Are you looking out for some really interesting, inspirational and power-packed events? Thanks to Covid 19, all of it has now moved online. Check out digital marketing webinars being done by Social Beat and DigiGrad.
Once larger physical events are allowed, you could possibly attend some of the biggest marketing and digital marketing events in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and other parts of India; that not just inspire but also give you an opportunity to network with the best marketers in the country. It’s an opportunity to listen to the finest in the advertising and marketing field – a forum that stimulates conversations and ideas around design, marketing, digital and more. You may also find it useful to read our book on digital marketing and view the Digital Bytes knowledge series on the Social Beat YouTube Channel or take up our digital marketing course at DigiGrad.
Here’s a quick glance into our compilation of top marketing events taking place across the country in 2021.
IAMAI is back with its signature event, IDS (India Digital Summit) on 19-20 Jan 2021. This year the central theme is ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ . The staggering increase in the total number of internet users in rural India recently presents us with the unique opportunity to establish India as a global powerhouse of Digital Growth. With over 150+ speakers its going to be a much anticipated event and award.
Often termed as Oscars of Indian ad awards, Abbys by Ad Club of Mumbai honours creative excellence in advertising. With a grand conclave and awards in Goa, its an event all agencies and marketers look forward to. It also organises Effies, which honours all form of effective marketing communications across India. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to Covid19 but we all hope to be back in Goa to celebrate creative excellence, soon enough.
Exchange4media organizes the Indian Digital Media Awards since 2010. It has always encouraged contributors in the 360-degree digital media space to keep getting better with the transformations taking place in the industry year on year. For this, it recognizes their talents, appreciates and celebrates them through these awards. It has showcased the work of many contemporary digital professionals and rewarded them for their beautifully executed digital blogs and viral campaigns. This event in itself is a huge networking opportunity for every business professional to connect and grow. Its 4th edition was held on the 4 and 5th of June, 2020. The 2021 dates are yet to be announced.
This is a grand event in Mumbai organized by the IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India). The event in its 16th edition, is an endeavour towards establishing a great comprehension of the modern methods and mechanics of marketing.
Major Speakers were MDs & CEOs of leading companies such as Group M and Pepsico, top marketing managers of Times Internet, Starbucks, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, eBay and Renault amongst others. There were Panelists to take the conversations to another level. The sessions were followed by networking breaks at regular intervals.
Topics of discussion revolved around Marketing in new age Digital India and around the globe that included:
Campaign India hosted its tenth edition of its awards on 4th June 2020 to honour excellence in digital advertising and marketing. Dates for 2021 are yet to be announced. Rechristened Campaign India Digital Crest Awards (CIDCA) in 2013, the property has evolved over the last nine years from its origins (as the Campaign India Digital Media Awards), to remain contemporary, relevant and inclusive of the dynamic changes in the digital ecosystem. It also features an award evening.
Having conducted 6 editions, Foxglove continues to be a signature event in the year by afaqs. Every year it aims to to add more sub-categories to accommodate the refreshing work done in newer formats. Foxglove has become one of the most revered advertising shows in India thanks to over 500 unique entities who have participated over the years. A unique aspect about the award is that its only open for agency or organisations that are less than 12 years old. After all, creativity knows no age.
Social Beat, one of India's fastest growing digital agency in India; conducts Digital Leadership Summit in Mumbai, Bengaluru & Chennai and online. This is a CXO event which brings together Business Leaders and CMOs to discuss how to drive business results through digital marketing and share innovation across Video, Vernacular Content, Voice, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. The business leaders and attendees would be from across sectors, including FMCG, BFSI, Real Estate, Entertainment, Education and Internet Businesses. The 5th edition was conducted virtually in the form of Digital Premier League in Oct 2020.
Exchange4Media group boasts of another event that it hosts, the Pitch CMO Summit. It is considered to be their flagship event which gathers some of the greatest marketing minds to discuss the latest, complex and challenging marketing trends in the global market scenario. Every year, the event is theme-based. The theme for 2019 was “Reinventing Consumer Experience”. At the Pitch CMO summit on 28th February 2020, leaders from the Industry explained how to concentrate on ‘the buy’, underlines the challenges, and highlight the opportunities.
