Home > The Growth Genius Podcast > Episode 2 – Create Growth Via Facebook Ads

Episode 2 – Create Growth Via Facebook Ads

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In episode #2, we will discuss with digital marketer Manik Singla on how to effectively promote a brand and business on the social media king – Facebook. With his immense knowledge about the digital marketing industry, Manik shares some valuable tips about dos and don’ts about promoting through Facebook Ads. This episode will help you in acquiring new customers and building better brand awareness on the internet.

What we wanted was for sales to go deeper into the audience psyche and see, “why should I get an ad (of say) a Calvin Klein which I would never buy?” So, it is the duty of a digital marketer also not to be very intrusive and not to show random ads to a user which a lot of people do get. Random ads which are not interesting are just a waste of the money on the ad spent, right?

Some of the important points that are covered in this segment:

  1. What are Facebook Ads? (3:23)
  2. What would be the usual cost of Facebook Ads? (5:04)
  3. How can we start with Facebook Ads? (6:23)
  4. What are some of the important aspects of Facebook Ads? (21:06)
  5. How to become Facebook ad marketer? (26:16)

[00:24] Kaushal: This is episode number two of the Growth Genius Podcast, powered by Infidigit. Welcome friends to the Growth Genius Podcast. My name is Kaushal Thakkar. I am the founder of Infidigit and your host for the show. Each week, I interview geniuses who have created phenomenal digital growth for their organisation. We discuss the key techniques and share insights to help you learn and create your own growth story. Since the last decade, Facebook has become an integral part of our lives. Since most of us start and end our day with Facebook, it has become a preferred channel for marketers to connect with their target audience. The topic for today’s discussion is “Create growth via Facebook Ads,” and we are going to learn from our guest how to optimally reach the target audience via Facebook ads. Our guest today is Manik Singla, head revenue and digital marketing, Spacejoy. Manik is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and has created growth for several other organisations like Myntra and Cleartax. An engineer by degree, a marketer by heart, Manik has worked across FMCG, e-commerce, and FinTech domains. Manik, thank you so much for being on the show.

[1:48] Manik: Thank you, Kaushal. It’s a pleasure being on the show. How’re you guys doing today?

[1:53] Kaushal: Doing well. It’s raining over here in Bombay. And how is it in Bangalore?

[1:58] Manik: The weather is pretty good. However, these days the number of Corona cases are going up quite heavily. So, it’s getting scarier day by day. Yesterday we had almost a thousand cases of corona. But yeah, it’s good staying indoors, staying safe. Yeah!

[2:15] Kaushal: Okay, jumping on to the topic, for the people who do not know you; please help them with your corporate background.

[2:22] Manik: Hi everyone I’m Manik, and currently I’m working with Spacejoy as head of revenue and digital marketing. And for people who also don’t know Spacejoy, we are a new age online interior designing firm; we weave the art of interior design with the science of technology. We create really ultra-realistic 3D 360 looking interior designs for people to see before they start their project. Anyways! Before Spacejoy, I was working with Cleartax. I used to lead the marketing at Cleartax, and before Cleartax, I worked with Myntra taking care of digital marketing efforts at Myntra. Overall, if you see I have also done a fair amount of social media marketing very, very interesting stuff, interesting to see not just how to run paid campaigns, but also how to drive organic views on social media.

[3:18] Kaushal: Manik, some of our audience, may not be aware about Facebook ads. Kindly explain it for them.

What are Facebook Ads?

[3:23] Manik: Yeah, sure. So, advertising on Facebook is available in many formats. These days Facebook has opened up many different kinds of formats, Facebook and Instagram, and Facebook also has tied up with a bunch of other advertisers and other publishers, where you can see Facebook ads. The best thing about Facebook ads is that it’s very easy to start. And it can be very simple, or it can be as sophisticated as a user wants. What happens is that Facebook allows a user, an advertiser, to you know select audiences via self-serve platforms select audience, you know, put some money, and launch an ad. So, if you see on the…let’s say if you’re scrolling on Facebook, on your Facebook feed, you will see an ad which will be a link called ‘Sponsored.’ So, that is an ad from Facebook. The advertiser can select an ad or set up an ad basis – age of the user,   the user, interest of the user, what smartphone the user is on. All those things are different parameters which can be used. It also gives quite a good lot of analytics and numbers to track the performance of the ads, metrics like impressions, reach and CTRs.

