How Digital Marketing for FMCG Brands Will Revolutionize the Sector

Digital media is changing the landscape for marketers everywhere, especially in the FMCG sector. Traditionally, campaigns for every FMCG product would depend upon determining the right marketing mix of the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) that would best influence the target audience’s purchase decisions. Today, however, consumers are making buying-decisions differently and with this, strategies aimed at impacting this process need to evolve as well.

Consumers now are exposed to their phone and laptop screens more than they are to traditional media like television, newspapers and billboards. There are also a growing number of consumers who prefer to shop online for FMCG products rather than visit a physical store. According to a report by Google and Bain and Co. $11 billion, or two-thirds, of the total sales in beauty and hygiene products will be influenced through online marketing. In today’s digital era, a strong digital marketing strategy is indispensable for FMCG brands

Adapting the 4 P’s for Digital Marketing

 Digital marketing for FMCG companies doesn’t mean retiring the tried and tested 4 P’s which formed the holy grail of marketing for years. Instead, it involves tweaking the marketing mix for FMCG products to bring them into the current era. Digital marketing trends in FMCG allow marketers to not just capture the consumer at the final buying stage, but also to establish a relationship with them from the start, something that was not possible before. This requires marketers to formulate a holistic FMCG digital strategy to not just influence their consumers, but also to personally engage with them.

How Digital Marketing Can Benefit FMCG Brands

 Incorporating a strong digital marketing strategy in the overall marketing mix offers many clear advantages to brands.

1. It helps distinguish your brand

The FMCG sector is marked by a large variety of similar products, which offer consumers a wide range to choose from. One of the biggest advantages of having an effective digital marketing strategy in place is that it helps brands create a unique brand identity. This helps consumers form a strong opinion of the brand, which will ultimately influence their purchase decision.

2. It provides an innovative way to display your brand

 In traditional marketing for FMCG, the product display was considered one of the most important factors which influenced purchase decisions. Consumers are visual creatures, so the more attractive your packaging, the higher the chance of it being noticed by them. In much the same way, digital marketing for FMCG companies can be approached as a virtual shelf display. It is even more effective than a physical display because it helps you reach your specific target audience, making your overall marketing strategy more cost-effective. This enables top-of-mind awareness, which can influence purchase decisions. Like physical shelves, digital marketing also allows you to position your products contextually. Through tools like AdWords Smart Display, you can showcase your products while consumers browse through similar categories. For example, if you are a skincare brand, you can display your ads next to beauty blogs your consumers are browsing through.

3. It Allows You to Gain Consumer Insights and Increase ROI

 One of the biggest advantages digital marketing has over traditional marketing is that it helps you track every facet of your marketing efforts. FMCG brands spend large sums on hoardings, TV commercials, print ads, radio ads and more. However, the results of these campaigns are very difficult to measure effectively. While speculative figures can be produced, there is no way to arrive at a definite conclusion.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, helps you track and measure every aspect of your campaign. With the help of analytic tools, brands can recover information about number of impressions, clicks, conversions and more. It also lets them find out exactly which ad prompted the consumer to make the purchase. Advanced analytics can even let you gain deep consumer insights. This can help you create campaigns and content that your target audience will actually find engaging. With the ease of tracking digital marketing offers, FMCG brands can refine their strategies and make it more cost-effective.

4. Mobile usage is only going to grow from here

Offline purchases might still form the bulk of FMCG sales but the future belongs to mobile phones. Mobile phones and high speed, affordable internet have penetrated almost every section of the Indian audience. A significant portion of Indian consumers are shopping for FMCG products online through various apps and this number is only going to grow. Digital marketing trends in FMCG need to keep up with the increasing volume of customers who prefer to shop online.

digital marketing for fmcg

Via seosolutionsindia.com

One of the biggest areas of growth in mobile usage will be in tier 2 cities and small towns in India. FMCG brands need to stay up-to-date on the constantly evolving digital marketing trends in these tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Unless brands solidify their FMCG digital strategy now, they are going to witness severe drawbacks in the future.

FMCG Digital Strategy Techniques

 Digital media offers a number of streams for FMCG brands to market themselves. These various platforms also help brands meet a number of marketing objectives, right from creating awareness and brand building to driving conversions and cultivating brand loyalty.

1. Build strong communities through content marketing

 For a long time, the focus of marketing strategies for FMCG brands revolved around a one-way promotion of their products. Today, however, digital marketing trends in FMCG are shifting the focus to creating user-centric content that brings actual value to consumers’ lives. By creating informative content, you can drive conversation among your consumers and build strong communities. Having a solid community is crucial to developing a loyal consumer base. Digital marketing can help strengthen your brand’s community through a number of innovative content marketing strategies that work.

digital marketing for fmcg

Clever use of content marketing is essential because it helps establish your authority in the space. For example, Johnson & Johnson created BabyCenter.com, a website for moms to share information and engage through helpful forums. While not overtly a part of Johnson & Johnson, all ads displayed on BabyCenter.com were for the brand. This allowed Johnson & Johnson to build a strong community of moms they could tap into to sell their products. This kind of user-focused marketing is unique to digital marketing and helps brands promote their products more effectively than ever before.

Another facet of content marketing that is essential for FMCG brands is creating SEO-friendly content. Incorporating a strong SEO plan as well as including strategies for content amplification is crucial because it drives consumers to your website, enabling them to become more aware of your brand. Keyword-optimized content also helps consumers find you when they have a query, which goes a long way in establishing your brand’s credibility in that domain.

2. Strengthen digital presence through social media

 Facebook is undeniably one of the biggest avenues for digital marketing. Through advanced tools for social media analytics, you can find your target audience, refine your marketing strategy and even drive conversions. The Facebook custom audience tool can help you widen your target audience and reach them through your campaigns. FMCG brands can also use Facebook to get deeper insights into consumer behaviour. For example, Raaga Professionals innovatively used an audience poll on Facebook to simultaneously understand the needs of their consumers as well as advertise their products.

digital marketing for fmcg

However, your consumers aren’t using only Facebook and as a brand, neither should you. Digital marketing for FMCG brands needs to be integrated over various channels to have the maximum impact. This includes ads which play before a Youtube video, promotions through Twitter, Instagram posts and much more. Effective digital marketing for FMCG even includes SEO-friendly content, so your brand shows up when consumers search for a related need. With an increase in the number of FMCG products showing up online, Google Ads are also another important avenue for FMCG marketing.

3. Consistently engage with your audience to encourage brand loyalty

 Traditionally, FMCG advertisements were a one-way interaction, with brands informing consumers about their products over TV commercials, radio spots and print ads. Advertising was done mostly when there was a new product or service to promote. Buying space in traditional media is expensive and only allows for a one-way communication. This is why brands were unable to consistently engage with their consumers.

Digital media is changing all of that permanently. Digital marketing has a clear edge over traditional marketing when it comes to generating user engagement. Digital marketing trends in FMCG products are aimed towards establishing your brand as a constant presence in your consumers’ lives. Through shareable content, helpful information and meaningful interaction, brands can continue to stay relevant at all times. This helps consumers recall your brand at the time of making a purchase decision. Whole Foods, for example, utilised chatbots in their digital marketing strategy to engage consumers and direct them towards completing a purchase.

4. Widen consumer base through Influencer Marketing

 Influencer marketing is proving to be one of the most important digital marketing trends in FMCG. Through the use of influencers, your brand can tap into their huge number of followers and increase consumer awareness of your products. Influencer marketing is also very useful for FMCG brands because consumers are more likely to believe in the credibility of your brand when an influencer whom they trust recommends it to them.

5. Drip email marketing

 A one-size-fits-all marketing campaign is no longer effective for FMCG products. While email marketing in general keeps your consumers updated on latest products and promotions, drip emails in particular are a groundbreaking way to personalize your marketing tactics. Drip emails, also known as automated emails, are a set of emails that are sent to consumers based on a specific set of parameters. For example, there will be one email that is sent to consumers when they first sign up, one that will be sent if consumers add products to their cart but leave without completing the purchase, one that will be sent after a purchase is made and so on.

digital marketing for fmcg

Via chasenewmedia.com

Drip email campaigns are one of the most effective lead nurturing strategies. These automated mails can target consumers at a number of different stages, ultimately guiding them towards making a purchase. This technique can prove a very effective step in digital marketing for FMCG companies by helping influence the consumer decision making process. Automated emails which are sent when consumers abandon their shopping carts are particularly effective, because it pushes the consumer to complete the purchase. Drip emails also help you retarget consumers who have already purchased your products. Research show that consumers who have purchased your products in the past are more likely to do so again in the future.

