Instagram Marketing in India

Digital marketing for Jewellery: A complete guide

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 4 March , 2019
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    • 6 min read

A good digital marketing strategy is one that empowers your brand, but a great digital marketing strategy is one that empowers your consumer. This saying is particularly true if you belong to the jewellery industry – where the customer is queen! Today, digital marketing for jewellery brands is no longer an option – it is a necessity to drive store visits, increase brand awareness and elevate the image of your brand. Read on for fool-proof digital marketing tips to mark your territory in the online space.

Building your brand image

Building a household brand name is every marketer’s prime objective and the first step to that is by creating a strong online presence. Jewellery brands need to focus on the following digital marketing techniques that double up as a powerful foundation for future digital strategies:

A great website:

Whether you have an online store or a showroom, a great website is key to attract more customers and significantly increase your revenue. Opt for a crisp and clean design that helps tell your brand story. Apart from being aesthetically appealing, great design also provides unmatched user experience, creating a seamless transition from an inquisitive lead to a loyal consumer. However, a remarkable design needs to be backed up with great content that keeps your audience engaged. You also need multiple web pages on the homepage that provide in-depth information about your brand and landing pages that behave as e-commerce portals that highlight a particular line of products.

Featured below is the landing page design incorporated for Gehna – an online boutique that specializes in authentic hand-crafted jewellery. The page has a clean layout and enticing images for a pleasant user experience. As you can see, the product is described in a clear-cut manner with no distractions and a relevant CTA.

Search Engine Optimisation:

In today’s digital age, almost every process – right from buying a bracelet that matches your attire to deciding which type of jewellery should be worn for various occasions – begins with a simple Google search. Ensure your brand appears on the first page of the World’s most-used search engine by creating an ultimate SEO checklist accompanied by various link-building techniques and SEO plugins for WordPress. A detailed keyword research and competitor analysis to know what your target audience is searching for is a good way to understand what type of content works.

Engaging content:

The one thing that the Internet is known for is tons of valuable information that helps you make an informed decision – and blogging is one of the most effective digital marketing techniques to deliver that. Websites that feature a blog page have 434% more indexed pages on Google which means they are recognised and ranked easily, increasing the probability of appearing on the first page. Jewellery brands need to leverage the reach of informative blogs and go the extra mile with creative infographics, embedded videos and intriguing images that keep viewers hooked. The blogs can cover all aspects of buying jewellery – from tips to keep in mind while choosing a diamond to bridal jewellery looks for the contemporary bride.

Social Media:

Everyone who is anyone is on social media! Reach the very palm of your target audience with a strong social media presence that draws them towards your brand. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest are great digital marketing platforms to increase the exposure of your jewellery brand. Opt for innovative social media campaigns to create awareness about your brand, promote your products and engage with your followers.

Featured below is a Valentine’s Day campaign we ran for Malabar Gold and Diamonds. We created a series of grid posts on Instagram that utilise the entire screen space on the feed. This drove a lot of engagement on the page that led to a whopping 1500 new followers!

Videos:

Videos are a great way to tell a million stories in each frame. Connect with your audience and push them further down the marketing funnel with compelling videos that convert. Begin by creating a YouTube channel and attract subscribers through optimised videos that show up on the user’s feed based on the keywords entered. Digital marketing for jewellery brands through videos comes with a lot of creative freedom due to the luxurious and fun aspect of the product. Keeping your target audience in mind, you can create thought-provoking snippets through video campaigns that are guaranteed to draw in more subscribers and build your brand image online.

Influencer Marketing

Nothing is more powerful than an influential source suggesting your brand to a potential consumer. Leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing through social influencers who have a strong following. Keeping the creative space of the jewellery sector in mind, marketers have a huge potential to tap through bloggers and lifestyle influencers. You can also collaborate with influencer marketing platforms, like influencer.in, to hand-pick influencers who resonate with your brand and reach your target audience in a seamless and hassle-free manner.

Featured below is an influencer marketing campaign implemented by leading online designer jewellery brand Voylla. The brand collaborated with top beauty and fashion influencers including Jhanvi Bhatt, Mrinali Das and Anusha, to name a few. Each influencer shared posts on Instagram wearing exquisite pieces of jewellery from Voylla and connected with their followers in the language and tone that reflected the image of the brand. The campaign greatly contributed to increasing the reach and visibility of Voylla with higher conversions.

GMB listings for store visits

Digital marketing for jewellery brands does not necessarily cater to online stores alone! You can drive visits to your brick-and-mortar store by posting your store on Google My Business Listings. Not only will your store show up on a Google Search and drive traffic to your website, but users can also get directions to your showroom and read reviews to get a genuine understanding of your business. As per a MOZ report on factors that help a page rank, GMB listings contribute to 14.7% of the overall influential factors, making it a vital aspect in digital marketing for jewellery brands. Read our blog on the 13 ways to leverage local SEO and Google Maps for your business for more insights.

Since most numbers of searches today are local in nature, an informative GMB listing, like the one featured below for Gehna, will drive more store visits and higher revenue. As you can see, the GMB listing showcases the address, working hours, contact details, directions to the store and images to make it more convenient than ever for consumers to pay a visit.  They can also visit the website directly and place an order!

Online ads for higher sales

Digital ads play a huge role in helping you reach your target audience and drive more business for your brand. From Facebook ads and Google ads to newer formats like YouTube and Instagram, you can choose your marketing platform based on your objective and the type of audience you are planning to target. Furthermore, if you are selling your product on Amazon, you can also run ads on Amazon and drive more relevant traffic to your e-commerce store. You can also opt for shopping ads that ensure 8 to 10X return on ad spends. Shopping ads run on a combination of optimisation, monitoring and bidding, with a keen focus on increasing average order values.

We ran shopping ads for Voylla – a contemporary jewellery brand with an e-commerce website. We used optimized images, titles and product descriptions that help the ad show up as a Google Search ad. As you can see in the image below, a simple Google search for “gold plated men's ring” shows up a series of shopping ads, out of which the Voylla ad is placed as per the position it was bid for.

When it comes to digital marketing for jewellery brands, it is safe to say that the world is your oyster due to the wide range of creative campaigns and ads you can incorporate in your strategies. You can also read our detailed blog on digital marketing for real estate, finance industry, insurance companies and FMCG giants. It is time to leverage the power of going digital and grow your business!


9 digital marketing trends in India that will shape 2019

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 25 February , 2019
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    • 6 min read

It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing is constantly in a state of flux. What works today might be completely obsolete tomorrow. If your brand is still continuing to use the same techniques in 2019 as you did in the previous year, expect to see declining results. To ensure your brands stay on top of its digital marketing game this year, here are nine of the most important trends to stay ahead of.

An explosion of vernacular content online

The online space in India is set to get even more colourful and diverse. As even larger numbers of users get access to low-cost internet and affordable mobile phones, there will be a greater demand for internet content in the languages they understand best. To cater to this growing internet audience, brands need to push vernacular to the front and centre of their digital marketing strategy. Right from their websites, to their apps, social media campaigns, performance advertising and even social media listening, Indic languages should be the focus.

Speaking to regional audiences involves more than just taking a brand’s main communication and translating it into various languages. Instead, it requires them to develop communications aimed specifically at these audiences, keeping their unique needs, challenges and desires at the core. Only by doing this can they create that all-important personal connection with consumers. 22 Languages, one of the top vernacular startups, is designed specifically to help brands reach out to a larger audience in vernacular languages.

Read our case study on How Multilingual Ads Helped Generate Higher-Quality Leads With Lower CPL to learn how vernacular techniques can produce unprecedented results for your brand.

Growth of voice search

The seeds of voice search were sowed back in 2018, but it is in 2019 that this trend will fully come into its own. Today, it isn’t just mobile that’s driving voice search, but the proliferation of smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice Assistant. The push for voice search will also be coming from the other end of the spectrum, from users who are just starting to use the internet or who might not even know how to type. But regardless of who the audience for voice search is, one thing is certain: SEO as we know it will have to change. Traditional keyword research will become obsolete since user queries will be completely different when using voice search. Voice also means that position zero, the ‘featured snippet’ will become even more coveted. 99% of voice search results draw from the featured snippet, so content creators will have to focus even harder on optimising their content for Google to pick it up. 