So, what it helps at the end of the day, it kind of creates a level playing field. Anyone and everyone can get onto the Facebook ads, and even a small business they can increase their reach phenomenally by putting on a Facebook ad.

[4:56] Kaushal: Great, and when you speak about the ad and you mention that okay, how to run the ad? What would be the usual cost of a Facebook ad?

What would be the usual cost of a facebook Ads?

[5:04] Manik: The one-word answer is it depends. It depends a lot on what kind of ad someone is setting for. So, there are different objectives of ad types. You can be setting an ad to drive traffic to your website, you can drive installs of your app, you can look at driving video views of your app, or you can also drive conversions on the website. So, there are multiple different kinds of objectives. It also depends on what kind of audience are you bidding? Are you bidding for an audience, let’s say, which is a very niche audience looking to buy hi-fi speakers? Or are you targeting a very broad audience, let’s say, someone who’s looking to buy an earphone or a smartphone, which is the majority of the Indian population. Yeah, and it also depends on what kind of industry you are in, if you are in the retail industry, or are in the real estate market. Real estate market definitely will have more people bidding for it, and higher ad spends. But on an average, if I were to really, you know, take a bet like put a number, I think, in India, the average CPM, the cost per thousand impressions, go anywhere between 30 to say 100 rupees per CPM and cost per click can be around 3 rupees to 10-12 rupees, which is on a decent size base and not targeting a very niche base.

[6:20] Kaushal: Manik, how can we start an ad on Facebook?

How can we start with Facebook Ads?

[6:23] Manik: Starting a Facebook ad, it’s pretty straightforward, I would say. The first step, an advertiser has to do is to set up a Facebook page for your business. Once the page is set up, you can start posting the content on your page; the advertiser can post it on the page. Now, there are two options available to an advertiser.  The user can directly ‘Push,’ or it’s called ‘Boost’ in Facebook terms, the post from the page. There are a few options available to target users. That’s not very complicated, that has a limited number of options, a limited number of things you can play with. But that is one way to start pushing it directly from the Facebook page.

The other way which has a lot more options, a user can play with many targeting options, many more things, that is setting up a Facebook ad account. So, you can just go to Facebook Business Manager, it’s business.facebook.com, set up an ad account for yourself. Add your credit card details and everything. Once the ad account is set up, then the user can start with setting up a campaign. Now, setting up a campaign on Facebook is a three-step process. The first step is creating a campaign. So, what does that involve? It involves telling Facebook what kind of campaign you are going to set up. What do you want? What is the objective of the campaign? Are you looking to drive traffic to a website? Are you looking for creating post engagements or looking for app installs or looking for video views? There are almost 15 odd, different options available. Once you understand that, once you put that, maybe, if you want to have an overall budget, you want to have an overall budget of the campaign, you can put that.

Once you set up the campaign, you move to the next level, which is called an ‘Ad set.’ Now,  in the ad set, it’s a very important part in the overall campaign, the ad set phase, a user defines who is he targeting, what kind of targeting does he want? As I told earlier, it can be based on interests, location of the target audience, interests of the target audience, age of the target audience, gender of the target audience, some kind of Facebook interests and everything of the target audience. An advertiser can also retarget audiences. By retargeting, I mean, audiences which have come on to their platforms on the website or on offline stores that can also be retargeted through Facebook. I’ll speak about retargeting in a bit. On the ad set level, once the targeting is set up, a user can now set up the budgets. Does he want a daily budget or a lifetime budget? He can set up the date, the timelines, the flight details of the ad, from what date to what date the ad should run, on what hours the ads could be run. And then the user can also select what platform. So Facebook, as I told earlier, within the Facebook platform, users can target Facebook, Instagram. So within Facebook, there will be Facebook, Facebook stories, Instagram, Instagram Stories, and many other options. And then there are audience networks which are networks created by Facebook with a few publishers.

