nofollow link. The Rel Nofollow check box does exactly that. When you install this plugin, it gives you a checkbox in the insert/edit link popup for adding nofollow attributes.

8. Redirection

Redirection is a plugin for WordPress to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, full log report of 301 redirections. All URLs can be redirected with this plugin except the URL, which doesn't exist.

9. All In One WP Security & Firewall

Although Wordpress is secure on its own, it is a good idea to have a security plugin on your blog page. The plugin has numerous account security features such as password strengthening tool and has the ability to check if any of the accounts have an identical username of passwords. It also provides a security score, which will tell you how secure your website it is.

10. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

Keeping people for as long as you can on your website is a great sign for better SEO. A low bounce rate is a hint that your users are finding value in your site and spending more time. One of the best ways to improve this area is to install Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. This plugin displays relevant post related to the current content. This will ensure the users are given interesting content to read and makes sure they spend more time on your site.

We hope this article helped you to get some ideas about must have SEO WordPress plugins every website should have.

This article was originally published in Business Line on Campus.

Growth of regional languages online: a KPMG & Google Study

  • Team Social Beat
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  • 24 August , 2017
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    • 6 min read

  • Only 10% out of the 76% literate population of India knows English
  • More than 234 million Indian language users online today

Surprising? These figures might sound counter-intuitive with so much focus on English given in digital media today. But it’s a fact that there has been a profound growth of regional content online. Consequently, this holds a massive implication for brands which are not leveraging regional languages for marketing their brand. With an anticipated CAGR of 41% over the next few years, the opportunity will only grow bigger. Taking that into account we have launched 22 languages. This website provides organizations with access to an audience of more than 50 million users nationwide. Companies can use a multilingual marketing strategy to showcase their products and services in over 22 languages through this medium. To understand this concept better, here are a few interesting insights from the latest study done by KPMG India and Google on the growth of vernacular languages in India on the digital front. Check out this video to understand why your brand must adopt a multilingual strategy:

 

Digital news: one third of digital news consumers are Indian language consumers 

Digital news has caught up easily because of its simplicity. Data is usually accessible through an app or a website with mobile compatibility. Big names have realized the importance of digital media due to the silent downfall in newspaper and magazine sales. Currently, there are 106 million users viewing digital news in local Indian languages. This figure is anticipated to add up to 180 million users by 2021. However, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and Tamil make up 80% of the current users. The major categories of type of news viewed are general, sports and politics. This only means that there is a dire need of more companies to enter this segment, to keep India more informed and updated.

Digital classifieds to have major impact in matrimony,recruiment and real estate categories

Digital Classifieds are a very big sector. This sector has the potential to cause a ripple effect as people interact with each other in the same area and subsequently belong to the same target group. This would cause information to travel to a larger audience. Furthermore, Indian language usage would provide an extra boost by causing the information to reach nooks and corners of rural India. The top categories, which are looked up the most in classifieds, are matrimony, recruitment and real estate. Nevertheless, the only obstruction in digital classifieds is the lack of availability. This sector is anticipated to grow to an astonishing 100 million user base in the coming five years with individuals fluent in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada forming 70% of the total users by then.

Digital Payments to grow at 30% CAGR with almost 175 million users online

The sector of digital payments is estimated to grow at 30% CAGR and a humongous 175 million consumers are expected to use it with Indian language interface by 2021. These gates are mostly used for mobile recharge and utility bill payments. Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are heading the charts in the languages open to quick adaption and will form half of the users on the digital payment platform.

E-Tailing to reach 165 million users by 2021

According to statistics, Indian language users prefer buying electronics online rather than apparels or other accessories. As for the sellers, it has become much more convenient for local sellers to reach e-commerce giants like Amazon. One can sell their products on Amazon in five easy steps - the steps being creating an account, listing, taking products live and handing over the product to Amazon for delivery. It is quite convenient and hassle-free. The user base for e-commerce in local languages is growing at a high rate. It has a CAGR of 32% and is expected to add 120 million users in the upcoming five years. This popularity can be attributed to two major factors as voted highest by consumers: Firstly, the availability of better promotional offers and secondly, the huge variety of products available online which may not be present in the smaller cities or towns of India. The main obstruction users experience is the lack of end-to-end compatibility in Indian languages. However, as these obstructions show signs of quick recovery, e-tailing in local languages apart from e-commerce in English, will be a lucrative segment for the e-giants.

Digital entertainment to reach approximately 400 million users by 2021

It is no surprise that impressive progress has already been made in this segment. Currently, a mass population of 162 million exists as the user base. Keeping in mind that the predicted user base by 2021 is 392 million Indians, there is much more that can be done in the digital entertainment arena. The content has the space to be comparatively more experimental and creative than other platforms as the adoption rate is 90% for this sector. The viewer’s quickly adapt to the kind of material available to them. These users consume both audio and video mediums.

To tap into this huge market, we used local languages for our informative videos like the Chola Finance video which was very well received by the Hindi speaking locals. The video got a whopping 1,751,355 Views and more than 64,000 shares.

The challenge remains in picking the right medium like Facebook, Hotstar, Youtube, tvfPlay or other regional channels.

If you are looking to create videos, read our blog on how to create low cost videos.

Online government services growing at a CAGR of 33%

There are currently 41 million users under the segment of online government services. It is increasing at a CAGR of 33% and is expected to land at a massive 172 million in the next five years. Some of the applications that constitute online government services are tax filling, applying for government jobs and knowing about new rules and regulations. The Indian Government can use this platform to increase transparency and cut down corruption.  However, limited local language enablement combined with lack of interest and awareness poses a huge obstruction which needs to be addressed immediately.

Chat applications, Social media Platforms and digital write ups

Chat applications currently have a 170 million user base and are anticipated to reach a 400 million user base by 2021. Hindi is topping at a huge margin of 50% as of now. Kannada is expected to grow to a far second with a whopping 20% in the coming years. The major challenge in this is the upgrade needed in voice to text, language keyboard and transliteration.

Social media platforms have a total of 115 million local language users as of now. This figure is expected to grow to 300 million by 2021.The South is anticipated to dominate this area due to its better adoption skills.

Digital write ups are a very interesting scope for Indian languages on the digital platform. It will provide visibility for the users who want to put their content online. It will also provide job opportunities for local people by companies looking to improve their SEO options by generating more local language content online. Additionally, mobile friendly blogs are preferred by users. 54% of Indians would adopt reading write ups if they are optimized for mobile screens.

 

The Road Ahead

Government’s vital role: Government to digitally literate 60 million homes

This ongoing shift in India’s internet scenario has not gone past unseen by the Indian Government. Taking into account the increase in smart phone availability due to cheaper prices, a 176 million increment is expected till 2021. A striking 90% of these consumers are anticipated to be Indian language users. The government has taken this into account and made it mandatory for mobile phones sold in India to be Indian language friendly. Additionally, the government has also taken an initiative to make 60 million rural households digitally literate.

 Changing role of internet platforms

There are approximately 500 million Indian language users online. This figure will significantly have a huge impact on the nature of content presented on digital platforms. Additionally, this audience will be more inclusive of the elderly and the rural population. Also, as long as the type of sectors is concerned, Digital Classifieds, digital news and financial solutions will see a major boost.

Investments by B2C players

Due to the local reach, many B2C users might exploit the Indian language user base on various channels. Digital marketing in Indian local languages will get them untapped markets in India. The companies which will be involved could be news sites, e-commerce players, insurance companies and m-wallets to name a few. In tier 2 and tier 3 cities, this can be encashed at a higher level. Since 90% of the new mobile buyers are local language users, a whole new customer base can be reached through this medium. Here's an interesting video that tells you why you need to have a multilingual strategy if you want to create a strong digital presence among your regional audience.

 

Applications, Websites and digital advertisements

Indian language based websites and application will see a rise. Digital advertisements in local languages could also be used by B2C companies to increase reach. Additionally, Google display ads could be customized to the regional language of the state where they are being viewed.

Monetization of the newly generated data

This progress would result in new data generation for companies. The database, through structured investments, can be analyzed for specific language behaviors. This will help digital marketers in ad planning and targeting.

Voice recognition and language agnostic internet

We need to move to a language agnostic ecosystem. This is required to give a platform to the Indian language content creators.  Voice recognition will be of major help to the users who find using search and navigation through text a challenge.

It is affirmative that the preference given to regional languages will play an active role in internet consumption. It will also help explore a huge new market for brands. Brands that miss this bandwagon are sure to lose out on quite a few million potential customers. Furthermore, Indian language in digital will lead to the spreading of knowledge in rural parts of India. Tier 2 and tier 3 cities will also be of prime targeting in this arena. With such profound reach, it is safe to say that marketing through your regional language is the next step in digitizing India.

 


Content Amplification Strategies to promote content

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 1 April , 2017
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    • 4 min read

Why content promotion is essential

Good content can go a long way in effectively building brand recall and trust with a brand’s target audience. This has made content marketing a key ingredient in every business’ digital marketing strategy.

With all marketers the world over dishing out content to reach, inform, engage, educate and connect to their target audience to build their brand, the amount of content produced on a daily basis has grown exponentially. Sure, the internet population has grown as well, but content creation and publishing is growing at a rate much faster than the growth in internet connectivity. In fact, as per a recent AOL and Nielsen report, over 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day! Even if we assume that only 1% of this content is great content, that’s a really huge number of great content pieces being published every day! In such a scenario, it is critical to ensure that content cuts through the clutter and reaches the audience it has been created for.

Content amplification strategies

Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. A word of caution here though – content amplification works best for content that has been ideated and created keeping in mind the interests and needs of the target audience. So, here are content amplification strategies you can use to effectively promote your content:

Respond to questions on Quora

Quora is recognised as the most comprehensive and trusted online forum. You can ask and answer questions relating to any subject matter. Since forums provide an open source for your Target Audience to discuss a topic, you can add value by responding to their queries using your existing write-up, if relevant. You can also link back to your blog or website, which effectively renders your work as a credible source.

Tweet various snippets from your content

Have interesting stats or facts that are share-worthy as individual pieces of content? Share those snippets on Twitter. The microblogging giant is one of the most active social media platforms today, so anything interesting that fits within 140 characters is bound to be retweeted. You can even take screenshots of other elements like pictures, infographics and quotes and use a shortened URL of your website for promotion.

Get featured in industry roundups

Roundups are collections of the best or most happening events in a particular industry. If your content is information based, you have a high chance of featuring in a roundup. Begin by searching for relevant roundups on Google (limit your search to the past month), then pitch your content to the roundup curators. If luck is on your side, the curators will feature your content in their collection. Roundups are searched extensively by business professionals, so your content will reach a niche audience, which works brilliantly for amplification purposes.

Contact people who have shared similar content

While researching for your content, you will surely come across existing articles that have written on the topic similar to yours. Content from reputed sources should already be generating traffic through social media shares. Your best bet is to copy the URL of the article and search for it on sites like Twitter and Facebook. You will be able to spot people who have shared the content, so contact these people through a direct message, requesting them to share what you have done as well.

Link to relevant sites/Mention entities when sharing

While researching, you may also come across interesting pieces of information that were quoted by credible sources. It is advisable to link to these sources while writing your article. When you publish your content and promote it on social media, use Twitter mentions or Facebook hashtags to prompt those sources that you’ve used their information. Doing so will increase the chance of your article being viewed by multiple individuals through the mentions.

Use Sniply to leverage the reach of content from more reputed sources

Sniply is a very simple yet effective tool that lets you create a one-liner message about your article and display it along with a button prompt. You can use Sniply to overlay your custom message onto any other piece of relevant content. The tool lets you drive conversions from one piece of shared content to another. Let's assume you've found content that shares information about a topic similar to yours; you can use the Sniply tool to add your link to the topic, prompting the reader to delve deeper and gain more knowledge on the subject matter.

Post on relevant LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn is nothing but the Facebook variant for all things professional. If you' content has information that can help professionals, LinkedIn is the best platform for promotional purposes. Much like Facebook communities, LinkedIn has an option where you can create groups. Find such groups that could make the most out of your content and share it on their pages.

