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Varun Dattaraj

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An engineering graduate with a dual specialization in industrial engineering and management. Currently working as a copywriter for a digital ad agency called Tiramisu New Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Enjoys traveling, photography and biking. Loves keeping up with the latest trends in the social media domain.

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The Advent of Chatbots is Creating a Stir in Social Media
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The Advent of Chatbots is Creating a Stir in Social Media

Chatbots or bots is one the most trending terms, along with buzzwords like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Will these chatbots be foes or allies for digital marketers, in the near future? Let’s find out! During the turn of the century, digital marketing was dominated by Search Engine Marketing and Optimisation (SEM and SEO). Although they continue to be widely used, their scope of appeal has become restricted. The early 2010s saw the rise of Facebook and social media marketing, which has been growing exponentially ever since. Recently, mobile marketing rose and plateaued out. Users have stopped downloading new apps that lack a key element – personalisation. In this evolving market, most users are looking for a higher degree of personalisation, thanks to messaging apps. Consumer behaviour has slowly shifted from social networks to messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Even payment banks like PayTM are hopping on to the bandwagon. Over the last two years, this has resulted in the exponential growth of the four largest messaging apps. Their growth has exceeded that of the four largest social networks globally, in terms of Daily Active Users or DAUs. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. For brands, this new marketing channel offers an exciting opportunity to experiment with fresh ad formats and connect with their consumers in novel ways. Businesses also enjoy fewer competitors, less ad fatigue, and potentially exponential returns on marketing investment (ROI). As brands test the waters with this new marketing opportunity, chatbots are emerging as a particularly compelling piece of technology. What is a “chatbot”? Chatbots are computer programs that can carry out human-like conversations with people using lightweight messaging app UI, language-based rules, or AI. Chatbots converse with users using natural language (either voice or text), rather than a traditional website or app user interfaces. There are two types of chatbots. One functions based on a set of rules much like a computer program. The more advanced version uses machine learning and natural language processing. Companies are creating bots for Slack, Amazon Echo, Facebook Messenger, and Kik to talk directly to users. These bots complete tasks such as product recommendations, remote troubleshooting, placing direct orders, and much more. With chatbots, there are endless possibilities in every sphere, including hyperlocal services and products. Chatbots are transforming marketing and businesses can capitalise on the current conversational trend. Some ways are listed below: Engagement beyond clicks In traditional online advertising, we call a click of an ad or play of a video “engagement.” On the other hand, chatbots can get you a better bang for your buck. A chatbot engages in an active conversation with the user, resulting in better engagement. This is true for chatbots on Facebook Messenger, which tease their audience and drum up excitement prior to a product release. They give users an interactive experience, thereby driving user engagement. Conversation and rapport building is more effective than a simple ad or video view. The chatbot interaction leaves users with an entertaining experience, a better understanding of the brand, and a positive emotional feeling. These takeaways are rarely achieved with traditional ads. Insights directly from users Users converse with chatbots just like they do with their peers. In this highly personal and