The new trendsetting kid on the block, TikTok has taken the media world by storm. TikTok’s explosive growth, compared to other social media platforms, quickly made it the most downloaded app worldwide. Covering 150 countries and regions in 75 different languages across Asia, America and Europe, it gained 1.5 billion downloads quickly across the globe.
With over 178 million active monthly users in India, TikTok emerged as a platform with a continual increase in its user base, and on a mammoth scale. An interesting aspect to consider is that the initial audiences TikTok onboarded were new data users, who were virtually untapped in the digital space. It was an obvious wake-up call to leverage TikTok as a platform to target coveted Tier II and Tier III digital India. Moreover, 48% of the engagement was driven from the top metro Tier I cities.
It’s safe to say that a majority of the Indian Internet user base is now hooked to this entertainment-based content platform where anyone and everyone can become a creator. TikTok’s core objective was to bring the fun back to social media and provide a platform where anyone can be part of the trends or even start their own.
Due to this, TikTok quickly became a hub where India spent their biggest and most meaningful moments. Over 4.9 billion lit up festive seasons like Diwali, Christmas and New Year with groovy dance moves, spectacular AR filters, entertaining skits, amongst many others. A defining example of this was witnessed during the ICC World Cup when over 1 billion engaged with the app.
With the ban of TikTok in Jun 2020, there are a host of TikTok alternatives that have come up in India.
TikTok is India's breakout app in terms of year over year growth. But what’s the secret behind this aggressive growth? The ‘magic sauce’ lies in its wide variety of products that deliver on the promise of bringing back fun! Offering a range of optimizations, products like Branded Takeover, TopView Ads and Hashtag Challenges provide an immersive experience along with a chance at virality, and high impact broad reach and awareness. In-feed Video Ads enhance brand recall and drive brand affinity through its targeting, scalability and cost-efficiency.
There was an increase in the 25+ age group using TikTok - the Indian consumer with high disposable income ready to be tapped in to make the impulse purchase by multiple brands. The common symptoms of the TikTok addiction across Gen Z is that these users open the app more than 6 times a day and consume content for 40 minutes at a stretch. More popular among Android users over iOS, brands offering affordable, aspirational products find it extremely easy to derive ROI from TikTok marketing.
As per the Kantar Survey Data 2019, it was recorded that there was higher purchasing intent among TikTok audiences as compared to other online shoppers, with nearly 50% having shopped online in the last 3 months. The cherry on top of the cake? The TikTok user’s purchasing power was measured to show them spending more monthly on online shopping as compared to non-TikTok users, with the share of wallet for online shopping 17% higher than non-users. This data proves that marketing on TikTok is an open playing field for brands that are heavy on e-commerce, fashion, and retail, while simultaneously remaining scalable for fintech and BFSI.
TikTok is powered by the creation of native content that communicates that the user, not the product, is in control of what they’re watching. Think of it this way: TikTok is seen as a daily dose of video therapy that gives you a break from your everyday routine, available across a variety of content categories. It’s more than dance - it’s entertainment, beauty, music, fitness, travel, and so much more, making it the pandora’s box of native, creative and highly engaging content. Moreover, since the content is in video formats, it enables users to create or consume in their native tongue. The availability of vernacular content itself has been a key driver of app installs, user engagement, and many other important metrics.
Seen majorly as an entertainment platform, TikTok is growing its roots into popular topics like food and DIY, while also setting its base in education. For example, #EduTok is a trending hashtag, that began as an in-app challenge. TikTok encouraged users to create and share videos with educational content to promote learning for the Indian community on the platform. This initiative took off immediately, and till date, continues to be a popular trend among users.
The challenge has seen over 10 million videos created and shared with the hashtag till date and continues to grow rapidly, having amassed over 48 billion views and 1.8 billion shares. This educational initiative has worked well to propel TikTok’s dedication to growing India’s creative economy to reach and contribute to the lives of digital users across platforms.
@parastomarGot your own business ? You need ##khatabook @khatabook.com♬ original sound - Paras Tomar
Customer acquisition was one of the key objectives for a booming fintech startup like Khatabook. We partnered with them to tap into a new audience, and with the help of vernacular influencer videos, we started targeting regional users, which helped establish TikTok as one of the important pillars for customer acquisition.
The TikTok marketing strategy for Khatabook was centred around a robust performance strategy that was executed to drive app installs. We created concepts that communicated the USPs of the app in a clear and concise manner and collaborated with 250 influencers across the country who created videos in 15 different languages. The content was also created around seasonal and festive events like Diwali and the Indian Premier League.
