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.
The ubiquitous term ‘marketing mix modelling’ has been around for decades and with good reason. This strategy allowed marketers to identify the best channels and marketing techniques to maximise product performance. But as the channels themselves change, new digital trends emerge and customers begin to evolve, how relevant is traditional marketing mix modelling? Do the factors for a brand’s success still solely rest upon product, price, place and promotion? And if so, how has each of these 4 P’s evolved in the digital age?
The concept of the 4 Ps was created at a time when data remained largely stable, technological advancements were slow and consumer habits were predictable. Today, in the age of digital disruption, each of these facets has undergone a wave of change. In this climate, traditional marketing mix models are simply not equipped to deliver a realistic marketing strategy and accurate channel-wise attribution.
This change is primarily because of the following features of the digital environment:
A typical consumer today is bombarded by more advertisements on more platforms than at any other time in history. They might be exposed to a brand while watching a video, while reading a blog, or while listening to music, to name just a few. Because of this, it can be close to impossible to evaluate the performance of each ad in isolation. Each instance of exposure has a cumulative effect on the buying decision of a consumer. Most marketing mix models are not equipped to handle a multi-touchpoint customer journey.
Traditional marketing models are built on data extending from over one year. Marketers generally analyse long-term patterns of data to reach a conclusion on future trends. The digital age, however, does not afford the luxury of long-term analysis. Technology, platforms and algorithms can change within a matter of a few months, throwing even the most carefully crafted marketing mix model into disarray.
In a traditional marketing plan, platforms and budgets would be decided upon based on a marketing mix model, the plan would be executed and the learnings would be dissected later on. Today, however, digital marketing empowers marketers to completely overhaul their budget allocation and platform-wise strategies at the click of a button. A modern marketing strategy isn’t truly over until budgets are exhausted. Marketing mix models need to be adaptable and scalable in order to be successful.
Today’s changing market is completely different from what it was in the 1960s, which was when the concept of a marketing mix model was first introduced. Naturally, as a result, the traditional understanding of the 4 P’s needs to evolve to adapt to our current reality.
Here’s how marketers can reimagine the 4 P’s and build digital-ready marketing mix models for a full-funnel marketing strategy.
Reduced manufacturing costs, less expensive advertising channels and the rise of a thriving startup culture have lowered many of the entry barriers for new companies. As a result, the market is more competitive than ever before, with numerous similar products vying for the same customer. In this scenario, a brand’s product cannot sell based on a utilitarian guarantee alone. Customers now want to purchase a product that sells them an experience. They want a product that they believe will help them reach their ideal self, aligns with their values and sells them a lifestyle. Brands who capture this essence will ultimately capture the market.
Previously, the concept of ‘Place’ in a marketing mix model referred to the selection of optimum distribution channels to reach a customer. These channels in the modern age, however, are not as clear cut as they once were. Customers divide their time between numerous platforms; watching videos, scrolling through social media, reading blogs or listening to podcasts. Additionally, they can also make a purchase decision at any time of the day and in any place, for instance, during their morning commute to work. The introduction of Whatsapp for Business has allowed brands to penetrate even further into a consumer’s routine. Because of this, the focus needs to shift from having a physical presence in an area where the target audience is present to simply being everywhere each member of the target audience is, virtual or otherwise.
On the whole, customers today are a more cynical lot than customers from previous periods. They seek information on product ingredients, are more discerning of what they consume and are more aware of marketing strategies. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that a consumer will believe your product’s USPs at face value. Brands need to eschew a hard focus on promotion alone and instead supplement it with efforts to build credibility. Two tools have become indispensable for brands looking to do so: influencer marketing and content marketing. Influencer marketing builds awareness of a product using ‘influencers’ whom consumers already trust while content marketing helps brands inform and educate customers and develop long-term relationships with them.
Price is no longer the key differentiator it once was. This change can be attributed to two reasons:
(i) Improvements in technology and efficiency have allowed average prices of consumer products to hit an all-time low. Today’s customers need to pay less for a product than at any other period. As a result, most products are similarly priced and a consumer’s final purchase decision will rarely depend upon the price alone.
(ii) With customers seeking experience over utilitarianism, many are willing to pay a higher price for perceived quality. For instance, an eco-friendly sustainable brand might be priced higher than similar products, but customers will be willing to pay the higher price for what they believe is greater value.
