finance bfsi

Social Beat and TATA Mutual remind taxpayers to say #NoToKatauti

  • Rhea
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  • 18 February , 2019
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    • 3 min read

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

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

The idea behind the campaign

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

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

Conceptualising and creating the campaign

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

The final launch

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

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

This article originally appeared in Campaign India.


All you need to know about non skippable in-stream ads

  • Pooja Manoj
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  • 14 February , 2019
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    • 3 min read

As a landmark development, YouTube has now expanded its non-skippable ad format to more creators, brands and advertisers who are looking to monetise their content. One of the many advantages of non-skippable ads is that your brand can reach its target audience with a complete message.  Also, since there is no option to skip the video, your customers have no choice, but to watch the entire ad campaign. With a duration of 15 seconds, non-skippable in-stream ads are very short in nature and pop up before, in between or after a video.

Where do non-skippable in-stream ads appear?

Ideally, non-skippable ads appear on YouTube, partner sites and apps associated with the Google Display Network. The charges for the ads are estimated based on CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bidding. In this case, you need to pay each time when your ad is shown 1000 times.

Steps to implement your non-skippable in-stream ads

Choose your campaign type and marketing objective

When it comes to the goal of your marketing campaign, your ad campaign dashboard gives you a plethora of options such as sales, leads, product & brand consideration, app promotion, website traffic and brand awareness & reach. For non-skippable in-stream ads choose your primary marketing objective as “brand awareness & reach”.  The next step is to opt for your campaign type as “video”.

Set your campaign subtype as non-skippable reach

Ideally, YouTube offers 5 different forms of campaign subtypes such as standard awareness, skippable in-stream, non-skippable in-stream, outstream ads for mobile and ad sequence.  So, when your marketing objective is brand awareness & reach, you need to set your campaign subtype to non-skippable in-stream ads.

Create your ad campaign

The first step in executing your ad campaign is to give the title of your campaign. Make sure your campaign name is within the limit of 120 characters. The next important task is to enter your budget value. This can be either total or daily accepted value. Once you set your budget, you can customise your campaign flight dates and other settings such as language and location. It will be great if you opt for video partners on the Digital Network to ensure maximum reach.

Set your bidding strategy

For non-skippable in-stream ads, the bidding strategy should be set to Target CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Ideally, through Target CPM, you are signing up for the average amount for every thousand times when your ad is shown.

Create your video ad

Choose an appropriate YouTube video which will be used for the ad campaign. Please note that your video ad cannot be longer than 15 seconds. If you wish to run a 20 second video ad, you have to contact the Google team for a whitelist request.

Execute your ad campaign

This is the stage in which you are all set to display your non-skippable in-stream ad to your target audience. You can measure the performance of your ad campaign by checking the completion rate in intervals of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. However, statistics such as average cost per view, number of views and view rate will not be displayed in the case of non-skippable in-stream ads, since they are measured based on impressions alone.

With so many innovations and advanced features, this is the right time for brands and advertisers to venture into YouTube advertising. The biggest advantage is that new features like non-skippable in-stream ads play a huge role in executing cost-effective ad campaigns to reach the next billion internet users in India. Apart from this, they also give you the opportunity to monitor real time insights about the views of your ad campaign.

For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.


How a masthead ad for Sundaram Mutual delivered phenomenal results

  • Rhea
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  • 18 January , 2019
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    • 2 min read

YouTube might have initially been conceptualised as a platform for users to upload and share videos with friends, but today it has evolved into the second largest search engine in the world. This platform has also been quickly gaining popularity among the Indian internet audience. At the YouTube Brandcast 2018, it was revealed that an incredible 225 million Indians are actively using YouTube every month. Clearly, brands cannot afford to ignore the immense reach YouTube offers them.

To take advantage of this, Social Beat collaborated with our client, Sundaram Mutual to leverage a ‘masthead’ ad to introduce their new fund. This strategy achieved unprecedented results for our client, proving that it’s time for brands to shift to YouTube ads from traditional advertising.

What are Masthead ads?

Mastheads ads are one of the fastest ways for brands to garner high views and build awareness among viewers. These videos are displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for the entire day. Because of this, any viewer going onto the platform will be able to see the video. By creating compelling video content that converts, these ads can even be an important tool to generate leads.

Objective behind the campaign

Sundaram Mutual is an asset management company with over 20 years of experience in fund management. The company’s biggest differentiator is their strong customer base, built on a foundation of sustained outperformance in the mid-cap space. In keeping with this philosophy, Sundaram Mutual was launching an open-ended equity scheme for which they wanted to generate awareness in a very short period of time. With the reach that digital marketing for finance can provide, YouTube was the obvious choice to help them achieve their objective.

