“Why don’t we just film it on a phone?”
Content is king
That’s probably the oldest and truest adage in the world of media. Even so, many of us still think of content as whitepapers, newsletters and blogs – admittedly, I’m kind of old school! But today video is fast becoming a primary form of content for everyone.
From the mother-in-law sharing festive wishes, the mommy sending cute baby videos or the crazy cat lady sharing the latest adventures of Maru, all of these uses are shareable and relatable.
Some of the most interesting use cases for video content comes from even more interesting quarters. For instance, The Better India, a platform that is committed to telling the smaller yet positive stories from around India sends out a WhatsApp snapshot every day, and you can get into the broadcast list by sharing your number.
Then there are the larger brands that do a great job of creating their own video content. Conversations with Hari – Owned by HolidayIQ, this is a series of interviews conducted by its CEO, Hari Nair. While this capsule began last year, the profile of the guests he speaks to has improved already – the latest is a 10 minute conversation with William Dalrymple, which has racked up 301K views and over 2500 engagements in less than a month.
While the channel isn’t super-popular (yet), it’s a great way to create original content without plugging the brand too obviously. As it picks up steam there is great potential in creating and amplifying a separate brand for “Conversations with Hari” on social media.
Another great example of compelling video content is HCL and its work promoting Indian classical art forms, HCL Concerts. Beyond organizing concerts and posting videos of them, they’ve started creating “Candid Conversations”: short videos asking artistes everyday irreverent questions like “Do you like chapathi or paratha?” and such, as an unusual window into a classical musician’s life. The Candid Conversation with Shubha Mudgal was an eye-opener as to how well-spoken and graceful she is as a person.
But big brands come with big budgets too, which helps, but what of the smaller niche creators? For every content creator that aligns with multi-channel networks such as Culture Machine and the like, there are thousands of independents. Tushar Burman, for instance, is journalist with a passion for automobiles. A little while ago, he went from writing behind a computer screen to creating videos in front of a camera. His unique brand of humour is what has helped him gather an army of loyal fans that refer to him as The Professor and proudly sport #TBArmy tees that he supplies for free!
So from the mainstream brands to the niche creator, from WhatsApp shares to Facebook Lives, video really is the new killer content. What will be interesting to see is how people like Tushar monetize their platforms.