As marketers, all of us often feel like we are spending a bulk of our time on tasks that are important, but take up too much of our time. This time could be better used for developing a overall marketing strategy for your brand or on furthering your knowledge within your chosen industry. Is there a solution to help you do this? Luckily, the answer is yes! Marketing automation is a gamechanger in the industry because it can free up your time from repetitive, monotonous tasks.
Wondering what is marketing automation? Well, in a nutshell, marketing automation is the process by which you automate certain marketing tasks, thus reducing the total time spent on these tasks. Since marketing automation uses machine learning and AI, it also offers more accurate results, free from human error. If you haven't started using marketing automation in your
With the advent of technology and social media, a consumer’s journey to make a purchase has become very complex. Consumers can now easily discover new brands on various social media platforms and are researching multiple brands, choosing to compare the pricing/offers before making a final decision. This new consumer decision journey has given rise to a highly evolved and aware consumer.
So, how can brands modify the marketing funnel to engage with this new digital-age consumer? The full-funnel approach is one of the most significant aspects of a marketing strategy as this helps brands convert the prospective audience into customers. This can be done on digital platforms by showcasing relevant messaging to the target audiences, moving them along the funnel from ‘Awareness’ to ‘Consideration’ and finally ‘Conversion’.
Most marketers, however, tend to focus on the bottom-of-the-funnel directly and optimise all digital campaigns to drive consumer action. However, this could lead to increased cost per acquisitions and lower conversion rates. While performance-based campaigns are key as these drive business results, it would not be an optimal strategy to focus on these alone as consumers need to be aware of the brand and build an affinity towards the same before making a purchase or enquiring.
With the shift from traditional to digital, it is also essential that a brand adapts their marketing funnel with a digital-first marketing strategy. This approach implies that it is essential for the brand to have a mobile-first approach for all digital assets in order to reach and engage with potential customers. Brands should leverage Accelerated Mobile Pages to improve the speed of landing pages and interactive ad formats to ensure the best experience for consumers.
In the first stage, the focus should be on creating awareness of the brand and its legacy. It is considered a good idea to leverage short videos in this stage to engage with potential buyers. Brands should also look at highlighting the benefits for the consumer by showcasing how the product or service can help them and resolve a pain point.
The top-of-the-funnel should be looked at as a process of casting a wider net to reach potential consumers. The users at this stage might not be familiar with the brand and only be cold prospects. Using the full-funnel marketing strategy, brands could push consumers towards the next stage of the marketing funnel.
Brands could explore various options like masthead on YouTube or Reach & Frequency campaigns on Facebook/Instagram to drive the high-impact reach for the brand’s top of the funnel strategy. One other interesting option could be to explore vernacular videos for brand awareness depending on the brand’s target audience. With the launch of Jio, smartphones and data plans have become quite affordable, leading to increased consumption of vernacular content. In the current scenario, brands should look to adopt a multi-lingual marketing strategy to tap into the next billion users.
YouTube: Bumper Ad, Masthead, TrueView For Reach are the best ad inventories to explore using YouTube.
Facebook/Instagram: Reach & Frequency Campaigns and Brand-Awareness are instrumental in ad inventories to explore using Facebook/Instagram.
The metrics to track go as Cost Per Thousand Impressions and Cost Per Video View.
Keep In Mind: As brands, avoid using product-specific/sales material in this stage of the funnel.
Users who engage with the brand’s top-of-the-funnel activity will have to familiarise themselves with the brand through more details about the product/service via relevant content. It is recommended to leverage the power of thumb-stopping content to re-engage with these users. Brands should share more context about the product/service so that consumers could consider engaging with them and finally making the purchase. The middle of the funnel should be looked at as a broad set of interested audiences who are not customers yet but are strongly considering the particular brand.
At this stage, the key focus should be on showcasing educational content in order to build trust and consideration for the brand. Case studies, Blog posts, White Papers, Ebooks, etc. are simple yet very effective tools for the brand’s middle of the funnel strategy. On Facebook, brands could explore Instant Experience ads which can help nurture intent and further drive engagement.
YouTube: Bearing Ad Inventory in mind, Trueview In-Stream Ad is typically explored on YouTube.