6. Sell Your Products Online

 While this may sound self-evident, not many FMCG products actually sell their products online. To this day, even if FMCG advertisements are being displayed on digital media, their marketing efforts are aimed at influencing the consumer’s in-store purchase decision. But with the launch of many websites that let you purchase FMCG products online, an increasing number of consumers are beginning to shop online. In this case, even if a consumer has every intention of purchasing your product, they will choose a competitor’s product if yours is unavailable online. FMCG brands can choose to sell products through Amazon and Facebook or similar sites to increase sales.

Selling products online also gives you the advantage of being able to reach consumers beyond a limited geographical location. For example, a local makeup brand can start selling their products nationally by making it available online. This ultimately increases the consumer base for FMCG products, a key factor in eventually increasing sales. With a few simple steps, selling online through Amazon and other sites is a very easy way for FMCG brands to increase their online presence. For example, Raaga Professionals, a personal care brand, sells their products through Nykaa. In this way, their content marketing through blogs can direct consumers to a clear point of purchase.

digital marketing for fmcg

7. Run campaigns in regional languages

 For most FMCG brands, tier 2 and tier 3 cities offer the next big avenue for growth. At the same time, most consumers in these areas are becoming more digitally connected. While the number of English-speaking users online has more or less peaked, regional language users are only going to grow from here. This has been facilitated in a huge part by the dual penetration of mobile phones and internet connectivity in India’s smaller towns. A study conducted by Google and KPMG estimates that the number of non-English speakers using the internet will grow by around 18 percent annually. Additionally, 99 percent of these users will access the internet primarily through their mobile phone. For FMCG brands, this offers a huge opportunity to leverage digital marketing to attract this new wave of consumers. The growth of regional content online will be one of the key factors that can influence FMCG sales in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

 FMCG Digital Marketing Case Study: Cavin’s Milkshake

 Cavin’s Milkshake is one of the top-selling dairy-based drinks sold by the parent company CavinKare. These milkshakes are sold in single-serving sized tetra paks, and are known for their delicious flavour variants and high adherence to quality standards. Cavin’s is also one of the best examples for a well-thought out digital marketing strategy. Through the use of creative and engaging posts over social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, Cavin’s was able to successfully utilize social media for their brand building efforts.

Facebook Posts

Cavin’s Milkshake maintains an active Facebook profile, with funny, creative posts that attract a large number of comments and shares. They also have a very large, vibrant community on Facebook who actively engage with the brand by writing positive reviews on their page and interacting with their posts.

digital marketing for fmcg

Cavin’s Milkshake is a staple in most school canteens and the product brings back a flood of nostalgic school memories. The #JustHighSchoolThings campaign for Cavin’s stuck to the same theme, by associating the brand with school memories most people have in common. The campaign showcased the most common characters most of us were familiar with in school such as ‘The Geek’ and ‘Cutest Couple’ through Cavin’s Milkshakes. These posts were very popular throughout social media, garnering a high reach and number of audience reactions. What is most noteworthy about these posts is that they have performed well organically, proving that excellent content is the most important aspect of digital marketing for FMCG companies

digital marketing for fmcg

Instagram Posts

digital marketing for fmcg

Cavin’s Milkshake utilized Instagram extensively for brand-building. Through the use of striking visuals, their posts on Instagram were able to generate high levels of engagement from their followers. Their Instagram posts involved the clever use of popular memes, special events and engaging artwork tied in with their products. In this way, digital marketing for FMCG companies can help keep brands relevant by immediately cashing in on the latest trending topics.

digital marketing for fmcg

Instagram was also an important channel for Cavin’s to rope in their followers and build a strong community. With the hashtag #Cavin’sSuperstar, each month, Cavin’s Milkshake showcased one of their followers and asked them a few fun questions about their love affair with Cavin’s. This was an excellent social engagement technique to foster brand loyalty and encourage participation.

digital marketing for fmcg

Influencer Marketing

Cavin’s Milkshake was able to successfully utilize influencer marketing to reach moms who would ultimately purchase the product for their children. One of the key influencers roped in for Cavin’swas RichaChoudhary who runs the blog All That’s Mom. As part of the influencer marketing campaign, RichaChoudhary wrote a blog post on Cavin’s Milkshake, along with 2 social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, plus a short video for Cavin’s. These posts performed extremely well on the blog as well as on social media. Through the innovative use of Cavin’s Milkshake in recipes as well as her posts on how much her child loved Cavin’s Milkshake, the product developed a positive brand perception from her huge follower base.

digital marketing for fmcg

Apart from macro-influencers, Cavin’ Milkshake also worked with a number of micro-influencers on Instagram. These micro-influencers put up a number of posts where they talked about their positive experiences with the brand, used it in recipes and recommended it to their followers.

digital marketing for fmcg

Through the innovative use of various social media platforms, Cavin’s Milkshake was able to build their brand identity and reach out to their consumers.

 Developing a Cross-Channel Marketing Mix

 The perfect marketing mix for FMCG advertisements involves a customized combination of digital and traditional media. Developing this unique mix requires a deep understanding of your consumers. Consumers often use their phones and laptops in tandem with other forms of media. For example, they might be browsing on their laptop while watching TV or checking their phone while listening to the radio in their car. This is why digital marketing for FMCG companies also need to develop strategies that effectively blend both these channels. With campaigns and FMCG advertisements that are spread over multiple platforms, brands can develop consumer awareness and influence purchase decisions.

 

 

 

The ultimate guide to digital marketing for the financial industry

As we enter 2018, it is concrete that digital marketing is the go-to form of marketing whether you are a small-scale start up or a well-established global brand. The power of the Internet has engulfed our day-to-day lives and all types of industries – from retail and travel to real estate and B2B – have joined the digital wave. However, digital marketing for the financial industry has taken a backseat in the branding bandwagon. Though many reputed banks and financial organizations are setting foot into the digital revolution by allotting a bulk of their marketing budgets to online branding, they are yet to completely leverage the power of going digital. Let’s take a look at the various ways in which digital marketing for the finance industry can prove to be a big boon to the sector.

Benefits of leveraging digital marketing for the financial industry

To widen their clientele

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

To evaluate their services

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

To receive instant feedback

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

To cut down on marketing costs

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

Top ways of leveraging digital marketing for the finance industry

With such intense benefits, it is time all leading banks and institutes in the financial sector hop onto the digital bandwagon and sail strong along the digital wave. Here are few of the ways in which you can kickstart your online journey.

Digitise your brand

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

Create an engaging app

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

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

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

Go social

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

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

Get ranked

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

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

Step up your ad game

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

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

Engage your audience with drip marketing

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

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

Leverage word-of-mouth marketing

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

Financial organisations and digital marketing – A case study

The potential of going social – Bank of Baroda

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

Powerful story telling – ICICI Bank

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

The magic of Google ads – BijliPay

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

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

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

Digital marketing trends that are going to die in India in 2018

With close to 450 million Indians already online, the digital industry is fast-evolving. Since the launch of Jio, India has seen 9 times growth in usage of internet data. Owing to this, the dynamic platform of digital marketing has witnessed a lot of progression and development. The digital trends that worked a few years ago have reached their expiry date and newer, more effective trends have emerged. Let’s take a look at few of the digital marketing practices that are no longer effective in today’s day and age and their improvised versions that have taken over the online community.

Non personalised emailers

Nobody likes mass e-mailers that flood their inboxes with coupons and deals they are not interested in. Non personalised emails are clearly dying out as the content may not be relevant to the audience you are sending it out to. Email marketing work when it is done right. Mass emailers have been upgraded with personalized emailers that are guaranteed to catch the audience’s attention. Apart from mere personalization in the form of your potential customer’s name, you can retarget them with what they were previously searching for, and present them with irresistible offers based on their demographics, interests and past behavior on your website. This will not only pull them towards your website but will also leave them constantly refreshing their inbox in a quest for more such deals and offers.

