To mark its 10 year anniversary in India, YouTube hosted Brandcast 2018, an event to help marketers understand how Indians consume video content. Since it first launched in 2008, YouTube’s rising popularity has been inextricably linked with India’s own growth story, giving it a special understanding of the Indian internet audience. Today, around 225 million Indians actively use YouTube every month just through their mobile phone. This number is set to increase to 500 million by the year 2020. With such a rapidly expanding audience base, YouTube is becoming increasingly more important for brands to effectively leverage. Interestingly, YouTube’s reach is over 80% amongst the 55+ segment.
Brandcast 2018 provided invaluable insights into who is accessing YouTube, what content they are watching and how they are consuming it.
Opportunities for Brands on YouTube
YouTube has become one of the most important platforms for brands to engage with their consumers. The most remarkable feature of YouTube is that ads here have a very high reach and a viewability rate of as high as 95%. The viewability rate refers to the number of audience members who have actually viewed the ad. YouTube’s audience is one of the most engaged across all platforms and is also the best way to create a brand story. Brandcast 2018 revealed how actively users consume content on YouTube:
65% of YouTube viewers subscribe to their favourite channels while 85% of them watch newly uploaded videos within two days.
7 out of 10 viewers watch ads on YouTube with the sound on.
More than 50% of female professionals watch YouTube videos for more information before making a purchase in categories like beauty, automobiles and real estate.
The use of creativity and engaging content works very well on YouTube since audiences are more inclined to spend a long time viewing your video. For the #ForkTheBananaLeaf campaign, On1y created a funny, unusual video to advertise their brand and to keep their viewers engaged. On1y is a premium spice brand with a signature grinder to ensure you get maximum flavour. They chose to speak about their product USP in an unusual way and effectively use humour to capture the attention of their audience.
On1y wanted to steer away from the predictable storylines and advertise their product in a way that would increase brand recall among their audiences. To do this, they depicted a traditional South Indian wedding with the couple waiting to be served food on a banana leaf. However, instead of traditional South Indian food, they are served international dishes like pasta and pizza. While confused at first, they begin to love the food once they sprinkle seasonings by On1y over them. The idea of food with a twist was a unique play on the ‘twist’ of the grinder that is one of On1y’s biggest USPs.
This video worked phenomenally well for On1y and went viral in a very short time. The overall reach for the video was over 10,000,000, the total views on YouTube were over 480,000. Capitalising on the huge success of the video, they also release a ‘Behind the Scenes’ video which also garnered a high number of views. This clearly showed that audiences were so engaged by the original video that they were willing to watch the second video about the same product.
Special Features on YouTube to increase brand presence
YouTube has a number of different features and advertising options to help brands achieve their business goals.
Bumper Ads: 6-second videos which can increase brand reach
TrueView: In-stream ads which play when a viewer is watching another video
Video Ads Sequencing: A customised video funnel brands can create to take viewers through a journey
Director’s Mix: Make different versions of background copy on the same video based on various parameters of the target audience.
These tools allow brands to increase brand awareness, brand recall, physical store visits and ultimately, sales.
Livon (Marico Industries) got a 7X conversion rate through the TruView Ad format with 65% increase in modern trade and e-commerce.
Duracell created a Trust is Power campaign and used six-second bumper ads to complement their longer hero ads to increase brand awareness.
Uber saw a 63% increase in first rides at an 18% lower cost/first trip after a YouTube Director’s Mix campaign. Additionally, Australia’s Campbell’s Soup used the tool to generate customised creative for different audiences, leading to over 1.5M total views and a 55% increase in Campbell’s Simply Soup sales.
