Search vs Social – What should I do for Online Marketing?

SearchvsSocial

For last few weeks, Nurture Talent is promoting two training programs related to digital marketing. And the 1st question that we get from our attendees is which one to attend – advanced social media marketing or search engine optimization.
There are lot of views and opinions we share with them to help them decide (we would love if they pay for both!). Here are few things from our overall view point:

1. Most importantly define your audiences first

Do you have a market of customers who are eagerly “searching” for your category of products and services? Is it a good to have or must have service? Is it a rational/planned decision or if your brand is available online, they would purchase it instantly. Is it depending on people to people interaction and connections? Just to be biased and give a yes/no take – if your business is people dependent for generating leads, getting decisions, closing deals – focus on social (for example, consultants, website development, advertising agencies, accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, image consultants, actors, anchors, models). If your business is related to products/services already established and people need to decide where to purchase from, then search is a bigger influencer and helpful in getting leads (travel, jobs, food, restaurant, movies).

2. Define your expertise and time available

As entrepreneurs, people love to do things on their own. SEO/SEM takes a bit more effort and skills compared to social (oh! I just need to take a selfie and post?). Of course social is not as simple as it sounds, but just for the reason that you may have been facebooking for last few years, it comes naturally to some. However, that should not be the decision point – do not do things just because it is easy to understand. Do it because you need it for your business. SEO takes a few days to learn, specially understanding where to put few lines of code and (if outsourced to agency) how to analyse the numbers thrown by Google Analytics and other metrics! Likes, comments and shares are easier to see and act upon. So invest your time in doing things for the long term – whether search or social. And there are offline workshops as well as online study guides available for learning to crack digital marketing.

3. Money – this happens to be the biggest headache of any entrepreneur.

And the challenge is to know where, when, how to spend for best RoI. For SEO, you got to spend on the manpower or agency, and for SEM, you need to run paid campaigns to get clicks. Even for social, you can do things on your own or run paid campaigns. On Linkedin, paid ads start from 2$ a click, and even higher on Twitter. Few professionals find Google, by far the biggest in this business less costly as it starts at even 1-2 rs per click. However, what is important is not the click to your website, but who came and what they did. On this parameter, Search and Social are equally expensive, but less costly and more targeted than offline channels. We always suggest to companies and individuals to start small, learn from quick experiments and then stay on the channel that gives the best results. Personally, as CEO of Nurture Talent, I do not mind spending on alternate channels once in a while, like we just did a video mail campaign last week. It is important to keep trying new things to learn what works.

By now, you may have been either very confused or very clear that the Search vs Social fight will continue. May you win!

Many times professionals & startups face problem to create a video, because of less budget and even lesser time. They go to agency & you know what happens next! How many of them know that they can create video by using available online tools. How many of you have ever tried to create a demo video of your newly launched product or startup?

Voila!! We have prepared lists of free & paid available online video creation & editing tools that can help you to tell a story to your customers via video.
Watch this presentation to know more!

This is a guest post by our friends from Vidoomail

Many a times we are asked why we do what we do at Nurture Talent Academy! Not only from outsiders but also insiders…

Here is an email that we got which gives us an answer all the time.

Oriental College Bhopal IIM Ahmedabad Entrepreneurship Workshop

Here is the exact text for those who could not get it from the image:

Hello Sir,
I attended your Nurture talent And Confluence-IIM Ahmedabad Startup event at Oriental College, Bhopal. I am really thankful to you for creating the spark. These kind of events in college years teach us how startup works and creates enthusiasm in students that have potential to startup.
Thank-you very much for the program now i am also an Entrepreneur and working on a project Wheelstreet.in which is the “AIRBNB for Motorcycles”. I feel you are also among very few people who inspired me to startup.

Thankyou
Pranay Shrivastav
CEO/Co-Founder
Wheelstreet.in
pranay@wheelstreet.in

*****************************************************************************

Many more such instances keep us motivated to keep moving. And as Arnold Schwarzenegger said,”I will be back…” :-)

By now, I am sure you have read about the Ice Bucket Challenge. But if you haven’t, don’t worry. You will soon. It’s become a rage. Everyone from celebrities to common people are doing it. And in the process, they are raising awareness about the Motor Neuron Disease. So what exactly is it and what can we learn from it?

