23 January 2020, Mumbai - Social Beat’s fourth edition of its Digital Leadership Summit was held in Mumbai, in which the top industry leaders across sectors came together to share their insights and experiences, as well as forecast digital marketing trends for the future. Last year’s Summit, which was conducted in Bangalore and Mumbai, was a huge success, focusing on innovations across video, vernacular trends, voice marketing, and Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. This year, one of the biggest talking points of the Summit was tapping into India’s next billion data users, how they will influence digital transformation across Bharat, and leading through disruption in various sectors.
The Summit focused on the prospect of the digital space this new decade, especially this current financial year. Sectors that are expected to see transformation were also discussed, including FMCG, retail, e-commerce, B2B, BFSI, real estate, and Internet businesses. Abhinav Jain, Co-Founder of Shop101 and Kaushik Mukhergee, Co-Founder and COO of SUGAR Cosmetics took up the first two sessions. They spoke about their individual brands, and how each of them introduced their products to consumers in the Tier II and Tier III cities - targeting to reach close to 400 million new Internet users. Abhinav also shared his insights on leveraging social relationships of sellers and democratizing commerce with a seamless product. He then spoke about creating micro-entrepreneurs in Bharat, driving 70% of transactions from outside top cities.
This was followed by a panel discussion on leading BFSI through disruption. This session included Ajit Narasimhan, CMO of Sundaram Mutual Funds, and MVS Murthy, Head of Marketing, Digital and Corporate Communications at Tata Mutual Funds. Moderating the panel, David Appasamy, Head of Brand and Strategy of Social Beat, said, “While the banking and financial service sector has been slow to adopt digital, many upcoming trends and new technologies are taking efficiency and outreach to new heights. Big data, AI, and voice are just a few major trends that are likely to make a huge impact on BFSI.”
The next series of talks were led by Ravi Saxena, CEO of Wonderchef, Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Weddingz.in and of OYO, and Arjun Choudhary, Chief Business Officer and Founding member of mfine. Mr Ravi spoke about how Wonderchef has built its brand name and become a digitally-led business in a competitive market, while Sandeep and Arjun spoke about the disruption of their business fields in India, and solving challenges using the right channel mix and building great community networks. Sandeep also shed light on how innovation can impact a digital user’s behaviour, and the influence innovation has which can potentially disrupt the wedding industry.
The event came to a close with a final panel discussion on innovation and trends for 2020, digital growth, and focus on digital strategy and performance by industries across their respective fields, moderated by Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat. He stated, “The last decade saw a quantum leap in the growing number of data users. This decade will now witness the digital medium open its doors to vernacular content and marketing to a brand new audience, radically changing the landscape of digital solutions. It will be exciting to see the impact unfold.” He was joined by Vinesh Gadhia, Senior Vice President of Lupin Ltd., and Juhi Singh, Digital Evangelist, Digital Transformation and Strategy Division of Marico.
The year 2019 has been a whirlwind in terms of growth in the digital space. The number of internet users has gone up to a number that was previously unprecedented - from 483 million users in the year 2018, India has now crossed half a billion internet users at a whopping 566 million. This means brands and companies have a whole new audience to market to and multiple innovative ways to do so!
Here are 7 digital marketing trends for 2020 that we expect will see the most traction:
While user growth has slowed down across most key markets, India has shown no such trend. This is a direct result of easy accessibility to mobile internet and cheaper smartphones with the advent of Jio. This has consequently led to the huge influx of new social apps in digital markets, like TikTok, Helo, Sharechat, Vigo, Bigo, Firework and some more in the pipeline.
The year 2020 will likely see a rise of even more such apps as these have proved to be a hit with new data users, having tapped into vernacular content and the interests of people in smaller towns. And since a large chunk of internet users from rural India - 251 million to be precise - have contributed to the growth in the total number of Indian internet users this year, 2020 can expect to see a higher demand for social apps that cater to this demographic.
It also doesn’t hurt that these media conglomerates have figured out a key factor in driving growth - offering social apps with access to entertainment like short-videos, gaming and live-streaming. 2019 has already seen these newer social apps climb the rankings on Google’s Android PlayStore, with TikTok ranking number one, and Helo at a close second. Facebook currently holds the third position, which may indicate that the dominance the Facebook family of apps has had may see a negative impact.
On that note, with so many first-time internet users, the rise of a lot of social platforms have seen their tremendous growth simply because they offer their content and services in vernacular. Language-driven services have had such an impact this year, that even Amazon and Flipkart are planning to get on this bandwagon soon to catch up with new age players like niki.ai, bulbul tv and Shop101. With a higher demand for vernacular content online, brands across segments will be forced to explore and deliver too if they want to see bigger growth. Storytelling is an impactful way to engage and connect with customers, and when done in a native tongue, the outcome is very personal and unique. This is evident in the thumbstopper format that Facebook offers, which intends to tell a story without sound, in order to capture the essence of a story and be able to tell it to speakers of any language.
Featured below are the thumbstopper videos we did in collaboration with Malabar Gold to promote their ‘Men in Platinum’ collection. The campaign dismantles stereotypical gender roles and highlights the fact that men are at their best when they are in their element. With an overall reach of 13 lakh views across Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, the brand’s Facebook page witnessed a 450% increase in user engagement proving that relatability is a language in itself.
Speaking about breaking language barriers, Swiggy recently ran a campaign titled #SwiggyStarhunt - a platform for delivery partners to showcase their talent by uploading videos on popular video-sharing app TikTok. These videos come under the categories of acting, dancing, singing and musical instruments. Since the campaign was targeted at delivery partners, we created a robust social media strategy in 11 languages to grab their attention and encourage them to participate in the event. The campaign resulted in an outpour of uploads onto the video-sharing app, with a whopping 44+ million organic views, reaching a pan-Indian audience and giving Swiggy the uplift it deserved. #SwiggyStarhunt is also a testament to the fact that leveraging new social media platforms like TikTok, along with the relatability of vernacular content, is a great way to connect with consumers.
4G has taken India’s markets by storm, and Indian service providers are eager to capitalize on this moment to drive user and customer engagement. Augmented Reality can be used in a multitude of ways, changing experiences across different sectors, be it retail, live events, museums, real estate, education or automobile.
Facebook introduced Spark AR this year for the general public, which allows users on Facebook and Instagram to create filters and upload them online. Other users can then save these and apply them to their stories. Facebook has been seeing a lot of success with the launch of this product and this will probably ‘spark’ AR trends even more. Google had already rolled out Google Lens which is an image recognition technology that uses the point and shoot feature to show fitting search results. These two giants have showcased the diversity in the use of AR and how successful it can be when implemented right, driven by function.
VR will also start to pick up more as we enter 2020, but since VR devices are still too expensive for the Indian market, it is unlikely that it will pick up at the same pace as AR will.
E-commerce is the way of the future, and with search interaction having increased, leading companies will find voice a profitable technology to drive sales and revenue. This has already been evidenced in the huge investment Amazon has put into Alexa and Google into Google Home and its Google Assistant. Businesses will see voice user interface as an innovative tool that enables faster, more efficient customer engagement as voice commands surround every sphere of life, driving purchases, payments and more. Voice ordering, already a popular phenomenon in the US, will start picking up in India as well. Brands are also tying up with new-age start-ups like niki.ai to engage with the next billion internet users. These AI powered start-ups build user experiences that are not just intuitive but also in a language that the customers in the Tier II and III cities are comfortable in, making it easy for them to place orders using voice commands.
Looking for a few tips on voice search marketing? Here’s our tell-all guide:
It’s quality over quantity, always. Which is why many brands are now wanting to capitalize on their first-party data, instead of opting for second and third-party data. First-party data allows for exact, valuable insights into a customer’s direct engagement with the brand, whether it’s their individual interests, which ads they engage with, or how much time they spend on the brand’s website. This information is unfiltered, specific, and relevant, which helps to build an audience profile that is an exact match with the product or service in question. It is also cost-effective, as it’s free, and is lawful and transparent. Nike is one such company which has already announced that they will be selling only directly going forward.
Artificial intelligence fits into this equation as it can prove to be extremely beneficial in sifting through these data sets, which for a team of actual people, can be daunting. AI could uncover insights that could have been missed otherwise, identify critical data and trends, and all at unmatched speed with extreme accuracy. Thus, AI and first-party data may hand-in-hand serve to drive more personalized communication soon.
Social media platforms have seen quite a few changes this year, which were a little surprising for everyone. At one end, there are platforms like TikTok and Sharechat, which incentivized influencers, and at the other end, Instagram rolled out an update that removed the like count. The Advertising Standards Council of India has also announced that they are framing new guidelines and rules in a bid to protect consumer interests, which will include influencer marketing under its purview. With the aim to curb forms of misleading information, the reach influencers have, the kind of information they put out, and the engagement brands have with influencers may all change in 2020.
It is commonly believed that as the world became increasingly digital over the years, physical stores began to see less engagement. But this doesn’t hold true for brands that rely heavily on location, like hotels, restaurants, and auto dealerships. For such brands, online to offline attribution is extremely relevant and useful, as this metric helps brands to trace and identify which online ads can be attributed to driving in-store foot traffic.
While Google Store Visits is already live and being used across brands, other platforms will also start leveraging location data, combined with first party and CRM data, to showcase what results digital is driving for retailers and offline stores. This can be a game changer for traditional brands that did not have digital as a key aspect of their marketing campaigns. The start of the next decade will likely see a lot of brands who are not yet using digital come online to use this tool to engage with customers better and drive sales insightfully.
Store visit ads were an integral part of our campaign with retailers like Malabar Gold, Khadims and Specsmakers. We leverage a mix of Google products using detailed demographic targetting as well as geo-fence the retail stores. The ads used online to offline attribution data to measure the increase in footfall to their stores. The below case study of Malabar Gold showcases how thousands of shoppers were targetted and tracked, for the recent Brides of India campaign.
All that being said, the trends predicted show a range of exciting opportunities to be used for growth. We at Social Beat are definitely eager to see what the start of the new decade has in store for the digital marketing sector and are excited to grow with it, scaling new heights.
This article was originally published in The Economic Times Brand Equity.
The ubiquitous term ‘marketing mix modelling’ has been around for decades and with good reason. This strategy allowed marketers to identify the best channels and marketing techniques to maximise product performance. But as the channels themselves change, new digital trends emerge and customers begin to evolve, how relevant is traditional marketing mix modelling? Do the factors for a brand’s success still solely rest upon product, price, place and promotion? And if so, how has each of these 4 P’s evolved in the digital age?
The concept of the 4 Ps was created at a time when data remained largely stable, technological advancements were slow and consumer habits were predictable. Today, in the age of digital disruption, each of these facets has undergone a wave of change. In this climate, traditional marketing mix models are simply not equipped to deliver a realistic marketing strategy and accurate channel-wise attribution.
This change is primarily because of the following features of the digital environment:
A typical consumer today is bombarded by more advertisements on more platforms than at any other time in history. They might be exposed to a brand while watching a video, while reading a blog, or while listening to music, to name just a few. Because of this, it can be close to impossible to evaluate the performance of each ad in isolation. Each instance of exposure has a cumulative effect on the buying decision of a consumer. Most marketing mix models are not equipped to handle a multi-touchpoint customer journey.
Traditional marketing models are built on data extending from over one year. Marketers generally analyse long-term patterns of data to reach a conclusion on future trends. The digital age, however, does not afford the luxury of long-term analysis. Technology, platforms and algorithms can change within a matter of a few months, throwing even the most carefully crafted marketing mix model into disarray.
In a traditional marketing plan, platforms and budgets would be decided upon based on a marketing mix model, the plan would be executed and the learnings would be dissected later on. Today, however, digital marketing empowers marketers to completely overhaul their budget allocation and platform-wise strategies at the click of a button. A modern marketing strategy isn’t truly over until budgets are exhausted. Marketing mix models need to be adaptable and scalable in order to be successful.
Today’s changing market is completely different from what it was in the 1960s, which was when the concept of a marketing mix model was first introduced. Naturally, as a result, the traditional understanding of the 4 P’s needs to evolve to adapt to our current reality.
Here’s how marketers can reimagine the 4 P’s and build digital-ready marketing mix models for a full-funnel marketing strategy.
Reduced manufacturing costs, less expensive advertising channels and the rise of a thriving startup culture have lowered many of the entry barriers for new companies. As a result, the market is more competitive than ever before, with numerous similar products vying for the same customer. In this scenario, a brand’s product cannot sell based on a utilitarian guarantee alone. Customers now want to purchase a product that sells them an experience. They want a product that they believe will help them reach their ideal self, aligns with their values and sells them a lifestyle. Brands who capture this essence will ultimately capture the market.
Previously, the concept of ‘Place’ in a marketing mix model referred to the selection of optimum distribution channels to reach a customer. These channels in the modern age, however, are not as clear cut as they once were. Customers divide their time between numerous platforms; watching videos, scrolling through social media, reading blogs or listening to podcasts. Additionally, they can also make a purchase decision at any time of the day and in any place, for instance, during their morning commute to work. The introduction of Whatsapp for Business has allowed brands to penetrate even further into a consumer’s routine. Because of this, the focus needs to shift from having a physical presence in an area where the target audience is present to simply being everywhere each member of the target audience is, virtual or otherwise.
On the whole, customers today are a more cynical lot than customers from previous periods. They seek information on product ingredients, are more discerning of what they consume and are more aware of marketing strategies. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that a consumer will believe your product’s USPs at face value. Brands need to eschew a hard focus on promotion alone and instead supplement it with efforts to build credibility. Two tools have become indispensable for brands looking to do so: influencer marketing and content marketing. Influencer marketing builds awareness of a product using ‘influencers’ whom consumers already trust while content marketing helps brands inform and educate customers and develop long-term relationships with them.
Price is no longer the key differentiator it once was. This change can be attributed to two reasons:
(i) Improvements in technology and efficiency have allowed average prices of consumer products to hit an all-time low. Today’s customers need to pay less for a product than at any other period. As a result, most products are similarly priced and a consumer’s final purchase decision will rarely depend upon the price alone.
(ii) With customers seeking experience over utilitarianism, many are willing to pay a higher price for perceived quality. For instance, an eco-friendly sustainable brand might be priced higher than similar products, but customers will be willing to pay the higher price for what they believe is greater value.
Ushering in the age of digital marketing might mean saying goodbye to traditional marketing models, but it opens up endless possibilities for marketers. The availability of granular details, real-time analytics and diverse platforms enables marketers to create more effective marketing strategies than ever before.
With rapid technological innovation, analyzing the impact of channels and strategies for a period longer than 6-12 months would be futile. Technology and ad formats from over a year ago might be irrelevant or non-existent today. Limit your analysis to just 6-12 months at the most - anything extending beyond that is ancient history. To ensure accuracy of the analysis despite the shorter time frame, you can use more granular details at multiple relevant geographic and demographic levels.
Most digital marketing strategies today are characterized by their hyper-local, hyper-personalized nature. Unlike nationwide TV campaigns of the past, digital strategies now revolve around delivering personalized communication to customers. For instance, marketers might choose to speak to newly married women working in an IT job in Bangalore to promote their women’s health product. With such a wealth of targeting options available, it becomes critical for marketers to evaluate campaigns at an equally granular level. This allows them to uncover patterns and identify key drivers to further improve campaign performance.
