The pandemic led to a paradigm shift in the way people consume content and use the internet. The time spent on devices grew manifold, people were spending time on various things like watching shows, listening to music/podcasts, making and consuming short video content, etc. So, while brands were shying away from investing in other mainline mediums, digital ad spending grew rapidly.
According to reports, digital ad spending by brands grew by almost 15% in 2020. The pandemic accelerated the demand for digital agencies and their expertise. In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Mehul Gupta, Founder and CEO of SoCheers said there has been a considerable shift in the spending pies of brands.
He said digital-grown brands are spending close to 80% of their ad spends on digital, while traditional businesses are allocating 60-65% on mainline and 30-35% on digital. However, this is continuously changing, as in every two-to-three years even traditional brands increase their ad spends for digital.
Speaking about how this growth translated for them, he revealed that in 2020 itself SoCheers grew by almost 50% from its 2019 levels. Moving ahead in 2021, they onboarded 8-9 brands across different industries like FMCG, Finance, and D2C, as brands realised that digital is a great medium to connect with consumers and clients.
“In 2022, we are expecting a growth of 75%, from what we did last year. All thanks to brands now understanding what digital is capable of,” Gupta said.
SoCheers in this period paid attention to data analytics and content creation. They launched an in-house digital intelligence and analytics division. The new division focuses on collecting and understanding what kind of content the users are consuming and what kind of content they interact with, which adds a lot of value from a brand’s point of view.
“We also got a hang of what kind of content should be created for different audiences. Content creation became our core strength which helped us create great content strategies for brands across different platforms on digital. This also helped us build our production business, we created a lot of video content,” he added.
In 2022 digital advertising will keep growing on the back of trends that we saw in the latter half of 2021, as per Gupta. Social commerce and short-video content will further grow in the upcoming year. Gupta stated AR-related campaigns, while already growing, are going to get bigger with Meta coming into the picture now.
In 2022, information will have to be more inclusive and brands will have to be more empathetic and cognizant in their messaging. Digital advertising will go beyond films and pure ads. “Pure or performance-driven ads won’t do justice because the audience is also getting literate. They know when they see an ad, so to get the digital audience’s attention or to get them to be loyal to your brand, you need to share a similar opinion or a similar thought, this cannot be done through ads. There will have to be efforts to make sure that you are reaching the right audience with the right piece of content. It is not only advertising but also the right content for your respective audience that matters,” explained Gupta.
With the growth of digital mediums, many traditional agencies are also expanding their digital arms. Asked if he looks at this as a competition, Gupta stated, “In India, there are enough brands that need to be serviced or want some kind of digital transformation. There will be opportunities for everyone including small, big, medium agencies. We should look at this as an opportunity for all. It keeps all agencies on their toes to give the best or lose the account.”