Because of the nature of the product, the target audience was very wide. The primary age group targeted was been 25-55 and included individuals from tier 1, 2 and 3 regions of India. Since the target audience was broad, a masthead ad would be the most effective tool to reach out to them and generate awareness almost overnight.

Execution

Masthead ads are charged on a daily basis, so we had to make the most of the 24 hours we had at our disposal. To do this, we ran the campaign during the weekend to achieve maximum viewership. For the entirety of that day, all individuals who visited YouTube, either through the mobile app or through the desktop version, would see the masthead ad at the top of the page.

 

 

This approach would help us gain video views, increase the subscriber base and drive traffic to the website.

Results

Our 20-second masthead ad surpassed our expectations, delivering incredible results for Sundaram Mutual. In the 24 hours that the masthead ad was live, Sundaram Mutual’s subscriber base went from just 363 to a whopping 56,000! Currently, the number of subscribers has increased even further, standing at 57,000+. The video also garnered 14 million video views in the 24 hour period.

These unprecedented results only strengthen the fact that brands need to have a digital-first marketing strategy. Through targeted marketing options and easy trackability of results, YouTube can help your brand scale new heights. Do reach out to us to learn more about our Video Marketing services.


7 effective digital marketing techniques for insurance companies

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 28 September , 2018
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    • 7 min read

The modern concept of insurance might have started in the 17th century, but consumers and their decision-making processes have changed drastically over time. Modern-day consumers, with the power of the internet at their fingertips, are more informed now than ever before. Prior to making a purchase decision, they extensively research various plans, read reviews about different providers and ask their peers for recommendations. Insurance companies need to adapt to this changing funnel and target their consumers at every stage of the customer journey. Here’s how digital marketing for insurance companies can help brands widen their audience and revamp their marketing strategies.

Cohesive brand message across channels

Insurance companies in India today largely operate in the offline space, both in terms of marketing and operations. When transitioning to digital, companies need to ensure that their branding is cohesive on all platforms. Having a uniform, strong brand image is crucial to improving recall value among customers. All of your future communications, promotions and other marketing activities will depend upon the brand image that your company creates.

In some cases, companies might need to rebrand themselves to adapt to the digital space. If you do decide to update the look and feel of your brand to make it stand out better on digital platforms, you also need to ensure that your offline branding follows suit. Consistency between your online and offline personas is key to creating a strong brand.

Create a comprehensive & performance driven website

When it comes to digital marketing for insurance companies, a website is more than just a tool for branding. While one of the most important uses of a website is to communicate your brand image to your audience, it should also be a useful resource of information for them. When it comes to making a decision about which insurance provider to partner with, customers do so only after carrying out extensive research. The Customer Behaviour and Loyalty in Insurance report by Bain & Company found that more than half of all insurance holders choose a provider only after conducting research on digital platforms. Does your website provide consumers with all the information they need to make a decision?

 

When developing a website for your insurance brand, you need to ensure that it isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but is also easy to navigate and user-friendly. Personalisation of home pages is becoming increasingly important for a positive user experience. It's also important to ensure that the pages are focussed on driving action and driving enquiries or purchases. You can consider creating a login for your customers, which allows them to see details of their plans and customised suggestions based on their needs. It’s also important that you optimise your website with strong SEO techniques to drive organic traffic and gain greater visibility.  Apart from supporting your content marketing, local SEO techniques like getting featured on Google Local Listings and Google My Business can help your audience learn more about your company.

Build thought leadership through content marketing

Content marketing is uniquely suited to the marketing needs of insurance brands. Choosing an insurance provider isn’t a quick decision, nor is it a one-time process. Customers need to renew their plans periodically, at which time they can even decide to switch providers. Effective content marketing techniques can help you gain the trust of your audience by establishing your brand as a thought leader in the field. When backed by effective SEO strategies to increase organic traffic and help your content rank higher, content marketing can be one of the most useful ways to reach a wider audience.

Content marketing can take the form of blog posts, informative videos and how-to guides. This can help engage with your customers right from the awareness stage to acquisition and finally the retention phase. When developing a content marketing strategy it’s important that you think from the perspective of your audience and create content that they will actually find useful. The blog by Sundaram Business Services, for example, doesn’t just have information related directly to their services. Instead, it caters to all related queries that their audience might have. In this way, your customers will be able to recall your brand when they need to choose an insurance provider.