Ushering in the age of digital marketing might mean saying goodbye to traditional marketing models, but it opens up endless possibilities for marketers. The availability of granular details, real-time analytics and diverse platforms enables marketers to create more effective marketing strategies than ever before.
With rapid technological innovation, analyzing the impact of channels and strategies for a period longer than 6-12 months would be futile. Technology and ad formats from over a year ago might be irrelevant or non-existent today. Limit your analysis to just 6-12 months at the most - anything extending beyond that is ancient history. To ensure accuracy of the analysis despite the shorter time frame, you can use more granular details at multiple relevant geographic and demographic levels.
Most digital marketing strategies today are characterized by their hyper-local, hyper-personalized nature. Unlike nationwide TV campaigns of the past, digital strategies now revolve around delivering personalized communication to customers. For instance, marketers might choose to speak to newly married women working in an IT job in Bangalore to promote their women’s health product. With such a wealth of targeting options available, it becomes critical for marketers to evaluate campaigns at an equally granular level. This allows them to uncover patterns and identify key drivers to further improve campaign performance.
With traditional advertising, budgets are usually allocated platform-wise, for example, separate budgets for television, radio and print. A common misconception is that the same technique can be used for digital platforms, for example, creating a separate budget for YouTube, Facebook and Search. However, digital platforms cannot be as easily segregated because multiple ad formats can co-exist within a single platform. On YouTube, for instance, brands can choose between masthead ads, 6-second bumper videos, TrueView videos or In-Stream ads depending upon your marketing objective. Each ad format will thus require a separate budget allocation.
In the same way that budgets need to be segregated by format not platform, performance analysis also needs to be done format-wise. The wealth of ad formats that digital marketing offers requires marketers to do an in-depth analysis of the performance of each to uncover which format resonated the best with the target audience. This type of analysis is important because marketers might uncover that whereas one platform as a whole performed better than the others, a specific ad format on another platform out-performed other formats. This can help optimize future budgets and campaign strategies.
Our client, a leading real estate developer based in Chennai, approached us to help them reach a massive goal. For just 100 hours, their projects would be available at highly-discounted prices. Within this limited period, we had to maximize their reach, ad efficiency and results.
To achieve this ambitious goal within such a limited time period, we had to set up a flexible and adaptable digital marketing mix. We developed two strategies: one aimed at raising awareness among a consumer base who was not aware of the developer's luxury segment and one who were aware of the brand, but needed the final push to invest in a home.
As part of the marketing mix, we leveraged a number of platforms and formats, including YouTube bumper ads, promotions across social media channels, Gmail video ads and countdown ads on Google. To create a holistic approach, we also launched roadblock ads on traditional print media, including many of India's leading newspapers such as The Hindu and Times of India.
This highly-segmented strategy delivered phenomenal results. Within the 100-hour window, we were able to generate an incredible 6,152 leads. These results highlight the fact that an adaptable digital marketing mix is critical for brands looking to drive business results.
Watch the youtube bumper Ad below:
Marketing mix modelling has long been an indispensable part of marketing literature. Rather than do away with this tried-and-tested method completely, marketers should adapt each of the principles of traditional marketing models to the digital world.
Programmatic advertising is considered to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2019 and Google has predicted that 60% of its advertising budgets will be put towards programmatic by the end of this year. Although programmatic advertising has taken over a fair share of the digital advertising space, there is still a level of uncertainty among many marketers. The main reason for this is the lack of information when it comes to programmatic advertising and the reluctance in letting go of traditional advertising methods. So how can programmatic advertising help Indian brands take their customer reach to the next level?
Today, two important factors that play a crucial role in the success of a business is its marketing techniques and digital advertising tools. Earlier many companies were dependent on offline mediums of advertising, but in recent years digital advertising has become the primary means of marketing for many businesses. Programmatic advertising is taking centre stage when it comes to this type of marketing.
‘Programmatic’, as the name suggests, is the use of a program or software to buy digital space/inventories. Not only is this process more cost-effective but it is also incredibly efficient. There was a time when the process of advertising involved numerous sub-processes and human negotiations that resulted in a lot of delays. But with the use of artificial intelligence, programmatic advertising has made ad buying in the digital space easier than ever.
In its simplest form, programmatic advertising is an automatic bid on advertising inventory which happens in real time. This is known as real-time bidding. It gives the owner of the ads the freedom to create and optimise the adverts to their liking. However this type of programmatic advertising is just one type, there are other programmatic types that guarantee impressions from specific websites. This is referred to as programmatic direct.