Zain, a leading Saudi mobile and data services provider, achieved a 50% increase in brand search queries through video sequencing
Influencer Marketing – A growing trend on YouTube
Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most effective strategies brands can use to build brand awareness and credibility. India has witnessed a growing number of powerful influencers in many different categories. Many of the biggest influencers today across all categories can be found on YouTube. From just 16 YouTube channels in India with over a million subscribers in 2014, there are now 300 channels. Indians today are using YouTube as a way to gain more information, rather than just for entertainment. They turn to YouTube influencers they trust to provide them with reviews, tips and tutorials. The Brandcast 2018 event revealed very important figures about how powerful influencers on YouTube really are.
7 out of 10 people relate to YouTube influencers more than celebrities
76% of businessmen who regularly consume video content say that YouTubers shape their perception of culture
65% of audiences who view videos have brand opinions which have been strongly influenced by a YouTube influencer they follow
More than 75% of moms’ brand opinions have been shaped by YouTube influencers
These numbers prove that YouTube is an indispensable platform for brands trying to widen their consumer base.
At Social Beat, we have witnessed first-hand the power of regional content on YouTube. For the ‘Good Netizen Good Citizen’ campaign by the Murugappa Group, we conceptualised ideas for a video that would resonate with their audience base. As they are based out of Tamil Nadu, their target audience would be able to better understand and relate to Tamil language content.
The goal of the video was to effectively utilise humour to spread a message about responsible sharing on the internet and to be a good ‘netizen’. They created funny, yet thought-provoking series of videos on internet etiquette. From a young woman who over-shares every mundane detail of her life with strangers to the way Whatsapp rumours are spread, these informative videos are aimed at raising social awareness on the responsible use of social media and the Internet.
These Tamil videos performed incredibly well on YouTube with one of the videos even getting over 570,000 views. Users also actively engaged with the video, leaving comments and sharing it on various social media platforms. Undoubtedly, the fact that the video was in Tamil, played a very important role in the fact that it went viral. You can watch the entire series of the Good Netizen Good Citizen videos here.
According to the latest numbers, Tamil is currently the most used regional language in India among internet users with 42, while Hindi follows with 39 percent. Clearly, unless brands incorporate a strong regional language strategy in their marketing, they will be unable to engage with India’s next billion internet users.
YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for brands to reach out to their consumers. As its reach in India continues to grow, brands will need to learn how to effectively utilise it to grow their presence.
Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited (Chola), is the financial services arm of the Murugappa Group, providing a variety of loan options to its customers. The vision of Chola is to enable its growing clientele of over 8 lakh customers to enter a better life. Since Chola is a small loans provider, most of its consumer base consists of middle-class Indians, especially from tier 2 and tier 3 towns. This is why it was crucial that our communication and design strategy appealed to this audience segment in order to create maximum engagement. The core objective of our redesign strategy for Chola was to break away from previous design formats and offer a fresh new look.
The Target Audience that we were dealing with is the middle-class section of the Indian society. The visual appeal of both the design and the copy has to go hand in hand for the TA to be able to relate to it. The campaigns were tailor-made for the TA to ensure maximum shareability. The ideation for the campaigns primarily involved topics trending with socio-economic groups we were targeting. The TA had to be able to identify with these topics in order to feel compelled to share the posts.
The Creative Idea
Throughout a number of brainstorming and ideation sessions keeping the target audience and their interests in mind, the team explored various approaches and ideas. During this process, we decided that the best approach would be to understand the feelings of the TA. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we would be better able to understand the kind of content our target audience would find engaging. This was one of the best ways to gain traction as viewers can relate best when they see their life stories projected creatively on their screens. All of our campaigns for Chola mainly focused on trending topics of that period to maximize the shareability of the posts.
With our campaigns for Chola, we decided to try out something new in terms of design style. Having utilized a vectorized design style over the past campaigns, we decided to give the new campaigns a fresh new look. Instead of vector designs, we used detailed, sketched, hand-drawn line illustrations to retain the sophisticated nature of the brand in a creative way. We also utilized the latest super tools in design gadgets.