So,  a user can select where he or she wants to set up an ad on any of these platforms. And then lastly, on the ad set, the user can select what the ad targeting or bidding type which he or she wants. Do you want to do impression-based targeting or do you want a little, you know, maybe bidding on link clicks or bidding do you want to bid say on an app install or some have some other factor which is lower down the funnel. All of this information you need to provide in the ad set level. Then once the ad set is set up, the third and final step is creating an ad. Now an ad is where we define the creatives. What images to use, what video to use, what kind of images to use. Do you want to use a single image, or do you want to use a carousel?  By carousel, I mean multiple images. Or do you want to use a video where there are many, many things which can be used for different kinds of things? Facebook also provides a lot of tools and these days to create videos within Facebook, and then you add the headline, give the CTA, give the link out of the ad. Once all of these things are done, your campaign is set up. It might sound a little too much, but it is not.

Facebook is very, very easy for a first-time user to go into, and to start. You might make a few mistakes, but it is very easy to learn how to set up a campaign on Facebook. I just want to go back on my points on retargeting. Another power of Facebook which really helps any marketeer any user is to be able to retarget his or her audiences. Users who have visited the website, even subscribed to the newsletter, or signed up on the website or even know someone who has visited the offline store and given his or her email address. So, there are two options here – either an advertiser can upload the list email addresses list or phone numbers list onto Facebook to create a retargeting list. The other little more technical thing is where you take Facebook pixel, update that Facebook pixel and integrate that Facebook pixel onto your website. What would this help is any person coming onto your website will be recorded on Facebook, while you will not know what the information of the user is. But at least Facebook will create a list of users, create an audience of users who have visited your website. Then you can target them on a later date with different videos or with a sale or with any conversion that it creates.

[11:53] Kaushal: Thanks, Manik. Thank you for helping us with both the ads, the normal ones as well as the remarketing, and thanks for clarifying on the remarketing related details too. You would have many people who would be working with you. And they would just start their career with Facebook, and they may be joining you on day one and starting to build ads. What would the day look like for these junior team members of yours who are running Facebook ads?

[12:19] Manik: I think on the daily level what a user… what a team member and what I used to do on a daily basis was once you start your day, you have to look at all the campaigns which you are running, look at all the campaigns which you are running on the previous day, look at one how it has performed on Facebook, then you have to look at how it has performed which has actually performed once the traffic or anything has gone to your platform. Let’s say we are targeting a Facebook ad traffic campaign. So, when Facebook gives you all the information of how the ad has performed, CTRs and CPMs and CPCs.

So, one thing to check is all the CPCs are in control; all the CTRs are doing well. If the CTRs are not doing well, understand why the CTRs are not doing well, what is happening, what’s not happening. Then CPMs are under control, you know, you’re targeting who you’re targeting, it is not too small a base and all this. So, once you understand the overall numbers, then a user generally goes to the team member. Facebook marketer generally has to go to GA. We look at the numbers of sessions and the quality of sessions coming across GA, across different campaigns. So, it is possible that one of the campaigns is driving a huge number of volumes of traffic at a pretty cheap CPC. But the traffic which is coming onto your website is not doing anything. They’re just bouncing off; they’re not really they’re not buying anything leave buying, they are not even interested in scrolling up and down, they’re not even looking at other pages. So, it means it’s probably not the best traffic for you right. So, that is again another learning which you have to look at on a daily level. So, once you understand, this is the cost per click cost per click, CTRs, CTMs, then a user looks at GA (Google Analytics) or any other analytic whatever you follow, and they look at what is the cost per session, what kind of conversions have been created, what are the ROIs every day.

I think this is one of the very interesting and very important things is to look at ROIs on a daily level. Not just a one day ROI but look at seven day ROI, look at 30 day ROI, look at campaigns which you had set up the day before or sessions which had come the day before or last week, how are they performing today? So look at the overall ROIs of the campaigns.

