Category Archives: General

Building a WhatsApp media distribution empire of your own

Email is passé. Most consumers sign up on websites, services using Gmail. And it is rare for your email land into the Gmail inbox. More often than not, your weekly/monthly status mails, promotional mails, offers land up in the promotions tab with less than 0.1% views. You might as well be burning money.

Mobile app notifications are an option but it takes huge effort (and cost) to build, maintain and distribute the app. Social media pages were offered as a low-cost attractive proposition but the engagement levels and reach levels have reached abysmal levels and unless one pumps in huge promotional campaigns in social media, chances are your beautifully curated content is not reaching anyone.

So what should a corporate / organization looking to get its messages out to the larger world do? How to ensure you build a digital media reach? How to get the power of the crowd to work for you?

The answer may lie in WhatsApp. With over 400 mi active users in India and a very high ease of use factor which has led to a high sharing /forwarding culture, WhatsApp has become the platform for social engagements. School classmates, office groups, RWA groups, Club groups, Interest groups, political groups – we all have hundreds of groups which exchange information of all sorts – mundane (and sometimes irritating good morning messages) to funny pictures, videos, links, news, op-ed pieces, propaganda stuff, defamatory stuff – WhatsApp has the slice of life content that appeals to everyone.

Building a WhatsApp channel

WhatsApp is a personal tool and not amenable to automation (hope the company will fix it soon). Yet, even in its limited way, it offers a great opportunity for brands / corporates / social organizations to create their own media distribution outlets.

How should brands approach this task? Here’s a high-level plan:

Step 1: Identify the target community -> helps in creating the campaigns driving acquisition of primary partners.

Step2: Create acquisition campaigns to motivate & inspire target community to engage with the brand / corporate / social organization

Step 3: Create capacity to handle incoming traffic; message templates for welcoming partners; message templates for expected roles / content and value

Step 4: Create a content strategy for WhatsApp network. What kind of content will work, what frequency, what format etc.

Step 5: Create capacity to handle enquires & messages

Step 6: Create a mechanism to review & adjust

Case-Study: Banjara’s WhatsApp network

Over the past 3 months, we have created a 5000 strong WhatsApp distribution contact for Banjara’s, one of our marteching clients. The network was created by targeting bloggers, primary product users via social (FB), AdWords (keyword targeting), email (CRM) and SMS (visitors at retail outlets).

The target audience was invited to connect with the official company WhatsApp number to received advance product information, fun videos and posters and exclusive contests which would be available only to this network.

This network is then used to distribute product videos, brand concept videos, user generated videos around brand campaigns (#BinTheTube for example see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtpMmbuv5Q, user-generated reviews / review videos; user-generated comments on social posts and relevant content. The recipients are encouraged to share and report if their friends and associates liked the share. Special contests and schemes are run for this network and free samples; gift hampers are used to incentivize the partners.

Impact

The Banjara’s WhatsApp network has become a key resource in helping spread the brand messaging into the WhatsApp channels. If we assume that 5-10% recipients are sharing the content onwards across 3-6 groups, it gives the brand a like reach of 150,000 – 300000 (assuming 100 members in a group). The secondary and tertiary sharing is harder to assess. One anecdotal proxy is to measure how many content pieces are shared back with the brand executives 

Recommendation

If you have a savvy social content strategy backed by powerful emotional story-telling, building a WhatsApp based media distribution network of your own is highly recommended. Such a network can only grow over time and will yield significant cost saving in media and social media expenses over time.

Need some Pirate Thinking & Guerrilla Tactics for your social media marketing?

Today brands are pouring BIG money into building page “like” community, well researched, well designed content strategy and boosting posts to get more “likes” and shares. However, research indicates that most brands are reporting very poor engagement with their followers.

(a) Most posts have low reach, low engagement (likes, comments,shares).

(b) Facebook post promotion is costly.

(c) The engagement insights are basic.

(d) Brands have no way to follow-up with users who like or comment
on a post other than manual activity (not scalable).

Tikoo Tweet Post_1024x512

So, we did some pirate thinking to get around this challenge.

(i) For one client, we were able to contact 2500 of their followers with
a “10 reasons to download our app message”.

(ii) For another client, we were able to identify the top 20 followers
by engagement on a monthly/weekly basis and create incentive
campaigns to motivate other followers to engage better.

