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 you should use for evaluating social media and digital marketing courses
  2. Online Digital Marketing Courses in India
  3. How to choose between Online and Classroom courses for digital marketing
  4. Classroom & Offline Courses for digital marketing
  5. Executive Programs & Management Development Programmes on Digital Marketing in India
  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!

How to get ROI from digital marketing- Digital Chai Pe Charcha, Mumbai

Banking on a series of successful editions of Digital Chai Pe Charcha in Chennai and Bangalore, we conducted the first edition of Digital Chai Pe Charcha in Mumbai. We had close to 30 participants comprising of entrepreneurs and marketers from across industries. The topic of discussion was getting ROI from Digital Marketing.

Digital Chai Pe Charcha, Mumbai

A quick recap from the session

  • Digital Marketing Comprises of various activities like Landing Page Creation, Search Engine & Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Display Advertising and Influencer Marketing.
  • Digital media can be segregated into 3 types: Owned Media, Paid Media and Earned Media.
  • While building digital assets, it is important to understand that the key is to provide a great user experience across platforms. A smooth User experience helps in driving conversions.
  • A Landing Page is essential for lead generation and helps in faster conversions.
  • According to a research done by Buzzsumo and Moz and Video content gets shared the most across platforms followed by Lists, how to posts and Infographics. While creating content, it is extremely important to focus on the relevance of content to the viewers. The content dynamics have been changing rapidly. From images to videos to gifs to VR, there is a wide range of options to experiment with, to create the right communication piece for your audience. Great content is generally considered as content that provides solutions to the viewer’s problems. Thus, research reports, E-books and guides are some more examples of content that can be created to strike a chord with the audience.
  • Non-branded content helps in gaining engagement. Create content that focuses on the viewer and not essentially on the brand.
  • Vernacular marketing and multilingual content is rapidly gaining importance. Vernacular content helps to create a local connection with the audience.
  • Measuring your digital marketing results is essential as it helps to better strategize your digital marketing efforts. There are several tools available to analyze and measure your results.

Below is the presentation that was discussed during the session which will provide you with more information on the above points:

Top 13 Marketing Events in Mumbai

Are you looking out for some really interesting, inspirational and power packed events? Attend some of the biggest marketing and digital marketing events in Mumbai that not just inspire but also give you an opportunity to network with the best marketers in the country. It’s an opportunity to listen to the finest in the advertising and marketing field – a forum that stimulates conversations and ideas around design, marketing, digital and more.

Here’s a quick glance into our compilation of top marketing events in Mumbai.

DMAI Annual Conference & Awards

DMAi Annual Conference & Awards is one of Asia’s biggest marketing transformational events. Organized by Social Samosa that promotes the power of collaborative thinking to transform marketing members into change leaders through evolved business strategies. It intends to go beyond Digital Transformation, and unravels breakthrough technologies to help marketers re-imagine the business of tomorrow. This event was first conducted in 1992. This event felicitates individuals for their noteworthy contribution in Data Driven Digital Marketing & Advertising.

Few Highlights of DMAi Awards 2016 (held in Feb)

  1. A week long festival with Interactive sessions simultaneously across 3 cities
    1. New Delhi: Radisson Blu Plaza
    2. Bangalore: Le Meridien
    3. Mumbai:  The Leela
  2. Began on February 4th in Delhi with a closing conference and gala awards night on February 10 in Mumbai
  3. Insightful and inspirational talks by leading Global & Indian marketing stalwarts
  4. Masterclass by influencer Sean Gardner in Mumbai
  5. A CMO Choice – Jury Meet in Mumbai

IDMA – Indian Digital Media Awards

Exchange4media organizes the Indian Digital Media Awards since 2010. It has always encouraged contributors in the 360-degree digital media space to keep getting better with the transformations taking place in the industry year on year. For this, it recognizes their talents, appreciates and celebrates them through these awards. It has showcased the work of many contemporary digital professionals and rewarded them for their beautifully executed digital blogs and viral campaigns. This event in itself is a huge networking opportunity for every business professional to connect and grow.

Brand Owners’ Summit – Mumbai

The Brand Owners’ Summit is a unique event, which attempts to capture the ‘Stories of Brands Made for India’. It focuses on brands created for domestic markets by local Indian companies and entrepreneurs.

This Summit was organized across six cities in the last 5 years: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. It staged an amazing array of brands such as Adani, Amul, Carat Lane, Centuryply, Faasos, Future Group, HDFC Life, Housing.com, ITC, Kotak Mahindra, Rasna, Reliance, Shaadi.com, Star India, TI Cycles, TVS, Urban Ladder, Yatra, Xolo, Zydus Cadila, and more.

Mobile & Digital Marketing Summit

This event is organized by World Marketing Congress and typically lays emphasis on developments in the areas of Mobile Marketing along with other digital channels. This is a great event, in case you are looking to network with high profile industry players such as CEOs / MDs, CMOs, Media Professionals, Marketing  and Advertising Managers, top Brand Managers and Corporate Communication Managers. This year it is scheduled to take place on 27th Nov 2017. The main agenda of the conference will feature discussion panels and poster presentations on Ways to maximize the Mobile Platform and Consumer Engagement

Social Beat Facebook Masterclass & Digital Chai Pe Charcha

Social Beat, a digital marketing firm present in 3 cities, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai conducts free events across these 3 cities. They mainly do 2 events:

  1. The Digital Marketing Masterclass: The 2nd edition  was conducted in Mumbai on 21st April 2017 in partnership with Facebook India. With a packed audience, the event saw an insightful evening on how to approach digital marketing to build a brand and to acquire quality sales or leads.  It covered key points such as  Mobile First Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Art of Audience Targeting on Facebook and backed it up with a few case studies. An extremely informative and engaging event that should see a place at the top of your consideration
  2. Digital Chai Pe Charcha: Social Beat conducts a series of free workshops for startups called Digital Chai Pe Charcha, which allows first-time digital marketers to get a better sense of how to get ROI from their marketing efforts. After successful editions in Bengaluru and Chennai, the first one took place in Mumbai in July 2017. This event’s key topic of Charcha was on ways of getting ROI from Digital Marketing and the Charcha went on between entrepreneurs and marketers from across industries which were the major makeup of the audience. Newer and first of its kind strategies were unveiled along with some really interesting takeaways.

