With 3 interns joining us in a trot in early April (two from the Loyola Institute of Business Administration and one from Symbiosis, Pune - more about this later!), it was time for the team to head to our favourite south indian food joint! With the team growing in size, Menaka in Hotel Palmgrove was one of the only places that could accommodate us at short notice. While it was a hot day (& continues to be), it was a cool afternoon for us! After consuming tonnes of rice, sambar, ice cream & whole lot more, combined with the heat it was tough to work but we still made it beat till the end of the day.
More updates from the interns will follow shortly!
The second edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 27th Feb 2016 received a great response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion was achieving content marketing success in 2016 and beyond.
As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:
Why Content Marketing is essential:
Content marketing is a key part of any marketing strategy and is known to produce business results, as shown by the Hubspot survey below:
Also, as compared to paid media, it has a more sustained long-term impact:
Also, with most users being bombarded with ads from a large number of brands and with the use of ad blocking growing at a rapid pace, inbound marketing through valuable content works better and helps reach out to an audience that paid ads would never reach.
“10x Content” is required to make your content stand out:
With over 27 million pieces of content being produced every day, creating content that is good and unique alone doesn’t work. You need to create content which as defined by Rand Fishkin is “Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”
Creating 10X Content:
Read your audience’s minds:
The key is to find questions that your target audience is looking for answers to and problems they are looking to solve. Tools and platforms that could help you with this research are:
Combine User-focused content with search engine focused content:
Once you find topics that you could create 10x content on you would also need to check if there is a large enough number of users who are searching for content around those topics. This is where Google Keyword Planner comes into play and helps you figure out which topics you should create content on to get large volumes of organic traffic.
Find the most successful content around the topic:
Once you decide on a topic to create content on, you need to research the topic, do a competitive analysis and find the most successful content around it. This can be done by searching for different keyword variations on Google Search to identify top ranked content or by using a tool like Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the topic.
Make your content better than any other top content out there:
Ensure your content:
For more detailed steps on creating 10x content check out our blog on 10 ways to create 10x content. Some examples of what 10x content could possibly look like are listed below:
Content Amplification is Key:
Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. Some avenues for content amplification that you could use would be:
You could also check out or blogs on 21 SEO Link Building Techniques for 2016 and the 15 Best Social Bookmarking Websites to promote your content. For other useful content amplification strategies, you can also take a look at our slideshare below:
Q & A from the session:
Some of the questions that came up during the discussion with the answers are listed below as well:
Q: Is content marketing the way forward for SEO as well?
A: The focus of SEO has shifted from just keyword optimization and link building to not only producing quality content that addresses users’ needs but also delivering that content to the user with the best experience possible. Content is now the new SEO and creating 10X content is going to be the way forward in 2016.
Q: How do you measure results from Content Marketing?
A: Three metrics would help measure the impact of your content marketing efforts:
Q: How long do content marketing efforts take to start showing tangible business results?
A: There is only one right answer here and that is – it depends. There are multiple factors that will impact your success timelines like your existing domain authority, the time and effort invested in content creation and promotion and the content promotion budgets, if any. Typically content gets indexed in a few days and you can start getting traffic but time period to get business results can vary from 3-4 months all the way up to even a year. For example, when we started our influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in it took us 4 months before we started getting tangible results in the form of enquiries via our content or via google organic traffic.
Q: What tools can be used to create Infographics when one does not have a design team?
Q: Does post regional language content help content marketing efforts?
A: Yes, translating content to regional languages can help reach out to a newer audience, provided that audience is relevant to your business. Regional language content can also help increasing search traffic to your website, as shown in this article on the growth of regional content as well as this case study by Neil Patel.
Q: How do I know my content is 10x?
A: Whether your content is 10x or not is a little subjective - what may appear 10x to you may not look like 10x to someone else. Nevertheless, below are some validation questions to help you figure out if your content is 10x:
Here’s what some of our participants had to say about the session:
— Krithika Ramani (@krithikaramani3) February 27, 2016
Those of you who missed the inaugural edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha last month can check out the meeting summary here. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.