(iii) In yet another use-case, we were able to contact over 200
post “likes” with an automated thank you and follow-up message
starting a business enquiry process

We can teach you how to maximize your social media marketing budgets. And
create more business conversations & leads. Need our pirate cap? Then ping us!

arvind@parikshalabs.com
manish@parikshalabs.com

India’s Pariksha Labs Claims Next-Gen news reader designed for mobile that shows ‘The Big News Now’ based on text semantics automation

Pariksha Labs, a leading publisher of mobile apps for Indian content, has announced a major update of its news reader/aggregator app “inNews“. The company claims to have pioneered sophisticated news automation technology to automatically determine the Top news at any time, and show only the Big news in its updated reader.

Mobile users exhibit an entirely new way of consuming news stories, different from printed newspapers and even web-based news portals. Mobile users glance at their devices multiple times a day; they need to know the Big, trending, breaking news and quickly see all the stories related to this news on the mobile device. They want the option to read detailed stories but only if there is significant interest. They are looking to share big, breaking news with their social and professional networks quickly to establish their own social brands.

Meeting this need requires a new way to present mobile news. The existing apps, both single brand news readers and/or news aggregator apps, simply convert the printed/web style news to mobile instead of recognizing this fundamental difference for the mobile user. The result is that users must use multiple apps, visit multiple feeds and go through multiple stories to identify the top stories and understand all points of view on the story. Even aggregator apps present news in the old catalog style: source->category->story. The user has to do all the hard work of browsing, move between many screens and it takes a good amount of time to get a sense of what is truly trending.

inNews addresses this by leveraging sophisticated news automation technology to automatically cluster news stories based on their keywords and related entropy. Using powerful server technologies, inNews can determine the Top news at any time based on the volume and velocity of stories emerging on the topic. This is then presented to the user with all the related stories in one place. With a single tap, users can see all the articles published on a story, check out the headlines, the picture used and decide which ones they want to follow. By presenting The Big news Now, inNews aligns strongly with the mobile users’ need to quickly catch, view and share the breaking news.

inNews is built using perhaps the most powerful news automation technology in India,” said Mr. Arvind Jha, Founder/CEO at Pariksha Labs. “While other news readers have taken a labor-intensive route, we want to address the problem using our technological edge. Very soon we can provide our users with the life-cycle view of news – how a story develops, matures and gets phased out as new stories emerge. For those serious about news on mobile, inNews is a must have app,” he emphasized.

How inNews Works

How inNews Works

inNews is a Free app that aggregates over 1000 news feeds and processes 3000+ stories daily across 10 categories. “We will continue to improve our news automation technology and are looking at introducing pay-per-view type models in partnership with the news publishers. We believe that the mobile customer wants to be delighted and only a superior technology adoption can create the right impact for a news reader app,” Mr. Jha claimed. Pariksha is working on extending its news automation technology to provide personalization, media monitoring solutions, advanced search and keyword-based filtering for the app, he said.

inNews is currently available on both Apple AppStore and Android Play Store. The app is also available on all Amazon devices from the Amazon store. Links:

Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plabs.apps.innews&hl=en

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/innews-the-big-news-now/id991757311?mt=8

Amazon Store: http://www.amazon.com/inNews-The-Big-News-Now/dp/B0100OYXIU/ref=sr_1_1?s=mobile-apps&ie=UTF8&qid=1434766911&sr=1-1&keywords=inNews

Pariksha Labs Pvt. Ltd. is a leading Indian app publisher focusing on content for Indian residents/diaspora.

Paiksha has a portfolio of apps around Indian content and claims a combined user base of 100,000 downloads. It has introduced the concept of virtual currency for in-app transactions and has reported initial success with the experiment. Users can transact across apps through a common registration mechanism. The other apps published by Pariksha includes inTube – an app to quickly see latest movies on YouTube; Filmi Filmy – an app to find and watch Hindi film songs in video; and ThotOfU – an app to send mobile greeting cards.

Pariksha also offers R&D focused Software Development services and specializes in building new products for its customers. For more information, visit: www.parikshalabs.com.

Promoting your Business made easy!

Your own business: Check

Your loyal customers: Check

Now, what is missing? Umm, aren’t you forgetting your presence on the social media. It is one of the biggest platforms in today’s time to connect with customers.