Engage consumers actively on social media

Social media isn’t commonly associated with insurance brands, but it is as important for this segment as it is for any other. There are currently around 240 million Indians on Facebook and this number is only going to grow from here. Insurance, on the other hand, hasn’t penetrated as far in India. Currently, only 20 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men in the country are covered by health insurance. Social media is a powerful way to develop your brand identity and consistently engage with your target audience. Through creative posts, digital marketing for insurance can develop awareness of your product, while at the same time, entertaining your audience.

For Star Health Insurance, we posted a series of quirky posts to highlight the importance of being protected with insurance in an unusual way. This is an excellent example of how out-of-the-box thinking can help social media campaigns for insurance companies gain excellent results.

For some brands, it may be relevant to go after India’s next billion internet users by tapping onto a multilingual content st+rategy. To find out more, find out how we leveraged vernacular content on social media for one of our BFSI Clients, Chola Finance.

Use chatbots for improved customer service

Large insurance companies typically handle huge volumes of customer queries every single day. The Google India 2017 Year In Search Report revealed that there has been a 64 per cent growth in queries related to motor insurance, which has also been a key driver in generating leads. Timely resolution of these queries is crucial to improve a customer’s experience with your brand and to generate leads. But insurance companies might not always have the manpower to do this effectively. To streamline their processes and handle large-scale customer queries, many insurance brands are turning to AI-powered solutions like chatbots.

As a majority of insurance-related queries are related to broadly similar topics like the price, duration and terms of various insurance plans, chatbots can resolve them much faster than human representatives. But the advantages of chatbots aren’t just for the companies themselves; they go both ways. According to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 69% of consumers prefer interacting with chatbots over human customer service representatives.

Leverage digital advertising to acquire leads

Paid advertising can be a fast and effective lead generation tool in digital marketing for insurance companies. There are over 25 platforms available today for insurance companies to advertise their services and gain customers. Some of these include Google Search and Display, LinkedIn, Times Internet, Native and Affiliate ad networks. When coupled with high-performing landing pages, these tools can turn your insurance marketing strategy into a lead generation machine. The advanced targeting options available in digital advertising platforms make it easy for insurance companies to find their target audience online. Companies can target audiences by age, locality and intent, which can help them generate high-quality leads. Since insurance companies are also interested in finding younger audiences to build a relationship with them from the start, advertising on Facebook through video ads, carousel ads and more can help them engage with this segment.

Bijlipay was able to capitalise on the power of Google ads to achieve an unprecedented number of leads in a cost-effective way. They used A/B testing to run different landing pages and altered the copies to communicate with different segments of their audience in a targeted manner. This strategy helped Bijlipay achieve 3,569 conversions at a cost-per-conversion of just Rs. 285. Here are some tips on improving the quality of your leads via digital advertising.

Nurture leads through digital media

Digital platforms have helped to improve the quality of audience targeting and retention in a way traditional media hasn’t been able to. The variety of lead targeting and nurturing methods available today makes it possible to engage with your customers at various touchpoints. In the insurance segment, this is very important to gain new policyholders and to retain existing ones even after their plan expires.

One of the most effective lead nurturing strategies for insurance companies is drip email marketing. With this technique, you can create targeted communications for your customers in every phase of their purchase decision process.

A drip email marketing campaign can be broadly categorised into three phases:

Welcome emails: This is an automated email sent out as soon as a consumer expresses interest in your brand by signing up on your website or filling out a form. A consumer in this stage is usually evaluating various insurance providers and hasn’t made a decision about which one to choose. A welcome email can provide them with details of your company and your USPs, to give them a clearer idea of your brand.

Nurturing emails: The second stage goes deeper to provide consumers with more specific details about your various services, details of your plans and your value propositions. Each of these emails should provide consumers with a clear reason as to why they should convert. The exact number of nurturing emails can vary.

Activation emails: If you have effectively used strong lead nurturing emails, your audience should be ready to convert into actual customers. Activation emails can include a link to sign up for an insurance plan or to get in touch with a representative from your company. These emails include a clear call-to-action which gives your audience the final push to convert.

Apart from email marketing, the introduction of WhatsApp for Business offers insurance companies another medium for lead nurturing. However, since WhatsApp is still largely a personal inbox, companies need to ensure that they keep their communications through this app concise. Sending too many messages to consumers can be seen as spam.

Digital marketing has a number of clear advantages for insurance companies. While this segment has traditionally not been active on digital platforms, it’s clear that making the shift will help insurance companies widen their audience and gain more visibility.


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

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

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

How does it benefit marketers?

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

How does it benefit consumers?