Click Asia Summit

Click Asia Summit is Asia’s largest Digital Marketing Summit, which focusses on the digital transformation of business. This Summit follows a hybrid model that presents the speaker sessions and panel discussion together and helps dive deeper into the topic of discussion. Click Asia Summit happens for 2 days in the month of April and speaker sessions usually run for an hour, which allows up to three speakers to deliver a twenty-minute talk in TED-style, followed by an open discussion with the audience. Time = money = learning is the motto of this event. They have 50+ global organization partners, 60+ speakers, 400+global delegates, 50+ media partners across 20+ countries under their umbrella which offers a great deal of opportunity to network with top CXOs, leading marketers in the industry, agency heads, brand managers and almost everyone who are passionate about digital marketing.

Few highlights of Click Asia Summit 2016:

  • Ayal Steiner, MD of OutBrain for Asia Pacific gave an insight into how content marketing gives a complete picture of your brand story line
  • Aryan Bonnici, MD of Hubspot discussed the content marketing trends of 2016.
  • Robert Scoble gave digital food for thought on Entrepreneur in residence.

Pitch CMO Summit

Exchange4Media group boasts of another event that it hosts, the Pitch CMO Summit. It is considered to be their flagship event which gathers some of the greatest marketing minds to discuss the latest, complex and challenging marketing trends in the global market scenario.  Every year, the event is theme-based. The theme for 2017 was “THE AGE OF TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY- Brand Integrity through Authenticity of Brand Communication”.

This year the event took place on 10th March 2017 at the Grand Hyatt and covered discussions on the challenges posed for marketers on how they should market their products or services in an age of truth and transparency; given the power of social media and word of mouth in the digital age.

The Marketing Conclave

This is a grand event in Mumbai organized by the IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India).  It is an endeavor towards establishing a great comprehension of the modern methods and mechanics of marketing.

Key highlights:

Major Speakers were MDs & CEOs of leading companies such as Group M and Pepsico, top marketing managers of Times Internet, Starbucks, HDFC bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, eBay and Renault amongst others. There were Panelists to take the conversations to another level.  The sessions were followed by networking breaks at regular intervals.

Topics of discussion revolved around Marketing in new age Digital India and around the Globe that included:

  1. The new age brand’s marketing techniques that go beyond analysis in numbers
  2. Programmatic marketing
  3. Marketing on Mobiles
  4. Video Marketing as a part of Social Media Marketing
  5. Performance Marketing

Adobe Symposium

Adobe symposium is one of the biggest Digital Marketing events in Mumbai. This event invites thought leaders in the field of digital marketing to redefine your experiences with Adobe partners. As their marketing promos claim – ‘Take it to another level, soar new heights like never before and extend your digital experience with courses straight from the Adobe Digital Learning Services’. Apart from these, there are several other reasons to attend this conference, including for networking goals. This is the most sought after experience for most digital professionals in today’s utmost competitive era and has been rightly defined as the event “Where digital marketing meets extraordinary experiences.”  Every marketer looks forward to make the most valuable connections with their digital marketing pioneers and peers and if luck may have it, then with the digital marketing veterans and Adobe leaders too.

The last Adobe Symposium was on 4th May 2017 at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai and the next is scheduled to take place in 2018. So stay tuned!

Martech Roundtable

Marketing Automation – A solution for countless marketers to customize customer experiences through relevance and personalization. IAMAI believes this is a key to be a successful marketing leader and is the most trending topic of current times. It, therefore, hosts this roundtable event which combines technology with marketing for brands to deliver the most seamless customer experience.

Key highlights

CMOs of leading companies such as Sony Pictures, HDFC life, Netcore Solutions, Angel Broking, Shaadi.com amongst others.

Topics of Discussion:

  1. ChatBots – The Buzzword for the next wave of delivering customer experiences
  2. Audience Targeting for Lead Generation
  3. Make sense of Data for Analytical purposes
  4. Scalability of Personalization of Customer Experience

DigiMarcon (Digital Marketing Conference)

It is The Largest Digital Marketing Event in India.  This conference generally takes place in October. This year it is scheduled to be held on October 18th and 19th, 2017 online. It is a Live Conference held as a response to the massive demand  and the huge response it receives. Set your goals straight whether they are primarily aiming to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or even drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON INDIA 2017’s agenda will enhance all your marketing efforts  through perceptions of innovators and influential people. Pull up your sleeves for the sessions will enlighten you through remarkable insights through powerful talks on ways to build traffic, expand your brand awareness, improve customer service and finally know about today’s latest digital tools. A must attend event that impresses you within 20 minutes, you can afford to miss only to regret later.

Mobile marketing summit

An event similar to the Mobile and Digital Marketing Summit yet very different. This one is organized by IAMAI unlike the former, which is organized by the World Marketing Congress. It focuses on the nuances of marketing that work well and are thought to work better in the future on Mobile phones through innovative thinking, improvised systems, and modified technology. The last event was held on 24th September 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Mumbai.

Indian Content Marketing Award & Summit

A niche awards night started by exchange4media in 2016, when it announced its first edition on Aug 31, 2016 at the Hard Rock Cafe, Worli, Mumbai.  This event has tried to showcase how content is a pre-requisite for marketers to present their brands to consumers and creatively drive engagement levels. Indian Content Marketing Awards is essentially hosted to recognize and acknowledge the talent, expertise and the hard work of every content developer while cracking breakthrough ideas & concepts to create exceptional brand stories.