Videos and interactive content

While videos have been around for decades, they have only recently started exploding on digital platforms and social media. In 2019, if your brand doesn’t have a strong repertoire of engaging, high-quality videos, you could be missing out on a sizeable audience. YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, can become even more essential in 2019. Through techniques like YouTube SEO, brands can ensure that their content is visible to relevant audiences. For tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.

But the importance of videos extends beyond just YouTube. Videos on landing pages and in emails have been shown to improve performance and conversions. Facebook is also witnessing a growing popularity of videos. In one survey, around 44% of respondents admitted to watching at least 5 videos every day on the platform.

As videos gain momentum, multiple video formats are also being developed and explored. Interactive videos are emerging as a popular option due to the higher user engagement they deliver. In these videos, users are required to take some form of action which can influence the video. This could be either in terms of the content displayed or the storyline that the video takes. Apart from interactive content, live videos are also creating a stir. Currently, they are available on Instagram and Facebook, while YouTube is also starting to introduce it. Live videos are a great way for brands to showcase ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage and develop a more personal connect with their audience.

Smarter interactive chatbots

Chatbots have been slowly making an entry from 2017, however, chatbots in 2019 will be more intelligent than ever before. Most chatbots currently have a limited script, usually offering a fixed set of options that users can choose from. Once the query is narrowed down, users are often transferred to a human representative to resolve it. With the advent of AI, however, chatbots are likely to completely replace the human aspect previous involved. They are programmed to be smarter, respond to a wide number of queries in a meaningful way and resolve issues without requiring any human intervention. In fact, through AI, chatbots are likely to be able to keep up a long conversation with users without coders having to input a long script beforehand. As the technology matures, you can expect chatbots to become even more ubiquitous as brands capitalise on their low cost and higher efficiency. 

AI for better audience targeting

AI isn’t just for smarter chatbots; it is also becoming the most accurate way for brands to identify their core audience and develop core messaging for them. Through a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence, predictive customer analytics can eliminate much of the guesswork involved with digital marketing.

One way they do this is by assigning a ‘lead score’ to leads generated. AI can analyse large volumes of leads at a time, identify common patterns, group them into various buckets based on their behaviour and help you create hyper-personalised content for them. Since personalisation is key to nurturing leads, AI can almost certainly lead to higher conversions for marketers. AI can also identify similarities in current consumers and generate custom targeting options that marketers can utilise to ensure more accurate delivery of ads. This will help improve the quality of leads generated via digital. 

UX and AMP for desktop 

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was a crucial mobile ranking factor for websites in 2018. In 2019, the importance of AMP will not be limited to mobiles alone. Google recently made AMP available for desktops versions of websites as well. With this feature, users will be able to enjoy the same speed and easy navigation that AMP offers even while browsing on their desktop.

With the introduction of this feature, it’s time for brands to re-look at their website and how user-friendly it is. By making their websites (or at least critical, content-heavy sections like blogs) AMP-friendly, brands might be able to enjoy greater visibility on search engines. Since AMP pages are also easier for users to navigate through, an improved UX can encourage them to spend more time on the website and learn more information about the brand.

Find out how AMP landing pages helped us achieve a 33% lower cost-per-lead.

Growth of Programmatic Advertising

In 2019, almost 65% of all digital media buying will be programmatic. Programmatic is without a doubt the most cost-effective, efficient way for advertisers to purchase digital ad space. Unlike previous methods which required human intervention and manual bids, programmatic algorithms can determine the best media mix and automatically purchase it. This technology enables marketers to reach a scale previously unthought of. They can target larger audiences over a wider variety of channels with absolutely no time or effort lost. Since it can optimise in real-time, markets can do a lot more with their budgets and reduce their cost-per-leads.

Decline in organic search and traffic

With every new SERP feature that Google introduced, organic traffic takes a hit. Click-through-rates have been steadily dropping and 2019 will be a continuation of this trend. Answer boxes, for instance, answers a user’s query without them having to actually click on a link. So while your page might show up on a featured snippet, you might not notice a significant rise in organic traffic to that page.

So does this mean the sun has set on the SEO empire? Fortunately, no. This just means that marketers will need to re-align their SEO strategy. For example, they will need to start focusing more on creating brand awareness and driving up brand searches. When users start searching for your company’s name, Google cannot prevent users from clicking on your website. It also means tailoring your content specifically for higher click-through rates. You need to give users enough information that Google picks it up and displays it, but not enough for their curiosity to be satisfied. If users are only getting half an answer from your snippet, they are more likely to click on your page to get the full information.

Decline in organic reach on Instagram

Previously, organic reach on Facebook had taken a hit, with pages showing close to zero reach without paid promotions. In 2019, all signs are pointing towards Instagram going down the same route. As Instagram grows in popularity and adds new users every minute, it predictably wants brands to start paying for higher reach. If your company page doesn’t have adequate promotional budgets, then it’s time to scale up this year. But while showcasing your brand on Instagram might become more expensive, it’s still completely worth it. India currently has around 71 million active users and this number is only set to grow from here. Clearly, brands cannot afford to neglect this audience, paid or otherwise.

2019 is proving to be an exciting year for brands, giving them opportunities to experiment with new ad formats and strategies. By taking advantage of these upcoming trends, brands can gain a strong lead over their competition.

This article was originally published in Campaign India.


7 Design Trends for Digital Marketing

  • Kanthi Sripathi
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  • 25 September , 2018
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    • 5 min read

As the saying goes, “Everything old becomes new again”.2018 has witnessed a definite shift in design, setting precedence for the years to come. Graphic design trends from the past are taking centre stage with a new, fresh and modern twist added to them. Few of the major trends include exploring the 3-dimensional realm, rich photography and vibrant colour palettes. We are now at a fascinating turn-point for design, and we are looking forward to experimenting more in this space. Here are the top 7 design trends you can incorporate in your marketing strategy and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.

Gradient or Colour Transitions

Gradient or colour transitions, which were already a rage till late 2007, made a huge comeback when Instagram upgraded its logo with a gradient background. This trend has been on the rise ever since. Colour transitions have diverse and modern applications that are vibrant, smooth and flexible to flat design aesthetics. This trend will continue to diversify in its own innovative avatar, with the usage of bright and vivid colours in a combination of textures – like the ones featured below.

Responsive logos

 With the increase in the number of users accessing the Internet through their mobile phones, designing your web assets with a mobile-first approach is more of a necessity than a luxury. Responsive design is one which adapts to all screen sizes. However, since the logo of a company is one of the smallest elements on the screen, creating a mobile-responsive logo without losing the visibility of all its elements is one of the main challenges faced by designers. The ingenious solution to this lies in making versions of logos for different screens. Logos have become adaptive, with different versions for mobiles, tablets and desktop devices. Featured below are few logos and their mobile-first versions.

Retro modern illustrations

Retro modern illustrations have made a huge comeback in 2018 with generous usage of the 80’s and 90’s colour palette. From pretty pastels to electric hues, age-old visuals have taken a modern route with a semi-flat design. Today, a lot of brand leaders and influential personalities belong to the generation of the 80’s and the 90’s. Additionally, these generations also form a large pool of key target audiences, making this trend an easy way to trigger nostalgia and create engaging posts that boost social engagement.

These illustrations combine modern, sleek lines with throwback colour palettes. The characteristic feature of this style lies in its fluid yet crystal clear messaging. It is truly the best of both worlds. Few designs with retro modern illustrations are displayed below:

Creative Typography

Typography for the digital space is more than often an extension of its print counterpart. This trend has just gotten bigger, bolder and better! The only limitation to your typography style is your imagination. Contrary to popular belief, typography is never seen as a minuscule part of the design, but a form of design itself, coupled with an artistic twist. While usual sans serifs fonts remain as fashionable as ever, you can also get creative with designer, artistic and hand-made fonts.

We are also likely to see the comeback of the serif fonts since Google has such an impressive collection for web design. In a quest to stay in sync with design elements across all media, designers usually stay away from serifs as a thumb rule. However, as the acceptability of this font is increasing online, it is only a matter of time for the font to make a complete comeback. Scroll down for interesting ways in which typography is used as an element of design.