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

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

Information generated in lead reports:

Marketers can get the following fields filled by potential consumers:

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

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

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


How to improve the quality of leads generated via digital

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

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

Having a quick response time

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

Cloud Telephony for better attribution

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

Effective lead nurturing techniques

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

Thinking out-of-the-inbox:

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

Targeted content marketing:

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

Lead scoring based on content consumption:

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

Effective follow-up:

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

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

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

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

Ads with optimal messaging

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

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

End-to-end messaging in regional content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The ultimate guide to digital marketing for the financial industry

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 20 April , 2018
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    • 9 min read

Whether it is opening a bank account or investing in a mutual fund, most users first move is to "Google it." In fact, according to Google's Year in Search report, there has been more than 61% growth in personal loan queries and 72% growth in mutual fund queries. This statistic shows the growing need for the finance industry to adopt digital marketing.  Here is a complete guide on digital marketing for finance, one that will help you understand the benefits and ways you can use it along with case studies and best practices.

Digital Marketing for finance - the benefits

To widen their clientele

With over 470 million active users on the Internet, India is the world’s second-biggest online community. The figures are estimated to increase to a whopping 635 million by the end of 2021. These stunning statistics are proof that digital marketing for the financial industry is a guaranteed way to reach a large percentage of the Indian population and convert them to loyal customers.

To evaluate their services

The dynamic medium of the Internet is a two-way street. Apart from providing financial sectors with an excellent platform to market their brand and feature their products, the online space also offers the benefit of evaluating your services and seeing what works. You will also have complete access to analytics and other such statistical data to track the performance of your digital campaigns.

To receive instant feedback

Customer satisfaction is of vital importance in the finance sector. Ensuring your consumers are happy and satisfied with your services is what drives the banking sector and digital marketing for the finance industry offers just that. From online posts to discussion forums, you will get a closer insight into what your customers are looking for in your products and how you can improvise your services for better consumer delight.

To cut down on marketing costs

There is no doubt that marketing your brand on the digital space costs much lesser than traditional advertising and branding. Apart from comparatively lesser costing, financial organisations will also get a better reach and can target their audience more effectively. Banks and other financial institutes can take complete advantage of this cost-effective technique and have resorted to digital marketing for the financial industry as their branding strategy.

Top ways of leveraging digital marketing for the finance industry

Now that we know the importance of digital marketing for the finance industry. Let's take a look at ways the finance industry can use digital marketing to reach a wide audience and create a powerful brand online.

Digitise your brand

Banks and other organisations in the financial sector can leverage digital marketing for the financial sector as their branding strategy by working neck-and-neck with a digital agency. These agencies, such as Social Beat, provide end-to-end digital solutions from social media posts that go viral to top-notch website content that will rank you in the first page of Google.

Create an engaging app

There are an estimated 300 million smartphone users in India and this statistic is expected to reach a mind-boggling 2.3 billion by the end of 2022. With such a large percentage of the Indian population relying on apps for their daily chores, it is time you dive into the digital space with a high-end app, designed to cater to every need of your customers.

Whether you are a leading bank or a financial data aggregator, investing in a good app is a guaranteed way to take your business to towering heights. In today’s day and age, people like to be on the move even while making financial plans or surfing the internet for research. Apart from merely searching for information, most money transfers and other financial transactions also happen over the phone. With a user-friendly app, all your services and programs will be available at the click of a button which will lead to higher lead conversions and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.

You can also explore the concept of Progressive web apps for your company. This phenomenon is one of the top digital marketing trends in 2018 and is guaranteed to change the outlook of your financial organisation.

Go social

Financial institutes can increase the exposure of the organization by tapping on the reach of social media marketing. India is leading the online community with 241 million active users on Facebook. This only means that a large number of potential customers are currently scrolling through their social feeds and there is a possibility that a lump sum of this audience is in the lookout of a reliable and reputed financial partner.  With relatable social media posts, and engaging videos, financial organisations can easily use content to engage with their target audience and widen their consumer database. You can also track the performance of your posts through advanced social media analytics tools and strategize accordingly. For more insights on digital marketing for the financial industry, check out our blog on the Facebook marketing trends of 2017.

FundsIndia is India’s biggest online investment platform with over 1 million consumers. In one of their most recent Facebook campaigns, on investing in mutual funds, they targeted the women of India with a quirky creative and copy.

Additionally, they also used a humorous vox-pop video to understand peoples' spending and saving habits. This video helped FundsIndia with their brand awareness and reach.

Get ranked

In today’s day and age, the first thing which pops up in a consumer’s mind while looking for a particular service or product is to perform a mobile search. If you are considering digital marketing for the finance industry, one of your first steps should be to ensure you rank on Google. Focusing on optimal search engine optimization will drive a higher traffic to your website which, in turn, will lead to higher lead conversions.