With traditional advertising, budgets are usually allocated platform-wise, for example, separate budgets for television, radio and print. A common misconception is that the same technique can be used for digital platforms, for example, creating a separate budget for YouTube, Facebook and Search. However, digital platforms cannot be as easily segregated because multiple ad formats can co-exist within a single platform. On YouTube, for instance, brands can choose between masthead ads, 6-second bumper videos, TrueView videos or In-Stream ads depending upon your marketing objective. Each ad format will thus require a separate budget allocation.
In the same way that budgets need to be segregated by format not platform, performance analysis also needs to be done format-wise. The wealth of ad formats that digital marketing offers requires marketers to do an in-depth analysis of the performance of each to uncover which format resonated the best with the target audience. This type of analysis is important because marketers might uncover that whereas one platform as a whole performed better than the others, a specific ad format on another platform out-performed other formats. This can help optimize future budgets and campaign strategies.
Our client, a leading real estate developer based in Chennai, approached us to help them reach a massive goal. For just 100 hours, their projects would be available at highly-discounted prices. Within this limited period, we had to maximize their reach, ad efficiency and results.
To achieve this ambitious goal within such a limited time period, we had to set up a flexible and adaptable digital marketing mix. We developed two strategies: one aimed at raising awareness among a consumer base who was not aware of the developer's luxury segment and one who were aware of the brand, but needed the final push to invest in a home.
As part of the marketing mix, we leveraged a number of platforms and formats, including YouTube bumper ads, promotions across social media channels, Gmail video ads and countdown ads on Google. To create a holistic approach, we also launched roadblock ads on traditional print media, including many of India's leading newspapers such as The Hindu and Times of India.
This highly-segmented strategy delivered phenomenal results. Within the 100-hour window, we were able to generate an incredible 6,152 leads. These results highlight the fact that an adaptable digital marketing mix is critical for brands looking to drive business results.
Watch the youtube bumper Ad below:
Marketing mix modelling has long been an indispensable part of marketing literature. Rather than do away with this tried-and-tested method completely, marketers should adapt each of the principles of traditional marketing models to the digital world.
Programmatic advertising is considered to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2019 and Google has predicted that 60% of its advertising budgets will be put towards programmatic by the end of this year. Although programmatic advertising has taken over a fair share of the digital advertising space, there is still a level of uncertainty among many marketers. The main reason for this is the lack of information when it comes to programmatic advertising and the reluctance in letting go of traditional advertising methods. So how can programmatic advertising help you take your customer reach to the next level?
Today, two important factors that play a crucial role in the success of a business is its marketing techniques and digital advertising tools. Earlier many companies were dependent on offline mediums of advertising, but in recent years digital advertising has become the primary means of marketing for many businesses. Programmatic advertising is taking centre stage when it comes to this type of marketing.
‘Programmatic’, as the name suggests, is the use of a program or software to buy digital space/inventories. Not only is this process more cost-effective but it is also incredibly efficient. There was a time when the process of advertising involved numerous sub-processes and human negotiations that resulted in a lot of delays. But with the use of artificial intelligence, programmatic advertising has made ad buying in the digital space easier than ever.
In its simplest form, programmatic advertising is an automatic bid on advertising inventory which happens in real time. This is known as real-time bidding. It gives the owner of the ads the freedom to create and optimise the adverts to their liking. However this type of programmatic advertising is just one type, there are other programmatic types that guarantee impressions from specific websites. This is referred to as programmatic direct.
When a person engages with a programmatic ad, the website publishing the ad bids for an impression in an auction of the ad in the marketplace. This auction is run among the different advertisers who want their ad to be displayed on the webpage. The brand with the highest bid wins.
Although this auction process may seem time-consuming in theory, the system is automated and the entire auction can happen in milliseconds that it takes for the web page to load. The bids of each of the competing advertisers is pre-programmed into the system. When the customer clicks on the ads, the advertiser will convert this into a sale.
To learn more about programmatic advertising check out our video on how can it help your brand scale your digital marketing efforts.
When it comes to programmatic advertising, there are many different ad formats that companies can use so that they can create the largest impact and scale using creatives.
Here are a few:
Many brands prefer native ads because they can be customised to meet the look and feel of the publisher’s page. This can result in better visibility and higher engagement with the ad. Native ads also allow you to reach the market quicker because a set bundle of assets are used to fill in the ad templates.
In today’s mobile-first world, it can be hard to grab the attention of the audience. Bumper ads a quick and efficient way to give the viewer snippets of your product or service while they are on the go. Insteam ads, on the other hand, can be skippable or non-skippable, based on the objective of the advertiser. These ads are optimised with the help of AL and ML for better traction. They also have the added advantage of tracking post-view floodlight activity conversions for a specified attribution window.
Lightbox ad comes under responsive ads which have the ability to fit to any ad space depending on the display screen. Lightbox ads typically contain galleries with images and videos that enable the customer to effectively engage with the ad. Moreover, lightbox ads streamlines the ad engagement which can be done by clicking or tapping on the ad that is displayed. This way it prevents any accidental engagement.
The app install platform helps you to create an ad that helps in increasing the number of app downloads. You can promote your app by creating an interstitial ad containing images or youtube videos, catchy title and suitable description. App Install ads are designed to create awareness about the app and also allows users to directly install the app by engaging with the ad.
Parallax ads helps you create a distinctive and creative ad display. By utilising the parallax animation effect, you can display different images in layers with description. Users can view the entire ad only if they scroll down screen. Unlike other types of ad, the engagement is measured with the number of users scrolling down for complete information, even if they do not click on the ad.
Audio ads helps in brand awareness for reaching to a wider audience thereby increasing the number of leads. With the availability of different platforms like spotify, Apple music, google play and many more, leveraging audio ads will be a potential ad strategy to improve brand reach.
Flipbbok is a unique way to grab the attention of users with a short video on the mobile screen. This video is as short as five seconds and if the user is interested to learn more about the video, they can tap on the clipping to view the entire video. The video clipping plays while the user is scrolling down and and while scrolling up the video plays in reverse. Similar to parallax ads, the engagement rate is measured by number of users scrolling, even though they do not click on the ad.
Many consider Programmatic advertising to be the future of digital advertising. A report by Magna global stated that by the end of 2019, 50% of all advertising will be Programmatic.
So how can your business do Programmatic advertising? Like traditional advertising, there are many factors that a business needs to consider before they implement this. They include:
Once you know how and where you are going to implement the programmatic ads, the next step is to set goals. You need to know what you expect to get out of programmatic advertising such as the conversion rate or the click rate and set goals accordingly.
As with any medium of advertising, the first step is to study the market. Programmatic ads appear on webpages, apps and audio-video content, to name a few. So, you need to know what type of web pages your customers are visiting as well as what competitors in the same space are doing. This will give you a better understanding of what webpages to target based on the audience personas identified.
Programmatic advertising is a great way to put your brand name out there, hence, it is crucial that your ad appears in the right places to the right audience. It is a good idea to take up a full-funnel approach and target the audience based on the consumer's journey. Pick out the information that brings out the essence of the brand in the ad.
DV360 provides comprehensive targeting options in order to fulfill the campaign objectives. Advertisers have the option of choosing Google-provided audiences for no extra cost, along with first-party audiences or purchase third-party audience, based on the campaign goals.
With the help of data available on the market, the brand needs to gather behavioural insights to run a successful programmatic campaign. There are three types of data that come into play when thinking about programmatic advertising. The first would be the data collected by the marketer on the customers. The second would be the data gathered by an advertising agency who would use the information to help the brand build its programmatic advertising strategy. The third type of data, also known as third-party data are reports that can be purchased by any company online.
Brands need to pay close attention to the data they collect as it can give them valuable insights into customer patterns and behaviour. Programmatic advertising can then be targeted based on scale and accuracy. If the target audience is small, the accuracy can be intensified on a small scale or vice versa if the target audience is large.
When it comes to retargeting existing customers, it is important to use programmatic advertising to give them a story behind the brand rather than information about the product or service as you would with a new customer. But don’t focus solely on retargeting, your programmatic advertising campaign needs to be optimised from start to finish to keep the customer engaged at all times.
There are many challenges for online advertising and programmatic is no exception to these challenges. Although programmatic advertising is slowly gaining traction, the concept is still in its nascent stage. This is mainly because of lack of information about the concept, where and how to use the technique.
The next big challenge is , having invested money in ads, it is a natural expectation for brands to reap maximum benefits. But what if your ads are viewed by bots and not real audience? This is called as the AdFraud where your investment on advertisements yields no results. Here is where research and knowledge plays a key role in displaying your ads to the relevant audience. You should make sure that your ads are displayed on reputed and trusted websites, for which you should be sure of the website.
Brand safety plays a prime role in securing your ads on the webpages. Here are some brand safety methods that you can incorporate for your programmatic advertising.
One of the key concerns for many marketers today is brand safety. In recent years many brands have become more vigilant about safety measures which were spurred by the many ads being placed next to political and violent content that often took the focus away from the brand’s message.
Here are a few important tips advertisers can use to ensure that their programmatic ad buys to protect the brand name.
It is recommended that advertisers leverage their relationships with publishers and run ads in the private marketplace (PMP). This is an effective way to purchase programmatic ads because you know exactly who you are purchasing the ads from and where the ads will be placed.
It is crucial for advertisers to escape the vicious cycle of posting their ads in fraudulent and irrelevant websites. Your advertisement should protect the brand’s reputation by making sure you place your ads on premium and trusted web pages. Using brand safety you set a platform for the right audience to engage with your ad.
In contrast to blacklisting certain websites, you can also whitelist them. This is a list of sites that are safe to run your ads on. This may seem like a time-consuming task but there are many exchanges that require websites to complete an intense inventory approval process.
Not only do you focus on targeting relevant audience, you should also be aware of your negative targets. Under brand safety tools, you can exclude certain web pages from showing your ad, considering the site to be unsafe for your ad to be displayed.
Advertisers can use the services of third-party vendors to prevent ad fraud. This feature is present under the "brand safety" tab where you can choose between leading providers like Integral Ad Science, Double Verify and Adloox to prevent your ad from being showing to fraudulent websites while saving up on advertising dollars.
Programmatic advertising is definitely on the rise in India in 2019 largely because of the efficiency it provides. Traditional ad campaigns require a lot of iterations and can either be a hit or miss. But with programmatic ad campaigns, brands don’t need to worry about their ad expenditures. The program ensures that money is spent in the best possible way. All you need to do is enter the required information into the software and you are all set.
Programmatic advertising uses customer’s data and company goals to create and set ads to effectively target the customer base. This type of ad buying frees up more time from brands and agencies that they can use to think more creatively about the customer and how programmatic advertising can be leveraged to engage with India’s next billion Internet users.
Social Beat recently concluded the Digital Leadership Summit for 2019 held at Bangalore. The event was a grand success. With industry leaders sharing their insights. Mr. Atin Chhabra - General Manager, Marketing at Schneider Electric shed light on the digital transformation of B2B Customer Experience for large and diverse organizations like Schneider Electric. Here are some of the highlights of the session.
Gone are the days when companies introduced a product in the market and it had to be accepted by the consumers. Times have changed, today there are more platforms for consumers, more architectures to experiment on and more connected products. This gives rise to a demand-side play, consumers these days do not demand more products or services but a more engaging customer experience.
Mr. Atin speaks about how it wasn’t long ago when the competition was determined on the basis of products or services. Another company selling similar products or services they were considered as competition. However, that isn’t the case anymore. For a company like Schneider which deals with energy, management, and automation, the competitor for Schneider would be Amazon. This is solely because of the customer experience offered by companies like Amazon. The thin line between who competitors are and who offers a better experience is diminishing.
Traditionally competitive advantage was factored in on the basis of 2 key points which are:
However, gone are the days when competitive advantage meant low cost and differentiation. Today there are a number of companies that offer both lower costs while also being highly differentiated. One of the most important takeaways from this differentiated competitive advantage is the scale of operations and the experience they have within the specific domain. This indeed is competitive for any traditional company.
To adapt to this companies may look at case studies on big internet giants like Google, Uber, and Amazon, but this constitutes only 6% of the total companies in the world. Other than these big companies that make the 6% while the rest of the 94% of companies which have existed for more than a century or two. What is it that these traditional companies that make up the 94% have done? How do they compete with the big names? According to the statistics, these traditional companies who have implemented digital transformation strategies have seen a 9% increase in revenue. They have seen a whopping 26% increase in profitability. Not only does the digital transformation for companies help in money making but also helps in saving costs. These companies are known as digital masters.
Digital Masters look at digital transformation on two dimensions:
Digital Capabilities today are spread across 3 different functions.
According to public data, close to 70 percent of digital transformation investments go to digital customer experience. This is because over the course of time customers have also changed, this change is not limited to B2C but also B2B customers.
The change is such that 57 percent of the B2B customers have decided what to purchase even before contacting the vendor. Almost 55 percent are looking for B2B products on social media platforms other than LinkedIn. The most astonishing fact is that 86 percent is willing to pay 16 percent more price for an amazing experience. While a good digital experience is important for the digital footprint, it is important to have content to offer a good experience.
DCX or Digital Customer Experience is becoming the forefront to interact, engage and transact with customers. It is very important to get the basics of user experience correct.
Here are the four pillars for creating a digital customer experience function or strategy.
These four pillars need to be kept in mind while creating a digital customer experience strategy. As each pillar looks into important aspects of a digital customer experience this ensures the strategy covers these aspects.
Here are 4 pillars looked upon for the digital transformation agenda at Schneider:
Digital Marketing was considered to be the future of marketing until a few years ago but of late it has all boiled down to digital customer experience. This digital customer experience works across the entire company. It is important to increase the competence of the people, while hiring is possible, the most effective way is by upskilling and strong digital community program. The top-down approach helps in building a stronger digital community within an organization rather than hiring a small group.
Over the last two years, LinkedIn has become a go-to advertising platform, especially for the B2B segments. With new features such as lead ads and matched audience, advertisers have been able to reach a qualified target audience at a competitive cost per leads. In an effort to constantly improve the ad platform, LinkedIn has recently updated its ad targeting options, providing three new features – Lookalike Audiences, Interest Targeting and Audience Templates. These new options afford marketers the chance to scale their marketing efforts and improve ROI. Let’s take a closer look at these features.
Lookalike Audiences is a feature already used by Facebook. This powerful tool helps you target and reach audiences who are similar to your ideal consumer. LinkedIn’s new tool combines traits of your ideal consumer with their company and member data to help you reach newer audiences that are similar to your existing customers, website visitors and target accounts.
Here are the benefits of Lookalike Audiences:
Extend the reach of your ad campaigns to many more qualified prospective leads. Lookalike Audiences can help improve your campaign reach by 5-10x, while still reaching only high-quality audiences that matter to your brand.
B2B marketers can use this tool to target their ads to companies they may not have considered before. These new companies will match a similar company profile to their ideal customer. Here’s more on how small businesses can leverage LinkedIn to generate leads.
