Email Marketing Campaign

Email Marketing: Stay One Step Ahead of Competitors

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You may have millions of customers to whom you’ve been sending communications over daily emails to effectively market your products and services. You may be spending big money on making your email communications work and stand out for your customers.

Have you ever wondered, that your customers are also subscribed to your ‘Competitors’ and are constantly being approached with better prices and discounts?

Imagine if you could know exactly what your competitors are doing with their email campaign, when they shoot out their campaigns, how many are landing in the inbox, which campaigns are running successfully, which products are being offered at what discounts and why the others fell short?

Such deep insights would really benefit your own email marketing campaign, wouldn’t you agree?

The impact these insights can have on your email marketing revenue cannot be overstated, thereby, making it imperative for marketers to invest in Competitive Intelligence Applications (CIA) to drive email marketing optimization.

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Some of the popular email marketing competitive tactics utilized are:

  1. Subscribing to competitor’s newsletters
  2. Analyst and Market Research Services
  3. Use tools that provide engagement and performance data of one’s competitor’s email marketing programs
  4. Participate in Industry associations
  5. Relying on Industry average benchmark reports
  6. Participate in Industry Conferences
  7. Using Secret Shoppers

Marketers are already spending millions in sending bulk emails daily. Thus, it makes sense to invest in Competitive Intelligence Tools, so as to not miss out on optimization opportunities and be left behind by competitors.

A recent study indicated:23_09_17_3

Imagine if you had a tool that you could utilize to understand your email campaign inbox placement across different ISPs vis-à-vis your competitors, email sending frequency, segmentation strategies and its effect on inbox placement and open rates, use of offers & keywords, frequency in subject lines and the performance of your creatives vs competitors, in order to immediately understand various success metrics.

Competitive Intelligence Tools Can Help Ensure:

  • Your emails stand out against competitor’s, by attracting the customer’s attention in the inbox.
  • It tells which brands are also emailing your target audience and vying for their attention.
  • You can also get insights into the percentage of your email subscribers who also receive emails from your competitors.
  • The most active days of the week & time, when your target audience receives the most emails from your rivals
  • The latest offers, key events, partner campaigns, top performing domains etc. being used by competitors

Competitor Intelligence Tools Enable You To:

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  • Stay ahead of competitors
  • Recognize industry trends
  • Research what your competitors are doing in their messaging, creative and more…
  • Better yet, learn what is working for them!
  • Use the “Awesome Bar” research tool to find best practice brands and campaigns
  • Know the frequency of subject line words used and their effectiveness, by your brand and your competitors
  • Research what your competition is doing to leverage social change
  • Learn what new offers your competitors are testing
  • Know what the most competitive inbox days are
  • Understand competitive approaches to triggers, welcomes, etc.
  • Realize that tactical approaches can lead to the next big ideas

There’s no better way to beat your competitors in their own game than by knowing their game plan. Kenscio Digital enables its clients to gain competitive insights that keep them ahead!

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Email Marketing: Keep Your Customers Engaged This Festive Season

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There is no secret that email marketing is the go-to choice for marketers during the Festive Holiday Season.  The effectiveness & affordability of email marketing renders it so. With so much riding on the annual Indian festival season, it’s more important than ever to consider a strategy on how your email campaigns can stand out and stay afloat in the sea of holiday messages.

Having said that, it has become extremely important to increase the use of targeted email campaigns and advanced tactics that can lead to higher effectiveness and engagement. In fact, a recent survey confirms that 78% of marketers rate their company’s competence in email marketing as either intermediate or progressive.

By taking a personalized & integrated approach, combining the right choice of Marketing Automation and using the right techniques; email marketing can help deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.

The New Wave in Email – Real-Time Personalisation (RTP)

The cutting-edge idea of ‘real-time personalization in email‘ – facilitates immediate reaction to customer behavior that increases engagement, helps customers know that marketers are listening to their needs and provides them with the products or information they were looking for.

Personalisation is everywhere, yet even with its rampant recognition and power only a handful of companies are putting it to great use.

