Digital marketing for businesses

5 things every businessman MUST do to promote their business online

We’ve arrived into the digital era, where everything and everybody is online and digital marketing is a must. But having a mere presence online with a social media page or a website does not suffice. The zeal to drive in business from the world of internet must be there, in order to fully explore the immense potential of digital marketing. 

From helping the local outlets of global franchises such as Barista to target the restaurant going crowd in the city of Visakhapatnam to generating leads for a steel construction company, Volta Green Structures, with a niche target audience, to popular boutique hotels such as Le Sutra, Alloy has helped brands not just establish themselves but also thrive in the digital world, by generating great leads that eventually resulted in business and by increasing the brand outreach.

We’ve, over the years, come to focus on a few very important things. For any businessman out there who would want to venture out to explore the potential of digital marketing, here are 5 things you MUST focus upon: 

1. Concept Photoshoots for the Products: 

It is important to realise that the internet is a fast moving world where the attention span of the user ranges to only a few seconds. It is thus, challenging to connect with the user and sell the product, in a span of seconds.

The solution? Make your product the salesman of your brand and let your product do the talking for you. Take a great concept photoshoot of the product, pictures that narrate the story and journey of your brand, to your audience.

Alloy has always believed in the age old adage that “Pictures speak louder than words.” We’ve dealt with a lot of concept photoshoots for our clients and have always used them to drive in leads and business for them.

For any help with a concept product photography shoot, contact us here!

2. Content Creation

People are always online and reading. Great content can therefore, help connect with the users and grab their attention. Blogs are a great way to engage the audience on social media.

But ensure that the blogs don’t just promote the business but also add some value to the customer. Users wouldn’t click on a random blog unless it adds some value to them by giving them some interesting information or narrate a story, which indirectly promotes the brand.

Some of the greatest blogs that have met with immense success have all been stories or information that wasn’t previously easy to get. For example, for a local restaurant in the city of Hyderabad, Alloy wrote a blog about the restaurant’s journey, the vision and a few popular delicacies served there. The blog got in traction and the orders of the dishes mentioned in the blog, increased. 

Another example of great content marketing is to take advantage of a trend. For instance, Alloy wrote an in-depth analysis of the Government’s newly introduced INR 20 Lakh Crore package, and how it can benefit steel construction for a client from the industry. Such information adds value to the reader and is more likely to increase the brand engagement and connect across the target audience.

Searching for good content writers or bloggers? Reach out to us and help us solve the problem for you! 

3. Website

A website is a must for any business in this day and age. But most companies stop after getting a website done. Having a website is like having a child. You need to spend time on it and nurture it.

To explore the potential business online, your website must be optimised, not just in terms of its looks and feel, but also with its reach. A great website is one which reaches out to the target audience by itself, when they search for a similar topic. 

Ensure that the website is updated time and again with blogs and keywords. Promote the website on social media, diverting the traffic to your site. Make sure Google Analytics is connected to the site, so that all the data can be tracked. This data is essential as it helps create a funnel for the business.

Looking for a great way to promote your site, or to even build a site? Fret not, Alloy’s here!

4. Social Media Presence

Just like with the website, while it is essential to have a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked in or Pinterest, it doesn’t suffice. One has to use the social media to his/her own advantage by pushing in engagement and the reach, driving in traffic with an aim to generate and convert leads. 

A lot of content types go into social media including pictorial graphic designs, videos and blogs. While it depends on the type of business and the target audience to select the best content type, it is also important to mix and match the feed with various forms of content. This helps in keeping the online content related to the brand fresh and interesting to the target audience. 

Over the last 6 years, Alloy have curated over 220 campaigns online, for the clients, that resulted in a ton of leads and business for them. These campaigns were planned offers, events or targeted lead gen Ads. This process is gradual though. Social media can be minted out successfully only with a thorough digital marketing strategy, that will be seen in the next point below.

Looking for innovative campaigns for social media marketing? Contact us now!  

5. Digital Marketing Strategy

A website and social media presence will work only with an effective and strong digital marketing strategy. It is important to understand that the process of generating business online is like a funnel approach.

The first step is to identify the target audience and find the most suitable platform. Post which it is important to catch the attention of this audience, using graphic content or blogs or videos, and to divert this traffic to the website.

Analyse the data and re-market the call-to-action for the business, to the people who have visited the site, increasing the chances of their conversion. 

Alloy has always believed and worked on the funnel approach, refining it over the years. With a successful list of recurring clientele, we bring to the table a strong, experienced and innovative digital marketing strategy.

What matters ultimately is the amount of business generated and the Return on Investment (ROI). Brands and businesses that do not focus online or do not focus on generating business online, or even those who do not focus on the ROI, tend to lose a lot in this ever competitive world.

For help with your Digital Marketing or for more info, reach out to us today! 

Sustainable products - electric cars - digital marketing

How to use Digital Marketing to promote Sustainable Products

With increasing pollution, population, and human greed, we are burning through the planet’s resources quicker than a Formula 500 race car. There is no doubt that sustainability is the way forward. Our collective goal should be to build a sustainable future. 

Countries across the world are taking a step towards sustainable development. India has been aiming for sustainable development by promoting renewable sources of energy. A great example is the clean energy initiative by the government, aiming to install 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. 

However, what’s more heartening to see the shift in consumer choices. More people are looking to shift towards sustainable, organic and healthy products, thanks to environmental awareness and campaigns. And thus, more companies are now trying to meet these demands by selling sustainable products. 

Solar rooftops are gaining popularity gradually. Organic farming is under demand as more people prefer organic food. Electric vehicles will soon be mainstream, taking over from the petrol or diesel run vehicles, given the amount of research and development going on in the field.