3 Dimensional posts

A very interesting trend that marks the beginning of the next era in design is 3 Dimensional styles – from 3D still photography to 3D typography. Seeing that there is no limit to innovation and imagination, you can also experiment with a mixture of 3D and 2D.3D capabilities have grown to such an extent that the intersection between virtual and reality have been blurred out and indistinguishable.

Another growing trend is isometric projection which is an interesting method to visually project a 3-dimensional object in a 2-dimensional space. It is safe to say that this type of projection is one of the leading design trends of 2018, used in all kinds of visual mediums including photography, 3D design and illustration, to name a few. Additionally, this trend helps in creating great visual posts on social media. Few of them are showcased below:

PaperCut Crafts and Clay Animation

An interesting design style for those with nimble fingers and an eye for detail is using paper cut illustrations. This trend uses actual paper cutting, stuck using double sided tape to give it depth and a semi-flat finish. The illustrations end up looking very surreal and can help in telling brand stories through various layers. Featured below is a brilliant amalgamation of hand-made crafts made with the help of our design tools.

Claymation – a process of using clay modelling in animation – is one of the leading trends in stop-motion design. From the main character to the background, claymation gives the advantage of making each aspect of design deformable because of its malleability. This creative and innovative trend is used extensively for gaming animation and in Hollywood productions. As you can see below, though it is a little tedious and time consuming the output is generally worth the effort

 

Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs, or animated photographs, are an evergreen trend in both social media and websites. The best part aspect of cinematography is that they can elevate any kind of page to another level and you do not need to be a leading fashion brand or a design studio to use them.

 

Cinemagraphs can grab the user’s attention and keep them hooked to your page for a longer time, thus increasing engagement for your page. These animated images work best on product pages where the important aspects of the product can be highlighted from a different angle. They also load faster than videos, making them the perfect fit for light websites.

Now that you know what the top design trends of 2018 are, it is time you implement them in your brand strategy and attract potential consumers. Whether you are a real estate developer, a top FMCG brand or a leading financial organisation, add these design trends to your marketing approach and grow your business.


9 trends for FMCG brands to level up their social media marketing game

  • Rhea
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  • 8 August , 2018
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    • 7 min read

The most important factor that will compel consumers to choose one brand over the other is not the actual benefits of one, but the existing relationship they have with the brand and their perception of it. The most effective digital marketing strategy for FMCG brands is to consistently engage with their customers by reaching out to them through social media platforms. With consumers spending more time on social media than ever before, digital has been driving FMCG sales in India. The Google India Search Insights 2018 revealed that by 2020, $45 billion of FMCG sales in India will be influenced by the internet. Households who have internet access spend 2x more on FMCG products, making them very important for brands. But effective social media marketing goes deeper than merely posting a few updates. Here are the top social media trends that are taking the FMCG sector by storm.

1. Personalise every aspect of your messaging strategy

 Customers don’t respond well to generalised messages. They want to feel like a brand truly understands their needs and is personally speaking to them. This is why brands need to communicate to their consumers as individuals and not as a homogenous group. Social media offers brands a number of ways to create personalised messaging strategies. Brands can target specific psychographic segments and developed specialised content for them. Retargeting allows brands to showcase products that consumers have already expressed interest in along with similar products. This offers customers a curated selection of products which can improve the quality of leads generated and increase conversion rates.

2. Respond to and encourage brand mentions

 The biggest advantage digital marketing has over traditional marketing is that it allows brands to have a two-way conversation with their customers. Doing this humanises a brand for consumers, which helps them develop a more meaningful relationship with it. For brands to encourage a conversation with their customers, they need to be active on relevant social media platforms and keep a close track of all brand mentions. Many times, consumers will specifically mention brands they are currently using or ones that they love. Responding to these consumers will help them feel closer to your brand and will encourage brand loyalty, which is crucial for the FMCG sector.

 

 

However, not all mentions are positive. When your consumers have a negative experience with your brand, they are very likely to speak about it on social media. Ignoring these instances can do even greater harm for brands. Instead, brands can turn this into an opportunity to improve their brand image and retain customers. By responding to negative brand mentions, offering compensations or special goodies, FMCG brands can change perceptions and turn negative comments into an opportunity for relationship building.

3. Get in touch with your customers through chatbots

 

 

While personalising your marketing strategy is undoubtedly important, the challenge for brands is to do this while talking to thousands of customers. With rapid improvements in AI technology, chatbots have become one of the most popular tools for brands to interact with their customers. Chatbots can instantly respond to customer queries, gain information about them and even guide them towards making a purchase. In the realm of online shopping, chatbots can act as personal shoppers, helping customers finding products related to what they’re looking for and suggesting others that they might be interested in. With chatbots now available on Facebook Messenger, it has become easier than ever for brands to implement them on their pages.

4. Keep consumers engaged through Instagram Stories

 

Instagram Stories are one of the most useful features brands need to take advantage of. While the concept of ‘ephemeral content’ first originated on Snapchat, Instagram Stories has quickly overtaken it to become the more popular medium for it. Staying active on Instagram Stories helps you engage more with your customers, tell your brand story in a creative way and promote your products. A key feature which makes Stories more valuable for brands than Snapchat is that it allows you to tag and link to pages. This can help FMCG brands drive traffic to their website or shop for products. Stories can also increase user engagement through polls, contests and user-generated content.

5. Collaborate with powerful influencers

 Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful avenues for FMCG brands to explore in 2018 and beyond. It helps brands build credibility, widen their consumer base and even drive sales. A study by Nielsen found that 92% of consumers trust earned media (such as recommendations from influencers) over brand communications. By promoting your product through a network of relevant influencers, you can build awareness in a more organic way.

When Himalaya launched their new facial wipes, they activated a large pool of influencers for their campaign #WipesOnTheGo. These fashion and lifestyle influencers posted extensively about the facial wipes on their social media channels. Bloggers also wrote reviews of the product so their followers could learn more about it. By using influencer marketing, Himalaya was able to build awareness of the product among their target audience in a very short period of time.

6. Tap into the potential of regional content

 A rise in disposable income along with the widespread penetration of affordable smartphones and mobile data have made consumers in tier 2 and 3 cities increasingly important for brands. While these cities have always been major markets for FMCG brands, especially those in the lower and middle segments, traditional marketing for these brands have always focused on traditional mediums like television and print. But as more of these audiences come online, brands will need to reach them through digital platforms as well. A Google and KPMG report found that almost 90% of rural users are more likely to respond to digital ads that are in their local language. Communicating with these users in the language they understand best also helps brands build trust.

 

One of the best examples to illustrate how powerful bi-lingual content can be for FMCG brands is Kovai pazhamudir Nilayam. With almost all their marketing efforts targeted towards audiences in tier 2 and 2 cities and towns in India, Patanjali has made extensive use of regional content. This could be an important factor in their dominance of the Indian FMCG market.

7. Make products easily available through social platforms

While brands have primarily used social media for brand building and awareness, the role of social media today extends far beyond that. FMCG brands can now use social media to directly drive sales. Reducing the amount of time and steps required for a consumer to purchase a product can motivate them to complete a purchase. In the traditional marketing process, consumers would gain brand awareness and recall through social media and then decide on whether to purchase the product at a later stage in an offline store. By making products easily available when promoting a product, brands can speed up a consumer’s decision-making process and compel them to actually make the purchase.

Facebook has enabled brands to showcase products used in a video or post along with a link to where users can purchase it. When users click on the link, they are shown a description of the product along with an option to purchase it on the website. Instagram is also rolling out a new ‘Shop’ feature that can help users purchase products that are tagged just by clicking on them. Making your products easily available on digital platforms is crucial for a complete social media strategy.

8. Use videos to communicate your message more effectively

 Videos aren’t just the future of marketing, they’re an important tool brands should start using immediately. For FMCG brands, in particular, video content could directly translate into sales. Surveys have shown that around 74% of users who had watched an explainer video about a certain product, eventually purchased it. Videos can be one of the best ways to help your audience understand your product better in a very short period of time. If you are selling your products online, creating videos is even more important. 57% of consumers have responded that they were more confident about purchasing a product online after watching a video about it.

 

But it isn’t just explainer videos that convert. Videos with humour content perform extremely well on social media as they connect with consumers on a personal level. They also help you build a relationship with your audience that goes beyond just your product offerings. One of the best examples is On1y, a premium spice brand with a signature grinder to ensure you get maximum flavour. They chose to speak about their product USP in an unusual way and effectively use humour to capture the attention of their audience.

