The Stats Are In: India Loves Branded Video Content

The Stats Are In: India Loves Branded Video Content

Vividha Chopra
1 October 2019

Indians are hooked to videos, and consumption of video content is on the rise. With subsidized data packs and growing cellular penetration, India is one of many user-bases across the globe.

In 2019, Indians have spent 4 hours and 59 minutes, per day, consuming media. 29.9% of this time is spent over the internet while 58.7% of the time is spent watching TV. YouTube boasts of an active viewership of 265 million, Facebook stands tall at 300 million and ByteDance at 300 million (across TikTok, Vigo and Helo).*

*Source: eMarketers.

Here is why your brand should invest in apps like TikTok, ShareChat, and Youtube

We know that YouTube is the most used platform in the world. What adds to this popularity, apart from a first-mover’s advantage? The vernacular languages that reach large and invested audience segments. Therefore, while urban Indians use YouTube for entertainment, many new-to-digital, semi-urban and rural Indians are supplementing their education by learning new things from YouTube.

YouTube Viewership in Regional Languages in billion views. Languages used - Telegu, Tamil, Punjabi, Malayalam, BhojpuriYouTube content viewership distribution across tier 2 & tier 3 cities of India. 60% of YouTube watch time comes from outside the six largest metros. 95% of vernacular content access comes from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. 1200 YouTube creators in India with over 1mn subscribers.

“The first 100 million users on YouTube were primarily from the metros, coming on the platform predominantly for entertainment,” says Satya Raghavan, YouTube’s Director of Content Partnerships in India in an interview with Economic Times. He further shared that, “The next 100 million were not just from metros, but also cities, towns, and villages, and they are using YouTube for information and education, apart from entertainment.”

Today, ByteDance has around 300 million monthly active users in India, across its suite of three products — TikTok, Vigo and Helo (also an India-specific social content product). Statista, a German database firm, says TikTok alone has 200 million users, of which 120 million are active monthly. India is a prime market for TikTok, as it comprises of a quarter of the global downloads.

Many of India’s TikTok stars live in small towns or villages, have either never made it to college or dropped out, and speak their vernacular language. The app is available in more than 10 Indian languages, which has helped TikTok reach the most remote corners of India. Let’s understand ByteDance’s journey, in India:

ByteDance in India. Started mid-2018. Apps: TikTok, Helo, Vigo. Users around 300 million. 200 million from TIkTok individually. User Profile: 85% adults. 25% aged between 15-18 years. More than 50% non-english users in India. App is available in 10 languages. Investment so far: $ 100 million. Plans : Launch a 4th app- focused on entertainment. Invest $1 billion in next 2-3 in India. Investment in local data centres, infrastructure and R&D. Plans to crease 1000 jobs in India. Expand Content moderator team in India. TikTOk is a popular app, video sharing is on the rise. Organic growth of Influencers.

*Source: Economic Times

Talking about the vernacular user, the ShareChat app sees over 60 million people accessing its platform every month, in 15 Indian languages. It has a steady engagement per user of close to 30 minutes per day. They cater to a market-based of users who are mostly from semi-urban and rural markets. These users prefer to consume content in regional languages. They have an annual spending power of $300bn making it a huge opportunity for local and national marketers.

Video content is here to stay and it is snackable, addictive and extremely engaging! The stickiness of video content hasn’t gone unnoticed by brands. Eager to engage with mass-India even the bigger OTT global players, like Netflix, are capturing the Indian market with special mobile subscription packages.

Growth-hack your video engagement with consumers

Video Length:  About a decade ago, content was created in time bands of 30 minutes (TV shows), 60 minutes  (news and long-form shows) and 180 minutes (movies). However, the proliferation of social media has led to an increase in snackable, short-form content. The smaller and punchier your videos – the easier it is to convert to ROI.

Back in 2012, apps like Vine became famous with 6-second videos! Today, apps like Instagram let you make videos ranging from 3 to 60 seconds, and have IGTV for long-form content. Meanwhile, TikTok allows users to make 15-second videos. People love watching these small nuggets of content. They’re so addictive in fact, that, on average, Indians spend 35 minutes on the app, per day!

It is important to note is that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. have an agenda in place for growth. These apps have a vision to become more video focused. Therefore, the APIs encourage more videos over static content in organic reach. What does this mean for your brand? Make videos, considering that a video is going to be more visible and pushed forward by the algorithm over a static post. The organic push, coupled with the fact that a video can engage a user visually as well as auditorily – leads to more conversion.

 Trending Hashtags: Hashtags are a common, accepted tracking and cataloguing format across all social media platforms. But, each platform has an entirely different ecosystem around hashtags. Users on Facebook, employ hashtags to categorise information, Instagrammers use hashtags for search.

Also, it is important to use platform-specific hashtags to make your content more visible to those who check the feed. On TikTok, using trending hashtags is the best way to drive ‘views’ on stories. All the content is categorised by hashtags and the description becomes the base for whether someone would click to open or not. It pays in engagement for you to research the right keywords for your hashtags.

Regional Influencers: The story Israil Ansari’s stardom is one of many from tier II and III cities of India. For those who don’t know, Ansari is 19 and comes from a village in Uttar Pradesh in northern India, one of the poorest parts of the country. Until recently, he did not own a smartphone, lived with his parents, grandparents and 11 siblings. His family couldn’t afford to keep him in school over the age of 10, so he dropped out and started working at a hardware store, supplementing his income with odd jobs, like painting houses or tiling.

He heard about TikTok videos at a wedding, arranged for a smartphone and started creating content. Then suddenly one dance video went viral overnight. Today, with a fan base of 2.1 million followers on TikTok, 44.4 thousand on YouTube and 30 thousand on Instagram, Ansari is a rage amongst youngsters from semi-urban and rural parts of Uttar Pradesh. He actively collaborates with brands and endorses them. Local malls, shops and movie halls call him for inaugurations.

Regional influencers are relevant for local brands, as well as mass consumer brands. The influencer is relatable, local and connected with the audience. The advocacy given by an influencer is perceived to be sincere and trustworthy because he/she speak the same vernacular language, tapping into the sentiments and references. The feeling that ‘one of our own believes in something has a huge impact on driving conversion. Thus, tying up with such influencers is cost-effective as they charge less than well- known celebrities while ensuring a higher conversion rate.

Many brands have begun tapping into this ecosystem with the help of Influencer marketing software like Meltwater Social Influencers. This software helps marketers find influencers that meet your brand’s needs, while providing data on the engagement, reach and influence that the personality has on its follower base. Therefore, finding the right influencer who understands the app ecosystem, can capitalise on the right hashtags, build engaging and short videos will be the magic mix that will sky-rocket your brand reach and connect it with consumers

Video creation, consumption, and call-back are all on the rise. If your brand hasn’t started already, it is time for you to jump on the bandwagon!