To put it simply, The Ice Bucket Challenge was started by the ALS association to raise awareness about the Motor Neuron Disease. The challenge works as follows:

You create a short video of you pouring ice water onto yourself, and then challenging your friends to do the same. If you do succeed, then you can proudly make this badge your facebook/twitter header image, thereby raising even more awareness.

Ice Bucket Challenge Nurture Talent Academy

Ice Bucket Challenge

Why It Works?

Imagine a celebrity seeing a video in which he has been challenged by another famous celebrity to complete the challenge. What choice is he left with? Frankly, none at all. And this is why it works so well. From Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates, everyone is challenging everyone else to complete the challenge. Thus it becomes a matter of pride for many, especially the celebrities who have a reputation to protect. Take a look at this video of Bill Gates creatively completing the challenge that was thrown at him by Mark Zuckerberg.

After Gates, completes the Ice Bucket Challenge, he further challenges 3 other celebrities on twitter, posting the above video on twitter.

If you want to check out who all have completed the Ice Bucket Challenge, check out this page

So what can businesses learn from the Ice Bucket Challenge?

  1. People simply love to join in a cause. So support some social cause and probably THAT could go viral. For example, Bharti Airtel and TCS have just pledged Rs 100 crore each to set up girls toilets in schools. This is a massive cause in a country like India and will find popular support among the masses. Can you think of some innovative way to show your support to this or a similar cause? Not only will the cause be highlighted, but even your company will get massive, positive PR.
  2. Urge people to make simple short videos. Whoever finishes the Ice Bucket challenge gets a sense of satisfaction when they complete it. This sense of satisfaction comes from successfully winning some challenge. And then they like to flaunt it so they share it with their friends.
  3. Urge people to further ask/challenge more friends to do something. This makes your campaign fun and competitive.
  4. Reward people when they complete a challenge. Make the reward itself, viral. In case of Ice Bucket Challenge, the reward was a badge which people are now flaunting as their facebook or twitter header. And this in turn creates further awareness about the cause and the phenomenon itself.
  5. And finally, decide some hashtags. In our case, the hashtags in use are #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals.

So can you show some love to a good cause? There are massive gains to have you know. :)

Nurture Talent Academy is organizing an Advanced Social Media Marketing Workshop on August 16. You may be a business owner, an enthusiast or just some one curious. The fact is that Digital Marketing is now big and in 24 months time, things are bound to become so seamless, that without having a social media strategy, you are going to lose to competition fast. Here are the top reasons why you should attend this workshop

 

1. You are a small business owner but want to have a big brand value.

Social Media is one place where you can get maximum returns at a relatively small price. By using social media intelligently, you can achieve massive brand awareness investing very little money. If you play your cards right, stay professional, you will not need to advertise on TV to make your brand stand out. Initially, when you don’t have much money, this can be extremely valuable.

 

2. You want to delight your customers with superior after sales service

Social media is a way to keep your ears to the ground and react quickly to customer grievances which will come from time to time. Remember: Customers don’t expect you to be perfect but they are more pissed off if you do not take care of after sales grievances. On the other hand, if you are responsive and can engage with the customers, you can actually turn a bad situation to your advantage. Here’s an example of  how an airline helped out a customer in real time through twitter.

Click to see the entire thread

3. You want to take critical feedback from customers to improve your service.

If you remember this article I had written, DD News twitter handle used social media to take feedback from people. You could have a similar strategy wherein you can start a conversation with your customers and take critical feedback to improve your service.

4. You want to drive more traffic to your website

To quote Product Nation, the higher your following on social media, the more traffic will come to your site through referrals. Using certain automation tools, it is possible to automatically share the fresh content on your website to major social networks which can in turn drive traffic to your website. And if your content is really awesome, it can go viral on social media too.

5. You want to learn how to get maximum visibility for your Facebook updates.

While after a point, more and more people will start seeing your facebook updates, it is critical that you achieve a certain threshold without spending a ton of money. With a recent change in the facebook algorithm, only a few posts gain visibility in people’s timelines and the rest are culled out. Thus it is critical to know how to write compelling posts that appear more frequently in people’s timelines.

6. Making your business data driven

Social media gives you an opportunity to find out exactly what type of content your users are liking and engaging with. When you get these insights, you can then start creating content which is better and as per what your audience is demanding. For instance, Facebook gives you insights about what your fans engage with and exactly how they have engaged (like, comment, share) with a particular type of content.  The more engaging your content becomes, the more people will be attracted to your website.