Are there any digital marketing challenges or problems you face in your organization? Do let us know and we would be happy to include them as discussion topics in upcoming Digital Chai Pe Charcha sessions.
In Dec 2015, we had an idea of creating a platform and open community for discussing challenges faced in marketing a startup – and this was the birth of “Digital Chai pe Charcha”. It got off to flying start in its first edition at our office on 8th January 2016. With limited promotion, we had a full house with 30 participants. The open discussion threw up interesting questions and insights from the diverse community comprising first-time entrepreneurs, seasoned professionals, digital marketers, journalists, PR professionals to social media influencers.
We discussed 7 broad topics and have summarized them below:
Startups do not have big pockets for marketing activities. In the face of budget constraints, how can they build a brand and acquire customers? Some ideas discussed were:
There is a whole host of tools out there that can be leveraged to help you amplify your marketing efforts. Some tools you can explore are:
Here's what some of the participants had to say:
Based on the suggestions from the participants, we are going to make this a monthly initiative with each month having a focused topic. You can check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.
Please feel free to comment below or tweet to us, in case you would like to add to the existing list of pointers for startups. We would love to add them in the article.
What happens when eminent personalities from various industries come together to share their expertise on social media and its aspects? Yes, it is that time of the year! The much awaited Social Media Week is scheduled to happen next week in Mumbai (November 16th to 20th).
Social Media Week hosts conferences across Europe, Australia, North America, South America, Asia & Africa which aim at connecting more than 1 million people and stands to be a powerful source of information that can be instrumental in shaping the future of human connectivity.
Image Courtesy - brandwatch
The Mumbai edition of SMW conference this year will witness an entire week of all things social media. This time it is bigger than ever. Over 73 speakers from different verticals will be there to address and advice the audience on various aspects of social media. Celebrities from the media and communication world like Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-chief, Times Now will be there to deliver their thoughts on how social media is commanding the industry at present. SMW will also have successful marketing professionals like Neha Ahuja, Peter Claridge Eric Edge and many more. Entrepreneurs like Sachin Bhatia, Founder, Truly Madly will also be in the panel of speakers.
As of today, not many events that are focused on digital media/social media take place in India. SMW, one of its kind, does not only help build a platform where there are opportunities to learn and share ideas but also network with fellow social media enthusiasts. Overall, it is going to be a social-media filled week with a lot of idea sharing!
We are looking forward to it. Are you?
You can follow live updates from the SMW Mumbai here.
Having lived in Ukraine all my life, I traveled to India to take up an internship. Through AIESEC, an organization that provides young people global internship and volunteer exchange experiences, I joined Social Beat about five months ago and have had the best experience. Social Beat is a digital marketing company founded in 2012 by two brothers, Vikas Chawla and Suneil Chawla. Although the company is just three years old, it is already one of the leading full-service digital agencies in India with a young, friendly and progressive team.
The company has five teams: Web Development, Design, SEO/Advertising, Social Media and Business Development. I worked in social media and partly in business development. I created content strategies for clients in different verticals including hospitality, real estate, entertainment, healthcare and ecommerce. I attended client events and wrote articles mainly for customers from Chennai. I can say that I’m exploring the city through the brands I handled.
I am the only foreign intern in the company and all the team members are friendly and everyone kept me informed about what the other teams are working on. At Social Beat, we have review meetings every Monday and on Fridays we gather around and chit chat about new trends in the digital marketing sphere. Even as an intern, I had opportunities to express and implement my ideas and the team always had my back. I also got to witness some of the interesting projects that Social Beat has been a part of. With Influencer marketing catching up fast in India, Social Beat has built a platform called Influencer, which will help shape the opinions of your brand using the most influential people amidst your potential customers. Social Beat is one of the pioneers in India, who has created a platform to attract bloggers and successfully offers it as an additional option for clients.