The design process began with ideation of themes, conceptualization of scenarios based on the content and visualizing people, actions, costumes, spaces and objects to portray in the designs. The next step involved collecting and documenting relevant imagery on the basis of the ideation. Followed by this was the creation process of digitally hand-drawing sketches and creating customised vectors with reference to the collected imagery. Once this process was completed, the colour palette, font styles and the layout were structured and executed.
Some of Our Best-Performing Campaigns for Chola
Our campaigns for Chola usually revolve around a central theme. They include a series of creative images which relate to the theme and tell a compelling story. Here are a few of the design campaigns we created for Chola which performed very well on social media.
Children’s Day was around the corner and so we conceptualized an interesting campaign for the same. There has been a drastic change in the lifestyles of children today compared to children 10-20 years back. The central theme of this campaign was to portray how children from the previous generation led such different lives as compared to children today. We tried bringing in various aspects of childhood like pocket money, holidays, summertime and weekends as themes to compare children then and children now.
A detailed line drawing sketches were made to portray different scenarios. Only the images of the children had colours added to ensure that the emphasis was solely on them. The layout was kept very simple using minimal colours as the drawings were intricate.
Goals and Dreams are different yet interrelated. We created a metaphoric representation of this concept for the #DreamsToGoals campaign. The basic story of this campaign centred on an entrepreneur who strives to cross a cliff. Using a story-based design representation, the concept made it easier to understand and more relatable.
The design attributes followed in this campaign were meaningful illustrations designed with a minimalist aesthetic. A fresh and bright colour palette was used to break the monotony of past designs in the finance industry and create a new visual language. A clean typography, layout and illustration style was implemented throughout the series to express the sophisticated nature of the company.
This campaign shines the spotlight on the untold success stories of small business owners who have made it big. Throughout our design process, we focused on portraying the achievements of these small business owners in a captivating, original manner. A clever collage representation of the content was executed by overlapping images over illustrations. We also added minimalistic movements to the design elements to make it more compelling. The colour palette used in this campaign was a combination of gradients in relevance to the businesses. A clean decorative placement of the copy added to the visual element to the designs.
These campaigns performed very well on social media, garnering a high number of reactions, comments and shares. These numbers proved that creative and thoughtfully designed posts can engage with customers, contribute towards a positive brand image and increase brand awareness. You can also read our blog on What Brands Can do to Engage With India’s Next Billion Users to find more ways to capture the attention of your consumers.
~Other contributors to this blog include Rhea Jane
Whether you are an enthusiastic start-up or a well-established organisation, there is no doubt that you are missing out on a pool of potential customers by not tapping the reach of digital marketing. Keeping this notion in mind, Social Beat and Google were proud to collaborate for yet another insightful session of Digital Bites.
The event took place on the 9th of March at Bangalore, with thoughtful insights presented by industry professionals. The session focused on the importance of Video Marketing and how top video sites like Youtube are emerging as an alternative channel to television. It also threw light on the growth of regional content and how brands can leverage the ease of voice search to engage with India’s next billion Internet users. The previous Digital Bites session was held in Chennai during September, 2017.
Over the five years since our inception, Social Beat has consistently pushed the envelope and stood at the helm of digital innovations. This relentless drive towards perfection has been a key factor in the successful business results we have achieved for each of our clients. But the digital landscape within which we operate is continuously changing and with it, so are we. As we progress from being a startup to a meaningful player in the digital ecosystem, we are charging head-first towards a phase of rapid growth and impactful creativity. To keep up with our constantly evolving nature, we have re-launched our brand identity to better reflect the values we strive to embody today. But while the overall look of our brand might have changed, our core promise remains the same: to achieve measurable milestones for our clients through ROI-driven digital marketing.
What sets us apart?
Social Beat today is a powerhouse of talent, creativity, strategy and innovation. With our vibrant 80-member team spread across our offices in Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, we have the best resources to help brands meet their business objectives. With our unparalleled capabilities in the field, we can say with full confidence that no one understands the digital landscape of India better than us. Social Beat has several unique tools at our disposal to meet the challenges and potential of India’s consumer audience today.
