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Gaurav Sharma

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Gaurav Sharma is the Co-founder of Attrock, a result driven Digital Marketing Agency. He’s a certified Google Analytics and Adwords specialist who regularly contributes to reputed publications like the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and many more. He leverages his experience and knowledge as a digital marketer to help influencers monetize their efforts and eCommerce and SaaS companies grow their revenues. When he isn’t inspiring his team of devoted individuals to achieve more, he can be found globe-trotting, sampling all that the world has to offer.

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5 Tips to Master the Art of Influencer Management
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5 Tips to Master the Art of Influencer Management

An increasing number of companies today leverage influencers to drive sales and increase revenue. Influencer marketing proves to be a very effective way to engage customers and increase brand awareness. In fact, 86% of marketers leveraged influencer marketing in 2017. And 92% of them have found it truly effective. The potential to expand your business with the help of influencers is huge. However, the most difficult aspects of influencer marketing are to find and manage influencers effectively.  You need to build relationships that are mutually beneficial to you as well as your influencers. This is the key to achieving your goals from influencer marketing. However, it certainly isn’t easy to do so.   Here are some easy tips to help you master the art of influencer management and make your campaigns a success: 1. Share Your Objectives and KPIs Influencer marketing involves a lot of creativity when it comes to the content. However,  you need to make sure that you approach it logically too. For this, you need to define the goals and objectives of your campaign. And for effective influencer management, make sure that you’ve shared them with your influencers. They need to know what you are trying to achieve so they can deliver accordingly.  Make sure that your goals are well-defined, unambiguous, realistic, measurable, and timebound. You need to share a campaign brief with your influencers before they start working on their content. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Why and How Should Businesses Use Social Media? Your campaign brief should include: Information about your campaign including your goals and KPIs (engagement, referral traffic, follower growth, or conversions). Information about your brand and the product or service you want to promote. The message you want to communicate through the influencer. The call-to-action you want them to use. Details about what they need to deliver and their deadlines. Any branded hashtags, landing page or tracking links, discount codes, or giveaways they need to share. This reminder about full disclosure according to FTC guidelines. 2. Make Room for an Influencer’s Creativity Brands need to take the utmost care to choose the right influencers for their campaigns. You must ensure that their niche aligns with your brand and industry. Your campaign can only be mutually beneficial to you and your influencers if the opportunity is relevant. You need to also consider their reach, audience, engagement rates, and their authority in their field. This may sound pretty daunting, however, with the right tools and platforms, you can easily find the right influencers. Platforms like Reelio and BuzzStream can help you find influencers by industry, category, location, and social media networks. You can also see their reach, engagement metrics, and run your campaigns easily. However, once you’ve chosen your influencers, you need to trust their creativity when it comes to content creation. You need to provide complete creative freedom and steer clear of overly restrictive content guidelines. This is an essential step in effective influencer management. When compared to brands, influencers can read the pulse of their audiences better. They know how to convey a message in the most effective way. Influencers prefer to work with brands that provide creative freedom. 77% of influencers would like to collaborate with a brand more than once if they provide creative freedom. David Gulasi, a Chinese influencer, created a video for a brand, but they didn’t like it. They felt that the product wasn’t showcased well. So they asked him to make another video. He agreed, reluctantly. As soon as the new video was uploaded, it received a lot of negative comments from his followers. He was accused of “selling.” David removed the post and uploaded the original video the next day. His followers loved it. The brand was also happy with the end result. 