LinkedIn introduced its Interest Targeting feature in January of this year. This tool gives marketers the advantage of reaching LinkedIn users with relevant ads that match their professional interests. LinkedIn has further expanded its marketing capabilities by partnering with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. This adds an additional level of interest targeting whereby you can now reach users via the topics or content they search for and consume. All this is done in a way that completely respects members’ privacy.
Audience Templates are a boon for marketers who are new to advertising on LinkedIn or for existing marketers looking to reach newer audiences. With this new feature, you can choose from 20 predefined B2B audience templates that include characteristics like job titles, skills, groups and so on. With just a single click, you can create a set model to target specific audiences, without wasting too much time at set up.
Lookalike Audiences, Interest Targeting with Bing and Audience Templates are now available to all LinkedIn advertisers. Leveraging these three new features will help B2B brands bolster and scale their ad campaigns to reach a more extensive number of highly-qualified leads via digital. You can also read our blog on LinkedIn Showcase Pages and why you must use them for more information on LinkedIn’s marketing tools.
2019 marks the 11th year since YouTube’s entry into the Indian market. To help marketers and creators understand the massive impact YouTube has made in India and its importance in the digital ecosystem today, Youtube hosted the 2019 Brandcast in India.
YouTube currently has over 265M users in the country and this number is expected to reach 500M by 2020. This incredible number is in relation to the increase in the total number of internet users in India that has grown from 15M just five years ago to 100s of millions of users today. Its ability to provide a personalised media experience and offer content in various languages has made YouTube one of India’s most-used platforms.
Over the last 11 years, YouTube has become a platform for storytellers and creators to share content in different languages and reach an engaged audience in rural areas and big cities alike. It has become a success story for numerous YouTubers like ‘Mostly Sane’ who uses YouTube to discuss social issues such as mental health (the channel is currently at 3M subscribers) and more recently Priyanka Chopra, who chose YouTube to extend her audience reach with hew new show ‘If I could do just one thing’.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, says it is the preferred social platform for creators and businesses alike due to its ability to reach out to a large audience pool in a personalised way. When Pepsi ran an ad campaign on YouTube, it saw a 14% increase in sales and 3.3x return in ad spend. Alternatively, Hyundai’s ad campaign had a massive audience reach of 221M. The ability to scale and impact on YouTube can result in business leading results. Currently, vernacular content is taking centre stage and has helped increase engagement across all channels.
Mark Patterson of Group M discussed the video revolution in India and how it has changed the way brands communicate with their customers. Group M is a media advertising company that has had a presence in Asia for more than 2 decades and is responsible for 1 in 2 ads in India.
Mark highlighted the evolution of the media landscape and how mobile video has become a secret weapon for many marketers. One of the main reasons for this is the change in the way users consume content and seek entertainment. They look for three things: convenience, customisation and choice. Statistics show that 60-70% of people in India consume content on mobile video every day.
The digital spends in India remain comparatively low when compared to China where 64% of ad spends is digital while this is only at 18% in India. However, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world at a 14% GDP and digital ad spends is expected to catch up soon.
Mark Patterson also discussed the three main themes on the why and how of digital advertising in India and how YouTube affects these themes.
1. Driving results across through the funnel
YouTube has allowed marketers to have a mass reach and gain more awareness of their brand with tools such as YouTube Masthead.
2. Unlocking creativity
YouTube allows for personalised messaging that has helped deliver performance. This has resulted in a 20% uplift inconsideration, a 31% increase in awareness and a 900% increase in search queries.
3. Cross channel planning
While this is still a fairly new concept for most media agencies. Group M has taken a step in this direction by integrating YouTube reach data with Group M planning tools. This has helped them optimise maximum reach across multiple devices.
It is no secret that Youtube has become the secret weapon for many marketers to reach their target audience. To take advantage of the immense reach that Youtube offers, Social Beat collaborated with our client Sundaram Mutual to create a masthead ad to promote their new fund. This campaign generated incredible results, proving the effectiveness of Youtube as a medium to reach out to the target market.
Sundaram was launching an open-ended equity scheme and wanted to create awareness around their product within a short period of time. Digital marketing has been proven to provide finance companies with the reach they require so Youtube was the obvious choice when it came to achieving the objective.
Mastheads are usually charged on a daily basis so we used the 24 hour period we had as effectively as we could. To enable maximum viewership we ran the campaign over the weekend. For the entirety of the day any individual that accessed Youtube through their desktop, tablet or mobile device saw the masthead ad at the top of their pages. This helped us increase our subscriber base and drive traffic to the website.
The 20-second Sundaram masthead achieved phenomenal results. Sundaram’s subscriber base grew from 356 to an outstanding 56,000! It has increased since then and is currently standing at 57,000 and growing every day. The video also generated 14 million views in a span of 24 hours.
To achieve these incredible results, we adopted a digital-first marketing strategy to reach the target audience. We were also able to track and measure our results to scale the brand to new heights.
You can read more about our Youtube ad campaign with Sundaram Mutual here.
Ben Jones, Creative Director at Google says that 30% of ROI is driven by media elements and targeting data. The other 70% comes from creative. There are three elements that affect ROI in digital:
Many people assume that with all the content out there, the consumer’s attention span is decreasing but this is not true because people today prefer long-form content to short-form content. What has changed is how quickly consumers reject and accept the content they consume. The content needs to be longer, richer, deeper and grab the attention of the viewer faster.
Another way a brand can improve ROI is by understanding the customers better with more personalised messaging. They should change content according to the target audience and in a way that will allow the brand to relate to the customer better. Statistics show that customisation of the ads specific to the target market can result in a 10% lift in ad recall.
Research has shown that In India 60-70% of content is consumed via the mobile device. Therefore, when creating content, brands need to keep in mind that the shots framed and the stories told are optimised for the mobile user. It is important for agencies to rethink their digital content strategies this way so they are able to get the brand message to the target audience better.
To help agencies adopt the above strategies in their content plan, a new Rethink Council has been created to identify how brands can rethink their marketing and targeting to measure and maximise creativity to connect to the customer.
YouTube Brandcast India 2019 ended with an insightful discussion with world-renowned director Zoya Akhtar. She highlighted the importance of the role YouTube played in her recent film ‘Gully Boy’ and how she was able to discover and do in-depth research for the movie through YouTube. YouTube also played a huge role in promoting the supporting content for the movie such as trailers and interviews.
YouTube has played a crucial role in the evolution of digital media in India and YouTube Brandcast 2019 highlighted the importance of the digital platform and how it has changed the way people consume content in India.
There are currently around 225 million active Indian users on YouTube, with this number expected to increase to 500 million by 2020. Interestingly, this platform’s popularity spans across age groups, languages and regions. 60 percent of videos are watched by audiences outside the top 6 cities in India. Brands are also increasingly switching to YouTube ads from traditional media
SEO in 2019 and beyond requires us to rethink our very concept of search engines in order to rank for them. Google might be the undisputed king in this realm, but YouTube closely follows as the second largest search engine in the world. To grow your organic traffic, marketers cannot afford to ignore YouTube SEO.
Our comprehensive YouTube SEO guide covers eight helpful YouTube SEO tips that you can start implementing immediately!
A good digital marketing strategy is one that empowers your brand, but a great digital marketing strategy is one that empowers your consumer. This saying is particularly true if you belong to the jewellery industry – where the customer is queen! Today, digital marketing for jewellery brands is no longer an option – it is a necessity to drive store visits, increase brand awareness and elevate the image of your brand. Read on for fool-proof digital marketing tips to mark your territory in the online space.
Building a household brand name is every marketer’s prime objective and the first step to that is by creating a strong online presence. Jewellery brands need to focus on the following digital marketing techniques that double up as a powerful foundation for future digital strategies:
Whether you have an online store or a showroom, a great website is key to attract more customers and significantly increase your revenue. Opt for a crisp and clean design that helps tell your brand story. Apart from being aesthetically appealing, great design also provides unmatched user experience, creating a seamless transition from an inquisitive lead to a loyal consumer. However, a remarkable design needs to be backed up with great content that keeps your audience engaged. You also need multiple web pages on the homepage that provide in-depth information about your brand and landing pages that behave as e-commerce portals that highlight a particular line of products.
Featured below is the landing page design incorporated for Gehna – an online boutique that specializes in authentic hand-crafted jewellery. The page has a clean layout and enticing images for a pleasant user experience. As you can see, the product is described in a clear-cut manner with no distractions and a relevant CTA.
In today’s digital age, almost every process – right from buying a bracelet that matches your attire to deciding which type of jewellery should be worn for various occasions – begins with a simple Google search. Ensure your brand appears on the first page of the World’s most-used search engine by creating an ultimate SEO checklist accompanied by various link-building techniques and SEO plugins for WordPress. A detailed keyword research and competitor analysis to know what your target audience is searching for is a good way to understand what type of content works.
The one thing that the Internet is known for is tons of valuable information that helps you make an informed decision – and blogging is one of the most effective digital marketing techniques to deliver that. Websites that feature a blog page have 434% more indexed pages on Google which means they are recognised and ranked easily, increasing the probability of appearing on the first page. Jewellery brands need to leverage the reach of informative blogs and go the extra mile with creative infographics, embedded videos and intriguing images that keep viewers hooked. The blogs can cover all aspects of buying jewellery – from tips to keep in mind while choosing a diamond to bridal jewellery looks for the contemporary bride.
Everyone who is anyone is on social media! Reach the very palm of your target audience with a strong social media presence that draws them towards your brand. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest are great digital marketing platforms to increase the exposure of your jewellery brand. Opt for innovative social media campaigns to create awareness about your brand, promote your products and engage with your followers.
Featured below is a Valentine’s Day campaign we ran for Malabar Gold and Diamonds. We created a series of grid posts on Instagram that utilise the entire screen space on the feed. This drove a lot of engagement on the page that led to a whopping 1500 new followers!
Videos are a great way to tell a million stories in each frame. Connect with your audience and push them further down the marketing funnel with compelling videos that convert. Begin by creating a YouTube channel and attract subscribers through optimised videos that show up on the user’s feed based on the keywords entered. Digital marketing for jewellery brands through videos comes with a lot of creative freedom due to the luxurious and fun aspect of the product. Keeping your target audience in mind, you can create thought-provoking snippets through video campaigns that are guaranteed to draw in more subscribers and build your brand image online.
Nothing is more powerful than an influential source suggesting your brand to a potential consumer. Leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing through social influencers who have a strong following. Keeping the creative space of the jewellery sector in mind, marketers have a huge potential to tap through bloggers and lifestyle influencers. You can also collaborate with influencer marketing platforms, like influencer.in, to hand-pick influencers who resonate with your brand and reach your target audience in a seamless and hassle-free manner.
Featured below is an influencer marketing campaign implemented by leading online designer jewellery brand Voylla. The brand collaborated with top beauty and fashion influencers including Jhanvi Bhatt, Mrinali Das and Anusha, to name a few. Each influencer shared posts on Instagram wearing exquisite pieces of jewellery from Voylla and connected with their followers in the language and tone that reflected the image of the brand. The campaign greatly contributed to increasing the reach and visibility of Voylla with higher conversions.
Digital marketing for jewellery brands does not necessarily cater to online stores alone! You can drive visits to your brick-and-mortar store by posting your store on Google My Business Listings. Not only will your store show up on a Google Search and drive traffic to your website, but users can also get directions to your showroom and read reviews to get a genuine understanding of your business. As per a MOZ report on factors that help a page rank, GMB listings contribute to 14.7% of the overall influential factors, making it a vital aspect in digital marketing for jewellery brands. Read our blog on the 13 ways to leverage local SEO and Google Maps for your business for more insights.
Since most numbers of searches today are local in nature, an informative GMB listing, like the one featured below for Gehna, will drive more store visits and higher revenue. As you can see, the GMB listing showcases the address, working hours, contact details, directions to the store and images to make it more convenient than ever for consumers to pay a visit. They can also visit the website directly and place an order!
Digital ads play a huge role in helping you reach your target audience and drive more business for your brand. From Facebook ads and Google ads to newer formats like YouTube and Instagram, you can choose your marketing platform based on your objective and the type of audience you are planning to target. Furthermore, if you are selling your product on Amazon, you can also run ads on Amazon and drive more relevant traffic to your e-commerce store. You can also opt for shopping ads that ensure 8 to 10X return on ad spends. Shopping ads run on a combination of optimisation, monitoring and bidding, with a keen focus on increasing average order values.
We ran shopping ads for Voylla – a contemporary jewellery brand with an e-commerce website. We used optimized images, titles and product descriptions that help the ad show up as a Google Search ad. As you can see in the image below, a simple Google search for “gold plated men's ring” shows up a series of shopping ads, out of which the Voylla ad is placed as per the position it was bid for.
When it comes to digital marketing for jewellery brands, it is safe to say that the world is your oyster due to the wide range of creative campaigns and ads you can incorporate in your strategies. You can also read our detailed blog on digital marketing for real estate, finance industry, insurance companies and FMCG giants. It is time to leverage the power of going digital and grow your business!
It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing is constantly in a state of flux. What works today might be completely obsolete tomorrow. If your brand is still continuing to use the same techniques in 2019 as you did in the previous year, expect to see declining results. To ensure your brands stay on top of its digital marketing game this year, here are nine of the most important trends to stay ahead of.
The online space in India is set to get even more colourful and diverse. As even larger numbers of users get access to low-cost internet and affordable mobile phones, there will be a greater demand for internet content in the languages they understand best. To cater to this growing internet audience, brands need to push vernacular to the front and centre of their digital marketing strategy. Right from their websites, to their apps, social media campaigns, performance advertising and even social media listening, Indic languages should be the focus.
Speaking to regional audiences involves more than just taking a brand’s main communication and translating it into various languages. Instead, it requires them to develop communications aimed specifically at these audiences, keeping their unique needs, challenges and desires at the core. Only by doing this can they create that all-important personal connection with consumers. 22 Languages, one of the top vernacular startups, is designed specifically to help brands reach out to a larger audience in vernacular languages.
Read our case study on How Multilingual Ads Helped Generate Higher-Quality Leads With Lower CPL to learn how vernacular techniques can produce unprecedented results for your brand.
The seeds of voice search were sowed back in 2018, but it is in 2019 that this trend will fully come into its own. Today, it isn’t just mobile that’s driving voice search, but the proliferation of smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice Assistant. The push for voice search will also be coming from the other end of the spectrum, from users who are just starting to use the internet or who might not even know how to type. But regardless of who the audience for voice search is, one thing is certain: SEO as we know it will have to change. Traditional keyword research will become obsolete since user queries will be completely different when using voice search. Voice also means that position zero, the ‘featured snippet’ will become even more coveted. 99% of voice search results draw from the featured snippet, so content creators will have to focus even harder on optimising their content for Google to pick it up.
Be sure to watch our detailed video on a complete guide to Voice Search Marketing for more tips and insights.
While videos have been around for decades, they have only recently started exploding on digital platforms and social media. In 2019, if your brand doesn’t have a strong repertoire of engaging, high-quality videos, you could be missing out on a sizeable audience. YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, can become even more essential in 2019. Through techniques like YouTube SEO, brands can ensure that their content is visible to relevant audiences. For tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
But the importance of videos extends beyond just YouTube. Videos on landing pages and in emails have been shown to improve performance and conversions. Facebook is also witnessing a growing popularity of videos. In one survey, around 44% of respondents admitted to watching at least 5 videos every day on the platform.