So, the first hour generally goes in this, looking at the campaign numbers and everything. The next step is starting to improve the campaigns, starting to invest time into campaigns, looking at campaigns at a more deeper level, playing with the targeting here and there, playing with the numbers. Whatever campaigns are not doing well, play with the targeting, play with the creatives. Let’s say, if the creatives are not doing well then you need to speak with the graphic designer in the team or your agency and ask them to make changes to the creatives. You have to first understand what creatives to be changed, learn from what kind of creatives are doing well for what audiences, and then understand, okay, so these kinds of ads are more relevant to these audiences then create more kinds of similar creatives push those creatives. And so yeah, that’s how a day looks. Another thing is to create the reports and etc. which is to be shared with the higher management and with the rest of the team. And lastly, to plan for the next 10 days or 15 days looking at how you plan the rest of the month.

[15:43] Kaushal: Thank you for those insights. And Manik, the next question would be more in terms of your growth story which can be shared with the audience.

[15:53] Manik: Facebook marketing has played a very phenomenal role in my growth story. I started my career 6-7 years back. I started my digital marketing career with Facebook ads, and then slowly, steadily, I started learning different platforms. I started learning about social media marketing that has really helped me to understand the basics of digital marketing and take my learnings to other forms or other platforms in digital marketing. I would also maybe try to give a couple of examples where I would say, Facebook definitely helped us in reaching new goals. This is back in my days in Myntra when we had started app install marketing. We started off with Google ads, and Google ads, of course, Google ads search ads, they drive the best quality because the intent is super high.

But the problem with Google Ads is the scale is limited. It depends on how many people are looking out for the product. Quality is the best, the scale is limited. We were also trying out with a few affiliates. With the affiliates, they were giving us a huge scale, huge scale. But the quality of installs, by quality I mean, people signing up after opening the app, how many people are signing up, how many people are buying a product, etc. The quality of installs were not so great, paying decent money to these affiliates, but the quality was not great.

Once we started scaling up Facebook campaigns, Facebook campaigns which we were running. And once we started scaling up Facebook campaigns, that is when we realised that Facebook could not only give good quality traffic but also a good scale. There are 200-250-300 million people in India are using Facebook on a daily level. The reach which Facebook gives you is phenomenal. And I’m talking about five years back. The reach which Facebook gives you is phenomenal. And the kind of creatives. Also, there is this multi-fold so many options. You can run you know sale campaigns; you can run story campaigns, you can tell a story to your audience, a very beautiful story to your audience. So, Facebook definitely helped us to scale our app install campaigns back in the day. I think another interesting story or campaign I would like to share with the audience is when we created 10,000 different videos for a campaign.

[18:12] Kaushal: Ten thousand did I hear it correctly?

[18:14] Manik: Yeah,10,000 different videos for one of our sales campaigns. What happened was, this was one of the big sale campaigns in Myntra. And we wanted to give a user a lot of our audience, the people who I am targeting on digital marketing, a lot more personalised experience. What we would generally do is, we would run 15 or 20 creatives targeting audiences, but not just maybe there was some kind of targeting available which was like men or female, young and old and that kind of stuff, but not too much. What we wanted was for sales to go deeper into the audience psyche and see why should I get an ad of say, Calvin Klein, which I would never buy? That is just a waste of time, and effort and money which the user has never looked for in his life or same goes, why should the user be shown an ad for a Roadster or which he has never looked for? So, it is a duty of a digital marketer also not to be very intrusive and not to show random ads to a user, which a lot of people do get – random ads, which is not interesting. It is just a waste of the ad spend.

So, that’s where we thought why can’t make it more targeted? So, we created tens of thousands of ads, depending on various parameters, depending on the user location, depending on what brands he or she has purchased in the past, depending on the gender of the user, depending on which platform the user is, is he or she on Facebook or is on Instagram, depending on what kind of day of the sale is he, depending on what kind of the affluence of the user, and depending on what category. Is he more looking to buy  sports shoes or she’s more looking to buy a kurta or a pair of jeans, tops,  etc. So, all these parameters when we used, we created some 10,000 odd videos across a 15-day campaign. A pretty big challenge to create all these videos and then to, of course, we used the help of an external agency,  and a lot of things were templatised, but we created all these videos, and running these campaigns, setting up campaigns, and tracking these campaigns. A pretty big challenge, but we did it well. And I think the campaign was very successful. We got almost a 0.4% increase in conversion from these campaigns. I know 0.4% doesn’t sound a lot but that still it was in millions of dollars.