Kenscio Digital takes you through the aspects of RTP and how marketers can use it to drive engagement in an email:

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The Festive Season from September to December is when Indians shop the most. This is the period when they also make big purchases such as cars, major electronic items, real estate etc. Email marketers can create a sense of urgency by using simple yet effective ‘Live Triggers’ such as countdown timers & progress bars. These tools when embedded in an emailer can showcase the time remaining on exclusive offers and limited stock items. These tools can create the excitement and urgency among customers by leveraging their fear of missing out (FOMO) and prompt them to make a purchase decision.

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Consumers are flooded with emails — and as inboxes grow heavy, clicks and engagement decline. This makes personalization more important than ever. With Geo-Targeting, marketers can automate the distribution of email campaigns with pre-determined triggers on a regional or local basis to showcase the best offers to customers based on their current GPS location.

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Real time data can be used by marketers to offer hourly offers & deals so that the customer gets to view a deal that’s still valid. The offers dynamically change as per the time of opening the email, thereby ensuring that customers receive relevant offers and information every time. Embedding real-time scheduling in emails helps marketers create highly targeted and timely email content which is relevant to their target audiences.

Dynamic Image Ranking

Enables email marketers to rank products or offers based on the number of clicks they receive. The most clicked images are then, dynamically pushed ahead and shown to customers when they open their emails. This ensures that popular offers stay in demand.

Social Proofing

This RTP tool pulls in real-time conversations about the brand from social media platforms such as Twitter, Review and Rating Sites. It showcases online comments by customers – which could be about the brand, their newest offers, deals or events.

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This tool lets customer rank the brand’s offerings in real-time. These insights can help email marketers continue or abandon a strategy so as to offer the best to their customers online.

 Live Website Feed

The discounts and offers that are rocking on your website can be pulled in to email campaigns when your customers are opening them. This would excite your customers to get to the website and explore further and buy.

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Gone are the days, when your emails are so static and contain stale recommendations. Hook up your Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based Recommendation algorithms based on your customer, the time he opened the email, location of access, and type of device.  Provide more personalized offers in real time based on all data available to the customers at the time, they are looking at the email.

When it comes to keeping customers engaged during the Festival Season, it’s important to consider the message, channel, and timing. Real-time email marketing allows you to extend a solution to your audience in the most effective manner. It helps boost customer engagement by using interactive, geographic and demographic customer data, where you can be ensured that your real-time marketing messages will generate favorable results immediately, resulting in successful email marketing campaigns.

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Email Deliverability Measures to Boost the ROI of Your Email Marketing Campaigns, This Festive Season

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The year’s biggest Festive Season is almost here! Indians are gearing up for the festivities and eagerly awaiting slash discounts, offers and the opportunity to shop till they drop! The hottest shopping season of the year also brings with it promotional emails by Marketers, who pit against their competitors to gain space in the customer’s mind. After all, if it isn’t in sight, it’s out of mind.

To keep the promotional message consistently ‘On Top of Mind’, marketers in India need to ensure that their marketing & email campaigns reach the right audience, at the right time and place and mostly in the inbox. Here is where the effectiveness of email deliverability takes precedence.

What is Deliverability

Deliverability refers to an email’s ability to successfully reach the inbox of its recipients. It starts by ensuring that marketers have the right platform & strategy in place to send emails into the inbox and ensuring that their ESP (Email Service Provider) keeps its promise of offering high deliverability.

This one is much harder to quantify since ISPs (Internet Service Providers) do not return a feedback to let senders know when the message has been delivered to the spam folder instead of the inbox.

Elevate Email Campaigns Through Accurate Deliverability

  1. Boost Inbox Placement

Mailbox providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook etc. take multiple metrics into consideration to determine the sender reputation including opt-in customers, multiple blacklists, spam and abuse complainers. There will always be some amount of variance between each mailbox provider. If it is seen that all top Mailboxes have an open rate averaging around 30% – but Gmail is closer to 12%, then it’s quite likely that emails are getting delivered to spam folders at Gmail.

Kenscio Digital’s Email Deliverability Team helps marketers understand the factors that might be driving lowered inbox placements in one mailbox vs. another.

