Bengaluru : Twitter India is planning to capitalise on the upcoming Cricket World Cup, luring in users and brands to boost its ad revenue. A report that Twitter has prepared and shared with us shows that 89% of 2,650 Indian users surveyed are cricket fans.
“It’s a big year with Cricket World Cup and IPL. We will see brands making more and more use of big moments when the conversations are on Twitter,” said Parminder Singh, Twitter’s managing director for India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
In the lead up to the event, India’s cricket board and Nike Cricket have co-unveiled the Team India Jersey on Twitter, while Star Sports started an #OwnTheJersey hashtag trend. This comes at a time when Twitter is ramping up in India to capitalise on a fast expanding internet base.
It acquired marketing company Zipdial earlier this month, and appointed a business head for India, Taranjeet Singh. According to media reports, Twitter also plans to open a research and design design centre here. The online advertising market in India is projected to reachRs 3,575 crore by March 2015, an expansion of 30% over last year, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. Twitter is eager to ride on this wave. In the quarter ended September 2014, $121 million, or 34%, of Twitter’s revenue came from international markets. “And obviously India is a big contributor to that,” said Singh.
There were 60 million tweets sent out during the national elections last year, with company insiders terming it as “Twitter elections”. Twitter also worked with Indian Space Research Organisation to send out tweets on Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission.
Research firm eMarketer pegs Twitter’s Indian base at about 22 million, making it one of the seven-year-old company’s fastest growing markets. Twitter India receives 85% of its revenues from mobile, said Singh. He said the business strategy is to drive a brand’s engagements – meaning when when users respond, share, or highlight a tweet – not impressions. In India, engagement rates are 2-3%, and reached as high as 11% for Audi’s A3 campaign last September.
“What happens in India is reflected on Twitter, no matter which cultural activity you look at — sports, arts, politics, or entertainment,” said Singh. “Twitter is now really woven into the cultural fabric of this nation.”