The pandemic had disrupted every industry forcing marketers to shift their plans and thrust into an uncertain and swiftly changing landscape. Brands are looking for independent creators than productions due to pandemic restrictions such as sheltering in place.
The industry was in troubled waters as pandemic had put a pause on all the plans, took many industries out of the market, and affected many influencers’ content. Some marketers even continued with Facebook boycotts or social media pauses.
It has been quite a challenging period for influencers. However, the influencer industry is recovering and bouncing back, showing incredible resilience and creativity. Consumers are spending more time on social media interacting with content creators after being cooped up at home. With budgeting constraints and large scale, ad production is difficult, brands are turning to independent creators for a quick, less-expensive, and easy-to-produce creative content. This is providing the much-required boost to the influencer marketing industry.
Numbers Says It All
Social Bakers released the State of Influencer Marketing Report and found out that there is a fall in sponsored content from March to May and a pivot towards micro-influencers. Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers said,
“Nano and micro-influencers are now seen as high-value resources, bringing high impact without the big price tag of macro and mega influencers. As budgets remain tight, savvy brands will likely continue to expand partnerships with these smaller influencers as part of a smarter social media strategy in the wake of the continuing worldwide pandemic.”
Another finding by Shareablee, an audience-based social media measurement company states that branded content from influencers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter was up 21% in July from March despite a decline in sponsored influencers post- 87% on Instagram and 57% on Facebook in April compared to last year.
Influencer marketing has changed in several ways during the outbreak. There is a shift in consumer behavior more towards digital in this pandemic due to the lockdown. The engagement with branded influencers posts grew 5 times faster to 57.2 million total actions in July compared with March, according to Shareablee.
A rise in sponsored posts is seen since July after the volume fell almost 17 percent in March and another 6 percent in April reveals Data from CreatorIQ.
This proves that the industry is still very strong and influencers are quick to adapt with conversion rates increased across platforms in the pandemic. As quoted in Adage, Melissa Rosenthal, co-founder at Circle said,
“Brands took a few weeks to figure out how to position themselves for a new world. Now I’m seeing probably 5 times the outreach I was seeing pre-pandemic. Small brands, large brands, new brands, everyone.”
The pandemic is benefitting the influencers with the increase in viewership as alternate media or sports events have declined drastically. Presently, influencers are the only production houses that are open and can make new, creative, and custom content for brands amidst pandemic restrictions. According to the eMarketer report, followers are looking for more DIY activities and short videos.
Clorox Followed The Influencer Way!
Clorox.Co is getting back to sponsored influencer work after a pandemic pause. Through the Reach Agency, Clorox recently teamed up with YouTube comedians The Try Guys to market its latest scent of Fresh Step cat litter. In the video, the creators open the world’s smelliest foods to demonstrate the ability of new Fresh Step cat litter with Febreze Freshness and Gain Scent covers the odors. The video garnered nearly a million organic views on its first day on August 15. The partnership with Try Guys who have 7.3 million subscribers is Clorox’s third venture into influencer-led demo-tainment.
Clorox shifted the plan of conventional ads to influencer content while planning the campaign in March as the pandemic situation would make it hard to produce ads. Another major decision taken by the brand was to boycott Facebook and Instagram advertising for the remaining year while the project was ongoing.
As reported in Adage, Deb Crandall, director of marketing and studio lead said,
“We have had to ask our partners not to post this on their Facebook or Instagram channels, and we’re not putting any paid support behind it. It definitely takes a channel out of the mix to reach our audience, but that’s why we’re excited about the results we’re seeing. To reach almost a million views without Facebook or Instagram makes us think we’re onto something.”
Finally, brands and creators are learning to operate in the ‘ new normal ’. In the time of crisis, savvy social media influencers are engaging with their followers in a fairly two-way communication that even brands could never have on their own.
The market for advertising technology is expected to record exponential growth between now and 2023.
Just as advertising is the business of making advertisements, ad tech is the business of using technology to make advertisements faster, quicker, and efficient. The business is driven by powerful algorithms and data points.