As videos gain momentum, multiple video formats are also being developed and explored. Interactive videos are emerging as a popular option due to the higher user engagement they deliver. In these videos, users are required to take some form of action which can influence the video. This could be either in terms of the content displayed or the storyline that the video takes. Apart from interactive content, live videos are also creating a stir. Currently, they are available on Instagram and Facebook, while YouTube is also starting to introduce it. Live videos are a great way for brands to showcase ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage and develop a more personal connect with their audience.
Chatbots have been slowly making an entry from 2017, however, chatbots in 2019 will be more intelligent than ever before. Most chatbots currently have a limited script, usually offering a fixed set of options that users can choose from. Once the query is narrowed down, users are often transferred to a human representative to resolve it. With the advent of AI, however, chatbots are likely to completely replace the human aspect previous involved. They are programmed to be smarter, respond to a wide number of queries in a meaningful way and resolve issues without requiring any human intervention. In fact, through AI, chatbots are likely to be able to keep up a long conversation with users without coders having to input a long script beforehand. As the technology matures, you can expect chatbots to become even more ubiquitous as brands capitalise on their low cost and higher efficiency.
AI isn’t just for smarter chatbots; it is also becoming the most accurate way for brands to identify their core audience and develop core messaging for them. Through a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence, predictive customer analytics can eliminate much of the guesswork involved with digital marketing.
One way they do this is by assigning a ‘lead score’ to leads generated. AI can analyse large volumes of leads at a time, identify common patterns, group them into various buckets based on their behaviour and help you create hyper-personalised content for them. Since personalisation is key to nurturing leads, AI can almost certainly lead to higher conversions for marketers. AI can also identify similarities in current consumers and generate custom targeting options that marketers can utilise to ensure more accurate delivery of ads. This will help improve the quality of leads generated via digital.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was a crucial mobile ranking factor for websites in 2018. In 2019, the importance of AMP will not be limited to mobiles alone. Google recently made AMP available for desktops versions of websites as well. With this feature, users will be able to enjoy the same speed and easy navigation that AMP offers even while browsing on their desktop.
With the introduction of this feature, it’s time for brands to re-look at their website and how user-friendly it is. By making their websites (or at least critical, content-heavy sections like blogs) AMP-friendly, brands might be able to enjoy greater visibility on search engines. Since AMP pages are also easier for users to navigate through, an improved UX can encourage them to spend more time on the website and learn more information about the brand.
In 2019, almost 65% of all digital media buying will be programmatic. Programmatic is without a doubt the most cost-effective, efficient way for advertisers to purchase digital ad space. Unlike previous methods which required human intervention and manual bids, programmatic algorithms can determine the best media mix and automatically purchase it. This technology enables marketers to reach a scale previously unthought of. They can target larger audiences over a wider variety of channels with absolutely no time or effort lost. Since it can optimise in real-time, markets can do a lot more with their budgets and reduce their cost-per-leads.
With every new SERP feature that Google introduced, organic traffic takes a hit. Click-through-rates have been steadily dropping and 2019 will be a continuation of this trend. Answer boxes, for instance, answers a user’s query without them having to actually click on a link. So while your page might show up on a featured snippet, you might not notice a significant rise in organic traffic to that page.
So does this mean the sun has set on the SEO empire? Fortunately, no. This just means that marketers will need to re-align their SEO strategy. For example, they will need to start focusing more on creating brand awareness and driving up brand searches. When users start searching for your company’s name, Google cannot prevent users from clicking on your website. It also means tailoring your content specifically for higher click-through rates. You need to give users enough information that Google picks it up and displays it, but not enough for their curiosity to be satisfied. If users are only getting half an answer from your snippet, they are more likely to click on your page to get the full information.
Previously, organic reach on Facebook had taken a hit, with pages showing close to zero reach without paid promotions. In 2019, all signs are pointing towards Instagram going down the same route. As Instagram grows in popularity and adds new users every minute, it predictably wants brands to start paying for higher reach. If your company page doesn’t have adequate promotional budgets, then it’s time to scale up this year. But while showcasing your brand on Instagram might become more expensive, it’s still completely worth it. India currently has around 71 million active users and this number is only set to grow from here. Clearly, brands cannot afford to neglect this audience, paid or otherwise.
2019 is proving to be an exciting year for brands, giving them opportunities to experiment with new ad formats and strategies. By taking advantage of these upcoming trends, brands can gain a strong lead over their competition.
This article was originally published in Campaign India.
If you're looking for more information into digital marketing trends that will shape India in 2019, do check out our co-founder Vikas' in-depth video below.
A while ago, we shared the worlds’ best digital marketing blogs which covered a comprehensive range of the kind of content that is being created and shared worldwide. And then we got to wondering, how well-versed in the Indian market with the digital era?
An increasing number of Indian brands are going digital and the key is to keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends and digital discoveries and use them to the best of your capabilities to expand your business. After all, digital media is all about growing. So, after a lot of backbreaking research, we got down to rounding up some of the best digital marketing blogs in India which could help you guide your way forward in the social media and digital space. You may also find it interesting to read our book on digital marketing insights or subscribe to our YouTube Channel. If you think we missed some amazing blogs, please do comment below and let us know.
Founded by Aditya Gupta and Ankit Gaba, Social Samosa is the provenance of high-toned content which encompasses of agency highlights, in-depth case studies, interviews with prominent icons in the digital world, campaign reviews along with tips and tools that could help you grow profoundly in the social media expanse. The idea is to help businesses understand the world of social media locally and globally.
Deepak Kanakaraju is a leading marketing consultant from Bangalore. Prior to being a consultant, he worked as a digital marketing manager for leading brands such as Instamojo, Exotel, Practo and Razorpay. He is also a published author and his book “How to get your dream digital marketing job” is a handy guide for aspiring digital marketing professionals. His blog Digital Deepak covers a wide range of topics ranging from digital marketing tips to entrepreneurship.
Digital Ready is a leading digital marketing training centre based out of Hyderabad. Their blog is a comprehensive guide for young professionals to understand A-Z of digital marketing. From latest updates and best practices to tips and tricks, Digital Ready covers everything in the world of digital marketing. They also offer digital marketing certifications and placement solutions for students.
Like Campaign Asia, the blogs at Campaign India cover the trending topics in digital media and they act like a solo powerhouse of information that is adequate for online marketers. The content found on this platform is mostly news and opinions from the digital world.
Focused mainly towards digital marketers and CMOs who are looking to create a footprint in the world of digital marketing, Social Beat blogs cater to a variety of industries. The content in the blogs aims at helping businesses understand how different strategies can help them grow their business online. The blogs are enriched with quality insights and goal-oriented strategies to help brands get best ROI from their digital marketing efforts. You may also find it interesting to read our book on digital marketing insights or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
From the latest news to the top digital media trends, Lighthouse Insights provides everything. Timely interviews with eminent personalities from the creative world are also covered in their content hemisphere. These articles are something to look forward to for people who love nibbling on digi facts and understandings.
Sorav Jain is yet another digital marketing expert in India. His blog is a great platform to understand the latest tips and tricks for social media marketing. Apart from being a leading digital marketing consultant, he is also an author and a trainer. 101 content marketing tips on social media and Social Media for Business are the two books authored by him. Another striking highlight of Sorav’s blog is # DigitaltalkswithSorav where he interviews various industrial experts.
The blogs of Shout Me Loud offer tips on WordPress, SEO, money blogging and affiliate marketing. Shout Me Loud also covers exclusive high quality content for beginners on how to make a career out of blogging. It is one of the award winning blogs that gives useful tips on how to become an entrepreneur with the help of blogging. Shout Me loud is owned by Harsh Agrawal, a blogging expert from New Delhi. Today, Shout Me Loud has attracted about 900,000 readers across the world.
Digital Vidya is one of the leading platforms that offers digital marketing courses in India. Their blog section covers all things digital and has detailed step by step guides on each digital platform. Additionally, Digital Vidya blog also has case studies on various industries, which helps brands and marketers alike.
Influencer.in is one of India's leading influencer marketing platforms, connecting brands with bloggers and Influencers. The blog provides excellent insights influencer marketing and tips for bloggers. It is the best resource to stay up to date with Influencer marketing news and tactics for a successful campaign.
The Over-the-top (OTT) content is the next big thing in video content according to the report ‘Entertainment Goes Online’ published by the Boston Consulting Group. OTT is video content consumed over the internet as opposed to traditional media. The report states that the OTT market is estimated to become a $5 billion market by 2023. This shift in the market is a result of various elements such as the rising affluence in the country, an increase in the infiltration of data and smartphones into rural areas and the adoption of this data across numerous demographics in the market including older generations and women. In recent years, the OTT space in India has become incredibly competitive and is attracting various players with different business models such as Netflix and Amazon.
The study Entertainment Goes Online is a consumer survey report that aims to understand the reasons why consumers prefer OTT content over traditional forms of media. The results of the survey show that there is a demand for different forms of OTT like SVOD (subscription-based platforms), AVOD (advertising-based platforms) and TVOD (transaction-based platforms) where these models can not just co-exist but thrive as well. There are many reasons why OTT content has become so popular in India:
Thanks to the introduction of Reliance Jio, data has become more affordable and accessible to people all over India. Research has shown that after the introduction of Jio, the quarterly consumption of data has increased by tenfold with the growth driven primarily by the consumption of data on a mobile device. On-the-go data consumption is more efficient and the Reliance Jio has made this accessible for all thereby creating a large market for OTT consumption.
In the last 5 years, there has been a large growth in the usage of TVs and smartphones in India and it has become an integral part of everyone’s lives. There are 3 billion smartphones worldwide with 450+ million of them in the Indian market. Smart TVs have also become increasingly popular and do not require a setup box allowing consumers to watch content on the web, on a mobile app or on their Smart TVs.
Indians usually consumed video content on Youtube but the OTT market started off with content from local market players. With the entry of global companies such as Netflix and Amazon, Indian consumers are prepared to pay more for compelling content. The variety of content available on these platforms has led to the growth in viewership around the country which has fed into an increase in online video advertising as well. In India, the OTT content platform Hotstar has had a massive reach in the audience and a 10x growth since its launch in 2015. Till date, there have been 350Mn installs, 180 Mn monthly active users with each user spending 43 minutes on the platform each day.
India is witnessing a large shift in the income distribution in the country with an increase in its affluent population. This upward mobilisation and increased access to smartphones have led to greater online consumption via OTT. One of India’s major media platforms, Hotstar, gets 88% of its traffic from the age group of 18-34. Additionally, the availability of internet in rural parts of India has expanded the demand for OTT content. Research shows that by 2020 50% of internet users will be from rural areas in India. The favourable demographics create a large market for OTT to take off in India.
The study conducted by BCG identified three types of viewers in the Indian market:
By 2023, it is estimated that 48% of India’s internet users will be from rural parts. This will provide a largely untapped market for new OTT players who will have the opportunity to tap into rural markets that have access to the internet. ‘‘Indian content, including music, Bollywood content and cricket, have a large following in the Indian diaspora also. OTT players with Indian content have the potential to tap into this market too’”, said Gaurav Jindal, Principal at the Boston Consulting Group.
According to Kanchan Samtani, a Partner and Director at Boston Consulting Group, ‘one of the key insights in the study were that although OTTs use top-notch hero content to attract consumers, these customers do not stick on for long unless they are engaged by strong marketing efforts on the part of the OTT.’
Although the market for OTT companies is large, there is still a long way to go before the market catches up to its counterparts in the western world. The BCG report examines six ways OTT companies can penetrate the Indian market:
Many consumers today are faced with a choice of more than 30 OTT platforms that they consider to be mostly homogeneous. Many companies assume that consumers are rational and can decide which platform is right for them, but in reality, it is the duty of the companies to guide customers to their various choices and let them know how the platform can meet their entertainment needs.
The best way for OTT platforms to gain customers is to differentiate themselves from other companies. There are many companies that provide the same type of ‘hero’ content so in order to be successful OTT, companies need to create an identity for themselves and provide unique content. There are still numerous untapped ‘niches’ in the Indian market such as music and programs for kids. There is also a desire to view and listen to Bollywood music which is still a feature that is not available on most OTT platforms along with a lack of kid-specific content on the platforms.
Creating more content in a regional language that is more culturally specific is in demand among consumers in India. The vernacular content can help the OTT platform cover smaller segments such as news, religion or spiritual content. There is also a market for ‘relevant focused religious plays’ in various parts of the country. Therefore it is important for OTT companies to leverage this to their advantage and pick important markets and invest carefully. Additionally, focusing on regional content can help an OTT platform differentiate themselves from their competitors. The OTT platform Hotstar offers over 40K hours of regional programming. It is estimated that up to 40% of their users consume content in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Malayalam.
Big data has become increasingly popular in recent years and it helps companies gain a competitive advantage in the market. Analysing data can help gain an understanding of consumer insights and the data analytics can help monetize the OTT platform.
OTT creates a large amount of data and it is vital for companies in the industry to understand where consumers come from and what they watch. This can help predict consumers interests moving forward so they can provide a service in the most cost-effective manner. Understanding customer interests at this granular level can help companies take their platform to the next level.
OTT companies need to create a currency to measure the impact of advertisers is synonymous with the value added. The currency is especially useful for AVOD models where the currency can help take a more holistic approach to the value and analyse the quantum, quality and segments. A common currency will also bring more acceptance among ad buyers which can help increase the number of OTT watchers.
Consumers demand a lot from online platforms and are often influenced by various touchpoints. OTT platform companies need to be able to understand and address their concerns on technology in an effective way in order to scale their business. The companies need to create a user-friendly platform to help build critical mass. This critical mass will help platforms improve their overall customer service experience across different devices.
There is a big opportunity in the over-the-top market in India. It is important for companies to scale their business and monetise this opportunity which can help result in significant gains. With the rise in the affordability and accessibility of platforms, there will be a lot of competition in this market and only a few companies may emerge victorious.
As a part of our Second Digital Leadership Summit at Mumbai, a panel discussion was held on the future trends of digital marketing - AI, augmented reality and vernacular content. The two panellists were Ms Channan Sawhney - Head, Digital Marketing, Johnson & Johnson and Mr. Prathyush Kukreja – Head, Product Monetisation at Haptik. The session was moderated by Mr. David Appasamy, Head of Brand & Strategy, Social Beat.
Prathyush from Johnson & Johnson enlightened the
audience on how the perception of AI has changed over the years. He said that
in 2015, AI was just a buzz word and no one really knew what AI was. The
preconceived notion was that AI will automate everything, leading to
unemployment. But, in 2018, the scenario has changed. Expectations have become
realistic and technology has come to a place where it can add value to
achieving the necessary business objectives.
According to Prathyush, this is an era of Conversational AI, a subset of Artificial Intelligence backed with data collected by brands and advertisers. Brands must build conversational AI to communicate with the users based on their behavioural and transactional or historical behaviour. Unlike a television commercial or a radio advertisement, conversational AI is not linear and one-to-one. When you use conversational AI in advertising and branding, each and every customer is unique and the content will be customised according to the needs of that particular user. He further added that Artificial Intelligence considers several other factors such as the buying nature and purchase frequency of the user. This where AI is today. AI is no longer a buzz word today, but, it is a tool of competitive advantage. Currently, brands are competing with each other to develop better AI to deliver better ROI in terms of acquiring users and telling better brand stories.