  1. Tackle Spam the Smart Way

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There can be several reasons why marketing emails reach the spam folder. Some of these may include – incorrect list acquisition practices, sending too many emails in a short period of time, poor segments and targeting, or content which is simply not what the recipients expected to receive. One or all of these factors might be contributing to the problem of lowered email deliverability.

Our deliverability team digs into these myriad details and helps marketers figure out the “Why” behind low email deliverability and come up with appropriate solutions.

  1. Leverage a Cleaner Email List

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All email lists degrade over time. Maintaining a high-quality ‘Subscriber List’ is key to ensuring that emails are delivered to the inbox instead of the junk or spam folder. In addition to spam complainers, the other factors to look for are spam traps, abandoned & terminated email inboxes, inactive addresses, etc.

We use a powerful Email List Hygiene – Email validator service to keep email lists as clean as possible for our clients.

  1. Authenticate Emails

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Email authentication is the process by which a sender is validated through published records, such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail). Once the email is sent, the originating server sends the identifying information message to the recipient’s mail server. This server queries DNS (Domain Name System) with that information and uses the records provided to validate authenticity. The recipient server may choose to block messages that fail authentication checks.

Our email deliverability team makes sure the DNS records are set in place. SPF/DKIM authentication is one quick method to improve email delivery rates. Adding this to our client’s DNS entries sends a clear signal that the email marketer is authorized to send emails from a specific domain or sub domain. Without this adjustment, email messages may get marked as spam, even if marketers have their subscribers’ consent to email them.

  1. Carry Out the DMARC Authentication

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is the first widely deployed technology that can make the “From Header” address trustworthy. Not only does this help protect customers and the brand, it discourages cyber criminals who are less likely to go after a brand with a DMARC record. Even the global giant, Gmail, partners with DMARC.org, thereby giving domain owners greater control over what Gmail does with spam email messages from their domain.

Kenscio’s deliverability team monitors the regular DMARC Aggregate and Forensic Reports send by Mailbox providers back to senders. This gives our clients greater visibility into the email messages that are authenticated and those that are not, and why.

  1. Reduce Seed Address Dependency

One of the ways to monitor the inbox placement is using seed addresses:

Seed addresses are generally monitored email accounts with no human behavior and read by machines and can’t mimic real human behavior.

This technique has been used traditionally where seed lists (a limited number) have been added to the sending list. Hence, seed address monitoring is no longer an adequate model to check the behavior-driven actions that providers, such as Gmail, use to determine whether to place the email campaign in the inbox or the spam folder.

We use a third-party deliverability tool with a large customer base from millions of inboxes’, will help us understand actual recipient behavior, rather than just relying on seed addresses.

  1. Check Email Content

KEN-CM-BLOG-5A primary factor in inbox placement is CONTENT. Some of the trigger words may be used by spammers which cause genuine emails to be treated as spam by the inbox providers. While testing against spam filters, it’s not enough to simply mask trigger words or get a low spam score in the email software. Most software simply checks against global and existing databases that review keywords, and don’t scan the emails in the same manner as ISPs do.

Our deliverability team checks the content of the email, image to text ratio, trigger words in context, number and length of each of the links, HTML rendering, coding errors etc.

These simple measures and with the extra assistance from Kenscio’s Deliverability Team can go a long way in ensuring that email marketers stay ahead of the game by always showcasing their messages in the inbox, ready for the customer to view and take positive purchase decisions.

So, is your email strategy ready for this festive season?

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White Paper: Should you use Emojis in Email Subject Lines?

 

There are whole lot of things that can be expressed better with emojis, and the same seems to be the case of modern email marketing. Keeping up with the trends, email marketers too have started conveying messages through emoticons to engage subscribers, attract clicks and boost open rates. Not only do emojis add more colour to the usual black and white inbox, they tend to stand out and draw the attention of the user.

Emojis have become a global phenomenon and penetrated our everyday conversations on chats and social media networks. According to a MailJet study, Brits are 63% more likely to open emails with emojis inserted in the subject line. Whereas, friendly and fun Emojis such as he tears of joy icon , are received positively by audiences universally.

Kenscio carried out its own in-depth research to understand how the Indian subscribers reacted to emoji-embedded subject lines. Two industries; the ecommerce and online travel industry were selected for this study. The results proved that the average read rate of emojis emails were comparatively higher.

