google adwords

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.


Social Beat wins for Mobile Innovation at Google Premier Partner Awards

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 7 December , 2018
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    • 3 min read

Since becoming a Google Premier Partner, Social Beat has strived to push the boundaries in digital marketing to deliver the best ROI for our clients. We are happy to announce that after being nominated as a finalist for the Mobile and Display Innovation 2018 by Google, our consistent efforts have been rewarded! Social Beat has been selected as the winner of the Mobile Innovation Award at the Google Premier Partner Awards in Mumbai. This award is a testimony as to why brands need a digital-first marketing strategy.

This marks the second consecutive year we have been awarded by Google. In the 2017 edition, Social Beat won the Display Innovation Award for our groundbreaking work with Casagrand. Google only chooses five agencies for this award every year and we are honoured to be one of them.

About the client:

India Home Health Care (IHHC), a partner of BAYADA Home Health Care, is committed to providing high-quality care for the health and well-being of loved ones from the comfort of their home. Their team includes professionally-trained registered and associated nurses, medical doctors, medical care-takers, occupational therapists and attendants.

Objectives:

The objective for India Home Health Care was to boost their lead generation strategy to acquire better quality leads at the lowest price possible.

Challenges:

Some of the obstacles in our path to achieve this objective were:

  • There were too many competitors in the market that were bidding for the same keywords.
  • There was an increase in the average cost per click by 30% making it difficult for the company to engage with their audience and retain them
  • There are many restrictions in the healthcare industry such as retargeting. This along with competitors made it hard to reach out to the audience about IHCC.

Our Solutions:

To overcome these challenges, we had to think out of the box. Some of the path-breaking techniques we implemented were:

  • In order to achieve long-term goals, we came up with the strategy of launching AMP landing pages and increased conversions with the help of Google Optimise.
  • Through the SEMRUSH tool, we researched paid keywords that competitors were using and their creatives. This information was used to start a competitor search campaign and bid higher on their keywords as well as increase location bids.
  • We enabled RLSA with effective copies and bid higher for them to improve conversions.
  • Through A/B testing of campaign and effective ad copies of AMP landing pages, conversion rates increased to 0.24% in a short period of time along with low cost per lead.
  • Google Analytics is a very useful tool that helped us get useful advanced audience insights that were used for search and display campaigns.
  • The move from Last-Click model to the Position Attribution Model allowed us to understand the process more effectively.

Results

These strategies helped us achieve unprecedented outcomes for our client, IHHC. Our conversion rate increased from 2.16% to 6.17% with a page load time of less than 3 seconds and a 33% decrease in the cost per lead. After the implementation of AMP, the quality score of the keywords increased to 8/10 and conversions increased by 20%. 90% of the campaign was moved to mobile and this resulted in 95% conversions and a 16% click-through rate. The change to the Position-Attribution model allowed us to better understand the consumer decision making process.

We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our Social Beat team that consistently exceeds client expectations to achieve the best results for them.

You can also read our blog to learn more about How AMP lowered CPL by 33% for IHHC.


The winning formula to generate more B2B leads

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

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

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

Content Marketing

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

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

Blogs

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

Videos

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

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

Downloadable content

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

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

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

Reports and case studies

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

Webinars and podcasts

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

Search Engine Optimisation

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

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

LinkedIn

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

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

Sponsored Posts

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

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

LinkedIn Lead Ads

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

InMail Ads

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

Landing Page

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

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

Email Marketing

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

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

Case Study: Full-Funnel Approach for Sundaram Business Services

The objective

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

The challenge

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

The approach

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

Step 1: Promote blogs on LinkedIn

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

Step 2: Landing page

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

Step 3: Client testimonial

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

Step 4: LinkedIn ads

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

Step 5: Downloadable white paper

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

Results

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

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


TrueView for action Form ads for higher conversions

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 10 November , 2018
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    • 2 min read

Last month, Google introduced a contact form extension for search ads and following its success, they are now replicating it for YouTube TrueView for action. This pre-filled form extension will allow advertisers to generate leads from a channel that has always been known for its top-of-the-funnel marketing approach. Excited to know more? Read on.

How does it work?