[20:48] Kaushal: Really interesting. Thanks, Manik. So, Manik while you have run so many campaigns, what are those other important aspects which you have not already shared with us about Facebook ads that will help us in getting the best results and the best conversion.

What are some of the important aspects of Facebook Ads?

[21:06] Manik: I think the first one would be that there are a lot of options available on Facebook, which a general marketeer does not use or overlook. One of them is that these days Facebook has given interesting ways to create videos. There are a lot of templates available within Facebook, which a user can use and create videos. And videos are one of the key important things to use in Facebook marketing. Earlier, we were always dependent on graphic designers on third parties to create videos, to create templates, to create graphics, to create designs. These days a lot of things Facebook has given that power to the user, to the marketeer himself. So that’s one. Another thing or maybe another couple of things. One thing is there is something called user insights, audience insights, which is again a tool to understand your audience. So, using that tool, people can understand a lot more about the audience and understand what kind of interest Facebook interests that your audience has. In turn, use these interest levels for retargeting or increasing the base of your audience. Let’s say, someone who is buying a product at your website. He or she is interested in five different TV shows. It means that it has these people who like these five TV shows, and who are not buying on your website can be a potential audience. So, this is kind of creating a look-alike manual look-alike audience. It also helps in understanding a little more about the psyche of the user. The third one is also…so these days Facebook has made all the ads public. So, you can go and all the ads and by the competition anyone running ads on Facebook is public knowledge, right?

You can go on to that library, and then you can look at what campaigns your competition is running or what campaigns others are running any category adjacent to your category. What campaigns are they running? What kind of creatives are they running and you can learn from them? You can go and understand what competition is doing. And then you can also maybe improve your creatives, your ads. So, that’s also a pretty nice, pretty good tool. I really like it. I really keep using it whenever I am short of ideas, you know, you go there, and you get hundreds of ideas, so what to do I think focusing.

[23:32] Kaushal: That’s insightful.

[23:33] Manik: Yeah,  just to extend that thought, I think focusing on creatives is very important. What a general digital marketeer does is focus a lot on the optimisation of numbers, on running multiple creatives, multiple targeting different ads, a lot of things a lot of time goes on numbers, and of course numbers make the backbone of what we are. But we probably do not focus as much on the creative, but creative is very important. We have to understand why a user is on Facebook. A user is on Facebook to consume content. They are consuming content; they are interacting with their friends, family. They are not looking to buy. So, what we have to do is we have to provide good content to the user be it an ad, be it a static ad format or be it in a video format and hence videos, video ads generally perform much better in terms of brand recall.  Overall, they perform better on Facebook. We should never lose that focus on creatives. Keep experimenting, understand which creative works well, what kind of creative will work with what kind of audience. But that emotion, that focusing on emotion, once you have captured the emotions of the audience, the audience has engaged with you, they have seen your video ad or they have scrolled through carousel ad or they have clicked on your first ad, then you can probably go and target them using a conversion campaign.

What we generally do is we generally go directly WAM!!! BAM!!! Hey, here is 20% off , here is 40% off. Just go and buy. Yes, sometimes it is successful. Many times it is successful, many times it is not. But if we do tell a story…and that is where marketing comes in. Telling stories is what we should be doing. And if we do that, tell the story, focus on creatives, I think there is no stopping you from getting the best result being successful on Facebook.

[25:38] Kaushal: Great! So, storytelling, creatives, video, those are the few major aspects which they need to focus on. 

[25:46] Manik: Totally. Yeah.

[25:47] Kaushal: Perfect! Manik, many of our audience would like to become a digital marketer as successful as you. But many of these people are still in the beginning of their journey, they’ve just graduated from college, and they’ve done some digital marketing course, and want to enter the industry. What suggestion would you have for these people? How do they get into the industry and become a Facebook ad marketer?

How to become Facebook ad marketer?

