A billion faces and a million tongues – there’s no better way to describe a country as culturally and linguistically diverse as India. According to the latest census, there are 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts and over 19, 500 dialects.
The recent and comprehensive ‘Year in Search’ report by Google India shed light on the way Indians consume content. With close to 450 million internet users, the report projects that number to go up to 650 million by 2020.
Taking advantage of affordable smartphones and low-cost data plans, India’s digital growth story has shifted from the metros to Tier I and Tier II cities.
Another April 2017 report by KPMG and Google showed two key findings:
Suffice to say these vast numbers clearly indicate a potential for vernacular content in India’s digital market and the overall growth of regional content online. Considering how these numbers can drive and impact digital use and revenue, there are now several startups that have chosen to focus on indigenous content to enable and accommodate India’s next billion Internet users.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top twelve vernacular startups in India:
Founded in 2009, DailyHunt is one of India’s leading news and local language content platforms. The brainchild of former Nokia employees, Chandrashekar Sohoni and Umesh Kulkarni, DailyHunt is headquartered in Bengaluru and offers its users over 100,000 news articles in 14 vernacular languages licensed form 800 publication partners daily. Daily hunt also lets you advertise on their platform, making it convenient for marketers to target the right audience.
22 Languages is a platform that helps brands create content in 22 official Indian languages. With this, you can create ads, website ads, Apps and blogs in local languages. With a large network of native writers, this platform is perfect for brands that are looking to tap the next billion users with their multilingual marketing strategies.
In an attempt to leverage and drive the number of vernacular content users, ShareChat proposes to be India’s answer to Facebook, Twitter and similar social networking platforms. Headquartered in Bengaluru, ShareChat was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kanpur alumni Bhanu Singh Pratap, Farid Ahsan and Ankush Sachdeva. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, ShareChat enables users to post and share videos, songs, images and other content, as well as discover content that is topical and trending. Users can interact with content in several Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, etc.
Roposo is a social media sharing platform that lets its users create images, video and other shareable content using editing tools. Based out of Gurugram, Roposo was founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumni Avinash Saxena, Mayank Bhangadia and Kaushal Shubhank. The app is currently available in 8 languages namely Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali, for users to explore and expresses themselves in. Roposo further plans to introduce languages like Odiya and Assamese among others and state that users can share content on their app without the risk of their message being lost in translation.
Similar to Roposo, Clip App is a digital media video sharing startup that lets users watch, create, edit and share funny videos and images in the local and regional languages. With over 97% of videos in India being consumed in non-English languages, this platform can be used to find and edit videos for a brand’s social media. The content created can then be shared on various platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. The Bengaluru-based startup was founded in March 2017 by Ashish Gupta, Nav Agarwala and Swapnil Upadhyay. Clip App is available for download on the Google Play Store.
Founded in 2017 by Mayank Bidawatka and Aprameya Radhakrishna, Vokal is a P2P knowledge-sharing platform that enables its users to ask queries and receive responses in the local language of their choice in the form of audio. The founders wanted to provide Indians accessing the internet in their vernacular, the chance to assimilate quality indigenous content.
Based out of New Delhi, BetterButter is a recipe-discovery platform that allows its users to discover and share local, regional and international recipes in their indigenous languages. Founded in 2015 by Sukhmani Bedi and Niyaz Laiq, BetterButter has a repository of over 50,000 recipes and videos. The site currently offers its recipes in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and English and is gearing up to add Gujarati, Telugu and Bengali in the first quarter of 2018-19.
BetterButter’s Hindi service was launched in March 2017 and has seen more than two lakh hits, while Tamil reached over 25,000. Marathi, started in December 2017, saw over 5,000.
It is safe to say that Chatbots are the next big digital marketing wave and a personal way of connecting with your customers. Using this strategy for your website can increase leads and help you understand your customers better. But what if your customers prefer vernacular content? That is where Vernacular.ai comes in.
It provides its clients with multi-lingual chatbots to help their users interact in their preferred local language. The AI-enabled startup utilises National Language Processing to create its products. Headquartered in Bengaluru and founded in 2016 by Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraja and Manoj Sarda, Vernacular.ai’s chatbots enable businesses to provide their users with a seamless customer experience enhanced by Artificial Intelligence and multi-lingual support.
