ⓘ Featured Image: Vivek Pandey, VP – Revenue Strategy, Colombia Audience Network
The year 2019 saw significant churn in the digital marketing sector, as the number of Indian internet users has risen significantly in the past two calendar years, crossing the crucial ‘half a billion’ mark to touch over 566 million. This heralds a new era for brands, with unprecedented evolution in how marketers influence their target audience using AI, Machine Learning, Voice & Visual search, influencers and social media.
Here are the biggest digital marketing trends for 2020:
Voice Search At A Historic High
Voice Search will lead digital marketing efforts and is likely to see significant surge over the next decade as analysts predict that over 50% searches would be via voice.
Before it gets too late, brands must adjust to their digital assets and make them voice-enabled. This means they will enable all content to have Voice SEO along with text SEO. This is particularly relevant for India as not all voice commands would necessarily be in English, given its a land with such diversity in culture, language and vocation. Top brands like Google and Jio are already working to develop mobile tech that will recognise and respond to Indic languages and accents to help tap into the wider Indian audience.
Influencer Marketing Likely To Grow
Influencer Marketing has been growing steadily in the past couple of years, and retail brands are convinced of their ability to help amplify their brand message to a larger niche. This trend is likely to continue with micro-influencers who enjoy a loyal audience and have an authentic voice.
The key to discovering the right influencers for a brand is finding an individual with similar target viewers. A major portion of marketers are flocking to YouTube or other premium publishers like MensXP or iDiva as their primary influencers due to their unrestricted reach, and the fact that these entertainment videos are highly shareable.
Personalization is key in Marketing
Personalization has emerged as one of the most solicited attributes in modern marketing, as consumers are increasingly looking to associate with brands that deliver personalised content based on their past searches. brands are also trying to personalise every experience consumers have with them – both offline as well as online as it helps make an impression.
Multichannel Marketing Is In
Marketing across various platforms including social media, gaming apps, emails and blogs among others is gaining traction rapidly as it enables marketers to connect with prospective consumers across multiple touchpoints across their consumer journey.
When done right, multi-channel marketing can offer an enhanced user experience with a far more meaningful brand message that actually drives consumers to real action.
Break the Linguistic Barrier
Advertising on vernacular media saw a significant uptick in 2020, and as a country with 10+ official languages, mastery over language is the key in a country with hundreds of millions of first-time internet users.
The rise of new social media platforms has also led to major growth in vernacular marketing efforts. Additionally, with a greater demand for vernacular content in the online realm, several leading brands across sectors are exploring and delivering content in regional languages to experience greater traffic.
In the local tongue, storytelling is a great way to engage and connect with new consumers, and when done right, the outcome would be a unique experience that can capture the attention of potential users. A great example would be the Facebook Thumbstopper format that demonstrates storytelling capabilities without a sound and hence connects with consumers across geographies and linguistic boundaries.
The creation and consumption of video-based content on popular social media platforms have risen significantly over the last few years. Most watched videos on video OTT platforms like MX Player or YouTube viewed on mobile devices reach more audiences than any other video network does every day. Videos are also being released in multiple formats, including short-form transient videos as Instagram Stories or topical videos with subtitles are a great way to educate, entertain or engage the audience.
Most premier brands are increasingly realising that the most effective way of reaching their target audience is via focused groups as opposed to a mass audience approach and that they should focus on quality over quantity in their marketing efforts. There was a day an age when concepts like voice search engine optimisation and data-driven marketing were considered as novelty. However, today they are at the frontline of the modern digital marketer’s efforts to dominate the market in 2020. As the marketing industry in India continues to rapidly grow and evolve further, those who stay open to adapt in the current trends and strive to embrace new marketing tech would enter the new decade as they will undoubtedly be the key to gaining an edge over your competitors.
Vivek is the Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Analytics at Times Internet, including its native advertising platform – Colombia. He has been working towards the goal of increasing the group’s reach to a billion Indians and monetising this reach effectively through revenue initiatives. Vastly experienced in consumer internet solutions in leadership roles, Vivek has been instrumental in major digital transformations at companies like Tata Cliq and MakeMyTrip. An alumnus of ISB Hyderabad and IIT Kanpur, he presently lives in Delhi with his wife and three kids. History, Psychology and Data Science are his main interest areas. He is also a speaker at various marketing and analytics events, and author of the best selling book “100 tips to crack the IIT”.