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The branded content space has been witnessing growing interest from brands and marketers for quite some time now. So much so, that almost every brand is associating itself with some or the other kind of branded content piece.

In times like these, we often hear the creators saying that engagement on branded content is comparatively lower than that of regular content pieces on social media. Keeping pace with these, caught up with Rajdeepak Das, CEO and CCO, Leo Burnett (South Asia, India) and Chairman, Publicis Groupe South Asia, at Goafest 2023 to find out what are his thoughts on the space.

As per Das, the most beautiful part about the content marketing space today is that it is continuously evolving and there is nothing right or wrong as something new we learn one day might get outdated tomorrow.

“What is happening today is that every brand is trying to own something that is trending very quickly. For example, earlier it was long-form video content, and today it has come down to platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram,” he said.

He also shared the opinion that because a lot more brands are going the platform-centric route, it is essential beforehand to have an understanding of whether or not their target audience is on them. 

“Don’t just follow the trend, build the trend because trends are so short lived nowadays that the time you build it, the trend is gone,” he pointed out.

In Das’ opinion, the best thing about content marketing is the strategy part and therefore one should not shy away from experimenting and “fail where it doesn’t cost you much.”

Replying to what keeps the creative juices flowing for him, Das said thinking about what’s new and what’s challenging are the two things that keep him on his toes.

Delving deeper into what really works for branded content, despite media fragmentation, he stated that while the attention spans of the audiences are going down today, it’s not really about the size of the content piece but how one goes about the storytelling in terms of what one has to tell, and how do they tell that.

He also shared that the best-branded content of 2022, in his opinion, is the two-three hours Hollywood movie- “Top Gun Maverick”. 

“The biggest thing about branded content is not how long it is, but actually how interesting it is,” he stated.

Recalling one of the statements made by one of his acquaintances- “If content is king, context is King Kong!” which he finds all the more relevant in today’s times, Das mentioned that it stands true- the context could be anything - ranging from being relevant to one’s life or values to many such things because in that case, the time limit is not an issue, but if one really sits down to write something specifically as branded content, the relevance is gone.

“The audience is more advanced than the brands in today’s day and age and that’s precisely why the brand communications that are somewhat out-of-the-box work,” he stated.

Furthermore, he also mentioned that until and unless something goes wrong and a mistake is made, the learnings cannot be derived in the truest form, hence one should not stop experimenting and making mistakes because only then will they learn and evolve.

Spilling the beans on what actually gives him sleepless nights amidst all the fun and excitement, Das stated that, for him, it would be- ‘How to go wrong’. Because in his viewpoint, being in the creative industry, it is the insecurity that kicks in automatically in terms of finding out whether or not is a trend worthy of being picked or built upon or as a matter of fact, even skipping trends, news, etc. which can maybe become the next big thing in future.