Brands can be broadcasters. Why rely on other media platforms when you can become your own media owner? Create, produce and publish your own content on your own channels.
By Darshan Bhatt
‘Be bold, be italics, never regular’. I read this quote on someone’s Twitter timeline and it has stayed with me ever since. In today’s digital world where 280 characters are jostling to capture attention, it is indeed important to be bold and hatke, especially for brands.
As per a recent report by EY, advertisers in India have already shifted spends to digital, which constituted 17% of the total advertising budget in 2017. Given that the ad avoidance ratio is also high, where will advertising budgets get the maximum bang for their buck? This dire need to find newer ways to market gave rise to a new marketing unicorn for brands — original content.
‘You were born original. Don’t be a copy’. Original content is the new currency that brands ought to exchange for run-of-the-mill advertising. A brand has its own identity, a unique DNA; hence, the content must resonate with that persona.
For example, the recent viral video from Ixigo on hotel etiquettes was an original in-house video that won over 1.2 million views in context of the Bali hotel incident.
Brands can be broadcasters. Why rely on other media platforms when you can become your own media owner? Create, produce and publish your own content on your own channels. Red Bull has repositioned itself as a ‘content publishing’ company instead of a beverage company. It creates extreme sports like free-falling events, turns them into webisodes and broadcasts them on its own website. Heck, why didn’t we do something like this before?
So what are some of the best practices to adopt in the content marketing game?
Play it right
Be human: Our high-drama cultural environment makes us an emotive audience. And brands must cash in on this. If it’s the younger millennials, be edgy or humourous. Or if it’s the traditional Indian audience, tug at their heartstrings like Fortune Foods did with their tearjerker #MummyKiChaalbaazi video.
Stick to the brand DNA: Every brand is unique and has its own persona. Your content needs to resonate with your brand’s DNA in terms of the language, the substance and tonality. For instance, Tata Tiago’s original production Tripling, in association with TVF and Maxus, was peppy and adventurous, and showcased the car as an integral character.
Add value: That should always be the focal point of creating original content that has a ‘takeaway quotient’. Hershey’s Meethe Bahaane is a classic example. The brand tied up with celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, conjuring up a 10-episode series of recipes with a sweet twist.
Make them fall in love with your brand: Uncle Drew is a comic film co-produced by Pepsi, aimed to attract young sports fans. It evolved from an ad campaign to a full-length comic feature film starring NBA champion Kyrie Irving in the titular role as the 70-year-old basketball player. Pepsi’s association with sports ‘drew’ this tie-up to be relevant and earned over 50 million views for its first video on Pepsi’s YouTube channel.
In short, the key ingredients for the best content are creation and innovation. If, as a brand, you can take the risk to create what others have not, you will emerge as a winner in the content marketing race.
The best way to sum it up would be with this quote from Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder, Hubspot: “What separates good content from great content is the willingness to take risks and push the envelope.”
(The author is director, GoQuest Digital Studios)