Digies, an initiative by afaqs!, aims to celebrate creative marketing communication initiatives by Agencies, Brands, Production Houses, Design Studios, Creative Studios, and Content Creators, from exceptional use of social media to integrating multiple platforms, from use of hashtags to a 120-seconder video, and more. There are 38 categories to participate in. Aspirants can submit their work in single or campaign categories. Additionally, there are 2 special awards, namely: Brand of the Year and Agency of the Year.
Conceptualized by the online video analytics & marketing company - Vidooly, StreamCon Asia is a one-stop congregation for content creators, video platforms and advertisers from the online video industry in India. It is one of largest event of its kind in India with speakers and panelists from UC Web, Indigo Airlines, Eros Digital, Fab India, Oyo Rooms, Trent, Dailyhunt and more. It will also feature many content creators and YouTuber Influencers giving it a power packed event for anyone who is leveraging video content. The dates for 2021 are yet to be announced.
A niche awards night started by exchange4media in 2016, is now an annual summit. The last one took place on 2020. In the world of marketing, content has definitely changed the way marketers present their brands to consumers. As more and more brands choose creative content for engaging with their consumers, the need to stand out increases every minute. Indian Content Marketing Awards aim to promote and recognise this talent, expertise and hard work that go behind cracking breakthrough ideas & concepts to create exceptional brand stories. The Content Marketing Summit is also going to have an Asia Summit, so watch out for that too.
Adobe Symposium is one of the biggest Digital Marketing events in india. This event invites thought leaders in the field of digital marketing to redefine your experiences with Adobe partners. As their marketing promos claim – ‘Take it to another level, soar new heights like never before and extend your digital experience with courses straight from the Adobe Digital Learning Services’. Apart from these, there are several other reasons to attend this conference, including networking goals. This is the most sought-after experience for most digital professionals in today’s utmost competitive era and has been rightly defined as the event “Where digital marketing meets extraordinary experiences.” Every marketer looks forward to making the most valuable connections with their digital marketing pioneers and peers and if luck may have it, then with the digital marketing veterans and Adobe leaders too.
ad:tech is the original industry authority for marketing and media technology, where marketing, technology and media communities assemble to share new ways of thinking, build strong partnerships, and define new strategies to compete in an ever-changing marketplace. The 10th edition of ad:tech in Mumbai took place on 27th and 28th October 2020 - the dates for 2021 are yet to be announced. The summit will enable participants to explore the future of marketing and discuss the ever-evolving and complex landscape, focussing on how technology, data and content are helping brands win through superior Customer Experiences, regardless of the touchpoint.
Social Beat, a digital marketing firm is conducting an innovative forum called the ‘Design Beat’. It is a remarkable platform for creative minds to pool in their ingenious ideas and thoughts to come up with solutions that impact lives. Eventually, the solution nudges users and bring about a behavioural change. The design hackathon brings together like-minded problem-solvers to crack the problem with their wits and imagination. The event is scheduled for the 1st of November. Participants will receive exciting rewards for their resourceful contribution. Get ready to grab this wonderful opportunity to showcase your talent!
CMS Asia is a premier not-for-profit event organized by the thriving marketing community across JAPAC and ANZ. It is a must attend digital marketing event for every content marketer. This year the summit is being held in four different cities – Sydney, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai. CMS Asia will features speakers and attendees coming together to explore and discuss the various facets of content marketing, emerging trends, best practices and innovative though leadership.
The South Asia leg of the summit will take place in Mumbai on April 15, 2020 tentatively.
The 4th edition of VdoNxt Asia is India’s largest convention for those who live by the promise of digital video. It is the complete experience: listen and network at the conference; get in touch with the latest in technology at the exhibition, and celebrate the best work in digital video at the VdoNxt awards. The last edition was held on 29th January, 2020.
If you are based in Bengaluru, you may find it interesting to read our blog on Top marketing events in Bangalore.
Do feel free to comment below or reach out to us in case you feel any other event in India deserves to be a part of this list.
You don’t watch a show on Netflix without doing thorough research about it, do you? Then why compromise on research when it comes to marketing your product or brand digitally. While the internet has taken over the marketing world completely, good market research is still in trend. Market research plays an extensive role in digital marketing. It provides you with significant and vital information, and in a way can make or break your digital marketing campaign. This blog will give you an insight into some top market research tools to help you grow your brand.
But before we move any further into, let us understand -
Market research or marketing research is a technique that is employed not just by market research companies but sole traders as well, to collect information and gather insights about another company/brand’s target audience. If you own a business you would want to know where your customers spend most of their time, what are their pain points and preferences, what pushes them to buy your product, what holds value for them, and so on. Market research helps you to answer all these questions, design better products, and improve user experience. Market research analysts play a key role in market research companies as they are designated individuals who are experts in creating market research reports and essentially carrying out the market research process from start to finish.