When a person engages with a programmatic ad, the website publishing the ad bids for an impression in an auction of the ad in the marketplace. This auction is run among the different advertisers who want their ad to be displayed on the webpage. The brand with the highest bid wins.
Although this auction process may seem time-consuming in theory, the system is automated and the entire auction can happen in milliseconds that it takes for the web page to load. The bids of each of the competing advertisers is pre-programmed into the system. When the customer clicks on the ads, the advertiser will convert this into a sale.
To learn more about programmatic advertising check out our video on how can it help your brand scale your digital marketing efforts.
When it comes to programmatic advertising, there are many different ad formats that companies can use so that they can create the largest impact and scale using creatives.
Here are a few:
Many brands prefer native ads because they can be customised to meet the look and feel of the publisher’s page. This can result in better visibility and higher engagement with the ad. Native ads also allow you to reach the market quicker because a set bundle of assets are used to fill in the ad templates.
In today’s mobile-first world, it can be hard to grab the attention of the audience. Bumper ads a quick and efficient way to give the viewer snippets of your product or service while they are on the go. Insteam ads, on the other hand, can be skippable or non-skippable, based on the objective of the advertiser. These ads are optimised with the help of AL and ML for better traction. They also have the added advantage of tracking post-view floodlight activity conversions for a specified attribution window.
Lightbox ad comes under responsive ads which have the ability to fit to any ad space depending on the display screen. Lightbox ads typically contain galleries with images and videos that enable the customer to effectively engage with the ad. Moreover, lightbox ads streamlines the ad engagement which can be done by clicking or tapping on the ad that is displayed. This way it prevents any accidental engagement.
The app install platform helps you to create an ad that helps in increasing the number of app downloads. You can promote your app by creating an interstitial ad containing images or youtube videos, catchy title and suitable description. App Install ads are designed to create awareness about the app and also allows users to directly install the app by engaging with the ad.
Parallax ads helps you create a distinctive and creative ad display. By utilising the parallax animation effect, you can display different images in layers with description. Users can view the entire ad only if they scroll down screen. Unlike other types of ad, the engagement is measured with the number of users scrolling down for complete information, even if they do not click on the ad.
Audio ads helps in brand awareness for reaching to a wider audience thereby increasing the number of leads. With the availability of different platforms like spotify, Apple music, google play and many more, leveraging audio ads will be a potential ad strategy to improve brand reach.
Flipbbok is a unique way to grab the attention of users with a short video on the mobile screen. This video is as short as five seconds and if the user is interested to learn more about the video, they can tap on the clipping to view the entire video. The video clipping plays while the user is scrolling down and and while scrolling up the video plays in reverse. Similar to parallax ads, the engagement rate is measured by number of users scrolling, even though they do not click on the ad.
Many consider Programmatic advertising to be the future of digital advertising. A report by Magna global stated that by the end of 2019, 50% of all advertising will be Programmatic.
So how can your business do Programmatic advertising? Like traditional advertising, there are many factors that a business needs to consider before they implement this. They include:
Once you know how and where you are going to implement the programmatic ads, the next step is to set goals. You need to know what you expect to get out of programmatic advertising such as the conversion rate or the click rate and set goals accordingly.
As with any medium of advertising, the first step is to study the market. Programmatic ads appear on webpages, apps and audio-video content, to name a few. So, you need to know what type of web pages your customers are visiting as well as what competitors in the same space are doing. This will give you a better understanding of what webpages to target based on the audience personas identified.
Programmatic advertising is a great way to put your brand name out there, hence, it is crucial that your ad appears in the right places to the right audience. It is a good idea to take up a full-funnel approach and target the audience based on the consumer's journey. Pick out the information that brings out the essence of the brand in the ad.
DV360 provides comprehensive targeting options in order to fulfill the campaign objectives. Advertisers have the option of choosing Google-provided audiences for no extra cost, along with first-party audiences or purchase third-party audience, based on the campaign goals.
With the help of data available on the market, the brand needs to gather behavioural insights to run a successful programmatic campaign. There are three types of data that come into play when thinking about programmatic advertising. The first would be the data collected by the marketer on the customers. The second would be the data gathered by an advertising agency who would use the information to help the brand build its programmatic advertising strategy. The third type of data, also known as third-party data are reports that can be purchased by any company online.
Brands need to pay close attention to the data they collect as it can give them valuable insights into customer patterns and behaviour. Programmatic advertising can then be targeted based on scale and accuracy. If the target audience is small, the accuracy can be intensified on a small scale or vice versa if the target audience is large.
