Aashish Chopra is an award winning viral video marketer, having made and marketed videos with millions of shares and gazillion views, with one becoming Asia's most shared branded Facebook post (Campaign Asia) and other getting 40 million views in a week. He also won the Content Marketer of the year in February 2016. And here are his 5 questions with CAS16.
1. Share some insights of the Indian user's behaviour on videos.
There's an incredible growth happening in India right now, mobile numbers are sky-rocketing. And it's not just Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, but tier-2 cities which have maximum momentum. An entire generation of users completely skipped the desktop era and are experiencing internet for the first time on their mobile devices. We have seen mobile native videos work best, and videos which add value to their lives get shared by peer groups, not the blatant Ads. Back in the 90s there was just one TV channel, the idea of a remote control didn't exist, but when multiple channels came on scene, the BS radars in our minds evolved and we switched as soon as we saw Ads. The users today have their BS radars so evolved, that as soon as their is a hint of an Ad, there are so many options to bounce off to. When the videos are authentic, add value, respect users' time and attention and engage in first 3-6 seconds, and be native to tiny mobile screens.. that's when the magic happens :)
2. How can a brand popularize their content creatively on video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo?
YouTube has been the platform of choice for long before Facebook arrived on the scene. For video distribution on YouTube, you either need a solid subscriber base or mentions in the news, which sky-rockets the views. And it takes a long time to build the momentum on YouTube to build that subscriber base for brands. When Facebook opened up for videos, suddenly the video distribution was open to the Facebook fans for every brand. Also, I believe Facebook has sharing in it's DNA, YouTube not so much. I'm placing my bets on Facebook for video, instead of YouTube or Vimeo. And to popularize content creatively, we've had success with picking topics which are either inspirational, useful, celebrate users' life, are topical or have the DNA of changing the world. The goal is not for getting the views, but honest, compelling 'shares' from the users.
3. Share 2 trends in video marketing.
First, making mobile native videos. Our experiments in the square format of videos have resulted in internet breaking numbers, touching 75 million views in two months. Movies and videos have always been rectangle if you look around. It's because movie screens were rectangle, so were TVs. But with mobile devices fast becoming video consumption devices, the rectangle videos seem a little weird choice, considering we use phones vertically. So we chose to make the video native to mobiles, hence the square video. The square video starts playing instantly and you don't need to tilt your screen. It also takes up more space on the phone, compared to a rectangle video without tilt. I guess I'll go ahead and experiment with making an out and out vertical video, a big no-no in the filmmaking world!
Second, I'm placing my bets on Instagram and WhatsApp for video/visual content distribution apart from Facebook. A lot of your content may already be going viral on WhatsApp, those annoying alumni, extended family and friends groups. Hopefully we get analytics for WhatsApp in 2016 to prove it's working. It would be crucial to create native content for Instagram and WhatsApp and build them as an alternate content distribution platform.
4. What's the future of video as content in India?
It's raining videos everywhere, from Facebook news-feeds to family groups on WhatsApp. More than 50% mobile traffic is already dominated by videos. Also, with 4G expected to become mainstream in 2016, Facebook will start injecting more videos in news-feeds (as it does in other countries). In coming years, I see videos taking over in a big way, replacing local language content in India, with more visual storytelling. Case in point, a video we made last year, hit 10 million views in China, breaking the language barrier.
5. One reason not to miss your session at CAS16.
The session is about method to the madness in creating share-worthy content. There's no gyaan, but insights from experiments which made Asia's most shared branded Facebook video to one which hit 40 million views in a week and became a growth hack. The session is 15-20 minutes long, but I'll be around after if you want to know about the crazy content experiments we've been doing at ixigo :)