The recent boycott of Facebook and Instagram by over 750 big brands is fetching more eyeballs for small businesses advertising on the platform
Low footfall owing to the pandemic has forced several start-ups to shut down their offline operations and move online. Small retailers operating in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle space, are aggressively advertising on Instagram to drive traffic to their websites, and boost sales.
Loungewear start-up NeceSera has seen the number of orders coming from Instagram almost double in the last few months. Bohemian Dream has seen the orders coming in from the social media network increase thrice as compared to the pre-Covid period. Another fashion start-up The Burnt Soul says its return on investment from Instagram has risen 1.5-times in the last three months.
The recent boycott of Facebook and Instagram by over 750 big brands from across the world has helped these smaller businesses. “On the one hand, the time being spent on these platforms by users has gone up, while on the other, there are many brands that are advertising less than before. Hence, these small brands are getting more eyeballs and seeing better conversions,” says Neena Dasgupta, CEO and director, Zirca Digital Solutions.
The ad rates on Instagram have also come down due to the drop in advertising by larger companies, making the platform more affordable for smaller businesses. According to experts, the cost per acquisition on Instagram and Facebook in recent months has come down by 43%.
Bohemian Dream was co-founded by Komal Kaur and Stanley George in 2017, “to revive Indian craft and bring handloom products to the consumers”. The company used to operate out of a pop-up store in a Delhi mall (which accounted for about 50% of its sales), and also retail through its own website and other vertical marketplaces. Over the last few months, it has strengthened its focus on online channels. “While sales from offline came to a halt, we have been able to ramp up operations online by employing Instagram and increase our overall sales since March,” says Kaur.
The Burnt Soul has a similar story. While it was operating out of both online and offline channels before, the focus is now completely online. “In recent months, we have realised that this is the right time for us to tap digital marketing as more and more people are coming online,” says Gatik Bhandari, founder, The Burnt Soul.
Both the companies have doubled their spends on Instagram in recent months.
The reduction in the cost of acquisition and improvement in the return on investment has helped these companies greatly. Sudiksha Jain, co-founder, NeceSera, says, “Since we are primarily an e-commerce brand, our digital presence, especially social media, is of utmost importance. Due to the change in environment and Facebook algorithms, our acquisition costs have reduced by 33% and, in turn, our return on investment has tripled.”
It may be difficult for these small brands to sustain momentum when normalcy returns and bigger brands start advertising on social media like before, vying for the same set of users.
“These companies are focussing on return on investment right now; but if they want to be in this race for the long term, they should look at building their brand,” says Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO and co-founder, Gozoop. Doing so quickly, he says, is paramount for these brands to survive.
Pradeep Kumar, CEO, Neil Patel Digital India, points out that most of the smaller brands are not hiring professionals for digital marketing, due to limited budgets. And this could hinder the effectiveness of their campaigns. “Things as basic as targeting the right audience, using correct images or placement of buttons can determine the effectiveness of ads. Hence, expertise is required,” he adds.
Read Also: With theatres closed, OTTs make hay