When it comes to retargeting existing customers, it is important to use programmatic advertising to give them a story behind the brand rather than information about the product or service as you would with a new customer. But don’t focus solely on retargeting, your programmatic advertising campaign needs to be optimised from start to finish to keep the customer engaged at all times.
There are many challenges for online advertising and programmatic is no exception to these challenges. Although programmatic advertising is slowly gaining traction, the concept is still in its nascent stage. This is mainly because of lack of information about the concept, where and how to use the technique.
The next big challenge is , having invested money in ads, it is a natural expectation for brands to reap maximum benefits. But what if your ads are viewed by bots and not real audience? This is called as the AdFraud where your investment on advertisements yields no results. Here is where research and knowledge plays a key role in displaying your ads to the relevant audience. You should make sure that your ads are displayed on reputed and trusted websites, for which you should be sure of the website.
Brand safety plays a prime role in securing your ads on the webpages. Here are some brand safety methods that you can incorporate for your programmatic advertising.
One of the key concerns for many marketers today is brand safety. In recent years many brands have become more vigilant about safety measures which were spurred by the many ads being placed next to political and violent content that often took the focus away from the brand’s message.
Here are a few important tips advertisers can use to ensure that their programmatic ad buys to protect the brand name.
It is recommended that advertisers leverage their relationships with publishers and run ads in the private marketplace (PMP). This is an effective way to purchase programmatic ads because you know exactly who you are purchasing the ads from and where the ads will be placed.
It is crucial for advertisers to escape the vicious cycle of posting their ads in fraudulent and irrelevant websites. Your advertisement should protect the brand’s reputation by making sure you place your ads on premium and trusted web pages. Using brand safety you set a platform for the right audience to engage with your ad.
In contrast to blacklisting certain websites, you can also whitelist them. This is a list of sites that are safe to run your ads on. This may seem like a time-consuming task but there are many exchanges that require websites to complete an intense inventory approval process.
Not only do you focus on targeting relevant audience, you should also be aware of your negative targets. Under brand safety tools, you can exclude certain web pages from showing your ad, considering the site to be unsafe for your ad to be displayed.
Advertisers can use the services of third-party vendors to prevent ad fraud. This feature is present under the "brand safety" tab where you can choose between leading providers like Integral Ad Science, Double Verify and Adloox to prevent your ad from being showing to fraudulent websites while saving up on advertising dollars.
Programmatic advertising is definitely on the rise in India in 2019 largely because of the efficiency it provides. Traditional ad campaigns require a lot of iterations and can either be a hit or miss. But with programmatic ad campaigns, brands don’t need to worry about their ad expenditures. The program ensures that money is spent in the best possible way. All you need to do is enter the required information into the software and you are all set.
Programmatic advertising uses customer’s data and company goals to create and set ads to effectively target the customer base. This type of ad buying frees up more time from brands and agencies that they can use to think more creatively about the customer and how programmatic advertising can be leveraged to engage with India’s next billion Internet users.
Google offers their programmatic solutions only to agencies and not to brands - but there are agencies like Social Beat that offers a self serve option to brands and other agencies where they can use the existing DV360 access to run campaigns. This is known as Self Serve programmatic advertising.
It’s no secret that the world of digital marketing is constantly in a state of flux. What works today might be completely obsolete tomorrow. If your brand is still continuing to use the same techniques in 2019 as you did in the previous year, expect to see declining results. To ensure your brands stay on top of its digital marketing game this year, here are nine of the most important trends to stay ahead of.
The online space in India is set to get even more colourful and diverse. As even larger numbers of users get access to low-cost internet and affordable mobile phones, there will be a greater demand for internet content in the languages they understand best. To cater to this growing internet audience, brands need to push vernacular to the front and centre of their digital marketing strategy. Right from their websites, to their apps, social media campaigns, performance advertising and even social media listening, Indic languages should be the focus.
Speaking to regional audiences involves more than just taking a brand’s main communication and translating it into various languages. Instead, it requires them to develop communications aimed specifically at these audiences, keeping their unique needs, challenges and desires at the core. Only by doing this can they create that all-important personal connection with consumers. 22 Languages, one of the top vernacular startups, is designed specifically to help brands reach out to a larger audience in vernacular languages.
Read our case study on How Multilingual Ads Helped Generate Higher-Quality Leads With Lower CPL to learn how vernacular techniques can produce unprecedented results for your brand.