After we implemented the TikTok marketing strategy with vernacular content created by influencers, we saw where our CTR was 0.04%, later increased to 0.8% which led to 60% incremental growth in install volume and 20% reduction in cost per install. Till now we have uploaded more than 200 influencers’ videos in TikTok Ads that give us exponential visibility across channels and more creative assets to use.
We partnered with Bewakoof to target TikTok as a platform and scale it up to convert it as a profit delivering platform. We capitalized on home production videos which Bewakoof had made in-house to target our relevant audience.
We realized that dedicated product videos worked better than collection videos. Therefore, we created videos for the best seller t-shirts that Bewakoof had to offer and started leveraging them for performance marketing on TikTok. Since TikTok is a video-heavy platform, we ran at least 4-5 videos for different products at the same time to ensure zero dip in CTRs, therefore clicks and ergo performance. Using a two-pronged approach, we were able to target users for sales through app and website conversion campaigns.
By marketing on TikTok with influencer videos in regional content, our install to purchase ratio jumped from 3.02% to 26.55% and our ROI increased from 0.78 to 3.11.
Swiggy Starhunt was an exclusive campaign, created to engage with the company’s delivery partners, the true champions who deliver to satisfy our food hankerings no matter what the obstacle, be it traffic or the weather. The campaign was designed with the objective of creating an opportunity for engagement and fun to offer them a break.
With creatives and media like videos, GIFs, posts, and more, in 11 different regions languages, our social media strategy was created with the intention of reaching audiences across India. To give the campaign an extra push and get the buzz going, we collaborated with 7 TikTok influencers to help us out.
The TikTok marketing campaign resulted in an organic reach of 57 lakhs, with the active participation of over 350 of Swiggy’s unsung heroes! Over 1500 videos were uploaded onto the social media platform, with delivery partners showcasing their talents, garnering over a whopping 44 million views! The campaign was a huge success and provided impactful awareness among delivery partners.
Marketing on TikTok by adopting a granular approach and leveraging vernacular, your brand would be able to tap into key regions across India and engage them better to create memorable customer experiences.
Matching the brand with TikTok’s native audience and creating content utilising influencer marketing will not only provide your brand with a better chance of being shared and viewed but also provides the opportunity to create viral moments to increase organic traction.
By maintaining a frequency of regular, engaging and entertaining content you would be able to build brand awareness and affinity to ensure that your brand is staying relevant and trending.
Facebook has now launched Instagram Reels which is a 15-second short video post that can be shared on your story, feed or in the explore section. You can also edit the Reels with options like audio, speed, timer and effects.
With each day comes a new trend and also an increase in the variety of products and scalability on a completely dynamic platform, like TikTok. Social Beat uses an array of social media platforms to have a wider impact and reach, and TikTok marketing is that fast-moving bus with drop points in the untappable regions - get your brand on the bus before they miss it!
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.
India’s regional language internet users are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18% versus English language users at 3%. In fact, by 2012, 9 out of 10 new internet users will browse the internet in their own vernacular. Affordable smartphones and low-cost data plans have also acted as catalysts, further driving the growth of regional content online. Brands will have to focus their efforts on creating an effective multilingual marketing strategy if they wish to cater to India’s next billion internet users.
If you are new to the multilingual marketing bandwagon or would like to learn more about this new digital marketing trend, take a look at our in-depth guide on multilingual marketing, that speaks in detail about:
What was the last post you engaged with on Social Media? If your answer begins with the phrase “A video on…”, then you are among the 80% of Internet users who engage with this popular format of content on a daily basis. Compelling videos are undoubtedly the best way to grab the attention of your target group and elevate the image of your brand.
There are multiple formats that a brand can try out when it comes to video marketing. From animation to explainer videos, you have plenty of options and formats to choose from. One such format that is gaining popularity is vox pop. It provides real-life original content on popular opinions that the audience can often relate to. It is also an incredibly effective way to communicate the brand’s USP while triggering a conversation among people on an important topic.
It is safe to say that showcasing the USP of your brand in an interesting and insightful manner is the primary objective of every video campaign. Vox pops are your best weapon of choice in this context since they showcase people’s opinions on a broad topic and allow the brand to convey a strong message through people’s answers. What better way to reach the public, than through the public?