Most of us shut our minds on hearing the word research and “geek-shame” it. I just came up with that term, but I am sure you know what I mean. All of us have million-dollar business ideas that we want to bring to life and market research never finds space in that to-do list. But let me tell you obsessing over your customers and getting them to know them up and close, is the only way to win.
Now if you are one of those who isn’t big on research but still wants to leave a mark which is not limited to your carbon footprint, you have landed on the right page. There are so many market research tools out there that will make your lives easier and help you maximize market research efforts. Lucky for you, I have done thorough research on them.
SiteProfiler, from Mangools.com, as the name suggests is one of a few market research tools that analyze websites, and compiles all your competitors' website statistics and SEO metrics in one place. All you need to do is enter a website URL and SiteProfiler will provide you with all the statistics about that website.
It shows all aggregated data - domain authority, page authority, citation and trust flow, rank, and so on. It also provides you with all the backlinks with top referring domains directed to a site.
Along with this, the market research report by SiteProfiler will also show you the top content the site has generated and where their major traffic comes from.
The main advantage of this market research tool is that it also breaks your audience by age, location, gender, interests, and so on. When it comes to competitors, SiteProfiler shows you the competitive landscape of the website along with relevant keywords.
One of the simplest and easiest market research tools that visualize data in the form of charts and statistics, making it extremely easy to decode it. SiteProfiler also has a google chrome extension and hence you can find insightful information about any website as and when you browse.
Other tools to measure statistics - Tableau, Statista
Originally an online search tool, Google trends is also known to be a great market research tool as it allows you to see how often specific keywords and phrases have been searched for over a period of time. It analyses Google searches and provides you with information as to how many searches were made for the particular terms and keywords along with geographical information about the users. It can also be used for comparative keyword studies and to discover spikes caused in keyword search volume due to certain events.
The best part is that Google updates the data on Google trends daily, but I would suggest that you take this information with a pinch of salt owing to the data sampling issues and approximations that might be employed to compute results. One more advantage that makes Google trends one of the more effective market research tools online is that it provides you with real-time data inclusive of the latest trends from across the globe. Many market research companies find the user-interface also extremely easy to use and navigate.
How to use it? Enter a search term in the search box at the top and see how the search volume has varied for that keyword over different locations and periods of time. You can produce more fine-grained data by changing the location, time frame, category, and type of search.
The data found in Google Trends can be used for several different marketing purposes :
Other tools for content research - Flipboard, Slideshare, Google alerts
Answer a series of questions about your ideal customers and this market research tool will generate buyer personas for you. Make My Persona is a free online market research tool by Hubspot that aids your buyer persona research and helps you organize and understand better. After answering a few strategic questions you will be presented with a personalized shareable persona sheet providing you with significant details about your target audience. Research and market to your ideal customers on a platform they spend most of their time on! You cannot get any more specific than this.
How to go about this -
Other tools to get social insights - Facebook and LinkedIn analytics, Social mention
This blog lists a few of the top market research tools available and I urge you all to take out some time and try your hands at each of these tools before you start your online market research as it will help you to identify your target audience efficiently, know what digital areas and platforms you should be active on, study the market, and identify the key influencers. It teaches you to keep a watchful eye on the market while providing a direction to your brand.
And since the digital landscape is changing ever so rapidly, consumer research is extremely vital. Without using the right resources to maximize market research efforts, your business can become lost and more so, become a prisoner of your assumptions. So put on your research hat, channel your inner geek, and get started!
Happy Researching! :)
Reach out to our research experts to know more about how you can create the right market research strategy for your business!
Recently India banned 59 Chinese apps such as TikTok, UC Browser and CamScanner, due to compliance issues and concerns over data privacy. TikTok influencers had built a massive follower base and had many brand deals that added to their source of income. But the ban had left these social media influencers without a medium to reach their audiences. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the number of active users on social media platforms has also significantly increased. This has led to the rise of many alternate apps such as Mitron, Roposo, Chingari, Bolo Indiya and now Instagram Reels.