The Adtech ecosystem consists of two major entities – the advertiser (Demand-side) and the publisher(Supply-side). Adtech helps advertisers and publishers achieve their goals in harmony by providing solutions that meet the demands of both parties.
The Growing Ad Tech Trends
The year 2020 is full of technological advancements – Artificial Intelligence, data-driven marketing, and much more. Digital commerce is going strong and growing, leading to new paths such as mobile, programmatic, analytics, data management, and more. With new tools and technologies emerging every year, marketers can choose from a plethora of options across digital marketing to connect to a new audience and promote their products.
According to Emarketer’s survey, by 2020, digital ad spending will be 50% of total advertising. The statistics prove that there is a shift from the traditional medium of marketing to digital platforms.
Here are six significant ad tech trends in 2020 that will change the advertising world
1. Programmatic Advertising:
Programmatic advertising is becoming a star strategy, and businesses spend almost $60 billion every year. It is projected that programmatic transactions two-thirds of digital display ad spend around the globe in 2020.
Programmatic needs to resolve many challenges before realizing its true potential, such as in the absence of the cookie, the industry needs to search new ways for retargeting and personalization, keeping customers’ privacy in mind. Meanwhile, first-party data is essential in the success of programmatic advertising. Lack of transparency, ad fraud, and efficiency are vital concerns that need to be addressed adequately.
The largest programmatic markets are the U.S, China, and the U.K with a double-digit Y-o-Y growth rate. Indonesia, Brazil, and India will be the fastest-growing programmatic digital ad market in 2020.
There are top three auction type segments for the global programmatic advertising display market which has gained momentum are :
- Global programmatic advertising display market by open auction: Buyers are allowed by publishers to participate in the public sale. It is likely to be the leading segment in the programmatic market with more number of buyers entering the digital market that allows publishers to get the best price for their inventory.
- Global programmatic advertising display market by automation guaranteed: Publishers are allowed to reserve inventory while keeping the price fixed. The inventory in this segment is premium advertisement such as the Super Bowl, or pre-launch page of a website and the growth prospects for automated guaranteed are big. It is forecasted by 2021, 88% of all digital display ad spending will flow via automation.
- Global programmatic advertising display market by invitation only: It is a private marketplace limited to buyers with an invitation only. The growth driver for this segment is more control over ads that are being run, and the relativity of ads is high due to which advertisers are ready to bid high to get the ads placed.
2. Mobile Advertising:
Mobile advertising continues to take share with substantial gains over the last five years. A report by a research firm Berg Insight forecasted that the global mobile advertising market is expected to grow at the compound annual growth rate of 43%. Another eMarketer report projects that mobile ad spending will reach $400bn by the year 2023, up from $286bn this year. The numbers say it all! It is evident that the industry is growing and projects to represent 80% of global digital ad spend.
A lot of in-app is driven by gaming. A spike in gaming is witnessed during COVID with 1.2 billion weekly mobile game downloads. Buyers are eyeing a vast opportunity to reach a diversified audience within the data-rich environment. There is an exponential growth of in-app advertising. Comscore research says that 75% of digital users consume all their social media, lifestyle, travel, news, and utility content using mobile apps. 5G will also be a considerable contributor to boost mobile-in app advertising, opening doors of opportunity and creativity for advertisers. With technologies such as OM SDK and app-ads.txt rolling out, the industry is moving towards a cleaner and more measurable environment.
Consumer time spent on media is shifting towards mobile, and eMarketer reports India and Thailand will witness the fastest mobile advertising growth in 2020.
3. Video Advertising:
The video will remain the key driver and cannot underscore its role in 2020. With large-scale events postponed and ad budgets cut down, marketers rely on video advertising as effective means across platforms. It is projected to account for 31% of the overall display ad spending next year.
Verizon research shows, almost all (96%) advertisers will be investing in at least one video ad format this year, and more than three-quarters say they plan to invest more in premium video content in 2020. The reason is ROI.