conversational setting, chatbots can ask intrusive questions such as: – “Where do you live?” – “What music do you like?” – “What’s your dream travel destination?” This is something that traditional ads can’t do. Moreover, questions that one finds awkward or annoying coming from a brand, are suddenly socially acceptable and even welcome in chatbot interactions. This allows businesses to remember and refer to personal information in future conversations to further customise a user’s experience. Read: How to make chatbot in Python? More opportunities for personalisation Ads have become more targeted over time. Brands are always seeking ways to appeal to users at a personal level through programmatic display ads, retargeting, or direct mails. With chatbots, brands can personalise a conversation. They can even help a group of travelers plan trips with friends and family without actually being present in the same room. Bringing a brand’s personality to life Brand identity is usually pushed to users in an endless barrage through banner ads, videos, billboards, and such things. A branded chatbot, on the other hand, becomes a “live entity” that can infuse personality into conversations. Be it wit, humour, or behind-the-scenes content; a company can show rather than tell their brand story to their audience with a chatbot. While traditional ads are “pushed” upon an unwilling or apathetic viewer, chatbots “pull” users to engage with them. Strategically implemented and well-designed chatbots can tell your brand story, re-engage audiences, and even grow your business. How can I build a chatbot? Building a chatbot may sound daunting, but with modern tools, it is now easier than ever. You can create an AI-powered chatting machine in no time, but building a basic chatbot that doesn’t have a fancy AI brain and follows the rules is a better bet. The difficulty in building a chatbot is less a technical one and more to do with user experience. To build a successful chatbot, you will need to figure out the problems you solve with it. Choose a platform for your chatbot (Facebook, Slack, etc.), set up a server from where to run your bot from, and choose which service you will use to build your bot.  Building a chatbot on Facebook messenger Building a chatbot on Slack So why haven’t we seen many chatbots yet? Building a chatbot is more to do with user experience. Marketers must keep in mind that the most successful bots will be the ones that users would want to come back to. To achieve this, one needs to keep users’ data private and also improve the personalisations offered to them. 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 upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – What’s new in Marketing? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/rumi-ambastha.mp4 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 Is a clash between humans and chatbots predicted in the future? Chatbots are unlikely to replace actual human jobs yet but will definitely aid them to a greater extent. Consumers will benefit from chatbots through personalisation — and this is where social media plays a big role. Unlike the SmarterChild bot hosted on AOL Instant Messenger, the potential for bots is not just completing tasks assigned to it, but understanding the context of the user’s life. With Facebook integration, chatbots already have a rich data source to understand user habits such as when they check their devices, interests, most valued relationships, and upcoming plans and schedules. Hence, bots can deliver relevant updates, information, and recommendations that are both, location and context-aware. The current chatbots available on Facebook definitely have room for improvement. Try using one if you haven’t yet, and you’ll receive a flurry of push notifications and updates from the bot to continue to share news and updates. Going forward, bots should get smarter as they interact more and more with humans, just like a human baby does. They will learn what type of information individuals want and when they prefer to receive it. 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 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 Varun Dattaraj