In a move to capture the market share and move deeper into the short-form content space, Instagram has now introduced a new feature called Instagram Reels. Now you can create 15-second videos on Reels and edit using options like speed, timer, effects and audio. You can also choose the apply AR effects in your video. The audio option allows you to play music from the Instagram Music library or use your original audio. You can create multiple 15-second videos at a time and edit them separately using different options.
Instagram Reels allows the user to select the audience they wish to share their videos with. The videos created using Reels will be displayed in the Explore section and the Reels tab of Instagram. You also have the option to share the video in your feed and in your story.
Give Instagram Reels a try and create impressive thumbstopper videos.
During these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, more brands are trying to reach out to their customers digitally. With so much content floating out there, like thumbstopper videos and engaging vox-pop campaigns, it becomes difficult for a brand to capture the attention of a user online towards their offering. Facebook and LinkedIn, well-known platforms in the social media and networking space, have launched new features on their platforms to get more engagement from users online.
For all those bogged down with content in their feed, interactive content in the form of polls are an excellent way to engage your visitors and make them feel heard. You could ask them to share their opinions or perspectives on various conversations and trending topics. Polls can also help companies in their research to evaluate new introductions to their product line. Polls give an insight into the minds of consumers and what they expect from a brand.
LinkedIn has joined Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms with the launch of their new Poll feature. Just follow the steps below to create a LinkedIn Poll:
Once the poll ends, you can get an analysis of the poll with information such as the total number of voters, most preferred option and the selection percentages of all the options. This can help you gain insights on the respondents.
Gone are the days when you had to use a CRM tool to send out emails and another to manage your online advertisements. Facebook has now introduced an option to send Marketing Emails right from the Pages Manager App (PMA). Just follow these three simple steps to start sending emails right from your Facebook Pages App:
The additional benefit of using the Marketing Emails feature on Facebook is that once you have created your database of email addresses, you can create custom audiences to target those users on the Facebook Ads platform. If you wish to grow your target audience, you can also create a lookalike audience to the users matched through this database, based on their interests, preferences and behaviour on Facebook. These audiences help your advertising campaigns get better results, by increasing the relevance of the ads.
After a core update at the start of the year in January, Google has announced the next update to its algorithms early this month, on May 4th. Each update affects Google’s search algorithms and is released with the intention to present information that is relevant and authoritative for any search result.
With COVID-19, many industries have seen a decline because of the nature of their business, while others have seen an increase. This has resulted in a significant shift in the way users search for queries online as well. This is why Google has chosen to rank certain categories higher in its latest update. This will allow relevant content to appear to match searches during these uncertain times.
For example, the search for content related to news, health, and online communities has shot up, while categories like travel, sports, and live events have seen a drop. Google’s latest update accounts for these shifts and the change in algorithms strongly affects Search Engine Results Page (SERP) volatility.
The core update that was announced in January also affected SERP volatility, but May’s core update displays a peak in these rates, which is illustrated in the graph below.
It is important to note that the update also affects thin content, as well as old content which has not been refreshed in a while. Such items will be ranked lower by Google’s algorithm update. But if there has been a change in rankings for the entire industry, there is no guarantee that implementing changes will help increase the position of the content in SERPs. Featured snippets have also been impacted with the update.
Users may recall that in September 2019, Google announced a core update that resulted in a similar outcome which changed rankings completely. A key difference was that YouTube videos began to outrank Wikipedia pages. So this is not the first time something of this sort has happened.
Since the core update reflects the direct impact industries have witnessed throughout these last few months, the same industries have experienced a win or loss with this unprecedented change.
For example, news has become paramount during these times. People across the world are trying to stay informed on COVID-19, as well as the impact it has had on various spheres of our normal lives. Information on health and medical research is also being widely consumed. And with people restricted to their homes, the number of hours online have shot up as well. Users are spending more time on different social media platforms, streaming services, and other categories of entertainment. Thus, these are the industries that have benefited most from the update this month, with news coming out on top.
Other industries have not fared as well. Travel and real estate have seen a dramatic drop, and this is reflected in the results of the update as well. Similarly, live events and entertainment, autos and vehicles, tech, and fitness, among many others, have taken a big hit. Many websites are reporting a significant drop in traffic, which is likely due to the change in the SERP algorithm.
Because marketing during COVID-19 is already in a state of flux, it is important to stay up to date with these changes and implement corrections accordingly. This can make keeping up with competitive SERPs easier. However, it might make more sense to wait until the market picks up for industries currently experiencing a decline in demand and engagement.