Quantity over quality

Brands have always been misguided by the notion that the higher number of posts they put up on social media, or the higher number of blogs they put up on their website, the more traffic their content will generate. However, the truth is that with the abundance of content available online, it is more important to provide viewers with high-quality content that really stands out rather than a multitude of average blogs that will just get lost in the ocean of information.

The trend of bombarding your target group with a plethora of information till they ultimately get converted to loyal consumers is now a thing of past. Potential customers are now being targeted with a fewer number of posts comprising of content that the audience will find engaging. The secret lies in bringing out a primary purpose in the blogs, like showcasing a particular product, branding or luring viewers with an emotional connect. This strategy coupled with content amplification techniques will ensure that the content reaches the right target group.

Marketing on Twitter

Though Twitter is one of the leading social media platforms, the strategy of using Twitter as a marketing tool is on a decline. Though Twitter did post a higher revenue for the last financial year, we are not seeing a significant growth in the user base in India. Brands are flocking to other effective mediums like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram where they are more likely to get better reach due to the higher number of active users. Additionally, the cost of ROI and effectiveness of advertising spend on Twitter vis a vis the other platforms are very different. While twitter does well in some genres like news, entertainment and politics it is not a preferred platform for all brands in India.

Short-form blog content

Blogs are extremely important for any business. However, if you want to leverage the power of content marketing to showcase your brand and attract leads, it is time you bid adieu to short-form content. The average length of a blog is usually around 800 words but in order to rank on Google, you need to work on longer content with in-depth analysis, research and loads of information. According to data, a well-researched content that is around 2000 words have a better chance on ranking on page one of Google search. Pack your blogs with different types of content from infographics and videos to statistical research and relatable memes. Apart from different forms of visuals, optimize your content with keywords and related keywords while you sit back and relax as viewers come flocking to your website. Also, make sure you interlink your blogs well to provide readers with more related posts and keep them hooked on to your website.

At the same time, apps like Inshorts are growing due to its byte sized articles – brands may want to continue experimenting by giving both short form and long form content depending on the purpose.

Manual optimisation of digital ad campaign

Optimising your ad campaigns is of key importance to generate leads and widen your client database. However, it is quite challenging and time-consuming to create a campaign and to manually check out each digital ad campaign and optimise them as per industry standards. These practices are now being done using automated tools and Artificial Intelligence. For example, there are cost effective tools like Optmyzr that allow automated optimization of advertising platforms like Google.

Relying on organic reach on Facebook

As dramatic as it may sound, there is no such thing as organic reach on Facebook anymore. As a brand, you need to promote your posts and invest on Facebook ads to reach your target audience. Facebook has also rolled out a new feature called “Explore Feed” tab, specifically for brands. This tab is a new feature on Facebook where users can view top relevant posts which are hand-picked for them based on their demographics, interests and content consumption.

Last-click attribution

Last-click attribution is now being replaced by data driven attribution. This upgraded trend is a process in which the analytics model of the website credits the entire process of marketing, from attracting a potential buyer and procuring the lead to converting them to a consumer, rather than the last click that closed the sale. The last-click attribution model will let you understand that a recent buyer logged on to your website to indulge in a sale. But, the data driven attribution model will give you a detailed insight of the journey of the consumer, from the initial Google ad, to the Facebook retargeting and emailer they received to push them to make the purchase.

Everything comes with an expiry date and digital marketing trends are no exception. It is time you upgrade your digital marketing strategies and stay ahead of the online curve.

This article was originally published on Campaign India. You can read the published article here.

Vikas Chawla speaks about Live videos in TOI

Audience engagement has always been a challenge for most brands and companies. Reaching out to your target group is just half the battle won. The key lies in engaging your viewers to an extent in which they ultimately convert to loyal customers. One such digital marketing trend that has emerged as an effective tool to keep customers engaged with your brand is Live Videos.

The advent of live videos has changed the face of audience engagement for the better. The live video streaming option is available on all leading digital marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, to name a few. With live streaming, like Facebook Live, companies have a cost-effective mode of promotion that audiences can easily view since studies have shown that there has been an increase in the viewing of live videos after the introduction of the 4G network. There are many benefits and drawbacks of the usage of live videos but overall, it has been found to be an extremely effective method of communication and engagement between brands and audiences.

Social Beat believes in the power of live videos for promotion and marketing. Featured below is Times of India’s article where our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, gives us clarity on how live videos can benefit your brand and help you reach your marketing goals. For more insight on Live streaming, make sure you check out our blogs on the top 10 live chat software for your website and 4 tips to integrate social media for live events.

Vikas Chawla talks about Live Videos - TOI

Are Mobile Apps close to extinction?

Digital technology has taken the world by storm. The labyrinth nature of the Internet has engulfed us with a blanket of convenience, making the world a much smaller place to live in. From booking a cab to ordering pizza, we have been spoilt for choice with the number of apps available in the market. Ever since the concept of applications was invented, these tiny widgets have evolved from the phone and tabs to laptops and even smart TVs.

In the past few years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of apps; however, the number of active app users have remained stagnant. According to a study, the average mobile app retention rate is just 20% after 90 days. Even if they have stayed on and not deleted the app, on an average, more than 75% of users fail to return the day after first use. These figures make us wonder – are mobile apps close to extinction?

While some of the essentials apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook will remain an active app on the phone, the rest of them will predominantly disappear. So, what is the future?

Progressive Web Apps – The future of apps

The newest trend observed on the Internet is the emergence of websites with app-like behaviour in a browser. A shortcut to these websites can then directly be added to your device home screen based on how frequently you visit them. The progressive functions of these app-like websites have coined the term Progressive Web Apps, which is the next big thing in the effervescent digital world.

Features of Progressive Web Apps

  • A Progressive Web App integrates the experience of an app in a website, providing you with the best of both worlds.
  • They look like normal websites that can be accessed from your browser. Based on your usage, the website will prompt you to add it as an icon on your home screen for direct access. With a direct shortcut, you can skip the process of visiting the website from your browser every time you log in.
  • These websites are typically displayed in full-screen without a website frame, giving the user an app-like experience.
  • With the progressive usage of these websites, you can experience full-fledged app behaviour by granting permissions to access your device camera and contacts, as per the functions of the page.
  • PWAs run on a javascript embedded with application shell architecture. These codes run in the background of the page and pre-load frequently visited images and information in the cache memory. This provides higher speed in loading the page with the combined benefit of easy offline usage.
  • A PWA requires minimal page refreshes as it works like an app and not a conventional web page.

Advantages of PWAs

  • A Progressive Web App eliminates the need to search for the native app in an app store and download it, consuming mobile data and time.
  • It will send you notifications over time only after repeated usage, living up to its progressive nature.
  • It loads very quickly, even in places of low connectivity, due to its exquisite application shell model.
  • Contrary to native apps, it does not take up as much space on the phone. It just provides you with a shortcut to the website which will behave like an app.
  • It does not hamper your privacy settings or permissions. Even if it does, it will be over a span of time, based on your usage.
  • The PWA does not need to be customized for iOS and Android platforms.
  • It caters to feature-phones and entry-level smartphones that do not have enough space for multiple apps.
  • While digital marketing is evolving in tier 2 and 3 cities, 4G connectivity is still an alien concept. PWA is the perfect alternative to an app in Tier 2 and Tier 3.
  • It also caters to the generation who are new to the Internet world for whom downloading an app is a tedious process.

How can PWAs benefit brands?

Apart from the plethora of advantages an app user faces, a progressive web app can widely benefit any brand or organization. Gone are the days when websites were merely developed for desktop usage and apps for mobile phones. Considering the fact that most of the organic traffic comes through mobile, it is now mandatory for organisations to take their digital game up a notch to cater to their target audiences. A PWA fills in the gap between an app and a website and is the perfect solution for increased sales or leads.

Furthermore, the cutting-edge application shell architecture used in progressive web apps makes it ideal for e-commerce websites. It eradicates the need to download the app and provides the user with the added benefits of higher page loading speed and enhanced performance in places of limited connectivity.