By leveraging TrueView for action Form ads, your brand can drive leads through an in-line form submission by the consumer. Your video will have a CTA which will lead viewers to a pre-filled form where they can submit their details (name, email and phone number) in order to learn more about your brand. This way, users can submit information directly to the advertisers in an easy and hassle-free manner, creating a win-win situation for both the marketers and consumers.

Things to consider while implementing YouTube form ads

There are a few pointers to keep in mind while implementing TrueView for action Form ads to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Few of them are discussed below:

  • TrueView for action Form ads are compatible with all forms of YouTube targeting including custom intent audiences, remarketing and customer match audiences. So, it is a good idea to experiment with all forms of targeting in order to generate high-quality leads for your brand.
  • Pay attention to your ad copies. Make sure that the headline of your form and the respective CTA is descriptive enough and in line with the objective of your campaign.

Featured below is an example of a TrueView for action Form ad implemented for a car insurance company. As you can see, when the user clicks on the CTA button “Send me more info”, they are presented with a form that appears as a drop down. The form is pre-filled making it easier for the user to submit their details and get one step closer to converting to the brand.

With TrueView for action Form ads, digital marketers can easily engage with India’s next billion Internet users by tapping the Google and YouTube audiences who are engaging with their YouTube ads. Whether you are a leading real estate developer, an FMCG giant or a top financial organisation, it is time you add TrueView for action Form ads to your digital marketing strategy. 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.

 


Social Beat is finalist for Search, Mobile & Display innovation 2018 by Google

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 29 August , 2018
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    • 3 min read

We at Social Beat are proud to announce that, for the second consecutive year, we are a finalist in the Google Premier Partner awards in three categories – Search Innovation, Mobile Innovation and Display Innovation. A Google Partner since 2014, we have continually forged ahead in our endeavours to deliver the best ROI for our clients. Following are a few case studies exemplifying the quality of our work and dedication to our clients.

Success in Search Innovation for a leading pre-school and daycare chain

 KLAY is one of India’s top pre-school and daycare chains. They approached us with the goal of closing admissions for their schools and day care centres. To help KLAY achieve their goal, we decided to use a comprehensive Google Search Advertising campaign. Our strategy included using RLSA to bid higher for those who visited the KLAY website earlier, CPA bidding, Dynamic Search Ads, etc. We also invested heavily in Call-Only Ads by understanding consumer behaviour in this industry rather than just focusing on landing page conversions. We also utilised AMP pages (these load faster than regular landing pages) and finally, In-Market Audiences in Search.

Our extensive strategy and approach helped achieve the following results:

  • 181% increase in website enquiry conversions
  • 17.5% decrease in average CPC

Success in Mobile Innovation for a leading healthcare service company

Our client, India Home Health Care (IHHC) is a leading healthcare service company came to us with the objective of increasing quality leads while maintaining a low cost per lead. Since the competition in the healthcare space in India is extremely high, we conducted extensive research to understand their target group before scaling up the campaign.  Since a majority of the leads for IHHC came through mobile, enabling AMP would have a strong impact. As this would significantly reduce the load-time of these pages, we predicted that it could generate higher leads for IHHC.

Apart from this, we also created smart remarketing lists and using them for RLSA to get better conversions and results, improving the Landing Page UX, focussing on Call Only Ads and Device Bid Adjustments.

Our comprehensive campaign strategy helped IHHC achieve:

  • Increased Conversion Rate from 2.16% to 6.17%
  • 33% decrease in cost-per-lead (CPL)
  • Increased Quality Score to an average 8
  • 20% increase in leads generated
  • 90% of leads from mobile users

Here’s a detailed account of how an AMP Landing Page produced 33% lower CPL for IHHC.

Success in Display Innovation for a leading real estate company

Shriram Properties is one of South India’s leading real estate developers. They came to us hoping to achieve the objective of driving sales to their properties through Google Display advertising. Employing a creative and innovative approach, we used Custom Affinity 2.0 by developing audiences profile of those who visit competitor thank you page URLs, channel partners and In App targeting. We also utilised AMPs, Multilingual Ads and Landing Pages along with Google Optimise to enhance UX.

