In this episode of Samosa Talks, creative heads of agencies and brand custodians apprise us about the impact of the pandemic on content marketing, its current state, and the trends to foresee in 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the significance of content marketing as several occurrences had come to a halt, but the creation of content had not. The speakers enlighten us about the evolution and creation of content marketing campaigns, and trends to foresee in 2021.
In conversation with…
- Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products
- Rajdeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Director, Leo Burnett
- Sajni Masturlal, Head Of Content, Wakefit
- Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker
The Evolution Of Content Marketing
Rajdeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Director, Leo Burnett speaks about a decade ago when content marketing was not a derived term and most people were not familiar with it, whenever they would approach a brand with a branded content pitch, he says they would appreciate it but not indulge. “Chai peelake bhej dete the,” Das reminisces.
He thinks there has been a gap from the time content and publishing houses emerged and brands and agencies were starting to tap this genre of marketing.
Karthik Nagarajan, Chief Content Officer, Wavemaker mentions that in the present time brands are wholely invested in content marketing.
Echoing similar thoughts, Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products adds, “90% consumers are not looking at ads. They will only look at an ad if it is exceptionally well done, or the consumer has a genuine need, and they see a brand providing a solution”.
The Creation Of Content
Sajni Masturlal, Head Of Content, Wakefit mentions the bank of content should place a brand in an entertaining or lifestyle perspective, for it to work and engage the audience. She also mentions that the point of content marketing is to strike a balance between having brand films and a catalog of branded content.
Nagarajan adds to this saying, “It starts with data and understanding the culture, then completely passed over to the creative minds”. Nagarajan shares data-driven insights can be relied upon for the initiation.
As for the process of crafting a piece of branded content, Das says a piece of content needs to have multiple ups and downs, and the viewer has to go through several emotions, the same way they do in life.
The most important question that one needs to ask while crafting a campaign is, “What is the emotion that you want leave the viewer with?”.
He shares the example of Navarasa, the nine human emotions from scriptures. For instance, an Indian Thali is filled with delicacies differing in taste and the dessert that is consumed at the end of the meal, because it leaves a sweet taste in the mouth. Similarly, the brand and creators need to serve a variety of emotions and leave the viewer with the emotion they want to leave them with.
Shah also opines, “I don’t want the content to be created around my brand. I want great content, and then my brand communications weaved around it”.
He reckons that rather than fixing on the brand proposition, an efficient approach would be finding a great piece of content that would resonate with the audience, and integrating brand communications, in a way that is not a forced-fit.
Wakefit recently launched a YouTube channel called Home Time. Talking about brands donning the hat of a publisher or a content house, Masturlal says, “The idea is to be able to create content on a frequent and purposeful basis”.
She shares that creating content in-house rather than partnering with a publisher or creator, aids in creating an umbrella concept that can be populated with consistent pieces of work.
Nagarajan reckons that marketing budgets are now going to be expected to work much harder than it did. “Outcome-based content has to be the way”.
Das says that one also needs to detach from their piece of work once it is executed. Once you have put out a piece of work, “if it’s doing good, move on, if it’s doing bad, move on”. Moving on to the next piece of work is more important than celebrating or grieving results.
The Client-Creator Relationship
Masturlal mentions that the client-creator/influencer relationship should be organic rather than transactional.
Including them at the conceptual stage is an efficient approach. Both parties involved should have a contribution to the concept, for the process to take its natural course and produce content that is authentic for the audience.
Nagarajan also adds that the influncer should also retain its originality. A mistake that brands can make while tapping content marketing is, “Get an influencer, and get them to talk like the brand. They have to talk like themselves”
Long-format videos have been here, and are here to stay.
Content ideas being adapted to various channels as opposed to an individual platform (for 360-degree campaigns).
Do It Yourself, whether you’re writing, directing, or creating, be a multi-tasker.
There is going to be more empathy in marketing, campaigns are going to be deeply rooted in the trait.