Facebook pages – Every brand’s new shop!

“This is not an information age. It’s an age of networked intelligence” – Don Tapscott

If a brand is not on Facebook, it simply does not exist!

Facebook has recently been named as the “Most effective social media platform for advertising” by eMarketer. Going by the recent surveys, Facebook has 1.49 billion active users, which means that out of every 5 people in the world 1 is browsing through facebook! Humanisation of brands has become a recent phenomenon with the advent of Facebook. The digital boom has ensured that each brand gets a face, a readymade platform where the customers could reach out to brands with minimal effort.

Facts about Facebook

  • 50% of users log on to facebook at any given day.
  • Average users spend about 55 mins on facebook per day.
  • More than 5 million pieces of content are shared each week.
  • Facebook has more than 3 million active pages.
  • So let’s ask the obvious question – Why does your brand need a Facebook page?

    Be it a huge multinational company selling multiple products or a small scale enterprise, maintaining a facebook page is a must! Digital presence allows you to truly listen, communicate and engage with people who like your business and gain new customers in the process

    1. Find all the right people

    Facebook helps you identify your ideal target audience. With the analytics provided by Facebook you could identify your customers and classify them through psychographics and demographics. You could create ads that target a particular age, sex, location, interest etc. Choosing your target audience allows you to reach out to people before they start looking out for you.

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    2. Helps you to humanise your brand

    No advertisement works as much as the power of a genuine brand. Your Facebook page represents your organisation and its belief. Your customers want to know your company better. Be as human as possible. In order develop a personal connection with your audience do not be hesitant to share behind the scene images, latest company developments etc. Facebook helps you to voice your company’s stand on the current affairs.

    3. Facebook helps you to build a community

    Building a community is one of the easiest way of generating relevant interactions with your audience. A community could consist of like minded audience who connect with each other based on their hobbies, interests and likes. You could build a community by posting interactive content, asking your audience to contribute through polls, feedbacks, open ended questions, reviews and contests

    4. Play it up. Get even with your competition!

    Facebook enables you to monitor your competitors’ pages. From page likes to weekly engagement you can compare your page to your competitors. This is a very useful tool which helps you plan your content strategy and provides you a constant reality check!

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    5.Improving your SEO

    Facebook generate footfalls to your website and blogs. Traction received through link shares on facebook could boost your SEO if your links are indexed by search engines.

    Can Facebook drive sales?

    Yes, Facebook could be your new shop!Marketing on Facebook is an easy way to generate online sales. Drive your audience from Facebook to your website to book appointments, sing up for events, learn more information or make a purchase!

    4 ways of achieving sales via Facebook:

    1. Remarketing – Cookie tracking enables you to market your website to a customer who has been to your website before. Create a reminder to shop again or complete an unfinished transaction. This could be done by installing a code on your website.

    2. Multiple ad offerings – You could choose form

  • Mobile ads – Target specific mobile users only
  • Page like ads – Increase the number of likes on your page
  • Post boost ads – Increase the engagement of a particular post by increasing the like, comments and shares.

    Various types of post boost options are available.

  • Website ads – Generate traction to your website using adequate “call to action” options
  • App installs – Boosting your app installs by promoting it to the right audience.
  • Event and offer ads– Creating Facebook exclusive events and offers
  • 3. Modifying your existing campaign

    Facebook has an upper hand over traditional mediums since it allows you to modify your ads at your convenience. You could be increasing your budget, you could cancel underperforming ads or you could change your target audience completely. Facebook gives you the freedom to modify any aspect of your ad.

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    4. Application plug-ins

    Facebook allows you to download additional plugins to your page. One such application is called Pavement. This application allows you to create a storefront on your Facebook page with ease. Storefront Social is another such similar app. These apps are currently free of cost and the set up is simple once you create an account on their website

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    Finally, creating a Facebook page may seem as an easy task but maintaining it is as difficult. In order to establish a strong and sound brand on Facebook, it is very important to be extra careful of what you post. You may think that the world is not actively watching you but a small mistake may lead to bigger consequences.

    “Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent” – Jay Baer

    Battling through the marketing clutter – 7 steps to victory!