As the importance of video marketing continues to grow, our expertise in creating engaging, insightful video content is one of our biggest strengths. With a talented in-house video team, we offer brands a special edge to capture the attention of their consumers. Influencer by Social Beat is one of our most important services, capitalising on the rapid emergence of influencer marketing. Through Influencer, we put brands in touch with key influencers in the category, helping them achieve greater brand awareness and trust. As tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India benefit from easier access to high-speed internet and low-cost phones, regional language marketing is crucial to help brands engage with India’s next billion internet users. This is why 22 Languages by Social Beat helps brands create engaging content for their audiences in the language they are most comfortable in. This focus on results through a comprehensive marketing strategy is perfectly encapsulated in our new brand identity.
The meaning behind our new brand identity
The new brand identity symbolises the progressive vision of our company. From the choice of contemporary fonts to the colours used, every aspect of the logo is an embodiment of the values, culture and innovative methods used by us. After weeks of brainstorming and ideation, our in-house creative team led by Creative Head Panisa Shah finally conceptualized a logo that was the best representation of all that our brand stands for. We adopted a clean, minimal and contemporary look to symbolise our progressive approach to digital strategy. Aside from our new logo, our brand relaunch also involves a redesign of the Social Beat website. In keeping with the minimalist theme, we are giving our website an uncluttered, clean layout that is captivating in its simplicity.
A journey through our logo
The brand new Social Beat logo is minimalistic and contemporary with clear-cut edges and a bold, yet refined design language that is reflective of our distinctive identity. It successfully captures our passion, energy, creativity and professionalism in a memorable way.
Every component of the logo has a symbolism of its own that throws light on the values, ethics and passionate spirit that defines who we are.
Solid colours with a rock-solid approach: The colour strategy behind the logo was to combine the enthusiastic vibe of orangish red with the reliability and expertise of royal blue. A typical day at Social Beat is replete with vibrant minds working towards reinforcing our clients’ trust and confidence in us. This is why we chose a vibrant red to represent our fresh ideas, passion, creativity and energy, while royal blue represents our dependability and trustworthiness.
Bettering the lettering: We opted for an uppercase, clean, sans-serif font to portray the professionalism we offer. The straight lines reiterate our commitment towards providing polished, masterful end-results for our clients.
Forward is the way to go: The forward arrows represent the result-driven business generation approach and the progressive vision of the company. We are constantly scouting for the latest trends in digital marketing to ensure that brands stay ahead of the curve.
Energetic, enthusiastic and youthful: The strategically placed flash symbol symbolises the energetic and dynamic nature of the team, driven by fresh ideas and new-age concepts.
Strategy comes full-circle: The circle encompassing the logo stands for the holistic digital marketing solution that Social Beat offers to each of our clients.
Our re-envisioned brand identity will accelerate us towards our goal of becoming amongst India’s top companies offering digital marketing solutions. This new identity resonates with our USP of boosting ROI for our clients across a variety of sectors like the finance industry, FMCG industry, real estate sector and more by being a holistic digital marketing partner. It’s a brand new identity but the same bold promise!
There is no doubt that reaching your target audience through vernacular content is one of the biggest trends of digital marketing. Though the early internet users in the nation are predominantly fluent in English, marketers have noticed that the current crop of digital-savvy individuals find multilingual content much more engaging and relatable. Keeping a tab on this trend, many brands have leveraged the reach of vernacular content to engage with India’s next billion internet users.
We, at Social Beat, took advantage of the reach of vernacular content and the engagement of video content to come up with a ground-breaking social media campaign for our client Cholamandalam Finance. Since the brand mostly caters to small-business owners and entrepreneurs from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, we targeted their audience with an animated video featuring the life lessons we can learn from an ant. The video was initially made in English and gained a traction reach of 409,609 with 3k shares. Seeing these numbers, we released the same video in Hindi which went viral.
