Dec 06 2018
Who doesn’t love shopping?
We all love getting new things. Clothes, stationery, gadgets; shopping of any kind makes us happy. And with the rise of digital platforms, you don’t even have to make that effort of getting up from the comfort of your couch to do the thing you love the most.
About 20 years back, the boom in digital shopping hit us. It started with the then lowkey eBay and Amazon, which transcended to inspire other players where today everyone has a ‘shop / store’ feature on their website. From e-commerce to m-commerce, we are all about ‘online shopping’ now!
We are now a generation who purchase our toothbrushes online if possible. (Yep, digitization is making us lazy, but well!) Yet if you think of it, who really has the patience to scroll through the website of every brand and everything we like.
This is where, one of our dear online best friend has stepped in to make us sing Hallelujah! In the last year, one of the most popular picture sharing portals, a.k.a. Instagram has made life easier for us.
Frankly, it should have done this ages back because with numbers like 25 million business having a page on Insta, with a total of 800 million users, it had to be the most EPIC one stop shop for all of us.
Let’s be honest here, we DO spend a LOT OF TIME on this app (a ridiculous amount of time maybe) and if we are getting information (I mean gossip) and shopping at the same place, IT DEFINITELY IS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY!
Somewhere at the start of this year, Instagram started to bless our lazy souls by giving us the feature that allowed product tagging. Product tagging, a little bit of the details and the price, all could be seen in one go and a few clicks later, it was time to wait for the delivery of the product.
WHY IS INSTA SHOPPING THE MOST EPIC THING YOU ASK?
Best of both worlds
“Running late! No time!” is our mantra any day any way. Instagram has made life easier by making the app the grand-daddy of efficiency. So while doing the scroll, scroll, scroll, we could not just like what we saw, but also buy it! No remembering it, screen-shotting it or looking for it like a maniac.
Or WORSE, forgetting about that gorgeous kaftan you saw on some page you can’t remember! You can be busy judging your friend’s alcohol choice in one post and scroll down to buy that kaftan in the next.
NO MORE FOMO
As a business, your biggest fear is FOMO! Have you listed on enough sites, do the sites bring in enough traffic and many other such questions bog you down? All that can be easily tossed out because Instagram is a portal where FOMO doesn’t really exist. By designing your content and promoting it the correct way, you WILL get your kind of traffic, come what may!
Story to sell
WE LOVE NEW FEATURES ON INSTA! And with the latest one, you can shop through stories too! With 400 million users checking on stories everyday, Insta stories have its own market as well. Those few clicks of looking for that top which you saw on a brand’s BTS story are now saved!
Holiday season is round the corner. And with it, a lot of parties too! Perfect for business and for buyers. It’s time to go shopping, insta-style!
Dec 01 2018
Thousands of followers, hundreds of likes, comments flooding in praising your work. Achievement unlocked!
But where are the sales?
As a brand, you’re left scratching your head. You mentally rewind. Content – tick. Content quality – tick. CTA (call-to-action) – tick. You did everything right but clearly something went wrong.
Keeping the frills part of content aside, the first focal point should be understanding the need of the customers. Creating a bond and keeping customers engaged in conversation, so when the customers want to buy, your brand is the first they recall (brand recall).
Once upon a time, long long ago, we operated on traditional sales model. And as traditional sales go, it included cold calling hundreds of prospects in a day, trying to find a lead. Creating a bond and engaging the customers wasn’t a part of the checklist.
But let’s be honest, in the current scenario no one really entertains these sales rep anymore. The world’s moved on to the digital platforms and that’s where the business lies.
But digital selling doesn’t mean you bombard people with unnecessary tweets, DMs and content. KEEP IN MIND: Don’t invade their space AND don’t spam!
Let your social selling talent take over. Now, what is social selling you ask?
Social Selling is strategically getting in touch and interacting with people who are trying to find solutions for their problems. Problems that YOU can solve. It starts slowly with building and nurturing relationships. Trust is the KEY, the key which will make your clients believe that you can provide the solution.
Stats provided by LinkedIn say that social sellers attract 45% more opportunities than their peers, are 51% more likely to achieve quotas, and outsell their non-social counterparts 78% of the time.
Not bad numbers for what the traditional guys would call sales over chit-chat. Right?
All this is well and good, but how do you sell without sounding salesy or without spamming?
1. Choose the right platform
First and foremost, be on the right platform and interact with the right audience. Find out where your prospective buyer is present and where your engagement/pitch will be taken seriously.