The other project I was part of was the Startup Walk. Startup Walk is a city-wide, open house for technology companies and Social Beat was a host company in it. Participants got the opportunity to check out the spaces, get acquainted with startup culture, meet the founders and get a behind-the-scenes look at the most innovative companies in Chennai. I got to interact and meet CEOs and it was an exciting assignment for me. At Social beat, the philosophy is work hard and party hard and I got to do just that. One of the brightest memories of my internship was the wedding of my boss and Co-Founder Vikas Chawla. As a little surprise, my team and I put together a dance performance. It was a lot of fun during practices and I really enjoyed learning Indian dance.
I also organized a fun activity for my colleagues and peers at Social beat, where I did a photo session and asked them to show five emotions (happiness, anger, surprise, thoughtfulness and craziness) and created a collage. It was really interesting to see how each person expressed different emotions.
I definitely know that I'll miss our office talks, group dinners where everyone shared their food. This has been an incredible experience that took me up to a new step of my professional development, I met wonderful people and discovered incredible India.
Before coming here, I had heard several stories about internships and life in India for foreigners. I knew that I will get some culture shock seeing people sleeping everywhere, surrounded by garbage, crazy traffic on the roads, cows walking on the streets and monkey stealing your things (but there are no monkeys in Chennai and I hardly saw any cows). However, my stint in Chennai was extremely memorable and exciting. I met new people and got to do a lot of things. Along with my boyfriend, I even shot for a couple of movies as a tourist. Hopefully you can all see me in “Iraivi” and “Kabali” even after I leave this beautiful country. People here are really kind and if you are a foreigner visiting India, be ready for lots of photos with Indians who like to grab you and take a selfie with you. So come to India and you will get an opportunity to feel like a star :)
This presentation on the topic "Digital Media & Entrepreneurship" is from the talk for students of Department of Media & Communication at MOP Vaishnav College in Chennai, India. It was conducted on 3rd September, 2015. The talk evolved around questions such as
Check out this presentation that to get answers to the above questions & many more!
We are delighted to announce that Social Beat’s Co- Founder Suneil Chawla, received the “Emerging Entrepreneur Award″ from the Sindhi Chamber of Commerce, held on August 28 2015 at The Savera Hotel in Chennai.
Devoted to encourage young and budding entrepreneurs, the Chamber facilitates emerging entrepreneur every year. The 8th edition of the awards was presented by Governor of Tamil Nadu, Dr. K Rosaiah to young and aspiring entrepreneurs. Speaking at the occasion, Suneil said, “It's been an amazing three years and I am humbled to receive an award for our entrepreneurial journey. We have been able to grow only because of the amazing team that we have and I accept this award on behalf of everyone at Social Beat."
Dr K Rossaiah congratulated the recipients and said, “Be it in providing employment, spread of education, establishing industries or promoting trade and commerce, the contribution made by Sindhis is unique and deserves a special mention.”
For Spidey fans a trivia which says Andrew Garfield admitted to shedding tears the first time he wore the Spiderman costume shooting for The Amazing Spiderman, could be priceless. And for a startup that sells super hero merchandise, this exclusive trivia on their interactive blog could mean serious business. Stories told through videos and blogs are taking the place of advertisements for several startups that are using content to engage with customers.
"Every industry has a story to tell, if they look hard enough. And people continue to love interesting narrative," said Lakshmanan Narayan, founder of Chennai-based Unmetric, a social media intelligence platform whose company has been serving clients like Toyota, American Airlines and Lowe's. Most startups working in the online space find content-based marketing or content marketing as a medium to connect to the customer and prefer it over direct marketing. Without pitching brands directly, content marketing looks at generating relevant content that educates and creates awareness among customers.
"Content marketing allows us to engage the customers better by sharing information that is useful for them," said Rishi Khaithan, cofounder of BuildMyEvent, a Mumbai-based platform, which connects its customers to venues for their events. It also provides platforms for its vendors to connect with the customers via their blog instead of individual marketing.