9. Take a stand on current issues

 Brands have for a long time kept a safe distance from social issues, for fear of alienating a large section of their consumer base. Doing so today, however, might not earn brands any benefits. Millennial consumers, in particular, are more likely to have a positive perception of a brand if it takes a stand on pressing social issues. According to a study by Sprout Social, around two-thirds of consumers want brands to voice out their opinions on social issues. Showing support for a social movement can help build a brand’s personality and help them form an emotional bond with their customers.

 

 

While getting involved in political issues can still be tricky, there are many social and environmental issues that brand can and should take a stand on. But this doesn’t mean that brands should voice their opinion on every social issue that crops up. The key here is to ensure that your message is in line with your brand offerings and that it doesn’t seem opportunistic. Nothing can alienate consumers faster than a brand that appears to be using a social movement for profit. You don’t have to look further than Pepsi’s controversial video that trivialised social protests to understand how insensitive communication can backfire on a brand.

If a customer’s relationship with your brand is on a purely transactional basis, then they are unlikely to develop any loyalty or emotional connection to your brand. These social media trends can help brands create a personalised, user-centric marketing strategy which will help create a lasting connection with consumers.

 


Design tips to create great visual posts on social media

  • Achala
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  • 24 July , 2018
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    • 10 min read

With thousands of brands vying for attention online, it is essential for companies to have a personality that cuts through the crowd and capture their target audience. A brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to brands in a way that they look, feel and interact with their audience. It is important to note that the personality should be an extension of the core values of the brand - and not conflict with it. For example, a luxury company may not find the greatest success littering their social feeds with memes, and a more fun brand may not be able to connect with its audience through stark and minimalist ads.

With more and more businesses going digital, and having a diverse social media offering, there is a strong correlation between a well thought-out brand personality and success. From designing online ads to creating a mobile responsive web design, having a compelling digital personality has many benefits, pushing brands to shift from print to digital media. A few of the benefits are discussed below:

  • Digital touchpoints amplify the ability of a brand to communicate with its customers in comparison to Brick and Mortar and offline activations. There are a multitude of opportunities for a brand to be able to extend its personality across these touchpoints in increasingly unique ways, providing a seamless visual experience.
  • It defines the brand in a way that purely offline activations cannot. Websites are no longer just a place to find your nearest store location (in the case of a product company) and have evolved to telling company stories, supported with rich media and some truly great user experience.
  • It creates a cohesion for online/offline communications
  • It forms an emotional connection with the users through exhibiting personality traits that they themselves would want to imbibe. Thus, it forms a bond of trust and authenticity.

In all this, the heart and soul of a digital personality comes down to one thing - design. The bare minimum of any successful communication that a brand puts out is good graphics, proving that design helps tell a brand story. Here are 10 tips to ensure that your brand voice is distinctive and visually arresting:

Establish your identity through visuals

Creating a design system or a brand book is the first and most important step to ensure that you have a holistic vision for your personality. Your brand is a living, breathing organism and should be treated as such!

Many companies prefer for their image-based communications to have subtle (or heavy!) branding on them, to ensure that it is associated back to their brand. It could be adding a simple frame, an adapted logo or even a specific filter to the image that is used throughout a campaign. It gives a lift to an otherwise simple image.

Featured above are the social media posts by House of Hiranandani. Since the brand specializes in premium and stylish living, their use of visual marketing ideas bursts with personality and originality, done in a creative and subtle way.

Think about Typography

Typography, or the art of arranging type, is a powerful element of visual communication. Gone are the days where we relied on Comic Sans or Papyrus to get our points across. Brands are now restricting themselves to using a few signature fonts in their style sheets - either using previously existing ones, or creating new ones, especially for their communications. Fonts communicate a variety of emotions and each type group is often associated with a certain kind of brand or industry. Brands that show restraint in font usage in their communication have much more focused messaging than those who get a bit too experimental with mixing type.

 

In the above examples, the serif fonts have been used to communicate a classic, timeless style that is usually associated with fashion. The brands featured here, Tifara and Zaamor, tend to favor these styles in their imagery as it best aligns with their tone and personality.

 

 

Before - These TVS creatives do not show strong brand characteristics. As an energetic automobile brand, the fonts used to not communicate this through their imagery.

After - After establishing a font palette with visual hierarchy of text, the creatives look as though they are part of the brand. The font choice (Euromode) pleases the eye and suggests movement, speed and progress.

Choose the right palette

The term ‘Colour Psychology’ has been around the marketing space for a while, as studies show that certain colours affect online consumer behaviour. Along the same lines, businesses are realising that using a specific set of colours in their digital communications (be it their website, Google ads, infographics or social media posts) creates retention in the customer’s mind and links the graphic back to their brand. These could even be colours that are used in a product’s packaging. We’ve seen this many times with the classic Cadbury purple, the Tiffany Blue or the McDonald’s red and yellow. There is a strong association with these colours to their corresponding businesses and products, which let the RGB and CMYK take on a whole new meaning!

Sundaram Mutual, one of our clients in the financial sector, uses tones of blue and white in their social media creatives to bring about brand recall.

The above examples illustrate perfectly how a recognizable color palette can make a graphic distinctive without the need of a logo. It goes without saying that these are made for Google.

Motion graphics and cinemagraphs

Motion graphics are proving to be more and more popular when pitted against their static counterparts. They stand out from our newsfeeds and demand a second look.  Brands are getting increasingly creative when it comes to using subtle motion in design. Cinemagraphs are the latest trend in this area - a post where only one aspect of an image is in motion in contrast to a static background.

GIFs are being redefined as more than just a grainy set of images on loop, found on 9Gag. They are quirky, clever representations of concepts that could otherwise not be depicted by a single image post. They are also easily shareable across multiple social media platforms. Companies are able to create a personality through these small clips. Brands are no longer thinking in terms of just static images, they are thinking and communicating in terms of stories.

Storytelling through video content

Videos are the most heavily consumed form of content in the online space. Over half a billion people are watching video content on Facebook on a day-to-day basis. Weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown by 85% from 2010 to 2016, according to a report by Edelman. Because of this, brands have intuitively funneled a lot of their budgeting into video content for brand storytelling, promotions and ultimately, conversions (95% of a message is retained when it is portrayed through video versus text).

However, not all videos are created equal, and brands are becoming increasingly intuitive of this point. As the newsfeed develops more and more into an online billboard, it is essential to craft content to best suit the platforms. Square videos are consumed the most, as they take up 78% more space on Facebook’s newsfeed and get more engagement than horizontal ones.

The kinds of content routes that companies take are also varied - but they all stay true to the brand message. This just goes to show that one brand can have many facets to its personality - ranging from a lively, engaging side shown through Vox pop to a ‘strictly business’ side though branded videos. Whatever said and done, video content is here to stay – whether it is low-cost videos to tell a brand story or optimized YouTube videos for customer engagement.

Be mindful of what shapes communicate

Shape, or form, is another visual element that holds a lot of importance. Social media marketing has allowed brands to communicate with their customers like never before - and in extremely creative ways. Some even have a specific style of graphic art that is so distinctive, that the viewer immediately knows which brand it came from. Different shapes, willingly or unwillingly, mean different things. Organic, soft and rounded shapes give a friendly, relatable and pleasing feel.

For example, in the Dr. Mohan’s graphics above - the emotion of stress has been personified into a fun character to communicate to people how to be more aware of letting stress take over your life. The tone is light, to get across a more serious point - thus trying to get into the mind of the customer and make them relate to the creatives on a personal level rather than giving them complex medical advice.

Sharper, geometric shapes communicate a bold, clean and prestigious outlook. In the creatives done for House of Hiranandani, the tonal vectors used have a minimalist feel which is to communicate the perfection and luxury of their interiors, while still keeping it relevant to social media.

Knowing what your brand intends to communicate should line up with the shape and form of the elements used in all communications to ensure consistency.