Our strategy has resulted in the following outcomes for Shriram Properties:

  • 59% of total conversions came from our Display Campaigns
  • 30% reduction in CPC
  • 65% of leads were qualified as prospective home buyers

Here’s an in-depth look at how we helped Shriram Properties achieve these numbers.



Social Beat is part of a select group of digital specialists that Google celebrates as Premier Partners. To qualify as a Premier Partner, digital marketing agencies and professionals must prove their expertise in using and applying Google's advertising products. As a young digital marketing agency, we thrive on creativity and innovation. We are constantly pushing the envelope in terms of marketing with an ROI-driven focus to meet, achieve and exceed our clients’ goals and expectations. Whether you are a Real Estate Giant, a leading Financial Firm or An FMCG Brand trying to grow your business by going digital, reach out to us at Social Beat and Engage With India’s Next Billion Internet Users.


Are interactive ads changing the way brands advertise?

  • Rhea
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  • 23 August , 2018
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    • 5 min read

Interactive ads allow users to engage with them or explore them in new ways. The average digitally-active user is exposed to hundreds of ads every single day! With so many ads bombarding them, people automatically turn on their filters and are able to ignore a majority of these. While this coping mechanism might help a user wade through an ads-saturated world, it can also be a source of great concern for brands. With brands spending huge amounts on advertising, they can’t afford to have their audience simply ignore their ads. So how do you prevent a user from scrolling past, turning off or forgetting about your ad? The answer might lie in the new format of advertising: interactive ads.

What are interactive ads?

Interactive ads create immersive experiences for audiences that capture their attention completely. The rich technology that has fuelled interactive ads allows users to experiment and engage with your ads. This helps create a lasting impression on your audience, as a result of which ads perform better. While these ads work on desktop and tablet too, mobile is the platform showing greatest results. As more users spend most of their screen time on mobile phones, this is another reason why brands should start experimenting with interactive ads. Modern-day audiences, millennials, in particular, don’t want to be passive spectators. While digital advertising as a whole offers users a personalised two-way form of communication, interactive ads go one step further.

Why you should start using interactive ads

Interactive ads have delivered clear results for brands using them. If you start using the magic of interactive ads in your strategy, be prepared to see these four results:

1. Better engagement on ads

You might have a beautifully designed landing page, but how do you get users to actually click on it and submit their details? Most interactive ads also come with a call-to-action which takes a user to the brand’s landing page or product page. Since interactive ads are more engaging than other formats, users are more likely to actually click on the button. Interactive ads are also more fun than most other forms of advertising. Interactive campaigns in the past have witnessed a 300 per cent higher CTR, positive brand perception and higher recall than other forms of advertising.

2. Higher lead conversion

For most brands, the metric they’re chasing after isn’t just lead generation, but actual conversions of those leads. Interactive ads have an average of 3x conversion rates than other formats like video ads, with this number going up to 7x for some campaigns. On the face of it, interactive ads might appear to have a higher CPL than other forms of advertising like display. However, users who engage with the ad can be retargeted via display campaigns, leading to higher conversions and improved quality of leads generated via digital.

3. Generates more data

Data is the foundation of every marketing strategy and is immensely valuable to marketers everywhere. Interactive ads offer a huge goldmine of data that can go deeper than other kinds of ads. You can gain granular information on how long people viewed your ad, what they clicked on, if they answered any questions, whether they replayed it and if they shared it with others. This data can help you formulate a more refined approach, improving the performance of future campaigns as well.

Interactive ad formats

Like other forms of advertising, the platform you choose for an interactive ad will also depend upon your target audience and your defined metrics for success. Here are the top-performing interactive ad formats that brands need to sit up and take notice of.

1. mCanvas

mCanvas is a rich media ad format that helps brands communicate their story in an experiential way. It is designed exclusively for mobile, a platform that is becoming popular in India.

Ads designed for mCanvas are beautiful and visually appealing, which plays a large role in attracting higher CTRs and user engagement. After clicking on an ad, mCanvas is able to detect smartphone sensors, allowing users to interact with the ad by shaking, tilting or speakig a command. mCanvas also allows brands to reach out to their consumers in a more focused way through a number of targeting options.

