Digital Marketing in India — the trends that rocked 2014 so far

We are well into the third quarter of 2014, and it is time to look back and see how the year fared for digital marketers in the country. The second most populous country in the world is beginning to make its presence feel in the world market, and the trends in the country so far will set the stage for future innovations in the field. Here’s looking back at the year that has been from the perspective of a digital marketer in India and what the trends foretell about the time to come.

Internet and Facebook users now number in the million

By the end of the first quarter of 2014 mobile Internet users in India numbered 155 million, and 80% of these were urban users. By June 2014, most of the internet traffic in the country had shifted to mobile devices with almost as much as 60% of all internet traffic being generated on mobile devices.

In terms of social media, India reached a staggering 100 million Face book users by mid-2014, a number that was officially acknowledged by Facebook. USA leads the field with around 180 million users on Facebook but India is getting there slowly but surely. What’s even more heartening is the fact that the rise of Facebook users in rural areas has been steady and strong.

Digital campaigns make their mark

The Valentine’s Day and Women’s Day campaigns were somewhat expected, but many other brands decided to use digital marketing in their campaigns this year. Among the companies that made good use of the Valentine fervor were Cornetto and Cadbury. Cornetto’s hashtag-campaign #DoSomethingCupid and Cadbury’s campaign with its signature #FirstLovels trended furiously on Twitter. Godrej Appliances launched a WOmen’s Day campaign that revolved around the urban, tech-savvy Indian woman.

Twitter hashtags were the flavor of the season with twitter trends like HCL’s #CollestInterviewEver, VIP Skybag’s #BackIsTheNewFront, and Tropicana’s #BreakfastwithTropicana notching up new levels in marketing statistics. Lighthouse Insights, a digital marketing analysis company states that the number of Internet users in India who watch digital videos has gone up from 56% in 2008, to 75% in 2013. The market certainly has woken up to teh challenge of catering to these new generation consumers and more digital campaigns and Twitter trends are surely in the offing.

Video is the new king

The year has seen many campaigns use high-quality video content to engage users, and the best example is the Cadbury 5 Start #ConditionSeriousHai campaign. The campaign had a minute long viral video which was also used throughout the brand’s social media channels. Garnier Pure Active used comics as their medium to create a campaign that used scenes and dialogues from popular Indian movies. The campaign used a series of videos which were then shared on social media. Other popular video ads of the year include Titan’s ‘Joy of Gifting’ campaign, Old Spice’s ‘Mantastic’ campaign featuring Milind Soman, and Lay’s Best Buddy campaign.