Top Tools for Advanced Social Media Analytics

Numbers always have a story to tell; they give the right push and guide the carefully designed and executed marketing strategies to greater success. Measuring the success of your social media marketing campaigns is the only way to know the effectiveness of the campaign. With more and more social media platforms mushrooming, it is essential to have a tool in place that will help you analyse the performance of your marketing strategy.

Here are some of the top tools for advanced social media analytics. Their tools are beneficial if you are looking to analyse your data across multiple social media platforms.

Amplifr

Amplifr is a one stop solution for all social media analytics, while also letting you schedule posts. Some of its exciting features include traffic and conversions analysis per post, Google Analytics integration and automatic UTM tagging. Amplifr also provides the analytics in real time. In addition to this, you can also keep track of what your competitor is doing. It is open to unlimited projects and unlimited users and allows retrospective analysis of the updates as well.

Price: $5 Per month per social media page

AMPLIFR

Keyhole

Keyhole provides an in-depth analysis of a brand’s impact on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It tracks all the updates – hashtags, keywords and metrics in real time and calculates the reach, impression, high engagement period and the top shared posts. It also has an interesting feature called the influencer tab, which allows the use of the data to guide the influencer outreach.

Price: $89 – $3,000+ USD per month

KEYHOLE

Brandwatch

Brandwatch offers a range of tools that work across multiple social media platforms. It is considered one of the best tools for tracking your social presence. Apart from tracking, Brandwatch also lets you track your brand’s reputation in real time. Brandwatch also provides information on the internal and external environment within which, the business resides. From mining consumer insights to conducting market intelligence, Brandwatch provides the space and flexibility to make informed business decisions.

Price: Unique to each plan

BRANDWATCH

Sumall

As the name suggests, with Sumall you can attach unlimited social media handles across different platforms. The features include goal tracking, performance graphs and insights based on comparisons of the previous period. Depending on the users’ preference, SumAll sends out a weekly or monthly report containing a summary of all the information. This information is also saved on a single interactive web chart for easy viewing.

Price: 7-day free trial following which it’s $99 per month.

SUMALL

Agorapulse

A unique feature that stands out with AgoraPulse is that it can be used across multiple languages. It lets you manage all social media messages in one place. It tracks engagement across various social media channels and provides information on the number of mentions and measures how frequently they share your brand’s content. This helps in expanding the social reach and understanding the consumer’s perspective of the brand. Best of all, AgoraPulse allows the user to export the data as a PowerPoint file that can be customised to suit the user’s requirements.

Price: $29-$199 per month

AGORAPULSE

Quintly

If you’re looking to see how you are doing compared to others in your field, then Quintly is the right tool for you. It provides visually appealing stats on engagement such as likes, shares, comments, followers ‘growth and they are depicted through graphs. These graphs provide information on the performance of your brand across various social media platforms. Quintly covers Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Twitter and YouTube and it has a free tool for Facebook analytics, specifically. It works on a dashboard method, and the metrics can be customised to suit the user’s requirements.

Price: $129+ per month

QUINTLY

Unmetric

Unmetric not only helps you with accessing competitor’s performance and strategy, but also helps you identify who is on the top in the industry. The tool also allows you to understand and study what posts have worked and what haven’t. Additionally, it also gives social media benchmarking, content analysis, campaign analysis and social media data & analytics.

Price: $1,000/month

UNMETRIC

Simplify 360

Simplify 360 has different products like social listening, reporting and engagement. The social listening tool gives you the latest updates on your competitors as well as your social pages. Social analytics helps with competitor benchmarking. With the help of a publishing console, you can handle and manage accounts better under a single platform. Another unique feature is the social CRM that will help you manage your reputation. This tool has number of other features such as easy data access, social customer service, contact management, easy integration, and profile comparison along with customer satisfaction.

Price: Custom pricing depending on the plan’s & needs.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is an ideal tool to streamline and enhance conversations between the customer and business. Sprout Social has many handy features like Smart inbox, monitoring, social CRM, publishing, mobile, collaboration, analytics and account structure to make relationships and communication simple between businesses and customers. You can use this tool for all your social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ LinkedIn and much other.