For Piramal Mahalaxmi, we decided to look beyond the commonly used digital marketing strategies for real estate in India. We used captivating images of the view from the property to create interactive experiences through mCanvas. Through mCanvas ads on premium placement sites, we were able to direct a number of high-quality leads to our landing page. We retargeted them through Google Display Network, which fetched us a sizeable number of conversions. In this way, mCanvas was an innovative strategy for digital marketing for real estate that helped us push leads through the conversion funnel.  

2. Rich media ads

A rich media ad includes interactive features like videos, audio, gifs and other elements that make it stand out from a static display ad. Google's programmatic advertising solution in India, Google Marketing Platform (GMP), has multiple formats too.  With rich media, there is no limit to the creativity brands can use to captivate their audience. These ads are created through HTML5 technology, allowing multiple content formats to be placed in the same ad. An ad, for example, can play a video and conduct a poll simultaneously. Rich media ads can help brands achieve the twin objectives of higher CTR and greater brand awareness.

One of the best examples of how rich media lets brand push creative boundaries is Nissan’s 2016 World T20 tournament campaign. Nissan detected an opportunity in the fact that many Indians weren’t able to watch television and keep track of live scores. They developed a series of rich media banner ads that also kept track of live scores. The ads were also interactive because they asked users to vote for their favourite teams before a match started. Nissan’s innovative approach helped them stand out from the numerous other brands advertising during cricket season. Their rich media interactive ads delivered a 4x increase in website visits and 10x higher interaction rates compared to industry standards.

A commonly used form of rich media ads is Lightbox.

Lightbox

Lightbox is a format of interactive ads developed by Google. When you click or hover over a Lightbox ad, it responds by expanding. A Lightbox ad can expand to fill your entire screen, play a video or take you through a carousel of images. The ads also generally end with a link to your website. Since these ads are more engaging than traditional formats, it increases the likelihood that a user will actually click on your website link. Lightbox ads automatically adapt themselves to fit your screen size, so they work perfectly on mobile, tablets and desktops. The same display targeting options are also available for Lightbox ads, helping brands ensure they reach the right audience.

3. Interactive video ads

Video ads are one of the best-performing advertising mediums with 64 per cent of viewers buying the product after watching branded videos. When combined with interactive features, they become even more effective. Interactive videos transform what is usually a passive viewing experience into one that actively engages with them. Viewers can answer questions during a video, influence sequences of the storyline and even play games. Interactive videos capture your audience’s attention completely and can be a powerful way to generate leads or send viewers to your website.

At Social Beat, for example, we used an interactive format for our Team video to make it more fun and engaging. Questions popped up at regular intervals and viewers could click on them for answers. This held their attention for a longer time and even helped them learn more about our brand in the process.

Interactive ads have delivered proven results across the board for FMCG, BFSI and B2B brands. With audiences today looking for greater value from advertisements, interactive formats certainly have the upper hand.


Should brands switch to YouTube ads from traditional advertising?

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 17 July , 2018
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    • 7 min read

From downloading low-quality music videos on Napster to watching the latest shows in HD on Hotstar, the data consumption pattern of online users has come a long way since the advent of the Internet. Today, the personal-is-the-new-premium approach presented by YouTube has pushed brands to allocate their marketing budgets to the second most-used search engine in the world and rethink the immeasurable mass reach offered by traditional TV ads.  The truth remains that, the screen doesn’t matter as long as consumers have the power to choose what they want to watch. With 100 million Indian users every day and 225 million average Indian users every month, YouTube is the new game-changing element in every marketer's agenda.

Breaking the habit

Do you reach out to your mobile phone when your favourite TV show breaks for a commercial? You are not alone! According to a recent survey, 87% of TV viewers have another screen in front of them while watching TV. It is also estimated that by 2025, nearly half of the current TV viewers will unsubscribe to paid television services. This only proves that the days of watching irrelevant commercials on the idiot box are over as consumers have shifted to video platforms like YouTube where they have the power to exhibit a fluid behaviour.

YouTube is where primetime entertainment lies! This platform has the most-engaged database of a whopping 1.3 billion users who are watching 5 billion videos every single day. It is time brands adapted their media plans to where their consumers are engaged the most, making Youtube ads a clear winner to where your marketing dollars need to go.

