Marketers in India are focussing on content instead of social media marketing in 2018

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. August 14, 2018

Marketers in India are turning their backs on social media, according to a new report by Times Internet and DMAsia. Indeed, social media marketing dropped 30% in 2017 according to a survey of 150 brand marketers within the automotive, retail, pharma, FMCG and real estate industries.

A whopping 57% of respondents said that content marketing had replaced social media ads in the country. The drop is partially due to social networks clamping down on brand page reach which has stifled organic visibility. Indeed, viewability, authenticity of audiences, brand safety and accurate measurements have been among the top challenges faced by social media marketers.

“As we move forward at full throttle toward a more digitally inclined audience, marketers need to have a keen ear to the ground, to identify the trends and evolved mediums that their customers prefer,” explained Gautam Sinha, CEO, Times Internet Limited.

“Our report goes on to capture the finer nuances that have been shaping how this environment is changing. We hope that our intensive research, in collaboration with DMAasia, culminated in this report, helps marketers in India stay ahead of the game and align their strategies and budgets accordingly.”

The survey also noted that among the leading challenges of digital campaigns marketers recognised securing enough budget (32%), followed by measuring ROI (27%), and identifying suitable technologies (22%).

Another 21% said influencer marketing had not met their expectations largely due to brands failing to meet the ‘right’ influencers for their brand image or product.

Meanwhile, video ads appear to be gaining favour among India’s marketers. Whilst in 2016 viral videos were deemed unsuccessful by 41% of marketers, in 2017 just 18% of them thought the same.

Interestingly, even though marketers consider measuring ROI to be a top challenge, it is also perceived as one of the most important factors in justifying digital marketing efforts and expenses. Google Analytics, social media analytics, and third-party tools are the leading ROI measurement tools used by marketers.

For 2018, 45% of respondents plan to focus on customer engagement, followed by content marketing strategies (30%) and measuring marketing ROI (27%).