Facebook: In terms of Ad Inventory for Facebook, the way to go is through Traffic, Engagement, and Video Views.
To track metrics, CPC, Ad Recall and Landing Page Views are taken into account.
Keep In Mind: Alongside sharing educational content, brands should start positioning their product/service at this stage.
Once users are aware and have developed consideration for the brand, it is time to drive action with focused creatives and clear Call-To-Actions. At this stage, the consumer is already aware of the brand and is in a ready-to-buy frame of mind. With the right communication strategy, the users can easily convert into customers from a prospect lead. The focus here is to make the final pitch and keep it straight forward with the brand’s product/service details and pricing. Some potential buyers might require the extra push in the form of a time-bound offers/discounted prices to make the final decision. In the last state of the funnel, brands should highlight why consumers should opt for their product/service instead of their competitor’s as part of the content strategy. It might also be interesting to segment different audience types based on demographics/behaviour and show customers highly personalised content in this stage to drive the conversion.
By following a full-funnel, approach brands should be able to generate high-quality leads as the users have gone through the entire customer journey of awareness and consideration before purchasing or enquiring from the brand. This is especially important in industries such as Real Estate where the purchase cycle is relatively long, and consumers are continually researching options.
YouTube: TrueView For Action is often explored bearing YouTube Ad Inventory in mind.
Facebook: The best Ad Inventory to explore using Facebook is Lead Gen/Website Conversion.
CPL is typically used to track metrics.
Keep In Mind: Showcasing a time-bound offer in this stage can create an urgency and prompt consumers to take action.
For a more in-depth explanation on full-funnel marketing, take a look at this video:
Analyse those leads, work on strategies that converts them to customers, and drive revenue to the business. At the end of the day, a full-funnel strategy involves a lot of work and time, but with an efficient marketing machine, the battle is half won.
While Indians scurry around exchanging their notes, Americans stand in shock and awe over the result of their votes. Donald Trump emerged victorious on Tuesday as America's President-elect, leaving a rather uncomfortable feeling on the rest of the world. It's only a matter of time before the dust settles and reality bites, as "The Donald," as he is fondly known, takes office.
Many may call his campaign one of the most controversial to date, but they just can't deny that it has proven to be highly effective on his road to victory. Trump's landslide victory came as result of his smart use of social media, a platform he has praised since winning. Marketers could take a leaf out of his book on how to implement strategies and work action plans to ensure the best results on minimum expenditure. His campaign is a great example of ROI driven digital marketing, where he spent virtually nothing while making the most out of free publicity.
Have your mind blown over the review in numbers on Trump’s campaign! While the use of social media for a political advantage is not new, considering how well Obama fared during his campaign, Trump’s win is a testament to why it has become so important in daily life. Let’s have a look at the various tactics Trump employed on his campaign.
Everyone knows, a politician's biggest lie is when he is trying to convince everyone he's telling the truth. But what happens when a politician comes out with an open mike in hand, and effortlessly speaks his mind to the people. We've seen that with Modi on his public rally's and Trump took centre stage on the best platform to express oneself- social media. Forget the fact-checking, Trump's sometimes outlandish claims added a perspective of thought amongst his ever-growing flower base. Here's an example of that, one which Trump posted 24 hours ahead of election day.
Even Obama had to admit, in his last hilarious speech as president, that Hillary's attempt to bond with the public on social media failed miserably. Trump, on the other hand, having prior expertise with social media norms thanks to his entrepreneurial background, modified his approach to fit political standards while still using social media jargon and youth slang that could connect well with his followers. His use of hashtags and constant responses to queries from his supporters leveraged success to his campaign.
You've already noticed that we're referencing most of Trump's campaign with his Twitter feeds, that's because he practically owned the microblogging giant over the past few months of his rigorous campaigning. Nothing makes free press feel any better than having the power to deconstruct your opponents within 140 characters. His infamous hashtag #CrookedHillary and attack on the existing government emphasise his no-holds-barred approach to social media.
One method that has become increasingly important on social media today is the way brands interact with consumers. Engaging with an online audience makes for conversion rates to increase, turning them into potential buyers of the product. In the case of the Trump Brand, Trump knew what he represents and had a decent idea on what his audience expect, opening the floodgates to thousands of interactions per tweet.