Contact people who have linked to similar content

There is competition everywhere nowadays; you are sure to find a whole lot of articles similar to yours. Some of these articles would have gained immense social share yet may lack certain pieces of information that your article has. You can take advantage of this by pasting the URL of the similar articles on Ahrefs or Open Site Explorers. You will get a list of pages or sites that have used those articles as links. Reach out to those sites and ask them to link your fresher and better content.

Turn content into a ppt/pdf and upload to SlideShare

SlideShare is the perfect place to promote presentations to get the visibility you need. Once you upload your content on Slideshare, you can also share the link on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn, as we all know, is fast becoming the go-to spot for business professionals when it comes to reading about industry related news and topics.

Leverage the reach of Influencers

Reaching out to influencers at scale is a good idea to amplify your content. Getting your content featured by some key influencers or getting them to share your content can amplify your reach drastically. Pick influencers that are relevant to your domain and engage with them. Contact more than one influencer and engage with them regularly for better reach.

The content mentioned above include promotion strategies that are used to their fullest potential by some of the best content marketers on the planet. Of course, some of these strategies may die out while others will evolve, so to stay ahead of the curve, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled and ears tuned.

If there are any content distribution channels which you have tried that could be added to the list, do let us know in the comments below.


On Page Factors That Matters The Most For Google In 2017

  • Abdul Aziz
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  • 12 March , 2017
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    • 5 min read

Effective Keyword ranking is a never-ending mystery and one that every SEO professional thrives on exploring. The technique of scratching through SERP evolves every year with Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Success over this depends on a rinse and repeat the formula that is slow, to begin with but pays off well in the long run. Stay strong on the fundamentals of SEO and focus on the changing scenarios and latest features that fetch you benefits on SERP results. Here is a list of on-page elements that every SEO professional would need to know in 2017 to leverage most out of SERP.

Speed Is a Key Factor for Google

Impact: Very High

Speed is crucial for a website; better loading websites tend to have better engagement. Google also considers speed as a ranking signal and gives fast-loading websites high priority in ranking order. Apart from having a small ranking advantage over slower loading websites, speed also gives your user a pleasing experience that will lead to better conversion probabilities since every single factor is interrelated to each other. Fixing speed on your website is going to help you make your website more SEO friendly.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP):

Google has introduced an “Accelerated Mobile Pages” feature which enables mobile optimized content load at lightning speeds. Google has not officially declared that AMP as a ranking factor but it clearly has an aesthetic advantage in ranking over pages which are not enabled with AMP.  

Long Contents Rank Better

Impact: Very High

The historic ranking data shows that content which is long tends to rank better on Google SERP. At an average, content which ranks on the first page have 1890 words. This correlation may be because long content tends to have greater user engagement and gets a lot of social shares as well. Another fact that supports the statement is that longer content has greater topical relevancy and enables Google to understand the content better. Here is an excellent article on ways to create content that is 10 times better than the rest, what is popularly known as 10x content.

Your Sites security matters for Google

Impact: Moderate

Building trust with Google helps you achieve your goal of ranking higher on SERP.  Enabling SSL certification on your website and shifting to HTTPS makes Google understand that your website is safe for transactions and highly secured. Thus, enabling SSL for your e-commerce site gives a slight advantage in ranking as Google always prefers to give its users a trustable and credible user-experience.

 

Build Topical Content to Rank Better

Impact: High

The traditional SEO formulae “Content is King” suggests Google still loves to rank good quality content that is very relevant. Creating highly relevant content to your topic is going to give you a slight advantage in rankings. Descriptive longer content with images gives you better user experience. Keeping strong focus on informative, quality content generation is going to give you the upper hand in Google's rankings.

Schema Helps Google to pull up relevant content for the user

Impact: Moderate

What is Schema?

Schema is a set of semantic codes that you put on your website enabling Google to fetch relevant information related to your content based on the user query.

How is Schema going to help your SEO?

This query has been put into a debate and is yet to arrive with a clear-cut conclusion. But data suggests that websites that have implemented Schema have ranked four positions better than ones without Schema. We cannot conclude that this advantage in ranking is just because of Schema, but there is a correlation found.

Research also suggests that websites that have implemented structured data using Schema have better click-through rates than ones without Schema. It is found that on only one-third of Google’s searches has been using Schema. Snow is going to be the right time to fetch benefits of Schema on your website even if it’s negligible.

Your queries deserve freshness

Impact: Moderate

Google loves fresh content and places trending topics on the top of its search. Your queries need to be fresh and concentrate on News, Blogs and Trending stories. For example, when there something happening in Chennai, the first news appears in 15 minutes, and the first query occurs in an average of 2 seconds. To yield the benefits of a query your SEO needs to focus on building content around trending topics and news. The faster you are, with more relevant, high-quality content, the faster you website gets.

With trends revolving around voice search in the US majorly and spreading across the rest of the world, Google has given preference to content that answers queries on SERP. Thus, building content based on questions that your user may ask also helps you get more website traction.

Heading Tags must have your Keywords:

Impact: Very High

Heading tags are the basics of SEO, and it still has great priority in Googles list of ranking factors. Heading tags is assumed as the key for the content on your webpage, and it should have your target keyword for the particular URL. The heading tags are intended to distinguish headings and subheadings on your content and tags H1 to H6 go in the order of priority. Search Engines normally show H1 to H3 on your content.  

Mobile has always been first for Google:

Impact: Very High

Google’s Statistics reveal that 85% of total searches happen on mobile, so having a mobile responsive web design has become inevitable. When you don’t have a mobile responsive web design, you risk losing traffic. Google’s Ranking Algorithm has given high priority to website designs on SERP.

Google’s focus has also been on Accelerated Mobile Pages, which enables web pages to be super-fast on mobile devices. It’s a must for mobile first approach on search; the strategy is going to work for both the present and the near future of searches.

Exact Match Keyword in Title impacts your Ranking

Impact: Moderate

Optimizing the title on the Meta tags has been another factor around the fundamentals of SEO. Focusing your exact match keyword in the title gives you a moderate advantage in rankings on SERP. Thus having a clear cut hierarchy for your website content, and focusing on unique keywords for every relevant landing page, is going to help search algorithms identify the content they need to rank for a particular keyword.

Interlinking Your Content Helps

Impact: Moderate

The concept of interlinking is a strong tool to tell Google which content is critical. It also helps you to bridge the gap between your most authoritative content and your most valuable content. The key for interlinking is content; the more content you have the probability to interlink is more. Interlinking is going to give your user additional relevant information on a site and ultimately going to boost your engagement rate. Google also identifies the hierarchy of your content based on how it is interlinked; making it a ranking factor you need to add to your On Page Checklist for 2017.

The tools and trends of SEO will evolve and get better every year. 2017 holds promise for more refined SEO techniques, so sharpen up your skills and give your website a big ranking boost for the years to come. Do you know any other important on-page SEO element? Feel free to share in the comments below.


What Type of Content My Target Audience Will Find Engaging?

  • Faizaan
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  • 3 February , 2017
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    • 10 min read

Content is King; a statement that has held true since the age of advertising. Like all great things, content marketing has evolved and improved over time. Gone are the days when brands would simply pin-up posters of their products in any given location to try and entice consumers.

Take the above ad for example; published in 1958 by David Ogilvy’s company, the ad created a sensation among Americans of that era, and greatly pushed the sales of Rolls-Royce. Reading it today, you may find it hard to skim past the long content, but Ogilvy utilised one of the most powerful elements in advertising that still holds high regard today: Audience Engagement.

He did so by using a powerful Headline that was able to connect well with the emotions that the Target Audience felt at that time (the posh society of post-war America). Flash forward 6 ½ decades, Ogilvy's methods of engagement are still applicable but have been morphed to fit into the current scenario of an internet and technology savvy world.

Content marketing is an advertiser’s new best friend; 71 percent of consumers today feel bombarded with ads on social media. Instead, they want more than just a flashy product commercial; they want an experience, a little taste of what to expect. Content Marketing can achieve that by creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. The method also adds a layer of trust in Target Audience, Creating what brands crave the most: Loyalty towards their products. Since this is an extensive article we’ve split it into sections to make it easier for you to navigate and read through.

  1. Why must you implement a content marketing strategy
  2. Popular content forms in use today
  3. Platforms on which content marketing thrives
  4. The content marketing formula
  5. Brand/Product/Service specific content marketing

Why must you implement a content marketing strategy?

Leads/Sales for a long period over new channels:

The fact that content marketing gives you an open playing field to mix and match with various content forms over a multitude of platforms, there is a big chance for your brand to generate leads, improve sales conversion and ultimately get closer to your Target Audience on a more personal level.

Reach consumers who use ad blockers:

Everyone hates a pop-up ad; they're annoying, disorient you from an online experience and are generally considered as spam. Content marketing provides a more genuine, trustworthy advertising approach, one that actively induces consumer interaction.

Get Organic traffic/SEO:

Without SEO, anything you publish online will be lost forever in the massive sea of stars that is the World Wide Web. Content marketing has proven to be an SEO friendly marketing method, and provides credibility with boosting organic traffic.

Ad Fatigue:

Imagine seeing the same ad over and over again as you scroll through your Facebook feed. It can get annoying to the point where consumers lose interest in what the ad is trying to communicate. With content marketing, marketers can keep the essence of the ad fresh while varying the way the ad is presented.

Popular content forms in use today

Infographics:

Pretty much self-explanatory in its naming, Infographics is a presentation of data in a visual way. The concept is widely popular among readers, and gives license to creative freedom in graphical presentation, adding loads of value to the written content. Being a more comfortable way to consume information from, Infographics are likely to be shared three times more on Social Media than general content posts.

Memes:

Short and sweet, Memes are one of the easiest content forms you can make. But bear in mind that they are not used for information, rather for entertainment. If done right, memes have a high chance of going viral, as consumers love nothing more than to share something outright hilarious.

Videos:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then videos are worth a million. No matter what you are promoting, there are always ways to present in on the screen. Videos have proven to be one of the most searched forms of information or entertainment, so to give your SEO a big boost, consider making one that is relevant to your brand, product or service.

Guides and E-Books:

Guides are a detailed form of content and specifically meant for sharing information. Guides work well for SEO purpose as Google's crawlers are now paying more attention to long-form content that mixes and matches other content forms.

Book reviews:

There is a book for everything today, and your target audience is bound to pick up one. Avid readers will love to know how good a book is before they have a read, plus it gives off the impression that you are well versed in your subject matter, adding a layer of credibility to your brand. You can induce some consumer reaction by asking personal reviews.

Product Reviews:

Like books, product reviews will boost your brand’s credibility, and if you engage professionally with services providers and manufacturers that are relevant to your industry, that credibility increases tenfold. Collaborate with influencers who can review your product and add a trust factor among consumers.

“How-to” posts:

The age old 5Ws & 1H concept is still effective to date, and a "How to" post is something that is frequently searched. If you are SEO hungry, "How to" posts will help generate the same, as the format takes advantage long tail keyword searches, ultimately bumping up your site ranking.

List:

Humans are hardwired to be obsessed with lists. If you make one relevant to your product or service, chances of it being read are very high. Lists are everywhere and can comprise of anything, and Google analytics have revealed that a numbered list (odd numbers count) are the most popular.

Case Studies:

Nothing spells professionalism better than a good old case study. Need to explain what your product or service is and its impact on consumers? Perform a case study with all those intricate details. Ultimately, you’ll get a healthy dose of credibility and if promoted well, a strong consumer following.

Podcasts:

The radio may have lost its charm among general audience today, but audio files still hold high regard among commuters who like a good plug and play of useful information. If your Target Audience falls under such a category, podcasts could be a useful medium for some knowledge sharing.

Remember, there is no hard and fast rule that you must try every form of content marketing. Instead, focus on adapting and implementing an idea into a select content type. When that idea morphs into a quality piece of content, your Target Audience will evolve from one-time consumers to a dedicated and loyal fan following.

Platforms on which content marketing thrives

No matter what type of content you choose to work with, you'll need a base, a platform on which you're content becomes viewable. In the online world, content representation into three types.

Paid Media:

Media that is bought and sold for; online advertisements like Google AdWords, Facebook ads, YouTube ads and sponsored content, have shown a very high percentage regarding reach towards the Target Audience, and is also reliant on ROI. Strong reach may increase the chance of a targeted user getting convinced to purchase, yet may not provide a longer, more sustainable impact that permanently etches your brand into the consumer’s memory.