Last year, we created a vox pop for our client FundsIndia. The theme of the vox pop was centred around what people do on their phones all day. We received a variety of answers from browsing social media, to paying bills and booking tickets for entertainment. Based on people’s answers the interviewer raised awareness towards the use of the internet to invest money in a SIP or mutual fund. The vox pop helped communicate FundsIndia’s message of the importance of investing early to reap the benefits in the future. The video was promoted on Facebook and achieved high organic views and engagement.
Production videos are great. They do exceptionally well on both YouTube and social media channels as they have a personal connection with the target audience. However, the production costs involved in creating a video can often weigh you down and curb your creativity. Moreover, shooting a video with a studio setup will also result in a lot of overhead costs as they may include travel and sourcing actors. Vox pops, on the other hand, have little to no costs and are a budget-friendly option for new or growing companies. A mic, camera and quirky set of questions are all you need for production. You can gain a quick and creative piece of content at a minimal cost.
Vox pops are great not only for getting insightful and relevant comments from users but it also helps a brand curate original content. People’s opinions on certain topics can help spark a conversation about an important issue or event. Not only does this give the company a unique name but it also encourages conversations about issues that people would not have normally thought of.
For Diwali, we steered clear of the usual celebratory videos for our client Ashok Leyland. To break through the clutter, we used a vox pop video to highlight the important role truck drivers play on this festival. To do this, we asked people what they did to celebrate the holiday. People shared their thoughts on what the festival meant to them- they talked about the sweets and gifts that bring meaning to the holiday. We used this opportunity to remind them of truck drivers who deliver the gifts and sweets across the country to make sure everyone has a great holiday. This sparked a conversation about the people who worked on Diwali and how they deserve to be celebrated as well.
“Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun hai?” was promoted on all the major social networking channels of Ashok Leyland with the hashtag #YehDiwaliBadiNirali. This was also one of the most trending vernacular vox-pop videos of 2018. The video garnered over 2.5 lakh views across platforms with 3.1K comments and 400+ shares.
Vox pop videos help voice the opinions of people in society. This provides for a very organic form of advertising as we get to hear people’s unfiltered thoughts on the topic discussed. People’s opinions and views on a topic can vary, making vox pop videos more relatable and memorable. It is a creative way of bringing research to life by producing compelling video content.
We did a vox pop video for our client, Sundaram Mutual, for Father’s day that everyone in our target audience would be able to relate to. The aim of the video was to communicate the importance of saving through our spending habits and how they differed from our dads’. When we asked millennials what they would do with 1 lakh rupees, most of the responses involved food or travel but when asked what their dad would do with the same 1 lakh rupees, the answers included saving money for the future or for their kid’s education. We received a great response to this video with 3 million views, 36K shares and over 600 comments.
In contrast to traditional advertising, vox pops are original. The real-life responses of people can often result in various emotions, both happy and sad. Vox pop videos can also increase engagement on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as people post their thoughts on the videos. The ability of vox pops to bring out so many emotions in people makes it a great form of advertising for many companies to help add value to their brand while spreading a positive message.
Ashok Leyland is a pioneer in the commercial vehicle space and is the 12th largest manufacturer of trucks and 4th largest manufacturer of buses in the world. Below is a case study of a video campaign we executed for them.
Being one of the leading manufacturers of trucks in the nation, Ashok Leyland wanted to honour and express their gratitude towards truck drivers for their love, support and unrelenting efforts. The brand was looking for an engaging video with an emotional connection to celebrate the true unsung heroes this Diwali. The objective was to bring out the fact that it is because of the tireless efforts of these truck drivers that the entire world can celebrate Diwali with great pomp and gaiety.
Since a majority of the target group for Ashok Leyland are small business owners from the tier 2 and tier 3 cities of the nation, we took up a multilingual approach for better reach. Affordable data plans and drop in the prices of smartphones has led to an increase in consumption of vernacular content. In this regard, adopting a multilingual marketing strategy is crucial as it has enormous power to influence the next billion internet users in India. Since most of the truck drivers communicate in regional languages, we recommended a Hindi vox-pop video as the best medium due to its engaging and interactive nature. Hence, the video “Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun Hai?” was born. As part of this vox-pop digital marketing campaign, people were questioned about various aspects of their Diwali celebrations. They were also asked to guess the people who worked continuously without taking a day off even for Diwali. The most common responses of the people were soldiers, doctors, milk vendors and security guards. Few respondents spoke about the role of truck drivers in transporting raw materials from various production hubs. Due to its conversational nature, the video was extremely powerful in recognising the valuable contributions of the truck drivers towards nation building.