The seeds of voice search were sowed back in 2018, but it is in 2019 that this trend will fully come into its own. Today, it isn’t just mobile that’s driving voice search, but the proliferation of smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice Assistant. The push for voice search will also be coming from the other end of the spectrum, from users who are just starting to use the internet or who might not even know how to type. But regardless of who the audience for voice search is, one thing is certain: SEO as we know it will have to change. Traditional keyword research will become obsolete since user queries will be completely different when using voice search. Voice also means that position zero, the ‘featured snippet’ will become even more coveted. 99% of voice search results draw from the featured snippet, so content creators will have to focus even harder on optimising their content for Google to pick it up.
Be sure to watch our detailed video on a complete guide to Voice Search Marketing for more tips and insights.
While videos have been around for decades, they have only recently started exploding on digital platforms and social media. In 2019, if your brand doesn’t have a strong repertoire of engaging, high-quality videos, you could be missing out on a sizeable audience. YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, can become even more essential in 2019. Through techniques like YouTube SEO, brands can ensure that their content is visible to relevant audiences. For tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
But the importance of videos extends beyond just YouTube. Videos on landing pages and in emails have been shown to improve performance and conversions. Facebook is also witnessing a growing popularity of videos. In one survey, around 44% of respondents admitted to watching at least 5 videos every day on the platform.
As videos gain momentum, multiple video formats are also being developed and explored. Interactive videos are emerging as a popular option due to the higher user engagement they deliver. In these videos, users are required to take some form of action which can influence the video. This could be either in terms of the content displayed or the storyline that the video takes. Apart from interactive content, live videos are also creating a stir. Currently, they are available on Instagram and Facebook, while YouTube is also starting to introduce it. Live videos are a great way for brands to showcase ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage and develop a more personal connect with their audience.
Chatbots have been slowly making an entry from 2017, however, chatbots in 2019 will be more intelligent than ever before. Most chatbots currently have a limited script, usually offering a fixed set of options that users can choose from. Once the query is narrowed down, users are often transferred to a human representative to resolve it. With the advent of AI, however, chatbots are likely to completely replace the human aspect previous involved. They are programmed to be smarter, respond to a wide number of queries in a meaningful way and resolve issues without requiring any human intervention. In fact, through AI, chatbots are likely to be able to keep up a long conversation with users without coders having to input a long script beforehand. As the technology matures, you can expect chatbots to become even more ubiquitous as brands capitalise on their low cost and higher efficiency.
AI isn’t just for smarter chatbots; it is also becoming the most accurate way for brands to identify their core audience and develop core messaging for them. Through a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence, predictive customer analytics can eliminate much of the guesswork involved with digital marketing.
One way they do this is by assigning a ‘lead score’ to leads generated. AI can analyse large volumes of leads at a time, identify common patterns, group them into various buckets based on their behaviour and help you create hyper-personalised content for them. Since personalisation is key to nurturing leads, AI can almost certainly lead to higher conversions for marketers. AI can also identify similarities in current consumers and generate custom targeting options that marketers can utilise to ensure more accurate delivery of ads. This will help improve the quality of leads generated via digital.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was a crucial mobile ranking factor for websites in 2018. In 2019, the importance of AMP will not be limited to mobiles alone. Google recently made AMP available for desktops versions of websites as well. With this feature, users will be able to enjoy the same speed and easy navigation that AMP offers even while browsing on their desktop.
With the introduction of this feature, it’s time for brands to re-look at their website and how user-friendly it is. By making their websites (or at least critical, content-heavy sections like blogs) AMP-friendly, brands might be able to enjoy greater visibility on search engines. Since AMP pages are also easier for users to navigate through, an improved UX can encourage them to spend more time on the website and learn more information about the brand.
In 2019, almost 65% of all digital media buying will be programmatic. Programmatic is without a doubt the most cost-effective, efficient way for advertisers to purchase digital ad space. Programmatic advertising is rapidly growing in India with Google Marketing Platform (GMP) leading the way. Unlike previous methods which required human intervention and manual bids, programmatic algorithms can determine the best media mix and automatically purchase it. This technology enables marketers to reach a scale previously unthought of. They can target larger audiences over a wider variety of channels with absolutely no time or effort lost. Since it can optimise in real-time, markets can do a lot more with their budgets and reduce their cost-per-leads.