Owned Media:

Owned media refers to platforms through which your content is promoted. Your Website, Facebook Page, YouTube profile, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts are types of owned media. Think of owned media as your virtual office, space for you to actively promote everything your brand represents and connect to your Target Audience in the online world. Since owned media is just a platform, you are free to use it in any way you like for your content marketing needs. How effectively you use it, with your chosen content strategy, will determine the overall reach and interaction with potential consumers.

Earned Media:

Even if your brand is marketed well online, consumers need to be certain and feel a sense of trust with your product. You can achieve that trust factor through earned media; sharing of social media content, Twitter mentions, blog mentions, product reviews and influencer marketing. Of course, to gain such high level of trust among consumers, it takes time, but also pays off handsomely, in the long run, immensely boosting your brand loyalty.

The content marketing formula

Content marketing isn’t something you could just cook up out of an empty pot. The process requires careful planning and meticulous detailing with a whole host of ingredients blending to make fantastic pieces of share-worthy content on various platforms.

The Basic Formula:

Content Marketing = Ideation + Creation + Publishing + Promotion

Ideation:

Everything begins with an idea. It is from this seed that your entire content marketing plan branches out. To come up with a path-breaking idea you need to do research and lots of it. You achieve great content marketing when you bridge the gap.

"What they're looking for"- Analyse your Target Audience:

This is the first and most critical step towards creating your content plan. When you can understand who our audience is and what their expectations are, you will be able to create more relevant content. Analyse these aspects:

  • Audience demographic (age, sex)
  • Audience geographic (location)
  • Audience behaviour (reactions towards competition brand's content)

When you narrow down the points mentioned above, your next step is to hunt for relevant topics that are trending, valuable and share worthy and in some way link to your brand, product or service.

“What we want to say”- Create a content strategy:

Question yourself as to why you are about to create a piece of content. What is your end goal with the content you are about to create? To make this easier and more understandable, create a content strategy. Your strategy must be able to answer one or all of these goals:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Increase brand reach
  • Page promotions
  • Boost website visits
  • Focus on consumer interaction

Remember, strategies could change even after your content is created and published. Be open to a trial and error method before you push for massive promotions.

Creation:

With your strategy set and your ideas in full flow. It's time for the actual creation of your content. Again, depending on your Target Audience, your type of content will have to vary in, but make sure you stick to a content formula that is valuable, relevant and has great visual appeal. Based on current market trends and audience expectation, keep your content fresh by mixing and matching its various forms like GIFs, Blog posts, Infographics, Videos, etc.  Ultimately, your content creation must sync well with your strategy and be able to:

  • Solve a problem
  • Trigger a purchase decision
  • Add value to SEO
  • Entertain

Publishing:

Much like creating content for that relates to your Target Audience, publishing your content must also have a timed approach. Google Search algorithms and Facebook’s targeted post boosting have made it easier for marketers to preselect a publishing time and date, resulting in better and more accurate reach to the consumers. It is important to optimise content that is share-worthy on mobile devices as well, with a majority of consumers now spending more time on smartphones.

Promotion:

With over 27 million pieces of content being shared every day, your content is just a small grain of sand in a huge desert. To make that little grain noticeable among the rest, you need to make the most out of the promotional options available. So how do you amplify your content?

Remember, none of these techniques will work wonders unless you connect them with the golden catalyst of content marketing- Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a broad topic, so we've saved it for another detailed post.

Brand/Product/Service specific content marketing

Since content marketing is an ever-evolving subject matter based on shifting trends and change in consumer behaviour, there is no surefire successful approach to choosing an approach to your strategy. But, some content strategies work well over others depending on your brand, product or service. Let's look at a few successful strategies.

Content Marketing for B2B:

When it comes to B2B content marketing, ultra-professionalism is important. Your task as a marketer will be to convince other business of working with you or using your services. Make sure your content is concise, to-the-point and expresses heavily on your services and the benefits it could offer to another business.

Best Platforms:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress Blog/Website, YouTube, Google AdWords

Content Type:

Emailers, Helpful blog posts (Tips/How-to), Product Reviews, Product/Service specific social media posts

Content marketing for FMCG:

For FMCG brands, the content strategy must heavily revolve around consumer interaction. This means marketers are free to explore all sorts of content and modify them in a way that involves consumers intrigued and curious to know more about the brand’s products.

Best Platforms:

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Guest blogging

Content Type:

GIFs, Memes, Influencer promotions, Product specific social media posts, Guide based blog posts

Content marketing for real estate:

With a recent influx of the real estate market in India, developers are making a move into the online space to boost their project promotions further. As always, the competition is fierce, so the best reach towards consumers decides the big winner. Considering how huge the real estate industry is, having an online presence for developer and broker, while also complementing each other’s presence, is vital for the success of a real estate brand in the online space.

Best Platforms:

Facebook, Google AdWords, WordPress Blog, Twitter

Content Type:

Emailers, Helpful blog posts (Tips/How-to), Influencer promotions, Product specific social media posts, Landing pages

Content marketing for lifestyle brands:

Lifestyle brands, especially those in the fashion industry, have a mainstay in the digital marketing space. To get better online presence, lifestyle brands must be appealing both to targeted consumers and businesses.

Best Platforms:

Facebook, Instagram, Google AdWords, WordPress Blog/Landing Page, Twitter, YouTube

Content Type:

Emailers, Helpful blog posts (Tips/How-to/Lists/Guides), Influencer promotions, Product specific social media posts, Video Promotions

We end by quoting a famous line by David Ogilvy, “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine”. Content marketing is the most trusted and honest form of marketing and one that is sure to go a long way in establishing a healthy relationship with your Target Audience.

Are there any innovative content strategies you've cooked up? Feel free to share the in the comments below.


Demystifying the basics of Search Engine Optimisation

  • Vikas Chawla
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  • 7 December , 2016
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    • 4 min read

Optimising your website Google search results is probably one of the most important things a brand can do. This is usually called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and is one of the least understood concepts in the marketing world. While SEO has changed over the last 10 years, its fundamentals remain the same and I have highlighted what are the key things to keep in mind when getting started.

Understanding what your customer or users are searching for

The first step is to understand what kind of content your customers or users want. You could use the free Google Keyword research tool or a paid tool like Moz Explorer to get a sense of it. We also use interesting tools like Answer the Public, which groups search terms together to give you a better understanding. It might be also useful to use Buzzsumo to understand what kind of content consumers are viewing and sharing via social media channels.

It’s important to understand that content here doesn’t mean only written content – it could be in the form of infographics, videos, interactive graphs, tools/calculators etc. So do the research to understand what consumers are searching for or intuitively would want.

Creating content that caters to the user’s need

Virtually everyone in the digital marketing space has finally boarded the content marketing bandwagon. We know now that creating good content for a brand is the best way to get a good ranking in Google search results. So just writing ‘Good and Unique Content’ should do the trick right? Not any more.

Content marketing and blogging has risen by leaps and bounds in the last five to six years. The rules have changed and writing ‘Good and Unique Content’ is just not enough. Writing content that covers only the basic of any topic is very easy. A user may probably visit your blog and feel that they now know something about this topic and choose not spend more than a few minutes on it. Chances of such blogs, making into the top ten positions of the Google search results are very slim. The modern SEO’s demand are much higher and you need to have the best content in your category to make it into the top results organically. Take your regular content, make it 10X bigger and better. In fact, user experience also plays a big role in the ranking algorithm making it even more important for the need to move from ‘Good And Unique Content’ to a ‘10X Content’. Only then can you hope to try and rank for those keywords

Here is a detailed guide on 10 ways to ensure that your content is 10X times better than anyone else. You could also exploring creating content in multiple languages if you feel your users would engage with such content.

Amplify the content to ensure it reaches the audience and it gets backlinks

The content is only as good as the number of people its able to reach. If you create 10X content you are likely to start showing up in search results in a few weeks (8-10 weeks for sites that have been around). Till then its key to amplify the content via social media, paid advertising, social bookmarking as well as link building requests.

Social media and SEO are two interlinked strategies as both are organic driven and is dependent on fresh content appealing to the viewers. There is no direct mention by Google that increase in social media followers will directly improve the rankings for a specific set of reason. However, Google always insists on quality links and content rather than the quantity of shares and links. Read this blog on why social media matters to SEO to get a better idea of how to leverage channels like Facebook and Twitter to amplify your content.

Social Bookmarking is another way to ensure you not only get backlinks but improve the chance of being found. Quora is also an interesting platform to do that.

Lastly, its important to build backlinks as this is one of the corner stones on which rankings improve. Backlink is essentially any link pointing from an external site to yours. Though the number of backlinks is important but poor quality or spammy backlinks should be avoided. It can result in a negative penalty for your website by Google. Influencer marketing can also be an effective tool to get relevant backlinks.

Ensure website is fast and mobile responsive

One common mistake we see brands and websites doing is ignoring the speed of the website, which accordingly to google is one of the most critical aspects in ranking. They even have new features like AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to help websites overcome this issue.

Having a website which is mobile and tablet responsive is again a given today. Users consume content across devices and the websites need to be user friendly across devices too. Brands need to leverage every mobile micro moment of consumers and for that you need an amazing mobile website.

Technical SEO elements

This involves some help from your digital team as it requires SEO knowledge as well as technology/development expertise to execute. This includes elements like headings, tags (to allow Google to understand what content/images that you have on your site), structured data (to tell Google what kind of content it is – e.g. whether it’s a receipe or a product review or just a blog article), implementing speed elements including AMP and redirecting old urls to new urls.

Track Results & be patient

It’s important to track your return on investment for such SEO activities and we usually do that by tracking not only the rank of your keyword (which is less important these days) but by tracking the growth of traffic from Google over a period of time. It takes about 4-6 months to see any substantive results. Regular creation of 10X content is key to growth in traffic from Google and that should be the focus area on an ongoing basis.

The article was originally published at Business Line on Campus, where I write a column called Going Digital.


Making Content Marketing work for your Brand – Digital Summit

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 18 September , 2016
  • |
    • 4 min read

Below is the gist of the panel discussion on Making Content Marketing work for your Brand at the Digital Leadership Summit In Chennai In August 2016. We had two panellists moderated by Mr Prem Kumar Sivakumaran from The Smart CEO Magazine: Ms D Vijayalakhmi – Murugappa Group and Mr Rajasekar KS – matrimony.com.

Summary of the Pannel Discussion

  • Content marketing needs to be more about content and less about marketing
  • Target the right platform that connects with all your key audience
  • Make it lesser about the brand and more about the reader
  • Connect with your audience with emotional stories
  • Video is an effective marketing tool that will continue to grow



What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the current buzz word, and the session started with a discussion on what each of them feels about content marketing. We also have had a Digital Chai Pe Charcha On Content Marketing Success in 2016 andyou Can Read It Here.

Viji from Murugappa Group highlighted that content should be something that is interesting to all readers. Content that makes the reader feel good, look good and do good is a successful content marketing campaign. It should be lesser about the brand and more about the audience. For more detailed steps on creating high quality content check out our blog on 10 Ways To Create 10x Content.

Rajasekar expressed that content marketing is more about content and less about marketing. While most brands believe that it is about amplification, Raj said that it's more about understanding the customer and their problems. He also said that when a company starts talking about customers problem, its business starts and when it starts talking about its business, its problems start. Content should engage the customers; then it can be a successful one.

Content marketing strategy

At Murugappa Group, it is predominantly about the brand itself. Viji spoke about how at Murugappa, they also think of fun and meaningful stories and try and connect with the target audience, even when it is about the B2B brands.

Raj spoke about their initiatives at happymarriages.com, a content marketing initiative set up by BharathMatrimony. He talked about how it was initially tough to create content around it because people were unwilling to talk about their expectations from marriage. So his team set about trying to understand what issues couple would face. After three months of research, they arrived at 500 themes and worked with authors, senior writers and an internal team to write engaging content that the audience could relate to.

While talking about strategies, one of the members of the audience asked an interesting question about with so much content out there, how do to stand out? The panellists agreed that crowdsourcing high-quality content is the answer. They also spoke about examples of organisations such as Amercian Express Bank, GE initiative that has done a great job in standing out. Prem also highlighted using a platform such as curata.com, a platform that curates content, which also enables marketers to scale content marketing to grow leads and revenue.