Trump was able to achieve an incredible response on election day, all thanks to the effort he put in and the ease of reach through social media. His formula for success should be familiar with adept digital marketers, but if you are till keen on maximizing those efforts and using the full potential of social media, here's what you have to do, the Donald Way.
Trump's slogan, "Let's Make America Great Again," is a powerful example of brand positioning strategies. In just five words, he sums up what he is all about and more importantly, what America wants the most, the return of those glorious days. Digital marketers know that brand positioning is the first of many key factors that can make a campaign run successfully. While Clinton's slogan, "Stronger Together," invokes an action, it doesn't have a definitive goal. Your brand positioning must reflect the entire process of your campaign, and give consumers a meaningful reason to interact with you on social media.
Trump's entire campaign was emotion driven. He appealed to the audience by telling them what they wanted to hear. Constantly rubbing the existing governing systems in the mud and hitting out on policies the public themselves have protested against over the years. He also narrowed down his target audience to the majority race in America, slashing out on the minorities through the early stages of his campaign. This method built his fan following in quicker rates and gave him the image of an all-American common man, which touched the hearts and minds of millions in the USA.
Hillary's and most of the Democrat Party's campaign focused on benefiting the rich 1 percent of America. They left behind their blue-collar Democrats and ignored a vast majority of the American demographic. Trump did the exact opposite; his campaign appealed to existing voters as well as ignited passion in first-time voters. He even managed to pocket the blue-collar Democrats and win the vote of almost all Republicans. Trump's campaign is a good example of effective customer management, where he was able to retain old voters and garner the support of new voters.
Everyone knows that advertisements are bloated with exaggerated claims and over-the-top promises, but if that doesn't keep consumers interested, what else will? Trump's campaign was splattered with colorful promises and rather comical goals, but it played well with his audience as it clearly was a fantasy in their heads already. On the post-purchase point-of-view, every customer wants his money's worth, so it's only a matter of time before Trump's true colors come shining out.
Trump carried himself very well throughout his campaign; never backing down from a potential war of words and staying true to the image he had created over the years as an established business tycoon. Trump portrayed himself as an all-American American, winning over the public with his celebrity stylized presentation and tough-guy demeanor. It was very much like the Modi one-man-show which gave Americans the confidence to vote for "The Donald." Trump carried over this personality on every form of media he used, thus managing to cement his image in the hearts and minds of the public. Just have a look at this speech he made at one of his best rallies ever.
In typical businessman fashion, Trump knew that he could never achieve perfection without a little trial-and-error. If you've been following his campaign closely, you'll notice how he carefully shifts his marketing strategies from one perspective to another; beginning by attacking the opposition with harsh, over-the-top judgments to slowly letting go of the hominem insults and placing focus on talking about a better America. Trump also balanced his mediums of delivery smartly, telling people what they wanted to hear at the exact moment they wished to hear it, all the while constantly drilling into the consumer's mind, his underlying message of a greater American future.
The Trump Brand is the shiniest new thing popping straight out of the realms of Social Media. Polished and ready to be grasped by the consumer's hands, it's only a matter of time before the brand's USP comes into full play and hopefully deliver its promises.
You may also find it interesting to read how social media was used by Indian politicians in the 2014 elections.
Every business big or small, belonging to any category is using digital marketing to help their business grow and reach the masses. Internet marketers know that Google Adwords is an excellent way to drive traffic to a website. Setting up an Adwords campaign is not just about making ads and running them but also getting the best results for the amount invested.
So, how are the best results obtained?
The best results are obtained when the campaign is setup properly (check out our definitive adwords campaign launch checklist) and optimized properly on a regular basis. Therefore, optimizing Adwords campaign is important, else if not managed properly, it can prove to be expensive for the business.
Optimizing an Adwords campaign is the most complex task, as every aspect of the account like click through rate, poor performing ads, using correct keywords, avg. cost and much more, needs to be analyzed. The optimizing process is continual and will have to be paid constant attention to, in order to maximise revenue and gather sufficient data about the account performance.
Here are a few tips to optimize your Google Adwords Account at different levels of the account.