With every new SERP feature that Google introduced, organic traffic takes a hit. Click-through-rates have been steadily dropping and 2019 will be a continuation of this trend. Answer boxes, for instance, answers a user’s query without them having to actually click on a link. So while your page might show up on a featured snippet, you might not notice a significant rise in organic traffic to that page.
So does this mean the sun has set on the SEO empire? Fortunately, no. This just means that marketers will need to re-align their SEO strategy. For example, they will need to start focusing more on creating brand awareness and driving up brand searches. When users start searching for your company’s name, Google cannot prevent users from clicking on your website. It also means tailoring your content specifically for higher click-through rates. You need to give users enough information that Google picks it up and displays it, but not enough for their curiosity to be satisfied. If users are only getting half an answer from your snippet, they are more likely to click on your page to get the full information.
Previously, organic reach on Facebook had taken a hit, with pages showing close to zero reach without paid promotions. In 2019, all signs are pointing towards Instagram going down the same route. As Instagram grows in popularity and adds new users every minute, it predictably wants brands to start paying for higher reach. If your company page doesn’t have adequate promotional budgets, then it’s time to scale up this year. But while showcasing your brand on Instagram might become more expensive, it’s still completely worth it. India currently has around 71 million active users and this number is only set to grow from here. Clearly, brands cannot afford to neglect this audience, paid or otherwise.
2019 is proving to be an exciting year for brands, giving them opportunities to experiment with new ad formats and strategies. By taking advantage of these upcoming trends, brands can gain a strong lead over their competition.
This article was originally published in Campaign India.
If you're looking for more information into digital marketing trends that will shape India in 2019, do check out our co-founder Vikas' in-depth video below.
Interactive ads allow users to engage with them or explore them in new ways. The average digitally-active user is exposed to hundreds of ads every single day! With so many ads bombarding them, people automatically turn on their filters and are able to ignore a majority of these. While this coping mechanism might help a user wade through an ads-saturated world, it can also be a source of great concern for brands. With brands spending huge amounts on advertising, they can’t afford to have their audience simply ignore their ads. So how do you prevent a user from scrolling past, turning off or forgetting about your ad? The answer might lie in the new format of advertising: interactive ads.
Interactive ads create immersive experiences for audiences that capture their attention completely. The rich technology that has fuelled interactive ads allows users to experiment and engage with your ads. This helps create a lasting impression on your audience, as a result of which ads perform better. While these ads work on desktop and tablet too, mobile is the platform showing greatest results. As more users spend most of their screen time on mobile phones, this is another reason why brands should start experimenting with interactive ads. Modern-day audiences, millennials, in particular, don’t want to be passive spectators. While digital advertising as a whole offers users a personalised two-way form of communication, interactive ads go one step further.
Interactive ads have delivered clear results for brands using them. If you start using the magic of interactive ads in your strategy, be prepared to see these four results:
You might have a beautifully designed landing page, but how do you get users to actually click on it and submit their details? Most interactive ads also come with a call-to-action which takes a user to the brand’s landing page or product page. Since interactive ads are more engaging than other formats, users are more likely to actually click on the button. Interactive ads are also more fun than most other forms of advertising. Interactive campaigns in the past have witnessed a 300 per cent higher CTR, positive brand perception and higher recall than other forms of advertising.
For most brands, the metric they’re chasing after isn’t just lead generation, but actual conversions of those leads. Interactive ads have an average of 3x conversion rates than other formats like video ads, with this number going up to 7x for some campaigns. On the face of it, interactive ads might appear to have a higher CPL than other forms of advertising like display. However, users who engage with the ad can be retargeted via display campaigns, leading to higher conversions and improved quality of leads generated via digital.
Data is the foundation of every marketing strategy and is immensely valuable to marketers everywhere. Interactive ads offer a huge goldmine of data that can go deeper than other kinds of ads. You can gain granular information on how long people viewed your ad, what they clicked on, if they answered any questions, whether they replayed it and if they shared it with others. This data can help you formulate a more refined approach, improving the performance of future campaigns as well.
Like other forms of advertising, the platform you choose for an interactive ad will also depend upon your target audience and your defined metrics for success. Here are the top-performing interactive ad formats that brands need to sit up and take notice of.
mCanvas is a rich media ad format that helps brands communicate their story in an experiential way. It is designed exclusively for mobile, a platform that is becoming popular in India.