Brands showcase TV ads based on the Gross Rating Point (GRP). This measure determines the frequency at which you want your ads to be played and the reach of the ad depending on the time when it is played. But the biggest question of the hour is that who are the people you are playing your ads to? Did the ad influence their consumer patterns? By marketing your brand through YouTube Ads, you have better control over the advertising process.

YouTube ads – a game-changer in every marketing strategy

Let’s take a look at the reasons why brands should leverage the power of YouTube ads and adapt to the fast-changing viewing habits of consumers.

Track results

By optimizing AdWords for video ads, you can easily track the results of your YouTube ads. With simple steps in place before launching your video ad campaign, you can make the most of your marketing budget and generate higher ROI. You can track the number of views your YouTube ads have generated and the amount of engagement caused in the form of likes and shares, to begin with. You can also measure the performance of your YouTube ads with the View-Through-Rate (VTR). This metric reflects the rate at which consumers have viewed your ad and will be high if your ad is doing well. You can also track the number of leads your ad has generated depending on the goals you have set based on your brand.

Reach the right audience

Unlike TV ads, you can hand-pick the audience you wish to target with your YouTube ads. There are a plethora of factors you can use to screen your target group. Few of them are discussed below.

Demographics: You can filter your audience based on their location, age, gender, income, relationship status and much more.

Interests: Targeting people who are interested in what you offer is a great way to advertise your brand. Reach out to a niche audience who already has your attention to improve the quality of your leads.

Keywords: Make your ads play only to the viewers who have typed in the keywords related to a popular video on YouTube.

Behaviour: The targeting provided by YouTube ads is so extensive that you can also play your ads to the viewers who have visited your website, as a re-targeting technique.

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

Types of YouTube ads

There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to YouTube advertising, catering to different target segments. From 6 second ads to longer versions, which are skippable, YouTube has it all making it a more powerful tool than traditional forms of advertising.

YouTube ads are divided into three broad categories.

TrueView ads

TrueView ads are the most common type of YouTube ads that play before a particular video. Marketers can choose from skippable TrueView ads that can be anywhere between 12 seconds to 6 minutes and non-skippable ads that cannot cross more than 20 seconds.

TrueView ads are charged only when viewers watched them for more than 30 seconds, until the end of the ad if the video is shorter, or if they click on a call-to-action. These ads are further classified into the following:

In-Display Ads: In-Display ads show up on your YouTube home screen and also in search results, just like the ads that appear in a Google search. They also appear in the related videos section while watching a particular YouTube video.

In-Stream Ads: In-stream ads appear before the video of your choice begins to play. They have the option to be skipped after 5 seconds and can also display overlaying text as a call-to-action based on the brand being advertised on YouTube.

Masthead Ads

Masthead ads provide high reach and awareness as they are displayed as the main banner on the YouTube homepage. This type of YouTube ads is charged on a day-to-day basis and come with a variety of key benefits. They are primarily used to create a buzz about your brand by reaching out to consumers in a wide range of demographics.

A masthead ad is much more cost-effective than a TV ad as it helps brands reach an approximate of 350 to 400 billion consumers at Rs. 70 lakhs – which is still lesser than how much brands pay for a primetime slot on the TV. Additionally, the frequency with which the ads will be displayed to the viewers is much higher, and the brands can also use the database to re-target the people who have viewed their ad.

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are the shortest form of ads available at slots of just 6 seconds. They play before the YouTube video chosen by the viewer and are an excellent way to complement a larger video ad campaign. Since these ads are shorter, advertisers need to focus only on the primary aspect of the brand they want their audience to recall.

Case Study: How a real estate company leveraged the reach of YouTube ads

Asta Properties – one of the leading real estate developers in Chennai – used a media mix of print ads and YouTube ads to advertise the launch of their premium new property, Asta AVM. Instead of opting for the traditional approach of TV and print, they marketed their new development through YouTube ads and the results were outstanding.