2. Be Present
I’d like to chat with a bot, said no one ever. Having chat bots liking and commenting on your behalf may sound like a good idea, but it does the opposite when it comes to sales. So be present, have a human interaction with the ones who are looking for you and your solutions. Get that personal touch in every engagement, that happens from your end on these platforms.
3. Be Consistent
Just like cold calling needs to be done on a regular basis, you need to be consistent with your digital efforts to drive that sale. For sales, follow up. Speak to them in-between. Don’t be all about that sales pitch and do the Houdini.
4. Offer Value: Simple but clickable – Keep this guru mantra.
a. Details on call-to-action – short, straight, bold
b. Offer point to point detail
c. Provide relevant solution and share relevant information.
5. Join existing conversations on your brand
Brand advocates will defend you, market you, do everything for you and it works! But that is NOT ALL THAT WORKS. Step in and join the conversation. Can’t figure how to keep up with where the conversation is? Use social listening tools for that but step-in and step-up.
Just keep in mind, that out of all the digital world conversions, this conversion is the easiest to do! So it’s time to go all in with your digital efforts. Focus on building networks, connect with your followers and use it strategically to grow your business.
Nov 27 2018
Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Relatable?
It’s that time of the year again when every person is planning for the next year.
Think about it, every person, every business has a vision. That vision is your starting point to make a plan. Whether business strategy or your next social media strat, you plan it all to the T. And then *kaboom*, it falls apart. Why?
No one and NOTHING can prepare for the curveballs that you don’t know about. That’s what variables do to your plans. Your plan simply lacked contingency for the unexpected from the get-go.
2. Execution fail
No plan is foolproof and you can’t foresee it failing till it’s in action. More so in social media strategies, as till the response doesn’t come in from putting your material out there, you almost cannot predict how it will be received by your target audience.
3. Client woes
“I changed my mind.” Damn! Now how do you tackle that? Briefs and strategies go into a tailspin when you combat these 4 words. They come in forms of ‘Let’s not do this, let’s do that.” or “We can also do that.” But in all cases, we need a new plan. NOW WHAT?
With every problem, comes a solution. You just gotta find it
1. Acceptance is the KEY
Don’t panic! Shit happens. Regroup internally, calm down and make your peace with it. Till it’s bothering you internally, your focus will be on the problem, not on the solution. And that’s helping no one in the room.
2. Make a new SHORT-TERM plan
Clearly the long ones are bound to break down. Business goals, life goals, where you see yourself in 5 years, all of it changes with time. And the short term strategies are no different. So even if you can’t plan it out ALL the way, plan it step by step. Make it easy for yourself and the people around you, be it your team or your clients.
3. Don’t lose sight of the GOAL
“I want to be THERE in 5 years.” How to reach it may change with time and variables, but your GOAL shouldn’t. As an agency, if sales are your goal, your strategy may change, but your end game is going to remain the same, so don’t lose sight.
Vision can’t change and it shouldn’t either, but plans can and will. So go with the flow, don’t panic and always have a few aces up your sleeve as back-up!!
Nov 10 2018
Social media isn’t just about posting and throwing out information. It’s also about using the insights into your audience in the best possible way. All this is possible through social media analytics. (We spoke earlier about the numbers that matter to your business. But how do these numbers affect your social media funnel)
Each platform has its own simplified analysis of your page such as Facebook insights, Instagram insights and so on. You can further opt for one of the several paid, analytical tools to get a more detailed report of your audience. But if you don’t know what to look at and what metric is important to you, then the whole point of the exercise goes to waste.
To get a better understanding of this, you in-turn try to figure out of where you are in your social sales funnel.
Every layer – awareness, consideration & conversion, has its own KPIs (key point indicators) that matter.
1) Awareness Stage
This is where you are trying to create your brand value or establish your market. At this stage, you are still new and your focus at the moment is to reach as many people as possible, giving them precise information through your social media channels.
The KPIs that matter during this stage are reach, impressions, shares, mentions, links, audience growth rate.
2) Consideration Stage
Now you have started building your audience. The next step to take is to engage your audience and keep them occupied through your content. Giving them solution-based content and calls-to-action is a pathway to opt for. With call-to-actions, customers who are now considering your brand will get that extra nudge towards reaching the ultimate step, conversion, to being a customer for your brand.
Metrics such as post likes, comments, shares, saved, average engagement rate, video views, lead rates work as your biggest indicators for the same.
3) Conversion Stage
With a social media funnel, you have successfully made an approach to achieve what you set out for. Your audience is not just committed to respond on the content you offer but has now become a customer to your brand.
