Why New Algorithm of Twitter May Make More Impact on Business

Even though Facebook is often regarded as the biggest name in social media marketing for brands, Twitter is hot on its heels for social dominance.  Twitter has been trying to become a powerful tool for businesses and that is because of many factors such as real-time marketing, customer support, breaking news, influencer marketing etc.

Notwithstanding its increasing usage, small businesses in India still are not using Twitter to its full prospects. According to a recent report, 94 percent of marketers use Facebook, in sharp contrast to the low percent using Twitter. The reason is simple: Facebook has an intuitive advertisement platform that makes it easy for nouveau marketers to see results by selecting a few basic parameters and sharing their ideas out to the News Feeds of their target base. But, Twitter can actually be a more beneficial tool for most businesses, in practise.

The tale of algorithms

It’s been reported widely that Twitter is rolling out its Facebook like algorithmic timeline. This move will be beneficial for Brands as an algorithmic timeline has been one of Facebook’s core pros over Twitter, allowing it continue to grow rapidly as Twitter’s growth slogged. An algorithm, ideally, helps overtake all irrelevant information, prioritising on the more appropriate stuff, boosting from real-time analysis at which Twitter excels. Experts believe that the new move is aimed to push the brands for delivering more meaningful and high quality content. Many tweeples have been vocal against this change, as they feel that Twitter should make it opt-in, not opt-out. They fear that the real essence of Twitter may wear out as this will pave way for more manipulated and well orchestrated content instead of the real-time, raw, as-it-happens type of content. Is Twitter then making a tough choice to give away its original mission to pull in the brands and advertisers?

What it Means for the brands

This algorithmic approach is actually an extension of a feature Twitter introduced back in January of 2015, called “While you were away”, which is a recapitulation of the top tweets; a user might have missed from accounts of followers. This new algorithm would emphasize the best content, which will challenge marketers to create better content leading to more meaningful engagement. This algorithm puts Twitter on an equal footing with Facebook because content that has grown great organic visibility will have same chances of being viewed by users as paid content. Unlike in Facebook, where edgerank has made it very tough for branded content to show up naturally on newsfeed, and brands are in a way forced to pay to showcase their content.

With the inclusion of this algorithm, brands will have to spend a greater extent of time to get the hang of new tricks of the trade, as they must decode the logic of the algorithm to figure out a way to get into the timeline of its followers – or take the Facebook approach of pay-for-everything to do the same. As of now, the dice has been rolled out on the other side.

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The Marketing of Democracy – Influence of advertising in Indian elections

Elections in India were always a manifestation of the victory of the best advertising technique, where the political party, which promoted its manifesto in the most relatable way, would emerge victoriously. With time, however, the advertising techniques in elections are changing to suit the needs of the digitalised world.

Wall posters, flags, hoardings, leaflets and other printed publicity material was always a part of election propaganda. However, the real-time promotions on social media, backed by smart looking ads on television and the radio are being used in contemporary elections on a massive scale for propaganda purposes, as these mediums can harness the full attention of the voters and are thus better depictive.

The Indian Connection

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s usage of the radio to convey his mind through the weekly ‘Maan ki Baat’ is a powerful electoral device whose strength is manifested by the fact that it runs round the year.

With aggressive propaganda marketing undertaken by all parties, election campaigns are now more professionally motivated than ever. More and more political parties are now opting for professional advertising services to promote their election propaganda. Short advertising films which focus largely on public sentiments criticising current incumbents, pioneered by the massively successful “Janta Maaf Nahi Karegi’ campaign, undertaken by the Bharatiya Janta Party before the 2014 parliamentary elections, have now become the conventional norm. Peppier taglines, aesthetically elite manifesto presentation styles and well executed social media campaigns are being projected by each party to gain the maximum emotional reliability of the voters, no matter what their budget or political presence. Smart video marketing has become one of the most important strategies for political campaigns.

Brands too want to leverage the sentiment

Influenced by the tremendous marketing impact of elections, advertisers are marking it as a business cycle to boost the promotion of their products, thus giving the essence of democracy a consumerist and commercial tinge. These advertisements are usually shown to induce the electoral mood on the promotion of purity in their products or services through values like honesty, efficiency or integrity by criticising political corruption, social insecurities or other administrative evils in the contemporary scenario of the country. Remember the iconic advertisement film by an undergarment brand which shows a voter shedding his shirt while overcoming all obstacles outside a polling booth such as politicians and riggers and then casting his opinion only in his baniyan, only to come out and claim it on the face of the minister that “jo fit nahin usey vote nahi”?

