I met Janet through a book group that reads and discusses books based on worldwide travel. She is American but has lived in several countries, and right now she is planning to move to India in the near future. She will be starting a new business of importing American wines for the rapidly expanding Indian market.
We had a two hour meeting, and her main goals were to find out how she could get the word out about her business with as little marketing costs as possible.
We spent the first half-hour or so discussing search engine optimization. She has many connections in India and is considering having an Indian IT expert create her a website for a very low price. I think this is a great idea, but there are some things she needs to be aware of. I explained how a well-designed website should use keywords in the tags to help search engines find it, and I explained the value of links.
This brought us on to the subject of blogging. She had considered doing it before, but wasn’t sure how. I showed her my favorite blogging site, WordPress. She was amazed at how easy it was to use. We chatted about guest-blogging for other, bigger sites, and her lifelong passion for wine, she said she had read some wine blogs and found their quality disappointing. We talked about subjects she could blog about, she had recently returned from a trip to California where she met with several winery representatives, and had a few stories and some lovely photos. She was very interested to see the excellent viewing statistics WordPress makes available to all it’s bloggers.
We skipped talking about Twitter too much. It’s not too popular in India, her target market, and I don’t think it’s particularly well-suited to her business. We briefly chatted about Pinterest. She hopes to expand her business in future to include food imports from the US to India, and we talked about what Pinterest is, and how it’s developing, and whether she could use it.
Finally we got on to the big one – Facebook. India is the country with the third most users in the world. USA has the most users, followed by Brazil, and then India. This is an even more interesting statistic when you consider that 50% of Americans are on Facebook, 25% of Brazilians, and just 4% of Indians! Only 4% of them are on Facebook, and the country is the third biggest Facebook user! As India’s economy continues to grow at the exponential rate we are seeing now, the country will soon be the second biggest user, how long before it gets to number one?
We talked about different ways to get new “likes” on Facebook and the sorts of incentives she could use to entice people to share the site and get the word out for free or close to free We also looked at the way she can target her advertising at the right people, and again, she loved the analytics Facebook make available to it’s users. Her target market is aged 25-34, and I was able to tell her that 28% of Indian Facebook users are in this bracket. The biggest age bracket is not surprisingly 18-24 (48%). She liked the idea of getting a following on Facebook, and then using it for market research, the wine market in India is so new, there are so many questions she wants to ask, this would be a great medium for her to find things out.
It was lovely to see her, as always, but quite useful to me, and I hope it was to her too. She has lots of marketing and promotion ideas that I was able to steal and store up for future use!