Channan from Johnson & Johnson said that AI technology is not utilised to its fullest in FMCG industry. If used properly, AI has the power to break the clutter and make the brand stand out. Brands can convey right messages to the user in such a way so as to create a long lasting impact on the audience. Johnson & Johnson is employing AI technology rather than AR. Google and Facebook have already started their AI and AR journey. Other brands have huge benefits from this. But, for FMCG companies, implementation of AI technology is extremely important since this is an industry that communicates with its audience on a day-to-day basis.
According to Channan, consumers are always on a look out for good content on the Internet. In the case of Johnson & Johnson, there is a huge demand for content related to pregnancy and newborn care. It is observed that most of the customers prefer consuming the content in their own local languages. If you are a market leader in a particular industry, it is important to take the lead and provide the kind of content that the consumer is looking for. That’s why Johnson & Johnson has adopted an active native content strategy. One of the biggest priorities for Johnson & Johnson is to strengthen their regional content strategy so as to deliver the right brand messages for the audience in a manner that they want to hear.
Prathyush highlighted the importance of integrating voice search and vernacular content to build the effectiveness of conversational AI. Nowdays, majority of people are accessing the Internet using vernacular languages rather than English. The Internet has witnessed a commendable shift with the introduction of voice search. This technology is much user-friendly in the sense that users can directly talk to the device without even touching it. Hence the power of voice search is immense. According to data from Google, after the introduction of voice search, Hindi is the most preferred language for content consumption. Taking this into consideration, Haptik is also working on developing a conversational AI with vernacular capabilities. Many of the leading advertisers are also leveraging Devanagari scripts and other local languages in their lead generation and branding campaigns on various digital platforms.
Channan cited that one of the biggest wins of investing in AI is that market study has become easier like never before. With the adoption of AI technology, brands can provide efficient solutions to customers in a much faster manner. This technology has the huge power to transform the way in which data is processed and maintained for delivering business results
Prathyush spoke about an interesting campaign that Haptik had conceptualised for the Bollywood movie Thugs of Hindostan. Google Maps was a great digital marketing tool for this movie. When somebody asked for directions, instead of the usual voice, users could hear directions from Aamir Khan himself. These innovations by Google and Facebook can be adopted by companies specialised in AI technology in order to help brands and advertisers offer value to their customers.
Prathyush cited a recent case study on how HDFC Life
executed a branding campaign using AI. The brand wanted to create awareness
about importance on investing in Life Insurance among the millennials. For this
Haptik created an AI personality called Shayari
wala who educated the millennials on the importance of investing in the
form of shayaris. The main reasons why HDFC strategised their campaign in this
way is primarily because millennials love story telling and they consume
content that is fun and quirky.
According to Channan, Augmented Reality is a great
story telling tool for brands if it is used for delivering the right message.
For instance, some of the brands have incorporated AR for product packaging. A
well conceptualised AR lead can communicate great brand stories to the
On the contrary, Prathyush said that the use of AR in
branding and digital marketing is still vague and unclear. There is no clarity
on how brands can measure ROI, drive sales and generate leads using an AR
campaign. Augmented reality is a great platform for education and can be easily
adopted by real estate and gaming industries. But, it will take a few more years
for AR to establish itself in the digital landscape.
AI plays a huge role in automation of ads, said
Prathyush. The time taken for education and lead generation have become much
faster with the use of AI technology. According to Channan, marketing
automation is all about programmatic ads, best custom audiences and precision
marketing that help in delivering right brand messages for the right target audience.
Channan also highlighted the importance for brands to
identify ways to migrate content users to vernacular chatbots. For this, brands
must focus on investing in real time machine learning and customised content
that can play a huge role in understanding your customers, drive sales and
This was indeed an insightful panel discussion and brand strategists from across sectors understood the need for adopting such advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality to drive sales, generate leads and withstand competition.
Looking for ways to create thumb-stopping content for your brand? Then videos are definitely your best bet! Video content was one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2018 and is here to stay. Thanks to the cheaper data plans available in the market today, videos can easily be streamed online, without any hassle, on screens of all sizes. Furthermore, smartphones have evolved with high-precision cameras, editing suites and a plethora of video-based apps, making videos easily shareable on all platforms. Moreover, with so much content being shared in the digital landscape, brands are looking for newer ways to stand out of the crowd. These reasons have paved the way for videos to be the lever in boosting conversions for a brand.
Now that you are convinced that video marketing is the way to go, let’s take a look at a few fool-proof video editing tips to make compelling videos that increase conversion rates for your business.
Plan your video in such a way that it is crisp, short and communicates your message quickly and effectively. The first 3 to 4 seconds of your video are most crucial. Make sure your brand name and objective of the campaign is communicated within this time. According to a recent Facebook survey, you can expect a 20% increase in the number of people finishing the video by practising this technique. Additionally, it is important to incorporate text on videos since most videos are watched in mute, especially on mobile. You can use text in the form of subtitles or any other medium to keep viewers engaged and communicate your brand story even with no sound.
You can also experiment with short versions of your video instead of treating it as one big aspect. One of the best video editing tips is to cut it down with multiple storylines. You can also add effects and use the multitude of formats offered by Facebook and Instagram to make it interesting. By doing this, you can create multiple videos that target different audiences, widening your chances of going viral. Here is a sample video that we did for a real estate builder:
Emotional content works wonders on viewers, especially when portrayed in the form of a touching video. Increase the visibility of your brand by tapping trending topics that may not directly speak about your products and services but creates a stir because of the emotional quotient. This is one of the most effective video making tips that will help in creating soul-stirring original content which is always a hit in the digital space.
When Sundaram Mutual – one of the top clients in the finance sector – approached us for a video campaign, we decided to go outside-the-box and create a vox pop video. The video was launched on Father’s Day and spoke about the various financial lessons you’ve learnt from your father.
When it comes to video making tips, it is best to tap audiences across all social media platforms to get the most out of your campaign. With most platforms giving priority to content that drives more engagement, videos have the potential to be your trump card to get ahead of your competitors. Leading social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram also give users the chance to share your videos, increasing the chances of them going viral. However, it is important to make sure the videos are targeted at the right set of audiences who relate to the product or service being showcased.
With 225 Indian users active on YouTube every month, a lot of brands are making the shift from traditional forms of advertising to YouTube ads. You can choose from a wide range of types of YouTube ads based on various factors like reach, budget and length of the ad, to name a few. Featured below is a YouTube bumper ad of one of our real estate clients – Asta Properties – who leveraged the reach of YouTube ads to introduce a newly launched project.
The ad played in Tamil and English, witnessing an outstanding reach of around 18,000 users with more than 4,000 clicks. The ad was targeted to users who were interested in a real estate investment of Rs. 1.5 crores, within the age group of 35 to 54 years.
Speaking about going across platforms, one of the most important video editing tips is to check the aspect ratio of your video for full-sized viewing on hand-held devices. As per a recent study, 97% of consumers access Facebook through mobile and Instagram has witnessed a 150% increase in video consumption in 2018. A traditional 16:9 video occupies very less space on mobile screens. Instead, change the aspect ratio of your video to 1:1. This will occupy the entire mobile screen and reduce distractions from other posts. Here's a video on how to optimise your video for Instagram and Facebook for more insights:
Just like any other form of content, videos too need to be optimised to be discovered on search. As per a recent study, 74% of active social media users follow brands on YouTube, stressing on the fact that search engine optimisation for YouTube is now as important as ever. Additionally, with voice search emerging as a top trend in digital marketing, ensure your video is optimised with long-tail keywords that answer the public. Create a comprehensive on page and off page SEO strategy with the right meta-descriptions, a custom thumbnail, a click-worthy title and alt text to ensure your video ranks on the first page of search engines. It is also important to add an appropriate call-to-action and social share buttons to push potential consumers further down the marketing funnel. These are the most crucial video making tips that can either make or break a campaign.
For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
Landing pages are known to be the weapons of mass conversions and what better way to engage with your potential consumers than an attention-grabbing video? Videos provide a lot more information about your brand with much lesser effort and half as much time. This creates a win-win situation for users being able to get a better understanding of your services and your landing page generating a good amount of high-quality leads for your brand.
We leveraged the reach and high engagement of videos in a landing page for Shriram Properties – one of our top real estate clients. The video provided users with a walkthrough of one of their new projects, giving them a closer look at the property even before the site visit. This, in turn, generated a higher rate of conversions.
Apart from attracting users with engaging content, brands can also generate a list of potential leads who have viewed the video through event tracking on Google Analytics. These leads can then be retargeted and further nurtured until they ultimately convert to your brand.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing techniques that give your brand the visibility it deserves with a word-of-mouth approach. Pick an influencer that resonates with your brand and come up with influencer marketing campaigns across the platforms that are relevant to your audience. Influencers come up with trendy and engaging videos that extend your brand’s reach to their loyal follower database. This, in turn, can open up new opportunities for your brand and boost sales.
We partnered with BioMiracle India to create awareness about their new collagen sheet masks with the help of top beauty and lifestyle influencer Sushmita Agarwal. The video featured on her Instagram handle threw light on how the sheet masks need to be used with peppy background music, driving high engagement and brand awareness. It received almost 8,000 views with profound reach.
With the introduction of cheaper data plans by Reliance Jio and the drop in the prices of smartphones, Internet usage has seeped into the tier 2 and tier 3 regions of India, releasing a whole new wave of consumers waiting to be targeted. Videos are now more relevant than ever, with brands going the extra mile to engage with India’s next billion users. In order to reach India – all of it – it is important to incorporate videos in vernacular languages for increased brand awareness. This is one of futuristic video making tips that will ensure conversions!
We leveraged the power of videos in regional languages for Cholamandalam Finance by creating an animated video on the life-changing financial lessons one can learn from an ant. The video was targeted at small business owners and people in tier 2 and tier 3 regions. The video received around 96,000 views with 3,116 shares. The same video was created in Hindi which received a whopping 2.3 million views and 80,528 shares, proving that the growth of regional content online is here to stay!
Whether you are a real estate company, leading FMCG brand, a top financial organisation or a leading insurance firm, make sure you incorporate these video editing tips and ideas in your next video campaign to increase your conversion rates and boost your sales.
The second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit was a grand success with key insights shared by industry leaders from across India. Among the interesting topics discussed, one of the panel discussions was on ROI through digital marketing videos. The panel was moderated by Vikas Chawla and our panellists included Pradeep Nidamarthi of Reliance Capital, Monish Ghatalia of Focus Communications and Prashin Jhobalia from the House of Hiranandani. They discussed the industry-wide approach to digital marketing.
According to Pradeep Nidamarthi of Reliance Capital, the impact of digital marketing can vary from each organisation as they have a different outlook on its success. Some people in the organisation view it as a long-term strategy where the payoff occurs over time while others have a short-term view and look at digital marketing as something that should bring them value on a quarterly basis.
He says that the success metrics depend on the discovery, conversion and repurchase components of the main cycle. The impact of discovery on digital marketing is often hard to measure, so companies usually look at their engagement and conversion rates as the major success metrics.
Monish Ghatalia of Focus Communications said that one of the key metrics of the business is to understand the digital behaviour of the person. That is how they behave when they watch a commercial on TV vs when they watch an advert on Youtube. As customer behaviour changes, the mindset of the company has to change as well. Additionally, this shift from traditional to digital marketing can also affect various sectors of the business as they start thinking digitally. Statistics show that 5-10 per cent to 15-20 per cent of a business' marketing budget is used towards digital marketing when acquiring a new client.
“For the real estate industry, many companies are not as marketing savvy as they would like to be,” said Prashin Jhobalia of the House of Hiranandani. “This is because they find it a challenge to segregate their customers into different buckets.” However, the impact of digital marketing in the business is its ability to put up numbers as proof. This helps them understand what the money is put towards to justify spends and measure return on investment.
Real estate needs depend on the need of the client and the stage of life they are currently in. Jhobalia believes that a business is able to market its brand to the company if they are able to identify this individual and reach out to them at the appropriate time.
“The customer journey is different for each business,” said Nidamarthi. For example, with Reliance Capital’s general insurance policy, if a person has decided that they want to buy insurance, they have already done the research on the different policies available before approaching Reliance. At this stage of purchase, there is not much the company can do to change the customer’s mind other than the price. Therefore, digital marketing does not have an impact if the customer is already aware of the product. But for products like mutual funds, digital marketing has an impact as the discovery process is longer. He adds that brands should not just spend money on impressions but should also give importance to the visits that lead to your digital property and the interaction with the customer.
Monish Ghatalia says that the fundamentals of marketing believe that more is more (that is, more budgets, more people). However, with digital marketing, the mindset has shifted to less is more. Digital allows us to build the core customer base and because we live in a sharing economy, we can convert this customer base as well. He believes that if 100 core customers are acquired and nurtured, they can lead a business to its next 1000 customers. Therefore, the secret sauce for the business is in its approach to acquiring clients and adopting the framework of the current digital marketing industry. Additionally, businesses should aim to move their customers from conversion to brand loyalty. Instead of spending 99% of the budget on lead conversion, they should spend only a particular amount of the budget to go beyond just conversion and encourage customers to become loyal to the brand.
In the real estate industry, Jhobalia says that the secret sauce lies with the marketer and there is no single solution to success. The business needs to understand its objectives and use relevant information to remarket the brand to the customers.
All businesses have a digital marketing funnel and it is the duty of the companies to either drive people through the funnel or improve conversion through the funnel. Take a look at our in-depth video on full-funnel marketing here for more information.
Alternatively, the business needs to drive the right people into the funnel at the right time. According to Nidamarthi of Reliance Capital, there are 4 steps that all companies need to use to maximise their digital marketing strategy:
Collect and collate your data from all the sources available. This can help you build the user journey from discovery to repurchase.
Once you have collected all the data, you should have a master view of all the channels used by the business. That is the channel used to promote a good or service and the frequency at which the ad is shown.
The CRM process needs to be streamlined and constantly updated.
You need to have employees who are native to the digital world. They should have a good understanding of how digital marketing impacts the customer journey.
Having a good understanding of all these four components can help a business master their business digital marketing strategy.
Reliance Capital has numerous lines of businesses and each of them is in different stages of digital marketing with different regulators across the board. The biggest challenge for the companies over the next three to four years is that the common man will become more aware of privacy and will interpret it differently. When it comes to the use of data and systems, companies need to be more careful about how they use customer’s personal data and err on the side of caution.
According to Ghatalia, the biggest challenge faced by businesses is their ability to converge traditional marketing, digital marketing, technology, Artificial Intelligence and data. Companies need to understand that although these components will change in the next four to five years, the way a customer thinks will not. As a future marketer, they need to leverage this idea and be able to marry vehicle one (digital) to anything else in the digital market.
In the real estate industry, Prashin Jhobalia says that the ability of companies to recreate traditional content for digital media is a challenge. Another problem is the overpopulation of ads that creates competition within the industry. The developer might create an ad to target their customers while the distributors and brokers create different ads to target the same customers, this self-inflicted competition can create a lot of confusion in the industry. In order to overcome this challenge, businesses need to understand and react to the customer’s changing needs in a timely and efficient manner. One way of doing so is making use of vernacular ads.