Ode to negative marketing

However, advertisers must remember their limits, when it comes to situation specific business cycles such as elections, as incidents of misinterpretations of healthy and humorous criticisms have resulted in serious consequences, many times in this country. Not long ago, the sharing of a cartoon post based on Satyajit Ray’s iconic film Sonar Kella on a social media website, by a professor in West Bengal, caused the arrest of a professor.But as they say that bad publicity is good publicity, perhaps advertisers would not shy from using even negativity to their advantage.

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11 Lessons Entrepreneurs Must Learn From The Friendly Phuchka-Wallah

Think Kolkata, think Street Food. In fact, the influence of street food is so entrenching on the culture of Kolkata that the chief minister calls fritter frying as a prominent industry of the city. Amidst all the interesting things to eat in the alluring streets of Kolkata, one thing you cannot ignore is Kolkata’s palpable ‘phuchka’ or as the world calls it ‘golgappa’-crispy, superlight and crunchy globules of wheat filled with a delectable boiled potato filling, you will barely find a soul in the city, who has not been charmed by its sheer enticement.

However, looking beyond its mouth watering earthen flavours, have you ever cared to notice that puchka-making has indeed emerged as one of the most prominent industries of Kolkata? With more than a thousand puchkawalas gathering to entertain their clients every evening in various parts of the city, Kolkata phuchkawalas, sure have a lot to teach budding entrepreneurs about some rocking Brand Management lessons.

Do some Market Research before you embark on the journey: You will notice that phuchkawalas seldom set up their establishments in areas where there are other eateries or in the presence of another of their kind, unless it is a peak season, like Durga Pujo. This states the fact that phuchkawalas research well for the demand of their products really well and direct their services only towards those clients and in those localities, where it is wanted.

Build Customer Loyalty: You may love more spice or more sour or more herbs in your phuchka, but your favourite phuchkawala shall always remember your choice and never mess it up or confuse it with others. This is the sign of a good businessman to know the demands of his client and attain exclusiveness in it, so that the customer chooses to return to him over and over again.

Emphasize on Delivery: Wonder how does your favourite Phuchkawala make 20 Phuchkas in a blink? Well, it is the result of years of practise, something each entrepreneur must aim to attain. Fast and effective delivery will differentiate you from the competitors.

Maintain proper accounts and audit: He serves 20 people simultaneously but never messes up on who eats how many. Want to be successful? Be like your neighbourhood Phuchkawala!

Growth hacking while maintaining a satisfactory Return on Investment Policy: A wise phuchkawala never increases the price of his products beyond a margin, even if the market price of his raw materials has undergone a hike. Yet he will always find a way to ensure he profits by balancing his gains and losses.

Give Customer incentives: Ever wondered why your favourite phuchkawala always provides an extra piece completely free of cost? Well did you just now? Yes, exactly! Ensure your customers too, have something extra to pipeline your growth!

Keep your Customers engaged: Isn’t it great to have a range of flavours to choose from amongst all that your phuchkawala has to serve? Don’t your clients too deserve the same? Well, they do in case you want to see them back. Engagement will help you build a active community that will help you sell your products through.

Build a honest relationship with your customers: Of all Phuchkawalas in every locality, why is one particular your favourite? Well because you love the way he says, ‘didi jhaal hobe (should i make it little more spicy mam)?’ or when he smiles saying ‘dada shob bhalo toh?’ Similarly, listening to your clients can make you stand out.

Map your Customer Demand well: His raw materials are expensive and the cost of his products low on an average, but yet he has to make enough for his family and himself to survive. Wonder how he makes it? Well, he always gauges how much demand would his products have on a given day, depending on his situations and weather conditions like rain etc. In order to minimise your losses and maximise your gains as an entrepreneur, it is essential to gauge your performance on basis of various business cycles.

Discipline and Time management are the keys: If your Phuchkawala gets late by 10 minutes, you may choose to opt for the kathi roll down the street instead, isn’t it? Thus, a phuchkawala has to ensure that he reaches his spot on time everyday and remains at work for the optimal business hours to ensure the highest consumption, just what an entrepreneur aiming for success must do.

Build a super efficient Quality management process: No matter what you do, ultimately the quality of your products/services is the key to success; would you like to have a stale plate of phuchka? Similarly, you should ensure that you serve the best to your customers if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Success lies in each crunchy bite of phuchka, you just need to get the drift (if the taste allows you get distracted, that is).