 

If you wish to learn social media marketing (from basic to advanced techniques), you should definitely attend our Advanced Social Media Workshop. It will definitely be worth your time and money.

ecommerce mera events poster
Are you already selling things offline? Do you want to start selling to the whole country? Then perhaps it’s time to create an online store. But you have absolutely no idea how to create an online store and how much it will cost you. Not to worry. We will help you out.

In India, you have several options to create an online store. The choices at your disposal are as follows:

WordPress Based eCommerce Store (Good for <50 products)

If you do not have a huge number of products to sell and your website is not a simple ecommerce store then wordpress is a good choice to create an ecommerce store because wordpress is very very easy to configure.

To create the store, follow the following steps:

  1. Buy a suitable Webhost
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Install WooCommerce
  4. Configure your theme if it is not already Woo Commerce compliant. (Very simple task)
  5. Buy PayU Payment Gateway system
  6. Install PayU WooCommerce Plugin

You’re all set.

Approximate Cost: If you hire someone to create this for you, it will cost you close to Rs 30,000 to set everything up and subsequent annual charges will be Rs 10,000/-

Cloud Based eCommerce Store (Good if you are a novice and do not wish to hire someone to set this up for you)

A cloud based eCommerce store is essentially just an eCommerce store hosted on a website such as shopify.in or zepo.in

The biggest advantage with a cloud based store is that you can start selling products in as little as 3 days. The only downside with them is that your options are limited by whatever the platform offers you. This can be critical because when you’re marketing your store, you don’t want to be restricted. The other downside is that you have to invest way more money in the long term than you would if you self hosted your website.

Approximate Cost: Annual cost for a site which can host <200 products is approximate Rs 25,000

Even with this relatively high cost, it is highly recommended you choose this option if you’re very sure you want to keep things as simple as possible for yourself and don’t want to hire a developer.

Full Blown, Self Hosted, Flipkart like eCommerce Store

Finally, we come to the big daddy of all options. If you wish to create an eCommerce store which allows you to sell as many things as you like and does not put any restrictions, then this is the perfect choice for you. These are the steps involved in creating such a store:

  1. Buy a suitable Webhost
  2. Install Prestashop
  3. Buy EBS Payment Gateway system
  4. Install EBS for Prestashop Plugin

I recommend Prestashop because it is a perfect eCommerce platform and is extremely fast as well. It is also, relatively user friendly than other comparable eCommerce frameworks such as Magento or Zencart. And of course, it is free.

Approximate Cost: If you hire someone to create a Prestashop based eCommerce store, you will also require training to use it. Total cost will be approximately Rs 40,000. Subsequent annual cost will again be Rs 10,000

You should go for Prestashop based self hosted eCommerce store if you plan to sell 500+ products right from the word go. But if you feel you have limited number of products to sell, you should start with a Cloud Based Hosting since it will save you both time and money initially. And if your website is primarily not an eCommerce site, use WordPress with right plugins.

Facebook has just added a new feature using which you can save stories to view later. This is similar to bookmarking web pages in browser.
To save a story, just click on the options button and then click the “Save” button. You will then start seeing an additional “Saved” button on left menu.

save 1

save 2
So next time, you like some story, make sure you save it so that you could check it later.

In a recent and very welcome development, Airtel will be providing free basic internet services to the people in Zambia as a part of Facebook’s Internet.org app, which Facebook has created to increase the penetration of internet in places where affordability is a major issue even though mobile services are available.

The internet.org app will be available to people free of cost and they will not be charged for data either. The app contains some very amazing services including a library, weather forecast, facebook, wikipedia and even a chat messenger.

Personally, I think this is one of the great ways to change and improve the world and Facebook and Airtel both deserve a round of applause for this effort. In time, Internet.org will be made available in other third world countries as well.

Take a look at this video:

In the past couple of months, one twitter handle that has caught everyone’s attention is @ddnewshindi when it started tweeting commentary during the FIFA world cup. The tweets were not only informational but also were extremely witty. While it’s still a mystery as to who is the brains behind the commentary, the twitter janta really admires the person. Here are some of the pearls

When he started receiving considerable admiration, he even gloated with this

And what is even more interesting is the fact that he even responded to fans. I was one of the lucky ones:

He even kept asking for fan feedback almost every night during world cup as well as CWG.