So you created a Facebook Page for your business, what now then? It’s time you get your page in front of your customers, in front of the world. If we put it in a more fancy way then, it’s time for you to drive traffic to your page, increase engagement, and promote your business.

People want to connect with you. And they just need a gentle reminder sometimes. Here are a few ways which can boost up your business possibilities:

1- Cash in on your Network

People have already joined your your e-mail list, but they don’t check mails on a daily basis. Although, you will find them scrolling down the screen on various social networking sites and they would love to connect with you on any of them. So, what do you do then?

Send out an e-mail to your contact list, inviting them to connect with you on your social networking pages, be it facebook or Twitter or Linkedin etc.

Once people connect with you on social media, you’ll automatically show up on their newsfeed and it will be easy for you to engage with them.

People forget to act even when they want to act! So, you may have to push, cajole and request folks a couple of times and across multiple channels to get this going. Be persistent without being offensive and see how persistence pays!

2- Guide your Customers to you

Add various social network sites badges to your website or blog. A badge is an icon you create that links fans from your website to your social networking pages.

Make sure your social networking pages have useful content, interesting engagements and something of value to your customers. If you keep promoting your own products, chances are your pages will become monotonous.

3- Share your page link with friends and family

There are millions and billions of monthly active users on various networking sites be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. That’s quite a big pool of potential new customers you can connect with. Tap into these larger networks through friends and family.

4- Take your business to new social heights

There is a big difference between social media and social media marketing. Social media marketing enables you to be found and be relevant. Share the link of your website on various other social media platforms, share your work, and put it in front of the eyes of the people. Send out the link on Twitter, add a link in all the descriptions for your YouTube Videos or Flickr Photos.

5- Promote it offline too

Promote your social media networking pages on all of your print marketing materials including business cards, menus, flyers, signs, t-shirts – anywhere it can be visible.

The more followers you have, the more your reach increases.

InDesign Development & Common Extensibility Platform (CEP) Technology

In September 2013, Adobe announced that they would be discontinuing the CS Extension Builder and would replace it with a new development framework based on HTML5 and JavaScript. CEP technology allows developers to build extensions that can run across all Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) platform. Clearly, this is a significant win for plug-in and extension developers as it cuts down on development time and resources. However, as plug-in developers move legacy plug-ins from CS 5.5/CS6 to CC and CC14, they must keep in mind several issues before the plug-ins can be ported to CEP extensions. Last quarter, we have helped our clients to adapt this change by integrating the latest web frameworks like AngularJS with extensions, thereby following a strict MVC driven approach as used to be the case with C++ plug-ins. We have structured the extension in a way that it can be extended to use with multiple apps. This, we have achieved by architecting app-specific implementations separately and creating a core services layer. As an example, one of our new extensions is running seamlessly in InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator and InCopy.

Tips For “Plug-ins to Xtension” Porting Projects
  • CS5 onwards model and ui separation needs to be done so that model plugins may safely work in background threads, and, the user interface for a set of features can be refactored easily at any time
  • CS6 onwards, significant UI changes need to be done using Adobe Express View Engine (EVE) to take advantage of localization friendly services
  • If any third-party libraries such as boost, xerces, curl, GSOAP etc. are used in the legacy plug-in projects, we need to check if the old libraries are compatible with the latest OS SDKs; and if obsolete we need to build those libraries using their source code and then dynamically link them with the plugin.
  • We need to make changes to code caused by the changes in the public API in SDK.
  • Our experience is that most legacy plug-ins neither have good engineering specs or documentation; nor good test suits for benchmarks. Porting projects must build their own benchmark test suites to avoid bug discovery late into the porting projects
  • As legacy plug-ins have evolved, users have extended their template and test documents through multiple versions. There are data model changes across plug-in SDKs that creates bugs with legacy documents. Some documents may need to be re-created when plug-ins are moved across to CC

We have in-depth knowledge and experience in helping customers move their plug-ins to extensions. We are supporting developers in US, Germany, Switzerland, Australia with their InDesign projects. Our customers trust us as we deliver high quality services with transparent business practices at cost-effective rates. If you are looking to port your plugins to CEP and/or looking for a team to support your xtensions, talk to us.