"Startups don't have the money to compete with the big names," said Vikas Chawla of Social Beat, a Chennai-based digital agency delivering social media marketing and ecommerce consulting. "They have to do things in a different way either around the product or around content. Content marketing helps them to do that."
"People get sick of ads," says Pradeep Rajadas of Sociall.in, a Chennai-based social media marketing company . "Diversity keeps you engaged. So you have to start spinning stories to which customers can connect to and through which you can promote your brand," he added. Sociall has developed and marketed content for city-based real estate companies, focusing on the lifestyle, neighbourhood, appreciation of land and so on. The company has also produced content around "investment opportunities" in technology productivity hacks from tech, ROI from your latest smartphone purchase and so on for a gadget retailer.
This article was originally published in the Economic times
Social Beat co-founder Suneil Chawla featured in The Times of India coverage on how companies are leveraging the reach of bloggers and influencers for building their brand visibility online. We have also recently launched our new initiative for Influencer Marketing in India which can be seen at www.influencer.in
Social Beat co-founder, Vikas Chawla's article on the advanced ?Facebook? ad techniques to focus on in 2015, featured in the Business Standard.
Riding on the social media wave, #Influencer #Marketing has emerged as the next big thing. We have also recently launched our new initiative for Influencer Marketing in India which can be seen at www.influencer.in. In this context, the Social Beat Influencers’s Meet was held at the Hotel Vestin Park today. The guest list included content marketing experts, bloggers and social media influencers, as follows:
The agenda revolved around content marketing, its evolution and future trends. The key discussion points that came up for discussion are briefly mentioned as follows:
The meet ended on an enthusiastic note with demand for more such events in Chennai. We are equally excited about the next Influencer meet. Watch this space for more updates.
Apart from 12th of December being a Friday & the birth day of Rajnikanth & Yuvraj Singh, we all had one more special reason to celebrate this day! It was the second anniversary of Social Beat, the brain child of Suneil Chawla and Vikas Chawla, who dreamt of creating a digital agency that is creative & can deliver strong business results.
In two years, we have grown into a 20-member team handling 75+ clients, keen on exploring new challenges everyday and building a strong-hold in sectors like e-commerce, entertainment, real estate & healthcare. Our journey has been really exciting so far and we are happy to be stepping into the third year of making history in the digital space.
Celebrations at ECR
Team Social Beat headed to East Coast Road, Chennai for a day filled with fun activities and chilled-out conversations. Getting to know the people you closely work with, trolling them, bringing out their hidden talents were some of the most memorable highlights! Not to forget the team building exercises / games that helped us realize our team potential and identify areas of improvement.
Digital marketers at war
Dealing with a client or being in the digital space is more or less like going to war at times. But if you want to know what it really feels like, take your team out for a Paintball game. And guess what, you also get to shoot that annoying team member or even your boss for that matter (Nah, I’m kidding. Or maybe not. *evilgrin*)
After a series of battle rounds, team Red emerged as the winners of that league match. Only to burst their bubble soon enough, they played with paintball organizing team themselves who defeated them in seconds!
Post the numerous fun activities which included Ball in the Air, Ping Pang Pong, Tug of War, Paint Ball, etc. we headed to the beach to get some fresh air & relax. The enthusiastic women brigade of Social Beat went on a photo-clicking spree, post which the Social Beat team played some Beach Volleyball!
It was indeed a memorable day for all of us at Social Beat, as it was not just fun-filled but also improved the team’s bonding, co-ordination and brand ownership. We aspire to grow big & better in the years to come and here’s wishing ourselves some good luck for continued success & happy clients!
Social Beat is glad to announce that our co-founder, Mr. Suneil Chawla, has won the award for Best Digital Marketing Professionals by CMO Council & World Brand Congress. The award was given at the Mobile & Digital Marketing Summit 2014 at The Taj Lands End, Mumbai on November 14th.