1. Checking on bid adjustments: Bid adjustments allow you to show your ads more or less frequently based on when, where and how people search. Bid adjustments are set by percentages which can be either increased or decreased.
2. Search v/s Search partner networks: Check how ads are performing on the other search network partners with Google. If conversions are less you can always go to the all settings tab and chose to not show ads on other Google search networks. By clicking on that option your ads will not show on other Google networks.
3. Top v/s others: By selecting the top v/s others option under the segment tab, a table with statistics appear showing where your ads appeared on the Google search top (above the organic search) and otherwise (below the organic search).
The below image depicts that conversions are higher when the ads are on top, so to always remain above the organic search one can increase their CPC and get higher conversions.
Similarly, sometimes being below organic search i.e. “Google search other” shows higher conversions than Google search top. In this case you do not bother about increasing your bids to be on the top.
4. Ad Schedule: By adjusting the ad scheduling bid you can show your ads on specific days and also at specific times. At the campaign click on the dimensions option and see which day ads conversions are higher, based on this data adjust your ad bids.
The below report show that conversions are higher on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Based on which the ad schedule bid adjustments have been increased so that ads appear more number of times on those days leading to higher conversions.
And it’s done! Those were few tips to optimize your Google Adwords campaign in a profitable manner. If there are any other Adwords optimization techniques you use that are not mentioned, then do let us know in the comments below.
Tracking results is paramount not only for an entrepreneur or a startup but also for large enterprises. Google Analytics is the most popular Website Analytics Tool with close to 20% of all websites using it (as per Built With).
Using the tool, one can analyse data on a monthly basis to understand who is coming to your website, what are they doing there and what is driving them to come to the website or transact with you. Google Analytics a powerful yet free tool which can help grow your digital marketing strategy. To get you started, here is a slideshare with list of Top 10 Things to Analyse your website using Google Analytics.
1 day to go. Finally, it's the FIFA World Cup time. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest sporting extravaganza on earth, it keeps the chatter going every time a Fifa WC is round the corner. But this time, it’s going to be more special. Thanks to the “Global Stadium”, which will allow the billions of soccer fans to stay updated real-time with all the excitement around.
The Global Stadium is an aggregator of all content surrounding the 64 matches in real time; also offering the chance to vote for the man of the match & win the actual kick-off balls used in each match in Brazil.
According to FIFA, the Global Stadium doors will open for each of the 64 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ so that fans can follow the action live, minute-by-minute, and engage with friends, players, coaches and fellow fans across the globe while supporting their favorite teams at the tournament
Apart from a unique hashtag for each game, FIFA will be using the following hashtags: #WorldCup & #JoinIn. The entire site has been redone to give the fans a better user experience, especially the mobile users.
The social media presence of FIFA World Cup has racked up over 20 million likes on Facebook & 1 million followers on Twitter. It would be interesting to keep a tab on these figures at the end of the tournament. It would not be surprising to see a multi-fold increase as the tournament unfolds.
When FIFA is going digital, how can the real stars be far behind. The fan base of these superstars have reinforced the "Big-bang theory" or how else do you explain the mind-boggling number of fans on social media, with the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo leading the pack. Here is a snapshot of how the megastars stack up in the digital world.
What does this hold for the marketers? Seeing the amount of engagement generated by the IPL this year, it offers an unprecedented opportunity to tap-in & will be interesting to watch how different brands leverage on this mega opportunity.
Indian Premier League 2013 was special right since Twitter and IPL announced their partnership to give the IPL fans a real-time interactive experience. But being an experimental one, it was not able to offer the complete experience like what IPL Season-7 has offered in 2014. The trailblazing partnership offered a complete seamless experience across air, ground and online.
With a huge fan base of approximately 230 million users, the wide range of new interactive features added this year, kept this large base of fans grossly engaged. Real-time interactive features such as #IPLMagic, #IPLSelfie, #TwitterMirror, Twitter IPL Calendar has allowed the cricket fans to be engaged throughout and generate greater frenzy for both, IPL as well as Twitter. Features like IPL Pulse that allows spectators at the stadium to get their tweets featured on the big screen and IPL Selfie contest has turned out to be real hot property among the fans.