3. Compensate Them Well Influencers have the capability to grow your brand exponentially. You need to compensate influencers in a way that they don’t feel like you’re taking advantage of them. This is important to motivate them to channel their passion towards your campaigns. You need to ensure that whatever you offer your influencers adequately compensates them for their time and effort. Monetary compensation can be one of the ways to pay them for their efforts. Consider an influencer’s reach, engagement rates, and authority when you decide on how much to pay them. You should also consider the industry rates to determine compensation. Apart from financial incentives, you should also look for other ways to provide value to your influencers. You can offer them free samples of your products, cross-promote their content, sponsored travel experiences, etc. Reward your influencers for any extra effort they put into your campaigns. The idea is to keep your influencers motivated and ensure that they promote your brand well. So make sure that the incentive you offer is lucrative and meets their expectations. The Importance of Search Engine Optimization [Infographic] 4. Build Long-Term Relationships Influencers are people with normal human emotions. Strong relationships with them can go a long way to take your business to new heights. Invest time and effort in developing and nurturing long-term relationships with your influencers. It pays to keep the lines of communication open with them. Initiate conversations that are not related to your business. Make a genuine effort to get to know them better. Appreciate their efforts. Find ways to help them reach their personal goals. Share their content on your brand’s social media accounts. Invite them to events, product launches, and introduce them to people in your professional network. This will help them gain greater visibility and exposure which will help them to grow. Also, they will be motivated to put in their best effort towards your campaigns. Work towards providing them things that they’ll value. Treat them like like part of your team. Follow them on social media. Subscribe to their blogs. Engage with their content regularly. It takes continuous effort to build strong relationships, which are the foundation of a successful business. Best Online Digital Marketing Courses Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To explore all our certification courses on Digital Marketing, kindly visit our page below. Digital Marketing Certification upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – Webinar with Q&A Session on Digital Marketing document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/kapil-panchal-alumni-talk-about-careers-in-dm.mp4 Top Digital Marketing Skills Online Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Programs SEO Optimisation Courses Performance Marketing Certification Search Engine Marketing Course Email Marketing Strategy Content Marketing Strategy Social Media Advertising Digital Marketing Analytics Website Analytics Online Display Advertising Best Affiliate Programs 5. Be Realistic about Deadlines The success of your influencer marketing campaign depends a great deal on your working relationships with your influencers. One common problem influencers face while working with brands is they expect too much too soon. Brands need to understand that influencers have other commitments apart from their work as an influencer. 60% of influencers have a part-time or a full-time job besides being an influencer. Others are homemakers or students with serious commitments. You shouldn’t expect influencers to dedicate all of their entire time to your campaign. Even though you shouldn’t accept unreasonable delays on an influencer’s part, you need to be reasonable about deadlines. Allow influencers enough time to create their best work. Decide on deadlines for your projects together. Be honest about your requirements, and ensure that the influencer understands what you expect. Avoid any last minute changes in the content or the campaign to avoid undue stress. It helps to have a contract or agreement in place when you work with influencers. This will avoid any unnecessary confusion and prevent your relationship from turning sour. Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course 4 Challenges Influencers Face with Social Media Engagement Influencer marketing works best when your influencers understand your expectations and feel motivated to work with you. Focus on the above-mentioned tips to get more out of your influencer marketing campaigns. And, if all this sounds like more work than your team can handle, consider partnering with an influencer marketing agency that has efficient and effective processes in place for strategic and scalable campaigns. Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing

by Gaurav Sharma

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05 Sep 2018

4 Challenges Influencers Face with Social Media Engagement
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6845

4 Challenges Influencers Face with Social Media Engagement

With a 200% increase in the number of searches for the term “influencer marketing” from 2016 to 2017, there is no doubt that influencer marketing is rapidly growing marketing strategy that many brands are leveraging. Also, there has been a significant increase in budget allocation for influencer marketing. Brands are interested in investing more money. It is projected that by 2020, the investment in influencer marketing, at a global level, would be more than $5 to $10 billion. The way influencer marketing is growing in popularity is inspiring a lot of people to become influencers. But in order to be a successful influencer, you need to be able to generate a high engagement rate. Engaging with followers might be easier said than done. It takes a lot of hard work to come up with content that can increase the scope of engagement with your followers. But if are you an aspiring influencer, you will face many challenges in generating a decent engagement rate. Here are some of the possible challenges which you may face when trying to get more engagement on social media: 1. Knowing Your Audience Not knowing about your audience is your biggest obstacle to becoming a successful influencer with high engagement. If you don’t know your audience well, it means you don’t know whom to target. This will put you way behind in the game. But how can you get to know your audience? By creating audience personas. You need to build personas for your ideal followers, just the way a brand creates customer personas. If you need any help with it, tools like Person App can help you create your ideal audience personas. This exercise will help you understand the type of content your followers would like to see. Furthermore, knowing your audience is the foundation of your journey to becoming a successful influencer. If you have no idea what your audience wants, how are you going to create content that engages them? You can build an X-factor to increase your engagement rate once you know what your audience wants to see. For example, Nikkie is a popular YouTuber with more than 12 million subscribers on her channel. Her audience likes to see content related to beauty and makeup tips. So she posts content like new product reviews and beauty tips and tricks on a regular basis. Why and How Should Businesses Use Social Media? 2. Leveraging the Right Social Media Platforms This point is directly related to the point mentioned above. Apart from understanding and knowing your audiences and their requirements, you also must use the right social media platforms. It is crucial for you to understand what social media sites they spend most of their time on. If you ignore this aspect, you may end up creating your profile on every social platform. And when you are new an influencer, it’s not easy to manage multiple social media channels. Once you find out where your target audience spends the majority of their time, you will know where to focus your initial efforts. Do some research and figure out the best suited social media platforms. Remember that every social media platform has its own advantages and disadvantages. So you also need to understand how each particular platform will help you gain engagement on social media. Learn Digital Marketing Online Course from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Always make it a point to ensure that you don’t post content on a social platform where your audience is not active. For instance, Camila Coelho is a lifestyle blogger. For her content, which is based on beauty tips and makeup tutorial, and DIYs, she leverages YouTube. She has nearly 1.2 million subscribers to her YouTube channel. But when it comes to posting and sharing her travel photos, she leverages Instagram. Her Instagram account has more than 7 million followers. Below is the screenshot from her Bermuda travel diaries. The image received more than 235K likes and nearly 2K comments just in three days. This proves she has a high engagement rate with her followers on social media. 6 Steps to Build a Successful Career in Social Media Marketing Best Digital Marketing Courses Online Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To Explore all our courses, visit our page below. Digital Marketing Courses 3. Choosing the Right Visual Content Formats Create visual content that will engage your audience as much as possible, especially if you are an aspiring influencer. But which forms of visual content are the best? Some of the most popular visual formats include gifs, videos, and images. You can even use infographics to communicate important information or data. Turning your complicated information into infographics will draw the attention of your followers. This will help you boost your engagement rate on social media. You can also repurpose your old but relevant posts and create infographics. When you do this, ensure to put only the most important points. To create attractive infographics, you can use tools like Piktochart. upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – Webinar with Q&A Session on Digital Marketing document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/kapil-panchal-alumni-talk-about-careers-in-dm.mp4   Images are also a reliable way to create visually appealing content. The use of images on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat is increasing at a tremendous rate. When compared to a normal text post, using relevant and attractive images trigger more engagement on social media. The images can also build your reputation and increase your exposure. For example, Darryll Jones is an ex-graphic designer, conceptual artist and popular photographer on Instagram. He has more than 109K followers on his Instagram account. His pictures are very creative and different from other usual photographers. The screenshot below is a beautiful and creative picture by Jones, which managed to get more than 2.5k likes. Now, can you see the power of a simple yet creative picture? When posting images, always ensure to post relevant and high-quality images. Plus, you don’t even need to be an expert with Photoshop to enhance lighting and colours, remove objects or people, or swap out the background of your photo–there are third-party apps that can do that for you. Mendr, for instance, connects you to professional photo editors, instantly and affordably. All you have to do is upload your image to the Mendr app and specify your editing requirements, then a certified pro will make all the edits for you. 4. Posting at Right Time Always ensure to post during the peak visiting hours of your audience on social media. This will help boost your engagement rate. In other words, you must post your content when the majority of your followers are online. But keep in mind that the peak visiting hours of audiences will change according to time zones. To identify the best times, you need to experiment by posting your content at different hours of the day. And then analyze the results by monitoring how the post is getting a response from your followers. Once you find out the best times, continue posting your content at those particular times to get the maximum engagement rate. In-demand Digital Marketing Skills Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Courses SEO Courses Performance Marketing Courses SEM Courses Email Marketing Courses Content Marketing Courses Social Media Marketing Courses Marketing Analytics Courses Web Analytics Courses Display Advertising Courses Affiliate Marketing Courses Are You All Ready to Boost Engagement Rate on Social Media? Knowing your audience is the foundation of gaining and boosting your engagement on social media. Once you figure out what they want, find out where they want it. There is no point in posting great content on a platform where your audience is not spending time. Also, try to post visual content as much as possible. It will attract your followers to your profile and will increase your engagement with them. Now you know the possible challenges you might face when aiming to increase the engagement rate on social media. Now you can prepare for them accordingly. Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course If you are curious to get into the world of digital marketing, check out upGrad & MICA’s Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing & Communication. Leveraging Facebook Shop for Business Growth Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing

by Gaurav Sharma

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10 Aug 2018

5 Strategies to Grow your Startup when You have No Budget
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5395

5 Strategies to Grow your Startup when You have No Budget

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos That’s easier said than done, considering one of the first things startup owners think about when trying to grow is figuring out where to find the capital to do so. But the truth is you don’t necessarily need early-stage funding to make your venture a success. If you have the right motivation, proper game-plan, and a can-do attitude, there’s a lot you can achieve despite having a shoestring budget to help you grow your business. A major reason why startups don’t grow to reach their full potential is that entrepreneurs (even the brightest ones) sometimes neglect marketing and advertising efforts, considering them superfluous. And even if they do divert their energies towards it, not having the appropriate funds can further stifle the business’s growth. Ironically, the lack of proper marketing efforts equates to less revenue. Consequently, making the budget tighter. But there’s no reason to fret, especially if you find yourself in such a predicament. It’s not so much the marketing budget, but the effectiveness of the strategy that matters more. Done right, even a small budget marketing campaign can outperform ones which have had millions poured into them. All it takes is a certain amount of tact. The Role Of Digital Marketing In Elections Learn MBA Courses from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. To help you with that, let’s look at a few strategies that you can pull off without any budget: Content marketing The easiest place to start is to regularly generate and market relevant content about your startup. It could be anything from product information to trends in your industry; from tips and tricks to interesting and quirky facts about the work you’re doing. Content doesn’t have to be restricted to your niche as long as it’s relevant to your target audience. Leverage SEO functionalities and marketing analytics to understand your potential customers better. The more insights you can derive from consumer data, the easier it will be to produce content that whets their appetites. Try to produce diversified content across various formats like blog posts, videos, and infographics. Rest assured, your content marketing efforts won’t be in vain. In comparison to traditional outbound marketing, content marketing costs 62% less and generates three times the number of leads as reported by Demand Metric. Referrals Yet another effective and relatively inexpensive strategy to generate more leads is to come up with an effective referral program. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. People are more trusting of a company, especially an up and coming venture when they hear positive reviews from their friends and family. Actively ask your customers for referrals to get the most out of your referral program. Engage them after a purchase (when they are feeling satisfied with your services) as that is when they are more likely to refer you. You can take this one step further by offering incentives like reward points or discounts for a successful referral. This is a great way to convert your customers into your sales force – for a minimal cost at that. Having a strong referral program will not only help you stretch your budget but also drive lead generation. Brand Equity: The Measure of Your Value to the Customer Online and social media presence Social media is everything these days. People consider you ancient if you don’t have an online presence. Different platforms suit different companies. Depending on the kind of product or service you’re planning to offer, figure out the best medium to engage your customers and prospects. Ensure that whatever you post, it is consistent on all platforms being used. Pair this with your content marketing strategy to get the most out of both. Customers appreciate companies that are active on social media and regularly share content. Interact with your audience via comments – whether it’s responding to testimonials or reviews. Social media is a great free tool to source customer feedback to help you improve your product. Encourage them to not only share your content but also share their testimonials on your page. These kinds of interaction will help you widen your outreach and improve brand image. Once you understand the tricks to mastering social media you’ll realize just how inexpensive and effective a strategy it can be. If you are a beginner in digital marketing, and want to gain expertise, check out our digital marketing online courses from top universities. Micro-influencers In a recent research study conducted by eMarketer, companies are allocating more and more budget to influencer marketing thanks to its effectiveness. And while startups could benefit a lot from employing similar tactics, it isn’t always easy for them to afford celebrities to promote their businesses. Instead of worrying about that, budding ventures should focus on bringing on micro-influencers into the fray. By concentrating your efforts on collaborating with influencers with a niche following you will not only get the results you want but also manage it on a tight budget. While they may have fewer subscribers, their close relationships with their audience are critical for purchase decisions. People value recommendations from local, smaller celebrities more because they are more relatable than big stars. The obvious problem that arises now is identifying those key individuals who can help your business have the desired impact. Consider using influencer marketing tools like Grin or Buzzstream that make it easier for you to identify those key influencers, and keep track of the important data and relations. How does a Digital Marketer’s Salary Grow? Press releases and guest posting Having a good PR agency to help you with your outreach is always a good idea. Unless you have a zero-dollar budget and can’t afford them. Instead, put your own efforts into your outreach program. Press releases are a budget-friendly option to achieve that. Work your network to get in touch with the right publications and reporters who may be interested in writing about your startup. There’s a plethora of bloggers and reporters out there who’d not only be interested in your work but would also have the kind of audience you want to reach out to. All it takes is a bit of research and the right connections. You can make the collaboration even more successful by providing free samples to them for a review or perhaps a guest posting initiative that will help both parties grow their network. How to Increase Your Exposure And Revenue with Video Marketing Indeed, having the appropriate funds to help you market and grow your startup business is always a plus. But the lack thereof doesn’t mean your venture won’t reach its full potential. Albeit working with little or no budget may be more of a challenge to drive sales and achieve the kind of growth your startup deserves, but these strategies are sure to make things easier. If you are curious to get into the world of digital marketing, check out MICA & upGrad’s Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing & Communication. Become an expert in email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, branding, marketing analysis, and PR. If you want to learn more about marketing and entrepreneurship, Liverpool Business School & upGrad offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) Liverpool Business School which helps you to transform your career. The program provides 1-on-1 mentorship from industry leaders, 1-week immersion program at University campus, dual credentials (MBA from LBS & PGPM from IMT), network with peers at offline basecamps and more.

by Gaurav Sharma

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26 Jun 2018

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