Microinteractions

There are hundreds of tiny interactions that users face, a majority of which don’t even get noticed. Through brilliant user experience, there are subtle motion design decisions made by developers that try to influence behaviour and make the process or task simpler. These are microinteractions and if done well, shouldn’t even be on the radar of the user. For example, the pull-to-refresh option on Facebook is something that we subconsciously do over other apps as well - and expect the same result. A brand that is fully aware of the spectrum of its interactions with the customer, and is focused on making the purchase funnel or journey as smooth and easy as possible, gains legitimacy and trust. 

Illustration styles (Flat vs Sketches)

Flat design and vectors were predicted to be one of the graphic design trends of 2018. Brands are hiring graphic artists to create beautiful flat illustrations to increase lead generation through their landing pages. Tech companies, real estate and even large conglomerates alike are going with this approach instead of a traditional full-width hero image banner. It adds a fun element to the page and certainly draws the user in. Corporates are no longer trying to make their communications stuffy and pompous. This works well especially in the case of businesses with heavy processes or complex offerings - it simplifies it and makes it much less intimidating for the viewer, improving the quality of leads in the process.

  

Customising the design style for each platform

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube - Chances are, your company has at least two, or even all of these, active. Each one has a slightly different target audience, although many overlap. It is essential to rework the visual communication for each one, so that it is the most effective for that particular platform. Companies that do this certainly get a nod of approval for social media savants - as merely resizing a creative does not mean that it is ready-to-go for a certain platform. Rearranging the copy, the caption, the graphic, ensuring that the Call-To-Action is at the most optimal place - all these are important factors to keep in mind.

 Adding regional accents to design

The Indian digital space is extremely diverse - and there is a growing need and appreciation for regionally targeted content and design. Companies in real estate, B2B, finance and FMCG, to name a few, have realised that using the same communication all across the country does not speak to every consumer - not just in terms of the base translation of copy, but the design and graphics as well. By using regional touches and local nuances to the design, the same ad can penetrate the tier 2 and tier 3 market in a much more effective way, and engage with India’s next billion Internet users. It also rouses a sense of pride amongst the customers as they feel represented.

This can be done by changing the color palette to better suit the aesthetic that a certain city is known for (like pink for Jaipur), include nods to monuments and local figures in that region (like Ranjikanth or temple architecture for Chennai) or even film dialogues woven into the creative copy.

This shows that the company is not only invested in the citizens of a certain area or state, but is willing to go the extra mile to build a relationship and start a conversation with them. You can read our case study on how a multilingual approach got a brand 90% growth in leads to understand the reach of regional design.

 

  

 

A modern brand is an entity of many moving parts - some tangible and visible, but others are just a result of good design decisions made, that make a world of difference. As the points above lay out - it is extremely important to pay attention to not only the messaging of your brand, but the way that it is being depicted for communication and consumption. Providing your brand with a strong personality and voice is the best investment in the short and long term!

You can also check out our case study on how a redesign strategy helped a brand increase social engagement for more insights.


Top Instagram tools for business needs

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 27 July , 2017
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    • 4 min read

Gone are the days when people used Instagram merely because Facebook was too mainstream for them. Over the past few years, this delectable app has received ascending global momentum and is certainly here to stay! Instagram is a mobile-based app which focuses on capturing and sharing visual posts and is a huge hit amongst youngsters. In India, it is mostly used by people below the age of 35 and is a powerful platform to promote the marketing and sales of businesses of all sizes.

During 2015, the platform was opened for business and, since then, there has been no looking back! Read on to get a closer insight into the top 15 tools which will come in handy to promote your business on Instagram.

Crowdfire

This amazing tool helps you find the right following for your business. It provides you with a filtered set of audiences who are most likely to be interested in your business which, in turn, leads to effective targeting. Additionally, it assists you in identifying the most inactive followers, who can later be unfollowed. You can also find followers who follow accounts similar to yours and the list of people who have unfollowed you.

Schedugram

Schedugram helps you with scheduling your posts. It queues your posts according to the timeline opted by you and eradicates the need to log in and out every time you want to post something. Furthermore, it has the added key features of managing multiple accounts, content creation and canva integration.

Social Insight

Social Insight provides you with an extensive analysis of your posts, focusing on reach and account engagement. You can retrieve useful information like your most liked post, average engagement rate and the increase or decrease in the number of followers. It also gives you a detailed insight into understanding your customers. Additional features include geographical hash tag specific alerts and personalised notification preferences.

Social Rank

This handy tool refines your list of followers by classifying them into brand advocates and influencers. Social Rank even helps you create a custom classification to segregate your followers and export the desired profiles to Twitter. Besides this, you can also filter your followers with specific demographic keywords. It gives a complete statistical breakdown of your Instagram followers which is very helpful in promoting your business.

Facebook Power Editor

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook now, it uses Facebook power editor to serve ads. This tool provides every benefit offered by Facebook such as targeting customers based on age, gender, location and interests. It also comes with the added advantage of flexible pricing, finding look-alike audiences and saving a targeted set of audiences for precise control over your campaigns

Instagram feed WD

Instagram feed WD integrates your Instagram account to Word Press blogs. You can now easily link your posts and photos to your website. It also lets you embed your Instagram feeds of hash tags and users to your website with conditional filters and links.

Instagram Insights

With Instagram Insights, you can get access to the basic analytics of your Instagram business account. It provides you with contact support your customers can use to reach your organisation and helps with promoting the posts as ads.

Soldsie

This tool focuses on showcasing your brand. It provides the facility of adding a bio link so that the interested followers can see your photos when they search for content similar to yours. It also provides conversion tracking and inventory management for e-commerce merchandise.

Repost

The Repost app lets you repost an Instagrammer's photo on your feed. You can also bookmark your photos and save photos or videos to post them later on your feed, with just one touch.

Offerpop

Offerpop lets you engage in interactive content with your followers. It is ideal for conducting contests and creating sampling programs. It plays ads and content galleries in user-created feeds to promote brands.

Iconsquare

This is a business analytics widget that deals with the statistical analysis of post engagement. It monitors the increase or decrease of followers. One special feature about this is that it provides the opportunity to benchmark your performance with that of the competitor’s. It also includes suggestions about the optimal post timings.

Like2buy

Like2buy is the shopping-enabled doppelganger of Instagram. The app supports a web page similar to Instagram with the added feature of shopping while scrolling through the pictures.

Over

Over is built specifically to help you add text to your images. It has a contemporary style and is a one-stop-shop for anything related to embedding text on your pictures. Additionally, this app is specifically known for its creative and lively UI.

People map

People map is another effective Instagram marketing tool which provides you with the detailed analytics of your business. It helps in data-based decision making, finding target influencers, and is much more user-friendly than its counter parts. It also has a very stylish interface that makes it more attractive and fun to work with.

Inselly

Inselly is a simple tool that can redirect a photo to the actual product with the help of the hashtag used. This helps in capturing the attention of a customer, within a short span, by showcasing that the product is on sale. The hashtag denotes that the product is up for grabs and visiting the inselly website will help them find more details of the product.

It is about time you leverage Instagram to boost the marketing and sales of your business. With so many handy tools and useful apps, connecting to your target audience is now easier than ever. So, take the plunge and leave your digital footprint on the effervescent platform of social media.

This blog was originally published in Business Line on Campus.

An ultimate guide to using Instagram Stories

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 26 December , 2016
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    • 5 min read

From merely a selfie-sharing app, Instagram has come a long way and now has over 300 million monthly active users sharing 70 million photos per day that garner over 2.5 billion likes daily. Instagram recently launched a new feature named stories, which has a striking resemblance to Snapchat’s feature of the same name. They are essentially photos and videos that last just a day and just like Snapchat; they can be enhanced with drawings or special filters.

Stories are not part of the main feeds and are in a separate space where you can post as frequently as you want without worrying about spamming your friend’s feeds. Wondering how to use this and how you can leverage this feature in your marketing strategy? Worry not! We have the answers.

How to use it

  1. Tap the plus sign in the upper left corner of your screen to get started.

  1. Take a picture by clicking on the round icon. If you are looking to make videos, press the round button continuously for 10 seconds.

If you don't want to take pictures and want to upload from your existing gallery, just swipe down to choose your photos or videos.

  1. Once you are done with taking pictures, you can use one of the three pen options to doodle on your images.

Additionally, stories also let's add filters. All you need to do is swipe right.

