Category Archives: Marketing

How can you identify and leverage social media influencers for brand awareness?

Social-media-for-BrandingThe evolution of digital marketing has given rise to many new different concepts that are being increasingly used by individuals and brands to create awareness. One of them is the social media influencer. While this did not exist till about five years back, as of today, more and more brands are using influencers to build relationships with their customers.

So who are these social influencers?

Social influencers are social media users who, other than having a huge following, also have an established credibility with their audience. They have the power to influence others with their authenticity and trustworthiness. An influencer is neither a brand evangelist nor a brand advocate (although that can also be arranged for a fee). There are more like cheerleaders who extend the message in their immediate circle.

While many social influencers tend to have a large number of followers, at the end what really matters, is how many of them will mention, respond to or share an influencer’s posts. These influencers use different channels to reach their audience and they could be anything from blogs to the various social media networks.

How does one to identify social influencers?

Though the social influencer is a fairly new phenomenon, many bigwigs of the industry believe that this is nothing but the ancient “word of mouth” marketing that relies on technology to accelerate it. Leveraging the best influencers will not only help you reach their audience, but the audience’s network too.

Influencers with a huge number of active followers can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your product pages. There is a relationship component in influencer marketing as the audiences that you are looking to influence listen to the particular person because of the trust factor. Hence, when you are looking to identify a social influencer for your brand, you should keep the following “must-have” points in mind:

  • Relevancy to the audience: Look for influencers that produce niche content and are relevant to your brand contextually.
  • Authentic: Audiences trust influencers because they are authentic with their information. He or she must not be posting sponsored content as they will dilute the purpose.
  • Active and makes frequent posts: There is a direct correlation between the frequency of posts and the return of the customer. The more the influencer posts, the more your brand name will spread.
  • Huge reach: Don’t look at reaching a target audience; instead opt for someone who has a wide range of audiences that can be influenced.

Why is social influencing marketing important today?

A report by The Guardian states that 69% of the customers will use the Internet as their main source of information within the next five years. Also, a recent study by McKinsey found that online word of mouth advertising drives twice as many sales as paid advertising leading to a 37% higher retention rate.

If we are to go by these studies, it is pretty much clear that the best way to drive sales is to identify social influencers aligned to your brand and leverage their voices to communicate your brand’s message.

According to another study, 88% of buyers consider online reviews very important when making a purchase. The millennials, who represent an enormous segment of the purchasing population, rely on a brand’s story more than other buyers when making purchasing decisions. Also, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. It’s time that you started using social influencers more than you did!

How to engage influencers?

To get social influencers to help you, you have to again build a relationship with them and it has to be done subtly. Building relationships take time but once the connection is created, activating influencers becomes a lot more seamless and effective. After connecting with time, give them engagement. Interact with them on different platforms through the content they are sharing and also participate in the conversation they start. Apart from participating in their posts and conversations, you can also grab their attention through: media kits, contests, shareable content, hashtags, and with creative contents like infographics, videos etc. This can grow into a mutually beneficial relationship.

How do you leverage the services of influencers?

There are various ways that you can make the most of social influencers. Listed below are a few of them:

  • Create an experience: For the influencer to talk about your product it can’t just be a review, it has to be an experience that he or she can feel and enough to share it forward with their audiences.
  • Customize the campaign: Each campaign has to be customized to fit the social influencer that can be steered by the influencer in a way native to his or her audience.
  • Track the progress: You must track and monitor the progress so that if required you can tweak the campaign in between to suit the required results.

At Unspun we help customers identify the social influencers who meet their requirements and in the process help with influencer marketing.

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Are you leveraging retargeting marketing wisely?

social-media-advertising-facts-infographic-2014An ideal situation for business owners is when buyers visit the website and register expecting a sales executive to get in touch. The sales rep later contacts the visitor and converts him/her into a customer. But unfortunately, such a linear process seldom happens with visitors who browse websites and then leave for an alternative option only to return months. Now, there is this new concept, retargeting marketing, that is being used by digital marketers very commonly to redirect one-time visitors to their websites again and the results have been great.

So what is retargeting marketing?

98% of visitors who visit your website leave without converting. You can use retargeting marketing to convert these visitors. It is a form of marketing through which you target users who have previously visited your website with banner ads on different networks across the web. In this, a small code is added to the landing page (or website) controlled by the marketer or publisher, which places a cookie in each visitor’s browser, adding them to an audience list in retargeting. That audience can now be retargeted with a specific campaign aimed solely at them.

Retargeting marketing is has target customers. B2B companies are often the best candidates for retargeting. But then, it is ideally for site that fails to have a 100% conversion.

