As a digital strategy consultancy, we get to interact and work with CEOs and CMOs. These are really smart people, and they know their game well. However, I see a pattern. When it comes to social networks, its always the usual suspects such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube that get the advertising moolah. Almost always, micro-video platforms don’t even figure in their radar. Even when we propose exploring this new medium, we face resistance. Almost always, the typical responses are as follows. “Oh, its just kids doing dance videos.“, “There’s nothing substantial about them“, and the worst is, “I tried it and I just don’t get it“.
The reason why seasoned senior professionals in their 40s and 50s don’t get it is because that’s not the age demographic that the app appeals to. Youngsters, especially in their teens, are lapping it up. It is providing them with an amazing platform to express their creativity. With a duration less than a minute, it is less intimidating for youngsters to create content.
It’s important to address the assumption that micro-video platforms are just for teenagers who want to lip-sync to movie dialogues and make dance challenge videos. More and more celebrities have started to embrace the medium.
There is a surprising trend that is happening in this space. The most active participants on micro-video platforms like TikTok are surprisingly from tier 2 and 3 towns. This is a marked difference in the kind of profile that you can see on Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin. All these platforms are predominantly in English and tend to cater to a more urban audience. Understandably, brands that want to appeal to this urban audience tend to choose Facebook and Instagram to advertise in.
One of the main reasons why micro-video platforms have taken off well in towns and villages is because they are no longer constrained by the English language. They can express themselves freely in their own mother tongue which they are most comfortable with. That’s why you will notice that a majority of videos on micro-video platforms are in regional languages. As a marketeer, this is a valuable demographic to target.
With mobile phones getting cheaper by the month and cameras getting better with each release, this has fueled the content generation among youngsters. With the Covid-19 lock down forcing all colleges and schools to be closed down, this has opened up lots of free time for them. Boredom can easily settle in and the youngsters are always looking at creative outlets to keep themselves occupied and entertained. This explains the huge growth of new content in the last couple of months.
The video market will only continue to grow exponentially as the bandwidth continues to improve. Most folks in India, even those in towns and villages, now have access to 4G and decent Internet speeds. The arrival of 5G in the next couple of years will be a massive gamechanger. The brands that can experiment now will be the ones who will get a good headstart when the floodgates open.
The State of Video Marketing report prepared by Wyzowl has found that 85% of consumers want video content from brands. This is easily understandable as videos are the easiest consumable of all mediums. A good marketer believes in analytics to make sensible decisions. Cumulatively, the micro-video platforms have grossed over a billion downloads. Another very important metric that lights up the eyes of marketers is the engagement rate. The average user now spends almost an hour a day and opens up the app 8 times day.
As always, there will be brands that are pioneers in testing out new platforms. Most other companies will pursue a wait and watch strategy. But the indications are clearly pointing to the rising trend of the popularity of micro-videos. For brands, the mantra is simple. Put your products where your customers already are. And I’m certain the senior marketers and company heads will wisen up to the opportunity on their hands. Sooner than later.