Price: $99-$249/Month

SPROUT SOCIAL

BuzzSumo

When it comes to analysing social media content of various competitors, there is no tool better than Buzzsumo. Additionally, it also helps in identifying key influencers and getting in touch with them. From brand monitoring to competitor research, content insights, and content research and discover, this tool covers all that you need for successful social media content strategy. Price: $79- $559/Month

Meltwater

With real-time analytics, Meltwater lets you, monitor, track and measure the success of the social media campaign. Meltwater gives you relevant data and insights that will help you understand your target audience better. It’s a one stop shop for monitoring, analysing, engaging, discovering and also reviewing various case studies for your company and industry. Another significant feature is that you can also consolidate the entire social search under one roof and receive all the relevant news and data in real time.

Price: Custom pricing depending on the needs.

Buffer

Buffer co-exists as scheduling and an analytical tool. What makes buffer a great tool is that it suggests the best times to publish your content suited to your target audience. Buffer has an interesting feature where it highlights the best performing post when a particular post exceeds average performance.  It also allows the user to track and analyse performance across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Price Range: Free – $2550 USD per year

Hootsuite

Similar to buffer, Hootsuite is a user-friendly cross-platform used for both scheduling and analytics tool. Hootsuite’s real-time analytics keeps you ahead of the game and lets you spot trends as soon they pop up. Additionally, it also allows you to measure your social media ROI and make smart data-driven business decisions with confidence.

Price Range:  30-day free trial – Individual plans to Organisational plans ranging from Rs.1260 to Rs.32000 per month.

Hootsuite

Which one of these tools would you use for your business? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

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 Beat & Facebook conduct Digital Marketing Masterclass in Mumbai

In Apr 2017, Social Beat in partnership with Facebook India conducted the second edition of the Digital Marketing Masterclass. With a packed audience of 50, we had an insightful session on how to approach digital marketing to build a brand and to acquire quality sales or leads.

The top three expectations, shared by the audience, that was elaborated during the session were:

  • Reducing Cost Per Acquisition
  • Scaling Up Leads/Orders
  • Effective Measurement of results

So, if you are facing similar challenges, then read on!

Mobile First Marketing

From Facebook’s own research, users on average spent 3 hours on mobile per day that signifies that your consumer is on mobile for 3 hours and you have the opportunity of 3 hours to be in front of your consumer!

One thing we all need to understand is that Facebook is a discovering platform. Your brand personality has to stand out in the consumer’s mind and there need to be multiple touch points and impressions to make the connect. The Reach & Frequency category of campaigns can be useful in achieving this goal. Moreover, Facebook users are active throughout the day, unlike most other mediums (TV, print or radio) and in fact, 35%+ of Facebook Users are active at any given time.

Did you know that on average in a single day people check their Facebook feed 14 times? As many as 62% of the audience check their phones over 30 times a day. That means you are getting 14 times the opportunity to sell your product via Facebook. With over 184 million Facebook users in India, it gives brands a tremendous opportunity. Moreover, as per the report from NCCSAB, 210 million is the consuming population in India out of which, 142 million can be reached through Facebook.

Key aspects for a marketer to keep in mind when leveraging mobile

  • In a Facebook study, ~76% of video ads required sound to be understood, but most users watch them without any sound. So, it’s critical to understand these consumer insights when making videos and other creative content. E.g. Hotels.com Video which has received 2.3 million views on FB and cleverly used the video captions.
  • Since the speed of content consumption is faster on mobile, it’s important to have the brand and copy/captions to convey the message within the first few seconds.

Should we target to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India?

As per the statistics, 33% of the users are from metros. So 67% of the Facebook universe belongs to the population from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities – which is contrary to popular perception. This is also going to give rise to content creation and consumption in regional languages.

Understanding Marketing on Instagram

Facebook is the platform to keep in touch with family and friends whereas Instagram is the platform where people look for inspiration, photos and brands to follow.

Top Interests on Instagram are:

  • Music
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Photography

Moreover, the Instagram user is a more evolved and engaged user with a premium lifestyle. For example, while only 5% of the population in India has mobile postpaid connections, 25% of Instagram users have postpaid connections – highlighting that a luxury or premium brand cannot be ignoring a platform like Instagram.