The list of the past winners of the award include Viviene Maguire (Director- Leo Burnett), Aditya Pawan (National digital marketing manager- Red Bull India), Venke Sharma (VP-digital marketing, STAR India) & Omer Syed (Head–digital marketing, Times Group).
This is a huge honor for Suneil and Social Beat as it comes close on the heels of another award earlier this year. He was named the Outstanding Digital Person of the Year at the Digital Marketing Conclave & Awards 2014 by ThinkMedia Inc. in July.
Our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, was recently interviewed by LSE Alumni Echo, the alumni magazine of his alma mater. The complete excerpt of the interview, featured in the Nov edition of the magazine, is as follows:
What do you find most interesting about working in the digital industry?
The digital marketing industry by nature is ever evolving. Be it user experience, social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, or Google – it is an area of constant innovation. This means that our team has to constantly keep learning and innovating so that our clients stay ahead of the curve.
The industry is nascent in India which gives us the opportunity to make a profound impact in the sales and revenue of our clients. The internet penetration in India is just 20 per cent and the digital marketing industry is waiting to explode once the penetration reaches 40-50 per cent.
Do you think there is an area of digital strategy that organisations often undervalue?
In India most businesses are devoting just 5-10 per cent of their marketing spends to digital media. They tend to undervalue the return on investment even though the measurement and tracking of results is more seamless in digital compared to traditional advertising. They tend to still rely on traditional marketing channels that have worked for them in the past.
While large brands and enterprises have started to measure and understand the ROI of digital marketing, smaller and mid-sized businesses are still coming to terms with it. We demonstrate it can help in achieving long term results of building a community and building the brand and also short term revenue and lead generation.
What has been the best and most challenging part of starting your own business?
Undoubtedly, the best part of starting out on my own is the ability to impact our clients and their businesses. We are partners in growing their business and this makes it exciting for us as we need to continuously surpass their expectations.
We have been growing 30 per cent quarter on quarter, though it’s from a small base. As we scale up the venture, the greatest challenge will be to outperform this growth while simultaneously ensuring the quality of solutions, along with knowledge sharing and training our team members. In a market like India, growth is bound to happen and we must capitalise. Currently we are a 20-member team; we want our clients to get the same high quality service even when we are a team of 100 with an evolved organisation structure.
What is the most important asset in your business?
Talent. Being in a creative industry, what differentiates us is the talent we have and the creativity of the digital campaigns we come up with. We have a fantastic team and finding the right talent to join this team is one of the most important tasks we have ahead of us.
It’s now five years since you graduated from LSE: what are your experiences as an alumnus of the School?
Since I left LSE in 2009, it’s been an exciting journey. I worked for three years in marketing and strategy across different companies of an Indian conglomerate. I then decided to start out on my own. What I took from from MG428 (Entrepreneurship) at LSE has served me well. We looked at the need in the market and started out with the idea of providing integrated digital marketing solutions with a focus on creating revenue growth for our clients. It was the best decision I have ever taken and it’s been exciting building our start-up and scaling up the team and client base. The network of LSE alumni that I have developed helps immensely, as they are a sounding board for some of the ideas we have.
What did you learn at LSE that has helped you most in your career?
One of the key things I learned at LSE was to understand concepts in their base form and then try to understand how they can impact various scenarios. This has been extremely helpful in understanding our clients and what differentiates them in the market. Also, the sense of curiosity honed at LSE is something we are trying to build into our team. We have a weekly knowledge sharing session where we encourage team members to learn, discuss and share ideas.
Who is your LSE hero?
Professor Paul Willman from the Department of Management. We had some brilliant professors but Paul stood out. His understanding of the role and the conduct of traders in investment banks was brilliant. He could convincingly speak for both sides of the coin and have a plausible argument for and against the traders. His style of teaching always sparked interest in the minds of students. While class mates and study groups make a big difference, it was professors such as Paul that made learning at LSE fun and interesting.
You are an active member of the India – Friends of LSE alumni group. What do enjoy most about your involvement?