Brands across sectors have seen a large scale shift with the decline in the economy, which has taken a hard hit during the ongoing pandemic. And in these last few weeks, as the world has grappled with the Coronavirus and its unprecedented impact, brands have quickly stepped up to roll out important changes and updates to make these times a little bit better. Here’s a look at a few of them.
Google is the number one search engine across the globe, and with people turning to them every day to look for answers on COVID-19, it’s important that their information is accurate and up to date.
Which is why now, when you look up anything related to the coronavirus on Google, every search will trigger and display a dedicated Knowledge Panel which provides users with accurate information.
Google has also announced that arrangements have been made for some teams to work closely with the World Health Organisation through the ongoing health crisis. The information gathered in this interface enables Google to provide and update information on the Knowledge Panel with real-time news and verified advice.
At the same time, so many of Google’s products are integrated into a person’s workday - with Gmail, Google Ads, Analytics, etc. With the Coronavirus, there have been certain products that have been seeing more engagement and traction, and to make working remotely easier, Google provided free access to all features of the advanced version of Hangouts. This is applicable around the world to G-Suite users, as well as customers in the field of education, and will run till July 1st, 2020.
Google has also included Coronavirus as a featured search on its trends page. The most commonly asked questions can help guide healthcare professionals and companies address these queries and provide useful information during a time of unfamiliarity and little knowledge of the disease.
Similar to Google, TikTok has provided users with an Information Center on COVID-19. This is visible on their app in the upper right-hand corner, as an icon shaped like a shield. When users click on this, they are directed to a live page, updated continuously with news-clippings and videos from official sources, updates from WHO, information on global and domestic numbers, myth busters, FAQs, and basic preventive measures, amongst other COVID-19 initiatives.
This is an insightful way of leveraging content during these times, especially since TikTok has really taken off during these last few months with the spread of the virus. New challenges have shown up as people attempt new things while locked indoors around the world, and this has led to a massive surge in the number of downloads. In the week of March 16, 2020, TikTok witnessed an 18% increase in the number of downloads, with 2 million that week alone.
With the prevailing rise of this social media platform, TikTok’s move to provide information on COVID-related updates allows the app to be a one-stop destination for both entertainment and news. Marketers and influencers may also move to leverage TikTok marketing during COVID-19 as the situation of lockdown and social distancing remains in place.
Google is not the only brand to have made remote connectivity easier. Facebook has finally launched the desktop version of its Messenger app. Facebook has been planning to release this update for a while now, but having witnessed the increase in use and number of downloads of video calling apps during these times, this update comes at the perfect time.
The app can be downloaded on any OS and can be launched separately. It enables users to log in and use Messenger just as they would on any browser - with features to chat with different contacts, share media, and of course, video call friends and family to stay connected.
Instagram rolled out a co-watch feature on its app to bring people closer together by providing access to share screens and scroll feeds with one another. This feature is a useful one as it provides a new way for users to connect and share with one another when everyone is under lockdown at home, unable to connect face-to-face.
Augmented Reality is an interactive technology that is reshaping how customers make their decisions before a purchase. In fact, recent studies suggest that nearly 61% of online shoppers prefer brands utilising the AR tool, which can convert viewers into customers. Augmented Reality utilises advanced technology to integrate and overlap the virtual and real-world in the form of images. All this has led brands to change how they leverage digital marketing trends for 2020 with this powerful tool. The advantages of AR are many and brands have already started tapping into the immense potential of AR as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Google has announced that they are testing AR powered 3D images integrated within searches for products on e-commerce sites. This will enhance the search experience of users as they can now visualise the products in real time. Moreover, 3D images give an enhanced online experience as it enables users to visualise and understand product specifications vividly.
When a user searches for a product, the results will be displayed with the specifications and prices, and alongside these details, the option to ‘View in 3D’ will appear as well. This requires all users to have Google’s new AR update.
By clicking on this option, users will be shown the 3D image of the product through the mobile device’s camera lens. These images appear as if they are right in front of you, wherever you may be.
Users can rotate the product to any angle to explore the features and check if it matches their expectations. This allows them to visualise the product as realistically as they can, and find out if the product is a good fit for their needs, thus enabling them to make more informed purchases.
Google’s ARCore allows brands to transform 2D images to 3D models integrated with AR technology with which the users can engage with the product for a better user experience. With a set of quality reference AR images, the tool can easily model the AR experience effectively. Instagram and Facebook are well ahead of the curve, with the introduction of SparkAR to enhance the user experience on social platforms. Although there are multiple apps offering the AR experience, Google’s entry into the field is a crucial factor for SEO strategies to rank better on the search engine when there are commercial queries.