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Why New Year is a great Digital Marketing Opportunity

India is a country with seven days in a week but nine festivals, and this goes without saying that each festival marks a retail boom, as our rituals involve the tradition of rich consumerism with values of giving. We believe in celebrating each festival with an exchange of gifts and buying new clothes, furniture and daily use products. Festivals also involve the essence of cleansing of the old and adopting the new. As a Marketer, will you not use these happiness induced sweet spots of the online shoppers in India. You MUST! Online Advertising is indeed an indispensable digital marketing strategy, during the festivals.

Speaking of festivals, Poila Boishakh or the Bengali New Year, which comes on the 14th of April every year, holds tremendous social-cultural as well as emotional values to the Bengali community at large. Since Bengalis are a pan national ethnicity spread across Bengal, the north eastern states such as Guwahati, Tripura and Shillong, as well as in Bangladesh, they form a magnanimous target group from the Advertiser point of view. Bengalis also have a commendable global presence and are known to be extremely enthusiastic when it comes to upholding their cultural values and traditions.

happy bengali new year gif


Poila Boishakh is at a rather strategic slot of the year. Just 15 days after the onset of a new financial year, it occurs when the working class is reaping the benefits of freshly garnered incentives. Travel portals, Resorts etc should be hyper-active in their advertising as this time is also very ripe for Summer vacation planning with family. With a Long summer holiday period ahead, Bengali parents do make a last minute planning of summer trips.

April is also one of the hottest months in India, thus the consumption of various edibles such as fruit products and juices is high. Food Delivery players such as Big Basket, Grofers may do well by intensifying their marketing campaigns during this time to acquire new customers.

There is also a religious angle to Poila Boishakh, as many Bengalis, specially the business classes, believe in starting the year with a worship of Laxmi and Ganesh. Hence there is also a rise in the demand for jewellery and spiritual goods.

People buy new clothes, shoes, home decor and gifts in frenzy during this phase. In fact the shopping hubs of Kolkata such as Gariahat and New Market, celebrate a special discount season called ‘chaitra sale’ from the 1st to 13th of April, before the beginning of the new year. The city usually brims with hoardings, posters and banners of promotional materials boosting of discounts and special offers, making it a rather hyperactive phase for advertisers.

The advertising community has also established Poila Boishakh as a cultural landmark, focussing on the ethnic Bengali values. It has successfully instilled the spirit of compulsion of having a Bengali meal and wearing traditional garments on the occasion of Poila Boishakh among thousands of Kolkata dwelling Bengali hearts, creating this buzz of crazy shopaholism. The festival of embracing the new has truly adopted a commercial connotation across the world, thanks to advertising.

Happy Bengali New Year!


Why You Should Leverage Facebook to Build a Socially Responsive Brand

One of the most effective and low cost strategies to popularize your business in front of the world is through Facebook. It is the digital age and social media, mainly Facebook is used by people of all age groups, thus it is extremely easy and hassle free to find your target group of consumers on Facebook. Facebook is not only a means to connect with and reach millions of potential clients, but it is also a mode of effective communication, as all users share their needs, preferences and choices on various matters on the platform.


Cross promotion of brand message

Facebook can be readily connected with almost all other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and also with audio-visual mediums such as Youtube. It is tremendously user friendly and has been customised in a business mode for users to tap into.

Facebook’s unique sales proposition

The social giant is more than eager to promote your story and popularize what your venture means to the world, ofcourse, for a few bucks. With close to 1.5 billion people from around the world in its belly. it is by far the most credible platform to establish your business identity or taking your brand in front of the consumers.

 
A Gamut of Advertising Solutions

Facebook has spread its advertising solutions in easy-to-complex spread. While a first-timer can easily start BOOSTing her communications, the veterans have the ever-changing Power Editor tool to set up ultra complex advertisements. Facebook also helps businnesses connect with external / third party advertising platforms such as Atlas and LiveRail. LiveRail helps to increase the relevancy of a particular advertisement by targeting it to the right people on Facebook, increasing its Cost per Thousand Impressions, while Atlas connects online ads with in-store sales boosting one’s Return on Investment.

Besides, Facebook’s Customer Relationship Management partners include the likes of Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, Sparkroom, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Zapier and MailChimp.

360 degree videos for an immersive brand experience

Facebook launched its 360 degree video feature in September 2015 that allows viewers to switch camera angles as per convenience, this feature can be used as an effective audio-visual business strategy for all ventures. Another similar of such visual stimulations is the FanCard feature that allows fans to send free logo-bearing customised cards. Since each card carries a logo, every time such a card is sent, your brand gets boosted before the people in your friend list.

Facebook also users to customise their news feed to prioritise updates from specific business pages through its “see first” option for free.