[26:16] Manik: That’s a very nice question, Kaushal. I think a lot of people I know, a lot of youngsters I know have asked me this question: How do I get into this industry? To be honest, sometimes it does feel a little difficult to get into the industry. It is a little close-knit industry but right now, I see that a lot of…every company, every organization is jumping onto this bandwagon. Everyone wants to go into digital and of course why not the audiences are there. The number one advice I would give to the audience here is to get your hands dirty. Of course, learning or doing a course gives you a good foundation, gives you a theory about it.

But until and unless you start using that theory, getting your hands dirty, getting on to the platform, just learning that platform, nothing beats that. Nothing beats the experiment, nothing beats the practicals, actually understanding what that tool does. So, getting your hands dirty. So, as I already told you setting up a Facebook campaign or a Facebook ad account is not very difficult. Once a user does that, automatically he or she automatically has an edge on other people who have never tried this. There are a few certifications also available. Facebook has their own certification. You can go to Facebook Blueprint. It’s called Facebook Blueprint. You can go to Facebook Blueprint, there are many courses available, there are certifications available. Of course, GA Google Analytics and Google have many other certifications.

Once you get certified, once you get your hands dirty, get a hang of things, then it becomes a little easy for you to start applying at various jobs. If by chance, if your organization does digital marketing, maybe you can start talking to people in that domain in that team, start working with them a little bit here and there maybe even if it is a pro bono thing, start talking to them, start understanding how to do they do things, start spending a little more time with them. That could always help you. If I were to say it in one line, I think it is learning every day. I have been doing digital marketing since like I think seven, eight years now and I learn every day  I learn something new and there are so many things to be learned. There are so many things to be done. There are so many things to learn. So, it is important to keep learning to keep testing, experimenting, doing things by yourself, and things will definitely fall in place one day or the other.

[28:49] Kaushal: Perfect! Thanks. And Manik, would the same advice be relevant for even those people now you mentioned that in the last seven-eight years, you’ve started doing digital? And today you are heading revenue and digital marketing for an organization. So not many people would have traveled this kind of journey in such a short span.

[29:12] Manik: Yeah, thank you.

[29:14] Kaushal: What would be the secret sauce over there? Which you would like to share with our audience who are already into digital marketing or are already doing Facebook ads? How do they grow in their life and move to the level where you are?

[29:27] Manik: Sure. I think you give me too much credit, to be honest. I think that sometimes things just fall into place. But what helped me was when I was early in my career, when I started doing and I started out with Facebook marketing, it is important these days to not just focus on one particular platform, but to also to understand how other platforms work. While it is very important to be an expert in one platform it is equally important to learn the basics of another platform. If you want to be holistic, you want to be a proper digital marketer, you cannot not understand how to say Google Ads work, you don’t have to be experts in one. So, we used to have a saying called, “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” And that was never looked upon well. I would say that I’ll just change that saying, “Jack of all trades and master of one.” While you need to be a master of one thing but you also have to be a jack of all trades. You also have to understand how other campaigns work and how other platforms work? What are the new things which are coming into the digital marketing ecosystem, how does programmatic work, How does media planning work? So, once you have an overarching understanding or basic understanding of a lot of these other platforms, it helps you to grow further in your career/

Probably after three, four or five years, you don’t have to run the campaigns on your hand, but you should always be able to advise your team to do better and how to do better. Another way of saying this is creating a T-level growth. A deep understanding in one and having a broad understanding in many other platforms. I hope that that helps the audience.

[31:25] Kaushal: Great! Yes, it definitely does. And it would be interesting for the audience as well to understand how to grow by learning from your growth story. And Manik one similar question to that would be what makes you remain growth-focused.

[31:43] Manik: I think what keeps…what I have been applying over the years is having one funda called “Less is more.” Many times what happens is we just go in and start doing many things, start experimenting on many platforms, start doing this platform, that platform, set up multiple campaigns at one go. What happens…while that is good, you know experimenting is good, but you have to understand when that more starts becoming ineffective. So, what I have always done and I think has helped me is while keeping a larger goal in mind, but taking short steps, small steps to reach that goal. If I have to improve my ROI by say 10 times, let’s say that is the goal. You have an ROI of 5 you want to make 50 okay that’s okay. That’s a big goal but yes that’s it. But you can’t just go run around, run behind it blindly once you have to start taking small steps.