“Diwali Ke Asli hero Kaun hai?” was promoted on all the major social networking channels of Ashok Leyland with the hashtag #YehDiwaliBadiNirali. This was also one of the most trending vernacular vox-pop videos of 2018. The video garnered over 2.5 lakh views across platforms with 3.1K comments and 400+ shares. Another highlighting feature of this video is that it was extremely successful in tapping the emotional chord of the audience. The viewers were enlightened on how happiness reaches them with the help of these truck drivers. The campaign has greatly uplifted Ashok Leyland into a socially responsible brand by throwing a positive light on the company and portraying it as a goodwill ambassador of its stakeholders.
These numbers are proof that multilingual marketing is the way to go. The reach of vernacular content and interactive nature of videos go hand-in-hand in widening your audience and telling your brand story. For more tips on how to rank your videos, read our in-depth article: YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos in 2019.
As the saying goes – The only thing constant is change. Internet usage has evolved in India from being a mere medium to connect with friends to an expansive forum to grow your business and widen your reach. With the drop in the prices of smartphones and the introduction of affordable data plans by Reliance Jio, users from the tier 2 and tier 3 regions of the nation have joined the digital bandwagon and brands are leaving no stone unturned in targeting them.
However, when it comes to generating high-quality leads for your brand, just detailed targeting is not enough. Marketers need to find an emotional connect with the potential target audience to create a solid bond of trust and increase brand assurance. Keeping this in mind, we used multilingual advertising to help our real estate clients reach their target audience using Facebook marketing solutions. Keeping the vernacular approach in mind, we leveraged the reach and convenience of Facebook Form ads with the sole objective of lead generation. However, it was not just the ads that were vernacular, even the content in the forms was presented in a regional language to provide an end-to-end multilingual approach.
Casagrand is one of the top property developers in the country with a strong presence in the south. In an attempt to promote their recent project – Casagrand Smart Town – we used Facebook to advertise the project. Since the project is located in Thalambur, in the IT corridor of Chennai, we targeted both people working in the region and those who are looking for investing options in the area. The project is smartly priced at Rs 24 Lakhs, making it a great option for first time home buyers as well.
To begin with, we ran English ads on Facebook which resulted in a high CPL. Understanding the target audience is also Tamil speaking, we ran the same ads in Tamil as well. The regional ads generated 3x the number of leads and the CPL was almost 1/3rd. This resulted in almost a 9x better engagement with the same investment. This only proves that targeting your audience with a multilingual ad strategy helps both the consumers and the marketers.
L&T is a household name in our nation, known for top-notch residential and commercial developments that are landmarks of their own. L&T Praganya Eden Park is an integrated township located in Siruseri, with spectacular 3BHK apartments packed with new-age amenities and facilities. Again, since Siruseri is a hot destination for both IT professionals who travel to the locality every day for work and real estate investors looking for burgeoning areas to buy a home in, we targeted both the groups on Facebook through Tamil ads.
The campaign resulted in over 25% reduction of CPL with the average CPL of the campaign being 15% lesser than average CPLs in this micro market. Additionally, it generated multiple leads with 3 site visits.
Nisarg Greens located in Ambernath East, Mumbai, is one of the most coveted gated communities of the region with 1, 2 and 3 BHK apartments built in a luxurious plot of 25 acres. This property was promoted in Marathi to connect with the local audience and generate high-quality leads instantly. The price point of this project is attractive, making it a great buy for young families and those who have just started working. Consumers were targeted with an end-to-end multilingual marketing approach with both the lead forms and the ads being presented in Marathi. The campaign resulted in a 20% increase in qualified leads, out of which a whopping 15% contributed to walk-ins, and one successful booking!
Lancor Lumina 2020 is a newly launched community enclave offering premium lifestyle 2 and 3 BHK apartments in the fast-appreciating locality of Guduvanchery. The project was promoted on Facebook in both English and Tamil ads. The English ads and Tamil ads were run one after the other and resulted in 64% drop in CPL and 75% more number of leads.
This case study is an important example of the power of social media marketing and multilingual advertising. However, it is vital to understand that multilingual marketing is not just about translation. It is about creating an end-to-end marketing strategy in the language your target audience is comfortable in. This is exactly what we offer at 22 Languages.
With higher sales numbers and lower cost per lead, Digital Marketing Has Transformed The Real Estate Industry. Don’t forget to check out our Comprehensive Guide For Digital Marketing For Real Estate for a more in-depth analysis.
