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Having understood the sensitivity of the current pandemic situation, online higher education provider upGrad has observed that the audience would want to consume more humorous content and so has decided to pivot its content marketing strategy towards offering more light-hearted and comic content to consumers.

Arjun Mohan

Arjun Mohan, CEO India, upGrad told, “The audience will be consuming more of humorous content that takes people's minds off the grimmer atmosphere caused by the second wave. It is helping the audience get a breather from the negativity. Overall, we're seeing a shift towards the audience consuming more humorous content digitally than following sports or any other themes of content.”

On its journey to creating humorous content, upGrad has chosen to collaborate with YouTube content creators who create funny content. The brand has been partnering with creators to create content on trending topics.

upGrad did a branded content series with BeYouNick  — a three-episode web series that featured multiple prominent influencers. The series was a humorous take on a workplace canteen situation.  Mohan said, “We wanted to make sure that the web series is able to achieve good view numbers and hopefully trend well, hence we included an embellished star cast in each episode, which includes popular digital content creators like Mumbiker Nikhil who is known for his popular vlogs, Slayy Point for their comical roasts and giving birth to ‘The Viral Binod’ meme, Mythpat for his humorous gaming content.

The links to the BeYouNick series videos for upGrad:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

According to data provided by upGrad, through the series, the brand was able to garner over 8.2 million views. Its search query improved on the internet. The platform witnessed over 3,215 app installs and 1,743 leads. According to Google Analytics and AppsFlyer, episode 1 saw a 17% uplift in brand, direct and organic traffic and a 27% uplift in brand, direct and organic leads. The first episode also saw a 56% uplift in organic installs. Episode 2 saw a 48% uplift in organic installs and episode 3 saw a 55% uplift in organic installs.

Mohan said, “Overall, the campaign has proven the effectiveness of content on mediums like YouTube to deliver on its KPIs. As per our past learning, and similar to our previous content collaborations, while the series has delivered on creating a huge impact on society, we will get a positive ROI by the end of this quarter.”

Some of the brand’s recent funny videos in collaboration with YouTube content creators.

Video with Amit Bhadana:

Video with Triggered Insaan:

Mumbiker Nikhil’s video for the brand:

Video with Thugesh:

Collaboration with Shitty Ideas Trending:

Most recently, a video with Abhi and Niyu:

Mohan said while the brand has started creating more light-hearted content, it has ensured that it does impactful storytelling without being frivolous or slapstick. “We at upGrad create narratives that reflect realities to make a clutter-breaking entrance. Each of our content pieces is built carefully, keeping in mind extensive preliminary research to understand what our audience would appreciate and how it will also benefit them from a learning standpoint,” said Mohan.

Through humorous content, the brand wants to break the notion of education content being boring. “Education is a serious business and we are trying to make it appear more interesting with our content, thus breaking the age-old perception of education being boring,” Mohan said.