Having said that, the market for sustainable products in India is still young and small. So, if you’re a brand dealing with sustainable products and want to capitalise on the all that internet buzz around the area, how do you efficiently market your products?

Digital Marketing and Sustainable Products

With a huge chunk of people online, thanks to work from home, online streaming services, and social media, these products stand to gain a lot of traction from digital marketing, right now.

Here’s a list of things that all of us at Alloy put together, that have to focus upon: 

Educate your Audience

It is important to catch on the interest that sustainable products are gathering, to educate and reach out to a wider audience. Use platforms such as Instagram to good use to tell the story of your product to the people.

Stories are very effective in spreading brand awareness. Use good content such as concept photoshoot pictures that tell the story of your product to the world. These would increase your reach and capture the attention of users around the world. At Alloy, we believe in the old adage, “A picture speaks a thousand words”.

If your product comes under FMCG, make sure you’ve your presence on all online portals such as Amazon, Flipkart and more. This increases your brand reach and helps in Search Engine Optimisation as well.

For example, we’ve Bomb Cosmetics, who make handmade and environment friendly, organic cosmetics. If you check out their website, it’s full of pictures and content describing their prime goal of going organic, and how it can help one’s skin.

Get your custom made online strategy from Alloy. Reach out to us here.

Get in touch with environmentalists and influencers

There are a lot of environmentalists and influencers who stand for the firm cause of sustainable development. Get in touch with them and collaborate with them, to spread your brand’s awareness.

They should be more than happy to give a shoutout to your brand. Their followers would definitely be the ones into sustainable products. This would be your proper target audience. But do make sure before collaborating that the influencers’ engagement quality is high. We always advise our clients to analyse before all such collaborations.

Focus on collaborations on Instagram and twitter. Shoutouts on these platforms have proven to be very much valuable to brands.

Get your custom made online strategy from Alloy. Reach out to us here.

Make the big industrialists take note

Twitter is where you can connect with industry giants. Make a list of the big names in the sustainable product industry like Apple (Did you know that the latest MacBook Air is made of completely recycled products?), celebrities who retweet tweets on sustainable development like Ratan Tata and Anand Mahindra.

Follow their profile and engage with their updates by liking or retweeting and tag them consistently on your posts until they notice your brand. Once they take note and help by retweet or share, it always boosts up your reach.

To reach out to industry biggies is hard, but once you do, it will crate a huge spike in your brand’s growth. Twitter is by far the most effective way to reach out to them.

Get your custom made online strategy from Alloy. Reach out to us here.

Market on Google:

A lot of people look for sustainable and healthy products online through Google searches. People who are genuinely interested in these products and are most likely to be your customers are right now, researching about them on Google. 

In the world of online connectivity, companies should always try to reach out to people with a clear message and good, in-depth content about their sustainable products. This can be possible by focusing on optimising your search engine results. While Google Ads may seem like a good option to promote your products, they are expensive and aren’t advisable if your product pricing is on the lower scale.

If your product is on Amazon and if someone checks out a similar product, it’s more likely that Amazon would remarket these products to your audience on Google. There’s no need for you to spend on Google Ads unnecessarily. SEO is the more effective method.  

If your product’s pricing is on the higher range, you can surely afford to spend on Google Ads. One important thing to be noted is that the products of higher range, such as an electric car or a solar rooftop set up, have lesser competition on Google Ads. Get your presence here and make sure people read up your content as and when they search for similar keywords.

Alloy believes in the goals of sustainability and understands the need for environment friendly products. During these dire times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the economy is strained, the one way to help the Indian economy is by buying more of Indian products.

To play our part in helping shape a post COVID, stronger India, Alloy is offering free marketing consultancy sessions with Indian sustainable product brands, with an aim to help startups and companies survive this tough time. In the sessions, we look forward to putting together our 6+ years of marketing experience, to come up with a customised, innovative campaign for you that would propel your brand’s growth. 

COVID 19 has hit refresh, allowing us to set our focuses straight. It is what we do now that would decide our future. A sustainable future with a healthy Indian economy certainly sounds beautiful. 

Get your custom made online strategy from Alloy. Reach out to us here.

Social media during COVID 19

The impact of Social Media during COVID 19 – On people & businesses

If the craze for social media was high before COVID 19, it has now reached a skyrocketing level. In the past month alone, social media traffic has increased by over 70%. Online streaming companies had to reduce streaming bitrates to avoid traffic congestion.

Since everyone is online and has an opinion on everything, social media feels clustered today. The impact of aggravated use of social media could be a boon or a bane; it depends on how we use it.  

During these trying times, when newspapers are being avoided, and not many people trust the national news channels on TV, social media is being used as a news source by people. The sheer increase in the circulation of fake news across the social media platforms is concerning, to say the least. 

For instance, a viral Facebook post advised drinking water every 15 minutes to flush out the virus in the system. Yet another post promoted drinkable silver as a cure. Both have been proven false, since. 

Having said that, there has not been a better time or situation for businesses to increase their growth. We at Alloy, handle the marketing for clients across different industries, including B2B and B2C businesses. We have observed that the cost per engagement and cost per click has reduced drastically. We’ve advised our clientele to focus on bringing up practical solutions and share good content online now, to increase traffic. 

For one of our clients, a steel construction company, we used LinkedIn to promote their new product of steel structures for quarantine facilities, isolation wards, and testing centres. This would help boost up India’s healthcare system, helping us in our fight against COVID 19. To take this forward, we had to catch the attention of high ranking government officials and industrialists. 

We connected with different people working with the Ministry of Steel and the Union Health Ministry on Linked In and Twitter, wrote them messages, and pursued them, along with running In-mail ad campaigns to the target audience. This helped us generate good leads for them that enabled them to take the projects further. 