Conversion rate, CTR (click-through rate), bounce rate, customer lifetime value, CPA (cost per action), CPM (cost per mille), CPC (cost per click) are the ever-so-important yardsticks that will signify the success rate of your strategies and campaigns and eventually your brand.
Module for your content can be flexible depending on the study of your metrics but taking this pathway will make it easier to turn an audience into loyal customers.
Nov 06 2018
Picture this: You are a brand with an interactive Facebook page, Instagram profile, and an active Twitter account. But all of this isn’t translating into the business you’re looking for. How do you design a campaign to make the numbers, that are the most important, go higher? What are those hints you should be looking at, to strategize further?
Social Media Metrics
Metrics are details such as followers, reach, likes, views, retweets, shares, etc; these numbers are our data that helps gauge the impact our social media pages and campaigns have on the company and eventually, on our brand value and revenue.
Social media metrics help us to divulge deeper in these everyday numbers, become high indicators of our business reach, impact and success as well as help us design our strategies and campaigns for the future.
What are the metrics we can use?
1. Reach & Impressions
While going through your social media profiles, you must have come across words like reach & impressions. Impressions tell you how many times have people come across your post on their timeline, organically. But it isn’t the strongest indicator as your post can be seen by the same account multiple times, and it still counts as a new impression each time. Reach is the index that tells you how many times a unique profile has come across your content. Together, reach & impressions play a crucial part in understanding the overall pattern as well as the quality of your content.
When starting a new business, reach metrics is the most important to you. Higher reach ensures that your content is viewed by a new set of people every day, which results in a growing audience.
2. Audience Growth:
Content consumption through the right audience is one of the initial focus of every social media profile. Not just any audience that checks on your profile once-in-a-while but an audience that is loyal and keeps returning to your profile regularly is what every brand looks for.
Keeping track of this metric helps you to understand at what stage or campaign have you received the highest audience and can repeat similar campaigns to continue growing.
3. Engagement Rate:
Engagement rate is influenced by the total likes, comments, and shares. The total engagement divided by your page audience gives you your engagement rate. Observing these figures, points to the number of the actual audience that is interested in your brand and has a higher potential to convert into a brand loyalist and ultimately, a customer.
Percentage – increase or decrease in your engagements can help you fine-tune your strategies and move ahead.
4. Conversion rate:
Every brand has a purpose, which is sales, and conversion rates are indices of how much of that traffic has converted into sales. Where bringing all the traffic, amidst battling changing algorithms is important, the most important factor for any brand is conversions. Conversion rate breaks down how much sales have been recorded against the traffic that has viewed & engaged with your profile.
If your number is higher, means your audience is getting what they came for on your landing page. But lower conversion rate means you need to work on the landing page and also ensure that the right message is being provided beforehand.
5. Share of Voice:
Knowing your own metrics is great, but with thousands of brands competing in the same space, how do you know your brand position? With share of voice, you compare the number of mentions in correlation to your competitors. By knowing this number, you may adopt strategies that your competitor has used and create a bigger & better campaign.
Social media metrics are your step-by-step guide to making your brand successful. It also helps to plan your campaigns with the in-hand knowledge of data and make them more precise, keeping track of these tools and using them to your advantage will pose to be the slight difference in the massive success of your campaign.
Oct 25 2018
Art is a very wide concept. There is hardly any wrong and ‘a lot of right’ in it. This mantra also tends to spill in world of digital art, more specifically towards designing. The way colours and strokes vary in different eras, graphic design too has trends that change, every few months.
In 2018, the world of designing creeped slowly towards the bold areas of experimentation. Brighter colours and elements of surprise was brought in, to pop the mundane pictures and videos we see on the internet. Where some people may say that designers are pushing the envelope too far, visionary clients and perceptive customers started to appreciate the bold steps taken by the graphic designers of our age.
Design gurus are predicting that 2019 may see experimentation go further, especially in terms of wacky yet creative concepts.
Listed below are 3 designs that we see ‘trending’ in the coming year.
‘The wave’ that started this year, is looking to carry on its rage to next year as well. Wave effect in simple terms is the creative distortion or disturbance in the picture (frame & object), that will immediately capture the attention and the interest of your clients and customers alike.
Have you seen a popular song lately, where your favourite singer was surrounded by 2 different colour lights? That is the imagination of your (behind-the-scene) designer coming to live. The double light effect is when you see shadowing or lighting in two colours, around the object, making the screen come alive.
