Here is a glimpse of ongoing online marketing trends in India. I have discussed the following trends in details:
- Content Marketing Is Here to Stay
- Smartphone/Mobile Domination
- Social Media Engagement: Facebook and Twitter
- Search Advertising
- Influencer Marketing
- Mobile Payment Apps
- Facebook Live
- Video Advertisements and Social Media Integration
1. CONTENT MARKETING IS HERE TO STAY
With machines learning and automation, resources get freed up. Now businesses can focus on core processes.
Marketers will be able to focus on what’s really important — developing “truly personal and relevant content that speaks to their customers directly.” – Brendan O’Kane, OtherLevels.
Multiple channel strategies require content optimised for each channel and dispensed in multiple formats while maintaining a seamless and consistent brand experience.
Content Marketing generates 3X as many leads as compared to traditional outbound marketing.
Marketers believe that blogs and social media are one of themes effective ways to deploy and distribute content for their respective companies.
Various content marketing tools and resources used by the brands are shown in graphic below.
The following graph from Octane Research illustrates how content marketing is helping brands and institutions.
2. SMARTPHONE DOMINATION
Google has started offering app indexing in its search engine. A mobile responsive site can be an asset in attracting mobile crowd, but soon it is estimated that apps will replace them. We are several years away in replacing websites with mobile apps as a medium, but companies should now focus in add adoption for its business.
The number of Indian Smartphone shopping app uses has increased drastically to 54% in May 2015 from 21% a year ago, according to Nielsen report.
For Eg: Myntra was the first company to offer app only shopping, shutting its website and transitioning users solely to its mobile application in May 2015.
It was also believed that women will drive mobile shopping, but men were actually adopting the technology and driving sales online. This could be due to:
- male appetite for technology
- often men are the one who make the payment
Women are seeing catching up the trend, however they are largely shoppers of grocery or fashion items. Men often purchase electronic items, one of the largest viewed and purchased segment in ecommerce.
The Indian shopper has started to embrace shopping on the go, as they are also lured by festive sales, cashbacks, gift vouchers and special in-app promotions. They often compare prices on various websites before making a purchase decision.
“Brands do have to adapt to the fact that their products and services might need to be retooled to be more easily consumed over mobile. That’s the actual frontier, and it’s old news. But product and service innovation is difficult, and costly, and will largely be ignored.”-Ashwath Ganesan, National Head of Planning at OgilvyOne Worldwide
3. SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT:
According to Statistics by SmartInsight, India has 375 million active internet users, out of which 136 million are active on social media.
The most popular network among social networks remain Facebook, followed by Google Plus and Twitter. Facebook has 136 million active users where 76% users are males and 24% are female.
ShopClues launched their BhaiSaab campaign to drive sales on Sunday. The campaign had a humorous and a quirky appeal to it. The brand smartly integrated the TVC with the social media platforms. A separate twitter account and Facebook page was created to drive engagement and create buzz around their campaign.
The brand also smartly used Dubsmash, a mobile application to grab users attention.
ShopClues was able to attract thousands of likes and followers in just first few weeks. The highest post reach was 56000, whereas 17200 replies on Twitter.
— Bhaisaab (@O_Bhaisaab) December 5, 2015
How Social Media is helping the brands?
- Integrating the TV advertisement with social media leads to a strong amplification of campaign.
- Visual content with daily exposure leads to an emotional connection with the audience, leading to a better brand recall.
- Active engagement with the customers builds trust and leads to better sales conversion.
- Experimentation with newer apps such as DubSmash always pays off and creates brand visibility.
- Viral Content can lead to Increased shares and likes, leading to a trusted word of mouth and conversions.
4. SEARCH ADVERTISING CANNOT BE IGNORED
In India, the total digital advertising revenue amounts to 1491.7 million USD.
The market’s largest segment is the Search Advertising with a market volume of 737.6 million USD.
With ongoing Social Media Buzz, Brands cannot ignore search advertising. Using remarketing and PPC advertisements on Google, brands can reach to a significant targeted audience. Remarketing tools help in brand exposure, and thus lead to conversion in case a user has abandoned the cart.
5. INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer marketing is the strategy of linking with influential people as the brand loyalists for positioning your product in the market. It is a big buzz word these days, as there are number of blogs and social media profiles being used for brands promotion.
Influencer marketing is also termed as Word Of Mouth Advertising 2.0.
FMCG and startups are the major industries engaging with influencers and bloggers to promote their products. Companies often indulge themselves in holding events exclusively for bloggers and giving them exclusive first hand news. These bloggers and influencers then promote these brands on Social Media Platforms, leading to audience interactions and brand awareness.
A Burst Media survey highlighted that brand mentions or promotions within a blog influences buying decisions of 65.6% blog readers.
Companies like Amazon have successfully leveraged Influencer Marketing. With Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon has always been working hard towards at inculcating reading habits. Amazon launched it #CrazyForReading campaign with two of India’s Best Selling Author: Ashwin Sanghi and Amit Tripathi to endorse Kindle.