Samosa Labs is a chat entertainment app based out of Hyderabad and provides its users with a platform to create audio files and GIFs that can be shared across Facebook and WhatsApp and other social media platforms. In order to penetrate the regional language market, Samosa Labs gives its users the ability to create content in several Indian languages. It was founded in 2015 by Rahul Reddy Koora, Abhilash Inumella and Abhimanyu Pamulapati.
Bengaluru-based local news startup, Lokal is the newest one to join the pack. Founded in July 2018 by Vishal Chaudhary and Jani Pasha, Lokal provides users with a platform to read local news based on their location and choice of local language. The news is delivered through a curated network of local journalists in a given area and freelancers. You can download the Lokal app from Google Play Store.
NewsDog is a news aggregator founded in 2016. It aims to provide Indian users with content in 10 different Indian languages. Based out of Beijing, the startup was founded by Maggie Ma and Forrest Chen and currently serves 50 million users.
With Voice being one of the newest marketing segments poised for exponential growth in the near future, a number of companies are looking to ride that wave. Bootstrapped firm Agrahyah Technologies is one of them. Founded in Mumbai in October 2016, Agrahyah Technologies is the brain-child of Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Uppal Shah and Rushabh Vasa. The software company is a solutions provider for voice-first platforms like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc. Their suite of Indian language digital content, mobile apps and voice products aims to help the average Indian access the internet by removing the barrier of English.
Regional languages have the power like no other to truly connect with your target audience. For example, our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career helps budding entrepreneurs to make it big in life with useful insights shared in Tamil. Check out one of our best-performing videos below:
India is a multilingual nation in the true sense of the word, and now startups and established companies alike are looking to tap into the power of vernacular interface and content. We at Social Beat, too, have witnessed first-hand the power of vernacular content by coming up with a ground-breaking social media campaign in regional content for our client Cholamandalam Finance.
Getting your business off the ground is a challenge faced by all startups. The key to a successful business largely depends on the kind of talent you hire which will eventually make or break your startup. But apart from finding good talent, the challenge for most startups is how to retain them, so they continue to contribute to the company’s journey. As a five-year-old company, we at Social Beat have a vibrant team of talented members from diverse backgrounds. This has helped us establish a handbook of basic hacks which helps us ensure we are retaining our top talent.
As a company, the first step to hiring good talent is figuring out what your definition of talent is. You don’t necessarily need another ‘you’ onboard no matter how likeable that obviously makes a candidate. Instead, you want to look for complementary strengths which will help in driving your company forward.
Before interviewing, identify the challenges you need this talented individual to solve. This can be achieved by using role-wise assignments or tests for the candidate so you can understand their skill set. To assess the depth of their expertise, you can look into the day to day work they have completed in previous roles. You can also ask them a set of questions that will give you a good idea of where their strengths and interest lie. Some of these can include:
1. What decisions were you accountable for in your previous role?
2. At what point do you pass on your work for inputs and approval?
3. What assignments do you enjoy the most and which ones do you find difficult or boring?
Not everyone will be comfortable with the ambiguity and the lack of structure that can exist in a growing company. This is why, we at Social Beat always insist on giving a brief about our company to help the candidate understand our company, its values, and the goals we stand for. We encourage an open discussion on how the structures in place at their previous organisation compare to our company.
Every conversation is a dialogue, where the candidate receives as much information as they are sharing with us. A candidate’s decision to join our company is just as important as yours to make an offer, and therefore they should be well-informed!
We cannot stress enough on how important the culture of an organization is for a team member to decide their future with the company. Defining your culture, the values you stand for and how they are inculcated within the team should be your first task. An organisation’s culture goes beyond what the leadership says they want the culture to be. Culture is created, perceived and passed on by the team members of the organisation through their interactions with managers and other team members. Their experience with the processes and workflows the organisation has put in place also contributes to their perception of the company’s culture. At Social Beat, we ensure we take our new team members through a proper onboarding process with a well-designed induction process. A major focus of this session is on “Social Beat Values“, which is taken by the Founders. We also welcome them onboard with a customised welcome kit comprising of a few goodies and office essentials. This contributes to their understanding of our company’s culture.