A design idea that sparks not just your visual stimulations, but also your mind, double exposure is a design that excited the designer and the person viewing it, alike. With an outline in the backdrop of a bigger picture, what steals your attention and interest is the imagery created in the framework. It is your perfect design to convey, ‘a picture can tell a million stories’.
These are the trends which made an impact in the past few months but will also go on to create ripples in the designing world in 2019.
Oct 23 2018
Running a successful brand isn’t easy. Add to that, posting regularly on all your popular social media platforms? You are bound to miss out on posting some day or the other. Or keeping it till last minute, you wouldn’t know what to post and miss out on a particular time you favour.
How do you structure everything and make your life simpler? This is where a social media calendar comes to rescue.
What is a social media calendar?
A social media calendar is exactly as the name suggests. A calendar which helps you plan in advance for your posts; be it Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter. Details such as what to post, the correct hashtags, when to publish, all can be planned in advance.
Why use a social media calendar?
1. Post consistency
Social media is all about consistency. New, fresh content keeps your existing followers engaged and attracts new followers. Miss a moment and it may cost your brand big. As a brand, you will never have a “what do I post?” or “I missed my favoured time!” moment if you pre-plan all your content. You will be prepared for the coming few days or weeks, and posting will be a 2 minute job rather than a half-an-hour panic.
2. Perfect content mix
Maintaining an Instagram grid is not an easy task. Coming up with new set of hashtags customised day-wise becomes tedious. All these and more can be solved through pre-planning with a calendar. Make your content mix, the perfect mix – with posts on information of your brand, interactions with your followers (#AskMe) or even select posts/news from your industry.
3. Avoid cross-platform errors
Planning ahead and segregating posts as per platform helps you to avoid mistakes like using Instagram hashtags on Facebook, or last minute editing of captions to be Twitter ready. Another advantage is that with a calendar you can keep track of the correct handles to on the right platform instead of having to search last minute for the account or tagging a wrong account.
4. Content Planning
Careful and systematic planning = NEVER REPEAT YOUR POST (unless #throwback or #flashback). Having a clear outline of your week ahead, helps you to prepare content for the next few weeks. This also gives your graphic designer, copywriter enough time to devise something spectacular for you.
Curate your best work, create your best mix and put it all on (digital) paper, and YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!
Oct 19 2018
Gone are the days when brands would scoff at having social media promotions. We have successfully stepped into the age where each brand needs to have a strategy to promote itself through social media, thus leading the brand to reach its maximum potential possible. A specialist team, a plan of action and separate budgets, social media is slowly moving into playing a very important part from a marketing viewpoint.
Why? We as millennials have moved from ‘I will ask dad about it’ to ‘just Google it’. Over billions of users are reported monthly through social media portals. Searching for the latest thing to buy, to eat, to do, people today are using their smartphones for looking at options as well as using the devices for approaching the brand for purchase. We truly have become a generation that ‘look online’ to lead our lives.
That’s from the customer’s point of view. What about a brand’s perspective? How do you get noticed in this plethora of options, especially if people aren’t looking for you? How do you, as a brand, grab their attention saying, “Hey, if you’re looking for options, I exist!”
Advertisements or ‘ads’ are now available on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even YouTube, which generates not just viewership but also helps translate a good chunk of this viewership into an actual business.
So, What do these ‘paid promotions’ do for your business?
1. Information and broadcasting
You have billions of prospective customers and many thousands of competitors on the same portal, doing the same things as you are. How do people know you exist in this sea of brands?
The first step of turning a person into a prospective buyer is letting him know the existence and the details of your brand. Organically your audience will grow at a steady pace but by putting some money behind your posts, you can reach a wider audience in a short span, thus helping you attract more leads.
2. Affecting decision making
With thousands of brands competing for that attention everyday in every way, how do you tip the scale in your direction? With targeting the right audience with your ads, you can leave an impression in the mind of a buyer. Subconsciously they appreciate your effort and eventually what you are selling.
Whether they see your ads on multiple platforms or multiple ads on a single platform, subconsciously, your brand identity gets stuck with your audience.
3. Higher returns with your budget
With traditional advertisements, there are more misses than hits. They cost you a bomb and the chances for it to result in leads are slim. There is no clear targeting, whereas with social media adverts, you can precisely set your audience, thus increasing your leads as well as you save on the lead cost.
4. Retargeting existing customers
A lot of times your customers might just add your products to the cart or view certain products but not make the purchase. Through social media retargeting, you can reach out to them again, get them to review the product(s) and help push the sale further.
