Anagha Dandekar

Head of Content at Kotak Securities

Anagha Dandekar on Revolutionizing Content Marketing

Experience a direct encounter with Anagha Dandekar, a well-known figure in the content marketing world, as she unravels her journey from being a Chartered Accountant to eventually leading the content marketing initiatives at Kotak Securities. Through intriguing conversation, she takes us through her transformation into a content specialist and how her fascination for creating impactful communication encouraged her to explore facets of content marketing. Anagha also shares how the content marketing space has seen a radical shift in recent years, becoming much more than just SEO, and how organizations are equipping themselves to make that change.

In a conversation with Rishabh Shekhar, Co-Founder & COO at Pepper Content, Anagha Dandekar, Head of Content at Kotak Securities, not only provides an insight into her career trajectory but also highlights how she is leveraging content to revolutionize communication strategies in the financial sector.

1. Can you tell us about your journey?

Even though I started as a chartered accountant, I've always loved writing deep down. Eventually, I realized I wanted to work in communication, so I began writing drafts and reports for different companies. As time went on, I found myself in a surprising situation – working for a struggling company. While I was helping with research, I also ended up taking care of the content on their website. The different tasks started to blend, and I became good at planning content. This led me to explore social media, which made sense because it's a big part of communication nowadays.

I decided to take on the challenge of understanding social media. Since I didn't have much experience in communication or social media, I created my own Instagram page in late 2019. My main goal was to learn how social media works. Over two years, my Instagram journey attracted an amazing 25,000 followers. This experience taught me how important content is in communication. Each thing I shared added to a bigger story, showing what a brand is all about.

Now, I'm the head of marketing content at Kotak Securities. My job involves looking after all sorts of communication stuff, like social media plans, financial content, and research materials. Even though my career path is a bit different, one thing is clear: I'm dedicated to communication and content. When people ask me what I do, I proudly say, "I write for a living." That's the heart of what I'm all about. Content isn't just a job to me; it's something I'm passionate about, my purpose, and how I make a difference.

When I decided that I want to pursue communications full time, I started with writing drafts and annual reports for companies.

2. What aspects do you personally track regarding KRAs and KPIs?

My main job is dealing with different types of communication. We talk with our clients, try to get new clients and handle messages related to stock market stuff and rules. There are three main kinds of communication we work with. Also, we have a team that researches stocks. When I started in finance, people thought it was boring and hard to understand. But things have changed. Nowadays, more young people are into investing and trading, making finance more interesting.

Our job is to make sure our messages make sense to people. We're also big on social media, where we share our stuff. Our messages must fit well with the platform we use. Communication isn't just emails and texts. It's about making a whole experience. When we talk to clients or potential customers, we want them to remember us. This could be through an email, a social media post, or anything else we do. Every piece of communication helps people remember our brand and what we stand for.

3. When it comes to quality versus quantity within Kotak, how do you handle that?

In the past couple of years, we've been changing how we do marketing at Kotak. I've been working on improving our communication, which wasn't a focus. The industry has also changed, and we realized we need better ways to talk to our clients. Now, the challenge is to figure out how much to talk and how to do it well. For me, this balance is about making sure our messages make sense. Sometimes, I have to send many messages that might seem too much, but it's important for rules and legal reasons.

But quality is more important when I'm trying to get someone interested, like when I'm making a pitch. The message needs to be something they can do something about. When creating stuff to read, I believe in keeping it short. Our attention spans are shorter now because of phones, so quick and powerful communication matters. I read a book called "Writing Without Bullshit" that says the same thing. We're all on our phones; if I can't say something in about 30 seconds, people might not care. This is where quality matters – making sure what I say is important and gets attention fast. I'm not saying we should always talk less. Sometimes, especially on platforms like Twitter, we need to send a lot of messages to make a bigger impact. It's about using the right amount depending on what we want to do.

In a world full of messages, making a real impact means being smart about what we say. It's not about talking less, but making every message matter, whether it's something we have to say, an exciting idea, or a bunch of short messages that fit a bigger plan. This way, we can use the power of talking in a world where everyone is always getting messages.

4. What do you think about the new SEO trends? How do you see their influence at Kotak Securities?

SEO is the superhero of online searching. It helps our stuff show up when people look for things on the internet. But SEO is always changing. At first, it was just about making things appear in searches. Then, it got even more exciting with search engine marketing (SEM), which is like fitting puzzle pieces together. Even with all these changes, one thing stayed important – SEO matters a lot.

Here's how it works: SEO helps us climb the search ladder. By using the right words in the right places, our stuff shows up when people search on Google. This means more people can see what we have to say. But here's a big question: should we change what we say just for SEO? No way! Making sure we balance using SEO and creating great stuff is super important. Some experts suggest words to use for SEO. Then, we need to use those words in a way that makes sense and sounds good. It's like solving a puzzle – each word has to fit perfectly. This can be a little tricky. We need to mix being smart with words and being creative.

So, SEO isn't only about making our things appear in searches. It's also about making sure people like what they find. This journey needs teamwork between SEO experts and us, the creators. Together, we make a mix of good communication and clever optimization that makes people happy when they search online.

Finance is no longer boring. And people have understood it in ways that it can be made. Very interesting.

5. Discuss the mix of science and art in content marketing. Elaborate on your use of text tags and favorite tools for efficiency.

Nowadays, we have lots of tools that can help us write better and make our words shine. These tools cover different things, like fixing sentences or making changes. They make writing more exact. But the cool part is when we mix our human ideas with technology. Technology can help organize words, but our special touch makes our writing interesting. Technology can create words that look right, but the magic happens when people feel connected to what we write. Even though machines do lots of things, our part in writing is important because we're writing for people, not machines.

This is where writing becomes both science and art. While technology helps with rules, it's our understanding that makes messages connect with others. Technology helps with basics, but we add the heart to our words. In this mix of new and old, writing becomes a way to talk to others in a special way.

6. What's a key mistake aspiring content marketers should avoid early in their careers?

If you're stepping into content marketing, here's a golden nugget: diversify from the start. Don't restrict yourself to a single topic. When I began, I believed finance was my only domain. However, content transcends boundaries. To truly connect, widen your horizons. Delve into various subjects like art and philosophy. Surprisingly, even unrelated fields can enhance your content. Blending psychology and finance, for instance, added depth. This mix of different perspectives is the essence of content magic. So, remember, content isn't confined. Embrace diverse realms. Let them shape your unique content journey.

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