    “Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic.” – Samuel Johnsons, one of the earliest complaint regarding advertisements dating back to 1759
    Unfortunately, we humans don’t have a warning button for sensory overload! Advertisements constantly bombarded to an average human reach toxic levels ranging from 3000 – 30,000 commercial messages on an ordinary day.
    Did we undervalue the aftermath of digitalisation? To what levels should a hypothetical brand X go to just simply say “Hey, come and buy my product? “

    Yes, we are in the day and age of advertisement clutter and yes, it is difficult to get customer’s attention!

    Apart from competing Products & Brands, It is a tough a fight out there, even for Ad-Space, with each bill board vying to gain customer attention or standout from the crowd!

    In order to be noticed on a larger scale, a brand does not need to take extraordinary efforts, intelligent messaging is the way forward!

    Presenting herewith; 7 steps to cut through the noise in this age of marketing saturation.

    1.   Content:- The battleground

      From annoying pop-ups to irrelevant YouTube video pre-rolls, the audience has a lot to complain about. “Nobody reads an ad, people read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad!”

      Content marketing is a long term process to make your brand relevant and gain acceptability. Whether it’s a blog or an ad, the content should be insightful and significant keeping the reader engaged.

      As a brand, one needs to master the art of story-telling.  Psychologists say that the best mode of remembering or memorizing something is through the art of effective storytelling.

      No wonder Tanishq and Coca Cola are using this technique in their recent ads with Deepika Padukone and Aalia Bhatt respectively.

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    2. Targeting: Who are you fighting for?

    Let’s get it straight, everyone is not a customer!  One always starts with identifying the target audience.  Ask a simple question “Who will buy the product?”

    One you have an age group, demographics and psychographics in mind, start with appealing to the need and mentality of that group.

    Identify what the core customers want. It is best to identify their needs is by analyzing the competition.

  • Find out what they want that they are not getting from the competing brand?
  • What is the added value that brand offers?
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    3. On the stroke of 12 – it’s all in the timing

    Marketing is all about being in the right place at the right time.  Consumers could be searching for your products on Google, could be reviewing your brand on Zomato or could be watching your TV commercial.

    It is imperative to have a 360 degree constant presence, no matter which season or what time of the day! Being consistent is the key.

    You cannot have a post and lay quiet for the rest of the day. For successful retention one must ensure that the customer is hooked to your content, waiting for you to upload your next piece.  Thus, making a schedule and sticking to it is very essential to develop a long lasting relationship with your clients

    4. USP – The weapon

    “We deliver in 30 minutes or less” How does a brand profitable sell something as generic as a pizza?  Kudos to Dominos!

    The credibility lies in identifying your ‘USP’ unique selling proposition and consistently promoting it in your content. This will help differentiate your brand from hordes of similar such competing brands.

    In order to beat the monotony, the brand must have a meaningful message or a different perspective. Witty language, funny content and creativity help just do that…

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    5. Sing your anthem loud and clear!

    It is of utmost importance that your content highlights your product benefits in the best possible voice. Everybody remembers Ujala- “char boondo wala”

    Thus when a buyer is confused between two products, he/she would have an instant recollection of the advantages of choosing your product.

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    6. Listen to the field Marshall aka the marketing Guru!

    Though a CEO may have the last say, but it is always wise to take a second opinion, especially when it comes to marketing. Have a guest-blogger put up the next blog, or a fresh Ad not created by the regular staff. These will not only give the Ad campaign a breath of fresh air but also a different perspective, which might just do wonders for your company.

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    7. The final verdict- victory or defeat

    Whether the Ad campaign is successful or partly successful, it is important to analyse and gain a few important insights, which will help fine tune it in the long run. Identify individual areas by breaking the campaign into bits and fully scrutinizing it.  Was it the targeting? Was it the media selection? What worked and what did not? Asking just a few pertinent questions will help point the way ahead… Simultaneously keep an eye on the competition.

    Do not be hesitant to fight dirty but make sure to abide by the rules.

    APAC Digital Marketing Stats from January 2016

    India, Australia and China play a significant role In the January 2016’s APAC digital marketing stats. This month Mobile payments, retail growth, Netflix, marketing technology and ad spends are all in the mix.

    Cashless Payments: Going Mobile and Beyond

    image - 1Source: Econsultancy.Com

    Smartphones have radically changed the way people do things – from communication, to gaming and entertainment, to other forms of connectivity. One of its functions which is gaining in popularity among the tech-savvy, digitally-inclined consumers today is as a mobile wallet. Mobile payment systems find themselves rank higher as against other cashless payment systems like cheques, debit and credit cards and even other online payment methods. It is the most convenient way of transferring funds whenever needed due to security, convenience and ease.