Advertisers and marketers plan to invest in shoppable and interactive emerging video ads formats. With shelter in place and people continue to work from home, there is a rise in digital and mobile usage with CTV and OTT becoming increasingly dominant. Verizon research states.36 percent plan to invest more in Connected TV ads, while 30 percent intend to increase their spend on mobile video. USD 70 billion ad spend from linear is shifting towards OTT channels. Major companies are keen to take advantage of the changing scenario with the right technology.
4. Digital 360 services:
Marketers are focusing on areas like the personalization of media and content marketing. Voice and visual searches are playing a huge role in the ecosystem, and marketers are developing new techniques to enhance it. Many companies are offering 360 digital services that include social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, analytics, automation and transparency, and many more.
Another fastest growing digital marketing trend is interactive content – click on, swipe, or interact with online. Outgrow states 93% of marketers rate interactive content as highly effective at educating the buyer. The cutting edge technology like augmented reality and 360-degree videos offer a dynamic, engaging, and immersive experience.
5. Influencer Marketing:
Influencer marketing is in the early stage, but its usage growth is impressive. Less than one third (27.9%) marketers have been using influencer marketing for over three years, 20.9 %have been using for less than a year, and 7% have never used it. Reach and engagement is critical factors in an influencer mix and there is a negative correlation between engagement rate and followers. Most marketers prefer micro-influencers, typically followers between 10,000 and 100,000.
In the series of Global View For AdTech Start-Ups, we bring you ‘Top 10 India-Based Ad Tech Start-Ups’ -a curated list of promising start-ups from industry-main anchors to up-and-comers leading the advertisement industry in India.
Company: ADZ Junction
Founder: Ashok Nain
Category: Digital Services, Ad- Affiliate Network, Mobile Advertising
Geo-Markets: India, Dubai, U.S.A
What they do: ADZ is the brainchild of Ashok Nain started with Mobile advertising and expanded the business to video and web gradually. Their services also include Digital Strategy, Content, Development and Marketing, and Search Marketing. Since its inception, the company is focused on delivering high-quality traffic to clients who have scalability issues and help them to identify their targeting audience, especially in Mobile advertising.
How it’s changing adtech:
- With its innovative advertising solutions and strategies, the company has built a robust affiliate marketing platform that can assist clients in real-time tracking and analytics.
- The 360-degree digital provider has 100+ clients from various sectors with a business of over USD 15 million and is developing technology – a real-time traffic buying SMS platform.
“We introduced real-time bidding, Mobile in-app advertising, rich media, and many other innovations to overcome clients’ problems of quality traffic generation. We have now a separate mobile division by name of AJ Mobile, where we encourage clients to work exclusively on mobile campaigns.”
The company successfully launched a digital campaign for Dr. Lalpathlabs, an established company in the healthcare sector. Here is a short case study:
- Expand its online market reach and user base
- Identify digital channels to generate revenue.
- Being completely behind in digital marketing and competing with emerging players in the healthcare sector.
- Provided brand awareness strategies for different online channels.
- Established a full-fledged and cost-effective affiliate marketing channel.
- Established a brand development strategy and marketing campaign to rise above the competition.
- Successful digital campaigns resulted in 3X monthly transaction growth.
Headquarters: Gurugram (With offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Dubai)
Founder: Kumar Nishanth
Category: Online Digital Services
What they do: Aristoma, a 360-degree marketing incubator, offers services to increase customer reach using online mediums with some brilliantly creative and engaging ideas. Its portfolio includes top clients such as Diesel, Sportmate, CII, CREDAI Chattisgarh, Goldbricks, to name a few. All its endeavors have resulted in 100 percent growth.
How it’s changing adtech:
- Aristoma is all about helping brands grow with a mantra “Commits, Creates & Connects” with expert result-oriented ideas and making advertising a better experience for advertisers and consumers.
- The company advises in Brand Management, Email Direct Marketing, SEO, and Social Media Planning to help businesses to get the most out of their marketing campaigns.
