As digital takes centre stage, brands double video content marketing spends; plan further spike in 2021

As video ad spends grow by 8% this year, finds out how brands amplified the utilisation of video content marketing space to reach consumers who moved online during the pandemic

Akanksha Nagar
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According to WARC’s latest data report, online video is the only ad format that had its prospects upgraded in the latest forecast. Viewing leapt this year as nations imposed stay at home orders to quell the outbreak of the coronavirus, and ad spend is on course to rise by 7.9% to $52.7 bn this year and a further 12.8% in 2021. spoke to brands and agencies to find out how much has video content marketing contributed to the overall growth of video adspends.

Arjun Mohan

Arjun Mohan, CEO, India, upGrad, suggested that as we are operating in times when consumers are looking at indulging in more of a value-driven experience, brands should ace the art of storytelling incorporated with technology to deliver commerce.

And this is where upGrad feels video content marketing is a critical element to connect with the audience in a manner to be able to deliver meaningful and original content to drive its growth.

“In the pre-Covid era, video content marketing used to contribute to about 15-20% of our total marketing spend, which has now risen to 35-40%. Moreover, the trend is set to continue, and we are expecting the numbers to increase further in the coming months,” he said.

The brand is following a healthy mix of video ads versus video content marketing, which Mohan said shares a symbiotic relationship.

M.V.S. Murthy

M.V.S. Murthy, Head, Marketing and Digital, Tata Asset Management, said, “Video content marketing has become more sophisticated or trendy, whichever way you look at it. From documents that covered our views, it moves to infographics, to gifs and now to video content. As we look back, our industry needs a lot of ‘explainer videos’ which help audiences demystify mutual funds. For every two video ads that we make, there will be at least six content videos at the ratio of 1:3. The former is used at strategic points in time during the year and the latter is used exhaustively all year round. Video has become the bulwark of explainer content communication.”

While video ads are used to cover the larger messaging addressable at a mass level for the brand, the video content is critical to convince existing investors, to simply explain the benefit of any proposition.

He added, “The video ads endear, the video content encourages purchase decisions. Video has helped us increase positive disposition to our brand and enabled investments in our funds. Videos are attracting more budgets as visuals explain deep concepts easily.”

During the lockdown, Mankind Pharma, too, increased its spends in video marketing to 50%. In terms of video ads versus video content marketing, it is now spending on a ratio of 1:4, with a larger chunk going to video content marketing this year, said Joy Chatterjee, Deputy General Manager Marketing at Mankind Pharma.

Also, it is amid the pandemic that there was a surge of independent content creators taking the internet by storm by leveraging platforms such Instagram, (TikTok) and YouTube. These creators gained a lot of traction, both in terms of their following as well as in terms of their views and engagement. Another factor contributing to this spike was the sport and entertainment industry resuming programming and shoots, making way for a lot more variety content.

For example, as content is produced and circulated widely, creators who would otherwise build commentary-related content, have now got a variety of different opportunities to start integrating their subject matter into their content.

Suveer Bajaj

“Brands have accelerated what was previously working for them during the first half of the lockdown, which was collaborating with influencers for product placements or product-related content and have extended that narrative to working with content creators on creator-led campaigns. Brands who typically used to launch between three and four digital video commercials annually across the internet, are now partnering with a variety of different creators to start creating a waterfall video content strategy created and distributed by these creators. Not only does this give the brand the opportunity to diversify its creative aesthetic through the independent creative styles of the creators, but also a chance to tap into various communities constituting a variety of cohorts from different parts of the country,” said Suveer Bajaj, Co-Founder, Zoo Media and FoxyMoron.

The first half of the pandemic saw a lot of brands depend on influencer marketing as they played the role of brand advocates who built audience engagement, brand education and mass consideration. And as a result, according to Bajaj, brands have now taken this agenda forward with video content creators and have started allocating upwards of 25% of their budget to start partnering with content creators for video marketing campaigns.

For UBL, in a normal year, it is a healthy balance between advertising spends and sponsorship / on ground experiential activities. This year since there has been a lack of opportunity towards experiential activities, a much larger portion of its marketing spends have been targeted on media itself and have actually gone up by about 25%. Over 80% has been towards video ad spends, which too is significantly higher than in the past.

Gurpreet Singh

“Overall, video ad spends on digital are up more than 40%. There have been many learnings in doing this and considering the consumer’s trend towards digital, we see ourselves increasingly spending more across digital platforms and within it on video ads,” said Gurpreet Singh, Head Marketing, United Breweries Limited.

The company kept its consumers engaged throughout the lockdown through a series of content. As consumer-centric video content is engaging and an inclusive way of brand placement, it keeps a healthy mix of ads and content in media mix.

Singh said, “While ads help us drive awareness, content helps drive preference. Having said that, this year forced us into making tough choices and while we have created content that is engaging, it has taken a hit and our spends have reduced in this area to protect the need for advertising-related spends.”

For Rapido, the marketing efforts have shifted to delivering more relevant and insight-driven campaigns for which it is increasingly trying to seamlessly integrate the brand experience in a way that it aligns with its consumer’s behaviour.

Amit Verma

Amit Verma, Head of Marketing, Rapido, said while the brand is increasing the share of video ads on its performance channels, on branding it is trying to move to video content completely as it provides really high engagement with an exponential ad recall over static ads.

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