The art of Audience Targeting

Facebook is 85% accurate and when further information like age and gender is included, the accuracy rate goes up to 90%.
The top reasons why Facebook is more effective is

  • Availability (with users active 14 times a day)
  • Flexibility (of audience and targeting)
  • Efficiency: Minimal Waste
  • Re-targeting
  • 100% Declared Audience Attributes (Not Inferred)

Types of Audience Targeting on Facebook

• Core Audience Targeting:

This feature allows us to reach a precise audience based on four main targeting types:

  • Location
  • Demographic
  • Interests and
  • Behaviours

For example: When targeting NRIs to sell your property – The audience which is core to Facebook is provided with age and gender information. Behaviour targeting will help us target people living in a joint family, who are frequent travellers internationally and nationally, who have travel apps and are newly married.

  • Custom audience: These set of the audience is created by uploading your customer database of:
  • – email addresses
  • – phone numbers
  • – website audience using Facebook Pixel
  • – facebook user IDs
  • – app user IDs and Facebook will match this data to as many user profiles as possible.

The custom audience is an excellent way to make use of CRM data. The CRM tool can also help in lead nurturing, which is critical to improving the final conversion of leads to home buyers. Research by Social Beat shows that there is a 60% better chance of converting if called within 2 hours.

Another medium we can customise our audience is with the use of Facebook Pixel, which creates a list of users who came to your website, converted into the site, visiting more than a certain number of times in the last 30 days etc.
The custom audience also helps in improving the quality of the leads. Users frequently visiting your website are more like to become home buyers and can be given more focus.

  • Lookalike audience

Lookalike audiences are a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because…

  • – Their profiles are similar to custom audiences you have uploaded
  • – phone numbers
  • – Their interests and demographics are similar to users who have visited your website
  • – They’re similar to users who have hit one of your conversion pixels

You’re telling Facebook that you want an audience created of people who are most like your email list, website visitors, people who have hit one of your conversion pixels, etc. Facebook will create an audience based off data points on a Facebook profile that would denote similarity.
You can also create an International Lookalike audience – because people are same everywhere! Eg: People have visited your luxury product landing page. You can create a lookalike of similar users internationally!

Coming to brand!

Facebook Brand awareness tracks people who look for sponsored content. If you plan to go ahead with lead ads in the first go, it will go to the people who have filled the leads in the past. You are missing out on the potential to reach a newer audience.

How does Brand awareness work?

  • Step 1: As a person, when I see your sponsored content on my feed, I will read. Once I find it interesting, I will go to your website to check your offerings, credibility, and products, etc.
  • Step 2: Next time, when your sponsored content again appears on my feed, I will go through your ad again.
  • Step 3: Multiple visibility of your content and ads, will make me curious and viola I fill your ad and I am one of your leads!

Point to note: Investing in your brand awareness is similar to running ads on radio and television. You need to frequently appear on the wall of the people!

For Brand awareness videos, relevant content and E-books along with the below ideas can be tried

  • Amplifying content and infographics (Facebook Canvas can be an interesting medium to do this)
  • Carousel ads to showcase different attributes of the brand
  • Amplifying with videos, 360-degree virtual tour
  • Engagement Campaigns to get shareability
  • Need for content experiment: Run regional ads in local languages
  • More formats: Video for leads ads carousel

Sequencing of ads is also possible by using custom audiences after using Reach & Frequency ads and we have seen some tremendous results come through this.

Case Studies

There are numerous case studies that one can find on the Facebook Business Success page but we discussed a few in detail and you can read them up via the below links:

Tracking Return on Investment & Scaling up Leads/Sales

We have a more detailed blog on tracking ROI from digital marketing, which you may find useful.

Mumbai Masterclass

Questions asked during the Masterclass

In spite of getting so many leads, why leads are failing to convert into a sale?

There are some common mistakes marketers make, which should be avoided in order to improve conversions:

  • Following up with your lead within 6 hours and not after 1 week of the lead being generated
  • Not disclosing the lead source to the sales person – leading to lack of clarity during conversation
  • Being able to attribute all digital leads by using cloud telephony – to understand the true impact of digital marketing

How can you improve the quality of leads via the Lead Gen Ads?

  • Add Customizable questions – which products/services are you interested in, ask a good time to call etc. This is because it is important to build a faithful relationship first then making a sale. Remember that buying a home is usually a very involved decision
  • Use Context card – tells users why they are filling the form

What are the elements critical in a lead generation focussed Ad Creative?

