[Interview] Devinder Maheshwari, Beebom on being a tech blogger in India

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Social Samosa gets in conversation with Devinder Maheshwari, Chief Business Officer, Beebom - one of the upcoming tech blogs in India.

Maheshwari shares what led to the start of Beebom, the kind of the competition they have in the market and how social media has helped in driving growth and traffic to their blog.

What led to the start of Beebom?

We started Beebom in 2011. It was then called ( Actually, we didn't plan on pursuing it as a business or a full fledged company, one thing led to another and here we are.

In January 2011, when we were in the second year of our college and got the internet connection at our flat, we went curious with a lot of things. One fine night, Kapil (Kapil Jindal, CEO & CO-Founder, Beebom) asked me what is a blog and with my limited knowledge I told him that it's something celebrities create to engage with their fans through writing blog posts regularly and then I slept. Next day, when we returned from the college, Kapil told me that he created a blog for technology and had an idea to create a full fledged blog for technology where we can update people with the recent happenings of the tech. I said yes, let's do it.. and that's how it all started.

At that time, we just wanted to create a website for people where they can find a lot of useful information on tech and had no idea that it's an actual business. Also, at that time, we had zero knowledge of creating a website. We started learning ourselves, implemented one thing after the other and within 68 days, our website was ready. I proudly flaunted the website on my Facebook wall saying that the site's live!

And this is how it all began. It was 19 August, 2011.

How would you define the target audience of Beebom?

Let's talk numbers here. As per the recent study, there are 400+ Million Internet users in India and growing exponentially. As per our detailed study on user's behaviour, demographics and recent stats, we have found out that out of every 4 Internet users, 1 user is tech savvy and turns to the Internet for all their tech queries and purchase decisions and that's where Beebom comes into picture.

What makes you stand apart on social media from your competition?

When it comes to social media, one thing that we learned quite early is engagement matters much more than the total number of followers. And we don't have Millions of followers on Facebook (the number is 620K+ and growing strongly), but when it comes to posts' engagement, we beat most of the competitors in tech as well as other sectors such as Entertainment.

Also, when it comes to the posts' frequency, we keep it 1/4th of what the industry standard is, but still we manage to drive a much higher engagement than the competitors which is something commendable, to be honest.

If I have to talk numbers, on Facebook, on an average we see 7+ Million engagements on our posts and generate 5+ Million views on our videos in a month's time.

Which kind of content works best on your portal?

On the website, we have been doing a lot of well detailed resource articles which are basically tech tips, and tutorials on apps, software, gadgets, etc and they've been doing quite well. However, lately we're working on expanding the horizon through tech news, reviews, opinion pieces and exclusive video content for the website. This will definitely give the website a boost in the overall readership and reach.

When it comes to tech, things move very fast which is why there's a lot of news out there to be covered. If I have to give you an example, in just 10 years a phone can turn from a revolution to a collectible. Yeah, I am talking about the first iPhone here.

How do you monetize your platform?

We have partnered with Google, Amazon, VigLink, AdX and many other big companies for advertisement, affiliate marketing and social commerce which makes up for the major portion of revenue. We also have a sales department who takes care of brand partnerships, campaigns, etc which is again a significant portion of how we generate revenue.

What has been your strategy for increasing your followers base on Facebook in such a short time? Is it mostly through paid?

On Facebook, we've been generating useful content for the right audience which is atleast an ingredient for virality, if not the entire recipe. So, that works quite well for us. And we also use Facebook paid promotions from time to time, but not very heavily.

If I have to be more specific, I'd say 'Content is the ultimate king' accompanied by 'right timing' and that's all is there to social media.

Which social media channel have you been focusing more on?

At the moment, we're focusing on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram and we have been doing quite well on all of these platforms. If I have to tell which platforms we have major focus on, they'd be Facebook and YouTube and the sole reason for that is both the platforms have been encouraging videos quite aggressively. As it's evident that videos are going to be the future of how people consumer content on the Internet, we're focusing more of Facebook and YouTube. And yeah, we're yet to jump the Snapchat ship.

Your videos, seem to work well for your audience on Facebook or YouTube. What has been your strategy?

When it comes to videos, they're going to make up for the 80 percent of all the consumer internet traffic by 2019, as per a recent study by Forbes. What it actually means is there is a lot of demand for videos right, and what we have to do as a creator is to fill up that demand by creating meaningful and engaging videos for our audience on the current topics. This should be the only strategy one should have as a creator.

How do you plan to take it to the next level?

Our ultimate aim is to become India's biggest Technology Media Company and we're already half way through the journey. For the next half of the journey, we are expanding our team in all the verticals from extremely talented journalists to creative video editors to highly skilled programmers, data scientists and developers. Also, we're prominently working hard on producing more quality videos so that the ever-growing demand of videos can be met. Also, I want to mention about our one of its kind Exclusive Tech News App that we launched in May 2017. Within just first 4 months, we crossed 50K+ downloads on the app, all organic. So, we'll also be working quite aggressively on the app to make it a world class product which can be used by almost anyone in the world. That's all I can say right now!

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