One of the most important factors for attracting talent is cultivating an atmosphere that makes your team members happy to come to work. This can only be achieved when they believe in you and the values you stand for. This is why we are very stringent in our hiring process. A great candidate with the right skills but not the right culture fit will never be our final choice. We believe if we find the candidate with the right culture fit, we will be able to hone their skills further. For us, the values they stand for make or break a deal.
We recently made the below video to showcase our culture - to give prospective team members a quick glimpse into our lives.
Your top talent will choose to work with you only if they believe they will be offered a role where they can learn and grow. Social Beat prides itself on ensuring we maintain transparency with our team members regarding their roles and responsibilities. We also take our team members' satisfaction at work very seriously. This is why we provide flexi-hours, work-from-home options and a well-balanced leave policy (which includes perks such as a 6-day block leave) to ensure that our team members' welfare is at the centre of our policies. We also encourage more women in leadership roles to ensure that our work environment promotes equal representation.
The famous saying: All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy stands true to this day. Fun@Work is a must if you want to ensure your team doesn’t burn out from stress. This is why we have Game Nights planned very often along with Chit Chat sessions every alternate week where we share the latest trends in digital marketing and some of our success stories. Apart from this, regular team outings like our Diwali lunch, anniversary celebrations, birthday celebrations with personalised cards, etc. are things we conduct on a regular basis. We also ensure we enable the scaling-up of our team members by having training sessions on alternate Saturdays and inviting guest lectures/trainers to interact with our team. By demonstrating that you respect the development of your staff and are invested in nurturing their talent, your leadership style will naturally catch the interest of top performers.
If you have a good employer brand, you might not even need to post job openings -top talent will come to you. What's involved in an ‘employer brand’? It's simple: having a reputation as a good place to work and providing value to your team members rather than only asking for value from them. Stop being a 'best-hidden secret' and get yourself noticed. Conducting seminars in colleges, publishing papers and books and participating in conferences arranged by top companies across the globe is something our leadership invests in heavily. Social Beat's participation in the NASSCOM Content Marketing Masterclass, at the I-CANN-ISOC Round Table on Security in India and our Social Beat's participation in the NASSCOM Content Marketing Masterclass, are some of the examples of how we actively participate in the digital marketing space. We also encourage our team members to actively take part in the same. Find small ways to stand apart from the rest and your brand will immediately gain recognition.
One of the most common reasons people give for leaving a company is that they feel unappreciated. That makes team member recognition measures one of the best ways to ensure your talent remains loyal to your startup.
As a startup, you’re in charge of a relatively small team of team members. This gives you a chance to connect with your team members on a personal level and get to know them better. Use the information you know about your team members to make sure the recognition you give them for their efforts is personal. We at Social Beat have always believed in providing a personal touch while recognising an achievement of an individual. Being a startup also allows us to maintain flexibility regarding enabling career growth and fast-tracking our top performers unlike the rigid timelines followed by the big companies. We ensure we are flexible with our policies and keep them in line with the values we stand for. Our flexi-policies around promoting talent and providing career growth to our top performers ensure that we give them the right opportunity, at the right time instead of making them wait for the fruit they have so rightly earned.
As quoted by Henry Ford - “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
The concept of shared work spaces and business centres is getting extremely popular these days. With Business Centres offering ready-to-move-in workspaces, it saves established companies and startups an easy way to setup operations. With significant cost saving potential and opportunity to network, many start-ups and businesses are moving towards shared workspaces and business centres. Convinced you should try this out? Here is a list of best business centres in Chennai.
With cutting edge infrastructure, The Executive Centre provides office spaces that are perfect for start-up and small businesses. Their office spaces have high-speed internet, meeting and conference facilities, making it extremely convenient for businesses. Apart from serviced offices, they also offer virtual offices, co-working space, and instant offices. The Executive Centre is also present in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore as well.
Location: Tamarai Tech Park Level 5, Thiru Vi Ka Industrial Estate, Inner Ring Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
Located at the heart of the city, DBS Business Centre has an entire range of world class business facilities combined with personalized service. With facilities such as secretarial services, meeting rooms, pantry services and safe deposit lockers, DBS is ideal for any business.
