Empower my brand
Empower my brand

How should responsible brands behave in the aftermath of Covid-19?

The impact of Covid-19 is just beginning to unravel. Nobody knows the ‘endgame’. Is it a drug, a vaccine, tests or a period of continued lockdown?

It’s a period of uncertainty. The P&L projections for 2020 that you drew up are meaningless. And it is impossible to make any projections. The virus seems to be in control. The virus will determine what the future will look like.

Since everything on the ground seems to be coming to a standstill, CMOs and senior marketing professionals are contemplating what to do. How to navigate this uncertain future.

At this time, any responsible brand should just stand by its consumers. You may wonder, how, and to what end?

The very first thing you should do is to listen. Listen to your consumers who might be asking questions, seeking information and guidance on how to safeguard themselves and their families.

Everyone, including your brand & marketing teams, should be on standby. After all, this is an apocalyptic emergency!

By actively listening and responding to consumers, in general, you’d be able to alleviate some of their concerns. Any help during such trying times would be a significant help.

Your help, advice or guidance could be directed towards:

  • Consumers who do not direct their questions to your brand, product or service but to anyone who could help – make a genuine, informed effort to help consumers.
  • For those consumers who come to your digital assets to provide feedback or ask questions – be available to respond immediately.
  • Walk the extra mile to assuage the concerns of your consumers. Be transparent and explain why you are unable to help if you aren’t able to. People will understand.
  • Show intent to help and actual delivery. Lip-service using a “canned” response is not the need of the hour.

Great brands survive upheavals with great resilience because they have the consumers’ best interest in mind. They form bonds that endure recessions. Consumers rally behind such brands after the clouds scatter.

Great brands also listen to their employees and others in the ecosystem. And in times of chaos and uncertainty, brands become even more actively available to resolve issues, as best as they can.

This is such a time. It is a ‘black swan’ moment which we’d all remember for a long time. The brands that stand by the consumer, actively listen and respond will be remembered for decades.

So, dig in your boots and be available, with your ears to the ground. When the Covid cloud disappears, you’d find that your efforts have earned your brand tremendous goodwill and invaluable equity.

Communication during the COVID-19 Outbreak

The World is going through one of the worst pandemics experienced and we just can’t ignore the elephant in the room. 2 months ago, the streets were bustling with people but today the world is a very different place, with cities and entire countries on lockdown and people facing a situation similar to ‘house arrest’. During the times of such a global crisis, your brand may get impacted despite the best marketing and communication strategies.

Crisis Communination during COVID-19 Pandemic

However, there’s no time to waste on worry. If your brand is facing a crisis, it’s time to adapt and to prevent further damage

Implement your Crisis Management Plan

Brands generally do have a contingency plan for dire situations. But this global pandemic has caused even the most prepared global companies to go into panic mode. In case, you don’t have a plan or if your plan doesn’t account for the current situation, there’s still time to make amends. 

Establish a Team for Crisis Communication

Before you establish the rest of the strategy, identifying a core team is essential as your employees will be somewhat disconnected when working from home. This team will need to be in contact with everyone, determine who your internal and external stakeholders are and put a chain of order in place. In this crisis situation you’ll need a clear head to voice the final decisions. 

Set Communication Guidelines

Once the team is in place, everybody needs to be on the same page. Discuss and release a broad guideline for communication. This manages the flow of information to employees and external stakeholders. The guideline could answer some key questions:

  • Does the brand need to publish an official statement?
  • What message does the brand want to send out to clients/prospects now?
  • Will there be further updates and when?
  • Who should respond when issues crop up? Create a chain of command and a hierarchy for escalations.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Depending on the nature of your business and the exact nature of the internal/external crisis being faced, you will need to come with your own plan in response to a given crisis. 

Keep Calm and Reconsider Ongoing Projects

The situation is pretty bad and the World is in a state of panic – True. You don’t have to come under more stress, in an already difficult situation. So take a deep breath before you cancel everything. You now have a crisis communication strategy in place. What about your marketing communication strategy? No need to panic because most of it happens online. What’s more, when things go back to normal (which they will very soon) you will still have a business to run. 

So, it’s going to be business as usual.

Go through your work pipeline to find all the marketing activities which could still be carried on. We are talking about activities like:

  • Digital content and blogs
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media marketing
  • Online advertising 
  • Collaborative promotions etc.

