Over the last three years, social media marketing and blogging have grown to become effective tools in raising awareness and interacting with customers. So, marketers have started to spend much time and effort in expanding their digital strategy to include these techniques.
Encouraging statistics stand in support of these mediums, too. 47% of all internet users are on Facebook; companies that maintain blogs have 97% more inbound links; and 23% of total internet usage time is devoted to social networks.
These are a testament to the fact that social networks help raise brand awareness. But is that enough to gain and maintain customer loyalty? No. This is why businesses ought to introduce downloadable content in their strategy.
Leads: Every business needs leads. Gaining a loyal customer base is virtually impossible without leads. Lead generation helps you build trust in your prospective customers by nurturing them to a sales-ready position. Hers is where email marketing comes into the picture.
By emailing prospective customers your content, you can make sure that your product/service is retained in their mind. So when it comes to choosing between you and a competitor, your product/service is the one they instantly recall.
Downloadable content is necessary to gain access to the inboxes of your prospective customers. Without email addresses of those who matter, you cannot nurture leads.
However, you cannot simply ask people for their contact details these days – there is an eternal fear of being spammed. But by creating downloadable content that they really want, you can make a trade for their email addresses!
Downloadable content is usually referred to as an eBook or a whitepaper. It contains lots of valuable information that is appealing to your customers, information that they cannot find elsewhere.
A good way to get your customers’ email addresses, is by requesting them for it when they request access to your whitepapers.
While getting email addresses are great ways to send across your downloadable content, you can target it better by following unconventional methods of garnering more information and details about your customers. Below is a great example of doing this:
The above form clicks with customers because it speaks their language. Details like social fans strike a chord with them without asking too much.
Once you start talking more about your downloadable content, the more people will see it, and the more downloads you will gain.
With downloadable content, you pull in people with important and informative blogs and networking sites, before leading them down your sales road.
This is why we at Ittisa we believe that downloadable content is vital to your content marketing strategy. It is a sure shot way of turning strangers into customers through inbound marketing.
Social media is an effective strategy for charities across the world to connect with supporters. Charitable trusts and organizations in the US and the UK have been successful in doubling their supporters on key social media channels in the year that has gone by.
The vastness of the digital media landscape is no longer a daunting place for charities, and they have used the tools it offers splendidly. Charity leaders make the most of the social media by adopting the following methods of communicating with supporters, both existing and potential:
Twitter offers charities to talk directly to people who can support their organization in any way possible. Today, many charity leaders adopt friendly, informal ways of connecting with everyone on social media. A organization is Simon Blake, who tweets about what he and his charity – Brook Chairty – work on.
He uses Twitter to network with other charity CEOs as well. His charity’s Twitter page, too, is active and thriving on Twitter, giving people real-time updates about the organisation’s every drive.
Blogging is an excellent way to start conversations and build relationships with important contacts. For example, on his blog ‘One Swallow Makes a Summer’, CEO of Small Charities Coalition, Alex Swallow, discusses his work, his sources of inspiration and all that he has learnt. The blog is populated with a good mix of videos and links to charity tips, which go on to help people in their decision to join the charity sector.
Campaigns such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the No Make Up Selfie were enormously successful because they involved the direct participation of the audience. The advent of low cost platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has opened a portal for charitable organisations where they can reach, engage and interact with supporters who would’ve otherwise remained woefully untouched.
Web sites have made donations far easier than they were before. One no longer has to send out cheques and wait for it to reach the organizations anymore. Organizations like C.R.Y. have a simple ‘Donate’ option built into their website where clear instructions are provided for the supporter to donate any amount of his or her choice.
With most donations pouring in from urban areas, this option of online donations goes a great way in garnering more support.
Some charities and organizations do not depend solely on the capacity to go viral, which was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’s biggest asset in creating buzz. UNICEF, for example, said much with a simple post, proving yet again that a simple message was sometimes the hardest hitting truth – that Likes and Shares alone did not save lives.
As is evident from the above examples, charities no longer need to rely on hundreds of phone calls and simply hoping for donations to pour in. They do not need to spend vast amounts of money on expensive television commercials pushed into the screen at random hours without garnering much viewership.
Within a matter of minutes, charities can create a page, a Twitter account, and start informing people about any situation in need of urgent help and donations. These messages, in turn, can be shared in seconds.
Social media has had a deep impact on this sector, giving organisations a wonderful opportunity to give their messages the exposure they deserve.
When it comes to shattering box office records, no recent movie has done better than Baahubali. Arka Media Works’ first installment of the two-part epic film has gone on a record-breaking spree, crossing the ₹200-crore mark in 5 days. Although its success is largely attributed to its cinematic greatness, part of its triumph has been achieved because of the way it was marketed over the past not just one, but two years.
Baahubali’s digital presence came into light as early as January 2013, a solid two and a half years prior to its release. Although it is not unheard of for a film to use social media as a tool to promote itself, Baahubali used it in a myriad of refreshingly new ways.
Facebook for Casting
The marketing team for Baahubali used Facebook smartly when it came to their primary requirements: a cast. In a move that was rooted in simplicity (yet never considered by others movie-makers so far), the team announced casting calls on Facebook via YouTube crosslinking. The response was encouraging, given the generally limited response to a page’s initial post. This move was greatly beneficial to the producers and casting directors as more than 1200 emails flooded their inbox in a matter of two weeks, indicating a healthy response to the post on social media.
Although the plotline is predicated on the days of old, Baahubali did not rely on the now-traditional method of using mobile apps to reach out to the younger audience. Instead, it took the interactive quiz route. The marketers set up a fun quiz (http://storygag.com/story-personality/which-baahubali-movie-character-are-you/) on popular website storygag.com to allow users to find out which Baahubali movie character they were. This was done immediately after the movie released – a great example of post-release marketing to keep engagement high even after a movie has been watched and reviewed.