As the season draws to an end, it is worth mentioning that it is definitely going to leave a void in our lives. The daily anticipation for the matches, continuous engagement across platforms and frenzied passion across the two months of IPL is unparalleled. At this fag end, let us look back and see how the IPL-mania on twitter panned out this season.
The total #PEPSIIPL tweets this season has crossed a staggering 4.3 million and still counting. The most popular match in terms of the number of tweets was the scintillating final group game between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
Most Popular IPL Teams on Twitter (based on no. of followers)
Most Popular IPL Players on Twitter (based on no. of followers)
Top Teams with maximum mentions and related tweets
If an annual cricketing event like IPL can drive such an extent of social media engagement, with the FIFA WC 2014 just round the corner, it will be interesting to keep a tab on how social media revolutionizes the experience of a FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest sporting extravaganza on the planet after the Olympics. Undoubtedly, social media will be playing umpteen times a bigger role, but the question is “how big”?
The Aam Aadmi Party's Donation drive has always been in the news for all the right reasons - it's focus on clean money, complete transparency in the process and the use of innovative means and effective social media campaigns to raise funds (an excellent example of this being Arvind Kejriwal's recent tweet for cash which raised more than Rs. 80 lakh in 24 hours after the tweet).
In this Infographic, we analyze the AAP donation campaign - the average donation per donor, the donations received and the candidates receiving the highest donations.
Have you donated to the Aam Aadmi Party?
An increasing number of business owners are now convinced that Social Media offers massive potential which can be effectively leveraged for the growth of their business and have been devoting resources to making it an essential element of their marketing plan. However, most of them are finding it difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of their campaigns and to measure the Return on investment to justify campaign expenditure.
Why ROI is important
After all, it is the bottom line that matters the most to any business and every business owner would want to know if all the time and money being invested in Social Media is making any difference to it. In addition to this, the inability to measure returns from a campaign makes it difficult to optimize it because it is extremely difficult to manage and optimize something you can’t measure.
The Challenge in Calculating ROI
The textbook definition of ROI (the benefit from the activity divided by the cost input into it) is difficult to measure when it comes to Social Media because a large number of its benefits are qualitative(visibility, brand awareness, customer loyalty, trust and interaction) which cannot be accorded a fixed numerical value. And given the number of metrics that can be tracked, if you don’t choose the right ones for you, the calculations will just go nowhere. Methods and models to measure ROI are constantly evolving but no standardized best practice has been developed yet.
This is not to say that ROI cannot be measured. It is absolutely necessary and can definitely be done but it’s just that there is no One-Size-Fits-All method for all businesses. The calculation is wholly business-specific - every business has different goals and objectives and different metrics have to be employed to evaluate those targets. For example, a business which sells products online can calculate its ROI from Social Media more easily than one that doesn’t. Hence, it is extremely important that effectiveness of the campaign is measured in the context of one’s business goals to help determine its business value.
Defining Business Goals
You need to clearly define the outcomes and purpose for your Social Media Strategy – why you are doing it, what exactly do you want it to achieve and by when. This will differ from company to company and will include end-results like:
Measuring Intangible Benefits
Intangible benefits from Social Media - visibility, brand awareness, customer loyalty, satisfaction, trust and valuable customer interaction and feedback offer long-term business benefits. If the purpose of your social media strategy is to increase brand awareness and build an engaged and relevant following, then the key metrics like Reach, leads, Engagement and number of Fans/Followers would need to be tracked using Insights, Facebook’s built-in analytics tool or other applications. The data obtained can also be improved upon and by adding one’s own metrics such as post reach or post engagement relative to the number of fans.
Further, data concerning popular perception, feedback and sentiment about your brand can be gauged using tools such as SocialMention or Radian6. A good understanding and analysis of these metrics can help measure the effectiveness of the campaign in the context of building brand awareness.
Measuring Tangible Benefits
Website traffic, leads, conversions and sales are the most important metrics for a business which directly impact profitability. Google Analytics is an excellent free tool to track the number of website conversions that come from your various social media accounts while other paid tools like MozAnalytics and KissMetrics are also available. Keeping track of advanced metrics like Cost-per-lead and Cost-per- conversion help give a better assessment of the campaign and make it easier to quantify benefits relative to the cost of acquiring them.