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27 Nov 2017

Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories: Which One’s For You?
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5164

Snapchat Vs. Instagram Stories: Which One’s For You?

Everybody loves to watch an evenly fought battle. When it comes to smartphones and technology, it’s Apple vs. Google; or Uber vs. Ola among the popular ride-hailing apps. In the end, competitors fighting it out for the top honours, benefit the tech industry as a whole. In the social media space, the rivalry between Facebook-owned Instagram and Snap’s Snapchat is being closely watched. Especially after Instagram launched its copycat version of Snapchat Stories called Instagram Stories. Snapchat and Instagram’s appeal to influencers and advertisers are vastly unique. Tech experts believe that the ability of Snapchat to add quirky characteristics to photos and videos may appeal to a younger demographic, thereby broadening its reach over Instagram. Digital marketers can look at both platforms to expand the reach and influence of their brands. Understanding the ins and outs of each app is essential to growing user engagement among the desired target audience. A one-size-fits-all strategy may not guarantee success with either of these two apps. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. The Story Wars: A Legendary Tale Snapchat once reigned supreme in the ephemeral video arena when it first broke cover, but Instagram has slowly clawed its way to the top. In August 2016, years after Snapchat first released Stories, Instagram released its own version of Stories. It allowed users to share multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format. Despite the feature being a late entrant in this social media space, user engagement quickly started to tip in Instagram’s favour. On the other hand, a report by TechCrunch found that Snapchat Stories view counts dipped 15-40% after the launch of Instagram Stories. Moreover, Instagram view counts soared 80%, followed by a posting volume decline as well. Most influencers have seen engagement rates that are 3-5x higher on Instagram than on Snapchat. Drawing on its newfound popularity, within six months, Instagram Stories clocked 150 million daily active users (DAUs). This is slightly lesser than the number of DAUs for Snapchat’s entire app. In early April 2017, Facebook announced that Instagram Stories had reached 200 million DAUs and now hovers around an astonishing 500 million. For a marketer trying to figure out the social media strategy for their brand, and the budget allocation, this marked shift is significant. No one wants to allocate budget for a platform that some consider ‘dead’. Not to be written off, Snapchat has effectively been able to ward off the competition with its foray into AR (Augmented Reality) with Lenses as well as into consumer electronics with the release of its wearable gadget called Spectacles. There have also been some questions on Facebook’s way to measure DAUs for Instagram Stories. It could make those numbers seem higher than they actually are. Consider these facts, an average Snapchat user spends around 30 mins per day on the app, of which 60% of the users create the content. In contrast, the average Instagram user spends 15 mins per day within the app, and the activity is mostly browsing. Snapchat scores some impressive engagement metrics! A Case of Apples and Oranges Having argued about the strengths and weaknesses of both apps, we can only infer that both Snapchat and Instagram are important to a brand’s social media presence. Both platforms are different and have their USPs, and the key to developing a successful strategy is understanding who your customers are and what you are trying to say to them, as a brand. Let’s try to break this down further. Snapchat is a better choice if you are targeting a younger demographic. The app is popular with teens and the rate of penetration among 18-24-year-olds is twice the rate for 25-34-year-olds. More importantly, 60% of its users are under the age of 25. Its user base is also skewed towards the female population. Snapchat is also a valuable tool for brands with a strong personality. The format lends itself well to quirkiness, creativity, and spontaneity that marketers have come to love about it. It’s a great way to give users a glimpse behind the scenes, share the personalities of the people who work at your company, and generally put a human face onto the brand. It’s a medium to have fun with, take risks, and experiment. Instagram, in contrast, reaches out to an older demographic – 59% of all online 18 to 29-year-olds in the US use Instagram, according to the Pew Research study. It also does well with the 30-49-year-olds: 33% of internet users in this age group use Instagram. It’s best suited to product-based businesses, with Instagram business profiles that can use the app to showcase inventory in a visually appealing way. However, content tends to be more stylised than on Snapchat. Instagram has also come out with Snapchat-inspired filters, making it easier for content collaborators to get more creative. 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 The Final Take: Where the Lines Are Drawn Beyond demographics and formats, there are other differentiators between Snapchat and Instagram as well; ones that business owners should be aware of. Instagram definitely has the largest reach. Combined with Facebook’s social data and monumental reach, Instagram was able to drive major engagement on Stories right out of the gate. Most influencers, as well as average users, flocked to Instagram Stories. It was quick as their current networks were already present there. If your social media strategy involves influencers, that’s worth thinking about. Secondly, Instagram Stories is fast gaining an edge over Snapchat with its features and user experience. Many features are simply better on Instagram, such as the UI of changing stickers or the ability to easily pause a video. Finally, the UI of Instagram Stories has shown the world what an engaging advertisement can be. By including the “pause” feature, advertisers can enhance the way consumers engage with their content. That being said, Snapchat and Instagram both offer great marketing opportunities for business owners, but they have differences in functionalities and features. The types of engagement each platform can deliver are relevant for brands to make tough decisions about where to channel their money. For now, it seems that the balance has tipped in favour of Instagram. 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 upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – What’s new in Marketing? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/rumi-ambastha.mp4 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 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 Varun Dattaraj

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02 Nov 2017

Keep an Eye Out for the Next Big Thing: Machine Learning
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5159

