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Apart from the demand-supply issue, unforeseen economic conditions due to the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown across the country have forced many brands to put the brakes on their advertising activities. At the same time, for many brands that want to continue communicating with their consumers, content marketing and branded content have come as saviours.

And who better to offer them content solutions than new-age content platforms. These platforms are not only helping brands with end-to-end content solutions but are also proving to be an affordable and sustainable medium in challenging times.

Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT), one of the most celebrated social storytelling and micro-fiction platforms, is helping brands create multiple contextual stories to engage their TG (target group).

Shreya Shively

Shreya Shively, Chief Revenue Officer, TTT, said, “While some brands are hesitant about advertising in the current environment, we have seen a lot of traction from brands wishing to tell contextual stories — ensuring their brand is relevant in these times. Brands are also keen to try out different formats such as illustrations and animations, which we can execute remotely within their timelines.”

“For online dating apps, while people can’t go out on dates anymore, there is an emerging trend of people using the app to e-meet new people and be even more connected, in these times of isolation. These are the kind of stories we’re working on highlighting,” Shively said.

Pocket Aces, which runs new-age content platforms such as FilterCopy, Dice Media, Gobble and Loco, says they have not seen too much of a decline in the interest of brands in their content platforms.

Ashwin Suresh

Ashwin Suresh, Founder, Pocket Aces, said, “We see two broad types of behaviour. Some brands are worried as they have been impacted directly. So they have completely stopped advertising on our platforms. But we are seeing a large number of brands trying to find ways to use the Covid situation to their benefit. We haven’t seen too much of decline in brand interest.”

Shitty Ideas Trending, which is known for its humorous content, does quite a few branded content pieces on its platform Being Woman. SIT said the ongoing deals are unfortunately on hold because some brands don’t want to do any marketing during the lockdown.

Chhavi Mittal

“While some brands feel the lockdown is the best time to do marketing because they realise people are at home and have the opportunity to use their products,” said Chhavi Mittal, Co-founder, SIT.

For lifestyle and Bollywood news platform MissMalini.com, certain projects that require a big set up to produce content has been affected but brands have been empathetic.

Malini Agarwal

“We are doing our best to service any deals that were already in process, and a good portion of that work is able to continue. Some active projects that require in-person resources, such as scripted videos with sets/locations, and ad films that need editing in studios, are on hold. We have been communicating with our clients on possible delivery dates post the lockdown and everyone has been flexible, thus understanding the restrictions on what can be done,” said Malini Agarwal, Founder and Creative Director, MissMalini.

Raunak Ramteke

Raunak Ramteke, Content Strategist at FilterCopy, said, “Some brands with whom we already had a deal understood that we couldn’t go out and shoot. So, for them, we are shooting at home. The brand briefs that are coming consider the fact that the video will be shot at home.”

It is seen that most of the branded content has either been shot and edited earlier or are UGC and influencer-led.

The rise of influencer-led content

Influencer-led content marketing in association with these new-age platforms seems to be unaffected and, in fact, has also increased. “Any influencer marketing activations are still mostly able to press forward because most influencers are still creating content in a 'self-shot' format,” said Agarwal of MissMalini.

Mittal added, “The brands that want to market these days are doing it very smartly. They aren’t getting into the branded content zone but sticking to influencer marketing and, hence, we see a surge in influencer-led content. There are a lot of online brands that can get into marketing at this time. For some of them, it is a good time also because they have apps that you can download and use at home.”

Vishal Gupta

Momspresso’s micro-influencers platform MyMoney is witnessing an uptick in influencer marketing at their end. Vishal Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder, Momspresso.com, said, “This is happening because brands are relying on micro and nano influencers to build authenticity and engagement around the campaigns they are launching right now.”

On the other hand, Momspresso is a UGC-led platform only. So, it is not much affected in these times. “Since brands can't shoot new ad films in the current scenario, they are focusing on creating advertising through UGC. Thus, there is an increased demand for text and video content that is user-generated. Being a UGC platform, we are fortunate that we do not need to rely on old or refurbished content,” Gupta said.

Content@BuzzInContent.com