Why should one use retargeting marketing?

Retargeting has emerged as a very powerful marketing tool especially for performance driven markets. There are various reasons why it is so important these days:

  • You get a second chance to convert a visitor: The interesting thing about retargeting is that you are targeting potential customers who are already aware of your brand as they have visited your website earlier. These customers will know about your products and services and are more likely to get converted into customers through continuous persuasion.
  • Create your own data mine: If you already have a continuous flow of one-time visitors to your site, then leverage that and create your retargeting list. It complements SEM and SEO efforts to a large extent. This enables you to keep a track on the visitors who would have otherwise gotten away.
  • You can create a recognizable brand through retargeting: Through retargeting, people get to see your ads everywhere that gives the impression that your brand has a big ad campaign running. This itself is enough to create a lasting impression on a potential customer’s mind and goes a long way in creating brand awareness that enables easy brand recognition. It acts more than just a conversion focused tactic.
  • Cost effective: Retargeting marketing gives a great return on investment making it a very cost effective method of marketing. Many people consider retargeting to be the one of the top tactics in display advertising when it comes to ROI. Also, the engagement is typically higher because of increased level of targeting.

Choosing the right channel for retargeting

There are plenty of channels these days online that you can retarget potential customers through. This will again depend on the kind of business you have and the kind of customers you want to convert. You can use third party platforms like: PerfectAudience, AdRoll, Retargeter, Bizo, and a few others or you can retarget through the social media channels like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. The ads will vary according to the channels you choose and there are certain advantages and disadvantages of each. For most products and services, social media channels works well as more people are likely to be reached through these platforms. Here the interactions are more too and hence the chances of being talked about is more.

Takeaways of retargeting marketing

Usually a brand gets one chance to make an impression but with retargeting, it is more than just one. Retargeting can be incredibly effective for advertisers who put the time in to manage and optimize spending effectively. You don’t have to worry about competition like with many other channels, you control every piece of this channel, and you have unlimited options on how to utilize it.

In the highly competitive world of digital marketing, you want to utilize every advantage possible and maximize the value of each of the visitors you drive. In the case of retargeting, you are leveraging your own first-party audience data, which, as we’ve discussed before, is the most valuable type of audience data.

At Unspun , we help our customers retarget their one-time visitors through different channels.

Will Digital India Week widen the market for Digital Media?

digitalindThe Digital India Week (DIW) that kick-started this month is sure to revolutionize the way India communicates. The campaign received eminent industry leader’s support along with their committed investments. This campaign spearheaded by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will potentially create 1.8 million jobs apart from connecting India through a broadband highway. This drive will open many doors and is going to be a boon.

So what effect will it have on the Indian digital space?

2, 50,000 gram panchayats and 600 districts of India will be connected through this particular initiative; hence the audiences for digital media will only go up tremendously. For example, eSignatures, which is now commanding a huge market has found a place under the government initiative and, people can now easily sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication through the eSign framework. Similarly, the digital locker will help people store their important documents online without worrying about physical documents, not to mention, save paper!

But, this is not where the buck stops! These are surface-level benefits for the common people. Can you imagine the impact that a person, brand or product can create with such a wide reach and how much it can benefit? A revolution is surely waiting! By using the different digital channels especially the social media channels, brands can even double their numbers. When it comes to small and medium scale industries, and even artisans located in remote areas, the benefits of digitization will be much greater. They can enlist their businesses on the web and reach out to people not only in urban areas living in different cities but also different countries.

So how do they go about with? “We need to launch drives through which basics of digitization can be taught to people residing in small town and villages,” says Dr. Som Singh, founder and CEO of Unpsun Consulting Group and adds, “Thousands of small businesses that are grappling to survive and reach larger audience should get online first. They need to create online identities that will help their businesses reach consumers in large cities.”

One of the key initiatives of the DIW is Electronics Development Fund (EDF), which will promote innovation, research and product development to create a resource pool within the country as also a self-sustaining eco-system of venture funds. The start-ups are going to benefit immensely from this as aspiring entrepreneurs are going to get an extra push with this directive. While many big corporate’s like Tata and Infosys are coming forward to fund and encourage start-ups and there is nothing like government funding and backing, and the time is ripe enough for that.

Raising the question of IT progress in villages, Som says, “While the thought behind digital week to promote key projects around e-governance, e-hospitals, e-basta etc is great, we all are missing one key factor in all these things – the penetration and adoption of internet is only limited to metros and towns. With a low literacy rate where people still are adapting to basic aspects of mobility, such great initiatives will bear fruit when the Desh goes Digital in true sense.” Better late than never is what we can say!