We helped them run ads in both Tamil and English to tap into the potential of regional content online and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.  We were able to reach 17,52,661 users through YouTube with 3954 clicks on the whole. We targeted an audience within the age group of 35 to 54 years of age who are looking to buy properties and can afford an investment of Rs. 1.5 crores and above.

The biggest benefit with YouTube ads is the cost-effective approach they provide. A TV ad for the same campaign would cost a whopping Rs. 2000 per second on leading Tamil channels like Star Vijay with no means to track the performance of the ad or target the people who have seen your ad. A bumper ad, on the other hand, costs just around Rs. 1.20 for 1000 impressions, based on the sector of the brand.

Case Study: How a retail brand increased the number of store visits through YouTube ads

We used the detailed targeting methods of YouTube ads to reach out to potential customers for Specsmakers – a leading eyewear company in the southern states of India. We implemented the onion peel strategy to understand the buying pattern of potential consumers and leveraged those results in their marketing campaigns for enhanced lead generation. This survey-oriented strategy included reaching out to the target audience and asking them a set of questions that threw light on their online consumer behaviour. The audience was then categorised into primary and secondary circles and targeted better through YouTube ads.

The ads helped us increase the number of footfalls to their stores by a whopping 400 customers during the campaign period which was less than 20 days. The ad showcased an irresistible offer provided by the brand and was in the form of a bumper ad, creating the exact amount of excitement and hype.

The same ad on TV will cost around Rs. 6000 on prime channels like Colors during the peak hours of viewership, which is a strikingly high budget compared to the average Rs. 1.50 for 1000 impressions offered by YouTube ads. Furthermore, you can leverage a wide range of performance metrics to track the performance of your ad.

YouTube is the most underrated advertising platform, primarily because TV is the go-to medium when it comes to video marketing. However, times are changing now. The annual viewership of YouTube is growing by 40 to 50% every year, so if the traditional medium of television is still on your marketing agenda, it is time to revisit your strategy.

Whether you are from the finance industry, FMCG market or the real estate sector, switch to YouTube ads to bring out the true potential of your brand and attract potential consumers like a moth to a flame.

 


How in-app ads delivered 76.38% lower Cost per Lead

  • Rhea
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  • 10 July , 2018
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    • 3 min read

A recent study by Nielsen and BCG revealed that India has a $100 billion opportunity for brands as the amount of time consumers spend on mobile and the number of digital transactions conducted increases. As 81% of users research their options on a mobile phone before actually making a purchase, reaching them through mobile platforms is becoming increasingly important. This is why, for digital marketers, in-app marketing has become one of the most important channels to drive customer awareness and generate leads.

Mahindra Lifespaces took advantage of this trend in their lead generation strategy. The phenomenal results they achieved proved that a mobile-centric approach might be the future of advertising for brands.

Background

Mahindra Lifespaces is one of India’s leading real estate developers with multiple projects spread across the country. They are the pioneer in developing environmentally sustainable projects and deliver premium living spaces to their customers. To match the company’s novel approach, they also needed an innovative digital advertising strategy to help them stay ahead of competing brands and expand their customer base.

Goal

For this campaign, the objective was to leverage in-app ads to drive more leads for Mahindra Lifespaces at a significantly lower cost per lead as compared to other targeting strategies previously used.

Approach

For the Mahindra Windchimes project in Bengaluru, we made extensive use of in-app ads to tap into a huge potential consumer base. In-app ads are placed strategically within selected apps, so customers are exposed to it while spending time on the app. With consumers today spending more time on essential mobile apps, reaching them through this medium has proved to be one of the most effective strategies. In-app marketing will also prove to be one of the biggest ways digital marketing will transform the real estate sector.

To do this, we implemented a three-step approach to developing an effective in-app marketing strategy.

Defining the Target Audience

The demographic targeted for this campaign was the 35+ age group as this would be the segment who were advancing their careers and looking to buy a home. All marital statuses and both genders were also targeted, however, males performed better.

Selecting App Platforms

After setting the target audience, we then needed to research into what kind of apps this segment would be most active on. Based on their interests, we targeted apps that belonged to the following categories:

  • Business - document editors/viewers, email management, job searches, etc.
  • Finance - banking, digital payments, financial news, ATM finders, tax calculators, etc.
  • Photography - camera and editing tools, photo management, file sharing, etc.
  • Books and reference - book readers, reference books, dictionaries, thesaurus, etc.
  • House & Home - house and apartment searches, interior decoration, home improvement, mortgage calculators, etc.