How do you measure success?

The panelists both agreed that although you can look at shares and likes, the success can be measured only when you get customer feedback. If a content piece has solved the customer's pain points, then you have succeeded. They also urged any company using content marketing to use this as a metric.

Video is an effective marketing tool

The panellists spoke about how video is the most captivating of all channels, and each of them highlighted how they leveraged video in their organisations. Raj explained how his team went to five cities and interviewed 36 couples. They chatted with customers about relationships and aired these on national TV.

Viji talked about the Murugappa Madras Song. She highlighted how the company found a connect and used that to create a video that went viral. The video was so powerful that even a  city-based league team requested the conglomerate to make an anthem for them as well.

The panellists also urged marketers to resist making a viral video for the sake of making one and asked marketers to keep their ears tuned to the customer.

There are a lot of ways in which you can create good quality videos with a low budget. Read our blog to know more.

Emotion is essential

Whatever be the industry, there is always a way create stories. The key is to understand the audience. Viji mentioned the farmer video that the Murugappa Group made. They asked a simple question, "What is the most important job in the word?" This emotional video stuck a cord with the public and was shared far and wide not only on social media but also on WhatsApp.

Integrating PR and content marketing

The panellists advised startups to leverage PR and stated examples of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and how they used their social media campaign to not only gain visibility but also get a lot of PR coverage as well.

Raj also spoke about Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines jumping off a ten storeyed building and how the media wrote about it. He also asked marketers only to do these crazy stunts if it suits their personality and the brand. PR is the biggest pipe to the audience, and it can get customers. So whatever campaign a marketer does, it is important to leverage PR.

Content marketing is a must-do for all brands, and more brands are willing to spend money on it. Raj also spoke about how any marketing initiative is ultimately boiling down to content and about how marketing cannot exist without content. Content is the only pipe you can sell any product.

Prem also added that the first ever content market initiative was done in the early 1900s by John Deere, the tractor company when they created a magazine ‘Furrow.' So the concept is not new only the term Content Marketing is.

 

 

 


Vikas at MDI, Gurgaon on Role of Content & Influencer Marketing

  • Vikas Chawla
  • |
  • 26 August , 2016
  • |
    • 1 min read

It was an interesting evening spent at MDI Gurgaon with students of Consumer Behaviour. We were talking about the role of Communities, Content & Influencer Marketing on Consumer Behaviour. See the below slide share for details on the discussion we had.

The students had a lot of questions, especially around influencer marketing and its ethics. Many of these can be found in the FAQs of Influencer Marketing here.

 


Why are blogs important for every business?

  • Lavanya U
  • |
  • 29 April , 2016
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    • 5 min read

Blogs are no longer just an expression of an individual or a platform to share one’s ideas and thoughts. Blogs have started to be one of the most influential and useful tools in the market space. It’s an excellent way to showcase thought leadership as well as keep consumers updated on what’s happening in the company and with the products/services. It is important to note that, in business blogging, the blogs must be related to the key area of the business and needs to be engaging for the readers. That being said, there are still a lot of businesses that are not very active in the blogging in spite of the inherent benefits of blogging. This blog aims to bring out the importance of business blog!

 

Increases traffic to your website
A website is a great asset to any company and anything that brings traffic to the site only doubles the asset’s value. The traffic on a website is very crucial, which indeed serves in achieving the objective of the site. One of the main reasons why people don’t return to a brand’s website is because it is idle and inactive. Blogs give the internet users a great reason to visit your site and increase the traffic. According to a HubSpot survey, 60% of the brands who have constant blogging on their websites acquire more customers than the others. Blogs help people or potential customers discover your website amongst million others. This happens when the blogs are informational and also related to what users would like to read from your website. It is also said that blogging shows a professional approach for the brand business. By providing useful information, it attracts people to visit the site even repeatedly. Who wouldn’t like more visitors to their website, anyway?

 

Increases Search Engine traffic
To appear in SERP #1 is a dream! And to get there, you need to really work hard . There are more than 200 aspects which determine your rank in Google. But, nothing like some good content! Blogs are now a vital part of Search Engine Optimization and can be leveraged upon in two ways. One, include it as just an additional index page to your website which Google then identifies and eventually will garner organic search results. Another way is to include targeted keywords and links which will help in increasing the ranking of the site by getting you noticed more in the search results. This exercise becomes easier with the help of SEO plug-ins. By using an SEO plug-in like Yoast which calculates the density of the appearance of the focus keyword in the blog will check whether the right keyword is used on the blog. Research shows blogging increases inbound links by 97 percent, the most important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Quality content and regular updates are an indication to Google that the website is active with a routine content flow! Explore some of the latest SEO hacks, here.

 

 

Customer Acquisition and Lead generation
The ultimate goal for every business, big or small is to generate revenue and blogs help you do that. Regular blogging, as mentioned earlier increases the traffic to your website. Small businesses with blogs are said to generate more leads by 126%. The increase in traffic will result in more people taking note of your business and eventually exploring the rest of your website where all your business services are listed. This is a great way of acquiring customers without bombarding them with self-promotional content. While creating content you should keep in mind that every person who visits your website has the potential to be a customer. When your target audience finds your blog interesting, they may be more interested in your business than they were before and the chances of conversion are higher.

 

Content creation for social media platforms
Another reason why blogs are important to your business is that they create a huge content value for Social Media Marketing. It is almost mandatory for brands to have an identity on social media and the only differentiation is content. Content defines your brand identity and helps you stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Creating quality content in the form of blogs and sharing them on the social media channels can help get more reach. The number of likes, shares, retweets will testify for your content. Here’s an interesting and informative blog post that was shared on social media for amplification.There are many other ways to amplify your content online. Click here to read about it.

 

 

Helps in building the brand
Branding is the core element to develop your business. Every business is striving hard to create a brand for them and to make people see them as THE BRAND and not just any brand. Blogging is a huge opportunity for you to build a brand for your company. It is, after all, the most organic method of getting people to notice your brand online. The key is to create a blog which adds value and is unique in its content approach and style. By creating specific, targeted content, you may focus more specifically on your target audience leading to increasing your exposure among people. Learn how Content Marketing is one best way to give your brand an image!

 

 

Establishes authority and expertise
A good blog always answers a question, solves a problem or gives something valuable for a takeaway. When a brand constantly shares blogs that are useful to the customers, it develops an authoritative image in their minds. For example, for a group of angel investors, blog topics like- Tips for entrepreneurs, How to grow as a startup etc. along with other business strategies are going to be of some value to their readers. The ultimate aim is that when a user reads your blog, he/she should finish it with some value-addition. When people find answers or solutions on our blog, they are more likely to become your follower and they start seeing you as a source of information. Here are 10 ways to create better content for your readers.

 

 

Increases customer interaction
It is important for any brand to stay connected with their audience. The underlying factor behind the success of any business is the concern to satisfy the end customer and not just run your firm for money. To do so, brands should establish a good rapport with the customers. To improve on the customer interactions front, brands need to establish higher recall. The question is how do blogs help in this aspect? A higher recall can be established for your brand when you provide knowledge to your consumers and this, in turn, improves the relationship your brand has with the customers. It helps build trust which turns into brand loyalty eventually.

In a world where content speaks for itself and does half the job of a brand, blogs are the most crucial thing to look upon as a marketer. When blogging becomes a strategy in your marketing plan, you get a powerful tool to fight against your online competitors. If your company hasn’t started blogging, this piece is an indicator that it should!

Was this blog useful? Share your thoughts on other reasons you started blogging!

 


How to build a strong email marketing database?

  • Natasha
  • |
  • 8 April , 2016
  • |
    • 8 min read

Email Marketing is one of the most actively used marketing channels. But every now then, we get queries that question the effectiveness of email marketing. Many feel its passé while others equate it to spamming. The truth is email marketing has never been more alive than it is today.

The dynamics of emailer marketing is changing fast but basics shall always remain the same – if you share something valuable with your audience, they are likely to engage with your content. Purchasing a database does not work anymore. Brands need to develop their own database of interested customers or potential customers who are more likely to engage with your email. Emails to your curated database is a personal, dependable and a direct way of reaching out to your audience.

'Out of all of the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them'

- Neil Patel (Co-founder, KISSmetrics)

In this article, we have listed down useful ways in which you can develop your own email marketing database.

1. Newsletter Sign-Up

Make your email sign-up form visible on relevant pages on your website, more importantly the Blog page. Use either an embedded form or a Call-to-Action for people to click through to a dedicated sign-up page. Make sure that it’s in a prominent spot above the fold. The info about the possibility to sign up for the newsletter can be also placed in a pop-up window.

 

 2. Make the email sign-up easy

If you have a sign-up form on your site, make sure it’s easy to fill.  Make it straightforward and resist the temptation to collect lots of demographic & lifestyle information at this stage. It will get in the way of collecting those email addresses. Always remember Short and Sweet is the King!

3. Create great content for your subscribers

Good email content deepens the connection with your audience – it could be a powerful subject line (which get your messages opened); your unique voice (which gets your messages read); or niche-specific content your subscribers would find useful and shares with others (which inspires referrals and word-of-mouth). What works is “value exchange” — your valuable information for your prospect’s valued time. Your subscribers need to know they can trust you and that you’re not a self-promoting spam-bot.

4. Multiple Call-To-Actions: Give readers a good reason to subscribe

We all need a little incentive to hand over our email address, but we don’t need too much if we feel an affinity with the brand. Try these…

- Offer a discount off their first purchase

- Explain what they’ll get: special offers, private sales, hints and tips, magazine articles…

- Show them what they’ll get (see our recent articles, news, reader offers etc)

 

 

5. Placement of the sign-up form

You’ve built the perfect form. Now where to place it? Will more people see it on the ‘Contact’ page or ‘About us’ page? Should you keep the newsletter signup on your homepage? Or put it in the sidebar too? Decisions, decisions! Here are some top places to try placing an email signup form (or two or three) on your site:

  • Top menu bar
  • Header of your site
  • In your top performing page
  • Sidebar
  • At the end of a Blog or Tutorial
  • Footer of the content
  • Popup/popover
  • Your bio/About Me page

6. Improve your website speed & user experience

Like a lot of other issues when it comes to websites and e-commerce, speed matters because Google says that it matters. On 09 April 2010, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced that, “We’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.” In other words, faster web pages will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP) than slower sites.

7. A Gated Homepage

A gated homepage is when a person has to enter their email address on the homepage in order to gain entry to a website’s content. One a person does so, a cookie is kept on their browser so that they don’t have to fill in their email address again to get access. But it is not always appropriate to Gate your homepage. You should have a lot of in-depth content which people are dying to read for them to give their email address. The right time is important too! To find the right moment, you want ‘yes’ answers to questions like:

  • Will the lead benefit from having a direct conversation about this?
  • Have you earned the right to contact this lead about your products?
  • Does A/B testing show a stronger conversion rate requesting lead info now?
  • Does the content on your site address product implementation?
  • Does the content answer a question we usually get while engaging prospects?
  • Does the content answer a question we get often from current customers?

8. An exceptional Landing page

Your landing pages should focus on one main detail and that’s converting visitors into subscribers. Whether you’re asking for contact details in exchange for a discount, a free webinar or something else that the subscribers would like to have, you are bound to get more to sign up. The Design of the Landing Page has to be exceptional too. Your subscribers are only as great as the landing page that get them.

 

 

9. Add Social Sharing Buttons

If you don’t have social sharing buttons there’s a likelihood that your content won’t get shared. Someone might want to share the content with a friend but by the time they open up a new window and sign in to their social network, they will get distracted and forget about it completely. Don’t take the risk. Add share buttons so that blog visitors will stay on your site longer. Support your present subscribers to share and forward your content by including an "Email to a Friend" button. That way, you'll access a fresh network of new people who sign up for your emails. Do not forget to incorporate a "Subscribe" button as well in the footer.

 

10. Correct usage of words – A/B Testing helps

“Subscribe” is up there with “Register” as an Internet no-no! Remove the words “subscription” and “subscribe”. The term implies a commitment and worse, money. Do away with any “Submit” or “Sign up”! Use first-person language instead – Try out phrases like “Sign me up” or “Send me updates.” Tell people exactly what they are getting by subscribing. Hint: It’s not a weekly email.