The advantages of AR have come as a boon for businesses. From increased brand awareness, enhanced user experience, refined brand engagement, and increased conversion rates, using cutting-edge technology of AR is definitely revolutionizing the way customers engage with brands. All these benefits of AR lead to the largest benefit yet - that the approach to a full-funnel marketing strategy is achievable, turning leads into customers with potentially higher retention.
23 January 2020, Mumbai - Social Beat’s fourth edition of its Digital Leadership Summit was held in Mumbai, in which the top industry leaders across sectors came together to share their insights and experiences, as well as forecast digital marketing trends for the future. Last year’s Summit, which was conducted in Bangalore and Mumbai, was a huge success, focusing on innovations across video, vernacular trends, voice marketing, and Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. This year, one of the biggest talking points of the Summit was tapping into India’s next billion data users, how they will influence digital transformation across Bharat, and leading through disruption in various sectors.
The Summit focused on the prospect of the digital space this new decade, especially this current financial year. Sectors that are expected to see transformation were also discussed, including FMCG, retail, e-commerce, B2B, BFSI, real estate, and Internet businesses. Abhinav Jain, Co-Founder of Shop101 and Kaushik Mukhergee, Co-Founder and COO of SUGAR Cosmetics took up the first two sessions. They spoke about their individual brands, and how each of them introduced their products to consumers in the Tier II and Tier III cities - targeting to reach close to 400 million new Internet users. Abhinav also shared his insights on leveraging social relationships of sellers and democratizing commerce with a seamless product. He then spoke about creating micro-entrepreneurs in Bharat, driving 70% of transactions from outside top cities.
This was followed by a panel discussion on leading BFSI through disruption. This session included Ajit Narasimhan, CMO of Sundaram Mutual Funds, and MVS Murthy, Head of Marketing, Digital and Corporate Communications at Tata Mutual Funds. Moderating the panel, David Appasamy, Head of Brand and Strategy of Social Beat, said, “While the banking and financial service sector has been slow to adopt digital, many upcoming trends and new technologies are taking efficiency and outreach to new heights. Big data, AI, and voice are just a few major trends that are likely to make a huge impact on BFSI.”
The next series of talks were led by Ravi Saxena, CEO of Wonderchef, Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Weddingz.in and of OYO, and Arjun Choudhary, Chief Business Officer and Founding member of mfine. Mr Ravi spoke about how Wonderchef has built its brand name and become a digitally-led business in a competitive market, while Sandeep and Arjun spoke about the disruption of their business fields in India, and solving challenges using the right channel mix and building great community networks. Sandeep also shed light on how innovation can impact a digital user’s behaviour, and the influence innovation has which can potentially disrupt the wedding industry.
The event came to a close with a final panel discussion on innovation and trends for 2020, digital growth, and focus on digital strategy and performance by industries across their respective fields, moderated by Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat. He stated, “The last decade saw a quantum leap in the growing number of data users. This decade will now witness the digital medium open its doors to vernacular content and marketing to a brand new audience, radically changing the landscape of digital solutions. It will be exciting to see the impact unfold.” He was joined by Vinesh Gadhia, Senior Vice President of Lupin Ltd., and Juhi Singh, Digital Evangelist, Digital Transformation and Strategy Division of Marico.
The year 2019 has been a whirlwind in terms of growth in the digital space. The number of internet users has gone up to a number that was previously unprecedented - from 483 million users in the year 2018, India has now crossed half a billion internet users at a whopping 566 million. This means brands and companies have a whole new audience to market to and multiple innovative ways to do so! If you are keen to learn more about digital marketing, do check out our digital marketing training arm, DigiGrad.
Here are 7 digital marketing trends for 2020 that we expect will see the most traction:
While user growth has slowed down across most key markets, India has shown no such trend. This is a direct result of easy accessibility to mobile internet and cheaper smartphones with the advent of Jio. This has consequently led to the huge influx of new social apps in digital markets, like TikTok, Helo, Sharechat, Vigo, Bigo, Firework and some more in the pipeline.
The year 2020 will likely see a rise of even more such apps as these have proved to be a hit with new data users, having tapped into vernacular content and the interests of people in smaller towns. And since a large chunk of internet users from rural India - 251 million to be precise - have contributed to the growth in the total number of Indian internet users this year, 2020 can expect to see a higher demand for social apps that cater to this demographic.