Location: DBS House 31A, Cathedral Garden Road, Chennai -600 034
MLS Business Centres are fully furnished offices that are equipped with professional telephone answering, secretarial support services and meeting and conferencing facilities. Apart from Chennai, MLS Business Centre is also present in Pune.
Location: 148, 6th Floor, Dr.Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004
With flexible options and World-class IT and telecoms infrastructure, Regus provides office spaces for one person or a whole team, for a day, week, month or as many years as needed. Regus has modern office furniture, professional business environment and on-demand access to meeting rooms by the hour. Apart from Chennai, Regus is also present in other cities in India including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc.
Location: Chennai Citi Centre 10/11, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Level 6, Chennai, TN 600004
Vatika Business Centre provides high quality, fully furnished office spaces designed for all kinds of small, medium sized to large corporations. With modern amenities and state-of-the-art business environment, Vatika Business Centre is also affordable. Besides Chennai, they are present in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Pune.
Location: Prestige Polygon, 3rd Floor, 471 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Mount Road, Chennai - 600035
Unlike corporate companies, start-ups are not about the limelight. They are about distortion, adjustments, hard work, dedication, integrity, taking responsibility, and struggle, especially financial startups. While founding a financial or Fintech startup seems to be a cool career plan, not every startup reaches the top of the ladder and has attributes that can help it become well-established. Some of the 10 well-known financial start-ups that caught the world’s eye are as follows:
Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Founding year: 2006
Industry: Multichannel payment services
Known for providing advance payment services to more than 3500 plus merchant brands like Uber, Facebook, etc., the company has reported over 100% growth in its revenue and almost 40% growth in customer acquisition by the year 2014.
Headquarters: Chicago, USA
Founding year: 2012
Industry: Financial Technology and services
Previously known as AvantCredit, this Fintech startup was originally planned to serve as a mid-prime lender. Gradually, they began offering loans to many states in the US. In the past 4 years, the company saw a sizeable growth.
Headquarters: London, England
Founding year: 2011
Industry: Peer-to-peer money transfer services
This Estonian developed startup supports more than 300 currency routes globally. With more than £3 million transferred, for the customers, the company’s money transfer policy looks no different from the traditional money transfer service. However, the difference lies in the backend on how TransferWise routes the payment.
Headquarters: London, England
Founding year: 2015
Industry: Property and finance advisory firm
The independent startup, Nova Financial Ltd. is a privately owned firm, which specializes in assisting clients to identify the most suitable property investments for their specific personal situation based up on their goals and preferences.
Headquarters: Shanghai, China
Founding year: 2012
Industry: Personal finance & software firm
What started as a brainchild of Mr. Soul Htite, this startup is now China’s leading internet financial services company. With 2500+ employees and 25+ offices across China, this firm offers innovative financial solutions.
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
Founding year: 2013
Industry: Bitcoin mining
This unique Fintech startup provides secure, effective, and green blockchain power to the world. In short, their aim is to design, build, equip, and run industrial computing centers on renewable hydropower.
Headquarters: Noida, India
Founding year: 2010
What started as a mobile recharging and bill payment app is now a eCommerce startup. Now India’s largest mobile payment service platform, Paytm Wallet is used for various online payment services as well.
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany
Founding year: 2013
Industry: Modern banking services
Styles as a bank of the future, Number 26 provides free and flexible services that differs from the conventional, rigid bank structure. Launched in Germany and Austria, the firm has almost 10,000+ customers.
Headquarters: Mumbai, India
Founding year: 2010
Industry: Bill payment and recharge
Started as recharge and bill-payment app, Freecharge was named as one of the most promising technology startups from India by Pluggd.in, in the year 2011. By 2015, Freecharge was however acquired by Indian e-Commerce platform Snapdeal for a whopping INR 28 billion.
Headquarters: London, UK
Founding year: 2007
Industry: International student loans provider
This startup helps international students, who want to attend participating business schools or other postgraduate schools, by providing them student loans. In the current year, Prodigy Finance was included in the European FinTech 50.
