How SMEs In India Can Use Online Brand Building?

May 11th, 2015

Online brand building

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http://cdn.alleywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Brand-Cloud.jpg

Most SMEs in India have their own website. But, SMEs, seeking cost-effective ways to reach their target audience, do not consider online brand building options. Several obstacles obstruct the pathway of SMEs. The most common hurdles are:

  • Restricted budget
  • Insufficient information about opportunities
  • Uncertainty of ROI
  • Lack of established benchmarks

But, if an SME approaches a digital marketing company, it is possible to avail unprecedented success for 4 reasons.

  • Digital media is a vast pool of target audience.
  • Digital media is known for its analytics system for business intelligence.
  • Digital media is more affordable channel than ATL traditional media, for example, print ads, TVC, banners.
  • As a great equalizer, digital media presents an equal opportunity to different brands.

So, any SME in India can consider the following plan for a successful online brand building.

1. Commit:

Several SME decision makers want to just test the waters when it comes to digital media marketing. If that is your current plan of action, copy Eric Ries. If online media seems like a right channel of communication, you need to commit wholeheartedly.

Online brand building

  • Invest in creating brand positioning, personality, architecture, and brand identity before even considering a logo or a website font. Your brand’s story is a wonderful way to engage people. This is what separates MNCs from SMEs. So, make the due effort to set yourself apart from the start with the right foundation. With an emotional story create a bond with your target audience. Though, it may not seem applicable to every brand, but, it can be done through several details. So, how had your organization originated? What are your leaders passionate about? How do your customers experience your brand? How do your employees feel about your organization? These emotions create a bond. It leads a stronger connection and an additional reason to buy from you.
  • Select channels well. Most SMEs do not focus on making right choices. You will need to choose the following very carefully.

o preferred mode of digital communication: desktop, tablet or smartphone
o channel of communications: paid, rented, owned
o social media platforms

Select these details well to reach your target audience.

  • Communicate a specific message. Most SMEs cannot take a position of an MNC. But, a business owner can become an expert on a subject. An organization can become a user-friendly ally. A consistent and valuable message can go a long way in winning hearts and minds of brand advocates. These brand advocates and influencers can do much more than communication through paid channels.

2. Act:

Are you ready to become an expert in your chosen field? Be it brand advocates or lead generation, it takes time. Selected members of your online brand building team will need to take a consistent action, including you. So, here are few actionable tips that will maintain the rising graph of your brand building efforts.

  • Set specific objectives for a stipulated period of time. Don’t shy away from understanding what to expect in terms of ROI.
  • Reasonable and pragmatic objectives will identify the KPIs you need to monitor. Include the web analytics, social media listening into the set of responsibilities.
  • Include few of the crucial online branding elements to communicate the care and understanding:

o Online customer care system
o Invite employees, buyers and associates to share their opinion, which becomes the online content.
o Engage your employees and other communication to create a brand-consistent communication.

take action

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3. Follow through:

online brand building

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http://www.ziglar.com/quotes/zig-ziglar/character-commitment-and-discipline

That’s why; following through on your online brand building is just as important. So, monitor social media and other channels holistically. Then your online brand building efforts can be tweaked or altered as necessary. Though, this phase does not imply discontinuation of the action plan, it gives a lot of space for raising and resolving valid questions. Here are some examples:

  • Why do few pages have a high exit rate? What can be done to lower it?
  • What is the current conversion rate of landing pages? What can be done to improve it?
  • Which external channels are performing better than others? Why?
  • What do the online customers like most about the service or product?
  • What do your online customers like and dislike about the brand?
  • Will your online customers recommend your brand to others?

Successful changes in this phase are a cornerstone for online media success for SMEs in India. This transition cannot be completed without making the necessary adjustments in online brand communication.

This article does not resolve all queries about transitioning from offline to online. But, if you are keen to make it, you know where to find us.

Stop Making Terrible “Online Media” Decisions!

May 5th, 2015

Some professionals had to incorporate online media into their decision-making portfolio with changing times. Others specialized in it with a right combination of foresight and effort. Either way leaders have to make “digital media” related decisions. It is a cornerstone of several successful business ventures in India today. For the uninitiated, it might be a lack of understanding of digital media. Experts and devout can go wrong too. So, we want to present few crucial pointers to help you avoid it.