    Asian consumers are driving up the global average of transactions made on the mobile devices by using payments methods such as Japan’s JCB.

    Adyen, the global payments technology company, which tracks mobile payment data from web-based transactions published its latest Mobile Payments Index (MPI). As measured on Adyen’s network:

  • 34% of global browser-based online transactions are now mobile. It is a 30% increase from the previous quarter
  • The increase is driven particularly by major Asian-based payment methods including JCB, UnionPay, and Alipay
  • Japan’s JCB had the biggest percentage share of mobile payments (54%)
  • China’s Alipay increased to 44% (up from 35%), and UnionPay to 31% (from 23%)
  • Chinese Retail All Set To Boom

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    The Chinese consumer market, is in the midst of a transformation that offers tremendous new opportunities. Three great forces which are steering this transformation are:

  • The rise of upper-middle-class and affluent households as the key drivers of consumption growth
  • A new generation of freer-spending, sophisticated consumers
  • The increasingly powerful role of e-commerce
  • The Boston Consulting Group has released its predictions for China’s total consumer market, which is projected to expand by about half, to $6.5 trillion, by 2020. Online transactions will represent 42% of this $2.3trillion growth.

    Demand for premium goods and services—such as healthy foods, education, and travel, rather than just the daily necessities—will accelerate not just in the biggest cities but also among the upper middle class growing outside of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

    Indian Retail Sector Is Also Thriving

    It’s not just Chinese retail sector that is set to flourish, Indian retail will also double in value by 2020, according to a Confederation of Indian Industry and BCG report.

    The retail sector in India is emerging as one of the largest sectors in the economy. Riding on income growth, rapid urbanization and more nuclear families leading to higher per capita consumption, Indian retail market is projected to grow from $630bn in 2015 to between $1.1tn and $1.2tn in 2020.

    While the overall retail market is likely to grow at an annual rate of about 12%, organized retail is projected to grow at 20% and e-commerce at 40-50%. Organized retail will account for about 12% of the retail market by 2020.

    Also by 2020, about 650 million consumers will be online, of which 350-400 million would be “digitally influenced”, helping e-commerce to grow from $8-12 billion in 2015 to $45-50 billion in 2020 .

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    Netflix In India Targets The Upper Middle Classes

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    Netflix is the world’s top video streaming service that allows users to watch content on screens ranging from a smartphones to a smart television. Netflix launched its services in India in January 2016. At a price point of 500 rupees, the Netflix subscription is steep when compared with home-grown competitors like Eros Now whose subscription starts at Rs.49 per month which is 10 % of Netflix’s price, while Hotstar is available for free. And then, there is rampant piracy.

    The wealthier consumer who have the ability to pay for its subscription and are aware of the western shows are being targeted by Netflix that will initially offer western content, before adding more Indian entertainment.

    Marketing Technology Surprises: Companies Invest More In Marketing Technologies That Are Easy-To-Use

    Marketing is becoming more digital and because of this, it seems that technology is increasingly becoming an integral part.

    Econsultancy surveyed around 450 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals based in Australia and New Zealand about their marketing technology, how they use various technologies, and their current and future marketing technology priorities.

    One of the surprising findings is illustrated in the graph below.

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    In order to find out why companies were investing in various marketing technologies, Econsultancy listed 15 different systems and asked marketers to tell, for each:

  • Were they (or their clients) investing in it?
  • How difficult did they find it?
  • How critical was it to their business?
  • The size of the circle corresponds to the investment made in the technology.

    As it is visible from the graph that there are certain technologies (mainly social listening and management) that seem to have large investment relative to their criticality. What this probably means, is that marketers show a tendency to invest in a non-critical technology as long as it is easy to use!

    Growth in Australian Advertising Spend

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    Australia’s advertising expenditure grew 4.5% in 2015 taking the size of the media agency market to a gigantic A$ 7.9 billion, with digital seeing a 20% growth.

    According to Standard Media Index there was an overall increase of A$ 338million being spend on Australian media.

    In spite of strong growth from digital media, it was Cinema that had a record year spend and was up by 37.2%. It was partly influenced by big releases such as Star Wars. The good old radio was up 7.8%.