Our research led us to discover a lot more interesting things regarding emoji-usage in emails. A few interesting points include:

1) Objective Emojis (Aeroplane, star, Mobile, Beer etc.) are more popular than emoticons (Expressive Emojis like smiling, crying, laughing etc.)

2) Indian audience love to see  emojis like: Trophy, Gift Box, Firework, Camera. Indian brands mostly focus on such unique emojis (unlike popular whatsapp emojis).

3) Flipkart is running ahead of all other eCommerce brands in India. Most of their promotional emails have subject lines containing emojis.

Discover many such insightful findings by  downloading Kenscio’s White Paper from the link: www.kenscio.com/resources

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Email Validator: The New Avatar of Kenscio’s Email List Cleaning Solution

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What if you could access the best of your existing and potential customers through efficient emails, that reach their inbox? Worried about generating high hard bounces and spam complaints, that impact your Domain and IP reputation, which reduce the chances of reaching out your customer’s inbox? Now, you may be wondering what has efficiency got to do with emails right? Absolutely everything! Precision counts when it comes to email marketing and ensuring that emails get delivered to the right email addresses can have huge implications on a business. Kenscio’s Email Validator is one such unique solution that lets businesses target email addresses with a hawk-eyed view.

Kenscio’s cloud based SaaS solution the ‘List Cleanr’ has been relaunched in its new and improved avatar – the ‘Email Validator’. With new UI and exciting features, the Email Validator enables businesses to maintain high email list quality by cleaning up to 80% of bad email addresses.

What’s New?

  • A graphical view of email list statistics
  • Enhanced Client Specific Configuration of bad email addresses and domains
  • Improved API for single email validation
  • Enhanced spam trap suppression
  • Improved performance by caching MX lookup (domain validity)
  • Improved email notification with detailed report
  • Extensive Summary of all list cleaning jobs done in past
  • Static and Knowledge based Email validation
  • Specific to RFC standards, ISP rules, and Historical list of Email bounces and Spams
  • Live Check of Inbox in popular ISPs
  • Blazing processing speed in excess of 4 million emails per hour

 

New Features: Create Tasks on Your Email List

The platform will enable you to create a task or job that needs to be done on the email list. All you need to do is enter fields such as the name of the job you wish to create, input file delimiter with (, and |), email address column position, an email address to receive status reports, option to select input file from FTP location, browse to select input file, option to send output files to remote location and start the validation process.

 

A Job Well Done

It gives detailed specifications about who the job was created by, date and time of creation, process start and completion time, status of the job and an option to view details for greater clarity.

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It Gets a Lot Better

The view details option gives access to a vibrant graphical pie chart that showcases details from the cleaned email list. It offers insights such as valid email ids, generic words, invalid and spam domains, duplicates, hard bounce rates etc. It also gives further information regarding the total records processed and the number of valid and invalid emails. You can also download the job result whenever needed.

 

A Comprehensive Summary

Have a Visual representation of all the Email List Cleaning processes and their performance in the account.

The Email Validator platform is agnostic to the sender’s ESP and has traditionally been used by clients along with large cloud based broadcast systems, small pay-as-you-use platforms and the medium scale domestic platforms. It is set to become a gamechanger in the world of email marketing and will assist brands, enterprises and email service providers to bring hygiene into their email marketing practice as well as to avoid eroding their domains and IP reputation.

It’s that simple. Everything you need to get a squeaky-clean email list is now available on our Email Validator. It’s time to let go of trial and error methods by embracing precision email marketing through Kenscio.

To read the official press release, visit http://www.prnewswire.co.in/news-releases/email-validator-the-new-avatar-of-kenscios-email-list-cleaning-solution-621406843.html

For more information visit http://www.kenscio.com/products-solutions/email-validator

 

 

 

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Demonetisation: Email Strategies in #Cashless times

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It’s been around three months since demonetisation was introduced by the Indian government. How did this decision impact the Indian businesses and how did they cope? How their communication strategy adapted to the situation? These are some of the issues we will be discussing in this article. We have taken two popular industries; the online wallet/payment and online cab aggregator, and compared their performance using  .