Success failure

@Image credit:

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Most of us know that real life decisions are not as simple as the image above. Digital media decisions, like most others, are complex, multi-faceted and hard. But, it is non-optional to incorporate proven “online” success principles into your decisions. So, check rear-view mirror for these principles while making crucial digital media decisions.

# 1 – Complex is out.

Be it web development, content, informational architecture, or usability, the first core principle of success in online business is – “Simplicity” for the users.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
@Image Credit:

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Simplicity leads to clarity, then to a better implementation. Most readers hesitate to take this principle on face value. Experience and knowledge tend to highlight the complexity of decisions. But, drive your efforts to simplify online business so even first-time visitors understand it. It does not imply that you have to dumb it down. You have to remain easy and user-friendly for every last visitor to your website. Here are examples of how smart businesses are doing it.

1. Google: Google is a king of simplicity. But, it isn’t limited to search engine and SERP. It extends to every aspect of their brand user experience and communication. Blog, email, new products, and ventures are driven by it.

2. Bromium: Several brands, operating in B2B marketplace do not hesitate to simplify products and websites. It works well because the communication is clear enough for interested visitors to get it easily. If you circumvent oversimplification, every B2C strategy will work productively enough. Take a look at Birst, Brandwatch landing page, and Egencia website.

There are enough examples of rocking and simple B2B websites that are doing financially well.

But, remember, Simple ≠ Easy. So you have your work cut out for you.

#2 – Information is core.

Digital media has a significant edge over the traditional media. You have an enormous amount of information available about your website, customers and more. Disregarding it is the biggest mistake. So, vital online business decisions must have a strong foundation of information.

For example;

Digital Media

Each of these resources offers tangible information. It can be used as a foundation for crucial business decisions. Though instinct plays a role in decision-making, most businessmen cannot afford to be blindsided by lack or delay of information.

So, most departments must stay updated with the latest research in cross-departmental topics too. For example, ancient research on “F-Shaped Pattern” for reading content cannot be buried into writer’s portfolio. Web developers and designers must know it well to present smart options. The Halo Effect is not some random psychological detail. It is a useful source of information in hands of a right UX designers and leaders. So, let the information become the foundation of every big move, at every level.

#3 – What’s in it for me?

This is an ancient marketing mantra. But, “WIIFM” remains a useful way to make sense of today’s chaotic world. Answer this one question for your visitors honestly and interestingly and you have a quickest route to a higher conversion rate. What does that mean? Blog posts cannot be a medium for promotions only. Social media optimization does not have to be disconnected from company goals. Case studies cannot be gloating space either. So, does your decision create a more empathetic answer to this age-old question? Does it make your website more relatable? Does the new social advertising campaign respond well to this inner urge?

what is in it for me
@Image credit:

http://cdn.christinamotley.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/WhatsInItForMe.jpg

Create a culture of adhering to these principles for your digital media decisions. Be it social media or responsive web design; think beyond the hottest and the latest. Step into a realm of these principles for every short term and long term decision. At least, use it as a checklist before you sign off on it. Take a close look at several social media disasters and you will understand that empathy is not an option. It is the “only” way to go. So, relate and answer customer’s deepest questions to earn the trust.

How do you take the “online media” decisions? Share with us in the comments section. We would love to hear about your process too.

Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide for Efficient Social Media Management

April 13th, 2015

Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide for Efficient Social Media Management

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Several entrepreneurs seek to optimise their social media presence. This effective and free tool is accessible and appealing to your buyers. So, this channel to reach, promote, and interact can have huge impact on your sales. The best track to successful campaign is to hire a social media marketing agency. Agreeably, it sounds self- flagellant. But, I have seen the difference it can make. A team of designer, developer, social media analyst and social media manager can reshape your entire social media presence. But, if you are not ready, don’t worry. Here is an efficient way to manage your social media presence successfully.

Social Media Management

Get a social media audit and strategy.
Before jump-starting this adventure, a businessman must take due caution. Every entrepreneur uses a similar concoction for any successful venture. Figure out where you are and where you want to go. Audit and goal setting are a right starting point for any pursuit, right?

Social Media Audit
You can use this template for social media audit. This is an easier one, which most non-social media marketers and entrepreneurs can use independently. This exercise will assist you have a realistic understanding of your current social media presence. So, how does the SWOT analysis look like?

Social Media Strategy
Use this template to chart out our social media goals and action plan. But, here are the crucial bullet points for quick scanning readers.