Understand how small things can change a set of five campaigns and set one goal. Don’t set up 50 campaigns, don’t go running around five platforms. Just set up some one campaign on one platform, understand what works, and then double down on that, and then keep focusing on that. Another thing, which also helped me to stay focused is being consistent. Being consistent is a life mantra, wherever that can be applicable anywhere in any situation anywhere. You have to be consistent on whatever platform you’re running ads on. You cannot be on and off, on and off, on and off, you have to be consistent. You have to keep learning, keep doing things on a daily basis, being consistent on social media, being consistent on SEO, being consistent on blogging. So, whatever platform…so don’t maybe if you don’t have enough resources, don’t go running across all platforms. But once you start on a platform, then you have to be consistent on that platform. Then you have to continue doing that for some time. At least give it a proper chance then it should not be you guerrilla warfare will work here. It’s a long, long journey. Once people understand that, I think that that helps. The journey to successes is long.

[34:03] Kaushal: Perfect! Manik Facebook recently or a few years back purchased WhatsApp, do you think there would be WhatsApp ads running on WhatsApp soon?

[34:15] Manik: Oh, yeah. It has kind of already started. It’s very recent, this phase…the WhatsApp marketing is very recent, and there are a lot of queries, questions, and doubts on WhatsApp marketing. I would say that WhatsApp marketing has already started in one way or the other. One kind of WhatsApp marketing is what people do on a personal level. And it is in no way connected to Facebook and a lot of B2B companies have perfected this art of WhatsApp marketing. They call you…let’s say, “hey sir are you interested in buying a property or are you interested in this credit card?” They say yeah, okay, I’m interested and all these things. The next thing they do is should I send this out on WhatsApp and then they send it to you on WhatsApp. And it goes beyond not just a property or not just a credit card. It also goes beyond to say, even if someone is selling a SAAS platform. Somebody’s selling a SAAS platform, someone calls me, “hey Manik, are you interested in a new email marketing platform, which does these, these, these things?

I would say, “Sorry, I don’t have enough time.” The next thing he says hey why don’t I send you some stuff which we have and some stories on email as well as WhatsApp. I am okay on WhatsApp. Send it on my WhatsApp, I will look at it whenever I get time. So, that automatically creates that kind of a personal touch and gives that kind of leverage or a new channel that WhatsApp opens up for marketing and WhatsApp opens for communication between that user and this. So, this is where a lot of B2B companies have been doing it. And it is very organic and although difficult to scale, but it is not run through a platform, it’s a hack people have figured out. The other way which is how Facebook would like us to do or the going through the platform route is that there is something called WhatsApp business manager also within Facebook you can get WhatsApp number you can apply through third party. Facebook earlier started when Facebook acquired WhatsApp, Facebook gave out WhatsApp numbers, WhatsApp marketing licenses to a few companies in India. So, you would have seen Makemytrip and bookmyshow generally setting sending tickets etc. to the users using WhatsApp.

WhatsApp marketing right now is limited to transactional messages. Facebook does not want people to do whatever kind of messaging on WhatsApp. So, it controls the message which you send out, the template which you send out is controlled by Facebook. It has to be approved by Facebook before you send it out. There is another kind where you can send a user from your Facebook ad to WhatsApp also WhatsApp chat, and if a user interacts with you, then you can set up a chatbot, you can have a chatbot sitting or you can have a sales agent sitting, who can talk who can then interact with the user. So, there are a bunch of options available these days. Some of them are people who run it all by themselves. If you have a small base, if you have a B2B company, then then you can just create a strategy for WhatsApp. Do a call then send this, the second call send this, the third call send this. And if you want to run it through a platform, proper self serve platform, then you can go to a third party agency and you know, do either of these things, either a chatbot kind of feature or where a user initiates a chat or you can also send a templatized message. But that templatized message needs to be more transactional in nature, and not a proper promotional marketing message.