Our alumni are from different walks of life and it’s been interesting meeting alumni who are into fields completely unrelated to the one I am in. Meeting like-minded graduates and reliving our LSE days has been fun. It has been especially interesting to attend the LSE TRIUM evening that happens once a year in Chennai. The diversity of TRIUM students and what they have achieved is truly inspiring.
Describe the alumni group in three words…
Fun, dynamic and active.
Team outing. Competition. Unlimited Pani Puri. What more can you ask for one hell of a fun time? After a hectic day at work, all 15 of us went to Shree Mithai to unwind in style. And what a way to do it J
In a similar competition last year, the team had finished at 140 panipuris with Abhishek winning it with 35 panipuris at one go. This time, the team racked up an even amazing number – 288 pani puris altogether though the defending champion disappointed us with his tally of just 18. Mohan won the competition hands down with 42 pani puris and was eager for more. The “humble-in-victory” Mohan said - “I can easily cross 100. I just need someone to compete with me”. It was heartening to see the dare-devilry of the comrades participating.
“This is the best self-exploration exercise for me till date, far better than any Robin Sharma books I read. :P The contest made me realize that I am capable of having 19 Pani Puris at a stretch. :D”, chirps Meenakshi.
Ekta adds in jest – “I saw that the competitive spirit & the passion to win makes you go that extra mile... After all, if it is about pani puris, who wouldn't wanna binge eat? Burrrpppp!!! (I just had a dozen of them)”
Watch this space to see what our team has been upto. Wait, how can we end it without applauding Shree Mithai. Although Mohan was the winner, but the biggest winner undoubtedly was Shree Mithai since we ordered 48 plates!!
The Team at Social Beat is excited to announce that Social Beat is now an accredited Google Partner for Google Adwords/Pay Per click Advertising.
Our newly acquired Google Partner badge certifies us as a company trusted by Google which is capable of providing the highest levels of service to clients.
We have fulfilled Google’s three main requirements for being a Google Partner
Google requires the team handling Adwords to prove their advanced AdWords knowledge by getting certified in AdWords. All team members handling Adwords campaigns at Social Beat are certified by Google to have the required levels of competency and proficiency to run successful campaigns.
Google Partners are required to demonstrate that they have mastered the essentials covered in the Google certification exams and are maximizing their clients' performance by implementing Google’s recommended best practices in client accounts.
Google reviews Partner agencies’ client accounts to make sure that their clients are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes being made, client retention, and whether they're making the most of their clients' budgets.
A minimum spend of at least USD 10,000 over the last 90 calendar days is required to indicate the state of an agency’s business health.
Being awarded the honour of being in the elite group of Google-approved marketing agencies reaffirms our expertise and ensures that our practices conform to Google’s advertising guidelines and are proven to drive ROI.
Contact us to get your Adwords campaign started or to optimize an existing campaign for better ROI.
Social Beat got coverage in Financial Express today on an article talking about how Diwali 2013 has been for e-retailers. As we mentioned in the article, the festive season this could could be better. While companies are offering discounts and freebies in the hope that the next two weeks are better in terms of a revenue uptick, the overall sentiment has been low.
You can read the full article in Financial Express: Dazzling deals from e-tailers this Diwali
YourStory.in covers the story of how Vikas Co-Founded Social Beat,
After working for 6 years across different industries and different roles I finally took the plunge into entrepreneurship. When I quit my corporate job in September 2012, I had lots of ideas, but no clue of which idea I would finally embark upon. The ideas revolved around media buying, skill development and some around digital marketing. I finally chose digital marketing after evaluating the market and seeing the dearth of result-oriented digital agencies who don’t focus just on the creative aspect of digital marketing but on the business aspect as well. So, with just one client and no website of our own, Social Beat was born in December 2012 with a focus to create business results through digital initiatives for our clients.
Read the full article on "How did I startup" on YourStory
Digital Academy India as the name suggests is a academy that was started recently to focus on training students and professionals for the internet and digital industry. With Digital Marketing Institute, Ireland and Internet Marketing Association, USA being their program partners they aim to develop the skills and knowledge required for a digital marketeer. The focus of Digital Academy is to blend academic and practical learning so that the trained candidates are industry ready.
