How Indian SMBs are leading the way on mobile

Published: April 11, 2016 5:50 AM

There has never been a simpler time for small businesses to connect with consumers online

India is coming online at a staggering rate. It is home to more than 350 million people who are on the web—according to IAMAI—and it is expected to overtake the US in terms of internet user base. These people represent a mobile-first generation of consumers who have leapfrogged desktop computers in favour of mobile phones.

These newly-connected users are part of a growing consumer pie, but how do small businesses ensure they are served a slice? The answer is simple. If you do not have a mobile marketing strategy, get one. And if you do, it is time to ramp it up.

In India, more than 90% of people who use social platforms such as Facebook access them via mobile. Mobile daily active users have jumped 30% in growth year-on-year. The average person checks her mobile device 100 times a day, according to the IDC’s Always Connected report. This makes mobile an important channel for brands to connect with people.

A mobile marketing strategy might sound complex, but the good news is, if you have a page you are already a step ahead. There has never been a simpler time for small businesses to connect with consumers online.

In the past, a hefty portion of digital advertising and marketing tools were only available to the big players. However, social media platforms have given small businesses a power similar to large advertisers.
Today, in India, more than 46 million SMEs employ 106 million people, at an average of 2.3 people per enterprise, and they contribute to economic growth significantly (according to a KPMG report).

Moving away from counting likes and fans to driving real business results, they are engines of innovation and have led the charge in marrying social media to digital marketing strategies with impressive results.

For example, AskmeBazaar saw 10x growth in daily sales transactions by combining its customer data with Audience Insights—a Facebook tool—to deliver personalised dynamic product ads and carousel ads. Similarly, jewellery brand Voylla used Website Custom Audiences—another Facebook tool—to re-target people who visited certain pages on its website and saw 4x year-on-year growth.

Marketing tools on social platforms are simple to use and we believe this is why the number of small businesses without a website is growing in India.

So, how do you make the most of the tools available to you?

Start with a page: It is the new website or storefront for you. All your customers are already on the same social platform ready to be engaged. Whether they are accessing it through desktop or mobile, it’s the same experience, and you have a mobile marketing strategy by having a page.

Use ads to drive business results: Social and mobile ads can help you reach the right people with the right message at the right time. Before you start to advertise on a social platform, think about your marketing objective, because an effective ad campaign ultimately supports your business goal.

Custom audience: Reach out to customers you already know. Find your existing audiences among people who are on the social platform, driving greater relevancy and engagement of your marketing efforts.

Video ads: Use video to attract customers. Today, more than 800,000 SMBs uploading videos to their pages.

Carousel ads: Use tools that let you have multiple images and links in one ad, which can automatically optimise the order of the images, links shown.

Mobile ads manager: Some platforms like Facebook allow you to manage your ad campaign from your mobile device, whether it’s tracking the performance of a current ad or creating a new one.

Measuring RoI: Regularly check page and ads insights to get a better understanding of what posts best engage your audience and which campaigns drive better results.

It’s a fact that customers want to connect with small businesses on social platforms. Today, more than 57% people in India are connected to an SMB, so ensure you are one of them.

Written by: Rahul Desai. The author is head of SMB, Facebook India

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