Google too needs digital marketing, here’s how they ace it…

Google India digital strategy

Embodying a mix of functional and consumer-centric content, Google India digital advertising strategy makes the brand an infotainment ‘kendra’ to get a know-how of all the offerings by the tech giant.

In July 2020, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced $10 billion for India Digitization Fund to help accelerate the country’s digital economy. The search giant was also among India’s largest advertisers in 2017-18, splurging huge monies to create awareness about its products and innovations. The Google India digital advertising strategy replicates the company’s objectives towards connecting people through the power of the internet. We briefly take a look at its social media marketing tactics.

Google India Advertising – Digital Chapter

If you ask, does a search engine giant like Google needs marketing? Everyone is online and therefore is presumably on Google. There are over 63,000 Google searches each second. That’s almost 227 million an hour and about 5.4 billion Google searches per day. The four billion Google users in 2019 account for about 52% of the entire world population and Google’s search engine market share is more than 90%

For a reach so huge and a mass following, why is Google investing big in digital marketing? The company has a huge set of offerings and today’s consumer demands more. There is a need to go beyond the functional benefits and connect to your consumers on a human level, a Google specialty which is why the brand is nicknamed – ‘A tech giant but an emotional brand’.

In 2018, Google’s advertising investment increased by 45 percent to INR 696 crore in comparison to 2017. The company’s overall media investment, as per entrackr.com, was estimated at INR 1,100 crore. Out of this, over 50 percent was spent on digital.

The major part of the Google India digital advertising strategy and marketing drive features its consumer-focused offerings including Google Maps, video-calling product Google Duo, payment app Google Pay, and hardware products like Google Pixel and Google Home. 

The company has been creating platform-specific content relevant for social channels including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Social Media Play

Instagram

The tech company did its debut on the popular photo-sharing app in February 2019 and since then has been churning out platform-specific content to suit the demands of the new-age consumers. The Google India Instagram page boasts of 450 plus posts and has amassed a fanbase of 570k so far.

The broader themes that Google India covers through its Instagram based communication is sharing Public Interest initiatives, PSAs, seasonal and moment marketing, harping on topical trends, new skills, and learning-based creatives along with doing some fun activities and contests for user engagement purpose. The posts carry a storytelling narrative to make them virtually conversational.

The theme has been quite quirky making the page visually aesthetic while also focusing on bringing forth the core essence of being user-friendly. In 2020, a large part of Google India’s digital communication through platforms like Instagram comprised of human interest stories with hashtags like #WearAMask and #WeAreInThisTogether and also spreading awareness about its various initiatives to supporting local communities and small businesses.

The above was well balanced by sharing fun content revolving around #WorkFromHome, artsy stuff via #GoogleDoodle or #GoogleSearch and also taking part in what the world is talking about at the moment- riding the bandwagon of topicals and moment marketing.

The company could also be seen heavily promoting its offerings like GooglePay and Google Maps with contextual communication embedded in the creatives and campaign announcements.

In 2016, Google’s new “Pixel” smartphone was off to a great marketing push with millions invested in advertising the smartphone through television, print, and digital. In India, the company brought on board Twinkle Khanna a.k.a Mr.Funnybones where she talks about juggling various roles and responsibilities and still finds time to take a selfie where Google is her constant partner.

Later in December 2017, Google’s Pixel 2 launched a digital campaign film featuring cricket great Rahul Dravid. The 3-minute film, conceptualized by Lowe Lintas, was being promoted with the help of influencers on social media. With the campaign, the brand aimed to build premium credentials, create advocacy and affinity for ‘Google Pixel’  among the consumers.

The influencer campaign with a primary hashtag #TeamPixel endorsed the range of features such as Assistant, Maps, Search, Camera clarity, Unlimited storage through Photos, etc that Google Pixel 2 offers and addressed consumer pain points and finding ways to ease their lives. The influencers also mainly focused on the “Google Assistant,” features as well as the smartphone’s photography potential.

The Pixel range has been heavily dependent on the influencer marketing trend where the company partnered with macro, micro and celeb influencers to drive awareness and salience around the product.

Twitter

With almost 6.5k plus tweets and a follower base of 1 million on Twitter, Google India has been leveraging the massive reach of the microblogging site with a more conversational approach and sharing real-time updates with the users. The company started its Twitter journey in December 2009 and has been frequently dishing out data-driven particulars through the social platform.

The approach on Twitter is a mix of formal and informal conversation here the company has been actively involved in marketing the Google blogs referring to art, technology, product innovation, and more. The blogs include the latest updates, a detailed study on Google India’s offerings, and also some tips for consumers and businesses to best leverage the company’s service suite.

Moving on from blogs, it has been cross-promoting the key campaigns and on-ground activities helmed by the company along with significant use of emojis and semiotics in its communication in 280 characters.

Also Read: Brand Saga: Google India’s quest of ‘Reuniting’ humanity with heart-warming tales

From asking users to #CrackTheCode, implementing the programming skills for a new year greeting to spreading awareness about its tools’ features, the Google India Twitter page is an encyclopedia of the company’s vast portfolio.

Besides partaking in casual conversations and carving creative copies for tweets, Google India has been vocal about cyber safety and secure policies to alert users about the fraudulent activities online.

#YearInSearch, #NearMe trend, and #GoogleDoodle can be seen more prominently in the recent communication by the company on Twitter apart from CSR announcements and campaign promotions.

Leveraging trends and formats, sharing tips, guides, and moment marketing are common themes followed on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Facebook

A whopping 28 million Facebook followers and a well-planned social media strategy to amplify the user sentiments across platforms has made the Google India digital advertising journey no less than a case study. Google India made its Facebook debut in August 2015.

The company is mostly seen cross-posting creatives and video campaigns from YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter on its Facebook page but has garnered more eyeballs on the Zuckerberg-led social media platform.

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Informative pieces, tidbits about the company’s conferences in a poster format, tips for small business, festive wishes, colourful art, and more encompass the Facebook canvas of the company.

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With a significant focus on storytelling campaigns, Google ads, cyber security alerts and the ongoing #WearAMask and safe living precautionary creatives, Google India’s Facebook page is a documentation of the  company’s efforts to keep the conversation and user engagement going.

YouTube

YouTube has been primarily used for storytelling and long format ads and videos, also keeping them balanced with TVCs and other campaigns. Google India kick-started its social media journey with YouTube in July 2007 and has amassed 534 million subscribers, curating 400 plus videos to date.

Promoting flagship offerings like Chrome and Google Search, marketing Google Pay and Google Maps while also spreading awareness about its India-specific initiatives to support and SMEs – the Google India YouTube page summarises its objective through the audio-visual depiction of its end vision.

From optimising bumper ads to 30 seconders to creating 4 minute long films such as the Reunion, Hero- The Bollywood Story, and more, the company has been experimenting with various video formats to convey timely relevant information to Indian consumers with the help of YouTube.

In a company’s blog dating back to 2018, Sapna Chadha, Senior Country Marketing Director, Google India, and Southeast Asia at Google states that the key to building product awareness is making the communication hyper-relevant. She also throws light on how the teams at Google applied local insights, contextual understanding, and rigorous experimentation in its method of communication via social and traditional media.

Whether it be identifying the problem at the right time with Google Maps real-time traffic update features and rolling out the #LookBeforeYouLeave campaign via short videos or giving a helping hand to small businesses hit by the pandemic – locally relevant content has been at the heart of Google India digital advertising strategy.


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