You can start by ensuring your organisation is featured on Google local listings to increase the footfall to your outlets. You can also get showcased on Google My Business listings to give potential customers a brief insight of your organisation. Apart from Google listings, it is also a good idea to leverage the power of content marketing to get ranked. You can promote your services and packages with engaging blogs and other posts that have the potential to both ranks on Google and go viral on social media. However, make sure you explore all content amplification strategies to promote your content. It is also vital to incorporate all the keywords and trending topics in your blog posts for better results.

Step up your ad game

Facebook and Google ads have taken the world of digital advertising by storm. From website conversion ads to carousel and lead ads, banks can opt for an array of advertising techniques to drive enquiries and quality leads. You can also market your brand with a creative combination of videos, images and copy to attract your target group. Facebook is the best bet when it comes to online advertising as you can opt for detailed targeting based on age, geographic location, content consumption, online behaviour and many other such demographics. You can also target the users who have previously clicked on your ad or recently visited your website for leads of premium quality.

A Google ad is the other “non-social” type of ad financial organisations can invest in to widen their clientele. These ads show up in Google when potential customers type in the relevant keywords in search of a renowned banking institute.

Engage your audience with drip marketing

Email marketing is the most traditional and effective type of online branding, especially when it comes to digital marketing for the financial industry. With the beginning of 2018, this trend has been upgraded with an improvised version of customized emails. Reaching out to your potential consumers with personalized emails featuring the various offers and packages provided by your organization is a guaranteed way of increasing lead conversions. For example, if a user has logged into your website and shown interest in your services by subscribing to your newsletter, you can nurture the lead with regular notifications and offers provided by your firm to attract them further. According to a recent survey, drip email marketing provides a 119% click-through rate on authentic emails.

Apart from lead nurturing, drip emailers are also effective triggers to close incomplete transactions. For example, if a user had clicked on one of your financial programs or was in the middle of a transaction but could not complete the task, your digital team can target them with follow-up emails as gentle reminders. The emails can be customized as per the demographics of the user, with an effective call-to-action to close the deal in a single click. Featured below is one of the creative used in a drip emailer for one of our top clients – Kotak Asset Management who have engaged in digital marketing for the finance industry.

Leverage word-of-mouth marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the top digital marketing trends of 2017 and is expected to continue its reign in 2018. There is a personal element of trust and assurance when customers choose their financial partners based on the advice and suggestions of a commoner and that is exactly the type of branding influencer marketing has to offer. Influencers upload engaging posts and modest reviews in the form of blogs, videos and pictures which has the potential to instantly attract viewers and convert them to consumers. Influencer marketing is one of the main pillars of digital marketing for the finance industry and is definitely something you should leverage for your organisation.

Speaking about digital marketing for finance, follow our YouTube channel Paisa Pujari for insights on how to control your finances. Here's a video on the smart use of credit cards, to get you started:

Financial organisations and digital marketing – A case study

The potential of going social - Bank of Baroda

Bank of Baroda is one of the first public banking organizations to have resorted to digital marketing for the financial industry. Their marketing team focused on creating a premium presence on the online space rather than giving plain emphasis on the number of followers. Each of their campaigns had a specific objective from promotional content to lead generation. One of their most commendable campaigns was that of “One in a leap”. In this campaign, the bank put up a post on Facebook asking their customers to tag the one person who is a role model in their lives. The post was put up on the 29th of February during the leap year of 2016. The hashtag #OneInALeap was trending for a good six hours along with the hot topic of the day – the Indian Union Budget 2016.

Powerful story telling - ICICI Bank

Being one of the leading banks in the nation, ICICI tapped the Indian female population with the #FundYourOwnGrowth campaign. The campaign focused on encouraging women to invest in themselves and not be tied down by the shackles of the society. Women around the subcontinent could enroll in the Fund Your Own Growth program and open a woman’s account to enjoy a plethora of irresistible offers and benefits. A lot of online traffic was driven to their website which showcased the program details, advantages of opening a woman’s account and a series of inspirational stories of real women and their struggles against poverty. Through this campaign, the bank took the angle of empowering women to sell a financial product. The campaign also included a 2-minute video ad featuring top Indian actress Konkana Sen Sharma which was splashed on all major digital video platforms, including Youtube.

The magic of Google ads - BijliPay

Apart from banks and leading monetary institutes, B2B organisations that cater to the technologies involved in the financial sector are also focusing on digital marketing for the financial industry. BijliPay, one of India’s top end-to-end providers of payment solutions, collaborated with Social Beat to up their digital game and gain quality leads from the online space.