A lot of leading organisations have already incorporated the concept of Progressive Web Apps in their digital space. Flipkart and Ola are few of the early adopters of this technology. So, its time for mobile apps to move on and welcome PWAs.

The winning formula to generate more B2B leads

Whatever be the type of business you are running or the industry you are from, generating leads is what it all comes down to. Without leads, you do not have any customers, no profit, no revenue and ultimately, no business. However, generating these leads is the biggest challenge every marketer faces, especially for a B2B business. Truth be told, there is no fool-proof formula to generate a predetermined number of leads every month. But, it’s not impossible! To get a good amount of leads, you need to make sure you have a steady and constant marketing strategy. Your main objective should be to create a well-established relationship with your target audience. It is these types of conversations and constant generation of information that intrigues readers and ultimately converts them into consumers.

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

Landing Page

No lead generation strategy is complete without a landing page. A landing page is a web page that collects the visitor’s information through a lead form.  Whether you are promoting your product or allowing visitors to download content (ebooks, webinars and podcasts), building a landing page is often the solution. Making a landing page will ensure that you can target the right audience, showcase your work or product and convert the visitors into leads. A targeted landing page will help you capture leads at a higher rate and will help the sales team convert these leads easily.

A good landing page, especially for B2B, needs to always have a clear headline, copy and direct call-to-action, so that the target audience understands exactly what they are signing up for.  This is exactly what we did for one of our B2B clients Dura Ultima. The landing page clearly conveys what the company does and what you are registering for.

Social Media Marketing

It is safe to say that in a parallel dimension, if digital media is a physical space, then social media platforms are where the happening parties would be at. Everyone who is anyone is on social media. So, it is natural to conclude that showcasing your products and services on these platforms is a guaranteed way to generate leads for your business. However, a mere social media presence is not enough. If your strategy is to put up a particular number of posts a day, get ready to be marked off as spam. When it comes to lead generation, you need a detailed strategy to converse with potential clients online and have a unique approach in converting them to leads. Here are few of the techniques you can follow based on two of the leading social media platforms for B2B lead generation – Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook

Facebook is the holy grail of social media marketing. It is a great platform to find clients who can benefit from your business as you both work hand-in-hand in taking each other’s organisations to towering heights. From eye-catching Facebook carousal ads to trendy features like Facebook Live, the world is your oyster when it comes to marketing on Facebook. Read on for fool-proof methods to generate quality leads for your B2B organisation on Facebook.

Lead ads

As the name suggests, a lead ad is an ad you run on Facebook with the sole purpose of generating leads. These ads offer the users with the benefit of filling a lead form on the Facebook page without the need to switch to a landing page or a website.

Website click and conversion ads

Showcasing your products and services through website click ads is an effective way to intrigue your target audience and get them to visit your website. All you need to do is promote your content, services, products and deliverables on Facebook and monitor the cost per click (CPC) for the total amount you ran the ad for. The lesser your CPC, the more number of visitors are visiting your website.

Conversion ads, on the other hand, lead the visitors to a page with a conversion form. You can customise your form with a call to action of your choice as per your marketing plan. Choose from a plethora of actions from “Enquire now” to “Sign up for weekly newsletter”.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world, so when it comes to finding potential clients for your B2B business, it is your haven. In order to effectively generate leads on LinkedIn, having an active and up-to-date company account on LinkedIn is of utmost importance. Apart from that, it is also crucial to actively be part of various LinkedIn groups that are related to your business model. As far as lead generation is concerned, the fact that many other business professionals like you are on LinkedIn, trying to generate leads for their companies, is half the problem solved. As for the other half of the problem, read on to find out what are the tools you can leverage on LinkedIn to widen your clientele.

linkedin

LinkedIn Lead Ads

LinkedIn lead ads are the latest feature introduced by the platform, which is taking lead generation for B2B businesses to the next level. They work like usual lead ads, except that when you click on the call to action, the browser takes the user to a pre-filled lead form. The form is pre-filled with information retrieved from the user’s profile, eliminating the need to fill it up manually. Apart from saving a lot of time and effort, this feature allows users to fill in the lead form in the LinkedIn page itself without the need to visit a landing page or website.

InMail Ads

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

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads are a great way to create awareness about your brand and promote your services. Since LinkedIn is the world’s leading professional marketing platform, you can directly reach senior-level executives and CEOs with detailed targeting. This provides you with a window of opportunity to showcase your brand to the decision makers of leading organisations and leverage the ad to convert them into quality leads.

LinkedIn Ads

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

Search Engine Optimisation

Though social media marketing and sponsored ads are the sure-shot way to generate leads, there is a constant source that does not fail to convert visitors to loyal clients – which is organic traffic to your website. This is when Search Engine Optimisation comes to your rescue. Optimising your website to ensure it shows up on the first page of Google search is a guaranteed way to boost your brand image and increase your website traffic.

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

But, how do you ensure your website is the answer to what the general public is searching for? The trick lies in decoding what type of content your target audience will find engaging and the use of relevant keywords in your content. You also need a good social media marketing strategy for effective search engine optimisation. To get a closer insight, let’s dive into the effervescent ocean of content marketing.

Content Marketing

As the age-old saying goes, Content is King. This has been a fool-proof advertising strategy for decades to come and the reign still continues. The biggest advantage of using content marketing instead of advertising as your lead generation strategy is that it reaches users who have activated ad blockers. Additionally, in contrast to sponsored ads, it showcases your services in different methods and mediums to potential clients till they ultimately fall prey and convert into leads. Furthermore, advertising your product through content marketing also helps in boosting organic traffic to your website and effective search engine optimisation.

Let’s take a look at the various mediums of content you can use to leverage content marketing to make your brand trend and as the go-to lead generation strategy for your B2B business.

Blogs

Blogs have become essential for every business and are the best way to generate informative and educative content about your brand and use them to reach your target audience which will ultimately generate premium leads. Blogs are also a guaranteed SEO friendly marketing method that generates organic traffic to your website. For an effective lead generation, you can promote the blogs on social media direct the traffic to a conversion form.

Videos

Videos are the next-big-thing in content marketing for obvious reasons. If pictures can speak a thousand words, it is safe to say that videos present the viewers with a thousand pictures. It gives the viewers a detailed insight into the products and services offered by your company which plays a huge role in influencing their decision to convert into leads. A whiteboard video explaining a solution to a particular problem in your industry to a product-centric video, opportunities are aplenty.

E-books

E-books offer viewers with long-form content which is both great for SEO and lead generation. Presenting your visitors with the option to download an e-book by filling up a lead generation form gives you a hand-picked database of clients who are particularly interested in your brand as they took the time and effort to fill a form just to read your content. To generate quality leads, make sure your e-book is extremely informative and educational with the right proportion of generic and promotional content. The best way to do this is to understand what your audience is searching for and write an ebook to cater to their needs.

ebook

Reports and case studies

Content is King; everybody knows that. But backing up your content with infographics, reports, graphs and other forms of research adds tons of weight to it. In order to explain your services in a better manner, take your content strategy up a notch and present your audience with an informative case study. Nothing convinces potential clients better than examples of how much you have succeeded in the past with other B2B clients.

Webinars and podcasts

Content marketing is all about being actively involved in the digital space. Bring out your brand name by conducting webinars or interactive podcasts on topics which are trending in the audience as well as have a good connection with your brand. This will create awareness about your organisation and indirectly showcase your products and services for the world to see.

Email Marketing

So you’ve generated an extensive database, with the methods mentioned above, of potential clients who have shown interest in your services. But, what next? How do you convince these leads to get converted into meaningful clients for your B2B business? That’s when the tried-and-tested method of email marketing comes into the picture.

When it comes to converting leads for your B2B business, sometimes it is best to keep things simple. Email marketing is probably one of the first types of digital marketing, and it still remains a go-to strategy for many organisations. Apart from being extremely cost-effective, email marketing is a guaranteed way to widen your clientele as the mail cannot be missed. Additionally, you can customise your email as per the preferences of your potential clients with various techniques of retargeting and make your services even more irresistible to them.

email marketing

Furthermore, email marketing helps you stay in touch with those who are interested in your brand. Since it primarily works on the good-old email technology, you do not need any new software or plugins to leverage it. Also, emailing is a constant mode of communication which provides its users with an open platform. Unlike social media platforms, it does not need any frequent upgrading, and neither is it controlled by third parties. All you need is a strong email marketing database and a fool-proof email campaign checklist for guaranteed lead conversions.