As part of their initiative, they have formed the Digital Academy Industry Council, to engage with digital agencies, and digital marketing companies to understand the talent requirement in the industry. The Industry Council of which Vikas (Co-Founder of Social Beat) is a member will be contributing to the learning ecosystem of an ever growing community of Digital Marketing professionals.
Social Beat is privileged to be associated with Digital Academy to build the next generation of digital marketing professionals in India. For more information email Digital Academy India.
Our advisor, Jagdish Chawla was recently featured in the Small Medium Entrepreneur Magazine. You can find the full interview below and can read the article on Entrepreneur India here.
Do you think it is a good idea for retired individuals to go for second employment in start up firms
Startups are usually started by young enterprising individuals. Having senior advisors and mentors will ensure that the young team can leverage their experience and pursue faster and profitable growth.
Since start ups generally face a talent crunch, do you think retired individuals with their age and experience can help in serving the firm on their advisory board or provide valuable mentorship/training?
Absolutely. Experienced professionals have seen a lot of business cycles and have worked with people with different personality types and motivation. Bringing such experience to a startup can only be helpful.
Do you think it is viable to encourage such post retirement opportunities, keeping in mind that India is mushrooming with start ups?
A platform to connect Advisors/Mentors with such young startups would be very useful. There are angel investors and startup communities, but none for retirees.
Do you think there is any downside towards hiring ex-servicemen?
None I can think of. Its a win-win situation for both.
Research shows that there is a wide mismatch, a “generation gap” between the brains behind a start up firm and an ex-serviceman? Have you faced any such notable hindrances? If yes, have you to managed to overcome them and still be an active member of the firm?
Opportunities today are much higher than say 20 years ago. This has meant that youngsters are a lot more ambitious. While growth is critical, young startups should also focus on business fundamentals and cash flow management.
In what measure have you provided growth opportunities to the start up firm and helped it in its foundation days?
End of the day its the founding team which does all the work. As advisors, we can provide a good sounding board for key decisions
To bid farewell to Abhishek, who was at Social Beat for a 2 month internship, the team went for a Pani Puri competition, thanks to Abhishek's inspiration whose earlier record is 85 pani puri's. So, 6 of us crowded around the pani puri wala at Gangothree on RK Salai, Chennai. Ofcourse, no surprises that Abhishek won the competition with 35 pani puris, with a total of 140 puris being consumed by the entire team. Gangothree was visibly happy :)
On a more serious note, Abhishek played an integral role in many initiatives including the Social Media Survey. Quoting Abhishek "The past 2 months has allowed me to grow immensely as an individual as well as a professional. The realities of the business world is immensely different from the classroom learnings. It was the first thing I learnt here while working for our clients. The immense exposure that i received in the course of 2 months involved direct client pitches, closing contracts, managing accounts for existing clients, delivering results for clients, participating in networking events; you name it and I have done it. Social Beat has shown me the result oriented approach for its clients."
Abhishek wanted to share his experience with the Social Beat team "The whole team worked and bonded together as one big family, whether it was parties or outings, every moment was special and memorable. And how can i forget the farewell party that ended with the awesome Paani-poori competition and I would be humble enough to mention myself as the winner :). I can say I could have never dreamt of a better internship. When I look back now, I wish the summers would not have ended."
Social Beat is glad to have had Abhishek over and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.
In this digital age, almost all companies want to have a digital strategy but either they do not know how to leverage the digital medium to boost their business or they do not have the required expertise to effectively handle it. After all, digital marketing does not just involve launching a website or creating a facebook page, rather it requires a deeper knowledge of the specific industry in which the company is operating and what channels can leveraged for that particular industry and most importantly, how the online initiatives can be integrated with a company’s overall marketing strategy to boost their businesses significantly.