11. Lead Generation Ads on Facebook and Twitter

Online networking and social media marketing are useful tools to improve your online leads from which you can derive the email addresses of your potential subscribers. Build relationships with your target market via some of the popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

 

 

12. Facebook Offers to the Rescue

You can host a Facebook contest or giveaway either on an application tab or on your Facebook timeline. However, if you’re hosting the promotion on your Facebook timeline, it’s next to impossible to collect emails. Hosting your promotion from a Facebook Offers App is the best approach since your target audience will have to fill in their email address to redeem the offer.

13. Create Engaging Social Content

A combination of audio and video marketing using rich media can greatly improve the number of subscribers you get. Studies have shown that people like and share content that is mostly Emotional or Funny. You can share the content on your social media pages and drive fans to your website.

Do not miss the opportunity to showcase your website / content links at the right place – for example, your video on YouTube can have your website link in the description. You can also create Cards to drive more traffic. The Subscription part then depends on the last mile conversion on your website.

14. Try and leverage the following Power Tools

 

 a. List Builder by SumoMe

List Builder by SumoMe is for those individuals who want to seriously build their email list at a fast pace. The List Builder uses an email popup form to invite new visitors to join your email list, thus helping you get more subscribers. List Builder contains many features that help make it to the top of our list of email building tools. It’s A/B testing, no branding policy, fantastic templates, display controls, conversion tracking and multiple-popups will easily help you take your email list to the next level.

 

b. Welcome Gate Plugin

Welcome Gate is another great tool for building a list but this one works a bit differently. Why? That’s because it directs every new visitor to a well-designed landing page without showing a popup. Visitors are only redirected to the Welcome Gate page when they go to your home page. So if someone comes straight to a blog post through social media or any other source link, it would not be shown. A cookie keeps a track of this so the visitor will only see the Welcome Gate page once in their lifetime. After quite a lot of testing we came realized this plugin is more effective and powerful than other similar plugins.

c. ManyContacts

ManyContacts is an easy to setup pop-up bar that sits on top of your website and helps to convert visitors into qualified subscribers. It was designed to help owners of all kinds of websites to increase their conversion rate through the collection and qualification of contacts. It also has a platform where you can easily export emails with details of each of your subscriber (email, device used, location, etc.), which you can add to your email archives.

d. OptinMonster

OptinMonster utilizes opt-in forms as a part of an endeavor to transform your visitors into subscribers. The plugin gives out of the box integration with a popular email marketing service which makes the setup exceptionally easy. The business page of the plugin brags a 1 minute setup time and we can definitely acknowledge that. But you will need to spend more on customization and creation of forms based on your site design and goals.

 

 

e. UnPop

A WordPress plugin that pops up in a place on your blog that grabs the attention of your readers without blocking their view of your content. Your visitors can open and close the pop-up whenever they want. It works well with any WordPress theme and is integrated with all of the popular email services: Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse, Office Autopilot and Infusionsoft.

f. Zopim Chat

There are probably thousands of visitors that come to your site every year and that never contact you. Increase the chances of gaining a new lead by using live chat to automatically reach out to your potential customers that visit your site. The best part about Zopim is that you don't have to lounge around on the PC throughout the day. By utilizing a programmed trigger, Zopim can naturally send every guest a message following 10 seconds of being on the site saying something like “Hey – do you have any inquiries I can help with?” In the event that they react, they will also be asked for their name and email address which is a win-win situation.

 

 

g. WooBox

Numerous people have Facebook pages where they engage with fans by posting offers, running contests or uploading photographs. But this can be a pretty can be tedious task for an individual. That is the place an online networking promoting plugin like Woobox can offer assistance and help you take care of all this engagement seamlessly with its page tags. For marketers there is a twofold advantage here. Not just are you enhancing your online networking presence, but you are getting the email address of all those who redeem an offer or take part in a contest.

 

Digital Marketing Experts around the world have reiterated the effectiveness of emailer marketing. So you should not miss an opportunity to effectively connect with your audience. Get going!


The 2016 Ultimate Adwords Campaign Creation Checklist

  • Bindhya Chenthamara
  • |
  • 11 March , 2016
  • |
    • 7 min read

When you are creating your first Adwords campaign, chances are high that you may miss out on some key points and settings. Even if you do create campaigns every day, there are possibilities that you may fail to notice a few things. Here’s a checklist to help you ensure that everything is in place before you take your Adwords campaign live.

Account & Campaign level 

1. Campaign type

Ensure you have selected the right campaign type based on your objective.

Choose,

Search Network only – When you want your ads to be displayed on Google search results.

Display Network only – When you want your ads to be shown on websites which your targeted audiences visit. These sites are called “Placements”.

Search Network with Display Select - When you want to ads both on Google search results and other websites.

2. Campaign sub-type

Ensure that the “All features” sub-type is set, so that you get all the advanced options & features like ad scheduling, ad delivery and advanced location settings.

3. Location Targeting

Check that you have selected the right location (country, city, district etc.) where you want your ads to be shown. You need to set the Targeted location if you want your ads to be shown only in certain locations.This ensures you do not receive unnecessary clicks from the locations not relevant to your business.

4.  Advanced Location settings

Ensure that you include and exclude locations through Advanced location targeting options, to make your targeting more effective.

Check if your option is set to,

People in my targeted location - If you are focusing the audiences who are living in the targeted location.

People searching for or show interest in my targeted location - if you want to show your ads to people who might not be living in your targeted but are searching for , or showing interest in the targeted location.

People in, searching for or show interest in my targeted location - if you want to target both the audience types listed above.

You also have the options to include or exclude places in the above criteria.

5. Conversion Tracking

Make sure that you copy the conversion code available in the “Tools - conversions” section and paste it in your Thank You or success page. This helps in tracking how productively the ad is being converted into leads. That can be a page sign up, purchase, phone call or app download.

If you are not familiar with how the conversion process works, here's a detailed guide you can refer to.

6. Remarketing

Ensure that you have created a Remarketing list for your campaign to track visitors to your website who you can target ads to later. This can be found in the audiences section under the Shared Library, in the left menu bar, as shown below. You can generate the remarketing code and paste it in all relevant pages of your site.

7. Bidding

To begin with, it is recommended to choose “Automated bidding”, where Adwords sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. After  the campaign has run for a few weeks, you can switch bidding to “Manual” and set the Maximum you would be willing to pay per click.

8.  Billing

Verify that your billing information - country, billing address, and payment method have been added correctly.

9. Ad Delivery

If you have chosen the “All features” campaign sub-type, you will have two options to deliver your ad.

Ensure your option is set to ,

Standard – if your budget is limited and you want the ad to be evenly shown throughout the day.

Accelerated – if you want the ad to be shown as quickly as possible.

10. Ad Rotation

Make sure you set “Ad Rotation” when you have more than one ad in an ad group. This helps in choosing which ad to show more often. This setting consists of four options, namely,

Optimize for clicks – Ads receiving more clicks are shown often.

Optimize for conversions – Ads receiving more conversions are shown more often.

Rotate evenly – All ads in the ad group are equally shown.

Rotate indefinitely – All ads are shown for an indefinite amount of time.

Check if you have set “Rotate evenly” in the Ad rotation settings, so that you give preference to all ads initially and then change the settings later to either “Optimize for Clicks” or “Optimize for Conversions”, according to the ad performance.

 11. Daily budget

Confirm that you have set  the default bid and the amount you are willing to spend daily.

12Auto-tagging:

Verify that the Auto-tagging is turned on, under the “Preferences” section in the Account settings. This helps in tracking which keywords have brought visitors to your website and to which ad group they belong. Google Analytics uses auto-tagging URL and determines the ad performance.

13. Negative keywords

Ensure that you have added all negative keywords, that apply to the account, to a shared list under the “Campaign keywords” section in the Shared Library as shown below.

Confirm that you have applied the list to all the relevant campaigns in the account.

 

Ad group level 

While creating Ad groups, make sure you group together the keywords targeting a particular product or service ie. cluster the keywords in ad groups thematically. Make sure you follow the below mentioned best practices.

14. Number of ads

Check that each ad group has a minimum of two ads, carrying different Ad titles and Descriptions , so that they run alternatively. After evaluating their performance over a period of time, the poorly performing ads can be be paused.

15.  Mobile ads

At least one Mobile specific ad must be present in each ad group targeting mobile audience. You may notice certain truncated ads when you use mobile phones. It is because, those ads specifically created for the desktop users appear on mobiles. When you create ads,  make sure you also create a copy of the ad and check the “Mobile” in the device preference option. 

16. Keywords

Similar keywords should be grouped under each ad group. As a good practice, it is recommended that , each ad group contain no more than 10 to 15 keywords in it.

17.  Match type

Ensure that you use relevant keyword match types for optimal ad performance.

Ad level

Writing a successful text ad is really important to target potential customers. Hence, the text ad should be both compelling as well as relevant to what customers are searching for. Ensure that you follow the below mentioned best practices for ads:

18. Capitalization

Check if the first letter of each word in the ad description is capitalized. This is more for visual purposes. Capitalizing each word increases the visibility of your ad resulting in higher click-through rates and improved quality scores.

19. Period  

As far as possible, make sure the First Description line ends with a period (full stop), so that, it moves up to the Headline. This is called an “Extended ad headline”. Most of the ads, with extended ad headlines stand out better on the search results pages resulting in better click-throughs on the ad.

20. Keywords

Confirm that the Ad title, Display URLs, & Description lines contain keywords in them.

21. Landing page

Check if the Destination URLs are directed to the relevant landing pages.

22. Extensions

Make sure you add all the relevant extensions to your ad. When the information in the ad text are not sufficient enough to showcase your product completely, Ad extensions help displaying additional information. Adding extensions also help the ad occupy a larger space in the SERP, which increases its prominence and visibility.

There are seven different ad extensions which can be found in the “Ad extensions” tab under each campaign.

 

Sitelinks extensions - Direct the users to the specific pages in the website and helps the users to find what they are looking for.

Location extensions - Direct the users to the nearest product store.

Call extensions - Call option making the mobile or tablet users to contact you directly.

App extensions - Take the users to the app store in order to download the product app.

Review extensions - Display positive reviews from various sources.

Call out extensions - Again a descriptive text to the ad, helping the user to explore more about the product.

Structured snippet extensions - Display additional landing page details.

Also, verify that all the extensions are linked to the relevant pages.

23. Repetition of Information

Make sure, no information already present in the Ad Description is repeated in the ad extensions. Remove or change it, if any.

24. Negative Keywords

In order to prevent your ads showing up for irrelevant keywords, make sure you have added negative keywords both at an ad group level and at a campaign level under the “Keywords” section.

 

25. Call to Action

Last, but not least, ensure that all ads have a Call to Action, which is the ultimate goal of any Ad campaign.

Whenever you create your next adwords campaign, keep this checklist handy to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything important.

Is there any check you carry out that we missed including? Do let us know in the comments below and we will have it included.


Digital Chai Pe Charcha – Content Marketing Success in 2016

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
  • |
  • 29 February , 2016
  • |
    • 6 min read

The second edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 27th Feb 2016 received a great response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion was achieving content marketing success in 2016 and beyond.

As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:

Why Content Marketing is essential:

Content marketing is a key part of any marketing strategy and is known to produce business results, as shown by the Hubspot survey below:

Also, as compared to paid media, it has a more sustained long-term impact:

Source: Neil Patel

Also, with most users being bombarded with ads from a large number of brands and with the use of ad blocking growing at a rapid pace, inbound marketing through valuable content works better and helps reach out to an audience that paid ads would never reach.

“10x Content” is required to make your content stand out:

With over 27 million pieces of content being produced every day, creating content that is good and unique alone doesn’t work. You need to create content which as defined by Rand Fishkin is “Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”

Creating 10X Content:

Read your audience’s minds:

The key is to find questions that your target audience is looking for answers to and problems they are looking to solve. Tools and platforms that could help you with this research are:

Combine User-focused content with search engine focused content:

Once you find topics that you could create 10x content on you would also need to check if there is a large enough number of users who are searching for content around those topics. This is where Google Keyword Planner comes into play and helps you figure out which topics you should create content on to get large volumes of organic traffic.

