Language, Video & AI: Ajit Varghese on creating value in a social world

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Social Samosa decrypts factors such as AI, language, and video fueling the rapid expansion of the social media ecosystem and the marketing opportunities that unfurl with this growth.

Ajit Varghese, Chief Commercial Officer, ShareChat, shares insights on regional languages, video ecosystems, AI, and machine learning supporting the exponential growth of the social media ecosystem, and how the previously untapped ‘Bharat’ can now be penetrated by brands and advertisers.

Ajit shares the learnings from his experience of growing homegrown social platforms, ShareChat to 160+ Mn monthly active users within five years and Moj to 120+ Mn monthly active users within the span of a year. These platforms generate 92+ Bn and 90+ Bn monthly video views, respectively.

The Social Bharat

90% of internet users in India consume content in regional languages, and most of these users are based in non-Metro cities. Metro-cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahemdabad only make up for 12.5% of the userbase on ShareChat and Moj. The dominating chunk is from semi-urban rural cities such as Udupi, and Ujjain, followed by urban cities.

Bharat’s regional consumers are language-first and essentially the non-English speaking audiences that make up for the potentially untapped market that would lead to new customer acquisitions.

The locals of Bharat form the largest ecosystem of online users that spends more than five hours on the social platform per week, and are 3-5 years old in terms of the digital age, predominantly being first-time internet users. Video has been a preferred content format that has elevated content consumption.

Ajit adds that we were all introduced to the social ecosystem, by global players, and these platforms predominantly function in English, and therefore a large part of Bharat was resistant to joining these platforms.

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But language-first functionalities, the shareability of content, AI-driven algorithm, machine learning capturing various interests, personalization that makes each social media user believe that “This platform is for me”, the pandemic, and subsequent events have stimulated the growth of social Bharat.

The Power Of AI-Supported Advertising

Return on spends, building brand trust, audience tools, and influencer marketing are the four key areas that are particularly supported by AI. Additionally, from a content consumption lens, AI also powers the discoverability of content on the basis of consumer interest, taste, and preferences. AI is also turning dark social into the mainstream.

Along with discoverability, AI is also fueling the advertising ecosystem, brand trust, ROI, accessibility for influencers, and more of such metrics across feed ads, genre-based ads, and more ad formats that dive into the deeper funnel, are matched with consumer taste and preferences.

Ajit mentions that the advanced technology supporting advertising has also scaled their client base of performance marketers from 10% to 30% and the deep funnel insights are growing further. Ad-tech capabilities and high-impact ads drive performance.

Tips For Marketing To Social Bharat

  • Language is the point of connection for love. One advert in multiple languages generates higher ROI than one advert in English
  • Cure the creative fatigue. Understand why people are coming onto a particular platform and tailor your communication for that medium instead of trimming the communication’s length
  • Television commercials cannot work on short video apps
  • Changing creatives everyday work and do not pull down CTR
  • Don’t look at a one stop solution for all problems

Ajit Varghese shared the insights on Day 2 of Social Samosa’s marque property SM Live.


Comments

A wordsmith by profession who likes art, Beatles, Coffee, DiCaprio and Eminem brings a fresh perspective contrary to existing perceptions and believes in questioning everything, also has a belief that there should be a bigger place in the world for words and not war. He prefers the phenomena of the physical world of plants and animals(especially dogs) over possessions. Reckons moving to the rhythm and moving on.