Ads designed for mCanvas are beautiful and visually appealing, which plays a large role in attracting higher CTRs and user engagement. After clicking on an ad, mCanvas is able to detect smartphone sensors, allowing users to interact with the ad by shaking, tilting or speakig a command. mCanvas also allows brands to reach out to their consumers in a more focused way through a number of targeting options.
For Piramal Mahalaxmi, we decided to look beyond the commonly used digital marketing strategies for real estate in India. We used captivating images of the view from the property to create interactive experiences through mCanvas. Through mCanvas ads on premium placement sites, we were able to direct a number of high-quality leads to our landing page. We retargeted them through Google Display Network, which fetched us a sizeable number of conversions. In this way, mCanvas was an innovative strategy for digital marketing for real estate that helped us push leads through the conversion funnel.
A rich media ad includes interactive features like videos, audio, gifs and other elements that make it stand out from a static display ad. Google's programmatic advertising solution in India, Google Marketing Platform (GMP), has multiple formats too. With rich media, there is no limit to the creativity brands can use to captivate their audience. These ads are created through HTML5 technology, allowing multiple content formats to be placed in the same ad. An ad, for example, can play a video and conduct a poll simultaneously. Rich media ads can help brands achieve the twin objectives of higher CTR and greater brand awareness.
One of the best examples of how rich media lets brand push creative boundaries is Nissan’s 2016 World T20 tournament campaign. Nissan detected an opportunity in the fact that many Indians weren’t able to watch television and keep track of live scores. They developed a series of rich media banner ads that also kept track of live scores. The ads were also interactive because they asked users to vote for their favourite teams before a match started. Nissan’s innovative approach helped them stand out from the numerous other brands advertising during cricket season. Their rich media interactive ads delivered a 4x increase in website visits and 10x higher interaction rates compared to industry standards.
A commonly used form of rich media ads is Lightbox.
Lightbox is a format of interactive ads developed by Google. When you click or hover over a Lightbox ad, it responds by expanding. A Lightbox ad can expand to fill your entire screen, play a video or take you through a carousel of images. The ads also generally end with a link to your website. Since these ads are more engaging than traditional formats, it increases the likelihood that a user will actually click on your website link. Lightbox ads automatically adapt themselves to fit your screen size, so they work perfectly on mobile, tablets and desktops. The same display targeting options are also available for Lightbox ads, helping brands ensure they reach the right audience.
Video ads are one of the best-performing advertising mediums with 64 per cent of viewers buying the product after watching branded videos. When combined with interactive features, they become even more effective. Interactive videos transform what is usually a passive viewing experience into one that actively engages with them. Viewers can answer questions during a video, influence sequences of the storyline and even play games. Interactive videos capture your audience’s attention completely and can be a powerful way to generate leads or send viewers to your website.
At Social Beat, for example, we used an interactive format for our Team video to make it more fun and engaging. Questions popped up at regular intervals and viewers could click on them for answers. This held their attention for a longer time and even helped them learn more about our brand in the process.
Interactive ads have delivered proven results across the board for FMCG, BFSI and B2B brands. With audiences today looking for greater value from advertisements, interactive formats certainly have the upper hand.
Over the past few years, social media marketing has been one of the key marketing strategies for leading real estate developers to reach out to their potential buyers. For some developers, over 1/3rd of their sales comes from the digital medium. Advertising your property on social media platforms is a guaranteed way to showcase your property to the real estate investors and increase the possibility of a sale. However, just posting images of your next upcoming project may not be captivating enough. Here are some new trends that real estate developers can leverage upon.
What if you could give your potential home buyers the luxury of a walkthrough of their new apartment without them leaving their homes? Sounds too good to be true? The latest trend of 360 videos will let you do just that. It is an excellent way to connect with your target audience and show them home buyer what is in store for them if they buy your apartment or villa.
While virtual reality is making an entry in the marketing scene, it is not mainstream yet because of the cost of the VR gears. However, if you are looking for an engaging video, then a 360-degree video is a good starting point. These videos can be created through low-cost tools as well.
This trend is highly beneficial for real estate for developers to showcase their upcoming projects. Apart from the 360 videos, developers can also use 360-degree photos to showcase an immersive 360-degree experience. Both the 360 video and photo produce more engagement and message retention than regular videos or photos.
Casa Grande, one of India’s leading real estate developers, have used this marketing strategy to connect with their potential customers. For the launch of one of their projects in ECR, Chennai, they used 360 videos to exhibit to the potential clients what is in store for the project.