Its important to the have the below elements & approach to getting the best quality leads and conversion:

  • Visuals & Videos can be experimented with – For example if you are a real estate company, the exterior, interior, walkthrough video, video selling the project etc. Sometimes even generic images with family and kids can also work for specific projects.
  • Transparency is key – Location in the city, Price, Type of Property (Apartment, Villa, Plot etc), Expected Handover Date are some key details that can be included in the ad
  • Have the right Call to Action (Learn More or Contact Us or View More) and sometimes combining it with offers

We have tried regional content but it hasnt worked?

  • In our experience regional content and communication works if the entire experience is in that language, which means that the landing page, the customer care, email communication etc is also in the same regional language. WE need to provide a seamless experience for it to work – it can be messaging in hindi but then we take them to a landing page which is in English.
  • The other aspect is that, maybe the audience that interacts with regional content is different – maybe they would prefer talking to someone rather than give the enquiry online – so as a brand we need to make this easier and give multiple options to consumers.

Social Beat Bags Two Wins for ‘Best Social Media Brands’

What do you get when you add a dollop of creativity, a layer of great marketing strategies and an immense helping of team effort? Two delicious awards from, Social Samosa, a portal, which is known for providing Big Data Analysis and social media insights across all industries.

We are proud to announce that we have won two ‘Best Social Media Brands’ awards for our Social Media Marketing efforts. We share the awards with our clients Murugappa Group (Gold Award under the B2B category) and Forum Vijaya Mall (Bronze Award under the Retail Category).

Murugappa Group, a leading conglomerate in the B2B segment, has not just focused on their products. They are always looking to connect with the target audience while also subtly hinting at the brand’s various services. One of the key reasons the brand won the award is the engaging and highly educative content that they have been posting.

Murugappa Group’s most popular social media campaigns include:

Saying It Simply

This interactive and informative campaign educated people about how various industries such as bicycles, tea and finance to name a few, grew and developed over time. People were asked to view videos on each industry and were later quizzed on what they had seen. The response was almost instantaneous, with over 50,000 views and 2,000 quiz interactions.

Murugappa Saying It Simply

Thank You Farmers

Murugappa has been closely associated with agriculture for over 4 decades and to pay a fitting tribute to the farmers’ tireless efforts, the company released a video on YouTube with the message “Thank You Farmers”. The video is both touching and informative and received an overwhelming response of 1 lakh views. Murugappa also received a further 153 subscribers.

Murugappa Thank You Farmers

The Forum Vijaya Mall is a product of the Prestige Group and one of the most celebrated malls in Chennai. The mall is buzzing with amusing activities and a host of popular local and international brand outlets. Most of the mall’s social media feed include updates on activities that are going to happen, live feeds on events and interactive posts.  Forum used some of the latest Facebook tools such as Live poll and 360 videos and images to create engaging content, relevant to its target audience.

Forum Vijaya Mall’s most popular social media campaigns include:

Facebook Live Poll for Palazzo Cinemas:

In order to promote Palazzo Cinemas, Forum Vijaya Mall came up with a live poll campaign where they asked people to vote on their favourite popcorn flavour offered at the theatre. The reaction was great with 963 unique views and 251 post engagements.

Forum Vijaya Mall- Palazzo Cinemas

Event Promotion- Wadali Brothers performing in the mall:

Forum Vijaya Mall geared up for one of their biggest events in spectacular social media marketing fashion. Everything from pre-event engagement to blogs to live press and video coverage was done, resulting in big numbers of reaches, likes and shares.

Forum Vijaya Mall- Wadali Brothers

Content Amplification Strategies to promote content

Why content promotion is essential

Good content can go a long way in effectively building brand recall and trust with a brand’s target audience. This has made content marketing a key ingredient in every business’ digital marketing strategy.

With all marketers the world over dishing out content to reach, inform, engage, educate and connect to their target audience to build their brand, the amount of content produced on a daily basis has grown exponentially. Sure, the internet population has grown as well, but content creation and publishing is growing at a rate much faster than the growth in internet connectivity. In fact, as per a recent AOL and Nielsen report, over 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day! Even if we assume that only 1% of this content is great content, that’s a really huge number of great content pieces being published every day! In such a scenario, it is critical to ensure that content cuts through the clutter and reaches the audience it has been created for.