A billion faces and a million tongues – there’s no better way to describe a country as culturally and linguistically diverse as India. According to the latest census, there are 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts and over 19, 500 dialects.
The recent and comprehensive ‘Year in Search’ report by Google India shed light on the way Indians consume content. With close to 450 million internet users, the report projects that number to go up to 650 million by 2020.
Taking advantage of affordable smartphones and low-cost data plans, India’s digital growth story has shifted from the metros to Tier I and Tier II cities.
Another April 2017 report by KPMG and Google showed two key findings:
Suffice to say these vast numbers clearly indicate a potential for vernacular content in India’s digital market and the overall growth of regional content online. Considering how these numbers can drive and impact digital use and revenue, there are now several startups that have chosen to focus on indigenous content to enable and accommodate India’s next billion Internet users.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top twelve vernacular startups in India:
Founded in 2009, DailyHunt is one of India’s leading news and local language content platforms. The brainchild of former Nokia employees, Chandrashekar Sohoni and Umesh Kulkarni, DailyHunt is headquartered in Bengaluru and offers its users over 100,000 news articles in 14 vernacular languages licensed form 800 publication partners daily. Daily hunt also lets you advertise on their platform, making it convenient for marketers to target the right audience.
22 Languages is a platform that helps brands create content in 22 official Indian languages. With this, you can create ads, website ads, Apps and blogs in local languages. With a large network of native writers, this platform is perfect for brands that are looking to tap the next billion users with their multilingual marketing strategies.
In an attempt to leverage and drive the number of vernacular content users, ShareChat proposes to be India’s answer to Facebook, Twitter and similar social networking platforms. Headquartered in Bengaluru, ShareChat was founded in 2015 by IIT-Kanpur alumni Bhanu Singh Pratap, Farid Ahsan and Ankush Sachdeva. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, ShareChat enables users to post and share videos, songs, images and other content, as well as discover content that is topical and trending. Users can interact with content in several Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, etc.
Roposo is a social media sharing platform that lets its users create images, video and other shareable content using editing tools. Based out of Gurugram, Roposo was founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumni Avinash Saxena, Mayank Bhangadia and Kaushal Shubhank. The app is currently available in 8 languages namely Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali, for users to explore and expresses themselves in. Roposo further plans to introduce languages like Odiya and Assamese among others and state that users can share content on their app without the risk of their message being lost in translation.
Similar to Roposo, Clip App is a digital media video sharing startup that lets users watch, create, edit and share funny videos and images in the local and regional languages. With over 97% of videos in India being consumed in non-English languages, this platform can be used to find and edit videos for a brand’s social media. The content created can then be shared on various platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. The Bengaluru-based startup was founded in March 2017 by Ashish Gupta, Nav Agarwala and Swapnil Upadhyay. Clip App is available for download on the Google Play Store.
Founded in 2017 by Mayank Bidawatka and Aprameya Radhakrishna, Vokal is a P2P knowledge-sharing platform that enables its users to ask queries and receive responses in the local language of their choice in the form of audio. The founders wanted to provide Indians accessing the internet in their vernacular, the chance to assimilate quality indigenous content.
Based out of New Delhi, BetterButter is a recipe-discovery platform that allows its users to discover and share local, regional and international recipes in their indigenous languages. Founded in 2015 by Sukhmani Bedi and Niyaz Laiq, BetterButter has a repository of over 50,000 recipes and videos. The site currently offers its recipes in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and English and is gearing up to add Gujarati, Telugu and Bengali in the first quarter of 2018-19.
BetterButter’s Hindi service was launched in March 2017 and has seen more than two lakh hits, while Tamil reached over 25,000. Marathi, started in December 2017, saw over 5,000.
It is safe to say that Chatbots are the next big digital marketing wave and a personal way of connecting with your customers. Using this strategy for your website can increase leads and help you understand your customers better. But what if your customers prefer vernacular content? That is where Vernacular.ai comes in.
It provides its clients with multi-lingual chatbots to help their users interact in their preferred local language. The AI-enabled startup utilises National Language Processing to create its products. Headquartered in Bengaluru and founded in 2016 by Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraja and Manoj Sarda, Vernacular.ai’s chatbots enable businesses to provide their users with a seamless customer experience enhanced by Artificial Intelligence and multi-lingual support.
Samosa Labs is a chat entertainment app based out of Hyderabad and provides its users with a platform to create audio files and GIFs that can be shared across Facebook and WhatsApp and other social media platforms. In order to penetrate the regional language market, Samosa Labs gives its users the ability to create content in several Indian languages. It was founded in 2015 by Rahul Reddy Koora, Abhilash Inumella and Abhimanyu Pamulapati.