@Image Credit: http://www.jagpresspublicity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/SocialMediaStrategy.jpg

Select:

  • Right platform: Every platform is not for you.
  • Social media objective: Select the best way to optimise these platforms.
  • Positioning: You have to be unique.
  • Tone of voice: Talk to them only.
  • Set:

  • Measurable goal for each platform
  • Frequency of posting
  • Right call to action
  • Crucial metrics
  • Social media policy
  • Implement the social media strategy.

    Once you have this strategy in place, you can limit your social media activities to day-to-day management. Most entrepreneurs do not include social advertising into initial social media marketing strategy. The game plan revolves around evaluating its potential for the particular organization in particular market. But, Facebook marketing or LinkedIn marketing can be useful strategy if you have necessary funds and creative resources. So, here are few tips to simplify the everyday social media tasks.

  • Maintain a social media calendar. Here is the template. It is an easy way to stay updated.
  • Use time-efficient social media tools. These tools will complete a chunk of the tasks without personal attention.
  • Plan and organize daily tasks. There are a lot of decisions and tasks. You cannot do it at a last minute for the best effect. Use these smart tips to manage them effectively.
  • Spend a select time every day. Devote a chosen part of your daily time to social media. This will simplify execution.
  • Track your social media performance.

    Using social media analytics is an inseparable part of the social media management. It will be non-negotiable if you launch a social advertising campaign with Facebook advertising or Sponsored tweets. So, use social media monitoring tools after a select duration to keep an eye on the progress towards the predetermined goals. You need to listen to your target audience well in order to respond effectively.

    A crucial part of any brand’s social media performance is “mistakes”. You can’t avoid all of them. But, you can be smart and avoid the typical mistakes. Then, you will learn the valuable lessons and use these mistakes as stepping stones rather than regrets.

    If you set right tools in place, you can manage the daily tasks within 1 or 2 hours of the day. This is an efficient way to manage your social media presence within limited resources.
    Do you intend to leverage your social media presence for lead generation and sales? Consult a digital marketing agency with a pay for performance billing system. It can lower your expenses and avail an efficient social media campaign. All the best!

    Is Your Website Driving Customers Away?

    April 8th, 2015

    What do customers want? What can truly capture their interest and drive sales? What evokes unconditional loyalty and advocacy? Every entrepreneur and marketer is looking for answers of these questions. As a digital marketing agency, we understand that digital technology hasn’t changed the basic principles of selling and advertising. We assist our client apply the century-old yet relevant principles of selling to digital space effectively. People can get blinded by next big things in field of technology and fail to notice what works and what doesn’t. Let’s explore selling principles as applicable to online space.

    Customer says, “Don’t make me wait.”

    Is your website driving customer away

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    http://media-curse.cursecdn.com/attachments/85/584/1050a6b6770da2e056d68677756240ec.jpg

    As marketers, entrepreneurs and buyers, we understand this principle. So, don’t make customers wait online either. Your prompt and genuine support will go long way in creating a pleased clientele. That’s why; you want to avoid any of the following online mistakes.

  • Loading time is too slow.
  • Check out process is too time-consuming.
  • A registration process is compulsory.
  • Web content is too long or too complicated.
  • Download speed is too slow.
  • There is no easy way to contact the organization immediately.
  • Check out or download buttons are not easily available.
  • This website isn’t responsive.
  • Customer says, “It seems shady. I don’t buy it”

    Website customer says I don’t buy it

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    https://iwbi.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/cropped-idbi1.jpg

    Trust is a complex concept for most sellers to establish across digital media. Frankly, you don’t have alternative. With growing number of unreliable online businesses, you need to take the extra effort to build a trusting relationship with your customers. So, you do not want your customers to think the following. It will neither build trust nor generate sales.

  • This website does not seem safe.
  • There are no actual answers in FAQ session. It is just promotional content.
  • Where is the return policy? Where is the refund policy? Where is cancellation policy? What will I do if…
  • Why does this website have so many pop ups?
  • Why does this site autoplay video/music?
  • There isn’t enough information to make a well informed decision about this product.
  • There are too many ads. Where is the website content that I wanted to read?
  • Customer says, “I am bored.”

