Videos are emerging as the preferred way to communicate with prospective consumers for early-stage consumer internet startups, as they expand user base beyond metros.
Faster internet, language barriers for text and literacy issues are making these startups explore video as an option to make their products go viral.
A new breed of fintech players, such as Vyapar, OkCredit and Khatabook is using YouTube as they reach out to micro and small merchants across the country. Others like Yulu, Dunzo and some food-tech startups are teaching consumers how to use their apps through videos.
“People’s attention span is going down; watching a video is far more attractive now than reading a chunky blog post,” said Harsh Pokharna, chief executive officer, OkCredit. Backed by Tiger Global, OkCredit is trying to digitise its micro merchant ecosystem.
Another similar startup, Vyapar, is also using YouTube to promote itself among small merchants beyond the metros.
Its own channel has around 12,000 followers, with more than 160 videos. The startup, backed by Axilor Ventures, is experimenting with a large variety of video content to explain the features of its app to consumers.
“Through YouTube, I am using professional agencies as well as reaching out to influencers to spread the word about my product,” said Sumit Agarwal, founder, Vyapar Tech Solutions. The application not only helps small merchants keep a tab on sales digitally, but also helps them file taxes smoothly.
Multiple ‘YouTubers’ — as the YouTube-based social media content creators are popularly called — are creating ‘explainer’ videos, teaching users how to use these apps and also offering their own views about the apps.
While TikTok is also a popular video-based social media app, Youtube gives higher traction to these companies. Youtube viewers tend to be genuine users and the conversions are higher, said startup founders.
Discount brokers are also seeing increased popularity of videos.
5Paisa, a listed tech-enabled broking company, said more than 55% of its users watch full videos, which are mainly used to explain stock market movements to consumers.
“A weekend read which is shared regularly with our users is opened by 500 people on average. On the contrary, for video explainers we get more than 8,000 views, which shows its easier acceptance among viewers,” said Prakarsh Gagdani, chief executive, 5Paisa.
These startups approach marketing agencies with their budgets, who then make such content or reach out to creators, experts said. The intent is to usually add maximum consumers at minimal cost.
“Such content may or may not be directly sponsored by the firm. These videos will usually have a link which entices the viewer to download the app, meaning that it’s a paid activity or else it could just be done organically,” said Praneesh Bhuvaneshwar, cofounder, Qoruz, an influencer data analytics company.
Typically, a startup spends a major share of its marketing budget on social media. Video marketing is more expensive, with added production costs.