Company: DigiVigyan Marketing
Founder: Amit Verma
Category: Digital Services, Digital Display Advertising
What they do: A dynamic full-service digital marketing agency that provides clients with multiple solutions through different marketing verticals- Website Management, Search Engine Optimization, Search and Display Advertising (Pay Per Click – PPC), Native Advertising, Online Reputation Management, Amazon Marketing Services, and Social Media Marketing.
How it’s changing adtech:
- DigiVigyan offers world-class digital advertising solutions to businesses to achieve their digital marketing goals.
- The company offers services such as creating landing pages with attractive ad copies, banners, and other optimizations to meet the marketing needs of businesses on various social media platforms. It has worked with renowned ad agencies like Dentsu, M&C Saatchi, to name a few.
- The bootstrapped adtech company is now working towards being the go-to digital marketing agency worldwide after capturing the market across the country.
Company: Do Your Thng
Founder: Ankit Agarwal
Category: Social/ Influencer, Influencer marketing platform
What they do: DYT is a leading Influencer Marketing Agency and a shared economy for digital assets. It acts as a platform to create space for brands to connect with the largest team of nano, micro, and mega influencers.
How it’s changing adtech:
- DYT is an online community that offers content creators an entry in the market and connects brands to the influencers depending on the campaigns. The active users through the app can promote the brand and earn for each post made, whereas the brand can find a safe and secure marketplace to discover the right influencers for their product.
- DYT operates on a broker based model where a percentage of the total spending is charged to maintain the platform. In a short period.
- The phenomenal fundraising and affable work culture have made DYT one of the fastest-growing startups.
The tech platform raised $150K from angel investors and plans to use it for further expansion and growth. Previously, the company has also raised an undisclosed amount from angel investors and intends to raise more funds in the future.
“DYT within months of its operation has successfully worked wonders for brands such as Mastercard India, Havells, etc., thus bringing engagement for the brands. With increased investor interest, we plan to expand the team, improve the technology, and go further with the associations.”
An exciting campaign with Havells:
For the new digital-only campaign #BeardKyunHoWeird with Havells, the company selected 60 creators from the male grooming niche by using the technology to find people uploading their selfies with the beard and spelling about male grooming.
- To increase user engagement for the launch of the new range of BT 9000 beard trimmers with digital platform-only campaign #BeardKyunHoWeird.
- Selected 60 creators. Each Instagram creator had a follower range of 1,000 to 85,000.
- Creators created unique and compelling content on how the new Havells trimmer helps in male grooming.
- The 20 days campaign got more than 100,000 engagements, reaching 500,000 users.
- The campaign attracted traction and engagement rate of 10% with authentic creators.
Company: EMIAC Technologies
Founder: Divya Gandotra
Category: Digital Services, Social Media Marketing
Geo Markets: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Singapore, and UAE, among others.
What they do: EMIAC is a perfect blend of innovation and technology determined to serve businesses in front of their target markets. Their principal services include Content Development, Paid Marketing, and Web Design and Development. The leading digital firm has 1200+ clients, 2900 projects across 30+ countries.
How it’s changing adtech:
- EMIAC offers an array of services from content development and full-service digital agency to paid social media marketing and blog outreach. It is a top-rated digital marketing and content development agency on the world’s popular freelancing site Upwork that adds to their credibility and goodwill.
- What differentiates them from the crowd is an excellent record of delivering projects on time, offering personalized products and services, premium quality services, and providing it at competent prices.
“We are the game-changers, trendsetters, pioneers, and revolutionaries with a passion for creating an ideal digital future where everyone is connected.”
Headquarters: Jaipur (With offices in U.K and U.S)
Company: Globale Media
Founder: Bhavesh Talreja
Category: Mobile Advertising, brand safety/ verification, programmatic advertising
What they do: Globale media offers an integrated marketing platform that maximizes revenues by bringing in direct advertisers and showing relevant ads that best fit the user audience using banners, interstitial, videos, social, and native ads. The company specializes in digital marketing for all major kinds of app verticals including gaming, e-commerce, lifestyle, utilities, social, education, entertainment, and others on CPM, CPI, and CPA cost models. Publishers can access to the full feed of available campaigns as well as real real-time tracking and automation to multiple devices with programmatic GLOBALE API. It excels with a reach of over 500+ direct publishers, 1000+ live campaigns over 120 countries.