Find the most successful content around the topic:

Once you decide on a topic to create content on, you need to research the topic, do a competitive analysis and find the most successful content around it. This can be done by searching for different keyword variations on Google Search to identify top ranked content or by using a tool like Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the topic.

Make your content better than any other top content out there:

Ensure your content:

  • Is longer, detailed, more thorough
  • Is more up-to-date
  • Contains better visuals – infographics, images, slideshares, videos
  • Has an enhanced User Experience

For more detailed steps on creating 10x content check out our blog on 10 ways to create 10x content. Some examples of what 10x content could possibly look like are listed below:

Content Amplification is Key:

Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. Some avenues for content amplification that you could use would be:

  • Promote on Social Networks
  • Use LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads & Promoted Tweets.
  • Notify your email list
  • Respond to questions on Quora, Reddit, comment on blogs, take part in industry forums
  • Leverage the reach of influencers
  • Get featured in industry roundups

You could also check out or blogs on 21 SEO Link Building Techniques for 2016 and the 15 Best Social Bookmarking Websites to promote your content. For other useful content amplification strategies, you can also take a look at our slideshare below:

Q & A from the session:

Some of the questions that came up during the discussion with the answers are listed below as well:

Q: Is content marketing the way forward for SEO as well?

A: The focus of SEO has shifted from just keyword optimization and link building to not only producing quality content that addresses users’ needs but also delivering that content to the user with the best experience possible. Content is now the new SEO and creating 10X content is going to be the way forward in 2016.

Q: How do you measure results from Content Marketing?

A: Three metrics would help measure the impact of your content marketing efforts:

  • The social impact – Shares on social media platforms
  • Organic and Referral Traffic – Number of visitors to the blog from Google Search, Social Media and other referral sites
  • Conversions from the blog – Enquiries generated from your content marketing efforts.

Q: How long do content marketing efforts take to start showing tangible business results?

A: There is only one right answer here and that is – it depends. There are multiple factors that will impact your success timelines like your existing domain authority, the time and effort invested in content creation and promotion and the content promotion budgets, if any. Typically content gets indexed in a few days and you can start getting traffic but time period to get business results can vary from 3-4 months all the way up to even a year. For example, when we started our influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in it took us 4 months before we started getting tangible results in the form of enquiries via our content or via google organic traffic.

Q: What tools can be used to create Infographics when one does not have a design team?

A: Piktochart, Infogram and Canva are good tools to help you craft beautiful infographics

Q: Does post regional language content help content marketing efforts?

A: Yes, translating content to regional languages can help reach out to a newer audience, provided that audience is relevant to your business. Regional language content can also help increasing search traffic to your website, as shown in this article on the growth of regional content as well as this case study by Neil Patel.

Q: How do I know my content is 10x?

A: Whether your content is 10x or not is a little subjective - what may appear 10x to you may not look like 10x to someone else. Nevertheless, below are some validation questions to help you figure out if your content is 10x:

  • Is your content longer, detailed, more thorough and more up-to-date than any other content on the web?
  • Does the content contain better visuals – infographics, images, slideshares, videos?
  • Does your blog have an excellent User Experience?
  • If you were your target audience, would you find this content valuable enough to link to it or share it?

Here’s what some of our participants had to say about the session:





 

Those of you who missed the inaugural edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha last month can check out the meeting summary here. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.

Are there any digital marketing challenges or problems you face in your organization? Do let us know and we would be happy to include them as discussion topics in upcoming Digital Chai Pe Charcha sessions.


7 Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed

  • Vimal Michael
  • |
  • 22 February , 2016
  • |
    • 3 min read

“Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes for your website to load”

 

You just created the sleekest website on WordPress that has a super responsive user interface and killer content, but you’re not getting any conversions! It all boils down to page load time at the end of the day. No matter how wonderfully you craft your website, if your page loads slowly, your visitor will navigate away. They’ll navigate to an uglier website with terrible content but that loads quicker. You don’t want that.

Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes your website to load. All hope is not lost, however. With just a few simple and easy to implement ideas, take your tortoise of a webpage and give it a turbo boost.

First of all, test your website’s load time with this handy tool from Pingdom or pagespeed from Google. Does your website pass the 2-second rule? According to several surveys that a Kissmetric article researched, most web users look for a website that loads within 2 seconds. The longest they’ll wait is 3 seconds! Any longer than that and your page needs heavy optimizing.

Before reading any further make sure you have a good server and has servers based in India (if you are targetting the Indian market. We would recommend Bluehost for a shared Linux hosting or a Wordpress optimised hosting if your site is on Wordpress.

So you’ve run the test for your website and it’s pretty slow. What next? Check out these scientifically-backed tips to improve your website’s speed.

1. Be lazy

Yes, implement LazyLoad into your website design to improve the amount of time it takes for your site to load. With LazyLoad, you can cut back on the page load time, and allow users to save their bandwidth. Win-win for all!

2. Compress images

Images (in sizes) are indirectly proportional to any website speed. Bigger the image, slower the loading, best solution is to compress images without losing quality. You can use free image compression tools like Caesium to compress images without losing much of its sharpness & clarity. In wordpress, there are plugins like Smush.It or Ewww Image Optimizer which use lossless/lossy method to optimize the images. The great thing about these plugins is that they work in the background every time you upload a new image you can also run it retrospectively on all of the images uploaded to your media library. They come with limitations that the base image should not be more than 1mb in size (so Caesium can be used to compress initially).

3. Free it Up

The WP-Optimize plugin allows you the freedom to optimize your MySQL database with just a click!

4. Cache them all

Want to be a cache-all master? With the W3 Total Cache, make caching a breeze. This will let your website load at blazing hot speeds, and ultimately lead to better conversions and leads. It can take care of elements like browser caching, Javascript, CSS & HTML Minification, setting expiry headers etc. Be careful in using the tool as it can affect your design & CSS files too.

5. Divide and conquer

Are your images, content, Javascript code and CSS in the same location? Consider having them on external files via a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare for the same.

6. No cookies for you

Want a winning idea for speeding up your website? Reduce or get rid of cookies altogether. Your visitor will also be thankful that cookies don’t bog their system down.

7. Don’t Send them away

Don’t redirect. When you redirect your visitor to another page, you’re only adding an additional HTTP which makes your page load slower.

Go all out and give your visitor a faster website today!


Content Marketing vs Native Advertising

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 22 February , 2016
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    • 5 min read

  • 86% businesses now leverage content marketing in one form or another
  • 70% audience want to learn about products via content instead of direct advertisement
  • More than 67% clients ask their content marketing agencies about native advertising

Outbound and Interruption Marketing is losing its sheen in favor of Content Marketing and Native Advertising. Though they seem similar but there is quite a difference between the two forms of marketing. This article will help you understand the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising.

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating valuable and useful non-promotional content by brands. The important part in the first sentence is “valuable and “useful”. Self-serving and promotional content cannot be placed in the content marketing bucket: Value-add is the only secret.

Goals of Content Marketing:

The goals for content marketing can be broadly categorized as follows:

Different Forms of Content Marketing

Content Marketing can be done in varied formats but some of the key ones are discussed here.

  • Videos are one of the most engaging form of content on the web. The consumer web video traffic is expected to reach ~80% by 2019-2020. For a long time, video marketing was considered a game for the big brands. But off late, this trend has been broken with small businesses and startups leveraging the medium to showcase excellent meaningful content. OYO Rooms launched a video on the occasion of Independence Day that garnered more than 3 lakh views in a couple of days. The Madras Song by Murugappa Group was launched as a tribute to the city of Madras on the occasion of Madras Week. The video stole the limelight during the 375th year celebrations of Madras.
  • Blogs are an excellent way to build an engaged audience, showcase your company as an industry thought-leader and the same time boost search engine rankings. According to a recent Hubspot Survey, regularly blogging boosts lead generation by ~126%. It also provides fresh, unique content to your website that is an important factor considered in Google search rankings.
  • Infographics are graphics that showcase long content in a visual and interesting manner. Our brain absorbs and process visuals faster than any other form of content. Hence, infographics as a form of content can be a great way to showcase information and make your blog more engaging.
  • Slideshares and Case Studies are another fascinating form of content marketing. These are more suggested for B2B businesses. Companies are looking out for specific information and if your case study or a Slide Share can help fit into the gap, you will gain a relevant mindspace among your potential customers.
  • Relevant and Informative Social Media Content can go a long way to help create an engaged community of potential customers. Innovative and clutter-breaking content can help your brand quickly carve out a niche on social media. Petwish – a startup in the pet food space, did an interesting content series around different dog breeds in India. The content quickly became viral among the pet lovers across India, which was an excellent audience for the brand.
  • Podcasts or audio telecasts are possibly one of the most underrated content marketing tactics. It gives you access and visibility to a different set of audience – who are tuned to short content in a format where they can multitask “on the go”. For example, a motivational podcast while on the way to office in the morning or solid investment advice from an avid investor that will help you plan your investment strategy for the coming week.

Metrics to track the effectiveness of Content Marketing:

  • Number of shares and likes
  • Number of backlinks/mentions to your content
  • Number of leads

Tips for an effective content marketing strategy:

  • Identify the needs of your target audience
  • Create 10x content – make it better and more thorough than anyone out there
  • User-generated content needs to be a part of your content strategy
  • Content Amplification is important – creating content alone won’t help until it reaches the right audience
  • It’s a long term game so do not expect quick-fire results

 

What is Native Advertising?

Native Advertising is a form of paid advertising where the content put out seems similar to the native content of the platform. You would have come across one or the other form of native advertising daily – while reading an e-newspaper, browsing through an ecommerce portal or on your favorite Google Search Engine. According to Business Insider, The global native advertising spend is estimated to cross $21 billion by the year 2018.

Goals of Native Advertising

  • Increase brand / product awareness
  • Supplement Content Marketing in amplification
  • Drive traffic to your website or landing page
  • Boost lead generation and Sales

Different Forms of Native Advertising

  • Content Recommendations are one of the most prominent form of native advertising. You would have seen sections at the end of news articles under the title “Recommended Articles” powered by recommendation engines. These native ads are done via platforms like Outbrain, Taboola and Content.Ad.
  • Influencer Marketing is a rapidly growing form of native advertising. Under this, the influencers and bloggers talk about your brand or product on their blogs or social media channels with a backlink to your online property. The articles are seeded along with the other articles on the blog.
  • Search Engine Ads are those that surface on top of your search results. This form turns out cheaper than the other forms of native advertising, based on the cost per lead or sale.
  • In-Feed Ads are presented within the list of natural articles from the publication. Though these ads are well-blended within the native experience of the reader on the platform but they are marked as sponsored ads for the benefit of the customer.
  • Promoted Listings are the product listings that show up on top of the category page on ecommerce websites.

Metrics to track in Native Advertising

  • Reach or Impressions
  • Clicks or Traffic to your website/landing page
  • Leads or Sales
  • Cost per Click
  • Cost per Lead

Tips for Native Advertising

  • Create separate landing pages for different native ad ideas. The hook to get people on your landing page and the content on the page need to speak the same story.
  • Research your audience well to create and experiment with multiple hooks to see what works well for your audience.
  • Make it interesting. Only bragging about the brand doesn’t work anymore. Show the content and convince the reader that you are the one who can deliver the experience or service to the user.
  • Do not shy away from allocating a good budget for this to show results. The cost per lead or sale from native advertising is traditionally higher from content marketing.
  • If SEO is a prime goal for your experimentation with Native Advertising, then you should pause it immediately. There is no SEO takeaway from this exercise.

 


Content Marketing To Make Your Brand Trend

  • Krithika Ramani
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  • 15 February , 2016
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    • 5 min read

Content is any brand’s most powerful weapon which can be used to fulfill marketing and branding objectives. A strategic approach towards creating and distributing content creatively can attract customers and propel them to take the desired action. While all brand managers are aware of this mantra and are working towards it, how can you differentiate your brand amongst the rest and make it trend?

Here are some interesting content marketing tips to make your brand famous and captivate your audience:

THINK DIFFERENTLY

While most brands that fall under the same industry or category have similar social media strategy, the one who thinks differently always reaps better results. Having a fresh perspective towards generic concepts can help in delivering content that interests the user and eventually improves your organic reach and engagement.