The competitors are taking the cue

Twitter is reportedly planning to introduce a Facebook like algorithmic structure, which would prioritize content on basis of its organic visibility free of cost, unlike Facebook’s edgerank or boost features. Thus Facebook needs to be up to date and original in its approach to be ahead of its competitors.

 

About the Author

BeerAppan is one of our Larger Magnets, who loves his ‘hair’ more than anything in this whole world. Well Almost. Beer or Beer-iyani also do make to that coveted list. Besides his never ending love for Chicken, he is a die-hard lover of TAB and CAB (Ola). On a lighter note, he is a strong opposer of new age marketing, and demands brands to be anti-social! 🙂
 

Charting new courses in retail with EIRS 2016

The still-nascent retail scene in eastern India was craving for a spark of inspiration. Come 18th March, that catalyst is about to be formulated with East India Retail Summit. The business summit, which is returning after a two year hiatus, is bringing the retail-influencers of pedigree under one roof. Why is it important? Well, the summit promises a wealth of opportunity for business owners- both brick and mortars and service providers.

Agents of change is retail- EIRS agenda

As the flag-bearers of modern retail converge at EIRS 2016, the agenda of the business summit is aligned to retail sophistication. The agenda is to come to the aid of a gamut of business owners. The key pointers for retail perfection will be discussed with stress on omni-channel marketing principles, the power of new age franchising and the milestones which the malls of urban India aim to achieve.

While discussion on cutting-edge retail ingeniousness is one key element, the other one is the platform doubling up as a hub for networking. Business owners, service providers can experience real-time networking with the industry influencers, vendors and alike.

UrsDigitally’s contribution to the cause of retail
 
Team UrsDigitally has been engagingly involved with the PR and communication team of Images Retailing to create the necessary stir that the event needed. It is a collaborative model that includes omni-channel promotion through social media, print and collaterals, ensuring tremendous response to the event.

Come 18th March, ITC Sonar is going to experience a retail revolution and yes- team UrsDigitally will be there!

Why Everday is Holi for the Digital Marketing cowboys & girls!

As the nation gears up to play with colours on Holi, it is just another regular busy day for an online advertising professional, where he has yet again played with colours to create that desired impact for multiple brand communication.

Well, I don’t have to re-emphasise that digital marketing and selling through social media are the new mantras of business. It is here that colour becomes the strongest means of communication in a digital campaign and one of its most important element. Colour has an impact on how we think and behave. It directs our eye where to look, what to do, and how to interpret something. It puts content into context. It helps us decide what is important and what is not.

Colour is the new language in Marketing:

Human psychology urges a consumer to notice colours even before words as a single image delivers a lot of information in a very short time because we perceive an image all at once, whereas reading or hearing often takes significantly longer to process the same information. While colour is not the only important ingredient in your marketing, it is the first thing that hits people and it can leave a lasting impression. Thus choice of colours in advertisements and promotional campaigns can influence consumer feelings about products or services playing just as large a role as any slogan, conveying the attitudes and moods consumers would associate with.

Standing Out From the Noise

Marketing experts define brand as the name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify a company’s products or services. In other words, a brand communicates the IDEA of company or product. Human brains prefer recognizable brands, which makes colour incredibly important when creating a brand identity . Colours go on to reflect the personality of a brand carving its niche in the mind of a buyer.

Each brand is known by the identity of its characteristic colour. Whenever you say Coca Cola, the characteristic red colour comes to one’s mind or when you say the characteristic blue and red comes to your mind, even before your mind can reflect the letters of Pepsi in front of you eyes.

Attaining the Psychological Edge

The psychological impact of colour is subjective. Social constructs and cultural perceptions have caused certain colours to broadly align with specific traits (like brown with ruggedness, purple with sophistication, and red with excitement). Women and feminity are generally associated with soft colours such as pink, while masculinity is associated with darker colours such as brown. Black is often associated to be the colour of power or authority, while white is often called the colour of purity.

Thus, one of the real challenges of digital marketing resides in choosing what colour suits the characteristics of your product’s personality and colours your competitors use, keeping in mind your target consumers and their social beliefs.

If you have a few more minutes to spare, see how we play with colours.

5 Things That Can Make Your Video Go Viral

It is not much difficult to presume how much we all love to see videos. Neither it is hard to understand why. Since the advent of cinema, the audio-visual medium is the stuff of legends. Digital age has changed the ballgame and now virality is the key parameter of success. Let me try to outline the most important attributes of a successful viral video.

1. Build the Curiosity at the Beginning

Content is of paramount importance in video and then execution should be crisp, so that it can build up the curiosity factor. The more interesting the content, the more interested the audience gets.