The films captured the authors’ reading habits on the e-reader and took the viewers through their journey of reading books to now reading on Kindle. The two authors also highlighted helpful features of the product.
6. MOBILE PAYMENT APPLICATIONS
There is also a boom of mobile payment wallets offered to customers.
The ability to book movie tickets, pay bills, shopping, pay at online stores, recharge dth/mobile and so, has created a “sticky factor” with users.
These mobile wallets also offer attractive cashbacks on paying through them. Brands have started leveraging this cash back opportunity, and have collaborated with this mobile wallets to give certain amount of cash back on purchasing from their website.
For Example: Cleartrip, a travel booking site offered Rs. 300 on single and Rs. 600 on return domestic flight booking when paying through PAYTM.
Statista findings indicates mobile wallets are widely popular in age group of 25-34 years, with 1.7m users and the users are expected to increase to 18.8m by 2020.
The below chart shows the top mobile payment applications in india and time spent by users in min/month in Dec 2015. It can be seen PayTM is clearly leading the pack with 39% users, followed by free charge and mobikwik.
7. FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEOS
In January 2016, Facebook made its live videos feature available for everyone. Now, you can broadcast in real time to your fans and followers.
As you are shooting the video you get insights on who is watching, liking or commenting on your video.
The video is also automatically saved to your timeline, as soon it is over. It gives you advantage of sharing it again or simply tweeting about it.
How Brands Can Leverage Facebook Live Feature?
1. Behind The Scenes:
Brands can show what is happening at the back end. Show the people how the product is made, what your work stations look like, how people work and relax, how the product is packed and dispatched etc. People simply love out of the usual routine content. This can build trust and create engagement for your brand.
2. Broadcast Live Events:
Are you holding or attending a conference, seminar, speeches or general meetings? Share with the fans live. Don’t just capture the event, but also try and engage with the fans. Talk them through every bit of the event, as if they are attending the event. Answer the questions posted in the comments section and generate ask questions as well, to drive curiosity and engagement.
3. Host Interviews:
You can host interviews with celebrities, ambassadors, clients, employees or other important people. Branding is all about personalisation and people around. So let these people talk and your audience will definitely listen.
4. Private Q&A
Brands can also hold a question and answer session with their fans. The Q&A session can be on a certain topic of informational importance or simply about the brands products and services. Brands can also invite eminent personalities or influencers to answer fans queries.
5. An Online Sale
Yes, you can have a live sale online on limited products or limited stock. Give the fans attractive deals, instant shipping, free goodies, vouchers or coupons with the product purchase. This may require a prior intimation to the fans, so to get maximum viewership.
Brands can make this sale weekly or a monthly event. This will build their anticipation what you will offer next.
In US brands are already using this feature to drive sales and engagement on social media platforms. You can check examples of such Brands Using FACEBOOK Live Here.
8. VIDEO ADVERTISEMENTS
Videos ads have been there for many years. With platforms such as Facebook and Bing already offering brands video advertisement option, and youtube hosting million of videos, it can be seen that videos will definitely encourage engagement and influence buyer decision incessantly.
Google is also working towards showing video advertisements in its search result, thus bringing in more revenue for Google.
Video Advertising comprises of in-stream video advertising (pre-rolls, mid-rolls, post-rolls) and in-page videos displayed on a website accessed via desktop PCs or shown on mobile-enabled websites or apps (includes YouTube).
In India, Video Advertising amounts to 99.9 million USD in 2016.(statista.com)
It is estimated that video advertising will increase at 63.89% annually and will achieve a market volume of 1,181.8 million USD in 2021.
How brands use video advertisements in their Digital Campaign?
Brands have smartly integrated their TVC in their social media campaign, thus increasing the reach and engagement. With Facebook’s auto play video feature, users don’t have to click on play button of a video, leading to more views and exposure.
Ariel #sharetheload Campaign
It was launched in first quarter of 2016, and was a huge success.
The campaign emphasised on gender inequality at home and invites men to pledge to #sharetheload, dispelling the myth that laundry is only a woman’s job.
This resulted in 2.1 million men pledging to share the load and creating a social movement for gender equality.
Here are some advantages of Video Advertising:
- According to a survey by Insivia, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.
- 80% of users recall a video ad they have watched in past 30 days. This can definitely lead to better brand recall and awareness.
- Due to its audio and visual appeal, brands are also able to build trust with their customers.
Users have started accepting video ads online and it is expected that we will see video ads popping up in unexpected places.
The digital world is changing everyday. It is totally upto the companies how quickly they adapt to these changes and design their marketing plans accordingly. These are some of the latest trends on going in online marketing and will eventually develop with time.
Feel free to share your views and ideas in the comments section. Which trend do you find most useful? Share any other trend that I have missed. I will be more than happy to read your ideas.