The panel ended with a discussion with the audience, the panellists provided numerous thought-provoking ideas on the the future of digital marketing and improving ROI.
YouTube is going the extra mile to maintain its position as the world’s second most used search engine with the introduction of their Instagram-like stories feature, available exclusively on mobile. According to YouTube Brandcast 2018, 225 million active Indian users access the platform through their phones on a monthly basis, making this feature the need of the hour. However, though the concept is similar to Instagram Stories, there is a significant number of differences between the two. To begin with, YouTube Stories last for seven days and appear on the feeds of both subscribers and non-subscribers. Also, the comments and reactions to the posts can be viewed publicly, increasing community engagement on the platform. Brands find this feature very convenient to showcase teaser videos of upcoming collaborations or put up making-of-the-video snippets. Intrigued to know more? Read on!
YouTube stories are a great way to connect with your target group on a more casual note. You can create a YouTube story for your brand by signing into your YouTube account and tapping the camera icon and choosing “Story”. Then, you can either record a video by holding the capture button or put up a picture by tapping on it. You can also upload an existing video or photo from your gallery.
There are a plethora of tools available to edit your story as well. You can trim your video, add background music, text, stickers and video links. Not to mention, you can also choose from a wide variety of in-built filters to enhance your story.
The stories put up by your brand can be viewed on the stories tab of your page. Though they can be accessed by the public, it is highly likely for them to feature on the subscriptions feed of your subscribers. Additionally, non-subscribers can directly subscribe to your channel through your story, making it convenient for both content creators and viewers.
YouTube Stories can also be used as an effective tool to measure engagement and reach. Brands can keep a tab on the total number of views and comments each story has garnered. You can also see the total number of views generated by all your stories. Your viewers will not have access to this information, making it a useful instrument to customise your content according to the number of views generated.
You can easily respond and moderate comments on your YouTube Story by going to your stories tab and tapping on the comments icon. If you would like to highlight the comment in your next story, tap on the “Reply in Story” option available under each comment. You can respond with a video or a picture by simply recording or uploading the same, and tapping on “Post”. Your comment will appear in the form of a sticker on your story. It can either be pinched to resize or dragged to be placed in a desired location.
Videos are undoubtedly one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2019 and are here to say. YouTube Stories are only going to fuel this growth further. Whether you are a leading real estate developer, a financial giant or a top pharmaceutical company, it is time you leverage the community engagement of YouTube Stories and tell your brand story.
For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
Since it first launched, WhatsApp has quickly taken over SMS as the most preferred form of messaging among Indians. WhatsApp currently has 225+ million users in India, which is around half of the total number of internet users in the country. It a mobile app that’s here to stay in India.The growing number of Indians using WhatsApp can be attributed to the sudden drop in data costs and the introduction of low cost smartphones. Because of this, the app quickly became popular among Indians of all ages and economic backgrounds as it offered a free, simple way to connect with each other. But WhatsApp wasn’t just used for personal conversations among friends and families. For a long time, owners of small businesses like grocery stores and tailors used the app informally to communicate with their customers. Taking notice of this huge potential, WhatsApp launched WhatsApp for Business, a feature which can help brands engage with India’s next billion internet users. This new feature aims to simplify the process for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to connect with their customers.
WhatsApp for Business is currently only available as an Android app which can be downloaded for free from the Play Store. iPhone users will have to wait a little while longer until WhatsApp for Business rolls out an iTunes app as well. WhatsApp for Business is exclusively for business owners to communicate with their customers. In other words, businesses will use WhatsApp for Business to speak to their customers who will receive these messages on their regular WhatsApp account. To register on it, businesses will need a number that isn’t connected to their personal WhatsApp account. If you don’t have a separate business number, you will need to either get one or transfer your personal number to your WhatsApp for Business account. Once the app verifies your number, you can start setting up your business profile and begin communicating with customers.
WhatsApp for business looks almost identical to the regular WhatsApp, however, there are a few key differences. A number of tools have been added to the business app, facilitating easier communication for business users.
Once on the app, WhatsApp allows you to create a ‘Business Profile’ on your account that needs to contain important information such as your business’s email ID, contact number and address. There is also a location feature which allows business to locate their store on the map. Filling in this information will help users understand your business better. Over time Whatsapp also aims to verify each business and link their FB profiles as well, so that only authenticated businesses and stores can reach out to their customers.
WhatsApp for Business also makes it very simple to engage with your customers, even if your consumer base grows very large. The ‘Messaging Tools’ feature allows you to create message templates which can be sent out to your customers automatically. ‘Quick Replies’ allows you to set message templates to questions that your customers frequently ask, so you can easily respond to them. These include ‘thank you’ messages every time your customers order something or details about your products and prices. You can also set up ‘Greetings’ messages which are sent when you are first interacting with a customer and ‘Away’ messages which are sent when you are unable to respond to them at that time.
When Whatsapp for Business was first showcased to our team at the FB SME Council in India, it was made abundantly clear that it is not going to serve as a bulk/promotional messaging service. The intent is to provide customers the convenience to reach brands and vice versa. So its ideally meant to keep in touch with existing customers or leads.
One of the key features WhatsApp for Business offers is an easy way for business owners to understand how well their messages are performing. For now, the current version of WhatsApp for Web offers basic statistics such as the number of messages delivered and number of messages actually opened. The data collected from these statistics can offer business owners invaluable information on the efficacy of their message strategies. This information allows them to identify the type of content their target audience will find engaging. This can help them come up with more targeted message strategies that will resonate better with their audience. While the current statistics offered are very straightforward, future updates of WhatsApp for Business might include more detailed statistical tools.
One of the biggest hurdles that WhatsApp for Business faces is that non-business users might not like receiving business messages in their WhatsApp inbox. Most of our SMS inboxes are filled with promotional messages from businesses with barely any messages from our actual contacts. With the introduction of WhatsApp for Business in India, especially since it’s free, these businesses might start using WhatsApp instead to message people. Because WhatsApp is such a personal form of communication, the fear of spam is ever-present, with users expressing concern over their WhatsApp inbox also becoming flooded with promotional messages.
However, WhatsApp has ensured that it is putting the users first even with the introduction of WhatsApp for Web. If users are receiving too many messages from a business or they aren’t interested in the business, they can easily block the business or report it as spam. The rigorous verification procedure ensures that the business on the app are legitimate, reducing the chances of spam. WhatsApp is also introducing a verification badge against businesses if their WhatsApp for Business number matches the number registered against their business. This feature will help users understand which businesses are authentic.
After the success of an initial beta version of the service, WhatsApp launched the WhatsApp Payments feature in India for Android during early February of 2018. This feature is very similar to other digital payments services like PayTM as it operates through the United Payments Interface (UPI) and supports most of the major banks used in India. Once you have verified your bank account details, you can directly transfer money from your account to other users through WhatsApp.
WhatsApp Payments and WhatsApp for Business in India are two new features which can work together in synergy. It can enable small business to reach out to their customers who can then pay for their products or services directly through WhatsApp. Since the upper limit for the amount of money which can be transferred through WhatsApp Payments is set at Rs. 5,000, it makes its features best suited for SMEs. For example, using WhatsApp for Business and WhatsApp Payments, users can easily order and pay for their weekly groceries from the local convenience store. This can go a long way in helping small business improve their sales.
As the name suggests, WhatsApp for Business works like a typical WhatsApp account but has additional privileges that are tailor-made for businesses. Aptly titled “WhatsApp Business”, the app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, you can register with a phone number that is exclusively used for your business. You can then stay connected with your consumers with interactive tools that let you respond to messages easily, sort your messages as per your preferences and automate your replies, among other functional tasks.
Just like the regular app, WhatsApp for Business is also free. The only expense you will face is setting up a distinctive mobile number that will be used exclusively for your business. You will need this to register your business on the app. However, WhatsApp may begin charging businesses in the future for these services.
You begin by downloading the app titled “WhatsApp Business” from the Google Play Store. Once you agree with the terms and conditions, you will have to register with a phone number used exclusively by your business. Once the number is verified, you can begin using the app to stay connected with your consumers.
WhatsApp for Business is currently available only on the Google Play Store. You will need an Android device to download and use it. However, the app is under development for iPhone users and will be available on iStore soon.
Apart from it being exclusively designed for businesses, WhatsApp Business has a distinctive feature called “Business Profiles”. This tab helps consumers generate more information about the business such as the official email ID, website and store address. This tab also accommodates a small description of the business to give consumers detailed insights into the kind of products or services offered.
WhatsApp for Business also offers a plethora of handy messaging tools to make it easier for to interact with consumers by sorting messages, creating automated replies and designing frequentlyused templates for messaging.
There are many messaging tools available in WhatsApp Business that make it easier for businesses to interact with their consumers. For example, you have a “Quick Replies” option to send instant answers to frequent questions. You can also create a template to greet your consumers with a greetings message or a thank you note. Additionally, you can create a customised “Away Message” to let your customers know you are currently not available and will get back to them shortly.
Apart from tools for easy execution, WhatsApp Business also offers statistical data of your messaging pattern. You can keep a tab on the number of messages sent, delivered and opened to give you a fair idea of how consumers are responding to your messages.
While WhatsApp for Business is still in its nascent stage, it definitely has the potential to explode in India. Evolving digital marketing techniques in tier 2 and tier 3 cities should definitely begin to utilise WhatsApp for Business in their strategies. For small businesses, it could prove to be an important tool to help them expand their profits in the face of growing competitions from larger corporations. We also understand that APIs to allow for managing larger number of conversations is on the cards so the future of Whatsapp for Business is indeed exciting.
With 300 million active Indian users from diverse backgrounds, Facebook is one of the best platforms for brands to reach their target audience. However, the competition is undeniably high and brands need to constantly look out for ways to stand out. One of the most effective ways for brands to capture their audience’s attention completely in this crowded space is through Instant Experiences. Previously known as Canvas, Instant Experiences offers brands an immersive full-screen experience with new and updated features.
Instant Experiences comes in five templates, each of which is tailor-made for brands with specific goals:
Instant Storefront: Certain to become one of the top social media trends for FMCG and retail brands, this template showcases products in a grid format along with their price. After clicking on them, users are immediately taken to the product page where they can make a purchase. The convenience that this offers can help brands increase their sales through social media marketing.
For D:FY, we used Storefront to showcase the products and direct viewers to the Amazon product page where they can actually buy the product. This led to higher engagement and increase awareness of the brand.
Instant Lookbook: With the artsy aesthetics of magazine spreads, the Instant Lookbook template can help fashion brands bring their looks to life. Users can scroll through each of the looks and click on them to be redirected to the product page where they can explore the product further and buy it.
Read our blog on Design Tips to Create Great Visual Posts on Social Media to get started.
Instant Customer Acquisition: For brands focused purely on driving sales and growing their customer base, Facebook’s Instant Customer Acquisition template can encourage higher conversions. This template can be used to showcase the different features of a product and provide users with a clear call-to-action at the end to compel them to make the actual purchase.
Instant Storytelling: While the 20% rule for text overlays on images has been removed, creatives with less text generally perform best on Facebook. Because of this, brands are often unable to communicate their entire brand story as engagingly as they would like. Instant Storytelling offers a solution to this. Through a mix of images, videos and text, this format gives brands all the space they need to communicate their brand offerings and key differentiators. Your brand can leverage the top design trends for digital marketing to create unforgettable experiences for your audience.
Instant Form: Looking for quick lead generation? Instant Forms drive your consumers towards a clear call-to-action by asking them to fill out a form. When combined with the superior visual appeal and space to showcase your USPs, Instant Forms has the potential to drive higher leads than other forms of advertising on Facebook.
Facebook’s new Instant Experiences doesn’t just give you new ways to appeal to your target market, it also helps you analyse just how effective your techniques were. If you have embedded pixel in your company’s website, it will automatically become integrated with Instant Experiences once you start experimenting with it. This will give your brand valuable data and deep insights into the customer journey. It will show you time spent by each users, whether they engaged with it (such as scrolling through a carousel) and how far they scrolled. This will give you a better understanding of what messaging or visuals appealed the most to your target audience, helping you optimise future campaigns. The pixel will also allow brands to re-target their website visitors, which can drive higher engagement. Instant Experience can even integrate with external tracking codes, such as Google Analytics, helping you paint a complete picture of your consumer’s online touch points.
If you have already used Canvas for your brand, the updated Instant Experiences can provide you with even greater results. But if you have never experiments with these immersive ads, here’s why you should start.
Your audience is more impatient now than ever before. If your ad doesn’t look quickly, users are likely to bounce immediately. Instant Experiences offers incredible speed, loading almost instantly. This can encourage users to stay on your ad and reduce bounce rates.
The digital clutter your audience experiences can prevent them from focusing fully on your ads. However, when they open an Instant Experience ad, it takes up their entire phone screen, blocking notifications, messages and other ads. This makes it easier for your message to resonate with them, enabling better recall.
The multiple templates that Instant Experiences offers, makes it very easy for brands to adapt and use. You don’t need complicated codes or development to get started. Regardless of your budget or resources, you can start using Instant Experiences to engage with your audience.
Instant Experiences has a number of tools and formats that you can use to communicate your brand story in the best way possible. You can use a mix of stunning images, carousels, videos, text and forms to create an ad that your audience won’t forget.
Interactive ads are changing the way brands advertise by compelling users to engage with them more. Unlike ads on the News Feed, which users can easily scroll past, Instant Experiences offers them more information, are more visually appealing and engaging. This can give users a greater incentive to enquire. The Instant Forms format can also be more effective than traditional form as on Facebook.
No matter what your brand goals are, Instant Experiences offers a novel and exciting way to achieve them. Are you ready to start using it to give your brand an edge?
As shopping patterns continue to evolve, so does the payment platform and payment gateway industry that propels the former. Mobile Point of Sales machines have of course existed for a long time but mobile wallet is a new concept in India that has been surpassing credit card usage and is slowly beginning to replace the traditional payment methods.
A mobile wallet, in simple terms, is a virtual mobile-based wallet where one can store cash for making mobile, online or offline payments. There are various types of mobile wallets in India, such as open, semi-open, semi-closed and closed - depending on the type of usage and payments that can be made. Wallets are growing rapidly as they help in increasing the speed of transaction, especially for ecommerce companies and all ecommerce marketplaces have integrated with such mobile wallets too.
Here are some of the top 10 mobile wallet companies in India and what they offer to their customers.
PayTM is one of the largest mobile commerce platforms in India, offering its customers a digital wallet to store money and make quick payments.
Launched in 2010, PayTM works on a semi-closed model and has a mobile market, where a customer can load money and make payments to merchants who have operational tie-ups with the company. Apart from making e-commerce transactions, PayTM wallet can also be used to make bill payments, transfer money and avail services from merchants from travel, entertainment and retail industry.
Capitalizing on the scope and growth of India’s education market segment, they recently partnered with premium educational institutions in India to introduce cashless payments for fees, bills and other expenses.
Number of installs: 100 Million (or 10 crores) on Android Play Store.