Content amplification strategies

Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. A word of caution here though – content amplification works best for content that has been ideated and created keeping in mind the interests and needs of the target audience. So, here are content amplification strategies you can use to effectively promote your content:

Respond to questions on Quora

Quora is recognised as the most comprehensive and trusted online forum. You can ask and answer questions relating to any subject matter. Since forums provide an open source for your Target Audience to discuss a topic, you can add value by responding to their queries using your existing write-up, if relevant. You can also link back to your blog or website, which effectively renders your work as a credible source.

Tweet various snippets from your content

Have interesting stats or facts that are share-worthy as individual pieces of content? Share those snippets on Twitter. The microblogging giant is one of the most active social media platforms today, so anything interesting that fits within 140 characters is bound to be retweeted. You can even take screenshots of other elements like pictures, infographics and quotes and use a shortened URL of your website for promotion.

Get featured in industry roundups

Roundups are collections of the best or most happening events in a particular industry. If your content is information based, you have a high chance of featuring in a roundup. Begin by searching for relevant roundups on Google (limit your search to the past month), then pitch your content to the roundup curators. If luck is on your side, the curators will feature your content in their collection. Roundups are searched extensively by business professionals, so your content will reach a niche audience, which works brilliantly for amplification purposes.

Contact people who have shared similar content

While researching for your content, you will surely come across existing articles that have written on the topic similar to yours. Content from reputed sources should already be generating traffic through social media shares. Your best bet is to copy the URL of the article and search for it on sites like Twitter and Facebook. You will be able to spot people who have shared the content, so contact these people through a direct message, requesting them to share what you have done as well.

Link to relevant sites/Mention entities when sharing

While researching, you may also come across interesting pieces of information that were quoted by credible sources. It is advisable to link to these sources while writing your article. When you publish your content and promote it on social media, use Twitter mentions or Facebook hashtags to prompt those sources that you’ve used their information. Doing so will increase the chance of your article being viewed by multiple individuals through the mentions.

Use Sniply to leverage the reach of content from more reputed sources

Sniply is a very simple yet effective tool that lets you create a one-liner message about your article and display it along with a button prompt. You can use Sniply to overlay your custom message onto any other piece of relevant content. The tool lets you drive conversions from one piece of shared content to another. Let’s assume you’ve found content that shares information about a topic similar to yours; you can use the Sniply tool to add your link to the topic, prompting the reader to delve deeper and gain more knowledge on the subject matter.

Post on relevant LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn is nothing but the Facebook variant for all things professional. If you’ content has information that can help professionals, LinkedIn is the best platform for promotional purposes. Much like Facebook communities, LinkedIn has an option where you can create groups. Find such groups that could make the most out of your content and share it on their pages.

Contact people who have linked to similar content

There is competition everywhere nowadays; you are sure to find a whole lot of articles similar to yours. Some of these articles would have gained immense social share yet may lack certain pieces of information that your article has. You can take advantage of this by pasting the URL of the similar articles on Ahrefs or Open Site Explorers. You will get a list of pages or sites that have used those articles as links. Reach out to those sites and ask them to link your fresher and better content.

Turn content into a ppt/pdf and upload to SlideShare

SlideShare is the perfect place to promote presentations to get the visibility you need. Once you upload your content on Slideshare, you can also share the link on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn, as we all know, is fast becoming the go-to spot for business professionals when it comes to reading about industry related news and topics.

Leverage the reach of Influencers

Reaching out to influencers at scale is a good idea to amplify your content. Getting your content featured by some key influencers or getting them to share your content can amplify your reach drastically. Pick influencers that are relevant to your domain and engage with them. Contact more than one influencer and engage with them regularly for better reach.

The content mentioned above include promotion strategies that are used to their fullest potential by some of the best content marketers on the planet. Of course, some of these strategies may die out while others will evolve, so to stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled and ears tuned.

If there are any content distribution channels which you have tried that could be added to the list, do let us know in the comments below.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Advertise on YouTube

Consumers are spoilt for choices across multi-devices and multi-channels, thus making sales competitive for marketers. As consumers become more and more digitally sound, marketers constantly feel the need to evolve and source new ways to reach their relevant audience to drive long-term online sales. This has lead marketers to venture out and capitalise on brand and product videos along with text and display ads. Here is an ultimate guide on how to advertise on YouTube, types of ad formats, the best way to optimise and measure results for your campaigns.