[37:48] Kaushal: Thank you, Manik. Manik, few last questions. We heard that you are an avid reader of any book or any online article that you would like to recommend to our audience or any website?

[38:02] Manik: Yeah, I think from the personal front I do read a lot of books and everything and on the personal front I really like to read fantasy-fiction and history-fiction books. These days I’m reading this book called “Wheel of Time” series. It’s an epic book. It’s almost as big as Mahabharata. It’s a 15 book series. If anyone here is a fan of fantasy, fantasy-fiction books, do ping me and I can suggest many other books. Another book, I think, which I can suggest to the users called “Thinking Fast and Slow.” It’s a book by Daniel Kahneman. It’s a very interesting book that shows how people think. It’s very interesting to learn and you know apply it to your life and as marketers, it is important to understand the psyche of users in general. So, I would suggest everyone reading that book. Haruki Nakamura is another author, which I really love, I think that people can also look at it. Sorry, Haruki Murakami, which is another author.

On the professional front, there are many places where these days, users can get a lot more information, YouTube being the one, the first place. There are many, many things available on YouTube for all kinds of questions and answers. There are a few podcasts which are available. There is a podcast by SEMrush which I generally follow. It’s a very interesting podcast, which SEMrush does. SEMrush has good content anyway.

[39:48] Kaushal: Perfect! Thanks for that input. And Manik, how can the audience stay connected with you?

[39:54] Manik: Oh, yeah of course. People, please feel free to ping me, look me up on LinkedIn – Manik Singla on LinkedIn. If there are any questions, DM me on LinkedIn. Of course, on Facebook I’m there on Facebook, I’m there on Instagram and on all social media channels. And if there are any other questions people can also reach me out on my email id maniksingla88@gmail.com.  I would be happy to help as much as I can.

[40:26] Kaushal: Thank you, Manik for sharing that. Any parting words that you would like to share with the audience?

[40:33] Manik: One thing is that, thank you, Kaushal. I would say it’s been a real pleasure and an honor to be part of this podcast. Just a few parting words I think on… these times right we have uncertain times with COVID and everything. There are a lot of people who are not getting good opportunities. Some people have been out of jobs. But what I would like to say is, when I passed out of college that was also a time of recession. That was 2009-2010, those were also some bad times. So, I kind of… I don’t know but I do empathize with people. It sometimes feels like the end of the world. I am a Civil Engineer by degree but by profession, I am a marketeer. So, this reminds me of something that Mr. Steve Jobs said in one of his graduation speeches at, I think, Stanford. He said, “he looked back and he said that he also skipped college and he attended random classes.” So, I kind of relate to that I didn’t get the best job out of college. Then I came to Bangalore in search of a job, I got into analytics, and because of my understanding of analytics and marketing, I could get into a digital marketing job. And slowly being in digital marketing helped me to understand more and more and I could say I am doing well in digital marketing.

[42:19] Kaushal: Definitely!

[42:20] Manik: So, I feel that things kind of fall in place. All you need is persistence and hard work. Don’t lose hope. If anything bad is happening, things will fall into place. Things kind of connect. And when you look in the past, things kind of connect. Stay persistent and keep working hard and there is no one who can stop you from reaching the heights and the success which you deserve.

[42:55] Kaushal: Great! That’s wonderful. Thanks, Manik. So, for me one major thing was being consistent has helped you a lot and definitely, we are going to read that book “Thinking Fast and Slow.” Manik, it was a great experience having a conversation with you. Thank you for being on the show.

[43:17] Manik: Thank you, Kaushal. Thank you. It was really nice to be part of this show and wish you all the best and the success of the show. And stay safe these days. Stay indoors. Stay safe.

[43:30] Kaushal: Thank you.

[43:32] Manik: Thank you.

[43:33] Kaushal: Thank you audience. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Growth Genius. I hope you learned something today. If you did, please share this episode with your friends and family. Also, if you haven’t yet, please subscribe to the Growth Genius show wherever you are listening to this podcast. And if you enjoyed the show, consider giving us a five-star rating. It helps other people like you discover the show. Thank you so much for listening, Now go out there and create growth for yourself and your company. Thank you!

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