India has a population of over 1.3 billion people and the number of people online is currently a mere 34% of it. However, every month 4 million new users are moving online. This shows the potential for growth of digital markets in India. It is expected that the number of internet users in India would reach 850 million by 2025.
Penetration in rural India will play a huge role in the whole digitization process. The reason for the difficulty in penetration of the internet to rural India is the barrier in language. (There are 22 major languages in India, written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects!) So while there might be great content relevant to say, a farmer, like research articles on how to increase yield, or simple videos on how to plant crops, or opportunities to learn other skills, they are unable to find the ease in accessing this content. So imagine him asking his queries to his device in a language both he and device fluently understands. That will be the answer to the penetration problem!
Voice searches on Google are now a growing trend and are being considered as the key to the language barrier. The Google voice based searches in India are already popular having a 28% share in the total search types. Google is also working on adding more and more languages to the Google Assistant to be able to be accessible to more and more users in India. It currently is available on 8 Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil.
Moving further, there is a second part to the scenario post voice based searches successfully happening in regional languages. Is there sufficient content being created for this audience? As a brand, this is something one might need to consider for penetration to the next biggest set of users which is rapidly coming online and using the internet for information, purchases, and entertainment – relevant webpage content.
Voice based searches are however different in terms of what keywords are searched and how. One tends to speak out in longer sentences. So making your web content relevant to such kind of long keyword searches has become very essential now.
While so far, we have talked about how voice based searches will help internet penetration in India, it is also being seen as an increasing trend in urban users. The reasons for these are ease and speed. Asking your device to book an Uber, order from your favorite restaurant, or play your favorite song is faster than searching, typing, and doing it all yourself.
Hence the rapid rise in popularity of digital assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, Alexa.
How are you marketing your brand as per internet penetration numbers and trends? Share your thoughts in the comments section below so that we can learn together! 🙂