To get a better understanding of how businesses are leveraging their digital strategy, we carried out a survey amongst 50 companies across industry verticals across the country. The findings were interesting and we have given you summary of it here. You can also download the full Social Beat Digital Marketing Report 2013.
Currently, around 76% of the companies are using social media in one form or the other to leverage their businesses. Moreover, 91% felt that social media has a huge role to play in his/her industry. This shows that there is only a very minuscule percentage who believe that social media does not have a role to play in their industry.
Social media is a great way to build communities around the brand. This is clearly reflected by the survey results where by the respondents felt that brand awareness, customer engagement & generating leads for business seems to be the top-3 objectives of the social media. So, it is definitely a multi-pronged strategy. Initially the focus should be on building the critical mass in terms of number of fans/followers. Now, it is not just about likes and shares for companies, it is also about converting them into tangible benefits for the company, i.e. sales and revenues. But once you have the communities around your brand, you can easily leverage it to your advantage.
Facebook & YouTube seems to be the most preferred channel but Twitter & LinkedIn is also very quickly catching up in India. Facebook and YouTube are visual-driven channels thereby providing great opportunity for B2C companies to target the end-consumers who want visual content.
The quick rise of YouTube as a medium for digital marketing emphasizes the importance of seeing for believing. 2010-2012 period saw the rise of pictures as the prominent medium but the now the focus has changed to videos. Thus, it would not be out-of-place to say that it is evolving from look-n-feel towards a watch-n-feel experience.
Among the B2B companies, LinkedIn and Twitter seems to have a headway. LinkedIn’s relevance among the B2B marketers is not surprising because it is one of the best places to get business leads, create groups based on industry verticals or topics and engage people. Also, getting your employees active on LinkedIn, grow their networks and their active participation in various industry forums can be a great way to impact business relationships through the entire funnel.
Twitter again has attracted the CEOs, top managers & busy professionals. It is a very useful medium for business marketers because of its targeted marketing capabilities using the #-trend feature, break news and announcements, provide link backs. Twitter is a place where all professionals are, this is where real-time conversations happen so it is obvious when you are planning to create buzz in the professional circles, you need to leverage Twitter as a marketing channel.
Marketing Spends & Resources
Around 33% of the companies are ready to spend around Rs. 50000 to Rs. 1 Lakh per month on their social media marketing initiatives. Companies with in-house teams are ready to spend more than 18 hours a week on the internet. Around 50% of the survey respondents are ready to spend more than 18 hours a week on social media marketing.
Now, 18 hours a week is quite a big chunk of time from the marketing initiatives point of view. But there is an associated pitfall here that we can do things but it is important to the right things in a right measure. And this is where the role of digital marketing agencies come to the fore. They know the market and social media dynamics better and can ensure that the investments in terms of money and time do not go down the drain.
Results from Digital Marketing
In our view, unless the digital strategy is leading to tangible results in the medium term then its not worth it. One of our ecommerce client has had a 250% increase in revenues and 300% increase in web traffic since their association with us. This result in the highly competitive ecommerce industry when all players are putting in a lot of effort on the digital marketing is great by any measure. You can read the Ecommerce India Case Study for more information.
Again, one of our healthcare client which is already a leading name in the industry, had a 300% boost in the number of leads generated via digital media. Now, if this result would have been for a new player in the industry, it would have been good but if it is the impact on established businesses, then it clearly says something big. In this case, the returns that were generate due to their social media presence, were far greater than their investments. You can read the Healthcare India Digital Marketing Case Study for more information.
On the whole, the writing on the wall is quite clear. No matter how well-known the business is, if we are ignoring the digital media, we are clearly losing a chunk of our business. How big the chunk is, depends on the industry. But clearly, we would not like to end up on the wrong side. It is all about money. If it is able to drive the revenues for a business, then definitely it is not just a concept. It is for real and here to revolutionize the way marketing is done traditionally.
As goes the famous quote "The biggest ROI for digital marketing, is that your business will still exist after 10 years"