These apps would be the most effective ways to maximise reach among our target audience.

Utilising Powerful Images

As in-app advertising is a largely visual medium, the display creatives used needed to be catchy, informative and entice customers to visit the page. A mix of high-performing standard display creatives was successfully used to capture the target audience’s attention.

Results Achieved

With this advanced targeting strategy, we were able to generate unprecedented results for Mahindra Lifespaces. Utilising in-app ads helped us not only generate more leads but also led to higher conversion rates.  These ads helped us accomplish two major outcomes:

  • With in-app ads, we were able to deliver conversions that were 76.38% cheaper than other display targeting campaigns.
  • In-app ads also helped us increase conversion rates by 267.92% compared to previous display targeting campaigns used.

In a nutshell, in-app advertising helped us gain higher conversions at a lower cost. This proves just how effective platform apps can be for brands looking to boost their lead generation and conversion strategy.

With the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018 stating that 40% of brands are looking for lead generation through digital marketing, implementing in-app ads could be one of the most important methods for them to achieve this goal. The faster brands adapt to this advertising strategy, the better equipped they will be to reach larger customer bases.

 


Bidding adieu to AdWords: Google’s new simplified approach for advertisers

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 4 July , 2018
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    • 3 min read

As the saying goes, the only competition that matters is the competition you have with yourself – and Google is the best illustrative example of this quote. The world’s favourite search engine has crossed yet another milestone by outgrowing their primitive advertising and publishing platforms. Google AdWords, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 Suite will now be available in an all-new avatar to showcase the full potential of their services with upgraded solutions that make advertising and publishing much simpler for online marketers. This, in turn, will help in improving the quality of leads and increasing sales. Let’s take a look at what Google’s rebranding strategy has in store for us and how brands can benefit from it.

Google Ads

The integrated platform of Google AdWords has now been transformed to Google Ads with a new identity and an extensive list of digital advertising services. As the name suggests, Google Ads supports all the prevailing ad formats, from text and display ads to video and app installs. These ads can be showcased on a variety of platforms including YouTube, Search, Gmail and Maps, to name a few.

Google AdWords was launched 18 years ago as a platform to generate text ads on Search. Over the years, the tool has grown multifold with extensive types of ads available on various platforms. This paved the way for Google AdWords to be rebranded as Google Ads, with advanced features to create a flexible program for advertisers based on their marketing goals.

According to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s head of Ads and Commerce, “With Google Ads as opposed to Google AdWords, it is moving the imperceptible default opinion that you get as an advertiser when you hear ‘Google AdWords’ … you think, ‘Oh, Words. Search.’ It’s basically a slight cognitive dissonance to all the other great things that we are doing in terms of both the format and surfaces these ads can show. And so, Google Ads, in our opinion, is a much more straightforward representation of what Google advertising can provide. It’s that simplicity and alignment of the core message from the first instant you hear the name, which is the goal.”

Google Marketing Platform

The second tool launched by Google in their rebranding efforts is the Google Marketing Platform which is an integration of DoubleClick advertiser products and Analytics 360. This tool will help online marketers analyse the performance of their pages and optimise the digital media spends on one single platform.

Google noticed the pattern in which marketers used both DoubleClick and Analytics 360 in their advertising strategies by consecutively using the two platforms. The advertisers who integrated both the platforms on their own witnessed better results with optimum usage. With the Google Marketing Platform, advertisers can now directly reap the benefits of both the tools to plan, analyse and optimize their media spends.

The Google Marketing Platform also introduced a brand new Display & Video 360 feature that combines a range of Google’s display advertising solutions. The products under this feature include DoubleClick Bid Manager (BDM), DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Studio and Google Audience Center 360.

Additionally, DoubleClick Search, which is used as a search management platform by enterprises, has been rebranded as Search Ads 360. The comprehensive platform also features an integration center for marketers to hand-pick the tools of their preference and integrate them, providing a tailor-made program for every advertising strategy.