The Hindi video currently has reached 2.2 million views with 94% of it being organic. Furthermore, 2 million of these views are unique. The post has reached 7 million users through 79k shares and 50k reactions. These stats are a testimony to the fact that the digital space is evolving and adapting itself to the needs and preferences of its new breed of internet users.
One of the key challenges of digital marketing is the herculean task of understanding your target audience and engaging them with relatable content that will ultimately convert them from a lead to a consumer. Social Beat worked in collaboration with South India’s leading optical retail chain – Specsmakers – and broke the benchmark of retail sales and conversions via digital leads.
We implemented the onion peel strategy to understand the buying behaviour of their audience and used the results in our content and social media campaigns to boost conversions. As part of the strategy, we reached out to the existing and potential customers of Specsmakers and asked them a set of questions to get insights into their consumer behaviour. Based on their replies, we broadly divided the audience into primary and secondary circles and targeted them with content they could relate to.
For example, a majority of their potential and existing consumers drive their own vehicles and are working professionals. So, the social media campaigns that rolled out were related to generic topics like road safety and UV exposure to screens targeting the primary and secondary audience.
This survey-oriented strategy has helped us target their audience better, generate a higher number of leads from the online space and increase the number of average walk-ins to the showroom. The online leads generated enabled an 8% conversions over a span of 4 months. With these promising results, it is safe to say that showcasing content that the target audience finds engaging is one of the best lead generation strategies in the evolving space of digital marketing.
I first heard about Social Beat through my uncle, who happened to be working there as the Head of Branding and Strategy. I had been searching high and low for a good place to do my college internship for a few months and after reading and hearing so much about Social Beat all over social media, I figured I should take up the opportunity to intern there and signed up to intern with the Content and SEO team.
I already had about a year’s experience of working part-time, writing blogs and handling social media for a photojournalist in Chennai. I was also pursuing my Bachelor’s in Journalism at Madras Christian College. Working at Social Beat showed me that whatever I had done so far was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to writing and digital marketing. I got into the game on my first day and realised that there was so much more to creating content than just writing a couple of paragraphs for a blog, publishing it and calling it a day.
Over the course of my internship, I learned how to ideate, research, write, publish and maximise the exposure of the content that I was creating. In other words, I learnt how to make content bigger, better and much more visible to readers on the web. I also learnt about software like Google Analytics from training sessions and the Chit-Chat meetings, and how useful they could be in boosting the views and ratings of content published online.
The attitude of the people here and the work environment was extremely amazing and it is rare to find companies like Social Beat that have fun employees and a positive, productive work environment. I had no idea about digital marketing and wasn’t really that interested in the idea before joining Social Beat. After the internship, my attitude towards digital marketing and knowledge of the subject and field has changed for the better.
The office wasn’t all work though. We had many fun moments during the birthday celebrations, the team lunches, the Christmas celebrations and the 5th-anniversary outing to Wild Tribe Ranch. Chatting with friends while working or during lunch made the days really fun too. Most of the people I’ve met here are really humble and good folk who made my internship extremely enjoyable. I am glad to have worked and interacted with each and every one of them.
I found great mentors in Nandita Raman and Ayesha Rafeeq, who oversaw my work and gave me the best and most valuable advice and help. They were always open to clearing my doubts and gave me very constructive feedback for my work, which in turn helped me improve my skills by leaps and bounds.
I found great friends in Rhea and Ashika (my teammates on the Content Team) and people from other teams like Boobalan, Sankar, Prachi, Druhi, Sundar, Akshita, Natasha, Sanjana, Srinidhi, Shradha, Pournima, Bavadharini and many more. Many of the Heads like Suneil, David, Anuradha and Vikas were extremely helpful and supportive and always gave me great advice and help whenever I needed them.
I have always felt welcome at Social Beat and I’m glad that I chose to intern here. This experience has helped me grow not just as a working individual but also as a person. I wish nothing but the best for everyone there and I hope that the company continues to grow and reach further heights. Thank you, Social Beat, for an amazing internship experience.