Why it’s time for every brand to experiment with video content?

Videos are entertaining, engaging and help increase customer retention. Do see our guide on videos can help in content marketing and in engaging with your customers.

As per Google, there are only two things users do more than watch video: sleep & work. Every day, people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views. Users consume videos to feel the rush, laugh, connect and learn. The youth, younger generation and savvy users are on YouTube most of the times through their mobiles, thus making this channel the most preferred media mix on the go. Studies also claim, 42% use YouTube for pre-purchase research and 64% buy products after watching a video on YouTube, making videos the future of entertainment and online marketing.

Advertise on You Tube, Video Marketing, YouTube Video Ads

Fusion between YouTube and Video Ads

YouTube, being the second largest search engines is a powerful media mix to retain old customers, gain new customers and engage savvy customers through video content.

YouTube is also a community-driven social media channel that values genuine content and meaningful engagement with real people and stories. To get the most out of YouTube, the video content and ads need to build a relationship with YouTube users above and beyond the traditional advertiser-customer relationship.

Since consumers purchase decisions are influenced by the video content, promoting content with advertising messages can make it difficult to increase viewer engagement with the brand.

Videos that are light, fun, humorous, emotional, real and true make it through the consumer’s heart and mind. To know more about how to capitalise on online video and how YouTube can play a bigger role, get hooked on this blog for some more time. Do have a look at some of our work with the Murugappa Madras Song to get a sense of it.

Be Spoiled for Choice – Multiple Video Ad Formats on YouTube

To advertise on YouTube, there are several video ad formats and each offers a unique opportunity to attract consumers and achieve goals. Before making an ad, it is prudent to have a clear marketing goal and know the audience to reach them in the most cost effective way.

The Ad formats include: –

True View In-Stream Ads – Skippable Video Ads

Skippable ads are designed to capture the attention of the relevant audience in the first five seconds of the video. After five seconds, the audiences are given a skip button, to skip the ad and continue watching their initially selected video. These are an excellent way to increase visibility on a Cost Per View as YouTube charges only after the ad is watched for 30 seconds and more. Skippable YouTube Ads appear on YouTube watch pages right before, during and after other videos and to top it all, gives free visibility for first few seconds. These ads contain a call-to-action button that often links to a landing page.

You Tube True View Skippable Ads

Skippable ads work best for branding and often have a lower conversion rate. Although these ads are best for people who view similar content on YouTube, avoid targeting by keywords as this could significantly limit the frequency of the ads. To keep viewers from skipping the ads, create an engaging video that can grab the viewer by their collar within the first five seconds.

True View In-Stream Ads – Non- Skippable Video Ads

They are similar to In-Stream Video Ads, but viewers do not have the option to skip the ads. The ads usually play for 15 – 20 seconds and up to 30 seconds. Non-Skippable YouTube Ads also appear on YouTube watch pages right before, during and after other videos and viewers have to view the entire advertisement. They work best when videos are short, simple and showcase good offers.

You Tube True View Non-Skippable Ads

Bumper Ads

Bumper Ad formats are designed to increase brand awareness and impressions and reach a wider audience. They are usually non-skippable short video format of six seconds or shorter and plays before, during or after another video. Advertisers are charged on impressions (cost-per-thousand-impressions).

You Tube True View Bumper Ads

True View Discovery Ads / In-Display Ads

These ads appear at the top right of the YouTube search results page and to the right of the feature videos. They also appear below the player (for larger players) and are meant to capture the attention of the viewers while watching other videos. They blend with organic listings. They have a thumbnail image with a short text, and the advertisers are charged when the viewer chooses to click the thumbnail and watch the ad.

You Tube True View In-Display Ads

The images on the thumbnails make first impressions and need to provoke the viewers to click and watch further. Choose the video still that highlights the content the best. Also, try and match the image to the content in the promotional text or keywords

Display Ads are best suited to increase subscribers rather than directing them to the landing page.

YouTube In-Video Overlay Ads

As the name suggests, these ads are semi-transparent and appear on the lower 20% portion of the watch video space on YouTube. Link the call-to-action to the relevant landing pages as these ads have a higher chance of lead conversion.

