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!
Here are 7 digital marketing trends for 2020 that we expect will see the most traction:
The rise of new social platforms
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 Play Store.
Vernacular will go mainstream for brands
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. A recent campaign done by Swiggy called #SwiggyStarhunt is testimony to this. Targeting at their delivery partners to showcase their talent via TikTok, they launched the campaign in 11 languages to grab their attention. It resulted in over 1500 entries from 400 delivery partners receiving 44+ million organic views, reaching a pan-Indian audience and giving Swiggy the uplift it deserved.
AR will pick up momentum
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.