BrandVid 2018: Emerging importance of content creators in branded videos

Facebook and Youtube, the dominant platforms, emphasise good storytelling

MUMBAI: With the rapid change in the online ecosystem, marketers are gradually increasing their investment for branded content. Subtle product placement and proper storytelling in branded videos are becoming two key elements of video marketing. Facebook and YouTube have emerged as the most important platforms while they are working closely with brands as well as creators.

In the first edition of’s BrandVid powered by Colors, spokespersons from the two tech giants spoke about their experience in new video economy. YouTube India entertainment head Satya Raghavan and Facebook India entertainment partnerships head Saket Jha Saurabh discussed what each of them is offering to brands, how brands are operating in the respective ecosystems and what could be the best practices for them to follow.

Talking about branded videos and digital films, Raghavan said YouTube always thinks about three primary stakeholders which are the consumers, creators and advertisers. Whether it is about integrating a brand within the existing content or a brand wanting to create content with creators, these three elements of the ecosystem always create amazing opportunities together. Going back in time, he mentioned #CrashThePepsiIpl campaign when they discovered all of these three stakeholders actually ended up coming together to make this program a huge success.

“Last year we started new format called speed dating where we had brands give briefs to our upcoming creators and creators then got 10 minutes to pitch the solutions to brands and out of that also emerged pieces of content. I think we are just at the beginning of the interplay of content integration and branded content,” Raghavan said.

Facebook has also started out building communities which can be monetised. As a platform, Facebook sees video as a form, not substance. “We feel that from Facebook and Facebook family of apps’ perspective, the idea is how you solve or customise solutions for brands. I think that’s really what we focus on,” Saurabh commented.

While Facebook has definitely been the dominant one in video marketing ecosystem, he also mentioned how other apps from the group are also growing relevance. As an example, he spoke about Make My Trip’s association with WhatsApp, where the entire booking process was moved to the messaging app, and the company saw a huge fall in call centre complaints. In this case, Make My Trip leveraged the intimacy and inter-connectivity on Whatsapp to engage consumers.

Fashion and beauty brands have been optimising Instagram on a great scale. “These people understand that visual storytelling is really the thing to do, especially when you are trying to reach a younger audience. Instagram is really a choice when it’s visual storytelling,” Saurabh added. According to him, brands are increasingly realising they have to do platform-first, mobile first content as well as creating customised videos.

Speaking about what brands can achieve on YouTube, Raghavan said a consumer comes to YouTube to either entertain himself or inform or educate. According to him, it’s important for brands to understand this behaviour and even YouTube spent a lot of time trying to explain brands how to fit themselves into this continuum of things. 

His advice for brands is that they should think about how they can be a part of all of these three types of storytelling whether its entertainment, education or information. “We are seeing a lot of that happening in financial services space now because brands are starting to penetrate deeper. Earlier, very few of us dabbled on things like the stock market or even mutual funds. But, that category is seeing amazing penetration at this point in time. So, a lot of brands from that area come to us and talk about what they can do about all of these three things.  This game is still to be played and in a couple of years we will see some amazing things happening in that space,” he added.

Both of the experts were asked if a brand can become media destination for customers where they build a direct engagement with storytelling. Saurabh gave a few niche examples such as Craftsvilla’s birth and growth was aided by Facebook. Royal Enfield is also doing a great job in community building. In the case of Instagram, he gave the example of fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherji’s page which depicts good storytelling.

“Brands need to build the community ahead of the transaction, not when they will transact. It may lead to a transaction or different levels of engagement. The fact is that our goal is to make brand managers understand that whether it’s brand marketing or performance marketing, Facebook has solutions for both but building a community and having a certain thematic play in the market is very important,” he said.

However, while all the gaga is over traditional brands who are investing in branded content, Facebook has noticed that creators are becoming brands as well. Hence, this is about content brands also who are finding their voice on the platform and being able to monetise what they do best.

Agreeing with him, YouTube’s Raghavan put it in a little different angle. According to him, best practice a brand can follow is actually to think like a creator. “We encourage brands to think like a creator. Create consistent output of content and appreciate the fact that content has always been there. Think like a creator and work with our creators. They understand consumers and that’s how they continue to create content day in and day out. It’s really about the message,” he commented.

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