How it’s changing adtech:
- Globale media has developed a marketing program primarily for the mobile age.
- Globale media has been sincerely providing “ transparency on inflation level and not just on the click level.” The company is aggressively pitching for its recently launched product keyword search traffic where revenues have increased 3x from quarter-on-quarter and are expecting to multiply the revenues by 10x in 2020.
- In the next five years, it aims to be among the top ad tech marketing companies in India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
“We provide app marketers with 100 direct in-app traffic sources with transparency so they get device ids on each and every click and have a clear knowledge about where the app is running. In terms of impact, the advertisers can use these device ids to run their re-engagement campaigns and make sure the users are coming back to the app and ultimately spending more within the app.”
Headquarters: Singapore (With offices in India and UAE)
Founder: Vishal Rupani
Category: Mobile Advertising, Video Interactive ads, Programmatic Advertising
What they do: mCanvas is a subsidiary of Affinity and is the brainchild of Vishal Rupani, from vision and inception to revenue generation and scalability. mCanvas is a storytelling mobile ad platform that uses phone sensors to create compelling and interactive brand narratives.
How it’s changing adtech: mCanvas is the first and leading Indian company that has addressed critical issues of mobile marketing: Banner Blindness, Poor Viewability, Accidental Clicks, and Lack of Storytelling. The mobile advertising platform uses four kinds of advertisement formats: Scrollers, Stickers, Spotlight, and Streambox.
- The company recently integrated with Adobe advertising cloud that will enable advertisers to buy experiential rich media content and interactive video ads.
“In light of the steady increase in the demand to make ads programmatically available, we are happy to integrate with Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP. We have spearheaded programmatic advertising in the rich-media mobile ad industry, and we will continue leveraging its power to offer our innovative solutions.”
- The company has a reach to at least 60million Indian smartphone users and follows the cost per video (CPV) model for videos and cost per engagement(CPE) for rich media. Sensory Rich media content is produced for VR and AR as well.
“Augmented reality (AR) has become a buzzword in the online tech space. It has shown great promise even in the mobile ad space, and brands have been quick to incorporate AR into mobile-led ad campaigns that have proven to enhance user engagement.”
One of the best examples is of Frooti – #TheFrootiLife
Challenge: To build a brand recall with its primary target audience -Millennials around the drink during summertime.
Solution: Using face detection technology, the rich media campaign encouraged users to start the front camera and catch the falling mangoes in the augmented environment. This campaign created a massive impact on the users with this ‘WoW’ ad experience.
- Another segment that has been strongly transformed by brand experiences in the mobile ad industry is voice-enabled interactive mobile ads that have created a lasting impression.
“Personalization of marketing & advertising messages is not a luxury but a necessity.,”
Here is another case study of Mercedes-Benz GLC that has used speech and sound recognition technology in mobile ads. To promote their latest feature, Mercedes -Benz User Experience (MBUX) used a smart multimedia system and in-car voice-activated assistant.
The mCanvas interactive mobile ad uses real-time speech recognition technology, and the voice bot in the ad would respond to the questions, recreating the actual experience a user would have in the car.
Founder: Naveen Kumar & Raja Chakraborty
Category: Programmatic Advertising, Brand Safety/ Verification
Geo-markets: Asia, Europe, MiddleEast, North America, MENA, APAC, and other 25+ countries.
What they do: Streamlyn works for both publishers and ad buyers to sell and buy ad space respectively. It works as an agency as well as a supply-side platform.
How it’s changing adtech: The one-stop advertising solution provider, a publisher focused media agency connects advertisers with the target audience via the right publisher.
“The aim was to help online publishers, particularly small and medium-sized ones, grow their revenue and the audience.”
- Streamlyn has an in-house ad server and algorithm to help analyze and optimize the monetization depending on the solution provided by the team to assist the client with high ROI and eCPM and uses cutting edge technology –POE (Programmatic Optimization Engine) and Anti-Fraud algorithms.
