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Raagjeet Garg

With the Cannes Film Festival beginning today, L’Oréal Paris is going to up its ante in the content space by using its ambassadors Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor’s celebrity quotient, influencer power, leveraging its e-commerce partners’ presence and using various other social media platforms.

BuzzInContent caught up with Raagjeet Garg, General Manager, L’Oréal Paris, to know more about the brand’s focus on content in India. Garg believes content should be at the heart of every marketing activity. “If the content is not interesting, no matter what campaign you launch, no one will consume it. Every time a marketing campaign is generated, content is right at the centre of it and everything revolves around it.”

Garg also said consumer engagement should be any marketer’s focus while undertaking the content route. Content should always be a mix of branded and unbranded. Unbranded content should be done to educate consumers and generate curiosity in them and once the consumer is informed, branded content can be used to drive sales. Consumer engagement should be the most important thing.

Excerpts:

What are your plans with regard to Cannes this year? How would you leverage your ambassadors' celebrity quotient in the content space?

This is a very interesting space that we are just starting on Cannes. The entire concept that we are rolling out is called ‘Summer Escape’. The entire campaign you’ll see is all going to be building this concept of summer content across handles of social whether it is our own ambassadors Deepika, Sonam and Aishwarya, who would be promoting the entire concept on their own handles, as well as another list of influencers who would create differentiated content on ‘Summer Escape’. Apart from that, you will see a lot of content generated with e-commerce platforms and social media. We will have differentiated content depending on the consumer. The entire concept is about ‘Summer Escape’ where you will see beautiful colours of summer being expressed by ambassadors by use of makeup and skin care products.

L’Oréal Paris does amazing content abroad. So when will we see the same kind of focus in India?

We were very aggressive on the content front when we launched the Balmain collection in India. It is a very famous fashion house of France. With L’Oréal Paris, we have launched a complete range of lipsticks inspired by the fashion designers. When it was launched in India, a lot of content was created around the lipstick range. The kind of engagement that we got has been one of the highest in the industry in terms of the benchmarks available. Overall, we do create a lot of interesting content and the idea is to up the game and ante every time we do a new launch.

How focused is L’Oreal Paris on content in India?

Content is at the heart of everything. If the content is not interesting, no matter what campaign you launch, no one will consume it. Every time a marketing campaign is generated, content is right at the centre of it and everything revolves around it.

Do you have an in-house content team that works on the brand’s content?

We have our in-house digital manager who also works with our brand team along with our different agencies. We have 22Feet on digital, McCann on the creative front. Every time a campaign is designed, the entire team sits together across different agencies.

It’s a very bold step that a brand takes to do unbranded content. L’Oréal Paris has this platform Fab Beauty, which is L’Oréal Paris’ unbranded platform. But do you see sales lead coming from doing unbranded content and how is the platform faring in the Indian market?

Today maybe the readers are very limited but it is a very beautiful way to create engagement. If the content is extremely branded then the interest level the consumers have could be potentially limited and that’s why it has to be a mix of branded and unbranded content because the idea is that the consumers should be engaged. To keep consumers engaged should be any marketer’s first objective. A lot of content that we create for Cannes is also unbranded. But the beauty of it and the way we measure it is very different. It completely depends on the objective of the campaign. It always has to be a mix of both branded and unbranded if you really want to drive engagement with consumers. Branded content also does extremely well. When we did this Balmain launch, the entire campaign was branded. The consumers loved it because the engagement value was very high. Unbranded content comes into play when education is required to disseminate among the consumers. Unbranded content can create the curiosity in a category and once the consumer understands the basics of a particular category, branded content takes it to the next step.

How do you see the Indian consumers embracing the content space?

Today, the Indian consumers are eager to consume more content and digital helps them get content on a much more flexible basis. A consumer wants to be informed before she buys a product and that’s where content comes into play.

What content initiatives does L’Oréal Paris have?

We have our blog, do content on social media and a lot of content is done with our influencers. A lot of our influencers create content which is interesting and engaging for consumers. At times, this content is led through e-commerce, Facebook, our website and the content that is put on Google display network. Influencers are very important in our content strategy. Within Facebook and the YouTube of the world, there are different tools available and how you leverage those tools is a new way of doing content.

Two things to keep in mind while undertaking the content route.

Know who your consumer is because if you don’t know whom are you talking to, your content cannot be created right. Keep the content very differentiated. If you don’t give the right information, your consumer would not be engaging with the content.

How important is content marketing specifically for the beauty segment than the rest of the categories?

Content marketing is the most important thing in the beauty segments among all because the amount of action that is happening in this category is immense. If you really want to learn techniques in makeup, you need content for the right education. It’s a beautiful space to be.