A while ago we shared the worlds’ best digital marketing blogs which covered a comprehensive range of the kind of content that is being created and shared worldwide. And then we got to wondering, how well-versed is the Indian market with the digital era?
In 2014, we witnessed an increasing number of Indian brands going digital. From Real Estate to HealthCare, players across industries have ensured that they get their digital id cards and access to the world of online marketing for we all know that the future is going digital, so might as well board the ship to future!
Boarding the ship just won’t do. The key is to keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends and digital discoveries and use them to the best of your capabilities to expand your business. After all, digital media is all about growing. So, after a lot of back-breaking research, we got down to rounding up some of the best digital marketing blogs in India which could help you guide your way forward in the online space.
Founded by Aditya Gupta and Ankit Gaba, Social Samosa is the provenance of high-toned content which encompasses of agency highlights, in-depth case studies, interviews with prominent icons in the digital world, campaign reviews along with tips and tools that could help you grow profoundly in the social media expanse. The idea is to help businesses understand the world of social media locally and globally. We do guest blog at Social Samosa and you can check our post on Kickstarting a digital agency. Here are a few recommended blogs from this hub of knowledge –
One of the blogs we refer to on a more-than-regular basis to keep up to speed with the advertising world. Afaqs is a one stop destination for all things related to advertisements and marketing in the digital space. What sets Afaqs apart is that there is a lot more to take away as compared to any other content hub. Right from tidbits about industry’s who’s who, online trending campaigns, guest articles by prominent figures from the ad world, social media statistics to new revelations in the digital world, Afaqs covers everything! We found these articles most interesting from last week –
Like Campaign Asia, the blogs at Campaign India cover the trending topics in digital media and they act like a solo powerhouse of information that is adequate for online marketers. The content found on this platform is mostly news and opinions from the digital world. Some of the most popular blogs are –
Focused mainly towards entrepreneurs who are looking to create a footprint in the world of digital marketing, Social Beat blogs cater to a variety of industries. The content in the blogs aims at helping businessmen understand how different strategies can help them grow their business online. The blogs are enriched with quality insights and goal-oriented strategies. The founders of Social Beat, Suneil Chawla and Vikas Chawla strongly believe in delivering explicit business results to their clients and that’s what inspired them to share such content.
From latest news to top digital media trends, Lighthouse Insights provides everything. Timely interviews with eminent personalities from the creative world are also covered in their content hemisphere. These articles are something to look forward to for people who love nibbling on digi facts and understandings.
Indiblogger is one of the largest blogging forums in the country. Bloggers from all over India share their understanding, thoughts, opinions, experiences which are more or less first hand content. The best part about first hand content is that it is experience and understanding rich. What’s more? The content is segregated under various categories. So if you happen to be looking for content related to marketing, all you have to do is select Business > Marketing & Advertising under the IndiVine tab.
This is also an excellent forum to share your content and achieve visibility for the same
He is one of those few marketing professionals who dare to think beyond the horizon. Sorav Jain is famous for his social media marketing proficiency and is respected in the industry for it. This young lad was included in the list of “Top 25 Social Media Professionals of India” and went on to organizing events like India Search and Social Summit 2010. His blogs are the perfect reference for online marketers who are looking for content which talks about marketing campaigns in depth and numerous case studies. His blogs also delve into a lot of dos and donts for industry specific marketers. Some of the blogs we recommend for you are –
Lakshmipathy Bhat is one of the top bloggers in India and one of the top notch advertising professionals in India. What started as a medium to convey his opinions and views on advertising as a business has today become a center where news & views related to the ad world ( traditional & digital ) are shared. Most of his posts are about advertising campaigns noteworthy – global and Indian. When a good TVC or an ambient digital marketing idea catches his attention, he pens down his views and thoughts about it. Subscribe to his blogs, because they are loaded with his keen observations which are hard to come by.
Popular for its social media listening tools, Simplify 360 blogs give us great insights about the topics that trend online and help us discover the world of real-time conversations that come extremely handy in the process of brand building online. The content shared here is based mostly on social media monitoring and helps marketers understand the depth of the campaigns online. In order for a brand/business to grow in all dimensions, it is necessary to stay updated with the digital marketing trends and be able to bank on real time engagements. With the help of the insightful content that is shared on this platform, the whole process just gets easier.
As the name suggests, the type of content available on this forum is purely creative. Founded by National Award Winning Cinematographer and an ex-advertising creative professional, Paramvir Singh, this blog forum talks all about ads and how creative they are. For a business to become a brand, it is important for a degree of creativity to be present because end of day, that’s what sets you apart from the rest and helps you break the clutter in the market. So all things desi and all things creative, this blog will give you a great deal of understanding of the different levels of creativity in the digital space.
Exchange4Media was set up for publishing niche, applicable and quality content for the advertising and media professionals. It is more like a one-stop information board that caters to the entire media industry with analytical data, news, and detailed opinions that matter, in-depth analysis of events, tracking trends in the marketing world. The best part is all the branches of marketing are covered here, be it traditional or digital.
There is no magic wand to predict what 2014 will bring for us. There will definitely be innovations in digital marketing and communication. Predicting trends is a fun exercise nevertheless and here is our take on key trends we can expect to witness in the new year.
Political Parties will invest significantly in Social Media
With the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the emergence of the AAM Aadmi Party, we can expect significant investment of time and marketing spends on social media. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi is already one of the most popular Twitter celebrities with over 30 Lakh Followers and newly elected Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has nearly 10 Lakh followers. The action in the online political space is bound to heat up.
Social Media for Narendra Modi in 2014
2014 to be the year of the Mobile Web
Mobile Commerce has long-held promise in India, but looks like 2014 will be the year when the promise turns into reality. Large ecommerce websites like MakeMytrip, Flipkart and Myntra are seeing ~15%-20% of the transactions coming through mobile already. If you run a business, it’s the right time to think through a mobile strategy (just building an app won’t do!) and ensure that your customers can transact with you through their mobiles.