However, at this time it is essential for you to not sound insensitive. Look at each element without losing focus on the crisis and consider the following:

  • Is this contravening the communication guidelines?
  • Could it further inflame the crisis situation? Or, leave you red-faced?
  • Does it sound inconsiderate in the face of this crisis?
  • Does it help to resolve the crisis?

For instance, at this time when travel is being dissuaded, promoting travel packages could sound foolish.  

Keep Monitoring and Analyzing

Lastly, it is crucial that you be vigilant at this time. Use the data you have with you to understand the changes happening around you. Monitor your social media and industry news to track the changing trends. Trends are changing every second now and hence it is important for you to not miss out on them so that you can make informed decisions, now and in the future. 

Remember, at the end of it all your business will still go on. It is necessary for you to remember and also remind your stakeholders that there’s no need to panic. When you start panicking, things can only go from bad to worse. We need a sense of solidarity at this time, as the entire world is fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our wishes go out to each and every one of us, as we battle through these tough times. 

Ideas on Good Instagram Captions

Running a simple search on Google for “Instagram Caption Template” produces around 2,22,00,000 results. This only shows how seriously people take Instagram, their feed and the content they put up. And chances are, you are already a part of this crowd which likes to put real thought into Instagram captions. You’re absolutely right to do so because irrelevant content isn’t going to help your brand in any way. 

Ideas for Instagram captions

So What is an Instagram Caption and Why is it Important?

A picture tells your audience a story, but are your audience members receiving the same story you want to tell them? Using Instagram captions for your pictures ensures that your audience receives the message you’re trying to convey. For instance, in the following picture, the caption explains why Pinterest India randomly posted this picture of muffins. The caption reiterates their vision of empowering people and helping them discover things they love. 

Pinterest India

We understand, coming up with a great caption that intrigues your audience and telling them an engaging story at the same time takes a lot of effort. But it does not always have to be that difficult. Here are 3 easy ways you could think of some good Instagram captions. 

Keep it Simple and Set the Tone

First and foremost, the general theme and captions you use have to be in tune with your brand’s style. You cannot keep juggling between tones and styles. Second, you have a character limit of 2200 on Instagram but that doesn’t mean you have to write a novel. Keep it as brief as possible and try to pique the interest of your readers. Also, remember a good caption isn’t always neutral. Set a clever, humorous or sentimental tone to your caption. This will encourage consumers to interact with and respond to the post. If yours is a travel page for instance, one funny caption could go “I need a six-month-long vacation, twice a year”. 

Use Emojis

We have a whole post dedicated to why emojis are fun to use. Even if you’ve missed that, we all know Instagram is a fun place. Even giant brands like Pepsico and Netflix are busy making their content fun, informal and friendly. One sure-shot way of doing that is using emojis. You don’t even have to put much thought into it. Say you are posting a big announcement, use this icon of a megaphone ?. Just one small icon helps you create a cool caption and makes your audience recognize you for the friendly hip brand you are.

Call to Action!

Your ultimate goal is to increase the engagement rate on your posts. Once the engagement level goes up, Instagram’s algorithm pushes your content to be more visible. More visibility means more business revenue. This means you’ve reached your goal, but you’ll need to put in the effort to keep your audience engaged. A good caption has a clear call to action. Do not hesitate to ask your audience members to follow a link. Or if you’re trying something funny ask them to tag a buddy, or comment on some popular theme, song or tweet. Anything that strikes up a conversation is good for you. 

Zomato engagement post

The Instagram generation loves confident content which exudes a sense of playfulness. It doesn’t always have to be a pre-planned, pre-approved string of words. A picture of a cake with a couple of hearts as the caption can also win the Internet over. Be aware of your audience’s sentiments, keep listening to their comments and you will know how to build on your Instagram reputation. ?

Social Media Audit: 7 metrics to track

Social media auditing is about to become one of the most important tasks for brands in the near future. The reason for this is not difficult to seek. The World will see over 3 billion social media users by 2021. Brands are going to have this immense opportunity to reach out to one-third of the world’s population. But when you are trying to send out a message to attract customers, you have to keep track of all your efforts to see what’s working and what’s not. 

social media audit

You can seek a variety of insights from the sea of information available online! To evaluate the performance of your online marketing campaign, choose what to analyze. Initiate a social media audit using these metrics, and track your performance:

What Information to Expect from a Social Media Audit?

