What started initially in 2018 as a hub to manage different Instagram communities has now grown manifold by leveraging new-age tools such as Instagram influencer engagement, mass reach campaigns, social media account management and hashtag campaigns. WhizCo is currently a leading digital and influencer marketing agency that is home to more than 10,000 content creators across different social media and short video platforms. Ramesh Kumar Raja caught up with Prerna Goel, Co-founder and CMO, WhizCo, to understand the intricacies of the new-age marketing and how this platform is contributing to the same. Excerpts:
Digital marketing seems to have undergone a massive change with the onset of video as content. How do you look at this trend?
Videos have always been among the most consumed contents online because of the increased penetration of internet and smartphones. This has, in fact, grown manifold with the spike in the popularity of social media platforms as well as short video apps, which have been ruling the fancy of young smartphone users for quite a few years now. I also feel that video consumption has gone really high especially during lockdown. It is owing to such high video consumption that influencer marketing has only spiralled upwards, propelled further by the demand for short video apps. I think it is here to stay. Video will always win over still pictures or audio content.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given a major push to digital marketing. Do you buy this argument?
Yes, the pandemic has certainly given a major push to the whole digital marketing ecosystem. While earlier we talked about how increased video consumption during lockdown acted as a catalyst, another factor behind the growth is the reduction witnessed in circulation of newspapers and similar media. More and more brands are now inclining towards digital marketing and allotting their marketing budgets in the said direction.
With smartphone becoming a ubiquitous device for content consumption, can we call it the beginning of a new era of content marketing?
The internet and smartphone have reached almost every household across the country, be it in bigger cities or tier 2 and tier 3 regions. This phenomenon has resulted in content consumption reaching new heights, and as they say, content is actually the new king when it comes to digital marketing.
What’s your opinion about the social media platforms that have emerged as major influencers for a brand to grab more eyeballs?
Social media is actually the primary reason that led to the introduction as well as evolution of influencer marketing as a digital marketing tool. Going by my experience and statistics, Instagram and YouTube are currently leading the space when it comes to influencer marketing. But if a brand wants to have a comprehensive reach and grab maximum eyeballs, the strategy should encompass all social media platforms along with short video apps. Of course, the selection of influencers would depend on the nature of the brand, products or services, a cross-platform strategy on social media is bound to work better in any eventuality.
Among Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin, which is more productive for a brand to get recognized?
Be it YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, all these social media platforms have their own set of audience and own strengths in the online world. While Instagram is a hot favourite of young millennial, LinkedIn is the convergence point for all professionals. Therefore, I think it completely depends upon the nature of the brand and the kind of audience it has. It also depends on the age group that needs to be targeted.
|“Be it YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, all these social media platforms have their own set of audience and own strengths in the online world. While Instagram is a hot favourite of young millennial, LinkedIn is the convergence point for all professionals. Therefore, I think it completely depends upon the nature of the brand and the kind of audience it has”|
Is message marketing via WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram also a part of digital marketing? If yes, what is its future?
Apart from other social media platforms, brands and agencies are certainly making use of instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram as well for their digitial marketing purposes. As a matter of fact, we can see their usage going up each day, especially when we talk about WhatsApp and Telegram in particular. The reason is obvious, as a large chunk of consumers are already using these platforms in their daily routine. However, if we talk about the future, it looks a little bleak as compared to other social media or short video platforms. The prime reason behind this is that these platforms are very restricted.
Short video platforms too are leveraging the trend of video marketing. Do they hold the future of brand visibility?
Short video platforms have seen a phenomenal rise in India as well as other parts of the world. While earlier in India we had options such as TikTok, we now have multiple homegrown short video apps, which are proving to be very effective and impactful when it comes to ensuring brand visibility. Language localisation is one of the most significant factors behind this growth, as these apps have content creators from even the remotest parts, who speak and interact with the audience in their native language. This makes it easier for brands to target a specific audience set.
Do artificial intelligence and machine learning have any role to play in video marketing?
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, which are used extensively by short video apps, help brands in targeting the right set of audience for a particular content. This helps majorly in the form of advanced algorithms and analytics tools, as it is very important to bind the user to the platform.
Influencer marketing is growing massively day by day; however, content is being compromised if we look at the quality of posts. Your comment please.
I do not quite agree with the notion of quality of content getting compromised amidst the surge in influencer marketing space. I think it has only become better. It is, in fact, due to improvement in content quality that has led brands to impart even more budgets in influencers than before. The influencers too want to attract brands, thus are focusing on making quality content and getting better engagement.
What is WhizCo all about and what are your core competencies to stay ahead of the curve?
WhizCo is a digital and influencer marketing agency that is home to more than 10,000 content creators across different social media and short video platforms. These content creators hail from across various categories and languages, thereby helping brands get visibility in desired regions and markets. Our strength lies in variety of content that we can cater to and our turnaround time. TalentSwag by WhizCo focuses on management of content creators.
What is the size of the digital marketing industry in India?
As per the data furnished by Statista, the digital advertising industry in India currently stands around INR 199 billion and the number is expected to surge to nearly INR 539 billion by the end of financial year 2024.
What are the challenges and changes we are going to see after the recent curbs on social media and OTT platforms?
We have had similar experience in the past when a few short video apps faced ban following a government order. While a void was felt initially, the development led to the emergence of several homegrown short video apps. We can expect similar activities in the social media domain. However, the curbs are more directed towards ensuring sanity of content, which we already adhere to in all our initiations. So, it would be right to mention that only time can tell how the future in the space would be.