How can digital marketing boost your brand? Entrepreneur Sowmya Iyer shares insights and expert tips
In India, advertising and marketing have seen a huge shift from analogue to digital over the past decade. According to statistics by the World Bank, over 34 percent of the Indian population use the Internet.
According to the ICUBE 2018 report, the number of Internet users in India is expected to peak at 627 million in 2019, projecting a double-digit growth from the estimated 566 million as of December 2018.
With these many Internet users across the country, digital marketing done right can help your brand strike gold.
In a Community Chat on the HerStory Women On A Mission group on Facebook, Sowmya Iyer, the Founder and CEO of DViO Digital shares her insights. From learning the first steps to investing in influencers, and measuring success, this is your guide to optimally using digital marketing.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation.
HerStory: How should I get started with content marketing?
- Identify the purpose of your brand and the thought leadership you want to drive. Create a word cloud around your brand on everything that you would like to talk about.
- You could write yourself or hire someone to write on your behalf. There are a few content platforms that allow you to create content at reasonable costs.
- Publish this content on your website, and make sure you have clear CTA for readers so they know what action to take after reading your article.
- Make sure to create a content marketing calendar and amplify the content you create through all possible channels.
HS: How can you increase traffic to a website in the most efficient manner?
SI: The most obvious way is to run paid ads — contextual and very targeted paid ads — so you get relevant audience on the page. But a long-term and effective solution is Content Marketing.
Invest in content marketing to drive organic traffic to your website. Don’t just write for the sake of SEO, but write useful content, which will also have a lot of social media amplification value.
Other ways to efficiently increase traffic are:
- Staying active on all social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Repurpose content for each platform as required.
- Creating a network of friends for your brand — who can share your content on their pages.
- Email marketing to your subscriber base.
- And the most important, yet often forgotten rule is captivating subject lines and headlines.
HS: How do you optimise the use of digital marketing to increase your sales funnel?
SI: Re-marketing and lead nurturing is the key. Your sales funnel moves through awareness — consideration — preference — purchase — loyalty and advocacy.
- You are likely to use various media channels and targeted marketing for awareness and consideration. Once the person interacts with you or lands on your website, you should capture cookies or email addresses. Make sure the person knows what value he will receive for sharing his details.
- Target communication like range, price, or whatever else that may be relevant to build preference through remarketing. You could do this through Facebook, Google, Display or emailers. Continue to engage (not spam) through regular meaningful updates about your brand.
- Capture data at points of sale (POS), to make sure you can attribute it to your re-marketing efforts and know the customer's preferences to lead them towards a loyalty programme.
And remember, the more you can personalise content, the better. Use ML and AI applications to understand more about your customers and communicate appropriately.
HS: How should a business use social media as a tool for customer service?
- Use AI-based chatbots that can help respond to the volume of chatter that may come your way.
- Choose from an array of tools available for listening, and manage chatter through a single view dashboard.
- If you are using your social media channels for a lot of creative and brand led communication, you may not want grievances to interfere with the purpose of your page. Direct people to a dedicated destination for grievance redressal.
However, in every case, make sure you respond appropriately and close the loop of communication. Many brands have built their equity on social purely by the way of addressing customer comments appropriately.
HS: Do you believe in investing in influencers?
SI: Effectiveness of influencer marketing depends on how you employ influencer marketing.
Some brands use macro influencers purely for reach. There may or may not be a connect with the brand. Effectiveness of such usage is usually limited. It’s also important that the influencer stays true to their art and niche while posting on behalf of the brand. The brand should be integrated seamlessly into the content of the influencer.
Effectiveness reduces if it seems like a force fit. Examples of faux pas are - a fashion influencer promoting toothpaste, or a YouTube singer/influencer promoting a value brand. In such cases, even the influencers' handles lose integrity, as such content looks like force fit on their feeds.
DViO has developed a six point scale on which you can measure influencer campaign effectiveness.
HS: I’d love to understand Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) for digital marketing across different industries and platforms - and tips on how to keep CAC low.
SI: Different industries will have different CACs. Platforms too will differ on how they deliver for different industries. Instagram may deliver better for fashion and lifestyle and Google may deliver for real estate.
CAC is a function of media planning and targeting done well, lead nurturing and effective closure in case a manual intervention is involved before closure. To keep CAC low - know your audiences, target right, invest in content marketing to improve organic traffic and referral, invest in lead nurturing.
HS: How do I measure the success of my content marketing efforts and my overall digital marketing efforts?
SI: Traffic to a website, higher engagement on the website, higher engagement on social media channels and organic searches about your brand on search engines are ways to measure the success of your content marketing efforts.
If your business generates leads online, reducing cost per lead is also a very good indicator if your content marketing success.
To be part of more conversations, join the HerStory Women On A Mission group on Facebook.