We also found people on Twitter to connect with including industrialists such as Anand Mahindra or Ratan Tata and the official handles of the ministry, and tagged them frequently on our posts. We engaged with these profiles, so as to leverage the maximum effect of their audience, in an attempt to increase the organic reach. 

Entrepreneurs are also using the current situation to do something meaningful. Amit Jain, the founder of Mitti Ke Rang, a Pune-based women empowerment NGO, is a great example. As an avid networker, who loves making new connections, he has been traveling across India on a shoestring budget to grow his network during this pandemic by reaching out to people at the grass-root level. 

With everything under lockdown in the country, he realised  that the daily wage earners and labourers are the worst hit. Mitti Ke Rang, in conjunction with an NGO dealing with labourers, ran a fundraising campaign to raise INR 1 million. They raised it all in a mere nine days using just social media. Their first step was to ask people to contribute to their cause, and a lot of them pitched in because of their connection with Amit.

After the initial buzz died down, they started the INR 100 campaign, asking all their contacts to contribute only INR 100. With over 4000 contacts of Amit, it did not take them long before they became viral and achieved their target, with some paying more than INR 100. 

The success of the fundraiser is the success of humanity. Such positive news moves us and shows why this is a time to think “we” instead of “me.” It also shows us the immense power of social media and how, if put to good use, it can work miracles!

Businesses should come forward and utilise the immense potential of social media and online marketing during these dire times. But make sure the content you share is relevant to your target audience and that it creates a positive vibe to the user.

For help and support with your digital marketing, contact our team at Alloy. 

Ratan Tata using Social Media well

How top industrialists are using social media so very effectively.

We are in the age of the Internet, and social media is a real big deal. It is not only much easier to connect with your friends and family, but it is also so much easier to be heard by people. Everybody from a school student to the world’s top industrialists and politicians, are on social media. 

If you run a business and want to reach out to your customers, why look elsewhere? Be it a B2B business with a very niche customer base or a B2C company with a lot of people to target, the digital world has something in it for everyone. 

The first step is to identify your target audience precisely and then, to select the right platform to reach out to them. If you’re an e commerce store selling clothes and accessories, Instagram would be the go to platform for you. If you’re into real estate or construction wanting to target the corporates and the working people, Linked In might be a better option.

And if you want to reach out to the top brass of Government officials or the top industrialists, you still have a way, with Twitter!

Everyone out there is busy using social media to the best of their abilities. Here we’ve listed down a couple of example setters – two top industrialists who’ve inspired an entire generation – about how they harness the potential of social media. 

Anand Mahindra: The Kind and Genius Tweeter

The Chairman of Mahindra Group is probably one of the most social media active Indian executives out there. Like many international CEOs like Richard Branson and Marissa Meyer, Mahindra took to social media as early as 2009. His primary medium remains Twitter even today with a follower count of 7.7 M. In 2013, he ranked fourth in the ‘Top 30 CEOs on Social Media,’ and the reason is simple enough. His posts are engaging and varied. 

In essence, Anand Mahindra’s twitter profile seems like that of any other Twitter user and not resembling a brand’s. His tweets are not laser-focused on Mahindra Group’s activities. Instead, he uses his account to address current issues in the world effectively and reach out to his followers and audience. Not unlike Cyrus Mistry, he also tweets about his personal life and goals. Amidst all this, he still manages to occasionally retweet his employees and Mahindra Group’s tweets, which goes to show the true leader that he is. 

Ratan Tata: The Humane Instagrammer

Yet another Indian executive that rules the social media domain is Ratan Tata. This industrialist reached his 1M-followers milestone on Instagram last month with just 17 posts. Tata is someone who is famously known for his humility even before he joined Instagram in 2013. However, joining the social media platform seems to have a greater effect on his popularity and mostly because of the content he shares. A look at his profile, and you will know multiple sides of the Indian businessman. From the picture of his dog to sharing a heartfelt post on his grandmother, Tata has used the key benefit of social media (humanising a brand or person) to its maximum extent. 

Aside from the personal posts, his conduct on Instagram creates a flattering image of his that has a significant effect on his follower count and popularity. Just last month, Tata chose to take a stand against cyberbullying by defending a follower. 

Another great example of how social media helps to connect with people and create a personal brand image is the Twitter handle of MP Shashi Tharoor. His wit and humour, along with his ideas about social issues, have made him a sensation online. Not to forget, Late. Smt. Sushma Swaraj, who raised the bar of governance by reaching out to numerous people who needed help via her social media account when she was the Union Minister of External Affairs. The way they reach out to masses only teaches us how social media has a huge positive impact on people.

What can Businesses and Executives learn from them?

The top two industrialists in India teach us all something about social media, which is that nothing is impossible. In social media, all that matters is the platform you choose and the way you are executing your campaigns. 

Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban are prime examples of entrepreneurs who employ their social media presence to create brand awareness. 

Over the last 6 years, we’ve handled the digital marketing of many a client, across a varied industry spectrum of FMCG, E Commerce, Construction & Real Estate, Food & Beverage, HR & Corporates, Technology and so on. 


We came across the necessities to target different genres of target audiences, from students to tech freaks to corporates to industrialists. To achieve the same, we exploited a lot of these social media platforms. Not just through paid ad campaigns, but also through consistent tagging and strategic content placement, that helped us churn out the results the clients needed.

Along the journey, the one thing we learnt is that the key to gain a healthy ROI for your digital spend lies on three important choices alone:

  • Choosing your target audience carefully. The narrower it is, the better. 
  • Choosing the right platform to target your audience. 
  • Choosing the right content best suited to engage with this target audience. 

Whether you are a B2C business like an e-Commerce or B2B business targeting companies, or wish to reach out to industrialists like Tata and Mahindra, social media is the solution. If you’re looking at how to maximise your social media potential, contact us now! 