This event is also clubbed with a Content JAM conference, which brings content marketing experts from India and abroad to put forth their ideologies and perceptions on the ways in which content consumption is increasing and is imperative in shaping the marketing ecosystem. Primary topics of discussion & debate in the JAM Conference revolve around Content Creation, Curation, Distribution & Measurement. The Jury appointed for these awards comprises of only the top CMOs of industry-leading companies such as Aditya Birla Health Insurance, Girnarsoft (Cardekho, Gaadi.Com, Zigwheels), Abbott Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, etc. The 2nd edition of these awards is coming soon in 2017.

If you are based in Bengaluru, you may find it interesting to read our blog on Top marketing events in Bangalore.

Do feel free to comment below or reach out to us in case you feel any other event in Mumbai deserves to be a part of this list.

Why 2017 is the year of LinkedIn

LinkedIn, over the last few years has come a long way from being just a job search portal to a platform for lead generation, especially for B2B and small business. The platform has globally around 500 million users and 42 million Indian users, making it an ideal platform to promote your content. However, with Facebook having a sophisticated advertising platform and ad formats, more marketers preferred Facebook for lead generation. Understand this, LinkedIn recently introduced changes to its advertising methods, making it a comprehensive platform to generate leads. Here is a look at all the changes that marketers need to know.

If you have used the Facebook Ads Manager, using the LinkedIn advertising platform will not be too difficult.

LinkedIn Lead ads

The LinkedIn lead ads are the coolest and newest update that the platform has introduced. It is also the most useful one for any B2B business. You can use the LinkedIn lead forms for your sponsored content and campaigns. It works like a regular ad but when you click on the call to action, it takes you to a pre-filled lead from within the platform, making the entire experience seamless and hassle-free for users. The form is prefilled because the form already extracts most of the information from the user’s profile. With more marketers going the mobile first route, this ad format is an excellent option to explore, especially since it does not take you to a landing page or a website, making the process much faster and easy to navigate on the mobile.

Here is a guide on how to create the lead form ad.

Step 1 – Select the Lead Forms option

Go on to the LinkedIn advert manager and select the preferred language, type the name of the campaign and choose the ad format as, “ Collect Leads Using LinkedIn.”  

Lead forms

Step 2 – Choose the content

Choose the content that you would like to promote. You can choose from the available content that you have posted or post new content for your target audience.

Choose the content

Step 3 – Set up the lead form

The next step is to set up the lead form itself. Enter a form name, a headline and other information needed. Treat it as a landing page and give all the necessary information including a powerful call to action to make sure that the user fills out the form.  

step3

Step 4 – Choose the fields for the form

The next step is to create the form and you can choose up to seven fields that you want to collect from your lead form including name, email address, job title and phone number.

Step 5 – Thank you Message

You also have the option to set a thank you message and display a URL that can take the user to, once some fill out the form. This can be a landing page or website.

Step 6 Select the target audience

Selecting the target audience is the most important step to collecting the right leads. LinkedIn gives you the option to choose from a wide range of them based on demographics, job titles, location, industry, skills, gender, etc. Once you have selected the audience, choose the budget and define your bid type from CPC or CPM and voila, your ad is now ready!

Measuring results from the Lead Forms

Apart from giving you the basic information of the cost per lead, LinkedIn also tells you how many people opened the advert, how many of them opened the form and how many submitted as well. You can also download the leads from your form and used that data for future campaigns.

measuring results

Matched audience

LinkedIn already has detailed targeting options, which allows marketers to target potential audience by the company, job title, etc. However, the platform has now expanded and introduced a concept called matched audience. Matched audience lets you retarget website visitors and add your contact database. This option gives you the chance to target people who are familiar with your business, giving you a better chance of capturing the lead and driving sales. Using matched audience, you can target:

Website Visitors

As the name suggests, with this feature, you can target people who visit your website. Make sure you add the LinkedIn pixel on all pages of your website, just like how you add the Facebook pixel and create a custom audience in the tools section of campaign manager.

Contact targeting

If you have a database of your customers, with contact targeting, you can add them to your LinkedIn campaign manager and target them.

Account Targeting

Account targeting lets you reach powerful people who call the shots within your target accounts. All you need to do is upload a list of target companies to match against the 8+ million company pages on the platform.

InMail ads

Sponsored InMail ads look just like a regular email and present the opportunity to marketers to send personalised messages to their target audience. The InMail ads act as an email marketing campaign, which is sent to the target audience’s LinkedIn inbox, without having to acquire their email ids. The best part about this feature is that it has 100% delivery as the emails are sent only to people who are active on the platform when it is being sent.

inmail ads

InMail ads are a great way to showcase your product, branded content, webinars and promote content downloads such as ebooks and infographics.

With the Sponsored InMail ads, you can target a variety of target audience relevant to your business just like the lead ads. The ads are only sent to a user once in 60 days so it eliminates the question of spam and crowd.

Best practices for creating InMail ads

  • Keep the subject line catchy
  • Personalise your greetings and your target audience by their first name.
  • Use compelling text and visuals
  • Use a powerful call to action
  • Use relevant target audience

Why do LinkedIn ads work?

  • Create awareness about your brand
  • Reach decision makers – From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to senior level executive, LinkedIn has all the top decision makers who can potentially see your advert.
  • Increase the reputation of the brand

Who Should Advertise On LinkedIn?

With more than 500 million users and various ad formats, LinkedIn has become the go-to platform to promote content. If you are a small to medium size business and want to sell to decision makers, LinkedIn is the perfect place to be.  According to data, more than 80% of the leads generated for B2B companies come through LinkedIn. From promoting relevant content to showcasing the product, B2B services can create a niche market for themselves on LinkedIn.