You Tube True View Overlay Ads

With these ad formats, advertisers can advertise their ad inside the videos of their competitors. Overlay ads work well as they get more views without causing interruptions.

Video Optimisation & Best Practices for Video Ads

Try these tips to optimise your YouTube Videos and keep your viewers engaged for long: –

Link AdWords account and YouTube channel

Link AdWords and YouTube to allow both the networks to work together and provide deeper insights like click and engagement performance, reach and frequency, video viewership and other advanced data and reports.

Try the KISS theory – keep it (the video ad) short and simple

Hook viewers in 5 seconds. Create an engaging video content to elevate your customer’s video experience to get more viewer engagement.

Clearly, communicate the brand/service and provide a strong call-to-action button to guide the viewers to the next process i.e. make a purchase, visit a landing page, subscribe, like, share, comment and so on. Having a clear call-to-action within the ad helps direct traffic from the ads to your YouTube brands channel or website with additional video content

Deliver the most relevant message when the video begins, so the audience gets the crux of the video content, in case viewers plan to skip the ads after five seconds.

Use the remarketing list to define the audience

The demographics and other details help to create venturing into a new platform.

Creation of relevant playlists based on search

YouTube uses playtime or watchtime a factor in the algorithm to suggest videos and creating playlists can be used to boost the overall playtime for your videos. When the next video automatically starts playing at the end of the first video, there is a higher probability of keeping the viewer longer on your page.

Use Call-to-Action for subscription in the video to enable more channel subscribers & engagement

YouTube has a feature to Create “Subscription Links” that asks the visitors who click on the link to subscribe to the channel before playing the video. This can help gain more subscribers for the channel, thereby boosting the long-term reach & engagement. This Is How Many Brands Have Grown Their Subscriber Base.

Be open to comments from the viewers

As they say, any publicity is good publicity. While you receive comments and critics, it is also important to respond to the viewers.

Targeting and reaching the right audience for the content

YouTube has a potential to reach a vast audience. YouTube is the world’s second most-used search engine and the third most visited site after Google and Facebook. It has a total of 1.3 billion users and 300 hours of new video is uploaded every minute.

By Targeting video ads on YouTube, advertisers can reach relevant customers at the spur of the moment, just when they are interested in a particular product or service. YouTube’s varieties of targeting options help reach the right customers when it matters.

Advertise on YouTube, Video Marketing, YouTube Video Ads

Advertisers can use contextual placements to show ads on specific videos, channels or websites – places that attract audiences with high conversion potential. Advertisers can also target by keywords, interests, placements, remarketing lists, location and demographics – age, gender, and parental status.

Advertisers can also place their ads on your competitors’ videos and steal leads from right under their noses.

It is not only the volume of users that make advertising on YouTube so interesting, but also the nature of the platform and how audience interact with videos and the brands.

Cost of Video Advertising

The cost of making the video depends on the subject, message, length of the video, the kind of the video and depends on from one brand to another. Here is a guide on how your brand can create low cost videos. But advertising on video can be completely controlled and measured. An advertiser can spend as per his/her convenience and only pays when someone engages with the video ad or watches the video for 30 seconds and more. There are also other ways to optimise your Adwords and YouTube campaigns.

Tracking & Measuring Results

YouTube’s easy to use in-built analytics helps advertisers monitor the performance of the video ads and channels. Data’s like demographics, watch time and traffic sources help the advertisers to optimise the campaigns further. Advertisers can make adjustments to the ads at any time and also are free to run multiple ads at once to see which works best.

Google AdWords also provides certain key metrics to analyse the ad performances in detail. Want to increase leads and multiply your revenue? Log into AdWords account, click on the add new campaigns, select online video and start creating your campaigns. Remember the call-to-action button must make viewers click the ads and optimising the video ads is the key to better results.

Get started and leave comments in case you have any queries.

An ultimate guide to using Instagram Stories

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

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

How to use it

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

inst stories

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

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

step 2

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

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

step 3

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

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

  1. Get to know the analytics

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

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

How can brands leverage Instagram stories?

