5 trends to watch out for in the Indian blogosphere in 2014

Blogging is increasing in India and there are many trends that come with this ever popular medium. Karan Bhujbal, Account Manager, 20:20MSL revals what he thinks will happen in the Indian blogosphere in 2014

Bloggers gain more prominence in the media mix of most companies

Be it demand or be it supply, tech bloggers remain the most targeted blogger category by brands and that’s only going to accentuate with time. However as more and more brands get digitally mature, they tend to increase their engagement with bloggers. A recent BCG report says the Internet is influencing the purchase decisions of around 40% of urban users in India. And this digital influence is expected to grow five-fold to reach $150 billion by 2016. Some factors driving this trend are:

  • B2B brands are wanting to liaise with bloggers who write about their domain
  • The community of people writing blogs across categories like fashion, lifestyle and travel is also rising
  • The overall readership of blogs is also increasing

Focus on visual content

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and when it comes to media consumption patterns, it can’t be truer. According to the ComScore, the total online video consumption has doubled in the past two years to 3.7 billion videos per month. The total online video audience in India has grown 74% to 54 million viewers, with the average viewer watching 18% more videos and spending 28% more time viewing.

And then it’s not just videos. One of the top suggestions by social media marketers to brands on Facebook is to increase the use of pictures, as they get more traction. With the increasing information consumption over the mobile web, pictures hold even more importance for people who are logging in via their not-so smart phones. Creativity too can get more visually communicated via visuals. For example take a look at these 15 most creative Christmas Advertisements.

With such evidence, it seems 2014 will see more bloggers experimenting with more visual content. Some have started already, for example Clinton Jeff, a popular tech blogger from Unleashthephones.com does Google Hangouts. Abhishek Bhatnagar from Technixmedia, has a YouTube channel called Gadgets to Use that has over 28000 subscribers! And again it’s not just tech. Apurva Saxena, a popular fashion blogger at Kalapalette, has recently started her YouTube channel too.

Stress on blog monetization

Is blog monetization the one single biggest trend to watch in 2014 when it comes to the blogosphere? No! That’s because the number of newbies entering the scene are increasing by the day. Yet with each passing year, the experience that existing bloggers have is rising and hence their focus on monetizing their blog naturally comes in. There is a section of bloggers in every category like food, travel, fashion and tech, where experienced bloggers understand their importance in terms of their reach and impact and hence are demanding a price for that. This trend will continue to rise in 2014.

Fashion and travel emerging as a hot category in blogging

There are already some popular fashion and travel bloggers, yet the category hasn’t gone as mainstream. 2014 could be the turnaround for this, as more and more categories and topics emerge on which they could blog on. In other words, brands (like ecommerce, retail, tech, consumer durables, hotels etc.) targeting these sets of bloggers is on a rise and that will either see an increase in the number of blogs who report on this space or increase the reputation of people who are already well entrenched into blogging on this category. Food blogging also once seemed to be on an uphill, but for one reason or the other, few people within it are more prominent than the category itself.

In time news reportage

Bloggers, by the nature of online, enjoy the advantage of reporting stories just-in-time. It makes print feel outdated many a times and a lot of bloggers do that. There are instances where a blogger has filed a story from a press conference itself, but that’s a unique case. For the now the advantage of just-in-time reporting has not been adopted by many bloggers. This maybe a representation of the fact that either their stories are going to be more feature-like or maybe get involved with post-processing of pictures. In 2014 however we could see more bloggers adopting the in-time news reportage approach. This maybe a consequence of tough competition, an increased focus on their blog or because of the short lifecycle of news consumption itself.

Karan Bhujbal is Account Manager, 20:20MSL

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