Speaking on financial start-ups, follow our YouTube channel Paisa Pujari for unmatched financial tips that help you keep your expenses in control. Here's a video on the smart use of credit cards to get you going:
India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore boasts of over 1700 startups and is considered as the world’s second fastest growing startup ecosystem. The city has some of the most successful and funded startups such as Flipkart and Urban Ladder. So what makes these startups so successful?
Startups are leveraging digital marketing effectively and marketing themselves on a shoe-string budget to drive brand awareness and sales. Here is a look at some of the innovative social media campaigns by funded startups in Bangalore.
Founded by: Sachin and Binny Bansal
Funding so far: $3.2 billion in 12 rounds from 16 investors
Flipkart is one of India’s largest ecommerce portals to buy a wide range of products including electronics, books, clothing and accessories.
Flipkart, known for its innovative social media campaigns, came up with a campaign to create a buzz around the revamped mobile application and increase new users. They came up with a hashtag #DoThumbThing. The idea of this campaign was - people use their thumb to do almost all their activities on their phone, so now use the power of your thumb to shop for anything on your app.
As part of the campaign, the brand did the following things:
The campaign worked so well that the app on the Play store got a rating of over 4.3 with installs in the range of 10 Million to 50 Million.
Launch video 1
Launch video 2
Founded by: Richa Kar and Kapil Karekar
Funding so far: 8 million in series A and B funding
Zivame.com is a leading website to buy lingerie with over 2000 lingerie styles to choose from. Zivame.com last year ran a #SalesmanWaliBracampaign for all the victims of bra shopping tragedy where women have been forced to buy lingerie from sales men who are not competent. Zivame.com - the lingerie expert asked their women followers on social media to share their various horror and awkward stories.
The quirky visuals, gifs and campaign hashtag coined by Zivame created a buzz on all platforms and created a good brand recall for Zivame.
Founders: Ashish Goel, Rajiv Srivatsa
Funding so far:$77M in 4 Rounds
Urban Ladder is an online furniture and home décor company with presence in 12 cities across India.
Late last year, the brand created a stir on social media by creating a short film “The Homecoming” to celebrate the essence of family. This short but impactful film was created with a core objective of creating brand awareness among its target audience. The film showcases a couple taking a decision to move into their son’s home.
The beauty of this film is that it is a simple concept that strikes a chord with the common man and has a fundamental message that beautiful homes are not just made from fancy furniture but emotions and thoughts play an important role. The video garnered ~900K views on YouTube and has been shared on social media platforms widely.
Total Equity Funding: $1.18B in 7 Rounds
Ola is one of India’s most popular cab booking app. It is the also the largest platform with 40,000+ cars across 22 cities and growing!
Ola has come up with many innovative campaigns and one of the most popular campaigns they did was the #ChaloNiklo campaign. The brand leveraged Twitter & Facebook by posting engaging photo ads and video ads featuring content of its #ChaloNiklo campaign. The Twitter Contest helped them create a buzz around the hashtag. Ola also directed people to its website with link ads in the News Feed and right column, and ran mobile app ads to drive people directly to its mobile app.
Another interesting campaign that the brand ran was the #TypesOfFans social media campaign during IPL season 5. The campaign offered a drivers’ view of the different types of cricket fans that they get to travel with during IPL season 5. They made a video dedicating it to crazy cricket fans and the amusing behavior that they display. They also conducted a contest on Twitter, where the brand was able to get entries from cricket fans and engage with them.
Founders: Sanjay and Yashodhara Shroff
Funding: Rs 50 crore in angel funding
Styletag.com is an online curated fashion and lifestyle startup.
Fashion brand Styetag launched a powerful campaign titled “Face of Courage” and the firm hired acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal to model its ‘Viva n Diva' collection. Apart from this, the brand also announced that they would donate 30% of its revenue from this initiative to Agarwal and the Chhanv Foundation, which supports acid attack survivors.
"This initiative directly associates us with issues of importance," said founder Sanjay Shroff, "thereby making us more recognizable to our clientele, the women of India." The campaign did well on social media and the brand got recognition with a lot of stories, both online and offline.
