“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela 

When it comes to communication in regional languages, India has seen such versatility and steady growth of content – be it OTT content platforms, or be it a sudden rise in UGC content in local languages. The numbers speak for themselves.  

Have a look at the Google KPMG report: 70% of Indians find local language digital content more reliable. Moreover, 88% of Indian language internet users are more likely to respond to a digital advertisement in their local language as compared to English, and 90% of all video consumption happens in local languages. 

By that logic, there should be a boom in regional platform advertising as well but we are still at a nascent stage. At Adgebra, India’s largest native ad platform, we try to dive deeper and understand the challenges and opportunities for the brands to advertise in regional languages. We intend to help the brands make their consumer journey flawless and well-targeted with guaranteed ROI.

So are there opportunities hidden in the current apprehensions of brands investing in regional ads? Let’s take a closer look:

  • Unexplored territory – Possibility to build a new set of engaged audiences:
    • Many brands shy away from regional ads without researching the full potential of the size of the audience. But according to the latest reports, Indian regional language internet users are expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% to reach 536 million by 2021. While English users are expected to grow by only 3%, reaching 199 million within the same period. This shows the clear growth opportunity for brands in the regional markets. The adoption rate of regional languages on big platforms such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc. has been consistently growing over the past few years. 90% of new Indian internet users consume content in regional languages, according to Google – Think with Google.
    • So, there is merit and guaranteed results in engaging the regional audience. Adgebra, being a pioneer in the regional ad space, can help brands get better reach in 10+ languages. Adgebra also provides strategic insights and focused targeting so that brands are able to reach the right audience.
  • Lack of end-to-end support Curated solutions and support for the brands:
    • A number of brands who are interested in investing in regional ads fear for the lack of customer support and other operational challenges. Even when they are ready to experiment with regional ads, they are not fully equipped with full post-sale or service. They don’t have customer support in regional languages. Adgebra oversees these aspects to help brands move towards regional ad campaigns.
    • A classic example of this is: Adgebra worked with a client who is one of the leading insurance aggregator companies (does not wish to be named). Along with the ad campaign, Adgebra also helped them with regional language landing pages and websites. Not only that, they were provided with customer support solutions including setting up regional call centres through Adgebra’s partners.
  • Low spending capacity & ROI from regional audiences Growth of regional language internet users:
    • A number of brands are apprehensive about the buying potential of the regional audience. But if you look at the current numbers, it’s clear that 88% of Indian language internet users are more likely to respond to a digital ad in their preferred local language as compared to English. So the regional audience is not only better in terms of numbers but also is most likely to give better ROI for the brands.
    • As per an IAMAI Kantar ICUBE 2020 Report, digital adoption is going to be propelled by rural India as there is a 13% growth in internet users over the past year. These users are first-time internet users so they remain largely untouched by brands.
    • To give you a better example, even if you look at Adgebra’s exclusive audience, approx 80% fall within the age group of 25-55. This is the audience with disposable income, capacity to purchase and willingness to consume regional content.
    • Also, Indians do engage with multilingual content and brands. So, a significant percentage of the English audience might also be receivers of the regional content and can be targeted through regional advertising at a lower cost. It can turn out to be a cost-efficient solution for the brands.
  • Not explored by other brands/category leaders – First mover’s advantage:
    • A number of brands are not inclined towards regional ads because it’s not been done by the category leaders or any other bigger brands in their industry. But if you see the latest movement in the world of brand marketing, all bigger brands are realising the significance of regional ads.
    • Krishna Kumar Revanur, Executive Vice-President, iProspect explains, “If brands try to dissect the market from a preconceived notion, they could miss out on large untapped potential. Probably we need to wear a different lens and look at people for what they truly are rather than on our perception.’’

    • Look at all large players across industries: Google, Whatsapp, Facebook, all these brands have unlocked their full potential by trying their hands at regional ads and it has helped them tremendously. 
  • Ad spend cuts during the pandemic – Spending budgets in the right direction:
    • During the pandemic, ad budgets were cut across industries. But the English publications (digital, print and TV) took the maximum hit while the regional advertising kept giving some results consistently. The pandemic also gave the brands an opportunity to go beyond English and do major communication in regional languages because of the work-from-home situation. Many metro city folks returned home and worked from there. While they are reconnecting with their family and region, they preferred regional content.
    • According to comScore data, from March ’20 to March ’21, there have been nearly around 62 million new internet users from the regional markets of India. If you dig deep into the disposable income of these users, they are equal to urban markets. Many FMCG brands shifted their focus to these markets in 2020 (during the first wave) because they were less infected and there was a high consumption demand.
  • Unsure about experimentation with regional ads – Innovation is afoot:
    • From all the research and data points, we can say one thing for sure, regional content and ads are the future of the digital movement in India. While big brands are spending a large amount of money and resources on English content, they also are figuring out opportunities to reach the regional consumer in innovative ways. The regional audience is more attuned to the cultural references rather than following the pop culture from urban areas. This gives a unique chance to tap into their behaviours, insights to create curated content and ad campaigns.
    • Regional ads also provide competitive pricing strategies as compared to all-time high ad campaigns in English.
    • Through research, Adgebra finds out that regional language audiences are not only restricted to certain categories. Adgebra’s audience content consumption showcases the diverse range of categories across which content is being consumed:
      • Generic News : 400 mn+
      • Entertainment : 350 mn+
      • Sports & Games : 200 mn+
      • Health & Fitness : 125 mn+
      • Auto: 150 mn+
      • Lifestyle: 100mn+
      • Finance : 150 mn+
      • Gadget : 100 mn+
      • Education : 50 mn+
      • B2B : 25mn+

So, this is the right time for your brand to experiment with regional audiences. With Adgebra, you can not only increase your brand awareness and reach but also create ads with higher conversion potential. Experimenting with ad formats becomes a flawless process and the accurate strategies help you target the right kind of audience. 

Look what Sameer Jain, VP Digital Marketing, Sales of Max life insurance has to say about his partnership with Adgebra: “Adgebra has been a successful partner in scaling business outcomes through native for us. The team has been responsive, agile and has worked towards ensuring campaign ROI.”