How to make YouTube work for you

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | March 23, 2015
While novelty seems to be the key, it is also important to know the rules and collaborate, said speakers at the first Indian YouTube Fan Fest.


The first YouTube Fan Fest took place in a packed NSCI stadium on Friday, March 20. While the fest was attended by over thousands of patrons, the gathering offered lessons to brand marketers as well.

YouTube Pulse - a series of sessions by YouTube stars and brand managers alike, imparted knowledge on the basis of experience to all those who attended. During the welcome speech, Rajan Anandan, Google India's managing director, shared data which showed that YouTube gets five billion video views each month. Anandan also said that while majority of India's internet users use only their phones to surf the web, it still gets a high percentage of video views. This is commendable, especially in the light of facts like the absence of 4G, the majority of users having only a 2G network.

Anandan also revealed that a wide range of topics - from fashion to automobile, from travel to food - now work on the internet. A new generation of content creators has also given him something to smile about.

YouTube's head of content operations (India), Satya Raghavan, spoke about the change agents - the ones who have actually embraced the digital world more than the others. He said that TV viewing in US has fallen drastically among age groups 18-25, and the same will happen in India. In such a scenario, brands have to look at engaging these people - the youth - through other mediums where they are spending more time. He also felt that in the coming years, there will more content creators because the nation has a plethora of talent. These new creators will compete with the AIBs and TVFs of today and make the industry grow.

The next part of Pulse focussed on how to use YouTube to create good marketing. One of the tips shared was the authenticity of information. Consumers have evolved and they can catch a brand if the communication is not true. Secondly, it is important to find a hook. It is important to tell the audience something which they can care about. Thirdly, content creators mess with the format which gives them something fresh. But, before breaking the rules, one has to be aware of the rules and format. Fourth, collaborations are a good start. Both nationally and internationally, brands have collaborated with content creators and others to create something new and interesting. Finally, if it is a good and favourable communication, then the brand must try to keep it going. The idea has to be sustainable and the brand has to ask if more content can be created around it.

R Chandrashekhar (Chandru), marketing manager, beverages, Nestle, said, "Marketers who cannot adapt to the digital world will perish in some years. The key rules to survive would be to adapt and not abandon (the old fundamental learnings of marketing)."

Chandru explained his views through simple points. He said that the whole process is about people - not about brands, not about sales. Secondly, the message quality matters more than the platform. The platform is important, but the return on investment will be from the message quality. So, instead of checking if content can work on a specific platform, brands should make sure that the message given out stands by what they believe in. Brands also must remember that engagement is an enabler and not a result. Fourthly, he said that playing safe is not safe anymore. Safe is now looked at as boring and dull communication. "Creativity needs two things - courage and without the other is a disaster," Chandru said.

The evening also saw Nescafe's Stutter campaign winning the Leaderboard award for the most chosen ad, while TVF and walked away with a prize for Best Brand and Creator Collaborator award for the show 'Permanent Roommates'.

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