2. Amazon Pay
Amazon Pay is an online payments processing service that is owned by Amazon. Launched in 2007 globally and in India in 2017, Amazon Pay uses the consumer base of Amazon and focuses on giving users the option to pay with their Amazon accounts on external merchant websites, including apps like BigBazaar etc. You also get to Shop on Amazon using Amazon Pay.
Number of installs: Undisclosed
3. Google Pay (formerly known as Tez)
As its part of the Google ecosystem they have scaled up their user base really quickly, inspite of being a late entrant. With Google Pay you can send money to friends, pay bills and buy online, recharge your phone. Since Google Pay works with your existing bank account, which means your money is safe with your bank. There's no need to worry about reloading wallets and you don't need to do additional KYC - which is required for all the other apps.
Number of installs: 100,000,000+ (100 Million or 10 crore) on Android Play Store
4. PhonePe (now part of Flipkart)
PhonePe started in 2015 and in just 4 years it has been able to cross the 100 million download mark. From UPI payments to recharges, money transfers to online bill payments, you can do it all on PhonePe. Its got a very good user interface and is one of the safest and fastest online payment experience in India.
Number of installs: 100,000,000+ (100 Million or 10 crore) on Android Play Store
MobiKwik is an independent mobile payment network that supposedly connects 25 million users with 50,000 retailers and more. This mobile wallet lets its users add money using debit, credit card, net banking and even doorstep cash collection service, which can in turn be used to recharge, pay utility bills and shop at marketplaces. Owing to the growing need for convenience, MobiKwik has also recently tied up with large and small time grocery, restaurants and other offline merchants.
Another unique feature they have is their expense tracker which allows to set budget for your expenses across all payment instruments and it uses your SMS data to analyse and control spends.
Number of installs: 10,000,000+ (10 Million or 1 crore) on Android Play Store
6. Yono by SBI
This mobile wallet application was launched by State Bank of India to let users transfer money to other users and bank accounts, pay bills, recharge, book for movies, hotels, shopping as well as travel. This semi-closed prepaid wallet offers its services in 13 languages and is available for non-SBI customers as well. This app also allows its customers to set reminders for dues, money transfers and view the mini-statement for the transactions carried out.
Number of installs: 10,000,000+ (10 Million or 1 crore) on Android Play Store
Citi Bank India and MasterCard recently launched 'Citi MasterPass', India's first global digital wallet for faster and secure online shopping.
By using this, Citi Bank debit and credit card customers become the first in this country to be able to shop at more than 250,000 e-commerce merchants. It ensures faster checkout with a single click or touch and stores all your credit, debit, prepaid, loyalty cards and shipping details in one place.
Pockets by ICICI is a digital bank that offers a mobile wallet for its customers. It provides the convenience of using any bank account in India to fund your mobile wallet and pay for transactions.
With Pockets, one can transfer money, recharge, book tickets, send gifts and split expenses with friends. This wallet uses a virtual VISA card that enables its users to transact on any website or mobile application in India and provides exclusive deals or packages from associated brands.
Number of installs: 5,000,000+ (5 Million or 0.5 crore) on Android Play Store
9. HDFC PayZapp
PayZapp is a complete payment solution giving you the power to pay in just One Click. PayZapp lets you recharge your mobile, DTH and data card, pay utility bills, compare and book flight tickets, bus and hotels, shop, buy movie tickets, music and groceries, avail great offers at SmartBuy, and send money to anyone in your phone book.
Number of installs: 10,000,000+ (10 Million or 1 crore) on Android Play Store
10. BHIM Axis Pay
BHIM Axis Pay is a UPI banking app that lets you transfer money instantly to anyone using just your smartphone. Make online recharges to your prepaid mobile and DTH set-top boxes directly from the app.
Number of installs: 1,000,000+ (1 Million or 0.1 crore) on Android Play Store
Data on digital payments in India
And here are some interesting findings on digital payment adoption from the recent ACI Survey:
While these numbers indicate the growing need for secure, faster and efficient payment methods for online marketplace, efforts to make payments to individual or brick & mortar stores is also increasing. Start-ups and huge corporates are constantly on the lookout for customer-friendly technology, thereby giving more power to the customer.
Need a few financial tips to handle your money wisely? Follow our YouTube channel Paisa Pujari for more insights. Here's a video to help you understand the smart ways to use a credit card:
Thus, the day you will walk around without a physical wallet and pay your local dhobi and kirana store uncle using a mobile wallet is not so far.
Do you use any of these mobile wallets? Have we missed out on something important? Write to us in the 'Comments' section below.
Whatever be the type of business you are running or the industry you are from, generating leads is what it all comes down to. Without leads, a business has no profit, no revenue and ultimately, no business. However, generating these leads can be a major challenge for companies in the B2B space. Most B2B businesses operate in a very niche segment, which automatically reduces the number of potential leads that can be generated. To add to that, personal relationships with clients has always been the key deciding factor for companies in this sector looking to acquire new customers. These elements might make generating B2B leads more difficult than for other sectors, but it’s not impossible! With the right mix of proven techniques, your business can acquire high-quality leads through the digital medium.
So, as a business owner or an entrepreneur, how do you generate leads to grow your B2B business? Let’s take a look at few of the tried-and-tested ways.
As the age-old saying goes, Content is King. The biggest advantage of using content marketing instead of advertising as your lead generation strategy is that it reaches users who have activated ad blockers. Advertising your product through search engine-optimised content marketing also helps in boosting organic traffic to your website.
Let’s take a look at the various forms of content you can use to leverage content marketing for greater brand awareness.
Blogs have become essential for every business and are the best way to generate informative and educational content about your brand. Blogs are also a guaranteed SEO- friendly marketing method that generates organic traffic to your website. By consistently adding authoritative high-quality content on your blog, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your domain. Over time, your blog will help build a strong community of interested individuals that you can tap into to generate leads.
If pictures can speak a thousand words, it is safe to say that videos present the viewers with a thousand pictures. They give viewers a detailed insight into the products and services offered by your company which plays a huge role in influencing their decision to convert into leads. Videos can also present complicated concepts in a very engaging manner that is easy to understand. This can help potential clients get a better understand of your products and services. From a whiteboard video explaining a solution to a particular problem in your industry to a product-centric video, opportunities are aplenty.
For Sundaram Business Services, we created a short explainer video detailing how accounting firms would benefit from outsourcing their routine tasks. This video encapsulates Sundaram Business Services’ USPs in a crisper and more compelling manner than any other medium would be able to.
E-book and white papers are excellent examples of content that can be a powerful tool for lead generation. There are two ways you can achieve this objective:
This method gives you a hand-picked database of clients who are particularly interested in your brand as they took the time and effort to fill a form just to read your content. To generate quality leads, make sure your content is extremely informative and educational with the right proportion of generic and promotional content. The best way to do this is to understand what your audience is searching for and write about the topic to cater to their needs.
Backing up your content with infographics, reports, graphs and other forms of research adds credibility to your claims. In order to explain your services and their advantages more effectively, take your content strategy up a notch and present your audience with an informative case study. Nothing convinces potential clients better than examples of how much you have succeeded in the past with other B2B clients.
Content marketing is all about being actively involved in the digital space. Bring out your brand name by conducting webinars or interactive podcasts on topics which are trending among your audience segment audience to spark interest. This will create awareness about your organisation and indirectly showcases your products and services for the world to see.
It isn’t just writing high-quality content that is important, but optimising it for search engine rankings. SEO is a guaranteed way to boost your brand image and increase your website traffic.
The logic is simple. Most people searching for B2B services on the internet are looking to close the deal. Presenting them with your website is a guaranteed way to effective lead generation for your organisation. As per a recent study, the close rate of an SEO lead is a whopping 14.6% while the close rate of a sponsored lead is a mere 1.7%. Additionally, of the overall local Google traffic, 67% of searches end up in a conversion. With such stunning numbers, there is no doubt that SEO is the most-effective long-term lead generation strategy for B2B businesses.
LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world, so when it comes to finding potential clients for your B2B business, it is indispensable. It offers more defined targeting options that Facebook does, helping you find your exact target audience, no matter how niche your segment is. The key to successfully using LinkedIn for lead generation is to adopt a ‘full-funnel approach’. Once you create a target audience, ensure that all your promotions are sent to this same template. This ensures that your brand engages with them right from the awareness stage to the final conversion step.
Read on to find out what are the tools you can leverage on LinkedIn to widen your clientele.
Promoting your blogs on LinkedIn through Sponsored Posts is essential to widening their reach. This tool allows your content to be seen by a highly-relevant target audience who might not have otherwise come across your brand or content. By promoting blogs based on topics that your audience will find useful, you can initiate a relationship with your audience. Being consistent with your promotions will ultimately increase brand awareness and improve your audience’s perception of your company.
We leveraged LinkedIn Sponsored Posts for one of our B2B clients – BijliPay. We promoted an extensive in-house blog on the benefits of choosing mPOS devices over the traditional POS devices. The blog gives the reader a detailed insight into the services provided by BijliPay and indirectly works as a lead generation platform to convert the reader into a potential client.
LinkedIn lead ads take lead generation for B2B businesses to the next level. They work like usual lead ads, except that when you click on the call to action, the browser takes the user to a pre-filled lead form. The form is pre-filled with information retrieved from the user’s profile, eliminating the need to fill it up manually. Apart from saving a lot of time and effort, this feature allows users to fill in the lead form in the LinkedIn page itself without the need to visit a landing page or website. These ads are particularly effective after you have been promoting your content to the same target audience. Since the audience is already aware of your brand and has started to trust you, they will be more likely to submit the form.
InMail Ads are ads presented in the form of emails to the LinkedIn inbox of your target audience. This form of marketing is extremely effective as you get to handpick your audience based on their LinkedIn profile and do not need their personal or professional email ids to reach them. Additionally, these emails have a guaranteed delivery rate as they are sent only to the active LinkedIn users. Apart from products and services, you can also use InMails to promote your content and initiate downloads of ebooks and promotional videos.
No lead generation strategy is complete without a landing page. A landing page is a single page website that collects the visitor’s information through a lead form. Whether you are promoting your product or allowing visitors to download content (ebooks, webinars and podcasts), building a landing page is often the solution. A targeted landing page will help you capture leads at a higher rate and will help the sales team initiate the lead nurturing process to ultimately convert the leads generated.
A good landing page, especially for B2B, needs to always have a clear headline, copy and direct call-to-action, so that the target audience understands exactly what they are signing up for. This is exactly what we did for one of our B2B clients, LatentView. The landing page for their downloadable white paper clearly conveys what the company does and what value audiences will get from the white paper.
So you’ve generated an extensive database, with the methods mentioned above, of potential clients who have shown interest in your services. But, what next? The B2B space has notoriously long lead cycles, which can prove expensive and time-consuming for companies. That’s when the tried-and-tested method of email marketing comes into the picture.
Email marketing is probably one of the first types of digital marketing, and it still remains a go-to strategy for many organisations. Since emails are one of the most personal forms of communication, they can help you initiate and sustain a strong relationship with potential clients. With email marketing, it’s generally best to keep it simple and use plain-text emails than designed templates. This makes it seem more personal, encouraging people to actually read them. Additionally, you can customise your email as per the preferences of your potential clients with various techniques of retargeting and make your services even more irresistible to them. All you need is a strong email marketing database and a fool-proof email campaign checklist for guaranteed lead conversions.
Sundaram Business Services is a business process outsourcing company headquartered in India, with operations in UK and Australia. As a B2B company, a majority of their leads came through referrals and by networking. To scale up, they needed a strong digital marketing technique that could help them acquire new clients faster and more effectively.
The target audience for Sundaram Business Services is very niche and difficult to identify. With such a limited audience, generating high-quality leads that had the potential to convert would be more difficult than it would be for a B2C brand with a widespread audience. Additionally, since B2B client relationships are longstanding and based on trust, convincing accounting firms to start outsourcing to Sundaram Business Services would be challenging through digital marketing alone.
Starting lead generation ads in isolation wouldn’t help for a B2B brand as it only targets individuals at the bottom of the funnel. To successfully acquire high-quality leads, we needed a full-funnel strategy:
The Sundaram Business Services blog is a complete knowledge repository, with the right mix of highly relevant and trending topics. We utilised this invaluable tool to its full potential by promoting the blogs on LinkedIn. This created brand awareness and developed our reputation as an expertise in the field of accounting.
We created a specialised landing page for Sundaram Business Services which provided concise details of the services and USPs of the brand. By bidding for high search volume keywords, we ensured that our landing page would show up for relevant searches. This further increased brand awareness.
Credibility and trust are the foundation of any B2B relationship. To build this for Sundaram Business Services, we created a client testimonial video and promoted it on LinkedIn. This showed our audience the positive relationship we share with our clients.
After building awareness and trust among our target audience, we started lead form ads on LinkedIn to actively start generating leads. These ads provided a clear picture of the service we provide and the benefit firms can gain by partnering with us.
Since the B2B space is so small, we knew we had to go the extra mile to ensure high quality leads. Content driven marketing is key to generating leads for B2B. Because of this, we promoted an authoritative white paper for which users had to submit a pre-filled form to download. This white paper was by far the best lead generation technique we used for Sundaram Business Services. The white paper was downloaded by CFOs from some of the top companies in India, providing us with valuable information we wouldn’t have been able to achieve through any other strategy.
Through the white paper, we were able to achieve an 800% reduction in cost-per-lead with 0 junk leads. In such a niche segment, these results were truly remarkable. It ensured an optimal use of advertising budgets and a large volume of premium leads we could use to initiate the lead nurturing process. These incredible results only prove that content is the only way forward for generating B2B leads.
If you are from the B2B sector, its time you implement each one of the above-mentioned marketing strategies in your workplace to take your business to revolutionary heights.
Are you still stuck in the paradigm of an offline marketing strategy with a 60-second TV commercial being your leading mode of communication, supported by print and outdoor advertising? If you are nodding your head in approval, you are being rapidly left behind by those who have adopted a ‘Digital-First’ marketing approach!
Brands are steadily transitioning from traditional advertising to digital marketing because of the higher reach, better engagement and increase in generating high-quality leads. Read on for the top seven reasons why your brand should adopt a digital approach.
With over 450 million Indians online today, your prospects and customers are spending more of their time online than ever before. And this number is slated to grow to 735 million online by 2021. Of these, 199 million will be English speaking, and 536 million language speaking, with over 70% of them accessing the Internet from a smartphone throughout the day. They are increasingly spending more time online than on any other medium. Is there a better way for your brand to engage with India’s next billion Internet users and reach the tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India as well?
The online population accesses digital platforms over 150 times a day for various reasons including search. Additionally, 80% of Indian users use their phones to access the Internet. This only proves that it is imperative for your brand to adopt a mobile-first strategy to rank higher than your competitors and leave a stamp in the digital world. From accelerated mobile pages for lightning-fast speed to optimising your web pages for better visibility on a mobile search, you need to leverage a custom-made digital strategy with a mobile-first approach to reach your potential consumers. Everything starts with the recognition that your digital marketing assets need to be optimised for the way consumers are behaving online now and in the future.
We leveraged the speed of accelerated mobile pages for a landing page developed for India Home Health Care, a top provider of home nursing and related healthcare services. The page helped reduce the cost per lead by a whopping 33% with a 20% increase in conversions.