    Website customer says I am bored

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    http://books.simonandschuster.com/Im-Bored/Michael-Ian-Black/9781442414037

    No marketer or entrepreneur wants to bore the customer. Within seconds, your visitor has left the website and moved onto the next tab in browser. You might as well say bye. But, engaging isn’t equivalent to cool or fun. It is a right combination of interesting and relevant. Though, definitive of customer engagement vary with every website, industry and target audience, “engagement” is the key. So, what are the mistakes you want to avoid?

  • There is no engaging content on social media websites.
  • The website content is irrelevant, complicated, stuffed with keywords and/or old.
  • There are too many other products and/or services on the page.
  • Font size, font color, font type make content illegible. It is hard to scan.
  • This website does not fulfil customer’s expectations instantly.
  • Online businesses can grow and thrive in spite of some mistakes as long as you don’t break The Fundamental Rule of Online Success. Rest of all these mistakes can be rectified easily.

    Is Your Website Driving Customers Away - Stay ahead of the game

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    Are you ahead of the game?

    What CEOs Must Know About Success In Digital Marketing

    February 16th, 2015

    Facebook has more than 1.3 billion active users. The number of monthly Google searches is somewhere close to 11.9 billion. All businessmen can estimate that even the smallest slice of this huge pie is worth every effort.

    In today’s cutting-edge and highly competitive digital market, you need to set your company, product, or brand apart from the next one. Every CEO wants to know how they can get more traffic and more sales. What is the “key” factor that can make the difference?

    The answer is pretty simple. There are 5 basic yet crucial thought processes that can pave the path to digital media success.

    1. Each channel has needs.

    Brands need to understand digital media. It is not just about a CEO who understands the direction of the industry or a CMO who understands buyer personas. It is about filtering down this understanding to a system of success.

    For example, Social Media is a one of the digital media channels. But, it is very different from SEO or SEM. On social media, you need to be keyed in to relevant topics and post and respond in real-time, to be a hit with your audience. Like Oreo did with its Super Bowl Slam Dunk:

    oreo super bowl slam

    @Image credit: http://blog.mindshare.ie/

    Remember, digital media success is strongly correlated to online brand positioning. So, first understand what each channel needs. Then, create systems that adapt to the different needs of these communication channels.

    2. Do more and get more.

    CEOs have a great opportunity to create thought leadership positioning. Thought leadership is a great way to personalise the brand and attract more customers by getting involved in issues that matter in your industry. You can establish thought leadership by:

  • Identifying new opportunities or solutions for growth
  • Overcoming the most pertinent problems within your industry
  • Offering subject matter expertise by sharing consumable content
  • Building trust within a business community
  • Creating a substantial impact
  • Take a look at the responsibilities of a thought leader. Every CEO, in some capacity or other, needs to identify new opportunities, solve problems and build trust within a community. In other words, a robust online presence is the perfect way to build your current profile and add value to your organization.

    what is a thought leader

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    Any company can have a website and a social media account. However, thought leadership can be the key differentiator for your organization’s online presence.

    3. Know thy king.

    Digital marketing has brought a unique emphasis on customers. Every digital media activity is geared towards a better customer experience. Be it simpler navigation, a responsive website, or sharable content, “buyer persona” is at the forefront of key business decisions. But, there is something a CEO is in a unique position to do.

    know thy customer

    With example after example, digital media demonstrates the value of a customer-centric approach. But, a digital marketing company or marketing executive cannot implement a customer-centric business culture. A business leader can do it. Here is how:

    customer

  • Integrate web analytics, sales and customer care to identify customer insights. They can be used in every marketing communication.
  • Utilise key customer insights to create a better product: Year-on-year, every CEO has access to huge amounts of data. Unorganised and disintegrated, it occupies space. The right integration will give you key insights to drive your business forward.
  • The best example is the case of Jan Koum, the CEO of Whatsapp Messenger app. His keen insights into the customer psyche helped him create a user experience. It has allowed him to build more than an app. It has become an integral part of our social fabric because he used those insights to build a successful customer-driven business model.

    4. Get big without big bucks.

    Digital media is not about having big marketing budgets. Though, they do help. Digital media is all about striking the right cord with your audience. Be it a call to action on a landing page, social media post or your personal profile on LinkedIn, everything is an affordable tool. But, the real question is how much will you be willing to pay to get 250% growth in your website traffic?

    Food for thought: These insights are already proven to lead to digital media success. How will you implement them? Contact Us and we will help you to implement these for your business.