Expert Insights On The State Of Social For Brands

social brands

Brand Custodians and Industry Experts dissect the state of social media for brands and evolving trends in the fast-paced industry and share learnings for the path ahead.

Social Media has dominated traditional mediums and is now dictating consumer behavior and inclinations that brands need to keep up with here the experts share their insights and learnings that can map the road to 2023 for advertisers.

The Panelists

  • Aruna Jathar, Chief Marketing Officer, TenderCuts
  • Resha Jain, Vice President – Content Marketing, SUGAR Cosmetics
  • Vishal Gaba, Associate Director – Marketing, Bira 91
  • Aditi Mathur Kumar, Associate Vice President – Content Strategy & Partnerships, Interactive Avenues (Moderator)

The State of Social 

The panelists discuss how social media has become a significant part of the marketing media plans and how far it has come in dominating the traditional mediums in several cases, and the domain not being designated to interns anymore.

Aditi Mathur Kumar says clients are actually hiring social media marketing experts now, and how challenging it has been for brands to ace in the fastest-moving industry in the world, she raises the question of how a brand stays agile during these times.

Vishal Gaba mentions he builds the social media strategy on two pillars – relevance and criticality. How critical is it to communicate a certain message to the consumers, and how relevant is it for them. Brands do not need to be glued to every trend, not everything needs to be leveraged, and its criticality on business impact should also be calculated.

Adding to that, Aruna Jathar highlights how all their consumers are on social media, and they cannot ignore this consumer inclination; whether it’s urban, rural, or semi-urban, everyone is consuming content on social media. Brands need to define their objectives and why they are there. 

Resha Jain states every day on social media is a fight for visibility and top-of-the-mind recall; most brands today are digital-first, while some have stuck to traditional marketing, but this is not the time when you can not be on social media. “The impact of not being there will come later”.

Also Read: Arun Srinivas, Meta on winning new consumers in times of change & innovation

Mad Men v/s Ad Men

The debate of Mad Men v/s Ad Men has always been ongoing and is as old as the hills. The financial liberty of creative professionals and the quest of media professionals to minimize the production value to maximize the ROI have never been common ground. The experts try to bridge this gap with their insights and experience.

Vishal states it’s important to justify the budget and time invested in social media marketing, especially when the algorithm is going against the brand. There is no single formula that fits all, he adds that brands should continue to experiment until they find what’s best for them. 

Aruna believes the debate on marketing budgets is never-ending, as a CMO, the job is to decide what percentage of the revenue will be going into marketing, as all channels are important, especially for a mass product. Consumers review a product on social media and need to invest in performance, but ht content should not take a backseat, it has to be a mix.

Resha shares that it is dependent on a lot of different factors. She further elaborates that one channel or medium is not a replacement for another. For instance, social media is not a replacement for SEO, and so on. Brands need to figure out what their audience is seeing and where they are available. “Carve out what you want to achieve.”

The State Of Social Media Marketing

Experts share their insights and learnings of marketing in the current state of social media, they discuss the current content consumption inclinations, the rise of short-form videos, influencer marketing, and much more.

Short-Form Content

Short-form videos have turned out to be more than just a fad, and the enthusiasm in this hub of trends can be used to elevate brand equity and form a candid relationship with consumers. Short-form videos are now also used for marketing on a tactical level.

While the short-form video ecosystem has witnessed bigger players like Instagram, there are over ten homegrown short video apps such as Roposo, Josh, Vigo Video, and more, and platforms such as Moj that generate 90+ Bn monthly video views.

Aruna mentions that short-form videos are definitely important. For TenderCuts’s audience, short-format quick, and easy recipes are what the consumer wants; this also leads to collaboration with creators and generation of views.

Agreeing with that, Vishal added that short-form videos are currently dominating the social media space, and the message is determined by the brand, but the format will be decided by the audience, and currently, it’s in the shorter form.

While Resha highligted that the focus should not be on the kind of content that is performing, “keep creating content, content always performs”. Reels and YouTube Shorts came as an experiment, but now they have outperformed. She believes utilization of trends can help the brand scale the audience faster.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing campaigns are not just restricted to a few industries such as Fashion & Lifestyle anymore. 18–34-year-olds have been touted to make a purchase decision shaped by an influencer’s endorsement. From big brand launches to smaller niche awareness campaigns, the application scope has evolved now and can work well for building brand awareness. Market share, trust issues with a fairly new brand, and several other objectives and concerns can be touch-based; the experts share their experience in this forte.

Resha mentions Sugar garnered 30,000+ influencer mentions last year; this year, it’s cited to grow higher; the brand is also building micro and nano influencers for models, with over 10,000 influencers.

She adds building content through this community is a great place to start, and a lot of it is based on why people are following this influencer. “Numbers is not the only thing, it makes no sense to do influencer campaigns if you can’t do it well.”

Talking about TenderCuts, Aruna says the brand mainly uses it for awareness and consideration blended with performance. Sharing a few learnings, she shares that the influencers you chose will depend on what the brand wants to achieve. Their popularity is important, but the audience has to be relevant to the brand. “Results are not generated overnight unless you are running campaigns with offers.”

 The panelists shared their thoughts at the 6th edition of #SMLive, Social Samosa’s marquee annual conference, organized on World Social Media Day.

You can watch SMLive Sessions here!