Bijlipay

Although LinkedIn is synonymous with the B2B sector, we have tried it out for B2C sectors as well. It especially works well for real estate, education, finance, the publishing industry, etc. With the right targeting, a business can increase their visibility and possibly generate leads.  Given below is an example of how one of our real estate clients, Mahindra Lifespaces, leveraged LinkedIn lead ads to improve the quality of sales. To promote one of their properties on GST Road, Chennai, they look to LinkedIn lead ad feature to target senior level executives. The ad opened to a lead form within the platform, giving a convenient way for potential investors to contact the buyer. With LinkedIn, Mahindra Lifespaces saw a 5x increase in leads at about 20% of the cost.
Mahindra Lifespaces
Mahindra Lead form
Which one of these updates are you trying out for your business? Let us know by leaving a comment.

5 Digital Marketing Trends transforming the Travel industry

Over the last decade, digitisation has transformed the travel industry quite dramatically. Gone are the days where travellers visit the counter to make a booking. To plan a travel is now a click away; right from the research for the trip to booking the tickets and hotel accommodation.  Driven by digitisation, the travel sector, now an online sector, feels the constant need to build and foster relationships with its customers. This practice provides them with seamless experiences to retain customers and sustain themselves in this competitive marketplace. Since the travel industry is a highly competitive space, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends for greater success.

Here are five most trending digital marketing developments in transforming the travel industry. 

Create Mobile Responsive Websites

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone prefers getting information on-the-go. From finding a cab to booking tickets, the internet has taken over our lives and has given us the convenience of getting things done right from our phones. This revolutionary trend has led to the increase of mobile first approach.

Travel companies, too, are making effective use of device-optimized solutions in fresh ways to draw more and more guests towards their travel services.  They have observed how users find it a lot easier to Google search destinations or travel portals on their mobile phones or at most on iPads / tablets. They know mobile-responsive websites is the up and coming trend. If your travel company website is not mobile optimised, you are out of the radar and you are losing out on a large chunk of the audience.

A classic example is that of a Business traveller. Business travellers have traditionally made their travel decisions and hotel bookings online. Due to time constraints, they seem to be switching over to their cell phones to do these bookings. These travellers are constantly checking out new, attractive travel packages and affordable hotel stays. They then try their best to align them with business trips to convert their business trips into leisure (Bleisure). They are on the constant lookout for seamless experiences on their mobile phones.  

Sterling Holidays one of India’s leading holiday experience companies have optimised their website to connect with their potential customers.

Social Media Marketing

Today’s digital times has seen the emergence of Facebook as a household name. Gone are the days when Facebook was just considered as a networking site to keep in touch with family and friends. It is now a highly effective marketing platform to showcase your product or service. It even has the power to influence users and inspire them to travel and explore new places.

social media marketing of a traveler

Online research and studies have shown that travel companies that engage with online audiences on Social Media, tend to leverage their brand image more effectively. This leads to an increase in the number of followers, reviewers and influencers which, in turn, results in higher ROI. Travel companies are regularly making their presence felt on influential digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter through creative posts, carousel ads, canvas ads and Call to Action (CTA) ads, depending on the nature of the advertisement.

Let’s take a quick example of Thomas Cook. They run ads with strong CTA that not only reaches out to their target audience and promotes favourable brand identity but also boosts online sales to a great extent.

Thomas cook

Your brand too can be a preferred choice for travellers, if you have adequately engaged audiences on your social media pages. Be active on your social media handles to create an engaging post, which inspires your followers to travel. Do not forget to use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your brand and make the post go viral in no time. Twitter users generally tend to create a positive buzz around travel brands by sharing good travel experiences. Most travellers today, post pictures while on vacation on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. You can simply repost them on your page to showcase your credibility to prospective targets.

Recommendations work wonders in influencing most people’s spending habits. It can bring in more leads than expensive promotional digital advertising as nearly everyone today wants to check the reliability of the travel services they are planning to purchase online. However, you need to ensure that your services are always up to the mark and are of top quality as a single negative comment can take your entire marketing strategy downhill. Online reputation management can make or break your brand so when such an unfortunate event occurs, the key to spring back up is to respond to the customer immediately and do the needful as quickly as possible. To know How You Can Efficiently Track And Respond To Feedback On Social Media, See Our Detailed Blog

Personalisation with Big Data – Targeting and Retargeting

Retargeting is a foolproof strategy to generate quality leads for your business. In this technique, travel companies create a custom audience of travellers who have either visited their resorts or posted about their services online. From check-ins to reviews, all the users who have remotely been associated with the brand are clustered into a custom audience. Ads are then generated keeping this target audience in mind. Since these users are already familiar with your brand, converting them into long-term customers is easier than approaching first-time users.

It’s also quite interesting, how booking portals have begun to integrate social media profiles of passengers to offer personalised deals. They use pop-up questionnaires as a medium to ask customers their preferences. The customers too, don’t mind filling up a couple of questions if they were to receive customization in their bookings. Scanning through social media profiles of passengers, to seat them next to people of similar interests on flights, is the latest development. This analysis is usually done at the time of bookings itself. The right data helps travel companies in assessing their customer needs, based on interests, demographics, possible budget range, desired vacation destinations, etc. and ultimately creating a better travel experience for them.  

Content is King

Content is the backbone of all the digital marketing efforts undertaken by a travel company. Just like how reviews and recommendations can bring amazing results in generating leads, securing a top rank for your travel website through SEO certainly helps your business grow further and increases your popularity among other holiday companies. Content plays a significant role in SEO efforts in the form of blogs, infographics, videos and imageries. It is important to create content which your target audience will find engaging. As far as travel companies are considered, relevant videos work as the best SEO strategy.

