One of the most liked Facebook pages among Indian Internet companies belongs to Ixigo. It's liked by 1.1 mn people and their content has reached over 60mn people worldwide.
Also unlike most of India's darling funded start ups, Ixigo has not driven this growth by booking television slots worth millions of dollars but by repeatedly testing and refining their content which fuels their organic growth.
This week we had a chance to talk to video marketeer, Aashish Chopra who has planned and executed some of the most successful campaigns for Ixigo about what makes their initiatives extraordinarily successful. He has shared some great insights into how his team of 5 with their cameras and gears conjure up magic with moving pictures.
Video is powerful, if you know how to use it
Consider these two posts on Ixigo's page
A photo album post illustrating rare phenomena on earth
Rare phenomena illustrated by a video
Both the posts have the same message and use the same set of images and assets. Now compare the performance of these two posts.
You will realize that the video created with photos from the album has garnered 97x likes and 300x shares. Same content, same message, exponential performance gain.
Though if you ask Aashish, there is more that goes into the process than meets the eye.
Ixigo's content strategy is simple: Put users first
They have created videos to celebrate Holi, to re-affirm patriotism on Republic Day, to serve humor on bad Valentine's day gifts and to share travel hacks for budget travelers. Here are the examples
"We keep asking ourselves. What are our users thinking about right now? What are they celebrating? What would they like to hear about? " says Aashish. "That's how we came up with these ideas."
Though behind the apparent randomness, these videos actually have a uniform pattern, a DNA. And their DNA is travel. Ixigo spends a lot of time thinking about how the spirit of time is connected to travel, how can we move our users to pack up their bags and head out for their next adventure.
This DNA helps them strike a good balance between interesting and result oriented content. They have successfully connected "the happening" with travel repeatedly.
Create and then refine, refine, refine
"Facebook is the most exciting distribution channel for content today. This is where good content really gets viral" says Aashish.
Though promoting content on Facebook comes with its own set of challenges. Being a huge distribution platform also means that users are bombarded with huge volumes of content and have got extrememly narrow attention spans and that's the major challenge Aashish's team has been tackling.
A news item stays on user's screen for about 3-5 seconds before he scrolls down and moves on. This means he gets to see first 2-3 seconds of Facebook video if we account for buffering times. So its becomes extremely crucial to catch and nurture his attention right at the start of the video. Every frame counts and whatever can be left out should be left out.
Ixigo's team puts out 2-4 videos every month and Aashish confesses that most of the time is actually invested in testing the video with a local audience and cutting out whatever is deemed unnecessary so that the message goes out in the most interesting way.
Here is one of the most successful videos which was created from a blog post and garnered over 52mn views.
Choose the right metric and stick with the basics
Ixigo measures the success of their content by a single metric: Number of shares.
Aashish says that's the only true measure of reach and virality. Likes and Comments depict engagement though as far as maximizing ROI is concerned, shares go the farthest mile.
Inspite of the overwhelming success that their team has achieved, Ixigo has been able to stick to the basic mantra and produce content which fascinates their users. They have relentlessly focused on bringing delight and happiness to their viewers. Every month they are producing 2-4 videos, learning new things about their audience, managing their expectations and getting an inch closer to their next big hit.
We are bringing a lot of these lessons into Birch's thought process while designing campaigns. We can help you launch and manage delightful video campaigns which deliver solid results. If you'd like to know more, start here.