The number of people online today in India is greater than it ever was before. Currently, there are around 450 million internet users in the country and this number is likely to increase to 650 million by 2021. But what is more significant than just these numbers is that a majority of these Internet users will be coming, not from the big metros, but from the smaller towns and villages of India. Along with a shift in audiences, there has also been a change in the way audiences access the Internet and what they do on it.
In the first edition of our Digital Leadership Summit, we discussed how measuring ROI is one of the biggest challenges for digital and content marketing. For a brand to capture the next billion Internet users in India, finding a way to adapt to the new market is essential – which is exactly what we will be addressed at the 2nd edition of the Digital Leadership Summit by Social Beat. In this edition, marketers and brands can get a closer look at the biggest challenges and upcoming trends in the digital space from the reigning experts in the field. As a sneak-peek, let’s take a look at the three factors that have emerged as indispensable in a brand’s digital marketing strategy: video, voice and vernacular.
In 2016, Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of Facebook’s operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa predicted that in 5 years, Facebook’s newsfeed would comprise of videos alone. At the time, this claim sounded far-fetched. However, going by recent trends, video content will soon become the most important type of content created for the Internet. Each day, around 100 million hours of video content are consumed on Facebook alone. When Indians aren’t watching videos on Facebook, they’re watching them on YouTube. As per YouTube Brandcast 2018, the world’s second largest search engine currently has around 225 million active monthly users in India, with this number set to increase to 500 million by 2020. A majority of these users watch videos to help make purchase decisions. Clearly, the fastest way for brands to capture the attention of their target audience will be to make engaging, easily understandable videos to tell brand stories. Check out our case study on how Cholamandalam Finance harnessed the power of videos and vernacular content to widen their reach.
At the Google for India summit in 2017, the growing importance of voice search in India became even more evident. The Google year in search report also mentions, around 28 percent of all Google searches in India are through voice. Even more significant was the fact that a majority of these voice searches were conducted in vernacular languages. Hindi voice queries are growing by around 400 percent year on year. India is also witnessing the increased usage of personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Home. The advent of voice search points towards a fundamental re-thinking of tried and tested SEO strategies. Since voice search results only pick up the most relevant result (usually the featured snippet), digital marketers will need to optimise their content to ensure it is voice-ready.
Two of the biggest developments in India’s digital story in recent years have been the steep drop in smartphone prices and the availability of affordable high-speed internet, catalysed by the Jio network. Both of these factors have led to the growth of internet audiences from tier 2 and 3 cities and towns in India. For marketers, it is attracting these audiences and not the urban population that will prove crucial. A study found that around 70 percent of Indians trust regional content online more than English language content. If brands want to engage with the next billion internet users in India, the way forward is vernacular content. Currently, Tamil is the most used regional language online with 42 percent, while Hindi follows closely with 32 per cent. To tap into this huge potential, a strong, comprehensive strategy with end-to-end messaging in regional content is indispensable. Read our case study on how a multilingual approach generated 90% growth in leads for further insights.
Apart from these indispensible marketing strategies, the session will also throw light on how artificial intelligence will change the way marketers work. The newer emerging trends around AI, chatbots and machine learning, have proved to be a game-changer in digital marketing, working wonders for brands across all sectors. Immersive experiences like virtual tours of an apartment even before a site visit have added much-needed value to the content being consumed by potential buyers. Automation and machine learning have also pushed smaller brands to adapt programmatic advertising.
Does your marketing strategy tick the three V’s and marketing automation? Find out how your brand can gear up for the future at the 2nd edition of the Digital Leadership Summit by Social Beat. Our first Digital Leadership Summit covered the rise of digital marketing in India, but the digital landscape has changed drastically since then. Register now to get the latest industry insights from some of the biggest names in the field!