The videos used to market a travel company can feature panoramic views of the hotels (exteriors/room interiors), the amenities offered, local attractions and the things to remember before visiting places, to name a few. These low-cost videos can tell your brand story and can be as simple as white board clips, GIFs, simple animations or even a series of beautiful pictures. Sterling Holidays have attracted thousands of viewers through simple but innovative videos.

video content

Content creation through imagery has also proven to be very effective for many digital marketers. Coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to buy. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest are all about visually appealing content through pictures, GIFs and videos. This resonates well with the travel industry. Akbar Travels is the perfect example of how to make your content stronger to attract more visitors to your travel website. Their Instagram page has a mix of beautifully captured images and GIF videos that are visually appealing. This inspires users to travel which in turn leads to a higher rate of conversion.     Akbar travels social media

Few of the top travel-related searches performed on Google are as follows:

  • Best holiday packages
  • Best travel companies
  • How to travel to a particular destination
  • weather forecast for today
  • Best outfits to suit today’s weather
  • Directions to get to XYZ hotel

If your website, blogs, or videos address any of these concerns, you have nailed it. However, there is a catch here. Curating content is not a one-time effort. Google algorithms change time to time, which makes it crucial to keep your travel website as updated and as optimised as possible to maximise the relevance and generate higher revenues.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing, as the name suggests, is marketing your brands through specialists whose opinions, reviews and testimonials draw the attention of the press and public. Travel influencers are specifically those, who are avid travellers either to a particular destination, specific resort or a type of destinations (mountains, beaches, holy, spiritual places). They also include profound travellers who have a huge fan following on Instagram or Twitter and those whose profiles reverberate with demographics of your target audience.  They are paid for curating content for travel holiday packages. Their words are generally taken at face value as their content is constructed to strongly fit in, contextually. If you are looking at using influencer marketing, read our blog on tips for your first Influencer marketing campaign.

Lakshmi sarath

However, to ensure that influencers hired to write for your brand are making a mark, it is important that they know what your brand stands for, its aims and objectives and whether your brand reflects well with their style of writing. For instance, if you aim to lure readers into a strong call to actions (CTAs), it primarily will require you to look for an influencer who invites followers to experience the travel adventures for themselves. On the contrary, if you are only inclined towards promotions, you can explore a range of influencers to engage with your brand and post images with captions on your company’s social media handles.  

For example, Sterling Holidays were on the look out for an influencer to promote their latest resort in Goa. We approached renowned travel blogger Anuradha Goyal and offered her a two day stay at the plush new resort. She wrote about her memorable time at the spectacular location in her blog and posted the same on all her social media handles.

Influencer marketing for travel  

Though these top five trends are few of the most effective digital trends a travel company can take up, there are a plethora of other strategies which can also be used for a guaranteed increase in ROI. With endless nuances coming up in the online environment, new additions are always welcomed to the existing lists at any given point in time. To illustrate this, let’s take an example of the newest trend that can overwhelm travellers before they make purchase decisions – Virtual Reality. This trend has begun to show its effects in technologically advanced parts of the world and will soon be replicated around the globe.      

5 Social Media Strategies To Boost Your E-Commerce Business

The e-commerce market is getting competitive by the day, and e-commerce businesses need to find unique ways to build relationships with their customers to create a loyal customer base.

For any e-commerce business, website traffic is the most important segment, and yet it is the most challenging one.

Social media is playing a very powerful role today in the evolution of online shopping. It provides a platform for conversations, reviews, information and expression. An e-commerce business can leverage on the opportunities provided by the social media platforms for their own benefit. According to an article by Magento, 93% consumers turn to social media to help them make buying choices, while 90% say they trust recommendations from their peers.

Several strategies have been listed by digital marketers on how e-commerce businesses can use social media to drive traffic to their website. Listed below are five powerful tactics you can use to embrace the reach of social media for higher benefits.

Smart Targeting and Dynamic Product Ads

Leaving your ad open out there in front of the masses is not such a great idea. Once you have figured out your prospective customer base, you can use targeting options provided by social media sites like Facebook to target your ads to the relevant customer base. Facebook provides you with numerous targeting options based on location, demographics, Interests, device type, etc. It also provides you with features like custom audiences, lookalike audiences and retargeting. Using these targeting options, you will be able to reach your potential customers and engage them more effectively. Smart Targeting will help you increase your ROI on Advertising to a great extent. Dynamic Product Ads can be used to retarget customers who have earlier shown interest in your products or services. To drive more sales across devices, dynamic product ads now provide a lot of flexibility and variety in functionality to e-commerce advertisers.

A classic example would be that of Cathay Pacific Airways. They used dynamic product ads for travel, to reach people who had earlier performed a search on their website. The ads featured an image of the destination city that people searched for to inspire them to act. The ads also included a “book now” button that linked directly to the booking process on the Cathay Pacific website.

Smart Targeting Cathay pacific

Another example is that of eBay. eBay is successfully using dynamic product ads and retargeting to motivate their customers based on the customer’s interest. They connect with their customers by showing them personalised and relevant products in their ads.

Ebay Carousel ads

Facebook Carousel ads are also a great way of showcasing e-commerce website products. They not only help to showcase the products in detail but, when used creatively, also help drive traffic to the e-commerce websites.

Using Influencers

Influencer marketing is the new buzz word and has currently penetrated in the marketing mix of many industries. Mostly food, travel and fashion are the three major industries where influencer marketing is really going up the ladder. Influencer marketing is a newer and organised term for the old-fashioned word of mouth marketing. The way people work through the buying process has changed due to the advent of the internet and social media. People now have become more efficient in their search process, and they look for comprehensive and authentic information online. While associating an influencer with your business, it is important to consider the influencer’s likability, credibility and trustworthiness. Remember that Influencers act as brand ambassadors for the audience and thus the information they put out there should be in sync with what the business stands for.

