Sindhu Biswal knows a thing or two about marketing, especially in the startup ecosystem. From promoting some of India’s largest events at Paytm Insider to now looking after Pocket Aces’ fast-growing channels FilterCopy, Dice Media, and Gobble, Sindhu has tasted viral success as a marketing professional.
At the 11th edition of TechSparks, YourStory’s flagship tech entrepreneurship event, Sindhu shared his experiences and learnings in a masterclass on how to achieve growth via video content and viral marketing loops. In the session, he delved into video virality, brand building, and the importance of owning a distribution channel.
He emphasised that in addition to digital marketing practices like SEO and SEM, brands and companies must look at building a distribution network and owning a channel on YouTube.
“I think every brand should own at least one distribution channel because if you keep relying on Facebook and Google, cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per clicks (CPC) will increase; your competition will keep bidding higher,” he said.
Metrics that matter
Video marketing is like any performance marketing world where the two major metrics that matter are views and retention.
Sindhu says, “The number of views is the social truth that consumers see and proof that your clients and internal team will ask. And retention puts things in perspective. You may have one million views, but only 10,000 people would have watched your video till the end.”
The key, he added, is to hook the audience for the first 30 seconds during which they make judgement. While the first 15 seconds gives them the context of the video, the audience assesses the relevance of the content in the remaining 15 seconds.
He suggested boosting a post for engagement, optimising it to gain comments and shares, and retargeting a custom audience that watched more than half the video post. This could be followed by running user acquisition, website traffic and app install campaigns.
“This way, we are creating a high relevance by hitting the first level of the funnel, which is awareness, and then retargeting those who are already aware. It will help generate more qualified leads, better conversions and retention after people click on your ad and visit your website or app,” he said, adding that acquisition was easy but retention was tough.
Sindhu said there was no reason for brands not to leverage video marketing, especially when the cost of making videos and building a distribution channel was very low.
Speaking on metrics, he said the easiest thing to achieve on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram was views, which counts for less than three second of engagement. This is followed by getting likes, comments, and shares, which, he said, was a next-level game.
“Sharing only happens when the user agrees to what the creator has to say. I, as a user, like the content, agree with the opinion and want others to listen to that. They become your brand evangelist, just like referral programmes for product companies,” he said.
More shares translate to more reach and views, building a loop of other metrics where likes and comments will eventually follow.
But what makes a video viral?
Sindhu said for content, including videos, to go viral, it must have a shareable element and must evoke certain emotions in the audience.
After looking at numerous videos on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, he narrowed down several emotions that brands should leverage. This included content that was highly relatable, inspirational, educational (how-to videos), and humorous.
He said users visit social media platforms either to check on their friends or to seek refreshing content. They view it as a de-stressing mechanism, which is why social media consumption time tends to increase when stress level are high.
Sindhu emphasised that if a brand has the scope of being funny, they should leverage that and create sub-brands as well. For example, video streaming service Amazon Prime Video is making most of their shows like Mirzapur by creating relatable memes on their Instagram page.
He also cited the example of Social Samosa, whose memes on client and agency are relevant to B2B businesses.
“At the same time, motivation is a huge trigger and hashtags like Monday Motivation and Tuesday Thoughts evoke a sharing mentality. Everybody wants to showcase they are an inspired individual,” Sindhu said.
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TechSparks – YourStory’s annual flagship event – has been India’s largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we’ve received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.