With organic reach on Facebook almost dead, brands are using focused advertising to reach their potential audience on Social Media. While the regular lead generation and website conversion ads are a great way to reach your target audience, it is also important to engage with the potential audience to understand them to improve the quality of your leads. A good way to do this is by using interactive ads. Interactive ads are the next generation of ads, which has taken social media marketing by storm. These ads increase the engagement by interacting with potential customers. A typical example of an interactive ad are the Facebook live polls hosted by companies to produce user-generated data to study what the customers are interested in buying. For example, a real estate developer can put up a poll on Facebook to check if their clients prefer sea-facing apartments or pool-facing apartments. This will give them a rough insight of what their customers want and can even use this data in pricing their property.
If you are looking at the next level of interactive advertising, try out M-Canvas ads, a mobile-only advertising service with very interactive and engaging ad formats. They are unlike any other format available on social media. They are highly interactive and uses a mix of images, video, and carousel to create a memorable and stunning visual experience on mobile. Moreover, these ads allow you to interact within the publisher i.e while you are reading your news article on the same page you can interact with the ad, rather than going to a different page. Once you click, the ads expand and give your further information and ensure the viewer interacts with the ad to take the next steps.
It is one of the best ways to showcase real estate products. For example, if your end goal is for your customer to enquire about the project, you can show a sneak preview of the project’s interiors with Call to Action that prompts viewers to take the next step. An audience who's interested enough to swipe all the way through your ad is likely willing to click through to your website and make the enquiry. These canvas ads are a new concept that is catching up, and we see it as a trend that is here to stay.
Micro-targeting is a marketing strategy of using consumer data and demographics to identify the interests of specific individuals and then influence their action of making a purchase. If a property is for sale on OMR in Chennai or in Whitefield in Bangalore or BKC in Mumbai, with three bedrooms, three baths and is close to the IT corridor, then it is most likely to be bought by a working professional in his 30s with a family of two kids. With the help of micro-targeting, real estate developers can reach out to their target audience by specifying the demographics and the geography of the potential customer on Facebook. You can even target users around the world whose hometown matches the city where the project is. Hence, their ads are displayed to a more specific and niche crowd making the probability of selling the property even higher than before.
Hindi Content has been growing faster than English content, and this is likely to increase even further in 2017. This is not only the case for content but also advertising. if you looking to reach a wider audience, especially in the tier II and III cities, then using regional content is a must. Ads in regional languages have started rolling out, and marketers have begun incorporating this concept into their marketing strategies to reach out to their target audience. When a potential home buyer reads an ad in his regional language, he develops a bond of trust and comfort with the seller and is more likely to make a purchase, or at least recommend that product to a friend.
For example, Aryan Housing, one of the leading real estate developers based out of Mumbai, ran a campaign of ads in Marathi to connect with their local audience and received a phenomenal response.
While the majority of the first time home buyers are researching online, they make the end decision of buying the property offline only. So for a real estate company, integrated offline and online marketing efforts is highly essential. While it is important to run ads and get leads, it is also important to understand that consumers do not make purchase decisions based on a single ad or message alone. Potential buyers gather all their information from various channels and this data gathered through several stages of the buying process are the building blocks of sales.
If you have a potential lead from an online ad and your sales team is following up with them, it is important to also reach out that potential lead online as well. You could use automated email or drip email to reach them until they actually make the purchase. Real Estate developers can target and constantly stay in touch with a group of people based on certain criteria. Let's say that a customer has visited property website and shown interest by coming for a site visit, digital marketers can use the information provided by the customer to send emails about the development and completion of the property and news on various other related properties. Drip emails are a powerful lead nurturer, with statistics showing a 119% increase in click-through rate via trustworthy emails.
Advertising across social media platforms is all about building your brand and making it a household name for people to connect to and rely on. In “Across the Funnel” marketing, real estate developers build their brand names through four essential steps. They initially start the process by running engaging campaigns on social media, which explain their products and attract potential buyers. Then, they work towards increasing traffic to their websites and drive site visits and enquiries through their conversion data. Lastly, they customise their audience by eradicating cold leads and focus on customers who have actively shown interest in their marketing campaigns. With Facebook’s Brand Reach & Frequency campaigns, brands can even get assured visibility and reach, similar to what a front-page newspaper ad gives.
All of these social media marketing strategies are currently trending in 2017 and are here to stay! Which of these techniques will you be adopting in your social media marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments below. Content marketing blogs to follow.
In the meantime, go through our complete guide for digital marketing for real estate.