Founders: Subhra Chadda
Founders: $2M in 2 Rounds
Chumbak sells designer t-shirts, tins, coffee mugs and other quirky Indian products. Chumbak launched #bobbymissing campaign to promote the opening of their New Delhi store to create a buzz and engage with their customers and fans on social media. They used a character from their popular Bobble Heads collection and constantly updated their pages with candid images announcing the spotting of the missing Bobble Head Bobby in various big events and cities, which got them good traction on social media. The campaign ended with Bobby finally making an appearance thus introducing their Delhi store.
Think we have missed out something? Let us know by leaving a comment!
The foundation to leverage on any social media tool is to ask yourself, ‘’Is this tool right for my business?’’ The answer to this question should not be driven by your competitor or market ally, who has plunged into using the tool, to aid his business. Are you a small business pondering your thoughts upon selecting LinkedIn as a platform for lead generation? Well, the dilemmas can be swept aside as LinkedIn will act as a lifeline to stay in front of your customers and also help you reach out to new prospects.
In digital marketing, your network is everything. Publishing a brilliant article on your website with 1,00,000 flares can make your feel ecstatic and boost your credibility. But it won’t matter if you aren’t speaking to the right audience. That’s where LinkedIn has stepped into the arena. It has become a prime channel where brands share content. This makes it easier for small business to connect with brand advocates, potential customers, and industry influencers, all at the same place. While content is one of the dual weapons, LinkedIn gears your business with, lead generation is the other ammunition. With access to over 400 million members on the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn enables sales lead generation by allowing sales professionals to easily and quickly find the right prospects. Here are some of the most successful lead generation strategies that your business can leverage on, for generating leads.
Make an Effective Debut
There is nothing like effectively introducing yourself as a business to create an impact on users. Take care to optimise your profile and pay attention to your feed and website descriptions. Being descriptive builds trust and captures the eye of prospects more efficiently. Using the necessary keywords will help your business get captured during filtered searches.
Nothing works like direct one-on-one networking. Invest in a couple of minutes each working day, clicking the "connect" button on the "People You May Know" list that LinkedIn displays on your feed. Through time you will broaden your network and will become someone known for doing so. Remember that everyone you talk to about business or meet during the course of a business day is a potential LinkedIn connection.
Capitalize on LinkedIn Applications
The platform gives you the option to add interesting apps that will improve the experience people have on your LinkedIn page. You can add blog posts, let people know what you are reading, and even set up polls to find out what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects. For example, your business can use SlideShare to display a webinar or use a PowerPoint deck of how your business helps in solving a customer’s problem.
Rendezvous on LinkedIn Groups
Participating in LinkedIn Groups is the one of the key moves to generate leads. If you are a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them. In addition to this, group members can also view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Take some time to search for groups to join where your targeted buyers are likely to be members. Start by contributing to conversations, be helpful in answering questions, and provide links to assets you have on your site that might help members of the group. Put your most valuable assets behind a short form on your site to capture LinkedIn visitor’s details. And voila, you now have a new lead! Alternatively, joining groups that are outside your industry that might help you grow your business too. Stretching out a little bit, helps your business expand its reach. For example: If you’re an Social Media Specialist, you don’t want to just join an Social Media Professionals Group - you’ll want to join groups for Digital Marketing, Startups, App Marketing, and other groups outside of your immediate circle.
Sponsored Updates + Valuable Content
Many small businesses have started to run LinkedIn Sponsored Update campaigns to generate leads for their business. While regular updates can be a hit or miss in terms of impressions; using sponsored updates allows you to share updates that don’t appear as ads, at first glance. Start by generating a whole lot of original content (blogs). Then trial with creating 20 sponsored updates over the space of two months to promote it to your target audience. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off! NewsCred ran a series of sponsored update campaigns that netted them 288 new followers and 71 leads, over a span of 2 months. The company also found the campaign to be 75% less expensive than the Google AdWords lead gen campaigns they were running in parallel. It is to be noted that research has revealed leads collected via LinkedIn are three times more likely to convert into customers than leads collected via any other digital advertising platform.