Influencers can be used in numerous ways: For product launches, reviews, engagement, campaigns, events and so on.

A very good example of this is the Influencer campaigns done by Nykaa.com. Nykaa is an e-commerce store that deals with skincare, beauty and makeup products. Nykaa.com engages with various beauty bloggers and influencers and weaves campaigns with them.  Beauty and fashion are two areas where people rely heavily on reviews and opinions of influencers. Nykaa leverages this very well.Ecommerce Influencer Marketing

Nykaa Influencer Marketing

Using Product Videos

The majority of online shoppers have agreed to the fact that not being able to physically touch and feel the products on e-commerce websites is their least favourite part of shopping online. This is especially true in the case of fashion and beauty industry. Product images from different angles and views may not completely explain a product’s functionality or provide a proper overview of the product. Videos are the new preferred form of media and e-commerce businesses should leverage on the high acceptance of videos among customers. Ecommerce businesses can use videos to bridge the gap between offline and online shopping experiences. Product videos can help in providing a holistic buying experience to the customer and also provide a clear overview of the different scenarios in which a product can be used. This makes it more appealing to online buyers. Product videos can not only be used on product pages but also on social media feeds of the e-commerce brands as well as part of Facebook or Google ads. Not only can these videos be used for Facebook and Google advertising, but they can also be used for advertising on YouTube. There are several versions of videos that are gaining popularity on social media. A few of them are live videos, 360-degree videos, 30-second videos, time lapse videos, stop motion videos and animated or white videos.

Product videos can be used to introduce a new product and show how the product works with other similar or commonly used products, from the brand, and to encourage conversions from existing customers.

Amazon Video Ads

Youtube Advertising

On1y is a food brand that caters to a very niche market segment. It provides spices, herbs and exotic seasoning. On1y uses a lot of innovative ways to engage with its audience on social media and at the same time create a buzz around its products. In the screenshot below, On1y has shared a Facebook live video of a food influencer interacting with customers and cooking up recipes using On1y spices.

Influencer marketing video

Focus on Engagement

Social media for e-commerce is not simply about pushing across products and promotions. Many e-commerce companies fail to understand this. Social media can be used very well for engaging audiences online through high value textual and visual content. Ecommerce brands can find it very tempting to simply fill timelines with product promotions and advertisements. However, social media provides numerous ways by which e-commerce brands can make online shopping a delightful experience for consumers. You can engage audiences through live polls, live videos, user generated content, contests and much more. Topical posts and festive posts can also be used to attract audience attention. To garner high level of engagement, it is important to understand the need of the customers. Understanding this will help brands to curate content accordingly.

Social media can also be used by e-commerce brands to provide better customer service. Nowadays, a lot of customers look for solutions on the internet and prefer quick communication over the internet rather than going through a long phone call. At the same time, brands must encourage satisfied customers to write reviews and rate the products/e-commerce brands. Reviews and ratings go a long way in building a brand’s credibility online.

Content Marketing via Blogs & Infographics

Blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your e-commerce website. It helps your site rank higher in SEO through several internal links and backlinks. Blogging is also a good way to reach out to customer problems and be a problem solver. Most customers search for solutions to their problems online and blogging can be a great way to provide solutions to them. Long form content helps to drive more traffic and definitely helps in higher search page ranking. Blog posts also help to subtly introduce products or promote products in an indirect way. For instance, a blog post on the topic “summer dressing” by a fashion e-commerce site could consist of summer looks using products from the e-commerce site. This will not only create attractive and useful content for the readers but will also serve the e-commerce brand’s purpose of showcasing their products. Similarly, a blog post on “Top 10 budget smartphones” by an e-commerce brand like Flipkart or Snapdeal which sells mobile phones could include descriptions of each smartphone comprising of unique features and direct links to the products on the e-commerce site.

Blog Content Marketing

Finally, it is important for e-commerce brands to identify the right social media channels to leverage their brand. Social media platforms, if used creatively and strategically can help e-commerce businesses reach their target audience in a much faster way. The importance of social media has been adequately realised by fashion and food industries among others. However, e-commerce brands can also leverage the benefits of social media by strategizing and creating fool-proof social media plans.

Social Media Trends for Real Estate in 2017

Over the past few years, social media marketing has been one of the key marketing strategies for leading real estate developers to reach out to their potential buyers. For some developers, over 1/3rd of their sales comes from the digital medium. Advertising your property on social media platforms is a guaranteed way to showcase your property to the real estate investors and increase the possibility of a sale. However, just posting images of your next upcoming project may not be captivating enough. Here are some new trends that real estate developers can leverage upon.

360 Degree Videos & Photos

What if you could give your potential home buyers the luxury of a walkthrough of their new apartment without them leaving their homes? Sounds too good to be true? The latest trend of 360 videos will let you do just that. It is an excellent way to connect with your target audience and show them home buyer what is in store for them if they buy your apartment or villa.

While virtual reality is making an entry in the marketing scene, it is not mainstream yet because of the cost of the VR gears. However, if you are looking for an engaging video, then a 360-degree video is a good starting point. These videos can be created through low-cost tools as well. 

This trend is highly beneficial for real estate for developers to showcase their upcoming projects. Apart from the 360 videos, developers can also use 360-degree photos to showcase an immersive 360-degree experience. Both the 360 video and photo produce more engagement and message retention than regular videos or photos.

Casa Grande, one of India’s leading real estate developers, have used this marketing strategy to connect with their potential customers. For the launch of one of their projects in ECR, Chennai, they used 360 videos to exhibit to the potential clients what is in store for the project.