Lead generation is the fuel that powers the bandwagon of B2B businesses. If you are from the B2B sector, its time you implement each one of the above-mentioned marketing strategies in your workplace to take your business to revolutionary heights.

5 Ways Chatbots Can Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Chatbots are taking the world by storm as a unique, personal way to reach out to potential customers. With many messaging apps developing platforms for chatbots, an increasing number of people today are interacting with them in some form or the other. Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has led to chatbots that sound human, have a sense of humour and can keep users engaged in a conversation. So what does all of this mean for brands? Chatbots allow brands to interact with their customers directly, obtain useful information from them and even guide them towards making a purchase. In short, brands today cannot afford to ignore the chatbot invasion taking place. Here are five ways you can harness the potential of chatbots to maximise the effectiveness of your digital efforts.

1. To answer customer queries

 Visitors to your site are impatient. They want information and answers to their questions quickly or they will leave. Every brand wants to answer potential customer’s queries and increase their engagement on the website. However, not every company has the resources to employ a full-time customer service team to do this. Chatbots can swoop in as a low-cost effective solution to answer questions and keep customers informed. Giving your chatbots a name and profile picture are great ways to make the interaction more human and pique the interest of potential customers. But brands aren’t the only ones benefiting from chatbots. A recent survey found that most customers also prefer asking questions over chat instead of over an email or phone calls

Chatbots are shaping up to be one of the defining trends for real estate in 2017. Social Beat has developed a chatbot for Casagrand to personally welcome each visitor to the website and help them navigate the website easier. The chatbot helps make the website more interactive so each visitor can get quick answers to their queries.

If you are looking to set up the live chats for your website, read our blog on the top 10 live chat software for your website.

2. To increase sales of your products and services

One of the most exciting avenues for chatbots to exhibit their true potential is within the realm of sales. More people today are shopping online than they ever were before. As a brand, your website will have more than a few products and you do want your customers to go through them all and make more purchases. So how do you make them see all the products, especially since people might get tired of finding exactly what they are looking for or something they might like? Chatbots come in very useful in this scenario. They can act as a personal shopping assistant. Through a series of personalized questions, the chatbots understand what a customer is looking for, what their taste preferences are and based on this information, it offers a curated selection of products for them to choose from. Customers are willing to talk to these chatbots because they sound friendly and most importantly, ‘human’.

In 2016, when Tommy Hilfiger introduced their new collection, they also did something revolutionary; they introduced chatbots for the first time. The bot welcomed users and asked them questions about their favourite prints, the occasion they were shopping for and so on. Based on their responses, the chatbot displayed pieces from their collection that matched the customer’s preferences. If users liked the outfits, the chatbot would direct them to the website where they could actually shop the look. In this way, Tommy Hilfiger was able to guide their customers’ right from the exploration to the purchasing step.

                                        tommy

3. To Understand Your Customers Better

Every brand wants to know exactly what type of content their target audience will find engaging. Most times, brands get this information by asking their customers to fill out surveys. Unfortunately, most consumers aren’t willing to go through the tedious process of filling out a long questionnaire. Chatbots are a simpler way of getting to know your customers better in a more interactive manner. Customers are also more willing to give away personal information when they know they are talking to a bot and not an actual human. Chatbots have the ability to store information that the customer provides, keep a track of their purchasing patterns and even understand any difficulties they’re facing with their shopping experience. This helps you optimize your products better to cater to their specific needs.

Harper Collins launched a chatbot that would interact with users and suggest books for them based on their preferences. Keeping track of their customer’s tastes also helped Harper Collins understand what genres to keep well stocked and what kinds of books their customers are reading.

Haprper collins bots

4. To Increase User Engagement On Your Website

A good chatbot can make a customer stay on your website and keep them entertained for a long time. The one characteristic that sets chatbots apart from other forms of marketing is that they are dynamic. Chatbots adapt according to the person they’re talking to and can keep customers engaged in fun conversations. They can also increase the number of site visits by providing your customers with relevant links and information about your products and services.

Whole Foods created a chatbot that would entertain customers and ultimately lead to more store visits. Customers could send a random selection of food emojis to the chatbot and it would come up with a recipe that utilized all of the emojis they had selected. Whole Foods would then ask their customers if they wanted to make the recipe and would direct them to their nearest Whole Foods outlet to buy the ingredients they needed. Users spent a long time on the chatbot purely because they found it a lot of fun. This left a long-lasting impression upon them and increased their overall engagement with the Whole Foods website.

bots3

5. To Personalize User Experience

Nine out of ten customers reported that personalization played a huge role when they decided to buy something. Today, digital marketing has been able to reach out to more people than ever before. However, customers aren’t likely to be attracted to your brand unless they feel that you are speaking to them directly. When you are talking to thousands of customers as a whole, how do you ensure that each of them feels like your marketing strategy is directed specifically at them? Chatbots can go a long way in helping you achieve this. When a registered user opens your site, chatbots welcome them by name, in a very friendly manner. Even though users know they’re not real people, the human tone most chatbots have can still make the experience feel a lot more personal. Chatbots can also keep a track of each customer’s previous search history and purchases, which help them, offer product suggestions that are tailor-made for each user.

Ixibaba is a chatbot developed by the travel website Ixigo to act as a personal travel agent to their customers. Ixibaba answers all of their queries, help them find flights, book hotels and discover restaurants near where they are staying. Ixibaba can also keep track of all the places customers have travelled to, helping it customize suggestions for each user.
ixiba bots

Chatbots are quickly emerging as one of the top digital marketing trends of 2017. Which one of these are you going to try for your brand? Let us know by leaving a comment.

How digital marketing will transform real estate industry in 2018

Over the last few years, digital marketing has played a key role in the advertising and branding of an organization.  Apart from uplifting the brand image, going digital also helps in reaching the target audience which, in turn, aids in generating leads and promoting sales.

One such industry that has tried, tested and achieved significant business growth with digital marketing is Real Estate and there is more to come in 2018. The last decade has witnessed a lot of real estate activity in the online space. A lot of property buyers and sellers do vigorous research online before they ultimately make the purchase or sell the property offline. Hence, making sure you have a strong online presence is of utmost importance to make your brand name stand out in the real estate industry.

So, what makes digital marketing for real estate such a vital tool for developers and home seekers alike and how is it going to progress going forward? To find out, let’s take a flashback to how it all began.

Real Estate and the Internet of Things 

A couple of decades ago, properties were considered a luxury investment. Only the richest of rich could afford the exorbitant prices stamped on the various housing projects. Even the process of purchasing a property was a long and tedious one. Home seekers had to collect and sign an endless flow of documents while also searching for a broker who could strike them a good deal for the desired property.

The Internet of Things has drastically changed the way buyers make purchase decisions. It is now a known fact that online reputation management can make or break your brand. Simple online searches take buyers to their desired property while documentation has become quick and paperless. Access to a multitude of properties has opened the doors for buyers with any financial background to have no hesitation while going for a purchase.

Brokers haven’t lost their place entirely; they have been able to tap into the power of the digital space and give home seekers a more refined and transparent property searching option. The increase in consumer mobile traffic has prompted brokers to bank on app marketing. Few of the trending apps are listed below:

Plabro: Trending in Delhi, this app has a back-end algorithm that shows a user’s preferences and provides property updates based on those preferences. It also shows analytical data on real estate trends.

Smart Agent Connect: Like Facebook for Realtors, this app lets realtors create business circles and take part in real estate deals over a short, quicker timeframe. It also lets realtors create custom websites and provide functions for complete Customer Relationship Management.

While a complete shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing for real estate is not going to happen anytime soon, real estate developers have notably increased their digital marketing budget over the past year. In 2015, statistics showed a 25 percent increase in marketing spends across the Real Estate industry, with an estimate of over 600 crore spent on digital marketing alone. One of the factors that influenced the budget increase is consumer behaviour, and with new improved numbers showing up for the forthcoming year, that scale in marketing budget will only go up.

