Does it really needed in Social Media marketing ? Some say yes and some say no.. and some say don’t know….. I have been to a summit in India where people were discussing only about ROI, before even considering social media as one of additional tool for marketing the brands.

Why do we always think about the benefits first before even planting trees. In my older posts, I had mentioned about the ROI in the internet advertising model, where CPC, CTR are all involved. Those days have gone. Many dot companies have earned a lot and they are still earning. But the entire business model is changing.  It is driving towards more realistic evidences than calculating the number of clicks. I don’t even know who clicked my Ad, whether the user is worth my product or not.

We all know the great internet jobs, “Sit at home and just click the ADs” and the money will be transferred to your respective accounts. I am sure in the near future all these activities will phase out and it will take a very realistic turn in the internet industry, where the marketers will pay for the activities which are really worth.

Many people are still misguiding the marketers, Brand managers by getting ROI (Return on Investment ) into picture for Social Media. Why do we still get into number of clicks, visitor statistics etc..  It is so evident that we are getting real conversations, real comments, and user written reviews on the products. Is that not enough!!!… Let us take the screenshots of the real conversations happening on social platforms and consider it as the real evidences towards our product. Is this logic so difficult to understand by any Internet Marketing  Professional ? I am sure it is a great attempt to misguide the Brands and their associated people.

But things are pretty clear nowadays. As Social Media is evolving, things are drastically changing in India Markets, where more and more people getting inclined towards Social Media Marketing.

As they feel that there is no better platform available. But good things always come with great responsibilities.  We need to be more serious and sincere in our conversations. Be more transparent, be more open minded in sharing information. Try pushing your brand to people directly and then rest assured, if dealt sincerely. Rest people will push your brand across the world. This is the mantra of Social Media.

Its like “Jo Dar Gaya, Samjho Mar Gaya”. So dont fear, just reply….and talk to people…

Recently, I did a close comparison between proprietary tools  and Social Tools available. Now this might sound little confusing. Let me clear this fact. Proprietary tools means having your own site and having your own social features available on your site such as Hindustan Lever having Blogging, Video sharing and community features on their site. In this way they think they can grab the same amount of users to their website, just like all other popular tools available such as Facebook, Orkut, You tube, WordPress, Blogger etc.  The logic behind this is great, but it does not work at all. Many clients featuring all these possibilities on their site anticipate tremendous traffic to their site. But this is not the fact at all. It never works like that.   The clear difference is Proprietor y presence does not have the general identity which other social tools have. Its like knowing a company’s website and knowing yahoo.com. Yahoo is considered to be a landmark, anything published on it has a global reach. So the presence can be considered as a landmark. It also depends what kind of approach Yahoo had towards users and what they offered. Most of the people are glued to this presence.

Recently, I had a chat with one of my client who thinks that they had provided all necessary social platforms on their site and does not feel the need of using other popular social media presence to add more traffic to their site.  Well I don’t see any clear reason to why one should not use other Social Media platforms. In fact, my recommendation would be not spending any money building Social features on an individual company site and use other popular social platforms to drive the traffic to the site. Users want to meet up at a common place. There are 1000’s of places where people discuss and meet online. Yes.. But a website is compulsory….. there cannot be any replacement to it.

A simple example :

Knowing a destination like Gateway of India and knowing an address of a Corporate office, are two different things.  Even if a corporate office has everything as Gateway of India has, people will still go for Gateway of India, because everybody knows about it from ages. It is a Landmark !

Similarly, it is just not advisable to maintain proprietary tools and expect tons of traffic to their site. One must have a clear and a strong presence on general online presence, because they are already established and people have accepted it, because the motive behind is to just connect people and not promote an individual business. Whereas, a proprietary online presence is focused to only promote and talk about specific business. Though a proprietary presence may have tons of traffic, but there is no credibility of the traffic. Most of the traffic is driven through Google Ads, Search Engine techniques and it is been rated on the statistics. Nowadays, statistics is not just everything. One cannot decide the credibility of the information through number of page visits. What about credibility of information, how can statistics define a particular visitor of the site is willing to know about a company’s business or their communications. But all this is possible at the available Social Tools. They are designed and developed only to know about this particular intention of a user.

Online statistics can been a good beginning to rate a website ROI, but in the long run, it fades out and the traffic depends on the quality of information and not just quantity of information

One more example:

A contestant dancing in his room and a contestant dancing on a stage has a clear and logical answer to the above disucssion. No one would go to his room and watch him, until he or she comes on a global platform.

Awareness Drives Sales

January 9, 2009

awareness-drives-sales-digital-communications-digital-marketing-online-awareness-social-media1Recently I had to speak to one client regarding a digital promotion of a book.
As usual, I was pitching will all kinds of explanations, how digital can help you… what kind of tool we will be using to build awareness across the digital space. After all these conversations, the client says “I want 2 lac copies of my book to be sold” Give me an assurity that you can sell 2 lac copies of my book through digital Communications.

I was pretty much surprised with this reaction from the client.

I even took it positively and asked the client that when he is planning to launch the book, “he said – well roughly in 15 days”. I smiled and I said that Digital Communications needs at least 1 month to do the foundation work. In such as short period there is an expectation of selling 2 lac copies. Well I guess nobody knows about this book and about the Author. So It is going be little difficult but we will surely take it as a challenge. But the client kept on insisting about the sale of 2 lac copies. Now this was one of my conversations with one of my clients, which did not turn out to be my client, as he wants to sell only 2 lac copies of the book and make money out of it.

