How to overcome challenges in creating quality regional content brings to you tips and solutions that will help brands stand out with their regional content strategy and win consumers' mind space by producing culturally relevant content for them

Akanksha Nagar
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Continuing our coverage on what is holding back brands and agencies from churning out quality regional content, brings to you tips and solutions that will help brands stand out with their regional content strategy and win the consumer's mind space by producing culturally relevant content.

The first story of the two-part series recognised the absence of local credible agencies as the biggest obstruction when it comes to creating regional content. The other takeaway from the discussion was that brand managers at the CXO level have to be comfortable with the languages in which content is being created. The third and key conclusion of the discussion was that mere translation alone does not and would not create a strong bond between the brands and their consumers.

What can give you an edge over regional content?

Creating local language content at scale across different platforms and formats can be a challenge. The demand for video, audio, social media and branded content in regional languages is extremely high with the shift e-commerce and OTT brands are making to language offerings and content.

Priyanka Gill

The estimated market size of regional content is $53 billion. Production and quality, however, currently doesn't match this demand. “But that is generally a good problem to have. The greater concern is regulation and policies that need to be put in place that prevents the ills of trolling, and fake or abusive content,” said Priyanka Gill, Founder and CEO, POPxo, Plixxo and Luxeva.

With the inception of a lot many fragmented vernacular agencies in the market, and bigger ones experimenting with AI and ML, the vernacular content space is still considered to be at a very nascent stage right now. Brands are very conscious of the fact that it's almost a first-mover advantage. Everybody wants to do it and whoever does it will have a significant lead.

Vishal Gupta

According to Vishal Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Momspresso, “Brands and agencies need to create a resource pool. It can be a challenge to hire someone who has an understanding of the languages as this never was the need, but it is now.”

Brands need to move away from the translation kind of mentality and shift to trans-creation to capture the thoughts of audiences, keeping the original idea at the centre.

Experts describe it as a different ball game altogether. Regional content has mostly remained in the space of news and general entertainment.

Gupta said that for a longer period of time in the industry, the creative folks in the agencies had been thinking in Hindi and English because till now only translation was required.

“With digital, you are able to micro-target and gather consumer insights and these consumers clearly don’t want the translated content. They want to see content that is created in their own language because every language has its own nuance. It is not just translation, but trans-creation, that touches them,” said Gupta.

He continued, “And brands and agencies would fall flat as they are trying to operate digital just the way they had been operating TV. Brands and agencies at large need to have that mindset / mental shift while adopting different mediums. For TV they had been going forward with the local languages and had been considering social media and digital for the English audiences only. The first change that needs to happen is at the brands’ end. They need to think of digital in pretty much the same way as they think while creating a TV commercial. Because right now, 90% of all new internet users are actually Indian language users.”

POPxo’s Gill believes that it's not necessarily a high-investment game, but it is definitely a high-attention game.

Brands like Google and Facebook have combined the power of high investment and attention to launching services and their platforms in regional languages. And this will further enable others to reach regional audiences more easily.

“Understanding local tastes arises from a respect for regional audiences and recognising how proud they are of their culture, much more than people in cosmopolitan urban cities. So, brands need to pay minute attention to the nuances of content and technology as much as strategies to scale up,” said Gill.

A deeper dive into regional content consumption data and user behaviour will help understand local tastes and interests in a much sharper way.

She concluded with a few tips and those are: Respect and immersion in the language and region helps get a sound understanding of the market. Apply audience-specific strategies, test out theories quickly and don't worry about fails, they will be important guidance points in fine-tuning the strategy. Audio content will be one of the biggest drivers in the next one to two years, and developing audio content should be as big a focus as video.

Pawan Sarda

Pawan Sarda, Group Head, Digital, Future Group, made a point that agencies have to open up their mindset and accept that regional doesn’t have to be necessarily high-cost production or investment.

“The moment agencies move away from an approach like this, they would be able to create a lot of content. There could be a challenge of authenticity, relevancy and infrastructure but they need to overcome all,” Sarda added.

How to overcome challenges in creating quality regional content