Digitization of urban India took place a while back but no one was really pushing hard enough to get the rural areas digitized as well. DIW has finally arrived to complete this missing piece of the puzzle. While visiting India last year, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg had said about connecting rural people in India to the Internet, “There are a billion people in India who need to be connected. Local language-based content will be a big focus area for us here.” The reach of local language based content will be huge once the rural areas in India get on the broadband highway. The different channels for digital marketing like: a. Email b. Search engine optimization (SEO) c. Social media marketing includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest d. Content marketing and e. PR on digital media marketing, will assume new heights when utilized in local content.

We have come a long way from the traditional forms of communication and are at an age when at the click of a mouse, information can be shared with the world. For example, we no longer write letters to anyone, instead we email or for shorter, faster and regular form of communication the social media is even more effective. Indian villages have arrived late to the party while the world has progressed quite a bit.

While many other countries progressed quite a bit on the digitization front, what kept us lagging behind? At an age when digital media is ruling the world, India is still trying to get its rural population connected. Though things will now change with the initiated of the tech savvy PM who seems to have understood the importance of the digital space. This initiative aims at empowering people through IT but can deliver more if utilized to its maximum potential.

Som suggests a way forward to get the rural population up-to-date with digitization. She says, “Modules for Internet and digital education for the commoners should be a must and camps should be organized to educate people on how to leverage digital assets. This should be followed by the 2500 hotspots that BSNL promises. Smart initiatives are a need for a country like India. But too much too soon can be a spoiler, let’s educate to enable Digital India in its truest sense.”

Strategize and choose the right Digital Media Marketing Channels with these Handy tips

B9-digital-marketing-chartDigital media marketing isn’t as straight cut as traditional marketing hence, you need to identify the right channels that work for you and then put your money in it. What works for a competitor might not work for you so conduct a proper research of the available tools and channels for your brand and product before you create your strategy. It is very important for a brand to assert a strong online presence to make a mark. With the help of social media marketing, your brand will be able to reach a wide audience but how will you know which channels work the best for you? It will mostly depend on your business and the kind of people you’re targeting.

Familiarize yourself with some of the popular channels on digital marketing before creating your strategy:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
  • Content marketing
  • PR on digital media marketing

Once you get to know how each of these channels work, you can formulate your plan of action keeping the following points in mind:

  • Define your business or company goals: Take a close look at your company’s needs and then you can decide on how you want to use the social media to help achieve them. While there are many goals that might traverse between personal and actual business goals, the common ones are – brand awareness, customer retention, sales & lead generation and reduce cost. Concentrate on the more important and primary ones and go ahead then proceed.
  • Budget: Off late, brands have been allocating a greater part of their marketing budget to social media marketing. When deciding the budget, keep in mind the following things: fees for digital marketing crew, paid advertising, content creation services fee, fees for graphic artists, photographers and videographers…depending on the kind of posts you want. It makes sense to first have the strategy in place and then plan the budget.
  • Define your marketing objectives: Marketing objectives help you measure the success of your strategy within a specific period of time. The objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Ensure that your objectives are in line with the company’s overall vision and have a deadline.
  • Target audience: Before you choose to use the channels for social media marketing, you need to know where your audiences/customers are and where the competitors stand. Research the demographics of the main social media channels listed above to know where your customers are. After studying the demographics closely, choose the channels that best suit the target audience interests and online behaviour. Most social media channels will give you a broken down report of the users so go through it carefully and also keep an eye on industry reports and surveys.
  • Choose the right channels: As mentioned in the previous point, different social media channels can provide you with reports on demographics of the users. Depending on these, choose the channels where you find the customers you are targeting instead of wasting time on all the different channels. Many brands create accounts in multiple channels that don’t really help. For example, if the data tells you that your prospects spend 40% of their online time on Facebook and 20% on Twitter, you know which primary and secondary social networks you should focus on.
  • Create content strategy: It won’t be wrong to say that social media marketing is content driven. The best marketing strategy will not work if not supported by great content. The three main components for any successful social media content strategy are: type of content, time of posting and frequency of posting. The posts you make on different channels are form and context dependent. The tone and voice of the posts should be in sync with that of your brand.
  • Assign specific roles to people: To avoid confusion and waste of time, to increase productivity, avoid confusion and overlapping of duties assign specific jobs to the staff. Once the roles have been decided upon and assigned, it’s time to execute. You can plan the marketing activities on a weekly basis that is less confusing or on a daily basis, avoid monthly basis as it is too long a time and things might change in between.