Digital Media Facts & Stats (December 2016)

  • 462 million Internet users
  • 200 million active social media users (over 60% college are college students)
  • 3% of Indians accessed the Internet via mobile phone
  • The digital marketplace has grown by 33% between 2010 and 2015
  • 77% of online users buy products exclusively on social media
  • 50% of shoppers buy online based on social media influence
  • 74% of buyers rely on influence for making purchase decisions
  • The sale of physical goods through the digital space amounted to 16.8 billion dollars in revenue

These astounding statistics show just how powerful the Internet of Things has become and it also holds true for developers who seek the digital space for marketing their products.

Digital Marketing for Real Estate Stats (July 2016)

  • 14% of home buyers search for tips on how to purchase homes more effectively
  • 42% of home buyers have used the Internet as their first search medium
  • 82% of home buyers trust online agents as good information sources
  • 92% home buyers have searched for homes the Internet

The benefits of real estate digital marketing

Marketing techniques are open to evolve and get better over time. Additionally, if you are an ardent user of the digital space for marketing your products, you know it comes with numerous benefits. Apart from the urban space, digital marketing is evolving in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India as well. Real estate developers are yet to realise these benefits and are only scratching the surface when it comes to taking full advantage of what digital marketing has to offer. Here’s where digital marketing in real estate gives developers an edge, with a multitude of digital marketing trends to expect in 2017.

  • Cost-efficient: Needless to say, there is a lot of money that goes into a real estate project. Digital marketing offers free publicity at comparatively lower pricing to that of traditional marketing, so it’s no surprise that marketers in the Real Estate industry are taking full advantage of the cost efficiency.
  • Increased exposure: Considering the numerous housing projects that vary in size, location and cost, having a digital marketing strategy lets you expand your overall reach and even customise that reach towards a selected target market.
  • Performance Analysis: Digital marketing offers numerous ways to keep track of an advertisement’s performance in the competitive marketplace, making it easier for real estate developers to understand what marketing technique works best for their products.
  • Creative licence: Be it an apartment, independent house, villa or plot of land, there are numerous ways for developers to showcase their products in the online marketplace.
  • Brand building: To succeed in the vast industry that is Real Estate, developers need a strong and reputable presence. Having online presence is considered the next best brand building technique.

Marketing techniques that work wonders

For any company which is hoping to succeed in the digital space, there are three goals every digital marketer must try and achieve:

  1. Building the brand
  2. Acquiring customers
  3. Customer engagement

Let’s look at some digital marketing practices (in the Real Estate Industry) that will help achieve the above-mentioned goals.

1. Building the brand

Creating an online presence is the first, most important step, and serves as a backbone for all future digital marketing activities. To establish a powerful online presence, Real Estate developers need to focus on creating three things.

Creating a Website

For Real Estate, a website can serve two purposes: a virtual office that showcases the builder’s latest projects or a virtual marketplace for home seekers to explore purchasing options. To make either one or both of these purposes work well, there are numerous tools and optimisation techniques that need to be implemented.

Even the design of the website matters as it can make a difference to user experience and one such design that has been making waves amongst the real estate websites is a Flat Design. Flat website designs are categorised by their simple, elegant and square’ish’ look; first noticed in the Windows 8 Tile User Interface. With minimalistic animations and loads of white space, the Flat website design has proven to be effective in page speed loading times, readability, mobile optimisation and ease of navigation.

While a good website design is pleasing to the eyes, it only scratches the surface of what matters especially in the Real Estate sector. A stellar design needs to be accompanied with great content to create an impact. Writing good content that effectively communicates a Real Estate brand’s message and intrigues the user to go ahead for a purchase is vital. Presenting your target audience with engaging content is a sure-shot way to grab their attention and generate leads.

Real Estate is a very broad topic, so to fit everything into a single website, other strategies can be utilised to showcase everything a Real Estate developer has to offer.lancor website

  • Multiple Web pages: Aside from having a homepage that gives a gist of the Real Estate builder’s brand, having multiple web pages that provide more information on the brand and interlink with one another through clever content navigation is essential. More pages ultimately result in users spending more time on the website, which directly affects the website’s rank on search engines.
  • Landing Pages: Landing pages act as mini e-commerce portals that explain in detail about a particular brand’s upcoming, on-going or released Real Estate project. Landing pages that are interactive or those that have video presentations have proven to yield 403% more inquiries than regular pages.

CG landing page

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

  • SEO is the glue that holds an entire digital marketing campaign together. As a matter of fact, digital marketers for Real Estate must have an SEO planner right at the beginning of their marketing strategy. From SEO plugins to various link building techniques, the driving force of good SEO, especially for Real Estate, is keyword research.
  • Statistics show that 80% of home buyers search for properties online which means having a list of search keywords incorporated into a content marketing strategy will pay off well. Potential customers will most likely be presented with search results about a property that has those keywords. Additionally, real estate companies can also leverage local SEO and Google maps to promote their business.

Creating a Blog

When people need help or are looking for something, they do one of two things – seek out a person or a place or browse the internet. Blogging has come a long way from being a casual online tool for storytelling to an essential element of a digital marketing strategy.

Blogs are a long, short or creative source of information and if there is one thing Google loves, it is loads of valuable information. Research shows that websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages. Google recognises and ranks these websites easily due to the information provided, ultimately leading to that site showing up on the first page of search results.

Considering how broad a topic Real Estate is, builders must take advantage of the power of blogging and focus on sharing information to potential home buyers. Blogs that give detailed information on upcoming properties, tips on home buying and guides on investment options are just some of the many topics a Real Estate blog can include.

Having a strong social media presence

The platform of Social Media offers brands a unique way to get more personal with their audience, and it is no different in the case of Real Estate.

There are numerous platforms for Social Media Marketing available today and some of the most useful ones for Real Estate developers include:

  • Facebook: India has the world’s largest number of Facebook users (195v million and counting), so there is a clear and open platform for Real Estate developers to take advantage of the numerous advertising techniques Facebook has to offer.
  • YouTube: Videos are, without a doubt, the most watched medium on the planet. Real Estate developers can use optimised YouTube videos to add a layer of instructiveness to their promotional campaigns.  
  • Twitter: This micro-blogging giant has proven to be a rather useful marketing tool in the recent years. Twitter serves as a great platform for Real Estate developers to invite credible 3rd party sources to influence purchase decisions. For more insight on this, make sure you check out our extensive Twitter marketing guide for businesses in India.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the go-to medium for anyone looking to expand their business to business portfolio. Real Estate developers can connect to 3rd party realtors, architects, interior designers, house maintenance providers and so on.

2. Acquiring Customers

Having an online presence won’t be fruitful if your potential customers are not aware of that presence. Real Estate developers depend heavily on lead generation, and digital marketing offers the quickest, easiest and most ROI friendly lead generation method. Here are some of the ways Real Estate developers can acquire customers via digital media.

Advertising

Advertising online is one of the best ways to ensure you are reaching your potential target Group. If done right, it can be the best lead generation tool for real estate developers. Be it Facebook or Google or even other platforms such as Bing and Yahoo, using lead generation, website conversion ads or even interactive ads to engage with your target audience and collect leads.

Facebook Ads

As of July 2017, there are 241 million active users in India on Facebook. This is a primary reason why advertising on Facebook is something every builder needs to try. From website conversion ads to lead ads and carousel ads, builders should try a combination of videos and images to drive enquiries and site visits.  Facebook also has detailed targeting by demographics, age and behaviour. Additionally, you can also target your website visitors and those you have engaged with your post so that the ad is displayed to a more specific and niche crowd making the probability of selling the property even higher than before.

Ads in regional languages have started rolling out, and marketers have begun incorporating this concept into their marketing strategies to reach out to their target audience. When a potential home buyer reads an ad in his regional language, he develops a bond of trust and comfort with the seller and is more likely to make a purchase, or at least recommend that product to a friend.

Regional ads

With Facebook’s Brand Reach and Frequency campaigns, brands can even get assured visibility and reach, similar to what a front-page newspaper ad gives.

Google Ads

Google AdWords is a paid digital marketing strategy that is run on the Google search engine. Adwords smart display campaigns run strongly through a set of rules and guidelines and work best when incorporated into SEO tools and strategies.