Are you doing social media marketing right?

In the age of Digital Marketing, Social Media has proved to be a powerful platform for brands to reach out to their customers. But how does Social media Marketing work? We all have come across ‘Google ads’ and ‘Facebook ads’ for promoting businesses. But are they really benefitting your business? 

The content you create plays a very important role, but strategising your social media presence is equally instrumental in engaging the audience with your brand. And it is not limited to the number of clicks on your ad or the likes on your page, but the amount of actual customers that it generates for you. 

Here are 5 ways in which you can analyse and enhance the effectiveness of your social media marketing for your business:

#1 The money spent:
If you are marketing a product/service on social media, there is a good chance that you are spending a sizeable amount of your profit on it. But is it giving you the desired results? Are you getting a sizeable return on your investment?

When it comes to social media marketing, it’s important that companies design a clear budget for it, with an expected ROI. As a general thumb rule, companies should spend 5-10% of their total revenue on marketing, out of which 35-45% should be spent on digital marketing of which social media should constitute 15-25%. It obviously varies with industry.

Calculate your ROI on the basis of how much you spend and how valuable each customer is for you. Some businesses have recurring customers and hence, the value of each one goes up. Whereas, some businesses are of the one time pay kind, where the value of each customer would be less. Depending on the factors, decide up on how much your cost per customer acquisition must be and hence, your ROI, and track your campaigns regularly around these numbers.

#2 Knowing your audience:
It is important to know your audience when pursuing social media marketing for a lot of reasons. Firstly, it defines the type of content that appeals to your desired audience.

Secondly, you need to choose the right platform for your brand. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are more useful for B2B marketing whereas Facebook and Instagram are more suited for B2C marketing.

Tools like Google analytics help you track and analyse how users find and use your website. On its website, Google explains the system “helps you analyse visitor traffic and paint a complete picture of your audience and their needs, wherever they are along the path to purchase.”

#3 Customer enquiries on Social Media channels:
Is your target audience actually interested in what you’re selling? Picture yourself walking into an Apple Store to buy the latest iPhone. You would be asking the customer service executive about the features, cost and other queries related to the product before making the final purchase. Similar to this, people posting queries are the ones who are actually interested in your product and want to know more about it.

Tip: Audience is more engaged with the companies which answer promptly as stats show that 42% users posting queries want them to be answered within a duration of 60 minutes.

#4 Getting organic traffic:
Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which are the visitors who land on your page as a result of unpaid/organic search results. Google Analytics gives you a complete insight on the kind of traffic you are getting on your website on ‘Acquisition Overview’ page. You can also set the ‘date range’ to see a comparison of your business’s growth over time.
The more the organic traffic to your page or the website, the better it is for your business.

#5 How much is your traction?
Lastly, all the marketing tools are helpful when they produce the desired results. Has your brand’s social media presence increased the number of people who actually buy from you? The numbers in your balance sheet would ultimately decide the effectiveness of your Social Media Marketing. Always plan your campaigns on the lines of a good ROI and track them keeping this returns in mind.

Whether a business is running online or offline, its presence on social media has become a necessity. Many offline businesses like restaurants and boutiques are increasing their reach by engaging with their customers on different social media platforms. 
‘Restaurant Marketing’ has taken the food industry by storm and now every social media expert is commenting on how it is beneficial for restaurants. Social networking sites are acting as ‘e-word of mouth’ for these businesses. 

97% of small businesses use social media to attract new customers, but 85% of business owners don’t know what social media tools to use. However complex or competitive it may seem, but when done effectively, social media marketing can result in increased customers, traffic and engagement.

Alloy is a five year old digital marketing firm, catering to the online marketing needs of various businesses. Our campaigns are designed and executed thoroughly based on the ROI expected. Be it B2C businesses like restaurants or boutiques or more niche B2B businesses like real estate firms, technology firms etc, we’ve made the best use of social media to give in good traction and generate a good ROI for our clients.

Looking for digital marketing at the best prices? Reach out to us at: Contact us

 – Author: Niharika Jain

 

5 Easy Ways to Better your Social Media Marketing!

Social Media Marketing has seen staggering growth over the last few years in India. With more users spending more of their time on social media, it’s given rise to various opportunities for companies to reach out to their customers in previously non existent ways.

And the graph is only about to go up. In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 258.27 million social network users. The Indian digital advertising industry, currently pegged at around Rs 8,202 crore, is slated to see a growth at 32% CAGR to reach Rs 18,986 crore by 2020. 

Given the immense opportunity that lies ahead, its important for all kinds of businesses to cash in. All that matters is how effectively you use your channels. 

Here are five primarily important ways in which you can channel growth and generate leads through your social media:

#1 Videos or HD Photos

Videos are one of the best tools you can use to tell your story, to share quality and engaging content with the audience. Videos help you increase your engagement and are the best means of viral content that can be created online.
HD Photos are the next best means of engagement.. Moving or enticing photographs that convey the message themselves are worth their weight in gold on all social media platforms, be it Facebook, Pinterest, Zomato or even twitter, not to mention Instagram.

Putting up texts reduces your reach and is a waste of money, time and efforts as well. Remember, engagement is the key. The more people who engage with you on social media, the better opportunity it is for you to increase your conversion ratio.

 

#2 Instagram Stories & Live

Probably one of the most underrated channels at this moment from the companies’ point of view would be Instagram. It’s still picking up pace, but if your target audience is the younger crowd, this is the platform to capitalise on, much more than Facebook itself.

Instagram has introduced a hoard of new features on its stories, making the stories as engaging as possible. It’s an amazing opportunity to connect with your followers on social media.
Another powerful feature is Instagram Live, allowing you to interact directly with your followers and target audience. If you aren’t utilising these to the full extent yet, you soon should.

