Post Thumb

The credibility of bloggers and influencers across the digital network has always been an issue. “Collaborating with the blogger may at times go wrong,” said Madhu Joshi, Marketing Director, Accor Hotels. She was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘How can Brands and Publishers come together to create epic content’ at Content Marketing Summit Asia 2018.

The panel also included Rasika Tognatta, Marketing Director, Turner; Komal Puri, Marketing Head, Schwarzkopf Professional; and Samir Bangara, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Qyuki Digital Media. The panel was moderated by Nikhil Sarup, Co-Founder and CTO, Lawrato.

Schwarzkopf’s Puri has worked with a lot of fashion bloggers and her experience with them has been a mixed bag. “Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no loyalty left in them. We have had occasions where we have tied up with the bloggers for the launch of a new product which is the next day and a day before, we realised that she is at another event of the competing brand. For me as a brand, it doesn’t work. One day you are talking about one brand and the other day about some other brand.Why would anyone take the message seriously?”

“These are the times where we are seeing the emergence of the digital superstar. There are no longer micro-celebrities but superstars online,” said Bangara of Qyuki. “Reports show that the digital stars are 17 times more engaging and have got seven times more brand recall.”

The panel discussion kicked off with Joshi’s remark about the importance of content marketing to reach out to the customers. “We have always thought of getting to the customer without sounding too promotional,” she said.

Accor partnered with NatGeo Travel and was able to leverage their capabilities well. The hotel chain did a photo contest with a lot of engagement with the customers. With this photo contest, Accor was able to create a lot of content on Instagram and Facebook.

Turner creates original content primarily on its channels Cartoon Network and Pogo. Pointing out to the challenges, Tognatta said, “It is not necessary that the core target audience, which is kids, are there on all the platforms.”

Schwarzkopf’s Puri mentioned that the challenges in the hair styling segment are two-fold because not just they have to educate the hair stylists but also the end consumers to go to the salon and ask for the brand’s products.

Being a newbie in the content space, Schwarzkopf tied up with the Filmfare and partnered them for the awards last year. Every time a celebrity walked on the red carpet, their hairstyles were discussed. They used each celebrity’s hairstyle and created videos on how people can create the same hairstyles in homes using the brand’s products.

Turner’s Tognatta shared an example where she talked about the challenges of marketing movies to the TV viewers after eight to nine months of the launch of the film. So, for ‘Suicide Squad’, Turner partnered with stand-up comedian Karan Talwar and related all the movie characters to the Bollywood celebrities. Instead of taking the normal route of social media, Turner launched a WhatsApp campaign and asked people to join the squad on Whatsapp. The comedian Talwar did a contest every day on the WhatsApp group where he would ask people who would play the Bollywood character for that particular Suicide Squad character. At the end of the day, HBO had 10,000 people signed up on Whatsapp.

Sarup asked the panel what kind of publishers they would love to work with to co-create the content.

Joshi said, “Any publisher who can help me achieve my objective is a good publisher. I have a content need and I want my content to be seamlessly placed in the mammoth of content that the publishers have.”

Puri said that she would like to work with the publishers who not just help the brand achieve its goals but also the ones who do things differently, which can help one set apart from the rest.

Sarup said that any content initiative cannot bear results in a few days. Both the publisher and the brand have to go hand in hand through thick and thin. A content partnership can bear results only in the long run.