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“YouTube is for broadcasting, whereas FB is an engagement platform”- Srikanth Pinninti, Myntra


In the first part of the two part interview, Srikanth Pinninti, VP Marketing of Myntra spoke about the company’s brand approach and positioning on YouTube, content partnerships, usage of traditional media, among others. In the second part, Pinninti speaks about the approach to Facebook videos in comparison to YouTube, challenges faced on YouTube among others.

Approach to Facebook

MediaNama: How does your brand approach change on Facebook?

Pinninti:  There isn’t much change between our approach to both the platforms. Facebook is increasingly becoming a great platform for distributing video. Our approach to content creation does not vary much on Facebook. Even on Facebook, you will see content, similar to YouTube like Look Good videos, Myntra trend stories etc. We push commercials and our advertisements. Perhaps the only difference in how the two channels operate is that YouTube works more like a broadcast channel. It is difficult and less geared for engaged whereas Facebook is however more geared for engagement. On Facebook, any piece of content that you put up the likes, comments, shares, all forms of engagement will travel along with it whereas on YouTube, if you put something out as pre-rolls and push it, the engagement around it does not travel with it.

If your video goes truly viral, that’s when people talk about it. While YouTube is only video, with Facebook we create video and a host of other things. The creative devices available to you are little different. The way to look at it is that YouTube works a little like a broadcast platform whereas Facebook has more engagement going around it. On YouTube, engagement is also an important metric and we have started tracking it very closely now.

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Facebook Videos Vs YouTube

MediaNama: Which platform is doing better for you?

Pinninti: Facebook, as a platform, captures all the engagement. If we take some of the content that we created on YouTube and pushed it out as pre-rolls, how many liked it, how many it reached, how many wanted to comment on it is not captured whereas on Facebook, it is. So like I said before, YouTube works a little bit like a broadcast platform and Facebook works a little bit like an engagement platform. It depends to a degree on what they are geared at. But both are equally important platforms.

In the backend, both the platforms give us fairly deep analytics. On Facebook, it is perhaps not visible to you as a user. Facebook gives us analytics like clicks to play video, video views (Facebook considers 3-second as the cut-off for a video view as against to Youtube which has 5-second as the cut-off), average. Percentage of video viewed, average duration of video viewed, video views to 25%, 50%, 75%, 95%, 100%, cost per clicks to play video, cost per video views, click through rate (number of click to video views by number of impressions served)

MediaNama: When do you choose to create video on Facebook over YouTube? Do you use the same kind of content on both?

Pinninti: We create the same kind of content on both. Largely, it is the story we want to tell about the brand. We create content around it. And then the choice of which platform to use is made based on metrics and effectiveness, reach etc. We don’t create different videos for both of them.

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Content creation for Facebook Videos

MediaNama: Does your relationship with the MCN/individual creator extend beyond YouTube to even create Facebook videos?

Pinninti: Not yet. But going forward, we want to build a last relationship with certain YouTube creators. Right now we have been doing it on project basis and as the need arises. We are looking at having a more strategic partnership with some of these guys. May be then we’ll do it but as of now, no.

MediaNama: So then do you take a different approach to your Facebook content working with different content creators?

Pinninti: Most of the content that you see on YouTube and Facebook was created by us. There have been only three or four instances of us working with other content creators on YouTube. We use it on YouTube per se. Do we use it on a wider network? Yes may be, but we are still trying to figure out what our longer term position on this is.

MediaNama: Is there any kind of customization of content to upload on Facebook? Have you experimented with long form content on Facebook?

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Pinninti: Not really, we don’t really customise content for Facebook. And we haven’t really created long form content for Facebook.

Driving sales through Facebook & YouTube

MediaNama: Have you tried integrating the buy button on YouTube to drive your sales?

Pinninti: We are looking at it but we haven’t tried it as of now.

MediaNama: Facebook also allows integrating a link at the end of the video. Do you use that to drive traffic to your site?

Pinninti: If you have seen any of our Facebook video, we integrate the link as part of the copy that accompanies the video but not on the video or post per se.

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MediaNama: How has that link integration fared for you in terms of driving sales?

Pinninti: Yes it drives sales but I don’t think it is a huge contributor.

Measuring ROI

MediaNama: How do you measure the ROI for product placement, sponsorship and ad inventory on YouTube?

Pinninti: There are few metrics that we keep tracking. Fundamentally, it does come down to visibility and reach. If I have invested a certain amount to work with a content creator, it will have reach and it will have engagement. Not just visibility and reach, visibility and engagement I would say. Now for reach, how do we push it? Cost per view will definitely be a metric to track. To optimize the cost per view, we should reach the right audience, content and channel to distribute our content. Engagement on the other hand, has simpler metrics like view completion rate which is easier to track.

If you have worked with a content creator for a video and the video has low view completion rate then obviously they have not given you good content. Similarly, there are few plugins that the social media team uses like VidIQ which gives slightly more detailed engagement rates even for product placement and sponsorships. Largely, reach is measured using Cost per View which is a distribution measure. Engagement is measured through metrics like VidIQ and we also have our brand and business metrics to check if they are moving or not. But those are perhaps slightly longer term indicators.

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MediaNama: Which gives you better reach in terms of product placement, sponsorship or inventory?

Pinninti: Largely, what we do is ad inventory. Product placement and sponsorships are not extremely evolved right now. The straight answer to your question is we use ad inventory over the other two approaches because it is cost effective and gives better ROI.

MediaNama: How does YouTube help you understand the products that your consumers are interested in?

Pinninti: We don’t use YouTube for this. Even on Facebook, intuitively perhaps we could get numbers the way you say but as such we don’t use either of these channels to know if our products are getting traction. Our app and the time spent by people on our products, inform us about it.  We have a plethora of products and brands so it will be very difficult to do it through social channels.


MediaNama: What are the challenges you face working on YouTube?

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Pinninti: Creating content on YouTube is catching up. There are lot of creators and MCNs coming on board. Creating really high quality, kickass content for it is one challenge we face, whether it is us or a creative agency gearing up and thinking that we should create content for YouTube, which functions differently. This is not like the usual commercial that you create and put out. Talking MCNs, content creators getting them on board, making them understand the brand etc is another challenge. The view of content creators is not limited but uni-dimensional. We need to get more talent there. That is definitely a challenge and I think most brands face that challenge.

Operationally, YouTube works a little more like a broadcast channel unless your content goes viral. People watch your video if it goes viral. If you boost your video, on Facebook, the engagement likes, comments travel with it. On YouTube none of that travel with the video if you use options like pre-roll or mid-roll, you lose out some of the engagement momentum that is being built.

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