11 must-know Digital marketing trends in India [survey]

This year we decided to conduct our first annual survey to track the trends of digital marketing in India.

To make this survey report, we’ve asked basic digital marketing questions to establish a relationship between the raw data and findings.

With 104 responses, we’ve got some fascinating insights that reveal the current state of online marketing in India.

Here are the key findings of the survey report:

Key findings

  1. 53.8% of marketers agree that Google Ads outperforms every other paid advertising channel in terms of generating quality leads.
  2. Converting leads into sales’ is the biggest challenge with 66.3% votes that marketers face.
  3. Social media marketing (especially Facebook) and SEO gives the highest ROI in marketing campaign
  4. Facebook is the primary platform for 83.7% of marketers to distribute content.
  5. 79.8% of participants consider increasing their digital marketing budget in 2021.
  6. 38.5% of marketers who participated in the survey agreed that SEO is the biggest source of lead generation.
  7. 55.8% of marketers are going to adopt chatbot marketing in 2021.
  8. Link building and creating quality content are the two biggest challenges in driving results with SEO with 51% and 46.2% of votes respectively.
  9. Personalized email automation is the most favourite (65.4%) type of automation among Indian digital marketers.
  10. 87.5% of survey participants haven’t considered voice search technology into their marketing strategy.
  11. Only 55.8% of the survey participants are interested to invest in chatbot marketing in 2021.

1. Google Ads outperform other paid channel in terms of quality leads

Let’s first understand that quality leads refer to those leads that are most likely to become your paying customers. That means the more qualified leads you to get for your product/leads, the more likely they’ll become your customers.

“35.6% of our participants strongly agree that when it comes to acquiring quality leads, Google Ads outperforms every other paid advertising channel.”

Only about 10% of votes were against this statement.

Even though the quality of leads may depend on many factors, Google Ads still have the edge over other paid channels.

google ads survey

2. Getting leads isn’t the biggest challenge for marketers but converting them into sales is

lead generation challenge

Usually the funnel of marketing funnel (non-linear) goes like:

Generating traffic- Leads- Converting leads into sales- Customer retention

Clearly, the data shows that the marketers are struggling special at the bottom of the funnel. The second biggest challenge found was generating leads for the business. 

Based on 104 respondents, 66.3% of marketers say that “Converting leads into sales is the biggest challenge in the marketing campaign.”

Also, generating traffic and measuring the Marketing ROI was also considered as a big challenge in their campaign.

3. Both social media marketing and SEO delivers maximum ROI

social media marketing statistics

ROI stands for return-on-investment that also used to understand the best performing marketing channels.

Based on our participant’s votes, Social media marketing and SEO delivers the highest ROI in marketing with 45.20% and 41.30% respectively.

Also, to narrow down the result, we also included popular social marketing channels such as Facebook and Google ads.

The insights tell us that Facebook Ads is ranking over Google Ads in terms of marketing ROI.

Now, one interesting point to note is that Google ads is considered as the best channel for qualified leads but when it comes to ROI Facebook Ads Is leading the race.

The possible reason for this set of data could be:

  • Google Ads costs marketers much more than Facebook Ads even though it gives you more qualified leads.

4. Facebook is favourite for marketers to distribute content

facebook marketing stats

Creation and distribution of content are keys to get traction in content marketing. 

So, when our marketers get asked about their primary social media channel for content distribution, 83.7% of total votes go for Facebook.

Even though the organic reach of Facebook is almost null, marketers are still trying to put their content in facebook to grab some attention.

The biggest possible reason for this could be Facebook groups. The rise of facebook groups has allowed people to build a community and even personal brand by engaging with more relevant audiences.

So if you’re yet to leverage Facebook (maybe groups), then you might reconsider your existing content strategy.

5. Digital marketing budget of brands are going to be increased in 2021

This one could be the easiest one to guess the right answer. Also, the Google trends chart shows a similar kind of story regarding online marketing in India.

digital marketing budget trends

The growth of online marketing in India has drastically changed over the last decade (2010-2020).

6. How often marketers are focused on publishing promotional content

content promotion channel survey

Facebook was the primary content distribution channel among all social media platforms. But what about the frequency of content publishing?

More specifically we wanted to know how often marketers prefer to publish promotional content where they talk about the product or service.

55.8% of voters prefer 1-2 times a week.

That means it is the educational content that helps to get the audience into the funnel and eventually turning them into a customer. 

Also, 20.2% and 15.4% of votes were about publishing promotional content 3-4 times a week and 5-6 times a week respectively.

7. SEO is still one of the biggest sources of lead generation

seo report

In the era where almost every brand uses paid advertising to get short-term and instant traction, SEO still can be one of the effective ways to make a sustainable source of lead generation.

Also, it will be better to get insights on what makes SEO a difficult channel for most of the marketers.

That brings us to the next survey question.

8. Link building is the biggest challenge to generate results through SEO

seo challenge survey

Obviously the link profile of a site plays a huge role in search rankings but this isn’t the only important factor.

For every other participant, link building is the most challenging task to drive results with SEO.

In fact creating quality content is also crucial for getting effective results in SEO. In fact, 46.2% of voters consider ‘creating quality content’ as the second biggest challenge.

9. Growth of chatbot marketing in 2021

chatbot marketing in 2021

Surely, we can witness a rise in chatbot marketing in 2021, at least based on the data. Majority (55.8%) of the participants consider implementing chatbot marketing in 2021.

Let’s also understand the favourite automation platform for marketers including chatbots.

10. Email marketing automation is still the favourite for marketers

email marketing automation survey

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in the implementation of automation. Chatbots, email marketing, mobile automation, etc are some of the popular kinds of automation processes.

So, the question is what’s the favorite automation process for Indian online marketers.

Based on the data, personalized email automation, real-time content personalization, and chatbots are the top three types of automating channels with 65.4%, 37.5%, 27.9% respectively.

11. Future of Voice-search technology in marketing

voice technology in marketing

Voice search has been in the trend for so many years. From seo to ecom sites, voice search is considered a game changer to deliver better user-experience. But when it comes to considering voice search technology in marketing, there’s still a lot of room to cover.

51.9% of participants have agreed that they haven’t adopted voice search till 2020 but may consider it in 2021.

At least in Indian digital marketing industry, we can clearly say that voice search is yet to make a big impact.

Methodology and data

  • The entire data set is populated from Facebook groups, our email list, and also from some industry experts.
  • Data collection time period was between 16th december, 2020 to 6th January, 2021.
  • Total number of respondents was 104
  • The survey data gathered using Google forms with 14 questions
  • There was no incentive to participate in this survey
  • Our survey participants are either freelance digital marketer or agency owner, or employee/Business owners.
  • The entire data set reflects the insights of Indian digital marketing statistics and trends.

Thank you Note

A special thanks to everyone who has either participated in this survey or helped us promote this survey to get more respondents.

Also, we’re thankful to several facebook groups and their admin including Online resource- Present slide, Digital Marketing Practitioners.

And last but not least, I would like to thank each and growth partners of HashTagMag who’ve directly or indirectly helped in this report.

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