[Interview] Rajasekar, Head, Content and Social Media, Bharat Matrimony, Talks About the Brand’s Blog and Digital Activities

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RajasekarWe interview Rajasekar KS, Head – Content & Social Media, Bharat Matrimony on the brand’s social media strategies. He highlights the various activities the brand indulges in on social platforms and reveals how their journey has evolved over years.

What are the core communication objectives of Bharat Matrimony & how does social media marketing help in achieving these objectives?

Our key communication goals are brand building, acquiring new profiles, supporting sales and engaging fans. Our social channels (Facebook and Twitter) are driving new visitors and registrations, popularizing the brand, improving customer experience and offering relevant content that engages our active fans.

Right from the launch of BharatMatrimony.com till date, how far has the social space changed? Tell us more about the content strategy you follow.

There was a massive change since 2000, when we started, and now it is unbelievable. Clearly, social media has disrupted the world in a few ways: Now people are connecting to each other to solve problems instead of looking at brands for help. The balance of power has shifted to the consumer and institutional power is under threat.

We believe in touching people’s lives far beyond match making. Our happymarriage.bharatmatrimony.com is a content section that guides people to discover new ways to a happy marriage. It provides guidance for the challenges that people face during partner search and the several stages post marriage. Lakhs of people get our monthly Happy Marriage newsletter. The content is also shared on our social media channels and feedback from users is very positive. Our strategy is to provide meaningful content to both the people, those who are looking to get married and the married couples and usher happiness in their lives.

What percent of your audience are on social media platforms? Do you study their online interactions & behaviour patterns before planning your strategies?

About 60% of our audience is on social channels. Yes, the team is constantly listening to conversations, online and offline, and it impacts our communication, advertising and marketing plans.

Whom do you target on social media – Parents who are looking out for brides / bridegrooms or Singles who are interested to get married?

Our primary target on social media are those looking to get married.

What social media platforms have worked best to your advantage?

Facebook and Twitter work best for us, but we continue to explore the other platforms.

Tell us something about your recent successful campaigns & more on how the workflow for each of these campaigns started, right from its conceptualization to execution.

The award-winning BharatMatrimony Happy Marriages TV commercial is a good campaign to talk about here. It took two years from concept to execution. We gave an exclusive preview to our members via an email campaign and to our fans on social channels. The feedback was amazing to say the least. It garnered several thousand views on Youtube and dozens of mentions on social channels. And the TVC after it went on air was ranked among Top 10 Ads of 2013 by the Economic Times Brand Equity Consumer Panel.

From the entire marketing budget, how much is allotted to social media marketing in terms of percentage? Has the budget allotted to social media marketing increased over the years?

It has increased in the last few years and we will continue to invest further in what we believe is a medium on which our customers are investing much of their time.

What are the kinds of tools you use to analyze the effectiveness of your social media campaigns? How do you measure your social media ROI?

We’re using a couple of tools I can’t mention at this point in time. For BharatMatrimony, ROI is in terms of the profiles acquired, visitors driven to our key services and delivery of a superior customer experience.

How useful are targeted Facebook Ads? Have they been effective enough in building prospective leads or visits to your website?

Facebook is a key part of our marketing campaigns and gives bang for the buck. It has been a very effective medium to acquire profiles.

Why do you feel it was crucial to build a matchmaking mobile app? Is it because of the increased use of smart-phones? Tell us more about the features that makes it cool for people to download your app.

Our audience is the focus of all our activities. And when we saw them going mobile, we moved in early. BharatMatrimony has always been in the forefront of mobile technology pioneering a match making mobile application that has grossed more than 8,00,000 downloads and over one lakh users accessing the service on a daily basis. The app is ranked four stars by more than 18,000 users.

Once you download the app, you can search profiles based on your preferences and with a single touch contact members directly. You can also refine search based on personal likes, browse profiles, shortlist them and do much more. It allows you to engage intuitively. The app offers members the convenience, flexibility and a wide choice of profiles on the go, letting people “express interest” and find matches faster than before.

With 850 M mobile phone users, 200+ M internet users in India (of which 72+M are rural internet users) and 27+M mobile internet users in Rural India (Source: IAMAI), the world is indeed getting connected on phones and the net like history has never seen before. And we’d like to ride this smartphone wave.

Do you feel the approach to matchmaking has changed in the new generation? Give us a basic profile of the users of your app. What is the percentage of new conversions & repeat usage of your app?

Yes, a significant trend has emerged. No longer are people skeptical of online matrimony services as was the scenario a decade ago. Infact today, most people’s first match making choice is online.

Most of our mobile app users are young eligible women and men, although a significant percentage of parents too use the app. More than 8,00,00 people have downloaded the app and over a lakh use it every day. And the app usage is fast increasing.

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