When the Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes were demonetized in the end of 2016, a lot of businesses realized the need to go digital in order to survive in the market. Understanding this demand, BijliPay used Google to advertise their mPOS devices (card swiping machines). The primary objective of the campaigns was to acquire more customers in the wake of Demonetisation. In order to achieve our targets, we performed AB testing for different landing pages and altered the copies of various search campaigns based on what was performing well. Our ground-breaking campaigns landed 3,569 lead conversions with a cost per conversion of just Rs 285.

Amplified reach through YouTube masthead ads - Sundaram Mutual

With an average of 225 million active Indian users through mobile every month, YouTube is the world’s favourite search engine for videos, emerging as a game-changer in every brand’s marketing strategy. Keeping this in mind, we partnered with Sundaram Mutual Fund to leverage the reach and branding of YouTube Masthead ads while introducing a new fund offer. Masthead ads are primarily used by brands to create a buzz about a product or service and reach out to consumers in a wide range of demographics. They are displayed on the homepage of YouTube and charged on a daily basis. The open-ended equity scheme offered by Sundaram Mutual Fund was advertised in a short 20-second Masthead ad on YouTube, and the results were phenomenal.

The primary objective of the campaign was to increase awareness about the brand, drive traffic to their page and increase the number of subscribers with the introduction of the new fund offer. The 20-second Masthead ad spiked the number of subscribers on Sundaram Mutual Fund’s YouTube page from a mere 363 to a whopping 56K in just a matter of 24 hours.

 

With such astounding statistics and mind-boggling figures, there is no doubt that digital marketing for the finance industry is an emerging trend which is here to stay. It is time you leverage the power of digital and secure the future of your financial organisation.


How a redesign strategy for Chola helped increase social engagement

  • Harshita
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  • 22 March , 2018
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    • 4 min read

Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited (Chola), is the financial services arm of the Murugappa Group, providing a variety of loan options to its customers. The vision of Chola is to enable its growing clientele of over 8 lakh customers to enter a better life. Since Chola is a small loans provider, most of its consumer base consists of middle-class Indians, especially from tier 2 and tier 3 towns. This is why it was crucial that our communication and design strategy appealed to this audience segment in order to create maximum engagement. The core objective of our redesign strategy for Chola was to break away from previous design formats and offer a fresh new look.

The Brief

The Target Audience that we were dealing with is the middle-class section of the Indian society. The visual appeal of both the design and the copy has to go hand in hand for the TA to be able to relate to it. The campaigns were tailor-made for the TA to ensure maximum shareability. The ideation for the campaigns primarily involved topics trending with socio-economic groups we were targeting. The TA had to be able to identify with these topics in order to feel compelled to share the posts.

The Creative Idea

Throughout a number of brainstorming and ideation sessions keeping the target audience and their interests in mind, the team explored various approaches and ideas. During this process, we decided that the best approach would be to understand the feelings of the TA. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we would be better able to understand the kind of content our target audience would find engaging. This was one of the best ways to gain traction as viewers can relate best when they see their life stories projected creatively on their screens. All of our campaigns for Chola mainly focused on trending topics of that period to maximize the shareability of the posts.

The Execution

 With our campaigns for Chola, we decided to try out something new in terms of design style. Having utilized a vectorized design style over the past campaigns, we decided to give the new campaigns a fresh new look. Instead of vector designs, we used detailed, sketched, hand-drawn line illustrations to retain the sophisticated nature of the brand in a creative way. We also utilized the latest super tools in design gadgets.

The design process began with ideation of themes, conceptualization of scenarios based on the content and visualizing people, actions, costumes, spaces and objects to portray in the designs. The next step involved collecting and documenting relevant imagery on the basis of the ideation. Followed by this was the creation process of digitally hand-drawing sketches and creating customised vectors with reference to the collected imagery. Once this process was completed, the colour palette, font styles and the layout were structured and executed.

 

 

Some of Our Best-Performing Campaigns for Chola

 Our campaigns for Chola usually revolve around a central theme. They include a series of creative images which relate to the theme and tell a compelling story. Here are a few of the design campaigns we created for Chola which performed very well on social media.

 

#LifeThroughGenerations

Children’s Day was around the corner and so we conceptualized an interesting campaign for the same. There has been a drastic change in the lifestyles of children today compared to children 10-20 years back. The central theme of this campaign was to portray how children from the previous generation led such different lives as compared to children today. We tried bringing in various aspects of childhood like pocket money, holidays, summertime and weekends as themes to compare children then and children now.