And expressed disappointment when he felt that a few people wanted him to tweet in a boring manner

And then, some creative marketing for upcoming events

In short, DD News Hindi has created a pan India fan following (just go these tweets and see the positive comments he has received) by :

  1. Being occasionally witty while always giving relevant information.
  2. Interacting with his audience.
  3. Getting occasionally personal.
  4. Using popular modern songs to draw analogies.
  5. Eliciting feedback from audience to ensure he never offended anyone.

These are lessons which we can all use while formulating our twitter strategy.

Whether you are a business owner, an enthusiast or a college student looking to brighten their career prospects, there are many good reasons to learn web development and coding. In this post, I am going to list a few of the reasons:

  1. Healthy for brain: Web development requires you to exercise both the sides of your brains. When you write code, you need to apply the logical part of your brain and when you do graphic designing (which you will need to do at some point in time), then the creative side of the brain is used. All in all, web development is a complete mental exercise.
  2. Perfect for bootstrapping startups: Once you learn how to develop a website, then you don’t need to hire a guy to make it for you. As a startup which is trying to bootstrap, this can be a great boon. You will easily save anything between 10,000 to 50,000 rupees if you learn how to develop websites and know all the tricks.
  3. Increase your sales on the web: Once you learn how to develop a website, then the website itself can be used as a tool for marketing. Using SEO and other internet marketing techniques, you can really give a great boost to your sales.
  4. Better Job Prospects: I am not even kidding: I have taught web development to MD doctors, businessmen, and even people doing MBA. Coding, and web development in particular is now becoming a skill which is as good as learning English. In future, people will be expected to know coding. It will become a necessary skill inevitably. And good coders are still extremely rare. There will never be a shortage in demand for good coders.
  5. It’s Easy and Fun: If you just want to learn something new, just for the heck of it, then instead of joining, say, cookery classes, you could always learn how to code and how to do web development.

Hollywood can teach us a lot. In fact there are many movies which can teach us about starting up, marketing, etc. There is one movie in particular which is all about sales calls. No. I am not talking about “Pursuit of Happyness”. I am talking about Boiler room. Check out how Vin Diesel closes a sales call in this scene from Boiler room.

About Starpreneur

Starpreneur Facilitator Program is an initiative by Nurture Talent Academy for young minds from around India who are passionate about entrepreneurship. Selected facilitators will take part in online and offline activities including attending workshops, conferences, blogging, social media, while contributing for their personal as well as social benefits.

Benefits:

1. Opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills, and network with successful industrialists as well as entrepreneurs

2. Connect and network with talented, brilliant and positive people from across India

3. Attend technology and business related training events for free, and get mentoring from peer group

4. Receive certificates of recognition, which will help you succeed in your future

5. Work with entrepreneurship cell of IIM and earn rewards as well as invites to exclusive business plan competitions, esummits, conferences etc.

Duration: August 2014 to December 2014

Eligibility: Students, professionals and startups are eligible. Only 50 spots are available for this exclusive and prestigious Starpreneur Facilitator Program.

Last date to apply – 15th August, 2014

Please fill this form and we will contact you by email or phone if you are shortlisted for interview. Once selected, we will train you on relevant skills for free and provide free inputs time to time.

* This program is completely free for participants and there is no fees to apply or after you get selected.

Click To Apply

What are the different company forms in India and which one is right for you? In this video, I have discussed the same.

Clueless about marketing? Here’s a quick video which can ease this process a bit. This video essentially explains a 5 step marketing process which essential

  1. Write down benefits of products
  2. Write down your potential customer target.
  3. Create
  4. Capture
  5. Convert

If that did not make a lot of sense, then check this video out:

This is a brilliant video which, by using the example of Church, explains how common marketing strategies can be applied in uncommon places. Essentially, it comes down to this:

  1. Define your problem
  2. Scan the industry and see how your competition is working
  3. Identify your market segment
  4. Optimize the experience

The video is only 10 minutes long and will be totally worth your time!

We believe in GOD, everyone else has to give data :-)

For last few months, we have been doing lot of experiments related to social media and digital marketing. While we are just beginning to learn and apply few tricks, we realized what cannot be measures, cannot be improved. So, here is our first attempt – preparing a list of all our social media accounts and listing down the number of likes/followers. Every week, we will be updating this data and see where we are reaching. Here goes:

This does not include the personal network of Amit Grover, Founder and CEO of Nurture Talent Academy, which is also given below as a reference:

Twitter.com/amitgrover – 1360

FB.com/amitgrover123 – 5000

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/amit-grover/0/72b/73b – 8724

Google