Returns from Ad campaigns
Choosing whether to run a Facebook Ad campaign or a Google Adwords campaign for a better ROI depends entirely on the type of business, product/service and targeted audience. Facebook Ads offers extremely niche targeting and a number of Ad types to choose from but they typically tend to convert lesser than Google Adwords campaigns. However, Facebook Ads are much cheaper to run and hence, most often result in a better return on money spent. Eventually, the best way to choose between the two, from an ROI perspective, would be to try out both and see which works best for you.
When it comes to Social Media Ad campaigns, tracking returns on Ad spends is a much easier process than arriving at the net return from the entire social media campaign. Facebook Ad Analytics allows you to track conversions that happened on your website from of each of your Ads using the Conversion-Tracking option. This is done by placing a code provided by Facebook called an Offsite Pixel on your website which alerts Facebook once your conversion is complete. Facebook then gives you data on the number of conversions from each Ad and the Cost-per-conversion. Apart from helping arrive at an accurate value for Return on Ad Spend, this also helps optimize the campaign by determining which ads are performing better than others.
Arriving at the campaign ROI
All the Metrics and Data that we just discussed are not ROI. They are just indicators which dissect each portion of your campaign and tell you how it is performing. Each metric will have to be co-related with the results that come from it and translated into financial value to arrive at the total monetary gain from the campaign. This divided buy the cost of the campaign (Manning costs, outsourcing costs, Agency fees, Ad spends) will give you the net Return on Investment. To reiterate, the entire process will be a futile exercise if you don’t have clear specific goals in the first place, because then you have nothing to measure against. So get on with brainstorming that crucial first step and let the campaign roll. Social media done correctly definitely delivers excellent results. Keep monitoring what you’re getting out of it and optimize your strategy accordingly.
Do you have a different view/process for measuring ROI of your Social Media campaigns? Do share it with us in the Comments section.
An interesting article written on this subject highlights why many small and medium businesses have not been able to leverage their websites and online presence.
The first and most important thing is that the websites are not responsive or compatible across platforms (PC, tablet, smartphones, mobile etc). Consumers are increasingly browsing the internet on the go even in India. This means the websites should be accessible and viewable on any device.
The second finding from the study is even more revealing. Almost 80% of businesses do not feature their social media properties on their website. Social virality starts only when there is a critical mass in social media. Only if website users and traffic from the website is targeted towards social media, the critical mass can be reached.
The study also shows that not all websites call out the email address, phone number or contact form (if necessary for the business) clearly on the homepage or header/footer. Print and TV advertising have already shown us that a strong call for action is required and the same is true for the web as well.
Finally, websites seem to be lacking Search Engine Optimisation. Most websites have over 35-40% traffic coming from search engines and now increasingly from social media, emails and affiliate marketing. This means search engines and Google in particular should be the first place to start for building traffic to the website. Its not just off page SEO that is missing, but basic onpage SEO that is lacking in many websites.
So when are you going to move to a a search engine optimised responsive website with a clear call to action?
This IPL dozens of brands are making the best IPL and the connect with cricket on social media. Rajasthan Royals recently teamed up with Operation Smile India, which provides free surgery to repair cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities in children.
The company decided to use the power of social media to drive social change. Through a campaign developed by Ogilvy India, consumers are exhorted to express support for the cause by tweeting. The goal is to reach one million tweets by April 30. Though the company is in talks to bring corporates on board to help with funds, and is engaging with telecom majors to monetise the tweets, its first priority is the mass awareness of cleft deformity and available medical solutions. Besides Twitter and Facebook, YouTube and other platforms are in use.
Corporates are adding cricketers to the social media mix. Virender Sehwag wearing corrective prescription glasses attracted immense attention late February in Bangalore, during the Australia tour of India. Godrej Consumer Products used social media for its Cinthol brand.
The best case study is probably that of hashtag (#InViratsHead) which invited Indian cricket fans to answer what was going on in Virat’s head. Within three hours and without any media spends, the hashtag was trending worldwide. In just one day, the campaign generated 7,000 tweets and had 400+ followers in a five-hour time frame. The current reach: over 730,000. The campaign has reinstated the power of social media.
You can read the full article by Business Line here.