 

#3 Influencer Marketing

Often, it becomes difficult to create a certain loyal fanbase for your business. This needs organic growth in terms of reach and engagement. If you solely rely on paid promotions, you would end up spending way more than required.

This is where influencers come into play, an amazing concept which again wouldn’t have existed if not for social media. People who’ve built up their profiles with great following would recommend your products, redirecting their followers to your page in return for some incentives. This creates new leads and a loyal fanbase. 
But remember, before you jump in and fix on an influencer, do check their following, whether they have real followers, engaging followers and their age groups as well. Every step here has to be carefully analysed. This is a form of social media marketing that shouldn’t be ignored. 

 

#4 WhatsApp for Business

Another new turn taken by Facebook, is bringing WhatsApp to the mainstream social media. Connect your WhatsApp to your Facebook page so that your customers can directly reach out to you on the same. This could change the face of social media marketing in the future. 

With WhatsApp for business, you as a business get the data, can interact with your customer at ease and in a very informal way.
If you haven’t connected it to your page yet, do it right away!

 

#5 Remarketing

Remarketing is one of the best ways of social media marketing, to connect with the people who already have interacted with your business. Contrary to the popular belief, remarketing isn’t necessarily only about website.
Once you run engaging campaigns on your page and they generate interest and engagements from various people, you can remarket call to action campaigns to them. This is an effective way to first capture their attention and then sell your product.

 

 

 

The above are but a few basic features of social media. Your results eventually depend on your content, that’s relatable to the respective target audience.

Join the social media bandwagon now and pump in some revenue from the digital world. In case you still need help, we’re but a click away.

Social Media Useful for Restaurants?

Restaurants and Social Media? Is it just a Hype or is there a real ROI?

Can social media get a positive Return on Investment (ROI) for your restaurant? YES, Definitely, social media can produce a healthy ROI. BUT then, not always.
As in any other form of marketing, ROI in social media depends on a hoard of factors, including and primarily, the target audience with whom you would engage, interact and possibly convert as well. 

In this article, we shall talk about social media marketing that makes the most sense for a restaurant and how to optimise the efforts that are put in to get a positive ROI. 

Wait, firstly, what is Social Media ROI?

ROI is basically a measure of your income to your expenditure. Social Media ROI is a measure of the income generated for you through social media to your expenditure.
When you talk of expenditure, don’t just include the money, but also include the time and the efforts put in. But, how can they be quantified? We shall talk more about it later in the article. 

The Right Audience at the Right Platform

First off, determine who needs to see your Ads, whom you want to reach out to and engage, in the hope of further conversions. 

Classify your audience into two basic categories:

  • The current loyal audience, that you should reach out to, so as to drive in repeated walk ins
  • An entirely new segment of people who haven’t checked you out yet. 

Are you a Pizzeria, looking to appeal to a younger crowd, or a fine dining restaurant looking to reach out to the older audience?
Are you a brewery looking to tap in to the middle aged, middle income guys?

Consider your job half done once you’ve classified your audience and segmented them thoroughly. Next step is to ask yourself: “Where would you find these guys?”
Generally, the younger crowd in India “lives on” Facebook & Instagram primarily, while the elder crowd are restricted more to Facebook yet.
But platforms like Twitter and Google plus do have a good number of users and that must be kept in mind before further strategising. 

Mind you, if you speak to the wrong audience or on the wrong platform on social media, you’re just wasting your time and of course, Money! Trying to increase your engagement would then only seem harder & frustrating.

The Right Guy!

Finding the right guy, like in many other aspects of life, is of utmost importance in social media as well. You would need someone who’s thorough knowledge and experience of your restaurant and of the social media platforms, to handle your social media. 

Your social media go-to guy has to be able to articulate his thoughts clearly and communicate well with good graphic designs & content. 

At the end of the day, you don’t want to use social media as just another cool timepass thing, but rather, to as a tool to grow your business. 

This guy has to be accountable for your social media ROI and therefore, take time, but choose well. 

You could either hire pay more and hire a guy who would need another designer/content writer or hire a digital marketing agency, with good experience in the field. 

Measuring Social Media ROI

Here are the 6 steps to ensure that we are getting a positive return on investment from our social media efforts:

1. Be specific and have measurable goals

First of all, you need to understand that just a small percentage of the people who follow you on social media or who see your Ad, would actually buy from you. 

But in order for you to know what that percentage is and to grow it, you need to track your results and analyse them consistently. 

Most of the time a regular industry standard is about 10% of followers who would become your customers, this percentage can be increased but in order to do so you need to know these 3 things:

– Number of total clicks on your Ad

– Number of unique clicks on your Ad

– Actions taken (Such as orders put in or tables reserved online)

These are some of the actions to be tracked online. There are also ways to track your progress offline:

– Call phone to reserve or order (provide a special code to mention)

– Small surveys with the check (always asking “Where did you hear from us?”)

– Redeemable coupons or promos the user has to print out or show on their phone.

2. Track the conversions

Talking strictly about the online aspect now, because you can’t see peoples faces or talk to them on social media, how do we determine the best course of action?

To track your conversions online and be able to measure the numbers we discussed earlier you need to have a Tracking service in place.

Run every link you share on social media through the tracker and install a “tracking pixel” on your website to monitor activity on it.

With this, you will be able to see what ads get clicked on the most, how many people actually order or reserve tables and how many people end up leaving.

With this data, you can see if you need to do more of the same or change your strategy to increase your percentages, at the end of the day online marketing is all about experimenting and split testing.

So make sure you know your numbers so you can get the most social media ROI.

3. Determine how valuable each conversion is to you

Another super important number to track is the lifetime value of your customer. 