360 videos to showcase your brand

Growing importance of interactive ads

With organic reach on Facebook almost dead, brands are using focused advertising to reach their potential audience on Social Media. While the regular lead generation and website conversion ads are a great way to reach your target audience, it is also important to engage with the potential audience to understand them to improve the quality of your leads. A good way to do this is by using interactive ads. Interactive ads are the next generation of ads, which has taken social media marketing by storm. These ads increase the engagement by interacting with potential customers. A typical example of an interactive ad are the Facebook live polls hosted by companies to produce user-generated data to study what the customers are interested in buying. For example, a real estate developer can put up a poll on Facebook to check if their clients prefer sea-facing apartments or pool-facing apartments. This will give them a rough insight of what their customers want and can even use this data in pricing their property.

If you are looking at the next level of interactive advertising, try out M-Canvas ads, a mobile-only advertising service with very interactive and engaging ad formats. They are unlike any other format available on social media. They are highly interactive and uses a mix of images, video, and carousel to create a memorable and stunning visual experience on mobile. Moreover, these ads allow you to interact within the publisher i.e while you are reading your news article on the same page you can interact with the ad, rather than going to a different page. Once you click, the ads expand and give your further information and ensure the viewer interacts with the ad to take the next steps.

It is one of the best ways to showcase real estate products. For example, if your end goal is for your customer to enquire about the project, you can show a sneak preview of the project’s interiors with Call to Action that prompts viewers to take the next step. An audience who’s interested enough to swipe all the way through your ad is likely willing to click through to your website and make the enquiry. These canvas ads are a new concept that is catching up, and we see it as a trend that is here to stay.

Micro-Targeting

Micro-targeting is a marketing strategy of using consumer data and demographics to identify the interests of specific individuals and then influence their action of making a purchase. If a property is for sale on OMR in Chennai or in Whitefield in Bangalore or BKC in Mumbai, with three bedrooms, three baths and is close to the IT corridor, then it is most likely to be bought by a working professional in his 30s with a family of two kids. With the help of micro-targeting, real estate developers can reach out to their target audience by specifying the demographics and the geography of the potential customer on Facebook. You can even target users around the world whose hometown matches the city where the project is. Hence, their ads are displayed to a more specific and niche crowd making the probability of selling the property even higher than before.

Growth of regional content and regional ads

Hindi Content has been growing faster than English content, and this is likely to increase even further in 2017. This is not only the case for content but also advertising. if you looking to reach a wider audience, especially in the tier II and III cities, then using regional content is a must. 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.

For example, Aryan Housing, one of the leading real estate developers based out of Mumbai, ran a campaign of ads in Marathi to connect with their local audience and received a phenomenal response.
Aryan - MarathiUnderstand this trend; Google has also recently started ads and keyword targeting in Indian languages to widen their reach.

Adwords
Integrating Offline and Online marketing

While the majority of the first time home buyers are researching online, they make the end decision of buying the property offline only. So for a real estate company, integrated offline and online marketing efforts is highly essential. While it is important to run ads and get leads, it is also important to understand that consumers do not make purchase decisions based on a single ad or message alone.  Potential buyers gather all their information from various channels and this data gathered through several stages of the buying process are the building blocks of sales.

If you have a potential lead from an online ad and your sales team is following up with them, it is important to also reach out that potential lead online as well. You could use automated email or drip email to reach them until they actually make the purchase. Real Estate developers can target and constantly stay in touch with a group of people based on certain criteria. Let’s say that a customer has visited property website and shown interest by coming for a site visit, 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 an 119% increase click-through rate via trustworthy emails.

“Across the funnel” marketing

Advertising across social media platforms is all about building your brand and making it a household name for people to connect to and rely on. In “Across the Funnel” marketing, real estate developers build their brand names through four essential steps. They initially start the process by running engaging campaigns on social media, which explain their products and attract potential buyers. Then, they work towards increasing traffic to their websites and drive site visits and enquiries through their conversion data. Lastly, they customise their audience by eradicating cold leads and focus on customers who have actively shown interest in their marketing campaigns.  With Facebook’s Brand Reach & Frequency campaigns, brands can even get assured visibility and reach, similar to what a front page newspaper ad gives.

All of these social media marketing strategies are currently trending in 2017 and are here to stay! Which of these techniques will you be adapting in your social media marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments below.Content marketing blogs to follow.

This article was originally published in Realty Plus Magazine. 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to App Marketing

There’s an app for everything these days. If you are a heavy user, you probably have numerous apps installed on your smartphone. Each app in your phone serves a purpose, giving you a good reason to use when required. Only thing is, there are too many apps that share similar features and functionality, so you need to come up with ingenious ways to make your app stand out.

At present, there are more than 4 million apps in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store combined, and these numbers are increasing at a huge rate. To stand out in this overflowing marketplace, your app needs powerful marketing and promotion. Here’s a quick guide on the many ways you can market your newly launched mobile app.

Optimise your app for app stores

Even before you begin marketing your app, you need to be 100 percent sure it is prepped and ready for displaying on a selected app store. Little things like the app icon, software updates, and app descriptions play a big role in your app’s awareness and life cycle in a store. Keep a cheat sheet for app store optimisation next to you throughout the development and marketing of your app.

Create a Landing Page

A lot of apps launching today are really just an extension of a product or service that already has a strong presence on the web. If you’re going the reverse way, you still need some sort of website presence that can be used as a promotive platform. The best option is a landing page, which can be used to promote your app organically. Let’s say you’re writing an informative blog article that centres around your app-based product or people search for the product you offer on Google; if the first point of communication is a landing page, there’s a big chance that searchers get converted into a user of your app.

Make the most you can out of the freedom of expression offered on the landing page. You can provide detailed information about your product and even create a mock version of your app to give users a taste of what to expect.