Mobile Phones has opened up many sectors for innovation
Improved User Experiences
In a bid to optimize websites for search engines, many websites had poor user experiences. With refined tastes of the Indian consumers, we are seeing even decade only businesses like Makemytrip.com go in for a fresh and lean User Experience. 2014 will see increased usage of tools like A/B Testing of the website, Heatmaps and consumer studies to get the User Experience right.
Social Media moves from Push to Talk
Two-way Communication on Social Media
Many businesses have been using social media like a TV Channel. The story has been – keep pushing messages and spending on Advertisements to get your voice heard. Going forward, brands will need to create content which engages in conversations with users – else, brands can except to get lost in the sea of content being produced online.
Clear ROI on Digital Investments
Many Brands started investing seriously in digital marketing only in 2013. In 2014, brands will expect to see clear ROI for the digital investments. We can expect granular tracking of what’s working and what hasn’t, with a shift to online channels which have a higher ROI.
Would be great to hear from you on which trends you agree with and disagree with – please share your thoughts in the comments.
The meeting of Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1995 at Stanford has to be the most historical rendezvous ever in the online world. Technically, the duo has been in business together since 1996 and that makes it 17 years. But then, Google filed its incorporation only in 1998 and they celebrate 15 years today. From being an academic research project (Back Rub) to literally running a monopoly in the internet domain, it has phenomenally come a long way.
In perspective, we explored few fascinating facts about Google in terms of revenue. Google’s revenue in 2012 was roughly US $ 50 billion and it’s ahead of the GDP of 89 individual countries in the world in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). And also, Google earns 2.7 % of India’s GDP (nominal).
1998: The Google website originally hosted on Stanford University servers.
Google Website on 1998
Evolution of Google’s search page from 1998 to 2013: In the RHS of the image, you could see the empty space without any information in 1998 for the keyword “google.”
Google Search Result Page on 1998
This is how a search page in 2013 looks when you type the same keyword “google” – A revolutionary change has happened from auto complete, universal search, instant search, knowledge graph to finally including intelligence features in 2013.
Google Search Result Page Today (2013)
Google’s first doodle for its birthday came in 2002. There’s an interesting fact about when Google has been celebrating its birthdays since 2002.
Doodles Since Google’s 4th Birthday
2002 – Sep 27
2003 – Sep 8
2004 – Sep 7
2005 – Sep 26
2006 – 13 – Sep 27
Do you guys observe a pattern here? We’re not sure if Google uses a specific algorithm to celebrate its birthday every year 🙂 Since Google has finally zeroed in on September 27th as its birthday for the past 8 years, we hope it continues in the future too. Happy Birthday Google 🙂
Ernst and Young (EY) recently launched the a report on trends in social media marketing in India. They went to about 50 companies across the country to understand how are marketers and digital agencies leveraging social media. While most of these companies are mid to large size, it throws up some interesting insights. As EY calls it, these are the “social media-savvy organisations”, who are possibly by and far fewer in percentage terms compared to other countries.
The study interestingly also looks at how does an organisation measure social media marketing efforts, and also what could be the future of social media. Though the report is 27 pages long, we have given a summary of the most interesting insights:
Social Media Usage in India
95.7% of the social media-savvy organizations that were surveyed by EY use social media to build communities (more engaging for the consumers), while 76.1% use social media as a platform to highlight brand news (which in our view, may not necessarily be as engaging as building a community). In terms of generating leads, only 43.5% of the organisations use it to actively help their sales efforts.
Not surprisingly, Facebook tops the charts as the most important and most influential social media channel. There is a wide gap in terms of usage between FB and the 2nd and 3rd ranked platforms Twitter & Youtube. The study also shows that around 29% of the organisations don’t plan to use Google Plus in the near future. This is in spite of the fact that Google+ Local is increasingly becoming more integrated with Google Search (we will be writing more on this in our future posts). We agree with Prasant Nair of Lighthouse insights when he says “I believe integrating networks over social media is the future for Indian brands.”. This is surely the way forward and even all digital efforts need to be integrated with offline marketing efforts.
Content & Consumer Engagement on Social Media
The study validates a known fact that brands in India show special favor for their online fans and consumers. It could be in the form of prompt customer service or in the form of giving special deals. EY also quotes the According to Lighthouse Insights study, where in the period from 1 January –31 May 2012, out of Airtel’s 34,991 tweets, 33,928 were replies. For Vodafone, out of 1,015 tweets,1,013 were replies.
Blogging and Content will be the driver for social media going forward and the study shows that less than half the organisations actively engaged with the blogger community, inspite of a platform like Indiblogger. So what kind of content is currently going on the social media platforms? A majority of the updates are generic updates as opposed to brand led updates. This increases the connect with the fans. This could be showing the tired cheerleaders after Gayle’s 175.
Social Media Advertising & Spends
Close to 83% of the organisations surveyed said they advertise on social media to promote their online campaigns and also for overall brand visibility. 89% of felt the results were achieved. But this is an interesting question to ask as to how do they measure the ROI on social media? Disappointingly 81% said that they measure results on social media through platform specific parameters like Likes, Plus Ones etc. Almost half the surveyed organisations have not measured sales, leads or revenue from social media. This lack of clarity on ROI is surprising because they spend between 1% to 5% of their marketing budget on social media marketing. Inspite of there being no result focussed approach, the surveyed organisations are optimistic about the future of social media. It does brands engage with consumers and create communities but a result oriented approach is required. You can see some of our case studies on healthcare and ecommerce of how an ROI approach has helped achieved desired results for client.