It also doesn’t hurt that these media conglomerates have figured out a key factor in driving growth - offering social apps with access to entertainment like short-videos, gaming and live-streaming. 2019 has already seen these newer social apps climb the rankings on Google’s Android PlayStore, with TikTok ranking number one, and Helo at a close second. Facebook currently holds the third position, which may indicate that the dominance the Facebook family of apps has had may see a negative impact.
On that note, with so many first-time internet users, the rise of a lot of social platforms have seen their tremendous growth simply because they offer their content and services in vernacular. Language-driven services have had such an impact this year, that even Amazon and Flipkart are planning to get on this bandwagon soon to catch up with new age players like niki.ai, bulbul tv and Shop101. With a higher demand for vernacular content online, brands across segments will be forced to explore and deliver too if they want to see bigger growth. Storytelling is an impactful way to engage and connect with customers, and when done in a native tongue, the outcome is very personal and unique. This is evident in the thumbstopper format that Facebook offers, which intends to tell a story without sound, in order to capture the essence of a story and be able to tell it to speakers of any language.
Featured below are the thumbstopper videos we did in collaboration with Malabar Gold to promote their ‘Men in Platinum’ collection. The campaign dismantles stereotypical gender roles and highlights the fact that men are at their best when they are in their element. With an overall reach of 13 lakh views across Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, the brand’s Facebook page witnessed a 450% increase in user engagement proving that relatability is a language in itself.
Speaking about breaking language barriers, Swiggy recently ran a campaign titled #SwiggyStarhunt - a platform for delivery partners to showcase their talent by uploading videos on popular video-sharing app TikTok. These videos come under the categories of acting, dancing, singing and musical instruments. Since the campaign was targeted at delivery partners, we created a robust social media strategy in 11 languages to grab their attention and encourage them to participate in the event. The campaign resulted in an outpour of uploads onto the video-sharing app, with a whopping 44+ million organic views, reaching a pan-Indian audience and giving Swiggy the uplift it deserved. #SwiggyStarhunt is also a testament to the fact that leveraging new social media platforms like TikTok, along with the relatability of vernacular content, is a great way to connect with consumers.
4G has taken India’s markets by storm, and Indian service providers are eager to capitalize on this moment to drive user and customer engagement. Augmented Reality can be used in a multitude of ways, changing experiences across different sectors, be it retail, live events, museums, real estate, education or automobile.
Facebook introduced Spark AR this year for the general public, which allows users on Facebook and Instagram to create filters and upload them online. Other users can then save these and apply them to their stories. Facebook has been seeing a lot of success with the launch of this product and this will probably ‘spark’ AR trends even more. Google had already rolled out Google Lens which is an image recognition technology that uses the point and shoot feature to show fitting search results. These two giants have showcased the diversity in the use of AR and how successful it can be when implemented right, driven by function.
VR will also start to pick up more as we enter 2020, but since VR devices are still too expensive for the Indian market, it is unlikely that it will pick up at the same pace as AR will.
E-commerce is the way of the future, and with search interaction having increased, leading companies will find voice a profitable technology to drive sales and revenue. This has already been evidenced in the huge investment Amazon has put into Alexa and Google into Google Home and its Google Assistant. Businesses will see voice user interface as an innovative tool that enables faster, more efficient customer engagement as voice commands surround every sphere of life, driving purchases, payments and more. Voice ordering, already a popular phenomenon in the US, will start picking up in India as well. Brands are also tying up with new-age start-ups like niki.ai to engage with the next billion internet users. These AI powered start-ups build user experiences that are not just intuitive but also in a language that the customers in the Tier II and III cities are comfortable in, making it easy for them to place orders using voice commands.
Looking for a few tips on voice search marketing? Here’s our tell-all guide:
It’s quality over quantity, always. Which is why many brands are now wanting to capitalize on their first-party data, instead of opting for second and third-party data. First-party data allows for exact, valuable insights into a customer’s direct engagement with the brand, whether it’s their individual interests, which ads they engage with, or how much time they spend on the brand’s website. This information is unfiltered, specific, and relevant, which helps to build an audience profile that is an exact match with the product or service in question. It is also cost-effective, as it’s free, and is lawful and transparent. Nike is one such company which has already announced that they will be selling only directly going forward.