To quote an example, Planet SuperHeroes came up with an infographic on the New Year’s to show its audience how their lives will look like in 2016. Unlike many brands that did run-of-the-mill updates and wishes on this occasion, PSH went ahead with content that’s relevant to its audience. Boy, did this unique approach towards content marketing bring them organic results? See for yourself below!

Here's another example of unique content marketing strategy by the Tamil Nadu's Chief Election Officer, where movie and television references were used to spread awareness about the upcoming State Assembly Elections.


CREATE USER-FOCUSED CONTENT

Instead of just talking about your brand’s product and services, create useful content that interests your audience. This way, understanding your target group’s expectations and behavior can positively impact your social media content strategy. Spend time on public forums and communities to study the relevant topics discussed by your consumers. Create content that your customers are most likely to consume and will come back to you for more such information.

Petwish is an online pet portal brand who published a series of posts on different dog breeds and their lifestyle characteristics – to help customers choose the ideal dog breed for their family. This being an example of a customer-centric content approach, the campaign went viral garnering 42K shares and 20K likes on the page, all organically. Through this campaign, the brand was able to position itself as a knowledge source for its customer base and indirectly boost its branding and marketing efforts.

TAKE PLATFORM-SPECIFIC APPROACH

While planning your content marketing strategy, keep the communication same across platforms but approach them differently. Design your content to suit the language, environment and behaviors on different digital media platforms. While creating unique content is one thing, distributing it thoughtfully across platforms will help get the most value out of it.

Thus, understanding the potential of each platform and taking a channel-specific approach could result in reaching the right audience, the right way.

HIJACK LATEST TRENDS OR TOPICS

Creating content around trending topics or events is an age old technique that many brands have used and succeeded in the past. Spontaneity, messaging and creative presentation are the three important factors to keep in mind while plugging-in your content around a trending event. Use the right hashtags or keywords to make your content easily discoverable. And a tinge of good humour or objective take on a social issue would go a long way in increasing the shareability and making your brand trend along with the topic.

Below are some of the examples of brands that capitalized on the ‘Be like Bill’ meme that took over the Internet few weeks back.

USE HUMOUR, IF RELEVANT

Who doesn’t love humour when it’s appropriate and impressive? With memes and funny illustrations dominating the social media world, humour is undoubtedly the best universal language that brands love to speak.

Witty or good humour bridges the gap between a brand and its customer in so many levels and helps in building a community. Spontaneity coupled with creative humour has resulted in a number of successful brand campaigns in the past and will continue to do so.

MAKE USE OF VISUAL MEDIUM

2016 seems to be year of Visual Marketing with video content and infographics having the best ROI and reception amongst the users. Visual content grabs the audiences’ attention much faster than text and generates more social engagement. According to a recent study by Cisco, video will account for 80 percent of the global internet traffic by 2019. And the numbers have already begun to rise, as more and more brands are gradually moving some of their TV budgets to digital videos.

With the increasing availability of platforms such as YouTube, Vine, Periscope, Blab, Flipagram, etc. and the user community shifting to mobile and social, brand managers should make use of these visually appealing content forms to gain valuable results.

ROPE IN INFLUENCERS TO AMPLIFY CONTENT

If you have great content and are trying to amplify it through impactful sources, look no further. Influencer marketing helps in identifying leaders with a significant follower base, who can deliver your brand’s message to a wider audience and influencer their opinions / purchase decisions. Using influencers for your content campaigns can result in higher reach and engagement, thus giving you more mileage than your competitors.

What are the content marketing efforts that you’ve taken so far to improve your brand’s online presence? Do let us know about your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section!


11 ways to make email marketing work for you

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 25 January , 2016
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    • 5 min read

Want to maintain a good relationship with your customers and clients? The best way to do that is by constantly keeping in touch and updating them.  Email is perhaps the easiest way to do this. Email marketing is the best resource for both start up and established companies, especially e-retail ventures. According to studies, the total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase from nearly 3.9 billion accounts to over 4.9 billion accounts by the end of 2017. In a 2015 study from BlueHornet, over 77% of consumers buy products and services from marketing/advertising emails at least once a month or more. So make sure you include email marketing as part of your marketing plan. Here are a few tips to make email marketing work for you. We also have a detailed checklist for emailer marketing.

1. Make it personal

Personalization increases response rates tremendously. Whatever be your vertical, your customers would rather want an email personalized to them than a bulk mail. Use names in email messages to grab attention. Make sure you spell the names right. You don’t want to send out an email with the wrong spelling. Tools like Mail Chimp make it easy to do this. You can read about their “Merge Tag” feature here.

2. Use interesting subject lines

People get a lot of emails every day and most of it goes unread. In order to get the attention of people, you need to write catchy subject lines.  Make sure the subject line is not too long either. As per Marketing Sherpa, subject lines with 9 to 10 words are the most ideal. Mailchimp also has some tips on Subject Lines.

Food Panda, an online food order website/app has mastered this concept well.  They promoted a ‘Buy one, Get one free pizza’ in a unique way.  The challenge for them was to make people open the same email with the same offer and same creative one day after another. So they used creative subject line such as:

  • Pizza, Oh! Pizza, I love you, Pizza
  • All you need is Love &…. PIZZA!
  • Invite your friends today – It’s Pizza Night again!
  • Did someone say free pizza?
  • Pollard’s throwing bats, we’re throwing offers!

 

3. Send a welcome email

If you have a prospective client or a new client, it is a good idea to send them a welcome mail. Introduce them to your brand and tell your story with the very first email you send them. If you start with sending new customers promotional emails, you won’t develop a lasting relationship with them. It is the first email they receive after subscribing so it is important to make an impression that counts. According to Yourstory.com stats, subscribers who receive a welcome email show, on average, 33% more long-term engagement with that brand.

If you are using wordpress, Gravity Forms can be an effective tool to send out automated emailers to new customers or new leads.

Here is an example of an ecommerce company, Nykaa that got the welcome email right. The brand not only gave all the information required but also personalized every email.

4. Write exciting content

People do not want to read long boring copies on their emails. So open your email with compelling text or some great offer.  It is also a good idea to send them useful content from your blog that they might be interested in. Not all the time do your clients want to know about offers and products so make your copy easy to scan by using short sentences, simple language and bulleted lists.

5. Create a comprehensive data base

In order for your email marketing to be successful, you need to have a strong database. Build your own consumer database by gaining consumers’ permission through your website.  To build this, you can use tools such as SumoMe’s List Builder, which help in converting one-time visitors into lifelong readers and email subscribers.

6. Know your spam rules

The biggest problem about email marketing is the risk of spending all that time in creating the mail and it ending up in the spam folder. So before you start sending emails, read up on the SPAM rules. In India, there is no law as such but the closest thing that regulators have come is certain provisions in the IT Act. Under section 79 of the IT Act, Internet intermediaries must take care and diligence with regard to the services they provide, which read together with section 43A of the Act (compensation for failure to protect personal data from theft), can ‘indirectly bring into play a data privacy law’. To know more, read this article, which gives you more details on the dos and don’ts.

7. Have a strong Call to Action (CTA)

When it comes to email marketing no email is complete without a Call To Action. Always include a CTA button in your mailers. Customize the CTA to your audience and provide multiple links throughout the email to make it easy for users to take action. A CTA button will increase click-through rates by making it clear to the reader what the next step they should take is. So while designing, make the CTA button prominent and use enticing words on it to encourage your readers to click

8. Social links 

Adding your social media accounts in your emails is a great way to promote your social media platforms.  It will give you a chance to expand your community and connect better with your subscribers. Do not stop with just connecting with them; make sure you engage with them actively on social media.

9. Make the email responsive to all devices

Considering that many users will be opening the email on their mobile devices, you need to make sure that the email is responsive to all devices – similar to your websites. This is a common mistake we see in emailer campaigns where a promotional image is sent out – but these images are not responsive so the text becomes illegible.

10. Test

Different devices display emails differently. Send a test email to your friends and colleagues with different devices and test it out before you send it. Test reveals design mistakes and can predict whether or not a campaign will get caught in a spam filter. You could even set up accounts with a few different email services for easy testing.

11. Use email service providers

Email service providers are ideal for sending bulk emails. You can build email templates, personalize emails, send and track your campaigns on a larger scale. Here are two most popular service providers in the market that you can use:

Mail Chimp

MailChimp is the best tool for email marketing campaigns. They have a strong policy against spam and offers strong analytics package, full auto-responder functionality, and makes it easy to build, track, and segment campaigns of any type. Mailchimp accounts start at Free for up to 2000 subscribers.

SendGrid

SendGrid offers tools to make it effortless for developers and marketers to craft, segment, test, and successfully deliver emails.  It is a cloud based email infrastructure that eliminates the need to build and maintain a system in-house.


Social Media Web 3.0 – The Game Grows Bigger

  • Krithika Ramani
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  • 28 November , 2015
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    • 2 min read

Social Web 3.0, a digital marketing conclave was organised by Madras Management Association on 23rd November at Hotel My Fortune, Chennai. The event was attended by industry bigwigs such as Maneesha Khanna, Director of Marketing, PepsiCo and Bhaskar Ramesh, Head of Industries – FMCG, Google India amongst the other notable ones.

The event started with an insightful keynote address by Hari Menon, CO-Founder & CEO, Big Basket on digital influence and analytics-driven future, which set the stage for the rest of the day. Vikas Chawla, Co-Founder & CEO of Social Beat spoke about how content & influencer marketing is changing the social media game. It was an interactive session with a series of questions on how brands can leverage content marketing to achieve business goals and what would be the ideal advertising-marketing mix.

Here are some insights on Content and Influencer Marketing discussed during the session:

If Content is king, there are too many kings out there.
Here are some tips to stand-out and leverage on relevant content to achieve business goals.

Influencer marketing is becoming an integral part of marketing budgets and here's why:

Digital media endorsement by an influencer can work wonders for your brand, only if you pick the right one.
Here are some metrics you need to consider before choosing the influencers for your campaign.

The next session was a case study by Maneesha Khanna, on #CrashTheIPL campaign that involved consumer generated video content. The idea behind this talk was to understand how videos have become the way forward for FMCG brands to easily connect with the audience. The success of #CrashTheIPL campaign could be contributed to the strong cross channel promotion - yet another game changer in the advertising space. Hence, brand managers should also explore highly integrated digital + TV campaigns, as both of these channels are here to stay.

Apart from these expert sessions and case studies, there were also discussions on various trending topics in the digital & social space. Social Media 3.0 also witnessed a bunch of digital enthusiasts who actively participated in Twitter & Instagram contests conducted during the event.

Were you a part of this digital media conclave and have more stories to tell?
Write to us about your experience in the ‘Comments’ section.


Growth of Regional Content Online

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 21 November , 2015
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    • 4 min read

Every marketing expert knows the importance of content marketing. It is a great way to engage with customers and to provide them with knowledge. Creating content that is both relevant and valuable to its target audience is at the very heart of effective content marketing. With the growth of mobile and internet in India, every town and village in India has access to Internet. Thanks to this internet revolution, most of the target audience can be found speaking another language apart from English. So how are you going to address this problem? Our solution is a multi-lingual content strategy.

 

Hindi content consumption is growing at 94%

English is, of course, most commonly used language online not just in the world but also in India. However, Google data shows 94% growth rate for Hindi content consumption. Keeping this in mind global brands has started focusing on regional language as art of their strategy. A year ago, Facebook users were flabbergasted to see the login page in Hindi script. This was followed by US based visual discovery tool Pinterest launching a Hindi version, allowing users in India to use the translated version.Today, Google supports languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and Tamil among others.With 127 million Internet users in India consuming content in local language, all global social media sites have realized the fact that they if they don’t go local in India they might soon lose relevance. Catering to the internet users in tier II and III towns, Google is now focusing to expand usage of its products like Google maps in vernacular languages, especially Hindi.

Regional content availability can boost the growth of Internet in India by 24%

Of the literate 74%, only 10% read English while the rest consume content in the vernacular medium. Remaining 66% are literate in their local languages. According to a latest study conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International, regional content availability can boost the growth of Internet in India by 24%. There are more than 70,000 newspapers printed in India and around 90% are either printed in Hindi or other vernacular languages. Realizing the importance of regional content, Indian app developers are also recognizing the need for local app distribution platforms. International app stores do not lend themselves to the easy discovery of highly India-specific regional content.