Let’s say a home seeker is typing “flats in OMR” in the search box; if the digital marketer has incorporated the keywords “flats in OMR” along with some other relevant search queries, Google will pick up that ad and display it in the search results. The placement of the ad depends entirely on the budget set for the campaign. You can also optimise your AdWords campaign for profound results.

Google’s algorithms are ever changing and evolving to be more consumer-friendly, and 2017 has some cool new digital marketing trends that every marketer must keep close tabs on.

Drip email marketing

Drip emails are automated emails that are sent out based on a predefined time or user actions. Real Estate developers can target and constantly stay in touch with a group of people based on certain criteria retrieved from a strong email marketing database. Let’s say that a customer has visited a property website and shown interest by subscribing to property newsletters. Digital marketers can use the information provided by the customer to send emails about the development and completion of the property and news on various other related properties.

Drip emails are a powerful lead nurturer, with statistics showing a 119% increase click-through rate via trustworthy emails.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is the Internet’s word-of-mouth marketing method and can prove very effective to generate leads for Real Estate Developers. Just like word-of-mouth, influencer marketing uses popular bloggers and other professionals in the Real Estate industry to promote a particular property. Influencer marketing channels include both blogs and social media channels, so Real estate developers must carefully choose the appropriate kind of influencer to market their properties.      

Influencer.in provides a one-stop platform for Real Estate developers to search and connect with the best influencers in the country; they can choose from either working on long campaigns with a selected influencer or contacting multiple micro-influencers over various social media platforms to spread the word.

3. Customer Engagement

The age-old marketing rule of getting new customers while retaining existing customers applies in the digital space as well. Of course, the most popular tool for customer engagement today is social media, and Facebook ranks high up on the list, especially for the Real Estate industry. There are a plethora of social media trends benefiting the real estate industry. Here are some interesting ways developers can utilise Facebook and YouTube for customer engagement.

Facebook engagement

  • Post real estate investment advice albeit with a funny picture
  • Post product comparison images and let the followers vote
  • Post interesting facts about the locality where the property is being developed
  • Post about celebrity or high-profile activity that is happening in the locality where the property is being developed
  • Post about festivals and celebratory occasions while adding a twist that relates to a property
  • Share information about daily real estate activities

YouTube engagement

  • Post videos on property interiors
  • DIY practical tips on home improvement
  • Property reviews
  • Live feed of upcoming events that relate to the property
  • Virtual reality property experience

Case Study: Digital Marketing for a leading real estate developer in Chennai

One of our esteemed clients is a Chennai based Real Estate enterprise which laid its foundations in 2004. Known for providing niche residential segments like luxury villas and high-rise apartments, the company has since produced 68 projects, selling to over 4000 happy residents.

Our client wanted to scale up its digital presence through powerful digital marketing, focusing on five primary goals.

An intense digital marketing campaign followed, running on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google search, resulting in an impressive turnaround that showed:

  • Over 500 Crores in sales from digital enquiries
  • 10x increase in lead generation
  • Cost per lead reduction by 30%
  • Organic Traffic increase by 3x
  • 4x increase in leads from organic traffic
  • Fan base on Facebook has grown to an engaged community of over 1,40,000 fans

Real estate is the most reliable and secure long-term investment you can make, and the ability to purchase a home will only get easier with newer technologies coming into the digital space, which is capable of giving you a real-time experience of any property right through a screen.

 

Vikas part of the top 100 Digital Marketers in India

We, at Social Beat, are proud to announce that our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, has been listed as part of the prestigious Pluralsight Digi100 List powered by Paul Writer. The objective of this list is to recognize the top 100 Digital Marketers in India and it’s an honour to be enlisted in it. Last year, Vikas was also awarded As One of The Most Influential Digital Marketing Leaders in India.

The list was unveiled during the Futurist Business Conclave on August 18, 2017, at the Leela Ambience, Gurgaon. Apart from revealing the reputed list, the event also featured the master class – The Futurist Marketer – hosted by the CEO of Paul Writer, Jessie Paul. The day-long event was concluded with the revelation of the CX100 and Content 100 lists, along with a keynote delivered by Jaspreet Bindra, Vice President, Digital Transformation, Mahindra and Malcolm Frank, EVP, CSO and CMO at Cognizant and Co-Author of What to Do When Machines Do Everything.

For a closer insight into the listing, please visit the Pluralsight Digi100 List Powered by Paul Writer and get inspired!

Vikas part of the top 100 Digital Marketers in India

Top 21 Digital Marketing Courses in India

With the global internet population at over 3.74 billion and growing at a steady rate, increasing number of customers now make their purchase decisions online and buy online. Businesses the world over have begun to make digital marketing an integral part of their overall marketing strategy and spends. This has led to a massive growth in the digital media marketing services industry which, in turn, has spawned a new demand for trained professionals with knowledge and experience in the field.

With the industry, especially in India, showing an enormous projected growth potential and an expected paucity of trained professionals, many students, graduates and young professionals are looking to get on the digital marketing bandwagon. This has created a need for courses in Digital Marketing to provide the requisite knowledge and training to excel in the field. There are tons of books written on Digital Marketing as well.

To cater to the growing need for these courses, a number of companies and organizations have started various courses on Digital marketing. Digital marketing is a broad field and comprises various disciplines including Display advertising, Search Engine Marketing(SEM) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Social Media marketing(SMM), Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. Each of these is a field in itself and there are field-specific courses being offered as well. Below is a guide on some of the best institutes that you could choose from.Since this is an extensive article we’ve split it into sections to make it easier for you to navigate and read through.

  1. Criteria for evaluating digital marketing courses
  2. Online Digital Marketing Courses in India
  3.  Online Vs Classroom courses 
  4. classroom and Offline Courses 
  5. Executive Programs on Digital Marketing
  6. Global Online Digital Marketing Courses

Short Video Guide on how to select the right digital marketing course in India:

Criteria you should use for evaluating social media & digital marketing courses

Before opting for a digital marketing course online or offline, here are some pointers to evaluate the desired institute or course structure.

  • Certification: Certification is no substitute for skills learned and hands-on industry experience but, nevertheless, can add to the CV of a fresher making an entry into the field or for a professional looking to make a career switch. Opt for certification courses recognized by various educational bodies and corporates.
  • Course Curriculum & Faculty Expertise: Gauge the Institute or the course offered based on the curriculum, faculty expertise, training modules and relevance to the current industry trends & practices.
  • Reviews and recommendations: Check for reviews and recommendations from industry experts & former students through online education portals or discussion forums. Reach out to alumni on LinkedIn/Twitter for their direct feedback, where possible.
  • Placements: Explore the institute’s placement opportunities or institutional tie-ups for live projects & hands-on experience on acquired digital marketing skills.

Here are some of the popular websites/companies/institutes offering Digital Marketing courses (in no particular order) which will save you a considerable amount of time in research if you’re looking for one for yourself. Please do also read our post on top digital marketing blogs in India as these blogs can help you get started on the learning path.

Online Digital Marketing Courses in India

1. Manipal ProLearn

Manipal Global Education Services is a reputed organisation that offers online and classroom based courses on digital marketing. Their online certification program spanning 30 hours of learning covers various aspects of digital marketing such as SEO, SEM, ORM and Analytics. Those interested in learning Google AdWords and advanced online marketing techniques can opt for their Digital Marketing Professional Program – a joint certification by Manipal ProLearn and Google India, that comprises of e-learning, classroom training and live projects.

2. TalentEdge

TalentEdge provides a Specialised Executive Programme in Digital Marketing from MICA, Ahmedabad, ideal for early beginners and working professionals. They claim to have reached over 8,00,000 registered learners who have benefitted from the live lectures, case studies and content structure designed by MICA faculty & industry experts. Amit Kishore from MICA is the current lead faculty and comes with over 18 Yrs. of experience in strategic media planning & media research in India, Middle East, and West Africa & South East Asia.

3. Digital Vidya

Digital Vidya is Asia’s leading Digital Marketing training company and the first to launch Social Media Marketing course series in India. Since 2009, they claim to have had participations from over 20,000 professionals and students, from over 10,000 organizations and institutions such as Philips, Google, eBay, Reliance, Star TV, Cisco, SAP, Naukri, Citibank, GM, Toyota, ITC, CNBC, NIIT, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow, in more than 1,200 Digital Marketing training programs conducted by them.