The aftermath of demonetisation witnessed online platforms becoming the go-to destinations for everyday transactions. However, the mass exodus of Indian customers from brick and mortar stores to online payment platforms wasn’t easy. It involved the incorporation of extensive email marketing strategies in their subject lines so as to target the right customer base, drive their click through rate and result in actual transactional actions.

Various keywords were exclusively used by these brands. Following is the comparative analysis based on Paytm vs Freecharge and Ola vs Uber’s campaign data recorded from 8th November to 8th December-2016.

Comparison: Paytm vs Freecharge

  • The over-all sent out email volume went up for Freecharge compared to previous month data (pertaining to ‘Diwali’ mailers). Whereas, for Paytm, the Diwali mailers were more in volume than Demonetization specific mailers.
  • Paytm deployed 17 campaigns for Diwali and 50 campaigns post-Demonetization. Freecharge sent a total of 11 mailers specific to Diwali and 21 mailers after demonetization.
  • In case of Paytm, the read rate for Diwali mailers was around 6.71% and for Demonization mailers 16.54%
  • In case of Freecharge, the read rate remained almost consistent with 11.58% for Diwali campaigns and 11.48% for Demonetization.
  • 50 campaigns were launched by Paytm as compared to 21 campaigns by Freecharge targeting post-demonetization effect.
  • Campaigns carried out by Paytm used keywords such as ‘Wallet’, ‘Cash free’ and ‘Cashless’
  • Paytm’s overall targeted customer base was lesser than Freecharge. The number of customers targeted by Paytm was nearly half of Freecharge
  • Even though read rate of Paytm is better than that of Freecharge, the number of customers that Paytm has been able to target is almost half of that of Freecharge
  • Paytm email subject lines majorly emphasized on the usage of the word ‘Paytm Wallet’ in all its campaigns, whereas, Freecharge focused more on the keyword ‘Cash free’

               

Comparison: Uber vs Ola

  • Ola mainly emphasized on the word ‘Cashless travelling’ in many of its campaigns whereas Uber used the words ‘Skip’ and ‘ATM queue’ in their campaigns
  • Ola emails also extensively used other keywords such as ‘Cashless’, ‘travelling’ and ‘cashback’
  • Uber used words such as ‘Cash’, ‘cashless’, ‘Cashfree’ and ‘free’ in their email campaigns
  • Ola sent 36 campaigns during demonetization as compared to 12 campaigns sent by Uber
  • The overall sent volume of Ola emails was much higher than of that of Uber by around 18%.
  • In terms of numbers of subscribers opening the emails, Ola performed better as compared to Uber. This can be attributed to two reasons: Ola has a larger subscriber base and a slightly better read rate

Most Popular Subject Lines Used:

Brands Sendout Date Subject Line Read %
Ola 24-11-2016 Say Ola to cashless travelling 24.62%
Uber 19-11-2016 Skip the ATM queue 22.58%
Paytm 21-11-2016 It’s So Easy to Pay With Your Paytm Wallet 61.54%
Freecharge 18-11-2016 {{First Name}}, Open this mail before you Freecharge! #Cashfree 20.44%

Some previously unimaginable transactions have become common place today. Email marketing was deployed as the weapon of choice to encourage more Indians to embrace online transactions. As a result, more people began transacting online to complete their everyday grocery purchases even at the local Kirana stores, online booking of cabs/movies, hotels and restaurants.

If you would like to have a glimpse of your brand’s competition in terms of brand comparison, email deliverability and campaign performance, you can request for a preliminary report by clicking here.

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White Paper: Email Throttling and Strategies to Combat it

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Whenever it comes to Email Marketing, marketers face a whole bunch of difficulties in terms of deliverability, list hygiene problems, monitoring glitches and many more. A seamless email marketing strategy is difficult to achieve unless these problems are properly addressed. ‘Email Deferral’-a critical case of Email deliverability, arises when some ISPs limit the amount of Emails sent out by a particular sender during a specified period of time. This happens due to a pre-defined threshold in the number of sendouts inflicted by the ISPs.

In most of the time, this is a 400 class error. Due to bouncebacks of the excessive number of emails, the email campaigns face significant drawbacks in terms of deliverability and performance. This can also lead to diminution of email reputation of the senders and can possess a bigger threat furthermore.