Google Ad Manager

The third consolidated platform launched in the rebranding series is the Google Ad Manager. This platform acts as an umbrella tool which integrates DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX). Through Google Ad Manager, advertisers can leverage the ad-serving solution of DoubleClick for Publishers and sell advertising inventory through the solutions provided by DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This will lead to “AdX buyers” being referred to as “Authorised buyers” in the near future.

Whether you come from real estate, BFSI, FMCG or any other industry, the new integrated tools launched by Google will be a game-changer for digital marketers. These platforms are scheduled to be rolled out by the end of July with the common objective of simplifying the advertising process for marketers to maintain the pace, energy and enthusiasm with which digital marketing is skyrocketing in today’s world.


5 Ways Google’s Neighbourly App will impact digital marketing in India

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 9 June , 2018
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    • 3 min read

Google announced the beta launch of its Neighbourly app last week. Neighbourly is a location-based app that connects you to people in your neighbourhood and helps you find the most up-to-date, relevant, and credible answers to your questions about the locality.

For example, if you want to know if there is a good, affordable math private tuition centre in the vicinity, people in your neighbourhood can help you find one. Likewise, if you’re looking for a reliable electrician near you or a place where you can quickly get a print-out, the app is designed to help you.

So, how is the launch of the Neighbourly app going to impact the digital marketing landscape in India? Here are five key points:

India’s internet population growth will accelerate

The Neighbourly app has been launched by Google, as part of their Next Billion Users (NBU) project.

India’s internet population stood at 481 million in Dec 2017. With the population at about 1.4 billion, there are still nearly a billion Indian's yet to access the internet! It is these billion users that Google is going after with their NBU initiatives like Google Station (providing free WIFi to 400 railway stations across India) and now, the Neighbourly app.

These initiatives will accelerate the pace at which the next billion users come online and will rapidly increase the reach for digital marketing.

If you are looking for the best ways to reach the next billion users, here’s a deck that will help you:

The focus is on vernacular content

The Neighbourly app works in English, Hindi, Marathi and six other Indian languages. This is in line with Google’s recent push on vernacular language content and advertising.

Out of the next billion users yet to access the internet in India, over 90% of them are not proficient in English. That will bring about 900 million people online who will want to access the internet and consume content in their vernacular language.

If you want to succeed with your digital marketing efforts going forward, you must include vernacular language content and advertising as part of your strategy. Here’s an interesting case study of how a multilingual approach got us 90% growth in leads

Global companies are adopting an India-first approach

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, has said in an interview to The Economic Times in 2017 that “Over time you will see more global products that are developed in India first.”

India’s diversity in terms of languages, regions, traditions and social strata, combined with the fact that less than half of its 1.3 billion-plus population is using the internet, makes it a great testing ground for new internet apps and products, for large global companies like Google.

Neighbourly is not the first app or initiative which Google has built with an India-first approach. Payments app Tez, two-wheeler navigation on Google Maps and missed calls in Google Adwords are other initiatives where Google has earlier adopted an India-first approach.

Going forward, we could see a lot more global companies using India as a launch pad for their tech and internet products

Google will become more data-rich

One of the key reasons why Google is building apps like Neighbourly is to capture user data. With apps like Neighbourly, Google can capture a lot of hyperlocal user data from millions of users. Moreover, with the growth of voice search, we are hoping the same will be integrated with the Neighbourly App, leading the next billion internet users in India to have a seamless experience. This data is invaluable and can be used not just for extensive research but also to enhance ad targeting capabilities. Which brings us to the next point.

Google Adwords will become much more powerful

Google Adwords has been constantly enhancing its targeting capabilities to make the platform more powerful for advertisers. Some of the more recent additions have been the inclusion of custom intent audiences and life events targeting. All these improvements become possible only when Google knows more and more about each individual. As Google becomes more data-rich with its various NBU initiatives, Adwords will become a much more potent tool for digital marketers.

It’s important to keep an eye out for these feature enhancements and test them as soon as they come in to stay on top of the game.

What are the other ways you think Google’s next billion users project could impact digital marketing in India? Do let us know in the comments below.

 

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