If you know the average bill per table is, say, INR 300 and they tend to come back twice on an average each month and it costs you INR 50 to acquire that customer then your customer is worth INR 550!

Of course, this is before food, labor and other costs. But you can see that much like placing a price on a dish, marketing and particularly social media marketing, needs to always make sense to your business on the money side to make sure you get a healthy ROI.

4. Keep a close watch on revenues from each platform and channels

Since social media marketing is more effective when you’re in multiple channels, it’s important to be aware of how each of the platforms is performing.
You would also need to run multiple ad campaigns to get in traction, and so it is important to keep an eye on each campaign consistently. 

For example, if your Instagram is getting in a lot of engagement from your right target audience, but your Facebook page isn’t (either it isn’t getting in any engagement or the ‘wrong’ people are engaged there), it’s better to focus your time, efforts and more importantly, Money, on Instagram. 

Also, if you find an Ad Campaign to get in more page likes and to increase the reach of your page, not resulting in more post engagements or conversions, stop it and focus on what’s working. 

Figure out what your audience responds to best and do more of that.

5. Now calculate your return on investment (ROI)

It all needs to make sense from the business stand point.

Factor in what you’re spending on marketing to acquire customers, then divide that by the number of customers who were actually generated through your social media marketing.

Then factor in how much money do those customers represent and subtract your marketing costs and you have got your ROI.

If you are not spending money on ads or social media experts you should then factor in the hours you or your employees devote to social media and how much does it cost you. You should be able to determine a number from the numbers of hours spent and awarding a sum of money per hour, depending on the monthly salaries paid in the field in your area. 

If you are using a social media marketing service, it’s easier to figure out the costs, as they come with monthly reports. 

6. Optimise the channels that provide the most ROI

Once you calculate your ROI, you would need to figure out which Ad campaigns and platforms work better than others. You would have to optimise your Ads accordingly, so that you can increase your numbers. 

Social media is all about conversion through engagement. If you give people good content, content they can relate with, content that they like and would love to share, your numbers and ROI would go up with ease.

If you feel that the response is low, or that the conversions are fewer, you would need to recheck once again. Compare your social media ROI to other channels in your restaurant marketing campaigns, like banners or magazine Ads and determine if your social media needs optimising or not!

 

Here’s what not to do:

When it comes to social media you need to give value, value, value and then a pitch. If all you post all day are pitches such as lunch specials, offers, or new dishes’ promotions, people would soon stop responding to your posts and your social media efforts would produce diminishing returns.

People want to be either informed or entertained. If you can keep people informed and entertained you will always succeed.

A good rule of thumb is to always make your posts 80% value through engaging content and 20% pitches.

Having said that, keep in mind not to give in value and not to have a sales pitch, as then you would end up with a lot of fans but with no conversions. 

 

The DOs & Donts of Startup Marketing

One of the major problems identified in startups in India especially, is in the marketing part. More than 90% of the startups in India fail in the first 5 years itself out of which at least 30% have described their reasons as marketing, either high cost per customer acquisition or a burnout of cash on useless advertising. Marketing your startup is one of the most important step which would and has to take away a lot of the founder’s time.

With our four years of experience in the marketing industry so far, we’ve prepared a holistic approach to the  marketing of startups and have come up with a few Dos & Don’ts that would certainly help you while planning marketing strategies for your startup.

The DOs

  1. Start slow:
    Concentrate only on your product/service and let that do the talking for your brand. If your customers aren’t talking to at least five others about your startup, you’ve to rethink and rework on your product immediately. Be a WhatsApp, not a Wechat, which spent millions in marketing in India, before bowing out of the Indian market. Compared to it, WhatsApp spent only a negligible amount of money, with its customers doing the job for them.
  2. Ignite the Matchstick only:
    Limit your marketing to only getting the initial word out, to the minimum people. Ignite the matchstick and let your product/service be the fuel to spread the fire. This is also the best way to get the right feedback for your startup. Also, your customers would become your best sales people.
    When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, he ignited the matchstick by sending an Email across to a few email ids, who then experienced the product and helped to spread it across.
  3. Always add context to your Marketing Campaigns:
    As your startup grows, you would be required to brand yourselves and advertise, definitely to grow faster. But if you want your campaigns to be effective, make them connecting to your target audience. Provide them with a context to feel your brand.
    Tapp Me, a home maintenance service that provides on demand plumbing, carpentry, electrical services etc, had launched in its second city Visakhapatnam. Their target crowd was the housewives at homes, generally who take care of such issues. The team at Alloy decided to ditch the traditional marketing of hoarding or newspaper ads, and innovate a little. We got covers printed with Tapp Me branding on them, clearly explaining it’s advantages. We then distributed these covers in vegetable and grocery stores for free, who were only too happy to use them for their customers.
    Their conversion rate boomed and they saved a lot when compared to hoardings or other print ads.
  4. Blind Marketing:
    If you’re really passionate about your startup, take passion in getting known through your startup. Be a dad who takes pride in being known through his son and not the other way round. Don’t tell people that it’s your startup but keep them guessing instead.
    This way, you would get the honest feedback and at the same time have your own friends talking about it without knowing it’s yours. The best part is that you can initiate a conversation without appearing to be biased at all, and in fact change people’s minds about the startup. You would appear more like a customer, till you announce yourself as the founder later on (which could then add on as a PR story as well). Blind Marketing always works.
  5. The Four Ps:
    One of the most important lessons of Marketing is the four Ps: Product, Price, Place & Promotion. Follow that order, making your product great first, launching it at the right place & the right price. Only after you get the first three Ps right, go for the last one, which also can be limited to basic PR in the initial stages.
    Ultimately make sure that your product at the right place is enough to pull your customers to you. If you’ve to consistently  promote to get in customers, increasing your customer acquisition cost, you’ve to rethink on your product or location or its price.
  6. Adwords/ SEO + Instagram > Facebook
    Ideally, we would suggest you to go with all the online platforms available. But it’s a bootstrapped startup that you’ve just begun with minimal budget, always prefer Instagram over Facebook for social media. The reason is that you get to build a loyal following on Instagram as compared to Facebook, whose page likes are nothing more than just numbers. Plus, Instagram offers you with a variety of ways to connect with your followers, through Stories or Live and so on, which are comparably harder to execute on Facebook.
    Spend money on videos and interesting content like blogs on Facebook & Youtube. Go for Adwords only if you’re sure that sufficient number of people in the particular area you’re targeting, would search for a field that’s similar to yours. If not, Adwords is not at all advisable. You can however use Adwords to run Youtube Ads for interesting content though.
  7. Sell the experience of your product:
    Instead of blind advertising or distributing pamphlets, it would be worthwhile to sell the experience of your product/service to your target audience. Make them feel your product, and hopefully, fall in love with it.
    When Wow Momo! first began their journey, they gave away free Momos to the people who were in the area, to get in the right feedback. More importantly, they built customer relationships with their brand, which resulted in more sales and connect with their customers, something that’s essential in the longer run for your startup.