How discoverable is your brand or business? Search Engine Optimisation today is very different from what it was a few years ago. Deep and relevant content, like pillar pages and other long-form content, which is easily discoverable and distributed across multiple platforms, or amplified using social media works well. Consumers today are information seeking, with a ‘discovery mindset’, using search many times a day for multiple purposes- both business and personal. So why not market your brand by making it rank on the most used search engine in the world? Featured snippets are a great way to increase brand visibility and drive organic traffic to your website.
This is exactly what we achieved for Casagrand – one of India’s leading property developers with a strong presence in the south. Their blog on the best places to invest in Bangalore got highlighted as a featured snippet with an image and a list of all the locations presented in the blog.
Being discoverable is a key result area for your digital marketing assets so that consumers find your brand when they are searching for something they need. From using SEO plugins for WordPress to leveraging local SEO and Google Maps for your business, ensure your brand gets the visibility it deserves.
The world's second largest search engine, YouTube, is also a great platform to reach your target audience on. For tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
Is your online communication primarily elements of your offline marketing campaign? If you have to spend to reach your target group with your advertising, what makes you think they will choose to come to your social media pages to see your ads? Instead, your online marketing campaigns must seek to engage consumers by rewarding them in some way with relevant communications on social media platforms. Make sure all your online assets are designed in such a way that they trigger engagement and ultimately result in conversions. You need to leverage the two-way communication model that digital platforms offer to understand what your audience finds intriguing and feed them with high-quality content that converts. Read our blog on how a redesign strategy for Chola helped increase social engagement for more insights.
YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world after Google with over 100 million Indian users watching YouTube videos every single day! To add to that, according to YouTube Brandcast 2018, 9 out of 10 users consume videos that are in regional languages. This means that you must have a strategy for YouTube that could involve videos on your YouTube channel, or advertising on YouTube to maximise impact. Your channel must be optimised with effective YouTube SEO tips for discoverability, and the videos disseminated on social media platforms. And your ads on YouTube can be optimised based on brand objectives including calls to action. What you cannot afford to do is be absent from a burgeoning channel teeming with users.
Showcasing your brand through engaging and informative videos on your YouTube channel is one of the most effective ways to reach potential consumers and widen your clientele. Social Beat’s YouTube channel features a section on “Digital Bytes”, where experts share their insights on the top digital marketing trends of the industry.
With the introduction of affordable data plans by Reliance Jio and the drop in the prices of smartphones in India, Internet usage has seeped into the tier 2 and tier 3 regions of the nation. This has unlocked a huge database of online users waiting to be targeted. The only way to connect and convert with these users is by incorporating an end-to-end multilingual marketing approach in a language your consumer is comfortable in – which is exactly what we offer at 22 languages. With the growth of regional content online, we tailor-make a language roadmap for your brand from landing pages and website development to social media campaigns and search engine optimisation. The sooner you start, the faster you will become proficient in the use of language content and communications to grow your business.
For instance, we tapped the reach of vernacular content for Cholamandalam Finance by creating an engaging video about the financial life lessons you can learn from an ant. The English video reached 96,000 users with 3,113 shares. However, the same video in Hindi reached 2.3 million users with 80,524 shares, proving that going regional is the best way to increase your brand’s visibility and reach.
Today, digital platforms enable you to interact with consumers when they are in the decision-making process to positively influence their choice towards your brand. From information search, comparison of brands, to the sites they visit, consumers signal their intent with their digital footprint. They can be addressed during this process to move them down the marketing funnel to fulfillment. Affinity and custom intent audiences of consumers who have expressed their interest in certain kinds of products or services can also be addressed to get their attention at the top of the funnel. Your offline marketing efforts should drive people online to your content or messaging so that you can engage with them positively to influence their decision.
Keeping these fool-proof reasons in mind, it is time you shift from print to digital media and give your brand the launch pad it needs. Whether you are a leading real estate developer, a top FMCG brand, a renowned financial organisation or a celebrated B2B firm, unleash the power of going digital and take your business to towering heights.
A lot of brands are making the shift from traditional advertising to YouTube ads and there is no surprise why. Marketers have always opted for YouTube ads for top-of-the-funnel objectives like brand awareness and recognition. But, with YouTube introducing custom intent audiences for better targeting, you can now reach potential consumers who are on the verge of making a decision. Let’s find out how.
Unlike in-market audiences, custom intent audiences help marketers tailor-make their target group as per the video they are promoting or the services they are providing. Since the targeting is much more concise, they provide a higher return on investment. In fact, according to Google, this approach was built keeping performance advertising in mind, proving to be all the more effective in your marketing strategy. Additionally, you can create your target group with the help of high purchase intent keywords to drive more relevant traffic to your video.
For example, let’s consider your brand is one of the leading providers of shock-proof wires and cables. You are planning to promote your recent ad that introduces a new line of waterproof and shockproof cables to the market. Through traditional in-market audience targeting options, you can reach a generic set of audiences that cover industries, factories and other B2B organisations who are closest to your target group. But with custom intent audiences, you have the option of targeting on a deeper level with high intent keywords. You can reach the users who are specifically looking for your brand and your competitor’s, along with specific keywords of the type of product offered in the video.
Creating a custom intent audience is your best bet when it is hard to find an in-market audience that is relevant to your video content. Go to the audience targeting window and scroll down. You will find a “New custom intent audience” option right below the in-market audience targeting options. Once you click on it, you can tailor-make your audience on the basis of high-performing keywords that align with the services offered in the video.
Apart from providing a deeper level of targeting, custom intent audiences also help brands target users who have keyed in similar queries on Google search. Additionally, once you select a few purchase intent keywords, you can also choose from other recommended keywords that are suggested based on your targeting.
In a nutshell, it is safe to say that a custom intent audience will give you a much more control on targeting while running ads on YouTube. Whether you are a real estate giant, a leading FMCG brand, or a top financial organisation, it is time you leverage the power of custom intent audiences to expand your reach.
For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
As the saying goes, “Everything old becomes new again”.2018 has witnessed a definite shift in design, setting precedence for the years to come. Graphic design trends from the past are taking centre stage with a new, fresh and modern twist added to them. Few of the major trends include exploring the 3-dimensional realm, rich photography and vibrant colour palettes. We are now at a fascinating turn-point for design, and we are looking forward to experimenting more in this space. Here are the top 7 design trends you can incorporate in your marketing strategy and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.
Gradient or colour transitions, which were already a rage till late 2007, made a huge comeback when Instagram upgraded its logo with a gradient background. This trend has been on the rise ever since. Colour transitions have diverse and modern applications that are vibrant, smooth and flexible to flat design aesthetics. This trend will continue to diversify in its own innovative avatar, with the usage of bright and vivid colours in a combination of textures – like the ones featured below.
With the increase in the number of users accessing the Internet through their mobile phones, designing your web assets with a mobile-first approach is more of a necessity than a luxury. Responsive design is one which adapts to all screen sizes. However, since the logo of a company is one of the smallest elements on the screen, creating a mobile-responsive logo without losing the visibility of all its elements is one of the main challenges faced by designers. The ingenious solution to this lies in making versions of logos for different screens. Logos have become adaptive, with different versions for mobiles, tablets and desktop devices. Featured below are few logos and their mobile-first versions.
Retro modern illustrations have made a huge comeback in 2018 with generous usage of the 80’s and 90’s colour palette. From pretty pastels to electric hues, age-old visuals have taken a modern route with a semi-flat design. Today, a lot of brand leaders and influential personalities belong to the generation of the 80’s and the 90’s. Additionally, these generations also form a large pool of key target audiences, making this trend an easy way to trigger nostalgia and create engaging posts that boost social engagement.
These illustrations combine modern, sleek lines with throwback colour palettes. The characteristic feature of this style lies in its fluid yet crystal clear messaging. It is truly the best of both worlds. Few designs with retro modern illustrations are displayed below:
Typography for the digital space is more than often an extension of its print counterpart. This trend has just gotten bigger, bolder and better! The only limitation to your typography style is your imagination. Contrary to popular belief, typography is never seen as a minuscule part of the design, but a form of design itself, coupled with an artistic twist. While usual sans serifs fonts remain as fashionable as ever, you can also get creative with designer, artistic and hand-made fonts.
We are also likely to see the comeback of the serif fonts since Google has such an impressive collection for web design. In a quest to stay in sync with design elements across all media, designers usually stay away from serifs as a thumb rule. However, as the acceptability of this font is increasing online, it is only a matter of time for the font to make a complete comeback. Scroll down for interesting ways in which typography is used as an element of design.
A very interesting trend that marks the beginning of the next era in design is 3 Dimensional styles – from 3D still photography to 3D typography. Seeing that there is no limit to innovation and imagination, you can also experiment with a mixture of 3D and 2D.3D capabilities have grown to such an extent that the intersection between virtual and reality have been blurred out and indistinguishable.
Another growing trend is isometric projection which is an interesting method to visually project a 3-dimensional object in a 2-dimensional space. It is safe to say that this type of projection is one of the leading design trends of 2018, used in all kinds of visual mediums including photography, 3D design and illustration, to name a few. Additionally, this trend helps in creating great visual posts on social media. Few of them are showcased below:
An interesting design style for those with nimble fingers and an eye for detail is using paper cut illustrations. This trend uses actual paper cutting, stuck using double sided tape to give it depth and a semi-flat finish. The illustrations end up looking very surreal and can help in telling brand stories through various layers. Featured below is a brilliant amalgamation of hand-made crafts made with the help of our design tools.
Claymation – a process of using clay modelling in animation – is one of the leading trends in stop-motion design. From the main character to the background, claymation gives the advantage of making each aspect of design deformable because of its malleability. This creative and innovative trend is used extensively for gaming animation and in Hollywood productions. As you can see below, though it is a little tedious and time consuming the output is generally worth the effort
Cinemagraphs, or animated photographs, are an evergreen trend in both social media and websites. The best part aspect of cinematography is that they can elevate any kind of page to another level and you do not need to be a leading fashion brand or a design studio to use them.
Cinemagraphs can grab the user’s attention and keep them hooked to your page for a longer time, thus increasing engagement for your page. These animated images work best on product pages where the important aspects of the product can be highlighted from a different angle. They also load faster than videos, making them the perfect fit for light websites.
Now that you know what the top design trends of 2018 are, it is time you implement them in your brand strategy and attract potential consumers. Whether you are a real estate developer, a top FMCG brand or a leading financial organisation, add these design trends to your marketing approach and grow your business.
Did you know that 28% of search queries in India are already done by voice? And that by 2020, 50% of all global searches will be voice searches? In fact, India is seeing 270% year on year growth in voice searches, as revealed in the recent Google for India event.
The rapid adoption of personal assistants - Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana - is changing the way consumers search the internet. Voice search is fast becoming the preferred mode for people to interact with their connected devices. The Mary Meeker 2018 Global Internet Report also noted the advancements made in voice technology and its growing adoption.
So how do we as marketers adapt to this change? Well, that's what this article is all about!
We'll talk about the growth of voice search, what it means for you as marketers and how you can use it to drive awareness, engagement and sales for your brand.
Well, to start with…
Over the last decade, laptop and mobile screens have been the primary ways users have interacted with the internet. However, with the advent and growth of voice assistants, particularly smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo, this is changing.. and changing fast!
The interaction has now started happening through voice, with smart speakers, without using a screen in most cases.
As marketers, we have spent years optimizing for screen User Interfaces and screen User Experiences but when there is no screen anymore, then these aspects become obsolete. The focus is now shifting to building conversational User Interfaces and screen User Experiences, which we will talk about later in this article.
The second thing which makes voice so important is the ability to reach new audiences.
Think about it - the next wave of India's Internet growth - the next billion or so internet users - are going to be largely from smaller cities and towns. For most of them, voice is a much easier and effortless way to interact as compared to typing on a small screen device. While there are indic keyboards to help these new users, voice is also a natural way to ask a question or query. Google is seeing a 270% year-on-year growth in voice queries in India. As a marketer, voice is your gateway to reach them.
Great, so now that we've seen why voice is important, how do we leverage it?
Almost all the keyword research that we do today is based on keywords that are typed into a search box.
However, the queries that people type in are drastically different from queries that people ask a personal assistant.
Think about it - let’s say you wanted to know who the CEO of Google is. If you're using a laptop, you would just head to Google and type "Microsoft CEO".
If you're using a personal assistant like Siri or Alexa, you would ask "Who is the CEO of Microsoft".
The first query was two worlds long while the second one was 6 words long!
Voice queries are almost always conversational, tend to contain questions and tend to be much longer. The average query length on desktop is 1 to 3 words, while voice is 7 to 8 words.
In fact, Moz pulled out data for query length for Cortana searches and compared that with the query length for general text searches. This is what they found:
This changes the way we as marketers should approach our keyword strategy. Brands will need to start optimizing for longer voice-based queries, as compared to shorter keywords that are more used with traditional typed search.
For those of you who use voice assistants frequently, where do you think the assistant pulls up most of its answers from? Well, most of it comes from something called an answer box.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you ask - "Hey Google, what are the top marketing blogs in India?"
Google gives you this answer:
You can see that the assistant credited the brand site here, from which it pulled out the answer.
Now, type in the same query into a Google search box and you will find that the assistant actually read out the answer from the first search result:
This is the answer box, also called a featured snippet or "position zero". To ensure your brand gets featured in answers to relevant voice queries, start building and optimizing content for the answer box.
Here’s a great guide from Moz on how to optimize for featured snippets.
A good percentage of voice searches are for local queries. For example, "What are the best Chinese restaurants around me" or "Where is the nearest coffee shop?"
Owing to this, optimizing for voice search becomes all the more imperative for businesses with a local physical presence. Ensure your local SEO strategy takes into account location-specific conversational based queries.
Here is a useful article on how to capitalize on voice search for Local SEO.
The smart speaker market, led by Amazon Echo and Google Home is projected to reach 225 million installed devices by 2020.
Currently, there’s no way to run sponsored ads on Amazon Echo or Google Home, though I personally feel this will roll out at some point in the near future. However, as marketers, you can use Alexa Skills and Google Home Actions to drive audience engagement, product use and even a new point-of-sale.
Quite a few brands have already started doing this. Just search for Alexa skills in India and you will find all the skills that are currently available.
Brands like ClearTrip, UrbanClap, Byju's and FreshMenu have been early movers here and are already using this to engage their audiences in different ways:
In the US, Tide has a very useful stain remover skill, with step-by-step voice instructions on how to remove over 200 types of stains - a great example of digital marketing for FMCG brands tailored for voice.
Another example of a brand using Alexa Skills really well is Nestle Purina, which helps you find the best canine companion for you, based on your lifestyle.
As the interface to interact with the internet moves from screen to voice, brands must start focusing on building more conversational user interfaces and experiences, modelled on natural human conversation. To start with, this could be as simple as adding voice functionality to the search bar on your website, which can now be done fairly easily by using the Google Web Speech API. Chatbots are another example of a conversational user interface
Voice is one of the biggest trends in digital marketing in India at the moment. As marketers, the faster you begin adapting to it the better.
So, which of the points that we have just talked about are you going to act immediately? Are you going to relook at your keyword strategy? Are you going to optimize for position "0"? Or are you going to try building Alexa skills? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!