Bengaluru-based local news startup, Lokal is the newest one to join the pack. Founded in July 2018 by Vishal Chaudhary and Jani Pasha, Lokal provides users with a platform to read local news based on their location and choice of local language. The news is delivered through a curated network of local journalists in a given area and freelancers. You can download the Lokal app from Google Play Store.
NewsDog is a news aggregator founded in 2016. It aims to provide Indian users with content in 10 different Indian languages. Based out of Beijing, the startup was founded by Maggie Ma and Forrest Chen and currently serves 50 million users.
With Voice being one of the newest marketing segments poised for exponential growth in the near future, a number of companies are looking to ride that wave. Bootstrapped firm Agrahyah Technologies is one of them. Founded in Mumbai in October 2016, Agrahyah Technologies is the brain-child of Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Uppal Shah and Rushabh Vasa. The software company is a solutions provider for voice-first platforms like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc. Their suite of Indian language digital content, mobile apps and voice products aims to help the average Indian access the internet by removing the barrier of English.
Regional languages have the power like no other to truly connect with your target audience. For example, our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career helps budding entrepreneurs to make it big in life with useful insights shared in Tamil. Check out one of our best-performing videos below. Be sure to also visit our Arrear Irundalum Career website for further career guidance tips in Tamil.
India is a multilingual nation in the true sense of the word, and now startups and established companies alike are looking to tap into the power of vernacular interface and content. We at Social Beat, too, have witnessed first-hand the power of vernacular content by coming up with a ground-breaking social media campaign in regional content for our client Cholamandalam Finance.
With the Indian real estate space getting increasingly crowded, it has become a significant challenge for developers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. In order to stand out, real estate developers need to try something unique to gain the upper hand. With the tier II and tier III cities being active on the Internet and most of them using vernacular language to consume content, Casagrand formulated an innovative vernacular ad strategy to engage with India’s next billion internet users. Here’s how Casagrand utilised vernacular content in their ads as one of their key real estate digital marketing strategies to reach this market and achieve an incredible 90 percent increase in leads.
Casagrand Builders is one of the biggest real estate developers in South India, with a large presence in Chennai as well as projects in Bangalore and Coimbatore. They are committed to building aspirations and providing homes that offer families the highest quality and value. Casagrand had two main objectives:
In order to meet these objectives, we formulated a multi-targeted approach which would capture the attention of potential buyers at various stages of the buying process. This would ensure that Casagrand would occupy a high position in the consumer’s mind space and give it an edge over its competitors. To do this, we utilised three main strategies:
According to the Google and KPMG report, the number of regional language speakers online in India will reach 76 million within the next five years. As this audience base grows in size and influence, it’s important that brands start creating multilingual content targeted towards them. Casagrand capitalised on this opportunity and developed a regional language-focused approach in their marketing strategy. We identified the Tamil-speaking consumers as the primary target audience since most of Casagrand’s projects are located in Chennai. Based on this, we began developing vernacular ads in Tamil so we could reach out to these consumers directly. We used vernacular ads extensively for specific projects like Casagrand Uptown. Speaking to this regional audience in the language they were most comfortable with, Casagrand was able to develop a relationship built on trust and comfort with their target audience. This played a pivotal role in helping us generate high-quality leads for Casagrand.
We identified the Google Display Network as the most effective way to reach our target audience to create maximum impact. Google Display Network allows us to find the right target audience and deliver our message contextually. One of the tools we used to maximise reach through custom affinity audiences. Building bucketed Custom Affinity Audiences allowed us to reach out to our specific target audience to ensure the right people were coming across our message. Gmail Ads displayed at the top of a user’s inbox also proved very effective in creating awareness and generating leads.
One of the most important ways digital marketing is transforming the real estate sector, is by creating brand awareness right from the initial stages of the buying process. As one of Casagrand’s primary objectives was to occupy the mind space of potential buyers, maintaining a high impression share across relevant keywords was very important. Through competitive bids on generic keywords (eg. 2 BHK apartments in Chennai), as well a brand-specific keywords, we ensured that users would continuously come across Casagrand’s ads in their search results. This helped increase the number of quality leads generated.
