Brands across categories like cosmetics, electronics and dating apps, among others, are going beyond conventional sponsorships to tie up with audio and video streaming platforms for content. While electronics brand boAt has launched a podcast with IVM Podcasts, Hyundai is co-creating a show with MTV. Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble regularly run shows with influencers on their YouTube channels. Media industry executives say the idea is to reach out to a primarily young audience that is not exposed to much advertising given its propensity for subscription-based services. Costs of co-creation can also be lower than a big advertising campaign and streaming platforms often come with rich data on user cohorts that can be addressed. Further, this content remains available for perpetuity, engaging audiences in the long term.
“Brands look at transmedia storytelling where they leverage the IP across different touch points – from broadcast, social video, and OTT to experiential formats and even NFTs. The idea is to communicate a powerful message to a core target group – wherever you can reach them,” said Anshul Ailawadi, head, youth, music and English entertainment, Viacom18 adding that clients are leveraging internal teams, agencies, and creative partners such as MTV to create branded content.
Once created in collaboration with a partner platform, the content remains out there for perpetuity, especially for the consumer segment that the specific platform caters to, said Amit Doshi, head, IVM Podcasts-Pratilipi and Kavita Rajwade, co-founder, IVM Podcasts-Pratilipi, that is working in particular with fin-tech brands, FMCG companies and players in the consulting space. “A lot of the young audience is not exposed to advertising otherwise and a branded project helps their messaging remain true and to be integrated at low cost,” Doshi said.
The biggest advantage (of co-creating content) is unadulterated brand messaging, said Aditya Kuber, co-founder of Ideabrew Studios, a podcast production company that has executed a documentary for Asian Paints. While prices depend on the specifics of the project, podcast prices can range from ₹30,000 per episode to even ₹2.5 lakh per episode depending on the work and talent involved, Kuber said.
New media has improved the scope for advertising and distributing content, said Tanish Shah, associate director, influencer marketing and video production at digital agency White Rivers Media. “Earlier, typically a brand would create four to five ad films and re-purpose them for all media. The rise of digital platforms has changed that and brands are now increasingly using influencers to address this vast market. Influencer marketing is the new way of content creation for brands,” Shah said adding that such strategies help analyse costs, plan content and have the right production setup to source more high-quality content. Among other examples, e-commerce brand Nykaa has a comprehensive YouTube marketing plan and likes to concentrate on providing its target customers with consumable information on beauty, personal care, and cosmetic skills, rather than stressing product sales. “Gone are the days when a brand would create one television commercial and its forced edits would be disseminated on various digital platforms. Hence the opportunity is to create authentic video content tailor made for each social and publishing platform. Video content has become an integral part of content plan for any brand who wants to engage with their consumer. Be it YouTube Shorts, branded series, Reels, video podcasts, how-to content, and more, there are a lot of avenues for brands to created owned content to cater to their potential target customers,” said Sudish Balan, chief creative officer and co-founder at digital marketing agency Tonic Worldwide.
Sugandha Varshney, lead, digital marketing, at technology brand Dizo admitted companies now even invest in-house videographers, editors, designers and copywriters to create videos, blogs, posts and so on. which can be engaging for their target audiences. Besides, the smartphone industry itself had taken the lead in creating rap videos and songs with artistes and hosting the same on brands’ as well as the artists‘ YouTube channels.
“Content has made it much easier for people to be entertained and educated, at once. Capitalising on this effectiveness can help brands reach the right target audience, create a bond of trust with them and strategize their marketing and brand strategy accordingly,” said Ashwarya Garg and Akshay Bhatnagar, co-founders of creator-owned marketplace HYPD adding that content-led commerce contributes 30-35% of all e-commerce sales and in the age bracket of 14 to 40, eight out of 10 purchases are made impulsively led by content.