  1. Now that your masterpiece is done, just tap the checkmark icon to share.

Your story will now appear on top of your friend’s feeds. It is also visible on your profile page.  You can also save this story for later use. All you need to do is open your story and click on the three dots on the bottom right, then selecting "Save Photo."

  1. Get to know the analytics

You can see who saw your pictures and videos by swiping up when seeing the photo or video. If you do not want someone seeing it, all you need to do is hit the "X" next to their name to block them from seeing anything you add to your Story.

You can also change your privacy settings to make sure certain people on your feeds don’t get to see your stories. Go to the setting icon in your profile and choose to hide your story from certain users or restrict who can respond to it.

How can brands leverage Instagram stories?

After Facebook took over Instagram, Instagram opened up to advertising on their platform, and more brands have started using Instagram for business. Instagram also has an inbuilt analytics tool, which helps you track the most viewed and liked posts, post engagement rate, website clicks and impressions.

If your brand already has a fairly decent base, Instagram Stories is something you must quickly jump to create a buzz. Wondering how to leverage stories? Here are a few ideas.

  • Behind the scenes

One of the best and easiest ways to use this cool, new feature is during an event. Give your audience a sneak peak of what is going on behind the scenes. Be it a photo shoot or just a short video to show how things are working at your office, it is an excellent way to connect with your audience.    Here is an example of a brand that leveraged this feature,  Mercedes-Benz (@mercedesbenz) shared a compilation of videos and photos of a photo shoot highlighting its Mercedes-AMG model.

  • Endorsing a sale

For any retail brand or e-commerce brand, Instagram stories are an excellent way to announce a sale. With a combination of images and videos, you can send out promotional messages about your upcoming sale. In fact, J-Crew, an American multi-brand retailer did just that. Before their one-day sale of “Jane in Pink”” sunglasses, they took to Instagram Stories to highlight their sale.

Source:  Simply measured

  • Teaser videos

If you are having an event in your office or if you are just looking to make a big announcement about your brand, take to Stories to tease your audience about it. If you are making your big announcement through Facebook Live videos, you can use stories to notify people about a Facebook Live broadcast to get more viewers for your live video. This is a great way to promote both your platforms at once.

  • Showcase your product

If you are looking to promote your product, Instagram stories are a great way to do that. You can not only show how your product works but also show them unique ways to use your product well.  This will not only increase visibility but also gives them reasons to buy the product and driving conversions. Be it makeup tutorials with a specific product or styling ideas with a scarf, there is no better way to educate your audience about your product than these stories. Even Starbucks highlighted its chilled cold brew and iced Americano with cream using Stories.

Source: Instagram

  • Celebrating milestones

Has your company just turned one or five or did you just win a big award? Well, congratulations! It is important to announce these to your target audience, and this is where Instagram stories come in. Using series of interview video and images, you can create engaging content to highlight your milestone.

South West Airline is a classic example of this. When they retired their 737-500 planes, they took to stories to make this announcement.

Source: Social Media Examiner

Showcasing these milestones is an excellent way to humanise your brand and keep your audience and potential customers interested in what you do and how you do it.

Are you going to be using Instagram stories? Share your thought in the comment section below.

This article was originally published in Techstory


Instagram Analytics – What Can A Brand Expect

  • Sneha Balasubramaniyan
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  • 15 July , 2016
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    • 4 min read

Analytics is by far one of the most important tools to help a company sell on the social media platform. Yes, driving traffic to the website is equally important, but how do you find out what happens after that? That is where web and social media analytics comes to play. Every social networking site has its own set of analytics that are both accurate and user-friendly. While Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest has inbuilt analytics, Instagram was lacking in it. Though Instagram shares the same ad platform as Facebook, the platform does not yet have an analytics tool like Facebook’s Insights and Audience Insights. Fortunately, there are a number of third-party Instagram analytics tools available for businesses and marketers to measure their marketing efforts until recently when Instagram announced its insights feature – Instagram ‘Business Tool’that will be made available directly in the app for its users!

While this happened, Instagram again made heads turn for yet another new launch – ‘Business Profiles’. This tool is truly an advantage for small businesses, which can enjoy the ease of mobile marketing on Instagram which will also help reduce the gap between the consumers and the brands. While Instagram’s carousal ad sets and videos have already been helpful for easy marketing, introducing mobile ad-buying and Analytics, which will help view the most viewed and liked posts, post engagement rate, website clicks, impressions, reach and a lot more is definitely a big step for Instagram that has been appreciated by 500 million users who see 95 million posts amongst which a minimum of 48 million posts are ads by marketers every day. If you are still deciding whether to use Instagram for your brand – here is a guide on how startups can use Instagram.

 

 

Key Features of Instagram Analytics

Instagram Analytics dominantly focuses on Follower Demographics and Post Analytics. Below, you can view your top posts segregated by Instagram based on its impressions for a 7 day or a 30 day period. This will help you understand how many people viewed your posts other than just liking it, giving you an accurate engagement rate, thereby helping you understand if there is a need to improve your marketing.

 

 

Amongst all the information that is available, Follower Demographics is a very useful tool, especially for the small time marketers. It helps them discover where their audiences are coming from. Apart from exact locations, it also helps determine the right time to market to them from different time zones.

 

 

Again, similar to any other analytics tool, Instagram also lets you break your audience by gender and age to quickly analyze if men or women have contributed to the most number of views, likes and engagement rate.

 

 

The ‘Followers’ module is yet another major advantage for marketers to keep a track of the time and the number of hours their consumers are on Instagram on a selected day. This will again help them understand the right day and time to advertise which will surely be beneficial to grow the brand.

 

 

Apart from hardcore analytics tools, Instagram has also been experimenting with a few other profile features that seem to be quite useful for businesses to lead traffic to their websites and increase their sales. One of these features is the new ‘Contact’ button besides the usual ‘Following’ button.

 

 

The ‘Contact’ button is a linkable location tag which when clicked will show two things – ‘Email’ the user or ‘Get Directions’ on your maps to their store.Since finding the location of Instagram brands has been a major pain point for both marketers and users alike, this new feature will be of some aid.

 

 

The second feature is a direct plus-point for brands/products that have been looked around or searched a lot in social media. While hashtags are used on Facebook and Twitter to quickly spot these products, Instagram has introduced an extra line underneath the name in the profile.

 

 

While these features are not yet open to all users, they have been introduced for marketers in the US, Australia and New Zealand and in the following months, will be accessible on a global level, including India. Boasting over 300,000 marketers leveraging on Instagram, it has become an ideal platform for small businesses to resort to a much easier and visually appealing mode of marketing that will be directly benefited by this new Analytics tool amongst the others and other special features for brand building.

We will have a more detailed analysis once we are able to use the tool for more brands.


How to use Instagram for Business (And a guide on Instagram Ads)

  • Anuradha Nair
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  • 25 April , 2016
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    • 9 min read

Instagram’s growth and spread as a social media platform is literally a tech fairy tale. What started out as a purely recreational app by two young entrepreneurs is now nothing short of a global phenomenon. It’s been 18 months since Facebook acquired Instagram and has estimated 400 million monthly active users. After Facebook’s acquisition, Instagram has opened up advertising opportunities on its platform making it official, that Instagram has truly arrived as a powerful marketing platform.

However, if you plan to use this platform to market your brand, product or service, you must be aware that the regular, run-of-the-mill content and strategy will not work for Instagram. If done well, Instagram can not only increase your brand’s visibility but also can help you engage with your customers and generate business and revenue through it. So here’s a list of 9 ways to use Instagram effectively for your business

  1. You Are What You Click

Instagram is a very visual platform and therefore you have to use images and videos that can tell your brand story effectively. Use high-quality product images yet ensure that they are not over salesy. The pictures must look organic and as natural as possible. Take this photo shared by Good Earth India

To launch their new kids collection, they have captured the essence of being a child by showcasing a little girl painting on the floor. By choosing to showcase the product in its natural setting instead of a typical product image, Good Earth manages to create a marketing free look while promoting their new collection for children.

Here’s another category of images that work – text. One may think that only images with people or objects do well on Instagram. Contrary to popular belief, images with text do well too. You can follow it up with a question in the caption to get great engagement. Check out this post by Buzzfeed Life about their latest blog post featuring 10 looks created out of a single LBD (Little Black Dress, for the uninitiated)

Ensure that your captions are brief yet engaging. Adding a question always helps to interact with your audience.