Through this extensive and in-depth approach, we were able to generate an unprecedented increase in the number of leads for Casagrand. Our strategy of utilising vernacular ads helped grow Casagrand’s leads by 90 percent QoQ and also increased the overall click volume by 85 percent QoQ. Vernacular ads were extensively utilised in the Casagrand Uptown project marketing strategy, with 50 percent of total spends being allocated to Indic Display Creatives and targeting. This approach delivered significantly higher leads and a CPL that was 60 percent lower than that of normal display creatives. These results prove that vernacular ads offer massive benefits not just in terms of increasing brand awareness, but also in delivering higher ROI.
As the number of regional language users growing at a faster pace than English language users, they are quickly becoming one of the most important segments for brands to focus on. The phenomenal results Casagrand achieved by implementing a strong vernacular ad strategy is proof that brands cannot afford to ignore India’s regional audience. To learn more about our work with Casagrand, you can also read how we helped Casagrand generate a record 190 crores in revenue via Facebook.
There is no doubt that reaching your target audience through vernacular content is one of the biggest trends of digital marketing. Though the early internet users in the nation are predominantly fluent in English, marketers have noticed that the current crop of digital-savvy individuals find multilingual content much more engaging and relatable. Keeping a tab on this trend, many brands have leveraged the reach of vernacular content to engage with India’s next billion internet users.
We, at Social Beat, took advantage of the reach of vernacular content and the engagement of video content to come up with a ground-breaking social media campaign for our client Cholamandalam Finance. Since the brand mostly caters to small-business owners and entrepreneurs from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, we targeted their audience with an animated video featuring the life lessons we can learn from an ant. The video was initially made in English and gained a traction reach of 409,609 with 3k shares. Seeing these numbers, we released the same video in Hindi which went viral.
The Hindi video currently has reached 2.2 million views with 94% of it being organic. Furthermore, 2 million of these views are unique. The post has reached 7 million users through 79k shares and 50k reactions. These stats are a testimony to the fact that the digital space is evolving and adapting itself to the needs and preferences of its new breed of internet users.
Need more convincing that vernacular is the need of the hour? Follow our Hindi YouTube channel Paisa Pujari for financial tips for individuals from all walks of life. Here's a video to get you started:
Surprising? These figures might sound counter-intuitive with so much focus on English given in digital media today. But it’s a fact that there has been a profound growth of regional content online. Consequently, this holds a massive implication for brands which are not leveraging regional languages for marketing their brand. With an anticipated CAGR of 41% over the next few years, the opportunity will only grow bigger. Taking that into account we have launched 22 languages. This website provides organizations with access to an audience of more than 50 million users nationwide. Companies can use a multilingual marketing strategy to showcase their products and services in over 22 languages through this medium. To understand this concept better, here are a few interesting insights from the latest study done by KPMG India and Google on the growth of vernacular languages in India on the digital front. Check out this video to understand why your brand must adopt a multilingual strategy:
Digital news has caught up easily because of its simplicity. Data is usually accessible through an app or a website with mobile compatibility. Big names have realized the importance of digital media due to the silent downfall in newspaper and magazine sales. Currently, there are 106 million users viewing digital news in local Indian languages. This figure is anticipated to add up to 180 million users by 2021. However, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and Tamil make up 80% of the current users. The major categories of type of news viewed are general, sports and politics. This only means that there is a dire need of more companies to enter this segment, to keep India more informed and updated.
Digital Classifieds are a very big sector. This sector has the potential to cause a ripple effect as people interact with each other in the same area and subsequently belong to the same target group. This would cause information to travel to a larger audience. Furthermore, Indian language usage would provide an extra boost by causing the information to reach nooks and corners of rural India. The top categories, which are looked up the most in classifieds, are matrimony, recruitment and real estate. Nevertheless, the only obstruction in digital classifieds is the lack of availability. This sector is anticipated to grow to an astonishing 100 million user base in the coming five years with individuals fluent in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada forming 70% of the total users by then.
The sector of digital payments is estimated to grow at 30% CAGR and a humongous 175 million consumers are expected to use it with Indian language interface by 2021. These gates are mostly used for mobile recharge and utility bill payments. Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are heading the charts in the languages open to quick adaption and will form half of the users on the digital payment platform.
According to statistics, Indian language users prefer buying electronics online rather than apparels or other accessories. As for the sellers, it has become much more convenient for local sellers to reach e-commerce giants like Amazon. One can sell their products on Amazon in five easy steps - the steps being creating an account, listing, taking products live and handing over the product to Amazon for delivery. It is quite convenient and hassle-free. The user base for e-commerce in local languages is growing at a high rate. It has a CAGR of 32% and is expected to add 120 million users in the upcoming five years. This popularity can be attributed to two major factors as voted highest by consumers: Firstly, the availability of better promotional offers and secondly, the huge variety of products available online which may not be present in the smaller cities or towns of India. The main obstruction users experience is the lack of end-to-end compatibility in Indian languages. However, as these obstructions show signs of quick recovery, e-tailing in local languages apart from e-commerce in English, will be a lucrative segment for the e-giants.