Human, a fitness initiative, launched as an app to inspire people of all ages to get active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. To boost awareness for the app, a landing page was created that explained in detail the various features and benefits of using the app. The landing page included app screenshots, a simulator that showed real-time statistics of the app’s usage and various testimonials. Installs of Human hit the 1 million mark and the app was also rated amongst the best of 2014

Utilise paid promotions – App install ads

Advertising is the fastest way to create awareness about a product and the same can be said for your app. There are a number of third party services that enable you to create and promote app install ads, so keep your finances in check and work out the best possible deals for advertising your app.

Facebook and Google’s app install campaigns are the best to start with. Here are the steps:

  • Create a campaign with relevant targets such as location, audience and budget
  • Design ad copy creatives with a Unique Selling Proposition
  • For Google search, choose relevant keywords that the Target Audience would normally search for
  • Launch the campaign
  • Measure the results with important metrics and optimise accordingly

Get social

If shelling out money for advertising isn’t a good option for you, try the alternative route with social media promotions. Blogging, hashtagging, and page posts are some of the many techniques you can utilise on social media. Audience engagement helps build trust and value for your app and works wonders in the long run, provided you have patience and perseverance when using this marketing method.

Request for app ratings and reviews

One of the quickest ways to increase app installs is to request current users to write reviews and rate your app. App Store algorithms calculate app popularity through user reviews and number of downloads, which ultimately push your app to the Top Charts. You can implement the review and rating feature in your app via a number of unique ways; asking for reviews after multiple usages of the app or providing additional app features after a review or rating is done.

Install Mobile App Tracking

Just like Google’s numerous tools that help keep track of a website’s performance or the number of views and clicks on an ad, Mobile App Tracking tools help you track the number of times your app installed. Even when you promote your app through paid advertising, you can use app tracker tools to see from which method of promotion your app is benefiting most. Doing so helps in managing your ad expenses as well as gives you some pointers on what needs to change to enhance your app’s user experience.

Do you know any other interesting tricks of the app marketing trade? Share your ideas in the comments below.

This article was originally published on BusinessLine on Campus 

How digital marketing is evolving in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India

Be it a blog, an e-mailer or even posting a simple creative online, a business reaps all the benefits of digital marketing. While the world is rapidly shifting from analogue to digital, is it the same case even in Tier II and Tier III cities in India? One might still be doubtful on how a business in Bihar, or in a small town like Tiruchengode might make use of the digital medium but Social Beat begs to differ.

With more than 3,133 cities that fall under the tier II and tier III category, comprising of almost 31.16% of India’s total population, one cannot simply avoid taking them into consideration while discussing about advertising and marketing online. According to a report by one of world’s leading media investment management group, 2016 and early 2017 was supposed to see a 51% increase in digital marketing in Tier II and Tier III cities. We are also seeing a lot of traction with digital content in regional Indian languages.

How to make digital marketing for Tier II and Tier III cities possible?

With internet access and as well as buying power of smart phones, thanks to the initiatives of the Government and some of India’s biggest internet companies, business in these cities now have a larger playground. Since almost 32% of the rural population with the above facilities access the internet on their mobile phones, it is important to generate such content for higher reach and engagement. For example, Facebook now has 160 million users in India, which are spread not just in the top cities but also in smaller towns and even some villages.

Firstly, to leverage digital for smaller websites every digital asset needs to have a great experience on mobile. Be it a website/landing page or a simple single creative – whatever helps in lead generation or branding of a business, it needs to be mobile-friendly. On small screens, the call-to-action button as well as the navigation button needs to be crisp. The copy has to be short, quick and easy to grasp.

 

 

Vernacular Ads work the best with respect to lead generation / marketing your brand:

 

 

Not just vernacular Ads but vernacular websites work miraculously well for business that either have their base in Tier II and Tier III cities or if they want to target their potential investors in such cities –

 

 

While running a Facebook Ad, it is important to understand that the target audience (TA) first needs to be someone in-and-around the city. For example, if it is a real estate project in Trichy selling affordable homes, the TA needs to be someone who when views the Ad will be able to:

A – Relate to the project in terms of location, approachability etc.

B – Compare the price of the project with other such builders

C – Visit the project with ease

D – Take a decision

While the project in the example cited above is in Trichy, the target audience can be just Trichy to start with but will not have a lot of reach unless we explore the little towns and cities in-and-around Trichy itself.

 

 

Selecting even the tiniest of towns that we might think will not make a big difference will definitely show results. The potential reach crosses over 730,000 people out of which there is a chance of a bare minimum of 40% to convert into customers.

 

 

With regards to the interests and behavior of the target audience, it is always better to keep it a little generic such as focusing on job titles, important IT companies / industries around the city etc. including minor yet vital details like their interest in Business magazines, stocks, shares, etc. If the campaign does well, and if it is for a real estate project in particular (where you think NRIs would like to invest in), go ahead and try a few NRI targeting options too – you never know, it might work wonders!

 

 

Looking at utilizing Google Adwords as a platform to advertise in Tier II and Tier III, it is highly recommended for the below reasons:

  1. Less competition in Tier II and Tier III cities which is good for businesses trying to create an identity for themselves / acquire leads.
  2. Better ‘Search Ad’ results due to the high search queries
  3. Good quality leads since the TA is niche and the demand for product is more

The keywords used for these Ads are usually very simple, straight forward terms. For example, for an e-commerce organic food store business, Google AdWords are likely to work better for keywords – ‘healthy food’, ‘organic vegetables’, ‘fresh organic food’ etc. rather than keywords like ‘organic grocery’, ‘organic farm food’ etc.

Tier II and Tier III cities’ have potential for most businesses and these cities are growth drivers of the future. Tell us how which strategy has worked for you in smaller towns!

 

2017 Digital Marketing Trends – Digital Chai Pe Charcha, Chennai

The ninth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha in Chennai was held on 25th February 2017.It received an excellent response with about 35 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part.  The topic of discussion was Digital Marketing Trends to expect in 2017.

Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from the session:

You may find it interesting to read our other blogs on Digital Marketing.