Now that you have got your tips handy, go ahead and choose your channels and strategize your activities. We at Unspun have experts working closely with clients on a daily basis helping them formulate their plans.

Nine Effective ways of using Social Media to get people to attend your Events

Using-Social-Media-to-Promote-Events-infographicThe success of an event depends on the number of people who turn up for it. One of the key elements of event management is to get people to attend an event. That is not always an easy thing since there are always so many other options to take up the audience’s interest. But, there are events held often and they are successful too…so how do events become successful, i.e. how do people get guests to attend their events? Of course, publicizing and talking about it so much that it creates an interest amongst them and, social media plays a crucial role when it comes to creating that buzz. In this blog we’ll get to know about the different ways that social media can be used effectively to get people to attend your events.

  1. List out the social media channels: Social media is an umbrella under which different channels exist and operate. First identify the channels that you want to use to promote your events in. The most commonly used channels are: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. These channels have become powerful tools of communication because they allow you to contact and get feedback from people in real time from across the world. Once, you have listed the channels you wish to use, it makes sense to integrate them because it gets easier to navigate and market your event.
  2. Create events page: One of the basic rules of getting people to attend your event is to create an event in the social media channels. Facebook and LinkedIn have the option to create events and you can post those links on Twitter. On Pinterest you can pin the event while Youtube can have a video promoting the same.
  3. Use social media to compliment your traditional methods: Social media marketing cannot be a replacement for the traditional methods instead it goes on to add value to the existing ways. So, when you are sending out your weekly or monthly newsletters, make sure that you include the link to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn event link.
  4. Create a viral video: Videos work great when promoting an event as a lot of today’s communication involves the visual medium. If you create a video that goes viral and gets people talking, then half your battle is won. It will not only engage people but will also raise the curiosity levels. But make sure that it is short and sweet.
  5. Use infographics: Infographics are the next big thing in the world of communication and are being used by every brand, big or small. They are a fun and interesting way of sharing information and are easily consumed by the audience since the data shared is in a very easy format. Create infographics promoting your events and post it in the different social media channels that you chose to use.
  6. Create hashtag: Today’s insta generation is a big fan of hashtags and they work great when you try to create a buzz about anything under the sun! The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet and helps to categorize messages that help people interested in a particular topic to easily identify and converse about it. So create a hashtag that will be short, easy, catchy and unique. Create it early when you start promoting the event and use it till the end.
  7. Share event links on different groups: Facebook has different social groups ranging from professional, to party to city specific. You can become a part of these groups and then promote your event on their page by posting the link to the event.
  8. Engage audiences: While promoting events in social media channels in the ways mentioned above is a must, unless you win audience’s attention, your event will not be a success. So what will you do to win their attention? Audiences attention are drawn only when there something to engage them. Get your potential attendees early on by enabling some kind of feedback related to the event. You can also have contests that can have passes to the event as a prize. Engage them by inviting suggestions on the planning of the event.
  9. Share takeways of the event: Once an event is over, you don’t have to stop talking about it! Instead, you can use it to create hype for the next one. You can share takeways of the event in the form of pictures, thank you notes, lessons learnt, asking for feedback and also by sharing your future goals. You can even write a blog about the same and share it with audiences.

The key is to experiment with different ways and identify in the process which one works best for you. What works for others might not work for you and vice versa, you won’t know until you try. Once you identify what works best, you can keep at it to drive home the point.

Our experts at Unspun offer creative ways of social media marketing depending on the clients’ requirements.

Six Effective ways to use Social Media for Brand Strengthening

brands_and_social_media1Social media serves as a great platform to not only market one’s brand but also to strengthen the brand image and reach. It is one of the most widely used mediums today as the reach is humongous and advertisers and marketers swear by the results of social media. It can be used for building both personal as well as an organization’s brand. But not everything can bring you results; there are a few effective ways that the use of social media can be leveraged. They are stated as follows:

  • Choose the right channels to market your product: Social media is a huge space that needs to be explored bit by bit. But the best thing about it is that it is compartmentalized better thanks to the different channels that exist. So you can make your pick from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. You can use either one channel or a combination of them but you need to first identify which will work for you the best. Facebook is perhaps the only channel that works for all kinds of brands because it is used by people from all walks of life. Pinterest though used mostly by women for fashion purpose also has pins related to infographics and the likes. LinkedIn on the other hand is a great channel for B2B branding.
  • Leveraging social media visually: Social media relies heavily on visual appeal. According to a study by a research firm, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared to status updates, links, and even video. So you can imagine how influencing visuals can be and hence you need to use it very carefully. Colours catch the eye very frequently so when you’re using social media for your brand’s marketing make sure that the colours are appealing. Choose two to four colours to use consistently throughout all of your social media posts and marketing. Use fonts that suit your brand’s personality and use images that convey the right message. It is also great to have a particular template for your social media posts as it will maintain uniformity and also help people identify easily with your brand.
  • Share content that people can identify with: Let’s just be clear about the fact that content on social media should be easily consumed by the audience and for that the content should be easy on the eye. Each of the posts should support your brand and though be easily understood, should also make a statement strong enough for people to identify with the brand. Use a lot of images and infographics as they register with the users easily. Brand building though on Twitter is tough, has a greater impact.
  • Take help of people who have a strong follower base: If you are a relatively new brand, it will take time for you to garner followers. So, for immediate results you can use the help of someone who has a lot of followers in the social media channels to market your product. But will they do it so easily for you? Not really! What do you do in that case? When posting content mention their names or references that will make them share your post or tag them in posts that you think will be relevant. Apart from that you can also email them. You have to pursue them consistently to share your content but will be worth the effort!
  • Create social media campaigns: Social media campaigns work very effectively when it comes to brand creation and strengthening especially when you offer incentives to the audiences. To engage an audience you need to think from their perspective and answer the question – “What’s in it for me?” and then create campaigns around it. Organize contests and so on where the audience stands to earn something in return after participating that is how most brands reach maximum audiences.
  • Promote content through social media channels: One of the most widely used strategies to build a strong brand in social media is the paid campaigns. Big brands are hiring agencies for the same and running contests and campaigns designed by these agencies to create a better brand.

These are a few steps that you can take to build a stringer brand on social media. You should make it a priority to share fresh and identifiable content on social media which will help you win followers and in the process increase your brand reach.

But it will not work unless you have an effective social media strategy in place and that is where Unspun can step in and help you. We specialize in all of the above areas and more.

5 Great Digital Marketing Ideas for B2B Companies

digital-b2bTraditionally, B2B companies have restricted themselves to marketing their products via trade shows, direct mail marketing, and a sales team that called on stakeholders of current, past and prospective clients. Though these techniques may still have some value, in order to swim in the sea changes of today’s digital world, brands must incorporate innovative ways to influence their audience.

Nowadays, almost everybody spends a considerable amount of time researching purchasing decisions online, including business owners/decision makers as well. While Twitter and LinkedIn are the most used social media networks in B2B space, they are not the only channels.

Here are some of the other channels that B2B companies can use to optimize brand exposure online:

Infographics – They are one of the coolest new tools for online marketing and are being lapped up by businesses across sectors. Infographics can be pretty handy for B2B businesses for digital marketing as they represent boring data in an appealing way.

They represent the data by tell a story which explains a complex process in a simple way. Data in the inforgraphics can be represented in the form of text and graphics.

One such infographic was created by Monetate, a provider of cloud-based technology for online marketers that employs a tag-based method for segmentation, testing, recommendations, and customer analysis for the Web and Email channels. It was a retailer’s guide to Big Data.

Blogs – Blogs are one of the most influential social media marketing tools in today’s date. While B2C companies are cashing in on it, why should B2B companies be left behind? In order to have truly effective content, you must leverage multiple mediums to tell your story and blogs are one of such mediums.

An effective story telling through blogs can help your customers learn about your brand. American Express has a site called Open Forum where with new content, including blog posts and videos are frequently posted.

Videos – Videos have emerged as one powerful medium that can convey ideas and it is a great tool for marketing. While typically it wasn’t considered for B2B companies to have flashy enough content to use for marketing, now it is more of a myth.

With a certain amount of creativity, anything can become interesting. For example, this particular company called Taulia that provides cloud-based invoice, payment and dynamic discounting management solutions came out with a parody video that became quite popular. The video showed what could happen if you don’t use their services. Also, Cisco’s Youtube channel has more than 33,000 followers and almost 5 million video views.

Webinars –  One of the most interesting ways that a B2B company can engage its audiences is through webinars. Just like conducting a physical seminar, you can opt for a webinar where you can have an expert from to speak to the target market.

But, for that you’ll need to do proper research and come up with the relevant topic that will interest the target customers. Maersk Line has been hosting webinars successfully for some time now which has a wide audience.

Contests – In a branding exercise, Adobe conducted a contest which was a like scavenger hunt where participants had to pick up puzzle pieces from underneath balloons located around the city and return them to Adobe HQ.

Locations tips about the same were shared on social networking websites where the contestants stood to win prizes. You could do the same on social networking websites to increase brand awareness.

Visit Unspun Consulting group and know how we can create custom digital marketing solutions for your B2B Business.