Marketing makes up the face to your startup. It’s one of the most sensitive part and hence, one must take proper care of the content being put up anywhere and the pros & cons of each marketing campaign undertaken. Here are some Don’ts that we’ve listed down from our own experience.

The DONTs

  1. Never get desperate for attention:
    Don’t pollute your customers sight with your advertisements all around. If your product is great, you don’t need too much of advertising anyhow. Bold advertising or mass advertisements often don’t win you great customers. Your product/service does.
  2. Don’t be over dependent on the power of media & marketing:
    AskMe Bazaar was an e commerce application that had Bollywood’s leading actors Ranbir Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut as their brand ambassadors. They had their advertisements everywhere, on TV, on News, in cricket matches, hoardings, newspapers and literally everywhere. But we all know their fate now.
    The lesson to be learnt is that true marketing cannot be done by anyone except the product itself. Do not waste your money on getting different brand ambassadors. Believe in your own brand and represent your brand by yourself and your product.
  3. Don’t fall for Social Media Numbers.
    Numbers in the digital world mean Nothing.The numbers on social media, including your page likes or post engagements mean very little. Most startups make the mistake of spending huge amounts of money on getting in big numbers.
    Even if the page likes aren’t fake, they would be of no use to you unless they are your exact target audience. A restaurant in Connaught Place wouldn’t generally benefit by spending money to get a follower from Gurgaon.
    Concentrate on building a loyal fanbase, quality over quantity. Increase your organic reach. The more your organic reach on social media, the better it is for your business. The more number of real followers you’ve on Instagram, the better it is for you.
    DO NOT fall for fake page likes or followers anywhere on any social media. They are temporary and also make you pay more to reach your exact target audience.
  4. Remove Redundancy:
    Do not keep repeating similar campaigns too often, even if they have worked once or twice. Repetition of similar campaigns can kill the interest in people and can reduce their engagement with your brand, be it online or offline.
    You’ve to keep updating your content time and again and be thinking out of the box to come up with new content sooner than later!
  5. Don’t get complacent:
    Startup life, especially in Marketing is similar to the maths in elementary. Don’t go for complicated campaigns, stretching it out just for the sake of being different. Don’t force a change in your product/service just to call yourself different. Keep things very simple. The solution always is simple, be it maths or be it marketing. Complex campaigns rarely work.

At least 25% of the thousand Indian startups that fail, have poor marketing as their reason. We believe that the right way to go about your marketing is to take a holistic approach to your marketing campaigns. This means taking into account all the departments from manufacturing, to logistics to marketing under one banner and planning up campaigns that combine these.

A holistic marketing will never see you fail, as you would be taking into account every single department before devising your strategy.

The above points are all mentioned taking a holistic view of startups. You can also check out some of our own campaigns for brands that are considerably new to their locations, at teamalloy.in/#our-work

Please feel free to reach out to us in case of any further queries or requirements at contact@teamalloy.in

             

Stunning Marketing Campaigns with Zero Budget?

Did you ever ponder on how you could reduce your marketing budget to Zero? Can the Customer Acquisition Cost ever be negative or is it just an ideal scenario?

Here, we look at two mind blowing campaigns that have been amazingly successful and had a zero marketing budget. In fact, they earned money instead of spending it, through their marketing campaign.

Varun Agarwal, Alma Matter:

Varun, a Bangalore based entrepreneur started his venture in 2009, Alma Matter, an online store providing apparel and memorabilia to alumni students from schools and colleges across India.

The company grew at a time when social media ads were non existent and print ads, very expensive. The only way the entrepreneurs could make money was by hustling, by literally becoming their own salesmen and pitching it to people through a lot of B2B marketing.

The problem with B2B marketing, however, is scalability, which requires a lot of human resource and time. Alma Matter needed something that could push their brand into the minds of the young Indians.

That’s when Varun came up with his best selling novel “How I Braved Annu Aunty and Co Founded a Million Dollar Company,” a novel covering his journey to success as a start up founder. The book, through the story, neatly talks about the brand, Alma Matter. While the story caught the fantasy of the young Indian reader, the brand established it’s connection with their minds.

Alma Matter earned it’s place in everyone’s household through the novel.

Years later, Varun again naively promoted Alma Matter when Ted India uploaded the video of his motivational speech at TedX Kerala. The talk again covered his story from a middle class Indian engineering student to the founder of a million dollar company.

Their marketing was about their story. They sold their story more than their stuff to the people, connected emotionally and garnered their mind share. All this, without spending a penny on anything. In fact, Varun Agarwal made money through his best selling novel as well.