 

 

A detailed line drawing sketches were made to portray different scenarios. Only the images of the children had colours added to ensure that the emphasis was solely on them. The layout was kept very simple using minimal colours as the drawings were intricate.

#DreamsToGoals

Goals and Dreams are different yet interrelated. We created a metaphoric representation of this concept for the #DreamsToGoals campaign. The basic story of this campaign centred on an entrepreneur who strives to cross a cliff. Using a story-based design representation, the concept made it easier to understand and more relatable.

 

 

The design attributes followed in this campaign were meaningful illustrations designed with a minimalist aesthetic. A fresh and bright colour palette was used to break the monotony of past designs in the finance industry and create a new visual language. A clean typography, layout and illustration style was implemented throughout the series to express the sophisticated nature of the company.

#SlumToFame

 

 

This campaign shines the spotlight on the untold success stories of small business owners who have made it big. Throughout our design process, we focused on portraying the achievements of these small business owners in a captivating, original manner. A clever collage representation of the content was executed by overlapping images over illustrations. We also added minimalistic movements to the design elements to make it more compelling. The colour palette used in this campaign was a combination of gradients in relevance to the businesses. A clean decorative placement of the copy added to the visual element to the designs.

These campaigns performed very well on social media, garnering a high number of reactions, comments and shares. These numbers proved that creative and thoughtfully designed posts can engage with customers, contribute towards a positive brand image and increase brand awareness. You can also read our blog on What Brands Can do to Engage With India’s Next Billion Users to find more ways to capture the attention of your consumers.

~Other contributors to this blog include Rhea Jane 

 


Cholamandalam Finance and Social Beat tap vernacular content

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

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

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

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

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

 


Top 10 Financial Startups in the World

  • Srilakshmi
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  • 13 August , 2016
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    • 2 min read

Unlike corporate companies, start-ups are not about the limelight. They are about distortion, adjustments, hard work, dedication, integrity, taking responsibility, and struggle, especially financial startups. While founding a financial or Fintech startup seems to be a cool career plan, not every startup reaches the top of the ladder and has attributes that can help it become well-established. Some of the 10 well-known financial start-ups that caught the world’s eye are as follows:

1. Adyen

Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Founding year: 2006

Industry: Multichannel payment services

Known for providing advance payment services to more than 3500 plus merchant brands like Uber, Facebook, etc., the company has reported over 100% growth in its revenue and almost 40% growth in customer acquisition by the year 2014.

2. Avant Inc.

Headquarters: Chicago, USA

Founding year: 2012

Industry: Financial Technology and services

Previously known as AvantCredit, this Fintech startup was originally planned to serve as a mid-prime lender. Gradually, they began offering loans to many states in the US. In the past 4 years, the company saw a sizeable growth.

3. TransferWise

Headquarters: London, England

Founding year: 2011

Industry: Peer-to-peer money transfer services

This Estonian developed startup supports more than 300 currency routes globally. With more than £3 million transferred, for the customers, the company’s money transfer policy looks no different from the traditional money transfer service. However, the difference lies in the backend on how TransferWise routes the payment.

4. Nova Financial

Headquarters: London, England

Founding year: 2015

Industry: Property and finance advisory firm

The independent startup, Nova Financial Ltd. is a privately owned firm, which specializes in assisting clients to identify the most suitable property investments for their specific personal situation based up on their goals and preferences.

5. Dianrong

Headquarters: Shanghai, China

Founding year: 2012

Industry: Personal finance & software firm

What started as a brainchild of Mr. Soul Htite, this startup is now China’s leading internet financial services company. With 2500+ employees and 25+ offices across China, this firm offers innovative financial solutions.

6. KnCMiner

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Founding year: 2013

Industry: Bitcoin mining

This unique Fintech startup provides secure, effective, and green blockchain power to the world. In short, their aim is to design, build, equip, and run industrial computing centers on renewable hydropower.

7. Paytm

Headquarters: Noida, India

Founding year: 2010

Industry: E-commerce

What started as a mobile recharging and bill payment app is now a eCommerce startup. Now India’s largest mobile payment service platform, Paytm Wallet is used for various online payment services as well.

8. Number26

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Founding year: 2013

Industry: Modern banking services

Styles as a bank of the future, Number 26 provides free and flexible services that differs from the conventional, rigid bank structure. Launched in Germany and Austria, the firm has almost 10,000+ customers.