Digital Vidya also offers Digital Marketing (CDMM), Mobile Marketing (CMMM) and Social Media Certification programs (CSMMP) in association with V-Skills, a Govt. of India initiative. They conduct a free weekly digital marketing orientation session for those who want to understand how digital marketing can help them grow their career or scale their business. They also have an active placement cell with digital marketing employment opportunities for their alumni.

Disclaimer: Rohit Uttamchandani of Social Beat is a Trainer for Digital Vidya

4. Simplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the leading platforms for online training and professional certification programs. They have around 30 courses in digital marketing that provide hands-on experience in various Digital marketing domains. Accredited by OMCP, these courses are aimed at helping working professionals & aspirants stay ahead of the digital curve with relevant skills.

5. Internet & Mobile Research Institute(IMRI)

Internet & Mobile Research Institute, headquartered in Bangalore is a full-service international digital media training centre. IMRI conducts a one-month Executive Programme course in SEO, PPC advertising, SMM & Web Analytics, a six-month Professional Program In Digital Marketing (EPDM) and a one-year Graduate Program for aspirants to jumpstart their digital marketing career.

6. AIMA

The All India Management Association (AIMA) along with Digital Vidya offers a joint Certification Programme in Digital Marketing and Analytics. The major digital marketing tools covered in this course are email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, affiliate marketing, digital display, mobile marketing, online video and social media analytics. Spread over a period of three months, this online course is divided into 6 modules, costing Rs. 36,000 + service tax.

7. Digigyan

Digigyan, a digital marketing institute based out of Delhi NCR region, offers e-commerce and digital marketing courses and training to students, professionals, entrepreneurs and corporates. The online course is certified by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

How to choose between Online and Classroom courses for digital marketing

Online Courses are generally more convenient for most people, especially working professionals as they can be attended from the comfort of one’s home/office without having to travel to a training centre. The travel might even have to be to another city for those who live in cities where good classroom training courses are not conducted.

Also, with technology having improved, online instructor-led virtual classrooms are as good as actual classrooms, with webinar software allowing for both peers to peer interaction as well as student-teacher interaction. Webinar recordings are also available for those who miss out on sessions.

Classroom programs would only work best for you if you are the personality type that prefers learning in a classroom environment or if you’re not too comfortable with learning in a live webinar format.

Classroom & Offline Courses for digital marketing

For those of you who prefer classroom to online training, here is a list of institutes which conduct digital marketing classroom courses and workshops in various Indian cities:

8. NIIT

NIIT Imperia, in association with Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) Ireland, offers a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing for graduates and working professionals at their centres in most major cities in the country. This course is accredited by Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) of Ireland.

9. DMTI

Digital Marketing Training Institute conducts a Post Graduate Program in Digital Media Marketing in Mumbai. The course is a one-year, full-time program that focuses on the strategic and practical aspects of Digital Marketing. They have an active placements cell as well which helps course participants get jobs in the digital marketing space.

10. EduPristine

EduPristine is one of India’s leading training providers for international certifications in Finance, Accounting and Analytics. They also conduct digital marketing classroom courses in 11 Indian cities. The course covers 60 hours of digital marketing classroom training over 12 Sundays. They also have a 48-hour online course spread over 6 weekends. On completion of the course, the participants are awarded a Certificate of Excellence in collaboration with “Microsoft IT Academy Program”.

11. DSIM

The Delhi School of Internet Marketing conducts an all in one advanced digital marketing live classroom course for working professionals, business owners and job-seekers, at their training centres in Delhi and Bangalore. They conduct an online instructor-led course as well on weekends. However, they do not seem to offer any digital marketing certification for participants who complete the course.

12. Simply Digital

Simply Digital, started by a group of IIT-IIM alumni conducts digital marketing and big data courses at their centres in Delhi and Gurgaon. They also have a placement cell to help students get internships in digital start-ups & final placements at all levels across sectors.

13. Learning Catalyst

Learning Catalyst, based out of Mumbai, specializes in niche web/mobile/digital related programs directed towards a wide segment of individuals with marketing, design and tech backgrounds. They have centres in 7 Indian cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad) where they conduct courses of various durations on SEM, SEO, SMM and a 6-week integrated digital marketing program. They conduct an online course on Google hangouts as well.

14. Digital Nest

Digital Nest conducts an Advanced Digital Marketing Training Course in Hyderabad. The course includes 48 hours of classroom training with weekday/weekend classes. They also conduct workshops/seminars and webinars for corporate bodies and educational institutions.

15. Social Samosa

Social Samosa, one of the most popular social media news and information portals in India, conducts workshops and seminars on the basics of Social Media, Facebook and Twitter marketing in Mumbai. These one-day sessions can serve as a primer for those who want to gain a basic knowledge of the space.

Executive Programs & Management Development Programmes on Digital Marketing in India

Most of the courses listed above are best suited for students and working professionals. If you are someone in a fairly senior role who has more than 5 to 10 years of work experience under his/her belt, then it might be worthwhile considering doing an executive digital marketing course.

It’s surprising to see that not many business schools in India are offering executive or management development programs around digital marketing. The few that do exist have been showcased below and we have tried to find a mix of programs that focus on digital marketing, e-commerce and analytics. If you have attended any of these programs please do leave your feedback in the comments below.

16. Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

ISB Hyderabad has a 3-day executive program titled “Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategies” priced at Rs.1,00,000 + GST. It is specifically targeted for professionals and leaders in the marketing and strategy domain. The program aims to give an overview of digital and social media marketing and how to get ROI from the medium.

17. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

IIM Bangalore has a programme called “Digital Marketing for Business Growth” which they conduct three times in their academic year. The programme aims to give an overview of digital marketing with a focus on the different social media marketing channels, search engine marketing (both search advertising & search engine optimization) and digital analytics. So it aims to give an overview of each of the key elements that can enable brands to get better engagement, leads and conversions. It also touches upon analytics and what metrics can be used to measure the performance of the digital campaigns.

18. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

IIM Lucknow does seem to have a programme on Digital Marketing by renowned Professor Moutusy Maity. She has done extensive research in e-commerce, m-commerce and CRM so the quality of the programme is likely to be very high. She has worked in the Industry (at Nielsen) and handled clients like PepsiCo and Eveready Batteries so she would definitely bring a practical experience to the table. We are yet to receive more details on the programme from them so we shall update it here shortly.

19. Great Lakes Institute of Management

Great Lakes has a very interesting Post Graduate Program in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence for working executives which has a large focus on digital analytics. It is a blended program with classroom & online sessions. It also gives exposure to tools like SAS, R, Tableau. The entire programme is designed by experts in the Industry and the students have to complete a project under the mentorship of industry leaders. It is offered in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune & Gurgaon at the moment.

Global Online Digital Marketing Courses

20. HootSuite Social Media Certification

Hootsuite, one of the most popular tools for social media scheduling and monitoring offers a program called HootSuite Podium covering the fundamentals of social media marketing, with six free online courses. They also offer a paid certification exam, after passing which participants are listed in HootSuite’s public directory of social media professionals.

21. Hubspot Academy

Hubspot Academy offers a free Inbound Marketing Course & Certification marketers, entrepreneurs and students. They also conduct classroom training but only in the United States.

Apart from the courses listed above; there are various courses available on online learning sites including Google Digital Unlocked, Udemy, Udacity, Coursera and Gyaanexchange. If you are a self-learner keen on understanding the digital marketing space, there are various digital marketing blogs, articles, books and real time case studies available online. You can also join relevant LinkedIn groups to participate in discussions & connect with industry experts.

All said Digital marketing is a field where just taking courses or following the industry trends alone will not make one an expert. Maximum learning can only be gleaned from actual hands-on, on-the-job experience. Hence, the success of these courses will eventually depend on the quality of digital professionals they send into the industry and how well they execute the acquired knowledge & digital skill sets.

If you are looking out for digital marketing or social media career opportunities in Chennai, Bengaluru or Mumbai then please visit our Career Opportunities page.

Have you taken up any of these courses? Please share your experiences with us in the comments!

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