It is no surprise that impressive progress has already been made in this segment. Currently, a mass population of 162 million exists as the user base. Keeping in mind that the predicted user base by 2021 is 392 million Indians, there is much more that can be done in the digital entertainment arena. The content has the space to be comparatively more experimental and creative than other platforms as the adoption rate is 90% for this sector. The viewer’s quickly adapt to the kind of material available to them. These users consume both audio and video mediums.
To tap into this huge market, we used local languages for our informative videos like the Chola Finance video which was very well received by the Hindi speaking locals. The video got a whopping 1,751,355 Views and more than 64,000 shares.
The challenge remains in picking the right medium like Facebook, Hotstar, Youtube, tvfPlay or other regional channels.
If you are looking to create videos, read our blog on how to create low cost videos.
There are currently 41 million users under the segment of online government services. It is increasing at a CAGR of 33% and is expected to land at a massive 172 million in the next five years. Some of the applications that constitute online government services are tax filling, applying for government jobs and knowing about new rules and regulations. The Indian Government can use this platform to increase transparency and cut down corruption. However, limited local language enablement combined with lack of interest and awareness poses a huge obstruction which needs to be addressed immediately.
Chat applications currently have a 170 million user base and are anticipated to reach a 400 million user base by 2021. Hindi is topping at a huge margin of 50% as of now. Kannada is expected to grow to a far second with a whopping 20% in the coming years. The major challenge in this is the upgrade needed in voice to text, language keyboard and transliteration.
Social media platforms have a total of 115 million local language users as of now. This figure is expected to grow to 300 million by 2021.The South is anticipated to dominate this area due to its better adoption skills.
Digital write ups are a very interesting scope for Indian languages on the digital platform. It will provide visibility for the users who want to put their content online. It will also provide job opportunities for local people by companies looking to improve their SEO options by generating more local language content online. Additionally, mobile friendly blogs are preferred by users. 54% of Indians would adopt reading write ups if they are optimized for mobile screens.
This ongoing shift in India’s internet scenario has not gone past unseen by the Indian Government. Taking into account the increase in smart phone availability due to cheaper prices, a 176 million increment is expected till 2021. A striking 90% of these consumers are anticipated to be Indian language users. The government has taken this into account and made it mandatory for mobile phones sold in India to be Indian language friendly. Additionally, the government has also taken an initiative to make 60 million rural households digitally literate.
There are approximately 500 million Indian language users online. This figure will significantly have a huge impact on the nature of content presented on digital platforms. Additionally, this audience will be more inclusive of the elderly and the rural population. Also, as long as the type of sectors is concerned, Digital Classifieds, digital news and financial solutions will see a major boost.
Due to the local reach, many B2C users might exploit the Indian language user base on various channels. Digital marketing in Indian local languages will get them untapped markets in India. The companies which will be involved could be news sites, e-commerce players, insurance companies and m-wallets to name a few. In tier 2 and tier 3 cities, this can be encashed at a higher level. Since 90% of the new mobile buyers are local language users, a whole new customer base can be reached through this medium. Here's an interesting video that tells you why you need to have a multilingual strategy if you want to create a strong digital presence among your regional audience.
Indian language based websites and application will see a rise. Digital advertisements in local languages could also be used by B2C companies to increase reach. Additionally, Google display ads could be customized to the regional language of the state where they are being viewed.
This progress would result in new data generation for companies. The database, through structured investments, can be analyzed for specific language behaviors. This will help digital marketers in ad planning and targeting.
We need to move to a language agnostic ecosystem. This is required to give a platform to the Indian language content creators. Voice recognition will be of major help to the users who find using search and navigation through text a challenge.
It is affirmative that the preference given to regional languages will play an active role in internet consumption. It will also help explore a huge new market for brands. Brands that miss this bandwagon are sure to lose out on quite a few million potential customers. Furthermore, Indian language in digital will lead to the spreading of knowledge in rural parts of India. Tier 2 and tier 3 cities will also be of prime targeting in this arena. With such profound reach, it is safe to say that marketing through your regional language is the next step in digitizing India.