9. Freecharge

Headquarters: Mumbai, India

Founding year: 2010

Industry: Bill payment and recharge

Started as recharge and bill-payment app, Freecharge was named as one of the most promising technology startups from India by Pluggd.in, in the year 2011. By 2015, Freecharge was however acquired by Indian e-Commerce platform Snapdeal for a whopping INR 28 billion.

10. Prodigy

Headquarters: London, UK

Founding year: 2007

Industry: International student loans provider

This startup helps international students, who want to attend participating business schools or other postgraduate schools, by providing them student loans. In the current year, Prodigy Finance was included in the European FinTech 50.

Speaking on financial start-ups, follow our YouTube channel Paisa Pujari for unmatched financial tips that help you keep your expenses in control. Here's a video on the smart use of credit cards to get you going:

 


Social Media Trends from Ernst & Young: What has changed in 2014?

  • Lalitha Shukla
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  • 25 February , 2015
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    • 4 min read

India is a significant market for social media giants. We have 100m+ users on Facebook and over 33 million users on Twitter. Mobile web penetration has also been one of the main contributors in the active social media usage. Almost 84% of the 100 million users on Facebook access it through their mobile phones. Keeping all of the above mentioned facts in consideration, it is fair to conclude that the reach on social media is exponentially huge and for brands to tap on this opportunity would result in a vital growth for their businesses

Ernst & Young have released the second edition of the Social Media Marketing Trends in India. They collated data based on the insights shared by top brands in India that are social-media savvy. The previous Ernst & Young study was centered on how brands explored social media to build communities online & sustain engagement. This time, the key focus was on understanding how far have the brands come in the digital space and also the social media maturity levels with respect to the processes and policies, technology and governance across organizations in India.

Let’s have a look at what has changed since 2013!

(Image Courtesy - Ernst & Young)

  1. Reputation Management, Thought Leadership & Recruitment have been added to the objectives to achieve alongside community building & brand engagement on social media.
  2. Facebook continues to be the predominant social media platform for engagement. Google+ and LinkedIn evolved as social media platforms to reach out to professionals across the country (highly relevant for B2B industries). Apart from these two platforms, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest have also emerged as highly engaging & crucial platforms to spawn conversations with the TG.
  3. Brands have become observant of the frequency of updates on social media channels & response time from the audiences. Most of the top social media savvy brands in India engage with their fans once a day through multiple platforms. The point worth noting here is that the average response time is 1-5 hours per engagement.
  4. The study indicates that with the popularity and expanding reach of social media, around 90 per cent of Indian brands plan on dedicating 15% of their annual marketing spends to social media.
  5. The top 3 challenges have been narrowed down to not being able to successfully measure effectiveness of social media engagements, and creating/curating content & sustaining or increasing engagement rates.

   (Image Courtesy - Ernst & Young)

The study also highlighted that brands across various industries have realized the implication of tapping on social media channels and understood its peculiar demands.

How do brands in India function digitally?

  1. Most of the Indian brands have their social media strategy & content aligned to meet their business goals. However, there are brands that have their social media strategy in place but do not have it linked to any specific goal.
  2. Many companies have an internal team dedicated for curating social media content & strategy whereas there are few which outsource them from agencies. Mostly Indian brands work on a hybrid model where the internal core team is supplemented by social media agencies & consultants. However, when it comes to the execution part of a social media campaign/strategy the brands turn to social media agencies which run the campaign online.
  3. Market trends and Customer Insights are the key drivers for the brands to formulate their strategies for social media.
  4. Brands are looking at a 360 degree marketing approach and are including social media as a key channel for deploying campaigns along with traditional channels.
  5. Mobile app development is an area that is being explored aggressively since it adds another advertising medium in the bag. Considering that a lot of users access social media channels through their smartphones & tablets, mobile advertising will emerge as a crucial channel for marketing.

How do brands measure success on social media?

  1.  Engagement level, traffic growth rate & social media reach will be the main metrics to measure the success of social media campaigns deployed by the brands.
  2. It is important for brands to tie their social media efforts with their business goals and these goals are measured by the conversions, leads, ROI & sales.
  3. Radian6 and Meltwater emerged as the most popular tools to measure the brand sentiment.
  4. Most of the brands focus on listening to the customers instead of bombarding them with information. And this resulted in companies paying more attention to what their customers had to say about their brand.
  5. Understanding customer perception of the brands, effective monitoring of the brand sentiment, efficient handling of customer queries and better customer insights are some of the benefits that the brands have secured by integrating social media marketing with social listening.

What’s the next big thing?

The study also states that Social CRM, Social Commerce & Gamification will be the future for the brands to explore and harness their growth on.

The full Ernst & Young report on Social Media Marketing Trends in India can be found here.

 


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