    As the digital screens proliferated, the Out-of-home sector made a comeback in 2015, up 16% in spend.

    Change in Australian Newspaper Readership
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    Smartphones are gaining popularity as a platform for reading news in Australia and is becoming one of the fastest growing medium.

    According to a data released by New Enhanced Media Metrics Australia, the readership on smartphone devices has increased 8% to 3.6m.

    On the other hand, a whopping 9.8m readers still access the news content on their laptops or desktops. The Tablet news apps have readership at 3m.

    The combined figure for digital readers is 11.6m which is behind the 13.8m that read print which is soon on a decline.

    Key Digital Strategies For 2016!

    “Digital” is fast becoming an integral part of businesses and is no longer being looked upon as a distinct discipline. Marketers across the globe are focused on creating digitally led marketing strategies.
    Today we’re sharing some of the digital strategy trends that are expected to grow in popularity during 2016:

    Customer-Centric Approach Of Businesses

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    Growing emphasis on being able to provide a seamless experience to the consumers will ensure that marketers start using integrated tools that provide them ability to track the consumer’s journey and to be able to engage with them with relevant content at the appropriate time. Customer centricity will be the core for all digital marketing strategies.

    According to a research conducted by Econsultancy, Customer-centricity is considered key theme for digital strategy by business leaders across a selection of global markets. 58% of respondents said being ‘customer-centric’ was the most important characteristic for establishing a truly ‘digital native’ culture above data driven, innovative and collaborative.

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    Importance Of Lifecycle Marketing

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    Extending the concept of customer centricity further, marketing strategists are realizing the benefits of catering to their existing customers throughout their journey.
    According to a research carried out by Demand Metric, it was discovered that 54% of businesses state that they get their revenue from existing customers and 72% of businesses state that they do conduct lifetime marketing and it positively impacted their revenue. However only 20% of the businesses who participated in the research were marketing at all phases of the lifecycle.

    There lies a tremendous opportunity to create a positive impact on the revenues by mapping the marketing communications across customer lifecycle steps such as

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Retention
  • Advocacy
  • Speed To Market – Be More ‘In The Moment’

    Marketers want to accelerate their response times and become more ‘in the moment’ in 2016. This way the marketers looking to be in the moment will be able to offer something unique to their customers and engage with them in new and innovative ways. Businesses will need to have a presence across multiple channels and understand how to make the best use of each of the channels in order to respond quickly to its customers. TV shows and sporting events are the most popular kind of content that is being used to leverage campaigns with ‘in the moment marketing’.

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    Research by TVTY of UK marketers showed that moment marketing will be a key way to engage with customers who are increasingly bombarded with advertising.

    Content Still Rules

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    Undoubtedly, content will remain as the central theme for digital marketing strategy. The key will be to make it as real time, as relevant and as consistent across devices, across platforms and social media.
    There will be more pressure to create content that is consumed instantly and almost unconsciously by the consumers. Content strategy will also encompass newer areas like the marketplace and will look to expand aggressively. Armed with newer technologies like machine learning, analytics and automation, marketers will be keen to focus on developing as real time, as relevant and as personalized content as possible to connect with their consumers, regardless of the channel or format. The key to success will be their ability to generate insights and track actions throughout the user journey and measure the outcomes to improve the personalized content and keep the consumers engaged with their brands.

    Video Everywhere

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    In the age of the mobile revolution, with IoT, Wearables and VR being touted as the next frontiers, Video continues to be the best way to engage with the consumers across devices. We have seen this with Facebook live streaming, Snapchat and YouTube catching audiences’ attention even more than ever. Today’s millennials prefer videos to watching programs on television. Definitely video streaming will one of the key areas to watch out for in the digital marketing strategy.

    Analytics – Real Time

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    We expect real time analytics to become a big focus for 2016. Marketers will be under increasing pressure to measure outcomes continuously and instantly feed relevant content to the users. Real time marketing automation capabilities supported with big data analytics will become important tools for marketers to be able to constantly monitor and improvise their content being delivered throughout the user journey. Analytics on a real time basis will be another important differentiator and will be increasingly used as a competitive advantage by the brands.

    More SEO

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    Lastly SEO will continue to be a core component of the digital strategy with experts continuing their focus on enhanced SEO capabilities and keeping pace with the changes led by the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. We can certainly expect SEO to expand beyond these and become an integrated part of the digital marketing strategy.