Inside Royal Challengers Bangalore’s YouTube Strategy For #RCBInsider

Taking a look at the YouTube strategy behind the weekly web show 'RCB Insider' launched by RCB with RJ Danish Sait during the ongoing IPL8


The eighth season of Indian Premiere League continues to be a money spinner on TV as well as social media. Most leading brands such as MakeMyTrip, Car Dekho, Ceat Tyres, among others continue to launch their campaigns on TV every IPL season. On social media, Twitter is where the conversations as well as controversies are happening. According to a latest release from Twitter, the games have received over 43 million live impressions while the games are on its third week.

On digital IPL took over from where the ICC Cricket World Cup left. With an exciting game of T-20 cricket happening every day, teams are not only entertaining on the ground but doing their best to keep fans engaged on social media too. Facebook and Twitter have been the major weapons of mass engagement from live reporting to running contests on social media and finally gratifying with match passes and other goodies.

In addition to these tested engagement strategies on social media, IPL teams are investing on other social networks such as YouTube - the video social network. With video and visual content finally been taken seriously by brands in India, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) efforts on YouTube strategy wasn’t a big surprise. However, the weekly web only show “RCB Insider” featuring RJ Danish Sait took me by surprise with its content.

With 68K subscribers on YouTube, RCB launched the RCB Insider show a month ago in parallel to the IPL 8. The web series has uploaded around 16 hilarious videos, out of which the episode showcasing the crashing of Kohli’s shoot remains to be the most viewed one with 400K views.

If that was a bit scary considering the video had the young talented brat Virat Kohli, then the recent take on Varun Aaron (not Arun) will leave you in splits. “On this show you don’t get any sleaze what you get is only #Peas.” Watch the video to find out what it means.

The #RCBInsider was born from the brainstorming sessions that video format is working in comparison to any other form of content in 2015. Besides YouTube data also showed a Virat Kohli off the pitch video or Chris Gayle celebrating after a win works really well with fans, informed Rahul Sengupta, Account Manager at Experience Commerce - the digital agency working with RCB. “While we decided to open the gates of inside information to fans, we also witnessed the sudden boom of comedy in the country. This is when we decided to bring a synergy between cricket and comedy.”

The idea of #RCBInsider also picks some inspiration from the web jockey show launched a couple seasons back. The show had cricketer Murali Karthik as a web jockey for a day and every thirty minutes the RCB website had insider content that would provide fans with inside scoop about the RCB cricketer’s life off the pitch. Being predominantly a Bangalore team, RCB zeroed down on the very funny and popular RJ Danish Sait for the job of #RCBInsider.

Danish is the quintessential RCB fan but at the same time the script for him as a #RCBInsider is a bit different. In this show Danish once again dons his popular character of Nags or Nagaraju who thinks that he has been roped in this show for his super star quotient which is lacking in RCB. “Nags is the super star who has been roped in to solve the problems of RCB. The entire show has been sketched as if he is the superstar who has access to the entire RCB team. In fact we also launched Nags via a funny press conference to increase the buzz among fans,” Rahul informed.

With 16 episodes rolled out the objective so far behind the RCB Insider show has been to bring out the aspects of cricketers that no one has ever seen. “An engaging video content strategy is the crux of our marketing plan for the season and year round. RCB was the first franchise to tangibly leverage video content/behind the scenes with the team as one of the many core features of our digital marketing strategy. Our YT channel currently is the market leader in the IPL space. Packaging our core brand assets being the players in an intricate never before seen form factor using a content driver like RCB Insider has heightened our video content strategy thus far,” added an RCB spokesperson.

However post IPL is where the challenge lies for such initiatives. While Rahul is aware of the challenge of continuing the buzz during off-season, he informs that the agency is also shooting a parallel set of long video interviews with the cricketers. These videos will become the fodder for fans once IPL8 is over along with some more trivia videos.

These efforts of RCB on video specially on YouTube are paying off. Rahul informs me that all the videos have been watched more than 70% by fans. “To measure the effectiveness of the concept we are tracking the number of views, shares, total view time on the YouTube page in addition to tracking the popularity of the concept across social media channels. Fans have already identified Mr. Nags thanks to his unique dressing style and accent. A lot of user-generated content is shared with us on a daily basis which just highlights the fact that the concept of RCB Insider is growing popular among RCB loyalists and beyond,” added the RCB spokesperson while sharing the below tweet as a testament of the growing popularity of RCBInsider.

RCB plans to expands its video strategy going further. It is already exploring alliances with Twitter to showcase the full feature video on Twitter rather than just embedding YouTube videos with a link. This is an exclusive feature beyond the 30 second video available for very few in the country.