This white paper interprets the technical aspects of this issue and how email marketers can avoid the problem of Email Throttling. Although, Email Throttling seems to be too intriguing for Email Marketers to avoid, appropriate strategies can help marketers get rid of this problem.

Read more about it by downloading the White Paper from the link: www.kenscio.com/resources

The White Paper is authored by Mr. Ziaul Hussain, Client Success Manager, Kenscio.

 

 

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Training on the New & Improved Teradata DMC (Now Mapp Digital Marketing Platform)

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We invite you to an insightful training session with Ms. Sandra Curry on the latest aspects of eCircle. (Mapp Digital Marketing Platform)

Discover the latest features of Teradata DMC (Now Mapp Digital Marketing Platform) and learn how you can make the most of your Email Marketing Campaigns. The following topics will be covered:

  • Segmentation Builder
  • Automation Whiteboard
  • CMS (drag & drop)
Come, join us tomorrow at our Bangalore office from 10 am to 5 pm.
Venue: 4th Floor, Innovation, No. 101,
Amar Jyothi HBCS Layout
Domlur, Bangalore

 

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Immortal Emails for long-lasting customer Engagement

How to make Emails Immortal?

Have you even wondered if it is possible to make a promotional mailer informative enough to such an extent that the subscribers can simply check the Email/Inbox to check a latest hourly deal/offer rather than visiting the website? Being contextual to subscribers for a long duration (if not forever) is no more an impossibility.

And most of the email marketers send emails every day with different content without knowing whether the subscribers are really reading the emails. By the time the subscribers open the email, most of the emails are outdated and become irrelevant and obsolete. Most of the time content doesn’t provide any meaningful information to them. Sometimes, thereafter, it’s just a matter of a single click to stop further communication (unsubscribe).

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How a brand delivers a seamless experience to subscribers through real-time updated email communications is a matter of great importance to email marketers. While Social Media, Web and Mobile based technologies have innovatively developed real-time content delivery and integration features, email communication often fall flat as far as contextual communication is concerned. Putting it simply, for an example, is it possible to send an email to your subscribers containing real-time Foreign Exchange rates/currency rates that represent actual value based on the time a subscriber opens the email?

The answer is ‘Yes’. Interestingly, it can be done in the email forever. If the email is opened exactly on this date of the year 2017, the value will be the exact rate prevailing in this time of the year 2017. Such emails are Immortal.

Kenscio developed this innovative email marketing solution based on the years of experience and wisdom garnered from servicing of 100 (+) clients across the globe. Some of their clients like Axis Securities, have taken their mortal campaigns to almost being immortal.

If you look at their emails, you will find the mailers providing real-time tips on how to invest in the volatile stock market that keeps changing every second in a day. Axis Direct emailers are immortal for the subscribers providing the content that are most relevant, Sensex indices, up-to-date market news, which stocks to watch, what are the new stock gainers/losers etc. Thus, the investors always have the latest information in the inbox. Even if you open the emailers sent one-month back today, the content will be valid at this point of time.

The dynamic email marketing solution pulls in information various sources like website, back-end CRM, ERP platforms, social streaming, RSS Feed, News Feed etc. and you can compute a lot of stuffs and show it through emails making them dynamic. As the complete process it automated, one needn’t invest too much time on creating the mailer, testing it, putting the right content, proofing, sending it across etc. and saving tons of a time. Marketers can now more focus on how to get the right stuffs in front of customers and help them better strategizing and helping the customers in getting what they need and not just about content gathering, building and communicating.

Such innovative solutions for marketers put them in a different league compared to the marketers sending mortal emails which dry up every day. Give the subscribers an opportunity to see what is in this dynamic world by directly reaching out to them with real-time information content, fresh messaged for every open.  Give them an opportunity whereas they can see an email in real-time and provide engagement elements that are as fresh as these are the social media and websites.

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Dummies’ guide to social media strategy

Diving into social media with the right strategy is like a never-ending road trip. Here are some tips

Put simply, every action you take on social networks should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. That means every like, tweet, reply, share and comment should all be guided by a plan and driving towards pre-determined goals.