Social media auditing can dig up plenty of information. However, too much information can get things muddled up. Look for the metrics you need to track for your specific needs. Who is your target audience? Track demographic information if you are not quite aware of it. 

Consider tracking some of the following metrics. They make up the basics of any social media auditing campaign. 

Measure Social Media ROI

Measuring social media ROI is always on the mind of every marketer. One can’t possibly put a number to quantify how much or how little social media boosted their sales. However, measuring the impact of various marketing activities is different. You can estimate the reach, count the number of interactions and the type of interactions, and the overall sentiment, which lets you know if you’ve reached the target audience. 

If the numbers aren’t satisfactory, it won’t reflect much on sales. And you’ll know it’s time to fix such inefficiencies.

Build a Better Social Media Strategy

When you study the performance data, you will notice obvious glitches. These insights help you zero in on the problems you are currently facing. Social media audit lets you know about the sentiment around a particular campaign you are conducting. Let’s say, you notice a sudden peak in negative sentiment. Your customers are worried about ordering from your store due to the “COVID19” pandemic. You know now what you need to fix and why people aren’t buying. You can act instantly and send out posts to reassure them your brand is taking necessary measures for their safety. 


This is just one instance where social media auditing comes to the rescue. Social listening tools that offer social media auditing allow for real-time alerts which in turn help your team to respond effectively to customers. This further helps you to build stronger bonds and retain customers. 

Knowing your Audience and Content Marketing

Even a novice could tell you the importance of segmentation and positioning. If you can’t find your target set of audience, you might as well try selling your product/service to a non-living object. When you perform social media auditing, you know who interacts with your content, and how they feel about it. When you have these insights, it assists in further processes like planning your content marketing strategy. 

Competitor Benchmarking 

Who doesn’t wish to stay ahead of their competitors? Make social media auditing tools your undercover spies. The competition analysis does a comparative study and highlights your strengths and weaknesses as compared to the competition. You can leverage your strengths and work on your weaknesses while also doing better on what you know to be your competitor’s weaknesses. Turn their customers into yours, by offering a better service. 

Industry News

The growth of your brand isn’t completely in your hands. Some of it depends on how your industry, competition and environment are doing. And it is critical that you stay alert to danger signals. When there’s chatter online, a social media auditing tool picks up on the news and alerts you to the direction your industry is headed in. When you track the sentiment about your brand, product and the industry; you tend to understand customers’ preferences and their needs. You are getting an overview, the larger picture. 

Influencer Marketing

If influencer marketing also forms a part of your marketing strategy, social media auditing can again be of help. One of the most common complaints marketers raise about influencer marketing is the difficulty of finding the right influencer. This complaint gets resolved easily when you rely on a social listening tool. These tools let you pick out the right person by zeroing in on the accounts of people who have a similar niche and a massive engagement rate. 

Despite all these measures, you might notice some occasional dips and spikes. These changes are sometimes seasonal or dictated by an event. This makes it all the more important for you to be vigilant. If you can’t be online all the time, let these AI tools help you. 

A Perfect Product Launch on Social Media

In a world where people spend every minute online, it is very useful to understand how consumers interact with brands. Social media sites play a major role in how people discover products and services these days. As of 2019, product discovery via Instagram has seen the highest growth. It is at 48% which is 18% up from the last two years. According to a study by Curalate, 47% of the consumers who discover these products, also buy them at a later date. Social media definitely plays an important role when your brand is planning a perfect product launch. 

Product launch on social media

If you are asking, ‘Why is social media growing as a product discovery channel?’, we would say ask yourself, why not? After all, It’s not only cost-effective, scalable but also upholds creative freedom online. This makes it the perfect platform for a successful product launch. However, there are a few things you may want to know before you attempt a perfect product launch on social media. 

The Pitch for a Perfect Product Launch on Social Media

Planning for a product launch can be nerve-wracking. You expect big results once you’ve put in so much effort and investment into it. The idea is to reach maximum visibility possible and increase audience engagement. Here are some steps where we have tried to break the process for you. 

Plan your Goals and Prepare a Content Calendar 

Even though product launches are about creating a buzz amongst your audience members, you have to start planning your content calendar early. This is a really critical stage. This does sound like a daunting task but think about it. You don’t want to postpone things to the last minute. When you are launching a product, you need to have your social media marketing strategy in place. This is essential for a smooth process flow and to ensure consistency and alignment. 