Priming LinkedIn Direct Ads (Text Ads)
LinkedIn’s advertising platform can be used to drive new prospects to your landing page, LinkedIn group or other destination. The ads work the same way Google paid search ads work. You simply write a headline, add some copy and create a destination link. Then you bid on how much you’ll pay LinkedIn every time someone clicks on the ad. If you pay Rs.100 to LinkedIn for a click, and it takes 50 clicks before you convert a customer, then you’ve just spent Rs.500 for 1 customer. If your product sells for Rs.5000 each, investing Rs.500 to generate Rs.5000 is not a bad return-on-investment. In our experience, text ads deliver high impressions but fail to capture leads effectively, when compared to the sponsored updates.
Recently, I conducted a workshop on Digital Marketing for Startups in India as part of the Weekend Ventures #StartupLounge. The workshop focused on the digital marketing methods that can help startups in building their brand & in getting results (in terms of app downloads, ecommerce sales or lead generation).
As per the Indian Brand Equity Foundation report on the Indian Real Estate industry, Real Estate is India’s second largest employment generation sector after agriculture and contributes about 6.3 per cent to India’s gross domestic product (GDP). Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian Real Estate is expected to touch US$ 25 billion in the next 10 years from its current US$ 4 billion while the sector’s projected annual revenues is expected to be US$ 180 billion by 2020. This enormous growth potential seems to have lured a good number of startups to the industry.
Web Design and User Experience Perspective:
Most of the startups in the space seem to have invested a lot of time and attention in Web Design and User Experience to differentiate themselves from the bigger and more established players.
Housing.com, for instance, has an excellent interface with the property-search button in the centre. The interface is map-based and all property-search results turn out as places on a map. It also has a Shortlist button enabling the user to shortlist options and come back to them later to take a final call. While they have scored well with their interface, what sets them back is the fact they have yet to garner a large number of listings, leaving the user with very few options to choose from.
PropTiger differentiates itself by providing a portfolio tracking tool which enables the end user to know the status of their property investment in terms of pricing, construction progress, project and locality updates, price trends and market talk, which is intended to help them decide the right time to sell their property.
HomeShikari, a TTK services company started in 2011 and currently operating only for properties in Bangalore, is trying to crack the real estate problem by shunning the brokerage model and embracing complete transparency. HomeShikari too allows the user to search for properties via a map-based interface and has worked on a neat ad-free website with a good user Experience.
RealtyCompass claims to be a consumer centric property portal focused on providing the consumer with the information of every new project in the city. Started in July this year and based out of Chennai with a presence in 4 cities in South India, they are looking to expand rapidly to 10 cities pan-India.
Metroplots, also started out of Chennai in 2009, has witnessed good success in 3 major markets of Chennai, Bangalore and NCR where it currently operates and is on an ambitious expansion spree to 20 more cities. They have a strong online interface which offers investors an array of options to choose from while looking for deals and have also created a proprietary SAAS tool called Sales Desk to enable builders & agents grow their business.
Social Media Strategy Perspective:
All startups in the space have been actively using social media platforms to build their brands and engage and acquire customers in an attempt to revamp the industry.
Facebook seems to be the favorite tool with all startups to interact with their customers and promote their services. Housing.co.in, now Housing.com has over 236,000 likes, Commonfloor over 115,000 while HomeShikari, RealtyCompass and PropTiger have about 25,000, 22,600 and 10,000 each.
Amongst the other platforms, Twitter seems to be used more than the rest with Commonfloor being the most active of this pack with over 6500 Tweets and 3500 followers. Metroplots with over 3000 tweets and Proptiger with over 2800 seem to be catching up.
The use of Google+ and LinkedIn as social media platforms is just beginning to catch up while YouTube as a marketing platform has not been used much by either of these startups, with PropTiger being the lone exception. PropTiger has begun uploading videos of the projects listed with them on YouTube and currently has over 40 videos.
With big players such as Magicbricks and 99acres already established in the space, these startups are taking their Web Design, User Experience and social marketing strategy seriously and working on capturing a big chunk of this growing market.
Are you taking your Web Design, User Experience and Social marketing strategy seriously? Call us for a discussion. in the meantime, read our comprehensive guide for digital marketing for real estate.