To create a social media marketing plan from scratch, the first step is to create social media objectives and goals. As social media channels continue their meteoric rise, the push for organisations to adopt social technology increases as well.

Kenscio Social Media Service providers

Be SMART about it

Here are some common examples of goals and objectives for an organisation’s social engagement plans and how these can be tied together with its marketing plan in 2016. These objectives are S.M.A.R.T., i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Oriented.

Goal 1: Increase market share of voice, increase reach of thought leadership content. Goal 2: Enhance brand reputation, increase engagement and brand awareness by exposing the brand to new people. Goal 3: Improve business intelligence (knowledge of prospects and clients, competitors, technology and trends). Goal 4: Improve return on marketing investment (ROMI)

The next step is to choose and prioritise your social network channels. When it comes to choosing the social media channel or platform you should utilise, follow the principle of choosing wisely. To begin, frame your evaluation of each channel or platform with the following questions: What is the unique purpose of this channel or platform? Does the channel or platform relate to my business needs? Which target audience does this channel or platform serve? How much time on this network is necessary to have the best impact?

You can also judge the value of a social network based on how well it fits your content and strategy. Here’s a helpful way of looking at it. Encourages dialogue, conversation networks: Twitter and Facebook; Business-focused networks: LinkedIn; Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram; Video networks: YouTube; SEO and authorship networks: Google+; Location-based networks: Foursquare

Remember to fill out your profiles completely. One of the great benefits of having a fully filled-out social media profile is that visitors know that you are serious about engaging with them. Before you publicise your presence, one must have minimum 15 to 20 posts. This helps visitors to know what type of content you’ll be posting and shows them that you’re established and invested on the channel already.

Keep talking

One must also aim for consistent posting and talk about trending topics. Respond to conversations and keep them going by responding in a way that your audience is excited to talk more, interact more. Keep it consistent and moving. Perhaps the most vital reason for participating in social media is that you get exposure to consumers, clients, prospects, industry leaders and competitors. It actually implies that there’s a wealth of information already available to you which you can incorporate into your social media marketing strategy. This is your baby step to know and explore your path wisely.

Consumers can also offer social media inspiration. How? Simply see how they respond to your promotions, notice what they like, share, tweet and why. Never forget, consumers, clients, prospects buy from those they know, like, and trust. Social media is a way to add value, boost your credibility, and build trust with ideally matched contacts. Always put relationships first because that is the basis of social media marketing. Smart selection of plans based on what your competitors are doing with their social media platforms can also play a pivotal role in your social media strategy. Do get inspired by industry leaders if you feel blank on what lies in the future of your social media strategy.

Above all, any strategy that focuses on providing value, boosting credibility and building trust can bring a paradigm transformation in terms of business excellence. Create a content plan and editorial calendar, create a content strategy. Creating a buzz around your content is essential to expanding social media reach and engagement. Your content marketing plan on social media should focus around these points. What type(s) of content do you intend to post and promote via social media, this year? How often will you post the content? Whom do you wish to target for each type of content? How will you promote the content?

A safe strategy to follow is the social media rule of thirds. One-third of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, generates profit. One-third of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses and one-third of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.

A social media content calendar should organise the way you curate and create content, and help develop your editorial strategy. You should also keep in mind that not all content has to be created fresh, you can get a lot of value from repurposing old content. Perhaps you have articles on your website, case studies, whitepapers, or other forms of content which can be shared using social technology.

Finally, test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan. The most important thing to understand about your social media marketing plan is that it should be constantly changing. As new channels emerge, you may want to add them to your plan. As you attain goals, you may need to adjust them or find new goals for each channel.

As you scale your business, you might need to grow your social presence for different branches or countries. Rewrite your strategy to reflect your latest insight. This is a plan that is meant to change, so be flexible. As you move forward, you may discover that some tactics are not working as well as you thought they would. Try to adapt quickly and introduce the new changes to your overall strategy. An intelligent approach to apply new-edge social media tactics and an emotional approach to know what your consumers want can drive a brand, resulting in social media excellence.

KG Manjunatha is Chairman and CEO,

Kenscio Digital

The original article appeared on The Hindu Business Line.

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