A few things that you should readily include:

  • Photos or videos 
  • Product description/captions
  • Email marketing content
  • Ad copy 
  • Landing page for the product
  • Blog posts
  • Giveaways or details of other contests 

This is a lot, right? But you’ll thank us later. Once this is ready, you do not have to worry about last-minute approvals from Facebook or last-minute changes. You have everything prepped, you launch your product and start using social media analytics to measure the results. 

Also, planning ahead helps you map out your content in accordance with your brand goals and KPIs. Do you want more engagement? Go for giveaways. Want direct sales? Go for promotional posts or influencer marketing.  

Keep Building the Hype

If you want your product to perform well, people have to know about it. The most direct way to ensure that is to create hype before you actually launch the product. The most common way to start this off is simple. Use “coming soon” posts. This sets the perfect prequel to your final product launch. Sometimes brands use cryptic and mysterious messages to keep the audience guessing. An alternative to ‘coming soon’ posts would be countdown posts. It doesn’t always have to be a product-related promotion. If yours is a service-related company, you can start posting discount offers in countdown posts. Use your imagination to think up more possibilities. 

Coming soon marvel posts

Hashtag Analysis and User-generated Content

If you are planning a product launch on Instagram or Twitter, hashtags are the perfect tools to use. Couple your promotional post with trending hashtags or even a brand hashtag. This helps you to reinforce your brand identity and also, helps keep a check, in real-time with hashtag analytics. Using hashtags also encourages your audience to engage more with you. 

When you are putting forth a brand hashtag, your audience will start relating your brand to it. This helps with increased awareness. This also affects user-generated content. When a user tags you and the brand’s hashtag, you know your actual reach. This in turn also leads the user’s followers to your brand. 

Frito-Lay recently launched a campaign trying to combine brand hashtags and product launches. Users were invited to share flavor ideas, tagged with the hashtag #DoUsAFlavor. The campaign attracted a massive following and helped build the hype for the final product launch. 

Lay's do us a flavor product launch

Any decent social listening tool also allows you to track hashtags and provides you with the required analytics. This further helps you correct your strategy if something is not working out. If you decide to collab with an influencer, mingle your brand’s name with their’s and come up with a unique brand hashtag. Set it up on your dashboard and keep tracking the reach, the engagement et cetera. This also helps you to track how effective the influencer marketing campaign is. 

Social listening and other AI-driven MarTech tools have made it easy for you to stay on top of product launches or other marketing campaigns. We have tried to explain a few such use cases before on the blog, give it a read. Maybe you’ll find them useful. 

Instagram Hashtag Analysis: An Essential Guide

We’ve talked quite extensively about the importance of Instagram hashtags in our previous blog posts. There’s no doubt that it has become a rage among marketers for all the right reasons.  Using trending hashtags for your posts makes them more discoverable. It’s estimated that about 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on this platform. Perhaps you are already using hashtags for your posts. Are you using the right ones though? How are they boosting the performance of your posts? There’s a way to know – Instagram hashtag analysis. 

Instagram hashtag analysis

Why Should you Invest in Instagram Hashtag Analysis?

First, if you are investing your time and efforts into Instagram marketing, you’d want to see some results. Using hashtags is the best way to maximize your views and it’s nice to understand how well they are performing. 

Hashtags on Instagram work almost like a search engine. It’s a key feature of Instagram, one that helps marketers know which post is trending for which hashtag. This way, you stay on top of things and can attempt to gain new followers/audience by striving to make it to the top for the hashtags you’re using. Hashtags allow non-followers to view your content and then engage with you if they want to. This obviously makes Instagram hashtags important. And to work with hashtags and run a successful campaign, it is essential to keep a track of the metrics. Instagram hashtag analysis helps you with all this. How? Read on. 

Follower Count and Branded Hashtags

Social media platforms allow brands to foster and grow a large community for themselves. But how to know how big your audience actually is? Most brands rely on the number of followers they have as a measure of their audience size. Unfortunately, this metric is not entirely correct. 

You tend to rely on the follower count thinking that if a user has willingly followed you, they are interested in your brand.  However, some of these followers may not be truly interested. Some of them may have followed your brand a long time ago after they saw an ad. It is possible that over time they have lost interest or perhaps they don’t engage with your content as much anymore. Can you count them as your real followers? 