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

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

  • Behind the scenes

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

  • Endorsing a sale

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

endorsing a sale

Source:  Simply measured

  • Teaser videos

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

  • Showcase your product

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

starbucks

Source: Instagram

  • Celebrating milestones

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

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

showcasing milestones

Source: Social Media Examiner

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

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

This article was originally published in Techstory

All you need to know about Snapchat’s new Spectacles

Here is a happy news for all you Snapchat lovers! Snap.Inc has introduced this cool and fun pair of spectacles to help you shoot videos on the go.

With Instagram now having the story feature, which is one of the major USP of Snapchat, snap decided to introduce a new hardware to stay ahead of the game. Although, the first time you hear it, it may sound like a replica of Google glass; the truth is, no it is not! The spectacles cost just one-third of the price of the Google Glass, and they look more like shades and are only used to shoot videos or photos. Experts say that you can compare them to a GoPro rather than google glass.

Interested to know further about Spectacles? We have all the info you need! About Spectacles

This device is a pair of wayfarers, which has an inbuilt camera of 115degree lens. Two yellow circles can be found at each end of the glasses: one is the camera, and the other hides a ring of LEDs that light up when the device is recording.

These glasses are paired with your Snapchat and the video recorded on this will automatically get stored in the Snapchat memories. They are available in three colours –  black, teal and coral and are priced at $130 each.

Every spectacle comes with a recharging case, USB cable for the case and a glass cleaning cloth.

snap-spectacles

 

Here are few easy steps on how to use these glasses

Step 1: Pair it

Spectacles are compatible with both Android and IOS devices. To pair, wear the glasses and open the Snapchat app on your phone, click on the ghost icon and press the button on the top left corner of the specs.

 

snap-spectacles -Pairing

 

Step 2: Recording the video

Now the device is paired, and all set to record. Press the button on the top left a corner of the specs. A small LED light will switch on to indicate that video is being recorded. The spectacles will record a 10-second video if you want additional recording time then press the button again to add extra 10 seconds. The longest video one can record is 30 seconds. The videos are recorded in a circular format.

 

snap-spectacles-recording

 

Step 3: Saving your snaps

The snaps are saved to your Snapchat memories automatically. In case, you do not have your phone with you then; the spectacles will store the snaps and later it can be transferred to your phone either via wifi or via Bluetooth for IOS devices.

 

snap-spectacles-save-it

 

 

Step 4: Charging the device

To charge your spectacles just place it in the case, which comes with the device or you can also directly charge it using the USB cable. However, experts in the tech space recommended using the case to charge. Usually, the charge stays for a whole day or two.

 

snap-spectacles-charging-the-specs

 

How can you buy them?

These are currently available only in the US. If you are visiting the US or asking your friend to buy it for you here is where you can find it. Snap inc. is selling them through a bright yellow vending machine, don’t mistake it for a minion although it looks like one! These are called Snapbots that will travel around the country. You will be lucky if you spot one around your neighbourhood.  Snap is making them in a very limited quantity.

The Snapbots will be available at each location for a day. You can also track the bots current location using the map on the spectacles website.

Snap also gives you the facility to try on the glasses before deciding to buy them. All you need to do is use the QR code provided on the website and scan it to add a filter to Snapchat, which is for a limited time to try them on virtually.

 

snapbot

 

Spectacles for Business

Just like Snapchat, the spectacles can also be leveraged for your business. Here is how….

Live hands-free demo

Although Snapchat shares the same feature, the plus point about shooting on spectacles is that you can shoot the video while working on anything. Whether it is unboxing a product or a demo of a product, use this device and give your fans a complete walkthrough of it. (literally).

 

Promote a show and take them behind the scenes

Esquire Network a TV network used spectacles to promote their show by shooting a 90-second video. Another great way to leverage this is by shooting behind the scenes videos, which can give your followers a feel of getting a unique or an exclusive pass to the event.

 

A perfect way to portray and promote any location

Spectacles can be used to promote any location or space. Feature a ride, coffee shop, your apartment, office space, etc. using this device and make your audience feel like they are a part of the scene. If you are planning to sell a property or an apartment, this is an innovative way to advertise. Your target audience can get a complete view of the property.

Get customers to give live feedback about your product

Now, you can ask your clients, to give a live feedback about your product or a service. You can also create a story on your Snapchat account and ask people to add their reviews on there. This can be an excellent way to promote your brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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