Artificial intelligence fits into this equation as it can prove to be extremely beneficial in sifting through these data sets, which for a team of actual people, can be daunting. AI could uncover insights that could have been missed otherwise, identify critical data and trends, and all at unmatched speed with extreme accuracy. Thus, AI and first-party data may hand-in-hand serve to drive more personalized communication soon.
Social media platforms have seen quite a few changes this year, which were a little surprising for everyone. At one end, there are platforms like TikTok and Sharechat, which incentivized influencers, and at the other end, Instagram rolled out an update that removed the like count. The Advertising Standards Council of India has also announced that they are framing new guidelines and rules in a bid to protect consumer interests, which will include influencer marketing under its purview. With the aim to curb forms of misleading information, the reach influencers have, the kind of information they put out, and the engagement brands have with influencers may all change in 2020.
It is commonly believed that as the world became increasingly digital over the years, physical stores began to see less engagement. But this doesn’t hold true for brands that rely heavily on location, like hotels, restaurants, and auto dealerships. For such brands, online to offline attribution is extremely relevant and useful, as this metric helps brands to trace and identify which online ads can be attributed to driving in-store foot traffic.
While Google Store Visits is already live and being used across brands, other platforms will also start leveraging location data, combined with first party and CRM data, to showcase what results digital is driving for retailers and offline stores. This can be a game changer for traditional brands that did not have digital as a key aspect of their marketing campaigns. The start of the next decade will likely see a lot of brands who are not yet using digital come online to use this tool to engage with customers better and drive sales insightfully.
Store visit ads were an integral part of our campaign with retailers like Malabar Gold, Khadims and Specsmakers. We leverage a mix of Google products using detailed demographic targetting as well as geo-fence the retail stores. The ads used online to offline attribution data to measure the increase in footfall to their stores. The below case study of Malabar Gold showcases how thousands of shoppers were targetted and tracked, for the recent Brides of India campaign.
All that being said, the trends predicted show a range of exciting opportunities to be used for growth. We at Social Beat are definitely eager to see what the start of the new decade has in store for the digital marketing sector and are excited to grow with it, scaling new heights.
This article was originally published in The Economic Times Brand Equity.
Facebook has launched the Multiple Text Optimization (MTO) feature in its responsive ads. This feature is similar to Google’s Responsive Search and Display Ads. Multiple Text Optimization has made it possible for advertisers to feed in various versions of the headline, ad copy, and description for one single-media ad. The various combinations will target different audiences based on what works best for whom based on granular metrics by Facebook
This follows on the heels of the launch of Lookalike Audiences by LinkedIn and options for browser, keyword and gender targeting by Quora.
Multiple Text Optimization, or MTO, is a feature added to the Facebook ‘create ad’ section. It helps optimize each ad for the respective target audience by using different text combinations.
This new feature can be navigated to through either Business Manager or Power Editor. Using this new feature, you can put in the variations for each section of the ad. You can put in 5 title variations, 5 different CTAs, and 5 variations of the description. Of these, the titles, descriptions, and CTAs will be mixed to generate different versions of the ad.
You can view the different combinations before the ad is published, on the ‘View More Variations’ tab, to see what works together. Once published, Facebook will automatically combine different headings with different descriptions. These versions will be put out to various audience groups, which Facebook’s system will analyze. It will then optimize and generate the best performing combination using machine learning
Using MTO, Facebook will customise how your ad appears to different target audiences, based on their viewing history. While this will help customise ads according to different target groups in one go, advertisers might lose some amount of targeting control. This is because the ad will be put out according to Facebook’s algorithm and not the specifications set by the advertiser. Moreover, you can only view the performance numbers as an aggregate of all the combinations, and not how each combination worked.
You can use MTO to test different features with different audiences and to see what resonates best with whom. This testing is accelerated through machine learning, enabling faster insights. While this ad will automatically be optimized for the target audience, it will also help you create the next set of ads with more insight on audience reactions.
Another way of using MTO effectively is by advertising the new product to old customers. Remarket to your old customers by including text variations targeting those who have visited your website. Since they already know and trust your brand, the conversion rate will be easier here.
MTO is thus important for building a brand through digital marketing and making your ads effectively more relatable to customers. Since this feature is similar to Google’s Responsive Search and Display Ads, some of its uses and benefits are the same. Leveraging MTO this way will definitely prove useful in creating a successful Facebook marketing strategy for your brand.