You can share plenty of behind-the-scene pictures and videos that can let people know about the team that works for the brand. Remember, the more real you are, the better people connect to your brand.

Once your Instagram profile creates this fun, creative and organic atmosphere, you can start seeing an increased traffic to your site and curiosity about your product/service.

  1. Bio and Website Link

Unlike Facebook and most other social media platforms, Instagram does not allow clickable links on the posts or on the post description. However the profile bio allows you to write a brief about yourself or your business. Use this space to exactly convey what you would like to say to your audiences. Most brands also use a few emojis here to make this section stand out and support the text with some colour.

The website link added here is the only way your customer can be redirected from Instagram to your website (other than ads).

To subtly push your target audience to engage with your website, blog or your app, end most of your post content with a gentle reminder that the link to reach you is available in the bio. Check out this post by Photo Concierge showcasing stock images directing customers to a link of their choice.

  1. Instagram Ads

As of March 2016, there are over 200,000 advertisers on Instagram and it’s a great tool to reach your target audience. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you will need to go through a Facebook Ad Account to run ads on Instagram. Here’s a quick guide on how to run Instagram ads

  • Visit the Facebook Ads Manager and create an account. Skip this process if you already have an ad account with Facebook.
  • Link your Instagram profile to your page using the tab under ‘Settings’ on your business Facebook page
  • Select your goal from the options that are offered through Instagram. For instance you can send people to your website, get people to download your app or promote your Facebook post through your Instagram profile.
  • As of now, one cannot promote a post on Instagram unless it is shared on Facebook.

 

  • Now create the ad on the Facebook ads manager with the image and text of your choice.
  • When you reach the ad format section, you will have the option of deciding if you would like to show your ad on Instagram. Alternately, if you would only like to run your ad on Instagram, make sure that you uncheck the other platforms.
  • Now fix your budget, check the ad preview, hit ‘Place Order’ and your good to go!

 

Like any platform, you need to experiment with various combinations of ads and text to understand which ads are working well with your target demographic. Try the carousel format with multiple pictures or a video ad to get the desired business results.

It has been observed that running Facebook ads along with the Instagram ads can reduce your cost per conversion by around 20%.

  1. Engage and Reach Out

Engagement with your followers is quite hard on a platform like Facebook, but Instagram is the perfect place to really engage with your followers. It’s also a place that is geared more for organic and real conversations.

Your followers are a gold mine of potential customers. Creating a loyal fan base is a surefire way to generate customers. Of course, unlike running ads, this process takes a bit of time, effort and patience.

Sorting and keeping in touch with followers is vital. Tools like SocialRank are a fantastic way to organize, manage and identify your Instagram followers.

SocialRank essentially pulls out the profiles of all your followers and lets you sort them out based on your preferences. You can create lists of your most valuable followers and ensure that you follow them back. A thoughtful message on their special posts can go a long way in ensuring brand affinity.

Another interesting way to grow your community is by searching relevant non-followers and liking as well commenting on their posts. Richard Lazazzera, Author of What to Sell Online : The definitive guide, ran a small experiment wherein he shortlisted 100 of his competitors’ followers and liked as well commented on their posts. He managed to get a whopping 34% follow back from this group.

  • Follow : 14% followback
  • Follow + Like : 22% followback
  • Follow + Like + Comment : 34% followback

This clearly shows that the more effort you put into your Instagram profile, the better are your chances to build a strong and relevant community which in turn helps with business results.

Another great way to engage with your users, is by reposting customer content. Most brands heavily rely on this and it’s a great way to make them feel special. Use the Repost app to share your customer’s content and tag them on the post! Infact, there are many tools that help you manage your Instagram profile. Here’s another list of top tools to help you with Instagram.

  1. Keep Your Account Clean

Instagram is a platform where often unfollowing is as important as following!

Since following others is a definitive way to increase your reach, you have to constantly unfollow the people who do not engage with you in any way. Some accounts that you follow may have become inactive and can be weeded out.

Crowdfire is the perfect app to help keep your account clean. Through its simple dashboard, you can quickly see the number of people who follow/do not follow you. It also pops up the profiles of your recent unfollowers which can help you unfollow them as well. Alternately, it helps you quickly find the list of your competitors to follow. With this dashboard, you can ensure that your account is always fresh and updated!

  1. Hashtag Your Way To Glory

We all love hashtags. We are all guilty of using them all the time. But nowhere are hashtags more important than on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and we recommend using it well. The hashtags can be broadly divided into three categories

  • Popular Hashtags (#tbt, #photooftheday, #igers #popular)
  • Industry Related Hashtags (#Fashion, #FoodPorn, #instatech, #FitnessFreak)
  • Brand Related Hashtag (#Vogue , #UberCode, #MyntraFashion)

Ideally, each post must have a few from each of these categories. Do not forget to coin a hashtag for your brand and promote it regularly till it can catch on and have its own identity among your customers.

Many brands also use clever hashtags to communicate an emotion or trend related to their product. Just like this Starbucks post, where they use the #BeGoodToYourself hashtag along with their tea to indicate a feeling of wellness and indulgence.

Here’s a great guide to the most popular hashtags for the year 2016.

  1. Instagram Influencers

Instagram influencers are very powerful and have almost the same impact as a popular brand ambassador for your business. Anybody who has a large following and content that interests your customers can be an influencer.

The key to getting the most out of influencer marketing is ensuring that it is done using several influencers and within a short time period. Your customer’s memory is short and to ensure that your brand is noticed, a Blitz Krieg approach to influencer marketing can go a long way. This is especially true when you are launching a new product in the market.

One of the best case studies to understand the impact of Instagram influencers is the launch of the Uwheel, a self-balancing two-wheeled hoverboard.  The co-founder’s girlfriend recruited famous rappers, singers, socialites, and other Instagram influencers to talk about the Uwheel, all at once. Some of the posts and reviews were paid for while some others were given the Uwheel in exchange for a word about their business and product on their profile. And suddenly, Uwheel was all everyone was talking about!

Using a marketing budget of $61,200 their team was able to generate a revenue of over 1 million dollars and since then Uwheel as a brand, has not turned back. Read all about it here.

Wanted to get started with influencers for your business soon? Here’s a fantastic list of influencers to help you get started!

  1. Analyse This

Like all social media platforms, Instagram analytics can help you understand your account and follower behaviour to help optimize your business. Using tools like Social Insight or Iconosquare you can find out more about important analytical points. For instance, the best time to post your content, most engaging content, most engaging filters etc.

These tools help generate comprehensive reports that can speak volumes about the user behaviour and help you understand what works and what does not for your Instagram account.

  1. Post Regularly

With Instagram, consistency is very important. You must keep sharing your content in different forms to be relevant and sustain the community you have built. One way to achieve this is by scheduling your posts in advance. Use tools like Schedugram and Latergramme so that your workload does not stop you from posting regularly on Instagram.

However, do remember that the name Instagram is inspired from the act of capturing a moment the instant it happens. Nothing works better than taking a picture while as it happens and sharing it immediately with your followers. A successful sales figure, a new product launch, a new business venture – share it when it takes place! During a recent interview, Eva Chen, Instagram’s Head of Fashion Partnerships, speaks about how Instagram is more than just a numbers game and airbrushed photographs. Even grainy but real videos that were taken in poor lighting can do well on Instagram if they truly capture real life. So don’t be afraid to share it all.

Here are some more interesting case studies about using Instagram for business. Instagram is truly a treasure trove of new opportunities to expand your business and generate revenue. While it does work better for businesses that are more visual in nature, it still is emerging as the number one way to interact with the younger audiences with great spending potential. Have you tried to use Instagram for your business? We would love hear from you in our comments section!

 

 


Top 10 tools for Instagram

  • Maryna
  • |
  • 11 September , 2015
  • |
    • 4 min read

Instagram allows companies to tell a visual story, to develop brands and to be engaged with customers. But just 28% of marketers currently use Instagram for their businesses. Popularity of Instagram in Google Trends shows a really fast growth for the last years.

So it’s time to start with Instagram marketing. Here is a list of top 10 tools to help your business to build, manage and grow a strong presence on Instagram.