2. Make it Short and Sweet

As our life becomes faster with every passing day, we try to complete every task within the shortest amount of time, without sacrificing on curiosity or creativity. And that’s why, the first five seconds of any video is the most crucial for a video editor. If in this first five seconds, a curiosity is not built up inside a viewer, then chances are high, that he/she will lose interest and end up, skipping the video. Our attention span can only process if the length is right. So the ideally, online videos should not be long. Shorter videos with interesting content and engaging visuals can have the capacity to go viral.

3. Choose Your Audio Carefully

Another important element of online videos is sound. It is apparently mostly ignored, but is vital for the video’s success. Out-of-focus or blurry visuals can lend an enigma to the video and can be effective but bad sound is unforgivable. The sound has to be in perfect tandem with every cut and thus creating a montage, contextual to the content.

4. Visual Framing Holds the Key

The visual should be in sync with the content. It has to be relevant, crisp and contextual. The quality of the imagery is dictated by the theme or the desired result, but editing should be adequate. If the editing is not seamless and complimentary to the visuals, the video will not be successful.  Ensure that every frame matches in a sequence and according to the scene.

5. Just Like Sex, the Climax Makes or Breaks It

An oft-used Hindi proverb is ‘Anth bhala toh sab bhala’, quite accurately translating to ‘All’s well that ends well’. In case of video, this is sacrosanct. If you are able to capture the curiosity of the viewer in the first five seconds, then it is your duty to satisfy that curiosity at the end. The climax has to be complementary, awe-inspiring, interesting and do justice to the built-up anticipation. The video must end gloriously.

If these 5 attributes are kept in mid while making and editing digital videos, the chances of the video going viral, increases astronomically.

Here, you can see some of our recent videos made for social media marketing.

Why you must visit Joydev Kenduli Mela – Top 5 unmissable things to do

Searching for the true meaning of soul and finding purpose of life are the subconscious factors that are the main reasons of travel. Nestled amidst lush foliage, a quaint settlement of few hundred becomes one of the largest congregations of man for 5 days, every January. For the thirsty traveller, lusting for the meaning of life, the sheer spirituality of the place is an humbling experience. Jaydev-Kenduli mela, has been organised for the last 600 years in memory of poet Jaydev and his holy dip in the river Ajay on Makar Sankranti. Bauls, fakirs, kirtaniyas and sadhus, all descend down in hordes to celebrate this pious occasion, where the Krishna took mortal form to finish Jaydev’s “PADA” in Geetagovinda. Thus, this ultra-secular festival becomes a celebration all forms of music and love. After a decade of being a pilgrim every year to Jaydev mela, here is my list of top 5 unmissable things in the mela.

Taking a dip in the holy river of Ajay on Makar Sankranti dawn.

It is a sight to behold as thousands of devotees, travellers or souls in search for peace together march towards the water’s edge and rejoices while taking a dip in Ajay. It is a transcending experience. Even the chilly winter morning doesn’t seem to matter as you feel the water rejuvenate your mind and soul.

Visit the Radhavinod temple

Established in 1683 by the Queen of Bardhhaman, this terracotta wonder of architecture is an awe-inspiring sight. Do visit as it offers a great opportunitry to browse through the marketplace, find rare trinkets and meet wonderful people.

Listening to bauls all night long at “Bhaba Pagla Mancha”

Kenduli mela is the home of thousands of Akhras each with its own share of godly bauls, but Bhaba Pagla is perhaps the most prestigious stage for the legendary bauls. Just close your eyes get lost among the hordes of audience in trance and feel the utter love and spirituality of every word spoken and sung.

Staying at “Moner Manush Ashram”

One of the only permanent settlements in and around the mela, Moner Mansuh Ashram is the home of Sadhan Bairagi, a heavenly man of devotion and knowledge. His ashram welcomes everyone, irrespective caste class or creed. Pitch a tent in the outer courtyard or stay in the Akhra, this quaint ashram with mud and hay huts, is frequented by the most unique and talented individuals, as well as attracting foreigners and VIPs.

Witnessing “Dhulat”

Never leave without witnessing dhulat. The bauls believe that everything returns to dust i.e. ‘Dhula’.
Thus the culmination of the mela is a grand procession by all the bauls where they sing, play with abir and greet one another. It is indeed the biggest celebration of love.

Well in this age of digital and capitalism, this small piece of unaltered history is a respite for the tired and unhealthy soul. It is a place where man can drop all pretention and be one with music, with life and with spirituality.