There is a clear and simple logic towards any marketing activity,

“Awareness Drives Sales” – Every marketer knows that without awareness there cannot be any sale towards any product or any service. Similarly in digital Communications nothing can be sold or nothing be absorbed without giving proper information about it. Consumers who are connected to you online are very curious to know each and everything you communicate, and perceive it accordingly. This is the most difficult phase for any marketer at the same time yet challenging, because consumers will have different thoughts and different approach to anything they absorb, naturally comments, reviews & questions will be asked by them and sometimes it is difficult to answer by any marketer, in such a case one needs to be connected with them from the beginning so that one knows about them and how they interact and what is their thought process accordingly they questions, comments can be answered and justified.

Every single step should be planned so that we don’t miss out any kind of communication with the consumer. Similar to any traditional marketing activity a proper profiling, proper communication needs to be established between the seller and consumer. This is only possible if there is any home work done at the sellers end. One should understand that though the digital communications helps any one to reach their consumers directly, but a consumer would not interact with you directly on what you want to offer. In order to achieve that, one needs to be present in all possible ways and build an awareness program initially. Let people know “who you are”, “What is your passion”, “what is your background”, “what is your objective in reaching the consumers directly”. Let people in the web space know about your thoughts about what you feel and about what you think towards your profession, product, service etc. This way initially you will be known to people and then that identity will help you to interact with your consumers. If one tries to offer a product, service etc directly, then there will be no difference between a seller who sells their products without building relationships with the consumers. In this case he will be able to sell his products only once to the consumers… And this would be a bad business practice.

Lot of people doesn’t think about how awareness can drive sales to their company or product. If one observes carefully, only awareness drives sales and nothing else. In short, no sensible marketer will assure a fixed number of sales to any product. But the awareness program needs to be built strategically so that on every step we communicate right kind of information about a product. and also can maintain a record of what is been communicated, so that in later stages we can even review what is been communicated to avoid misunderstandings. In digital Communications, none can sell or talk about their service, product directly until a strong relationship is been established.

And that’s the beauty of Digital Communications. Infact using Digital Communications means connecting your consumers directly without any mediators between. So that gives the answer to all queries in Digital Marketing

Okay I have a website. www.killerdrama.com.

That’s it. Hey you know I have a website. Oh wow. Its on my cards also. Oh that’s cool.

 

So what does your website speak about? Well it speaks about my company, my company, my company, my services, and my services my services. Oh that’s amazing… Cool.”

 

This is the current scenario of each and every website in India. Especially, mid segment industries and some large scale industries. They have never considered their company’s website to be a communication medium. So we see so many websites which are just not updated. Certainly they will only update their website if they are participating in any exhibitions or if they are getting into IPO.

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But the fact lies many people don’t realize the importance of having a website and how can it be a powerful tool in the current Digital age. Most of the sites I have come across do not have updated content and nothing to interact with users. This is the biggest problem in Indian sites. Nothing to blame anybody but I am sure now people will start realizing the importance of updating and maintaining a website. As mentioned in my prior articles, I have clearly mentioned that even to manage a social media strategy or a campaign one needs to have clearly defined website to route all the necessary communication through the additional platforms in Social Media.


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Many websites in India are still not Search Engine Optimized and many sites are completely flash based and no proper web standards followed. Such as correct use of CSS for defining the content formatting and navigation, no proper naming for the images used, no proper linking, no Meta tags, descriptions and titles defined for individual pages, we still find broken links in many websites. No proper Key word rich content and especially there are no further developments in the website even if it more than a year old. Being a web professional and a digital Professional, I always suggest in redeveloping the website every year and content updations at least every month. Lot of my clients do ask me that I want my site to appear in the first page of Google. Yeah, certainly it is like opening a box of sweets and having it. Not at all sir!

 

One needs to do lot of planning on developing your website, just as a clearly defined strategy is developed for marketing or promoting a product or a brand. The same kind of seriousness and strategies need to be thought in developing a website. Many people do think that a creative agency that is well versed with Photoshop, CorelDraw and other designing tools can develop the website on fingertips. Well I certainly never try to participate in that conversation. This is not about other countries, but certainly this has been a practice of Indian Marketers. Of course, there are examples like TATA, Reliance, Airtel, sunsilk gang of girls, eclerx, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and many more. I am certainly talking about companies who might not be as big as these, but one needs to realize that how important a website is in current scenario. The entire digital Marketing revolves on a website. Whether it may be SEM (Search Engine Marketing), PPC (Pay per click) and the powerful social media.. Driving good amount of traffic is very much possible through these tactics.

Certainly as the technologies of Web 2.0 are getting evolved, there can be so many things added to a website, such as discussion forums, polls, rating, online chat etc. and many more interactive elements can be added. Does anybody know that the most important section one could see is the Media centre, where we upload press releases, financial data etc. This is the most important section of any standard website. Your website can turn out to be an online press release which directly reaches your consumers. But these press releases should be written keeping all possible keyword in the mind and incorporate it accordingly. For any website the content is very important and one needs to make sure the content is been optimized as per to the search engine standards. Lot of people also prefer paid search marketing such as buying few keywords and promoting the site. But I would consider it as non-credible marketing, where you are forcefully driving people by promoting ads on Google and other possible place. What I always suggest my client is to always rely on natural search as it gives a more accurate and credible traffic to the website. Regular updations and regular changes in the content gets better visibility on search engines. To see it happen, one need to take necessary steps to do it.

 

If it is online then you need to have a well optimized website compulsorily and no one can have any possible excuses for it.

 

My next post will be on monitoring your website and other social Media presence.

One of my friend Isha Shah, who was studying in Dubai and also a Social Media Enthusiast. Well, l she was discussing with me on how to monitor and measure Social Media. I had contributed some about of knowledge towards her report. I really appreciate her hard work and her determination in gathering information on Measuring Social Media.

She recently she sent me a detailed report on Measuring Social Media. It is interesting and pretty informative. So thought of sharing with the world. Hey ISHA– Keep it up.