  1. Iconosquare 

Iconosquare is one of the leading analytical tools for Instagram. It allows you to manage your Instagram activity, analyze your performance and engage your customers. With this tool, you can track which top hashtags are being used on Instagram, get detailed dashboards with graphics on engagement with users and use comprehensive tools including functionality to create contests.

  1. Schedugram 

Is Instagram a part of your social media marketing? Schedugram, a startup in Australia, is an excellent tool for Instagram users and social media managers to manage multiple Instagram accounts. Instagram was designed as a mobile tool, but Schedugram gives the opportunity to post pics from your desktop or laptop. It allows you to schedule your posts and post photos as well as videos. You can also edit your pictures, including cropping, adding filters, adding light and saturation properties and other cool effects before posting.

  1. Repost 

Repost app is a good tool to make customers feel involved and appreciated. This application allows brands to demonstrate their user-generated content. Search a photo you like and easily repost it. You can find your customers by hashtags and follow them. Appreciate your customers by mentioning them on your page, to earn customer loyalty.

  1. Like2buy 

Like2buy is “Instagram's missing link”,  a tool to sell products on Instagram. This app gives an opportunity to drive traffic and revenue from Instagram. Like2buy transform images into gallery of products, available for purchase with a click. User should clicks on the link and it will take them to a page of the brand’s featured products.

  1. Tapshop 

 Tapshop also helps your Instagram followers in shopping. With Tapshop, you can make any image in your brand gallery shoppable by adding a product or category page link. Once your fans find a custom page of their desirable products, they will get an email with direct links to your product pages.

  1. Wispond 

Wispond is Instagram Hashtag Contest App. Gather Instagram photos and showcase them in a voting gallery on your Facebook page, website or mobile. Invite followers to submit their photos from Instagram and vote on their favourite ones. Add Instagram contests into your marketing plan to give your channels a viral impulse.

  1. Flipagram 

Create, share and discover fun photo-video stories along with your favourite music! Flipagram allows you to make slideshows, musical videos, stop-motion effects and more, with millions of free music clips for your Instagram page. You can demonstrate how one of your products can be used in different ways or create a slideshow with interesting photos with your team. The more pictures you have, the better the effect.

  1. Piclab 

Piclab is a tool that allows you to add text to your pictures. If you want to have written information on our images this is a perfect programm to do it. Choose from different fonts, shapes, put stunning filters and photo effects, and add a collection of textures, borders, patterns, and more to your photos.

  1. Hyperlapse 

Hyperlapse is owned by Instagram and creates beautiful time lapse movies. Capture video, choose the acceleration (from 2 to 12 times) and the program will do the rest for you. The video helps in making a nice video that is easy to share with your followers.

  1. Instagram for Business 

 Instagram for Business is one of the best places for businesses to find tools to grow their brands. The Instagram for Business blog has tips, brand spotlights, case studies, and news from Instagram. Use Instagram's visual language to create your visual story and drive business growth.

Instagram is a powerful tool to connect with consumers and build a community. The key is to stay authentic to your brand and create content and engage with your customers. This will ensure that users not only “follow you” on Instagram, but also become your brand advocates.

 

 


How to Leverage Instagram for your business: A marketing guide

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 25 May , 2015
  • |
    • 4 min read

If your brand has visually appealing products or a unique story to tell, there cannot be a better stage than Instagram. From luxury brands to media houses to automotives, each have carved a niche of their own and are leveraging Instagram for their businesses. In fact, automotive brands are the most engaged and well-represented. Lot of marketers contemplate whether Instagram can be an effective social media platform for their brand? Even if many marketers want to leverage Instagram for their business, they lack a quick guide that has the tips to build a successful presence on Instagram.

According to a McKinsey study,

  • 75% luxury shoppers carry smartphones
  • 86% brands among the Interbrand 100 have an Instagram account
  • 45% of these shoppers’ purchase decisions are influenced by digital content

A quick look at the above stats convey the fact that 50% of the sales funnel can be readily delivered to potential customers even before they step into your store. This raises an important question: does the might of premium luxury brand correlate to the might on digital platforms like Instagram?

Luxury & retail brands are way ahead of the pack: A Case Study

Hermes, that promotes a lifestyle rather than products, have leveraged videos, short poetic films on Instagram that strikes profound luxurious experiences. For brands like Gucci & Louis Vuitton, the majority of posts revolve around showcasing new collections and designs and getting engagement for the same. In many cases, they have also leveraged digital influencers to promote the products by tagging them and showcasing shots taken by them. Tiffany is another brand that a strong following on Instagram that is just not nominal. The strength of relationship can be gauged from the fact that the engagement on follower base is the highest among the brands mentioned. Let us look at some top tips to help build a strong Instagram presence.

Top 6 tips for deriving maximum returns from your Instagram presence:

1. Long captions aren’t a big NO! 

Including hashtags, the average caption length on Instagram is 135-140 characters which marks a significant focus from brands to avoid long captions. But there is no apparent proof of lower engagement rates for posts with lengthier captions as long as it adds to the visual story of the post.

2. Hashtags rule the roost! 

Hashtags allow access to specific interest groups and they are a great way to mark content that are discoverable organically. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags to be used, and studies show that posts with at least one hashtag get ~12% more engagement. Then, there’s no reason to shy away from using them.

3. Caption content is a NECESSARY integral!

@mentions generally results in more engagement underlying the fact that though the caption length may be immaterial, caption content definitely matters.

4. Geo-tagging boosts engagement 

The posts tagged with location gets ~30% more engagement when compared to their orphan counterparts because there are multiple apps and 3rd party discovery tools that allows location-based searches and content discovery.

5. Videos ≠ Photos 

It’s good to mix the content form and it’s true for any channel. On its own, videos are a great form of content but cannot replace photos on Instagram. Hence, it’s suggested to focus on photos as the central pillar of your Instagram strategy.

6. Call-to-Actions are important

A simple CTA like "select the design you like most" or "Tag your friend who would like this" would be ideal to help boost the number of comments and tags your post gets. The virality of your post has an exponential relationship with the number of comments and tags you get.

Instagram is cool, but it isn’t for our business! 

Does this quote have any resemblance to your boardroom discussions on your marketing strategy? The apprehensions are misplaced.

If your brand doesn’t have glamorous models to endorse your product or a Louis Vuitton bag to display, then does your brand have a place on Instagram? The answer is YES. There are ample examples of brands who lack stunning images but have succeeded in creating an engaged audience on sheer basis of their creative prowess and evoking original content.

From Google to conglomerates like GE to tractor manufacturers like John Deere, most brands are fast coming on Instagram and have many have quickly built an engaging community around their brand. In fact, General Electric is one of the biggest B2B companies on Instagram with ~180000 followers.

Intel definitely needs a mention considering the impressive posts that showcase their products and common problems to solve using technology. This gains good traction as it’s not just hard-selling Intel’s products. In recent times, Instagram has emerged as an effective platform for the hospitality industry with players like Raintree Hotels leveraging geo-location tracking to get walk-ins & bookings.

Measurement: The final frontier

Whether your brand is new on Instagram or have built a strong presence, measurement is an essential part of the strategy to optimize the efforts and extract maximum returns on your investment. Some of the metrics that can help you in this direction are:

  1. Total Engagement

The total engagement is the sum of likes and comments garnered by your posts. This gives basic insights on how well your strategy has worked to keep your audience active.

  1. Engagement per Post

When some posts get impressive engagement while others fall flat, this metric can work as a good measure to optimize the content being pushed on the basis of what is working well with your audience.

  1. Interaction Density

In a given time period, the total engagement gained divided by the total followers shows engagement as a %age of followers; which can be used to study the period-on-period impact of your strategy.

  1. Hashtag Volume

This is only applicable in case of unique hashtag campaigns with affinity to our brand. In such cases, it’s a fair measure of how ‘viral’ your campaign has been.

  1. Total followers

This is an important metric to track the popularity of your Instagram account. The higher the number of followers, the better the chances are of gaining engagements on your post, thus boosting the other metrics discussed here.

  1. Follower Sensitivity

It’s the rate of growth of followers, period-on-period; that can act as an essential measure to track the best performing campaigns and content types.

In case you would like any other information to be included that can be helpful for marketing businesses by leverage Instagram, please do let us know your thoughts as a comment to the post. We shall be more than happy to explore your feedback.


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