Alma Matter simply created a brand and garnered Indian mind share, at Zero Marketing Budget. 

Uber, Visakhapatnam:

Uber, the technology company that revolutionised the transport industry worldwide, began it’s operations in the city of Visakhapatnam, a city in India, in July 2015. It’s main competitor, Ola had been already gained sufficient market share by then, having been present since over a year by then. Uber needed to quickly intersect the market in the city.

Uber Visakhapatnam, along with team Alloy, understood the important role students played in the city. The city’s life revolved around these young people.

Going the creative way, the team came up with an amazing competition named Mad About Marketing, aimed at the student crowd. The two week long event invited students to participate as teams of two or three, with a nominal registration fee.

The teams had to go through three rounds following which the winner was to be selected who was to then win an amazing “Paid Internship” at Uber, which is of tremendous value to any student.

Over the course of two weeks, the participants excitedly took part in the three rounds. The first round involved a lot of hustling where the teams were required to promote Uber and get in sign ups and downloads to the apps. They could pitch in to their family, friends, relatives, neighbours and literally anyone.

The top fifty teams, depending on the number of sign ups garnered by each team, were then selected to round 2, which involved the participants putting in their creative mind into play by doing a lot of social media promotions, by creating short films, ads, songs, memes or even by putting up statuses or profile pictures.

During this time, #UberVizag was trending on Facebook locally in the city. What’s more is that Uber got in three to four months’ worth of sign ups in just a week!

The third round was an interview, post which a winner was awarded the prized internship at Uber.

The event saw a huge participation of over 700 people. When 700 people go around the city, pitching and talking about the same brand, imagine the rippling effect it could create. How much did it cost Uber to get this done? Nothing. The nominal registration fee charged from the participants ensured the logistical expenses if any.

And that’s how Uber overtook Ola in it’s market share with a Zero Marketing Budget campaign.

The most successful companies spend the least in Marketing with the Best results. 

Marketing Dilema: Flipkart Vs D Mart, an analysis

The question that bothers most businesses and startups: What is an ideal marketing campaign for a business and how do we arrive at that?

Here we analyse the answer through two simple and known cases, Flipkart and D Mart, simply because of their starkly different approach to their marketing.

Do you know that an average Indian startup in the e commerce sector like Flipkart, spends about INR 600-700 crores on Advertising every year, which is more than 50% of their annual turnovers too and much higher than their profit share?

On the other hand, we’ve D Mart’s marketing budget is highly negligible when compared to today’s ‘new age’ companies.

Customer Retention Vs Customer Acquisition 

E commerce giants like Flipkart or Snapdeal have an average Customer Acquisition Cost of about INR 1100, despite the fact that an average purchase rate per customer is only about INR 900- INR 1000.

Comparatively, D Mart’s average CAC is just about INR 100 while the average purchase amount falls in the range of INR 500 – 1000. While both the companies fight it out in their highly competitive market, why do their CACs vary so much?

The reason is simple. While Flipkart has concentrated on Customer Acquisition, offering huge one time or festive discounts to tempt a person to make a purchase, D Mart has concentrated on Customer Retention, by offering quality products at a cheaper price than anyone else in the competition consistently.

Essentially, a D Mart customer more often than not sticks to the brand and even gets his near ones to a D Mart store through word of mouth. This seldom happens with Flipkart, where a customer simply makes a choice on the basis of pricing and discounts.

This brings us to our first important rule of Marketing:

A long term successful Marketing Campaign gives more importance to customer retention than to customer acquisition.

Scalability: 

It’s important to keep in mind the future of the company while designing a marketing campaign and not just concentrate on increasing the present sales.

Realise that marketing is only to let people know about you. If you have to keep spending money to retain your customers, something’s definitely wrong.

The amounts spent by e commerce companies during festivities, on advertising and then on huge discounts is massive. On the other hand, D Mart only advertises initially in any city to gain visibility. A few print Ads and they are done. Their own customers get them the flow they need.

D Mart’s marketing expenditure over time is a downward curve while their sales is an increasing curve, while in the case of Flipkart, it’s a wave. This means every time Flipkart cuts it’s expenditures, by either not advertising or not offering discounts, it’s sales decrease.

This discussion brings us to another important rule coined by us for Marketing:

Your Marketing Strategy should be such that over time, your expenditure decreases while sales increase, for smooth and gradual scalability. 

Holistic Approach:

To sum it all up, the need of the hour for any business is a holistic approach towards marketing where we take into consideration all parts of the business while designing your promotional campaign, from the procurement of raw material to the distribution to the final sales.

The best example would be D Mart itself. As seen above, D Mart only spends on advertising in the initial phase to gain initial visibility.

The study of their approach begins with the products on sale in D Mart. Clearly, D Mart has stayed away from electronics or jewellery product and has stuck to food and grocery products that are consumed on a daily basis by the consumer. It doesn’t even sell a private label product, which would have given them higher margins, but pose more inventory problems than necessary.

Our next focus is on consumer capacity and demographics. 75% of it’s stores have been opened in existing states and markets, clearly not experimenting with it’s customers.

D Mart then concentrates more on the volume of it’s sales, putting up huge stores and buying the products in bulk, at a much cheaper price than anyone else. It then sells it to the customer at a marginally lesser price than MRP, which is loved by the consumer.

At each step from procurement to sales, they have planned up everything carefully to pull in the customer, a completely holistic approach.
If you look closely, it’s all marketing in the end.

How has it paid off? Well, while buzz is so strong around India’s e-commerce industry and companies like Flipkart, the best-performing IPO in recent corporate history is a brick-and-mortar supermarket.

The Best Marketing Doesn’t Feel Like Marketing.