Instagram hashtag analysis can help you here. Branded hashtags tell you the real story. Branded hashtags are hashtags used exclusively in correlation to your brand’s mention. They don’t give you strict numbers but it will help you gauge the number of active audience members. The brand Coca Cola, for instance, has a follower base of 2.7 million. However, what is more, impressive is, the brand’s hashtag #ShareACoke has 659967 posts. This only means that Coca Cola has a massive fan base that is active and is willing to talk about and promote the brand. 


Design your Campaigns Better

If you’ve been looking for a way to connect your online and offline marketing efforts, branded hashtags are the way to go. Say you launch a campaign where the customer needs to click a photo at one of your stores and upload the picture using your branded hashtag. This helps you connect your offline and online presence and it does not stop at that. Tracking this branded hashtag will actually help you gauge the success of the campaign. 

Instagram Hashtag Analysis Guides your Content 

Invest in Instagram hashtag analysis and your content development team will keep thanking you. Content ideas are the most straightforward insight you could get from Instagram hashtags. The analysis tells you which hashtags receive the highest engagement. Build a list and start developing your campaigns and content around it. Follow the accounts with the top posts in each hashtag category, take inspiration and your post could be trending the next day. 

To wrap it all up, we suggest you try a social listening platform that offers an all-in-one solution for this. Instagram hashtag analysis is also a great way to discover influencers. You could practice all of this using a single platform. 

5 Powerful PR Tools to Beat Your Competition

Businesses have been using PR tools and techniques for ages now. But 82% of marketers used to say they have no way to know the returns they receive through PR. Which was true, but not anymore! 

Previously, PR used to be downgraded because it didn’t offer a way to measure its results. But the recent developments in using AI-powered PR tools has proved a game-changer. The question now is not about using PR. It’s more about which is the right PR tool for brands to use. 

PR tools

Times are really changing for the popularity of PR. AI-supported PR tools to help you measure more than the returns on your efforts. And if you’re looking to pick the best tool stack, here we go. 

How to Evaluate PR Tools?

PR professionals excel at relationship management. They manage people well and can leverage their contacts to help client companies. So an ideal PR tool needs to aid this process. A powerful PR tool helps you tap into niche markets, find new contacts, and collate relevant updates to maintain your current contact base. There are tools to both automate and personalize this process. 

Measuring metrics like website referrals, media mentions, the share of voice et cetera can help analyze your earned media accomplishments. A powerful social listening tool or a PR tool will help you track website referral conversions, the users who frequently mention your brand et cetera. This information can help you strengthen your PR efforts in the long run. 

Which are Some of the Best PR Tools?

Let’s dive into the actual essence of this post – the tools that can be of aid to you are:


It’s a great combination of a social listening, analytics, and PR tool. Auris provides you real-time alerts on everything you need to know. Though tagged primarily as a social listening tool, it’s also a great choice for professionals or PR agencies. It helps you deal with multiple client accounts and receive alerts for each at the earliest. Map keywords and stay ahead of current trends and industry news. Auris helps with online reputation management and can aid in your efforts to build a strong relationship with social media influencers


Auris is especially useful for PR because it helps you flag and prevent online reputation-related crises moments in real-time. Rumors, false information or even bad reviews take seconds to spread internationally in today’s wired world. Without a proper alert system, it can take hours for a company to zero in on the mention and respond appropriately in time. 


For PR professionals trying to connect with new prospects and automate first-contact emails, SellHack is a great option. This tool provides a 12-step verification process for your prospect’s contact emails. You can also use it to customize your audience on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. This could be of help when you are working with multiple clients and via the same platform. 


Outreach Plus

You can multitask with this tool as Outreach Plus allows you to send mass mails yet you can personalize them to include details about the contact’s hobbies or interests. This software further helps by tracking the responses and triggering an automatic quick email chain based on the response. 

Outreach Plus


If you don’t work with prospects only via emails, this tool will be of help.  Close is one such CRM tool that allows you to automate calling leads, record and then transcribe each call for any information you may need in the future. 


Muck Rack

Muck Rack is a useful tool for pitching to prospects. With this software, customize your reporter outreach, and track metrics related to each message. You can also manage and organize to see your brand’s relationship history with each journalist. Also, create reusable pitches to save time.

Muck Rack

An effective PR campaign is the first step towards a  strong online reputation and a streamlined marketing process. Try the tools mentioned above and find your best fit.