With varied options available through multiple channels, your prospective customers can change decisions before you can blink your eye. So turn to social media advertisements to make you the last decision they make before they !
Oct 17 2018
As individuals, we might or might not be social media driven. Twitter may feel like a waste of time, latest filters on Instagram and Snapchat are alien concepts and Facebook may have run its course in your life.
But when we think of a brand, be it ourselves in the capacity of social influencers or a product/service selling brand, social media today is the key tool. From grabbing the attention of potential customers, promoting the latest creative; for that matter, even solving doubts and grievances of your existing customers, social media is a very important weapon in your arsenal.
Yet, with multiple portals providing different tools, how do you keep a track of who’s talking about your brand? Good, bad, neutral; everything that’s being said about you, should be in your knowledge. But the question remains: HOW?
Social Media Listening shows you real-time data of what is being said about you, without you having to go on individual platforms and searching for your name or product. A one-stop monitoring of all your social media pages, it gives you precise data of the mention of your brand, as it’s happening. Further analysis of the trends that have been set off by your metrics also are a click (or maybe a few clicks) away.
Here’s why social listening is a MUST-HAVE for your business:
1. KNOWLEDGE OF BRAND
You can find out how your business is perceived by your audience, as compared to your competitors. The stats can also be converted into reports that inform the clients, investors, for that matter, your own team of how and how much is your brand impacting your customers.
2. TIME – SAVING
Brand tracking is easier as it helps you monitor multiple portals through one platform, saving time and the extra effort of going to each social media account separately.
3. AWARENESS IN REAL TIME
Getting that real-time data is vital for your business. Paying attention to not just where you’re tagged but also everything that’s mentioned about you, so you don’t have a FOMO moment when it comes to your brand.
4. FUTURE PLANNING
Having this information in hand also helps your marketing and sales team to plan their strategy. You can take notes of things that worked or did not work and accordingly move ahead with your plans.
5. FIND YOUR TRUE FANS
Word of mouth is the best way to grow your business. Through social listening, you can find the people who are advocating your brand and can reach out to them to help push your business further. These could be either your customers or an influencer.
As social media is a real-time industry, being conscious and aware all the time is important for your business success. With social listening, you can be on top of things and take your brand to a new level!
Oct 15 2018
Social media today, is dynamic. Trends are changing rapidly to grab the maximum attention. From worded content, to picture content and videos, digital-info consumption is evolving continuously. Instagram is about pictures & videos and we all keep looking for new ways of attracting potential digital traffic to your account and have them press that ‘follow’ button. The latest trendsetter with Instagram is the ‘grid’.
Grids are nothing but a set pattern which helps page owners attain the look that they have envisioned for their brand/page and eventually helps attract the digital traffic that your brand page is aiming for. Also, it’s always easier to work in a routine and Instagram grids are here to do just that. Specially if we are aiming to be the gen-next influencers that want the Instagram page to attract not just viewership, but also economic gains and business prospects.
3 CREATIVE (AND EASY) HACKS TO MAKE A GRID
Content that is ‘tile’ style. Make a visually appealing theme, alternating your posts between either two theme colours or alternating between a minimalistic slide and busier slide. Think of a pattern that resonates with your brand theme, showcases your CTA (call-to-action) and convinces a viewer to respond immediately. Not very difficult to maintain, just remember to alternate your posts correctly and the grid will maintain itself
2. HORIZONTAL LINES
Do you want your Instagram page to tell a story, appealing to the people who are scrolling through your page? Travel, restaurant and pages that put up elaborate and picturesque posts, turn towards this style of planning their Instagram posts. It requires careful editing techniques to make a picture into 3 or 6 parts, maintain continuity in all pictures but also has a maximum impact on a viewer about to scroll down through your account
3. VERTICAL LINES
Only if you are prepared to be very very VERY committed to maintaining a grid, look no further. This grid simply requires you to maintain 3 equally attractive rows of content. Your visitors are now hooked on to the creativity (with discipline) exhibited and will keep scrolling down to look further into your brand and the variety of information you offer
Other than the above, themes can also be maintained with a singular colour background or a single colour border. Something as simple as a plain white border can also help sustain a theme or grid.
Instagram grids give your visitors, instant gratification. A few scrolls and they get the gist of what your page is all about, your highlights and takeaways. Well-maintained grids in Instagram pages give that extra nudge to your visitors to not just ‘double-click’ a few pictures here and there but also add your account to their must-see list.
So choose your grid and start planning now!