Keep an Eye Out for the Next Big Thing: Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are buzzwords that are increasingly being used to discuss upcoming trends in Data Science and other technologies. However, are these two concepts really peas in the same pod? Artificial Intelligence is a broader concept of smart machines carrying out various tasks on their own. While Machine Learning is an application of Artificial Intelligence where machines learn from data provided to them using various types of algorithms. Therefore, Machine Learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building, allowing computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed to do so. Sounds like the pitch-perfect solution to all our technological woes, doesn’t it? Top Machine Learning and AI Courses Online Master of Science in Machine Learning & AI from LJMU Executive Post Graduate Programme in Machine Learning & AI from IIITB Advanced Certificate Programme in Machine Learning & NLP from IIITB Advanced Certificate Programme in Machine Learning & Deep Learning from IIITB Executive Post Graduate Program in Data Science & Machine Learning from University of Maryland To Explore all our certification courses on AI & ML, kindly visit our page below. Machine Learning Certification Evolution of Machine Learning Arthur Samuel, an American pioneer in the field of computer gaming and artificial intelligence, coined the term ‘Machine Learning’ in 1959 while at IBM. During its early days, Machine Learning was born from pattern recognition with the theory that computers can learn from patterns in data without being programmed to perform specific tasks. Researchers interested in Artificial Intelligence later developed algorithms with which computers or machines could learn from data. As a result of this, whenever the machines were exposed to new data, they were able to independently adapt as well Trending Machine Learning Skills AI Courses Tableau Certification Natural Language Processing Deep Learning AI Enrol for the Machine Learning Course from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. It’s a science that’s not new, but one that’s gaining fresh momentum, thanks mainly to new computing technologies that have evolved over the last few decades. Many Machine Learning algorithms have been around for a long time. But, the ability to automatically apply complex mathematical calculations to large data sets is a fresh development being witnessed. Here are a few examples of Machine Learning applications you might be familiar with: Online recommendations from Amazon and Netflix. YouTube detecting and removing terror content on the platform. Knowing what customers are saying about you on Twitter The Rise of Machine Learning The emergence of the internet, as well as the massive increase in digital information being generated, stored, and made available for analysis, are seen to be the two important factors that have led to the emergence of Machine Learning. With the magnitude of quality data from the internet, economical data storage options and improved data processing capabilities, Machine Learning algorithms are seen as a vehicle propelling the development of Artificial Intelligence at a scorching pace in recent times. Neural Networks A neural network works on a system of probability by being able to make statements, decisions, or predictions based on data fed to it. Moreover, a feedback loop enables further “learning” by sensing; it also modifies the learning process based on whether its decisions are right or wrong. An artificial neural network is a computer system with node networks inspired from the neurons in the animal brain. Such networks can be taught to recognise and classify patterns through witnessing examples rather than telling the algorithm how exactly to recognise and classify patterns. Machine Learning derived applications of neural networks can read pieces of text and recognise the nature of the text – whether it is a complaint or congratulatory note. They can also listen to a piece of music, decide whether it is likely to make someone happy or sad, and find other pieces of similar music. What’s more, they can even compose music expressing the same mood or theme. In the near future, with the help of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, it should be possible for a person to communicate and interact with electronic devices and digital information thanks to another emerging field of AI called Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP has become a source of cutting-edge innovation in the past few years, and one which is heavily reliant on Machine Learning. NLP applications attempt to understand human communication, both written as well as spoken, and communicate using various languages. In this context, Machine Learning helps machines understand the nuances in human language and respond in a way that a particular audience is likely to comprehend. So, who is actually using it? Most industries working with large amounts of data have recognised the value of Machine Learning. Large companies glean vital real-time actionable insights from stored data and are hence able to increase efficiency or gain an advantage over their competitors. Financial services Banks and other businesses use Machine Learning to identify important insights in data generated and thereby prevent frauds. These insights can identify investment opportunities or help investors know when to trade. Data mining can also identify clients with high-risk profiles or use cyber surveillance to warn customers about fraud and thereby minimise identity theft. Marketing and sales E-commerce websites use Machine Learning technology to analyse buying history based on previous purchases, to recommend items that you may like and promote other items. The retail industry is enlisting the ability of websites to capture data, analyse it, and use it to personalise a shopping experience or implement marketing campaigns. Summing up, Artificial Intelligence and, in particular, Machine Learning, certainly has a lot to offer today. With its promise of automating mundane tasks as well as offering creative insights, industries in every sector from banking to healthcare and manufacturing are reaping the benefits. Popular AI and ML Blogs & Free Courses IoT: History, Present & Future Machine Learning Tutorial: Learn ML What is Algorithm? Simple & Easy Robotics Engineer Salary in India : All Roles A Day in the Life of a Machine Learning Engineer: What do they do? What is IoT (Internet of Things) Permutation vs Combination: Difference between Permutation and Combination Top 7 Trends in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Machine Learning with R: Everything You Need to Know AI & ML Free Courses Introduction to NLP Fundamentals of Deep Learning of Neural Networks Linear Regression: Step by Step Guide Artificial Intelligence in the Real World Introduction to Tableau Case Study using Python, SQL and Tableau Eventually, scientists hope to develop human-like Artificial Intelligence that is capable of increasing the speed of various automated functions, especially with the advent of chatbots in the internet realm. Much of the exciting progress that we have seen in recent years is due to progressive changes in Artificial Intelligence, which have been brought about by Machine Learning. This is clearly why Machine Learning is poised to become the next big thing in the data sciences sphere. So go ahead, UpGrad yourself to stay ahead of the curve.

by Varun Dattaraj

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17 Oct 2017

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