Getting the Hashtag Right
It is very easy to create hashtags that are relevant to a movie, but sometimes, relevance has to be coupled with showmanship and spectacle. Baahubali used the hashtag #LiveTheEpic, generating immediate interest merely by use of the word ‘epic’ which helps strike online conversations faster.
Showing Rather Than Telling
Many movies get talked about in terms of pre-release buzz. A lot of the cast and crew tend to tweet about how tickets were sold out in minutes before the first day of the movie’s release; starring actors post pictures of themselves at the premieres; music directors post pictures of the promotional events; and so on. But Baahubali’s distribution partner Dharma Productions stepped it up a notch by posting a video of an eager audience queueing in front of theatres in order to book their tickets for the movie. This helped build adequate buzz on Twitter, around the hashtag #Baahubali.
Encapsulating a Year-long Journey in a Video
One of the easiest ways to promote a movie on YouTube is by maintaining a separate channel for it, and uploading weekly videos of behind-the-scenes moments, dialogue promos, songs, etc. but Baahubali took the path untrodden yet again. Around September 2014, the makers released a video that had collated special moments of the making of Baahubali, and along with others shorter videos, uploaded it on their YouTube channel. This type of effort has never before been seen in any recent movie of any production unit, however big.
It can be said with some confidence that Baahubali has utilised social media in a way that was refreshing, hence effective. With viewers eager to see something new on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Baahubali gave them exactly what they wanted in ways they did not expect, and that’s where they stood out with their digital marketing campaign. There was positive buzz online, with hashtags populating most ‘Trends’ lists during the months leading up to the movie’s release, and the Facebook feed was never at a loss for promotion.
At Ittisa, we understand just how much effort goes into digital marketing, with so many tiny details that need attending to taking up a chunk of creative time and energy. Therefore, we see Baahubali’s digital marketing efforts as nothing short of phenomenal. It comes as no surprise that viewership (even after the first tremendous week), still remains high.
Recent trends in e-commerce have indicated that mobile connected devices such as smartphones and tablets have become the face of the new retail movement. The reach of brands and retailers has never been this powerful. But what is it about this movement that has made companies so successful in reaching their consumers?
The answer lies in the convergence of online and offline marketing. When retailers have a multi-channel presence, Search Engine Marketing becomes a powerful tool that enables multi-channel sales – this includes offline sales as well.
Several consumers are inclined to research online before purchasing offline. Marketers can take this new inclination as an opportunity to tap into the potential of the internet to influence the customer’s decision-making process.
Here are 5 ways in which brands can use digital marketing to boost offline sales:
83 percent of consumers are of the opinion that online reviews heavily influence their offline purchases. The more positive reviews your brands can boast of, the better. Besides, it is common knowledge that Google favors local listings that have more reviews with higher rankings.
While faking reviews or inducing positive ones are definitely frowned upon, a brand can always ask its most loyal customers to promote the brand through reviews. This can be accomplished by maintaining a systematic SMS and email database.
You cannot capture conversations surrounding your brand and industry just by setting up an online community. According to a study by Forrester Research, consumers now consume more than 500 billion social brand impressions a year.
With such big numbers in the picture, it cannot be emphasized more that monitoring and engaging your customers on social media is necessary to respond to relevant conversations, to make sure you’re driving the consumers to your brand.
Most consumers receive three to five permission-based emails a day. Bombarding consumer is an ineffective method of boosting sales. The key is to ensure that your brand is incentivising profitable actions, all the while tracking ROI.
The easiest way to do this is by using coupons. But to achieve the desired goal, and to make sure that customers are waiting for the coupon before purchasing, is to have a smartphone-friendly coupon landing page – something that all retailers online do today very effectively. Coupon codes are used increasingly today at retail shopping outlets.
When it comes to providing hot leads, smartphone search engines are leading the race to the top spot. The accuracy of phone map results enables customers to locate stores faster than ever, making it an indirect marketing channel.
To capitalize on this, you have to make sure that the right keywords and ad copy are being used on your landing pages, as consumers need to see your store as quickly as possible.
Big brands engage in pay-per-click advertising on search engines. It is easy to see why: PPC ads work hand in hand with outdoor advertising and traditional media. They help reinforce the brand name, brand message and brand loyalty.
It is very important to increase brand awareness from traditional advertising by keeping your PPC messaging relevant. Simply put, your PPC ads should send out the same brand image and message that your offline ads send out.
Without a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, it is very likely that your business will lose out on at least 50 percent of a potential market. Offline and traditional media tools are very effective when it comes to creating brand awareness, but you cannot rely solely on TV, Radio or Print to seal the real deal any longer.
Consumers’ media habits have undergone a massive paradigm shift, with the internet claiming maximum responsibility for it.
While this doesn’t mean that your brand needs to invest large amounts of money on creating and maintaining an online presence, it does mean that brands have to think about how best to reach out to their customers online to develop offline campaigns and boost sales accordingly.
Creating impactful and engaging content has now become the go-to online marketing strategy to boost offline sales. Studies reveal that writing blog posts or write ups with links given to a particular brand or website work wonders in subtly promoting a product and creating a long lasting impression on the consumer’s mind. With the correct strategy, content marketing can become a great way to attract the right kind of traffic.
Experiential campaigns have blurred the line between online and offline marketing tactics. These days, many brands use unique experiential marketing campaigns as a tool to create positive buzz about their brand. The campaigns are then promoted through various social media platforms to enlighten consumers. These experiential marketing campaign videos, shared on social media, not only engage consumers but also showcases tangible experiences which in turn help to boost offline sales.