- Streamlyn offers its proprietary product ‘ BidsXchange,’ a smart advertising portal deploying machine learning for small and medium-sized advertisers that allows them to upload ads and select their desired publishers based on the target audience interest.
- Another additional revenue source for publishers is In-image advertising, a novel concept that helps achieve an edge over competitors with Streamlyn’s Header bidding wrapper tags.
- It generates content in regional languages and is known as the best optimization partner for vernacular publishers. It has partnered with Google to support vernacular publishers and increase their revenue.
Headquarters: Singapore (With offices in India and U.S)
Founder: Tarun Nayyar
Category: Mobile Advertising, Affiliate Marketing
What they do: Tarsan is a leading performance-based Mobile media agency that caters to top-level clientele globally like Airtel, Paytm, M&C Saatchi, CyberAgent, to name a few and delivers performance & branding campaigns and SMS/email/voice/solutions. It is known for the execution of marketing plans on mobile.
How it’s changing adtech:
- Tarsan has an in-house platform, AdMenu, that gives clear and quantifiable value to each advertising avenue, enhancing the ROI on ad spends as well as boost transactional value. It provides transparent information regarding the placement of ads on various platforms via GAID or IDFA.
- Many transactional campaigns are carried out on E-commerce platforms, but the company charges only for lined traffic by experienced customers, whereas the payment depends on CPR, CPT, and CPI.
- Transparency and accountability are their top priority, and with the unique capability to gather information about mobile devices, it has been successful in creating a database of publishers and marketers.
- It maintains a five-layered security policy for data protection. The company aims to become a 360-degree performance-based mobile marketing agency and enhance the AdMenu platform and convert it into a revenue generation opportunity.
“We never store data; we just identify people according to their device id. The information given to us is all in concurrence from the publisher and advertisers.”
Founder: Siddharth Sinha & Kumaresh Bhatt
Category: Micro-Influencer Marketing, Measurement and analytics
Geo-markets: India, Southeast Asian countries, MENA countries, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
What they do: UrPopular is India’s largest network of micro-influencers who are paid to post on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter with 240 million+ organic reach across these platforms. They have a pan India reach of 240 million+ and creators in 11 languages.
How it’s changing adtech:
- The tech firm is democratizing organic marketing in India and helping brands to create ROI based campaigns.
- It adds new ways to drive ROI for brands with its cost per view and cost per reach micro-influencer campaigns. The tech company has developed algorithms to understand the outcome of the campaigns and brands can acquire efficiency and measurability in their campaigns.
- Their mantra is “Create, Amplify, and Measure.” This case study of McDonald’s ‘A ful-filling campaign’ is a perfect example to understand it.
Challenge: McDonald’s wanted to destress students from exam fever, and their McSaver Meal + Free French fries exactly intend to do.
Solution: UrPopular got their 11 young and enthusiastic influencers to cheer up and whip off the post-exam chronicles within the outlet by creating Insta stories, videos, fun boomerangs, and before/after stills.
These custom creatives pushed organically delivered,
- 1 million + reach with a 17% engagement rate.
- Rs.1.9 cost per engagement.
- 1.4 million impressions.
“UrPopular brings measurability and scale to the campaigns by working with India’s largest pool of microinfluencers and nano influencers.”
“In this industry, tomorrow is never the same as today. To gain long-term success in AdTech, you have to play fair, don’t be afraid of experiments, and never stop trying”
-Anton Ruin, Epom
Ad Tech is no rocket science, but it is of significant advantage to brands as it allows integrating various tools in a single system. It is an amalgamation of advertising, creativity, technology, and innovation. The automated process and joint workflows enable more precise target marketing resulting in relevant and compelling ads. The new norms, tried and tested solutions along with reliable platforms helps to keep information safe and avoid any ad fraud. With significant changes and improvements over what advertisers and publishers used to have earlier, adtech is growing as an industry. However, it still requires more work and expertise to handle the challenges and resolve for good.