Growth of regional language content: A case study

Yourstory.com, one of India’s leading platform for entrepreneurs and promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, recently included separate sections for regional content.

 

The website also offers content in 10 other languages including Marathi, Telugu and Bengali.

 

Their regional content strategy has taken off well and has received positive response from the audience. As you can see, the Hindi article has 650 shares and the Tamil content has over 200 shares. The website is updating their regional language pages everyday with interesting articles.

 

 

So if you are convinced that regional content marketing is important, here are a few things to consider.

1. Wins audiences and drives traffic

It’s easy to ignore other languages if one dominant language makes up the majority. While English does make for the majority, there is a section that only consumes content in a regional language and this section could be your most important target audience. An English creative gets 0.1% to 0.15% Click Through Ratio (CTR), while a language creative can get 0.4-0.5% CTR. So if a language content and creative has a change to drive more traffic to your product or website, why not concentrate more on it?

2. Customers respond better to content in their mother tongue

When you market your brand in a regional language, it appeals to the emotional quotient of the audience. So localization of content should be an integral part of the creation process. For instance, McDonald’s involves its international teams at an early stage of product development, ensuring it can adapt their most effective marketing strategies to each individual culture where its campaigns are rolled out. Its in-country translation and localization teams ensure that the content strikes the right note in each country.

3. Integrate social media and content marketing

Your ultimate goal of participating in social media is likely to drive traffic back to your website so you can convert those visitors into leads. Without pitching brands directly, content marketing looks at generating relevant content that educates and creates awareness among customers. It has become an important marketing avenue for the fund-crunched startups to compete with the bigger brands. But it is very important that your content is unique and engaging for your customers. Duplicate or low-quality content can prove to be counter-productive. Once your regional content is up and running, the next step is to ensure that it reaches your target audience. There are many content amplification techniques that can help you promote your content to a large audience. The content strategy needs to be integrated with your social media marketing. It can be key to engaging consumers and many brands are successfully adopting this for their overseas marketing efforts. This video tells you why adopting a multilingual strategy is the only way to connect with the next billion Internet users in India.

 

 


Blogging as a Career Option

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 24 October , 2015
  • |
    • 5 min read

Have a particular interest that you are extremely passionate about? Then blogging is the perfect way to start exploring your interest. Blogging is a hobby or a way to build your brand. It is a powerful tool, which can be a great PR for you and your brand. A blog is a simple, easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing timely and relevant information with customers. It’s your direct communication channel.

From an online journal at 1,000 words per post to a simple 140-character Twitter feed, blogging has taken center stage largely because of how useful it has proven itself to be in almost all areas of business. If successful, blogging can be a good way to make money and a full time career path as well. However, before we start talking about making a career out of it, the first step is to determine a topic of interest and set up the blog.

 Top Blogging Platforms

To set up your blog hardly takes 30 minutes.  If you are planning to start the blog, then here the various top blogging platforms that you can use.

  • Word press

WordPress is one of the most popular free blogging platforms that is excellent for the bloggers. It has numerous templates to choose from. Apart from this, have the option to go for the WordPress customization to personalize the blog with your own designs.

  • Blogspot

Blogspot is an extremely convenient platform and it is also one of the most common one that people use.  It has few template designs at your disposal, but the good thing here is that the Blogspot allows you to customize the blog and create splendid fonts, images and lots of other important things

  • Tumblr

Yet another free blogging website, Tumblr has gained a significant amount of reputation over the years simply because of its user-friendly interface and easy to understand features. There are plenty of stunning blogging themes and awesome features that help you to create a fine blog. The best feature though is the fact that you can synchronize Tumblr account with the various popular social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter to update your feeds made in the social sites at a distinct location.

  • Weebly

Weebly comes with a drag and drop feature to create a website. It’s simple and easy to understand interface makes weeebly one of the best blogging platforms. A very unique thing about this particular website is that you can also use it as a content management system that provides you an opportunity to earn some money by designing the websites for the other clients.

  • Livejournal

A service for journals and blogs, that also offers privacy controls, photo storage, publishing tools, style templates, and online communities for many interest.

 Driving Traffic To Your Blog

Once you have finalized on the topic and template, you need to concentrate on increasing traffic and your following. For a blog to be successful, you need more than great writing. You need to market your blog to the right audience and generate traffic to your blog. So how do you build that traffic? Here are a few tips you can follow.

  • Participate

Commenting on other blogs and participating in social media networks and groups is vital to building traffic to your own blog.

  • Marketing

Even a great blog post in useless without a little bit of marketing and promotion.  Promote your blog on social media like Facebook or twitter and post links more than once to get some attention. Whatever method you choose for your blog, take it seriously and don’t leave marketing your own blog up to chance.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Get your blog SEO optimized by using common search queries throughout your writing. This will move your blog closer to the top of search engine result pages, and make people more likely to read your posts.You can also access the traffic by using website traffic statistics software Google Analytics or the simpler traffic statistics software that should come for free with your hosting account.

  • Guest blogging

Guest posts are the articles, which a blogger writes for some blog/websites other than his/her own blog. Such guest posts have a link-back to the author’s blog, this helps in getting recognition, reader’s attention and search engine’s attention as well. Writing on other’s blogs is a great way to tap into their audience and introduce yourself to new people. Find blogs you enjoy would be able to write great content for.

Monetizing the Blog

The blog is now popular? So how do you make a living out of blogging? A common misconception is that bloggers in India cannot make substantial income via blogging alone. However this is not the case. There are many leading Indian bloggers who are making lakhs of rupees from blogging. So if you have a blog and have not monetized it yet, now is the time! There are a number of things you can do that will help. Here are a few tactics that you can use to monetize your blog:

  1. Be an influencer

Influencer marketing is a new concept that is picking up in India, where brands connect with popular bloggers and influencers who promote products by creating original articles, reviews, videos & social posts to over their followers. With increasing internet penetration and digital spending, influencer marketing is all set to grow in the near future. According to a McKinsey study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Bloggers have become important influencers because they are seen as authentic and have loyal followings. When a blogger recommends a product it seems more trustworthy than traditional advertising.  Websites like  influencer.in lets you register as an influencer and be part of their campaigns.

So keeping this in mind, brands are willing to pay influencers to promote their product. There are bloggers who work for free as they are passionate about writing, but there are bloggers charge a huge fee and we most brands are willing to pay for them.

  1. Freelance

If you have a popular blog running for a while now on a particular subject, then a lot of websites, paper or magazines will be willing to let you write for them and pay you for it. Freelancing is a way of earning money through your skills and expertise. For example, if you have a fashion blog that is doing well, you can write for fashion lifestyle websites. You will be amazed at the number of people willing to pay you money for your advice, which you were probably giving out for free until now! To implement this, you can have a landing page on your blog and have a catchy title like “Hire me” for potential recruiters to find you.

  1. Direct ads on your blog

This is a great way to make money out of your blog. How it works is that you get to choose which ad will be displayed on your blog and you also set the price for the ads. In this method advertisers get in touch with you directly to place ads on your blog, thus eliminating the middleman. When a reader click on the ad, you get paid a commission or you can choose to charge a flat fee to the advertisers on a monthly or weekly basis. Advertising networks such as Google AdSense, BuySellAds, TribalFusion, and BlogAds have made it relatively easy for bloggers to monetize their work.

Looking for innovative ways to make it big in life by following your passion? Subscribe to our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career for tips and tricks to make the right choice. Here's a video to get you started:

 


Top-5 Content Management Systems for your website

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 18 June , 2015
  • |
    • 3 min read

If you are planning to build a website in the near future, you might be confused on which platform to use. While there is a whole bunch of content management systems (CMS) in the market, you might want to use the platform that allows you to do it without worrying too much about the technical aspects like coding.

What is a Content Management System?

In simple terms, a Content Management System is a software tool that allows you to create, edit, publish and manage web content. The main objective of a CMS is to provide an intuitive interface to manage your content on the web.

There are many good content management systems like Wordpress and Drupal; and they are all fantastic. But choosing one among them can be difficult because you do not know if the website is suited for the needs of your website. The server can sometimes be a challenge in having an effective CMS and we usually recommend the Linux based servers being provided by Bluehost or Amazon Web Services.

This article shall make you aware of the different aspects of the Top-5 Content Management Systems in the market and help you make an informed decision.

  1. WordPress

Homepage: www.wordpress.org

One of the world’s most popular content management systems, Wordpress started out as a blogging platform, but has grown and advanced significantly over the years. Based on PHP & MySQL, Wordpress is used by almost 23% of the top 10 million websites around the world. Examples of Wordpress websites are Social Beat, ithought, etc.

Advantages:

  • It’s free and the easy installation offered does not require complex technical know how to maintain the website
  • User friendly dashboard for managing content
  • Multi-user and multi-blogging support
  • Wide number of plug-ins and themes, both paid and unpaid, for customizing your website
  • A large developer community and plenty of tutorials and documentation available for support
  • Easy linkage to your email platforms such as Mailchimp to allow you to keep in touch with customers

Disadvantages:

  • Standard installation can have security issues and is vulnerable to attacks. Needs to be addressed with continuous updates and monitoring of the website

 

  1. Drupal

Homepage: www.drupal.org

Drupal is the 2nd most popular PHP-based content management system. It’s a powerful, developer friendly platform that can be easily used for building complex websites. In the latest releases, database management modules have been added that allow managing SQL operations without writing SQL queries. Many big companies like General Electric, Time Warner and Sony Music, are using Drupal.

Advantages:

  • Less resource intensive than WordPress
  • Technically advanced in comparison to peers like Wordpress and Joomla
  • Very flexible; has the feature to even edit the root files of the program
  • Easily customizable with numerous plug-ins & 6000+ modules available for easy extension of functionality
  • Powerful taxonomy & ability to tag and organize complex content
  • Faster load and response time
  • Powerful use cases available

Disadvantages:

  • Basic knowledge of HTML, PHP and other common programming languages is required
  • Theming system is complex along with a lack of high-quality plug-ins
  • Site complexity beyond a simple website or a blog requires technical know-how to keep it running

 

  1. Joomla

Homepage: www.joomla.org

Joomla is quite often, an intermediate choice between Wordpress and Drupal, having the power of a Drupal website and at the same time managing the user-friendly nature of a Wordpress website. Joomla has a lot of plug-ins and themes available to choose from, so you can easily customize your website based on your requirements. It’s suitable for creating back-end networks for a wide range of purposes like inventory control and reservation systems to online commerce websites.

Advantages:

  • Faster and easier to setup an online store; has more native support online commerce
  • A great platform to create social networks
  • Long history of development and an active developer community
  • Tons of plugins and add-on tools available
  • 7000+ plus extensions and an extensive help portal

Disadvantages:

  • Not easy for beginners
  • Modularity & expendability puts greater demand on server parameters
  • Lack of high-quality themes when compared to Wordpress

 

  1. SilverStripe

Website: www.silverstripe.org

SilverStripe is another open source content management system, best serving the needs of developers slightly comfortable with coding. Built on an object-oriented framework called Sapphire, it has multiple platform modules allowing it to support a content formats like blogs as well as forums / communities. SilverStripe code is bound together through independent frameworks; thus providing it the capability to support any CSS Style Sheets and HTML codes.

Advantages:

  • Open standards for development leading to high development versatility
  • Easy back-end functions
  • Powerful content authoring tool with ability to publish/unpublish content on specific dates
  • Differential permission levels for different parts of the site to manage your own editor/author network
  • Strong developer community SilverStripe LTD to fall back for technical support

Disadvantages:

  • Less intuitive back-end in comparison to peers like Wordpress
  • Less than 200 extension modules and not many high-quality themes available
  • Lack of documentation support

 

  1. TextPattern

Website: www.textpattern.com

A highly flexible content management system, TextPattern is a free, PHP based CMS that is more often skipped when looking at the top CMSs for websites. It leverages Textile to quickly convert plain text to XHTML, making it user-friendly for beginners.

Advantages:

  • User-friendly for non-technical users
  • Suitable for websites of varied sizes
  • Great documentation; complete manual available online

Disadvantages:

  • Minimal variety of themes (~120 front end themes available)
  • Fewer plugins
  • Small developer community

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