Vice President of Content and Influencer Marketing at Pocket FM
Armaan Azaad on Content Marketing Insights: Evolution, Challenges, and Future
From humble beginnings as a content creator in 2014 to pioneering successful strategies at Pocket FM, Armaan Azaad, Vice President of Content and Influencer Marketing at Pocket FM, has gathered invaluable insights into the power and potential of content marketing. In this immersive interview, Armaan shares his experiences and learnings, highlighting the vital elements that fuel effective content marketing campaigns. With a strong focus on providing value to the audience, Armaan unveils the secret behind his success - patience, quality content, and strategic distribution.
How has content marketing evolved in the last few years?
Content marketing's potential was realized relatively late, as it requires patience and a focus on quality. Marketers often seek immediate results, but content marketing's true power lies in its long-term impact. Personally, I started as a content marketer in 2014, creating a successful channel called "Startup Stories" organically, which became the most subscribed startup channel. I learned that serving high-quality content to a niche, targeted audience yields excellent results. Since then, I've continued learning and adapting to different roles. There's no fixed playbook for success in content marketing, but three key elements are crucial: patience, quality content, and effective distribution. With a well-crafted strategy incorporating these factors, content marketing can deliver significant results within a few months.
Content marketing is the future for every company serious about their brand and scale. It's a funnel that can give you long-term benefits with perseverance.
How can one focus on a product-led content marketing approach, and how effective is it compared to brand-led content marketing?
When it comes to content marketing, whether it's product-led or brand-led, the primary goal remains the same - to provide value to the audience. A product-led content marketing approach involves creating content that is centered around specific products or services offered by a brand. On the other hand, a brand-led content marketing approach focuses on building brand awareness and perception through various content pieces.
The effectiveness of each approach depends on several factors, including the target audience, the nature of the products or services, and the overall marketing strategy. Product-led content marketing can be particularly effective when trying to highlight the unique features or benefits of a specific product. It allows businesses to showcase how their offerings can solve customers' problems or meet their needs, creating a more personalized and relevant connection.
Brand-led content marketing, on the other hand, aims to create a strong brand identity and emotional connection with the audience. By sharing the brand's values, story, and mission, businesses can build trust and loyalty among consumers. This approach is beneficial for companies with a diverse range of products or services under one brand umbrella, as it helps to reinforce the brand's overall image and reputation.
Ultimately, a successful content marketing strategy requires a balanced combination of both product-led and brand-led approaches. Businesses can create a content ecosystem that includes informative product-focused content, engaging storytelling around the brand, and content that provides value beyond direct promotion. By catering to the needs and interests of their target audience while staying true to their brand identity, companies can establish a powerful content marketing strategy that drives meaningful results and fosters long-term customer relationships.
How do you integrate the different parts of content marketing - strategy, creation, distribution, and analytics - to achieve success? Can you provide relevant examples from your current work?
Content marketing is a multi-faceted approach, and it all starts with a well-defined strategy. Understanding the target platform and audience is crucial. For example, at Pocket FM, we focus on TikTok as a significant marketing medium to reach Gen Z. So, we curate content that aligns with the platform's entertainment-focused nature and engages the audience effectively within a 30-second video.
Once the strategy is in place, we move on to content creation and distribution. It's essential to tailor content for each platform based on their unique consumption behaviors. TikTok and Instagram Reels may seem similar, but there are subtle differences in how users engage with content. Adapting the content to trigger comments on TikTok or encourage scrolling on Reels is crucial for success.
We utilize analytics tools like AppsFlyer to track the performance of our content marketing efforts. However, beyond just measuring results, the key metric for success lies in engagement. Creating content that is engaging for users is the ultimate goal. While results are essential, the immediate ambition should be to produce content that captivates and resonates with the audience.
Content marketing is a process that takes patience and quality content to achieve beautiful long-term results.
What would be an ideal content marketing stack for you, considering various aspects like SEO content and influencer marketing?
In my opinion, there's no one-size-fits-all solution for an ideal content marketing stack. Each company's requirements and strategies differ, and constant experimentation is key to finding what works best. For instance, when it comes to influencer marketing, the approach with each influencer may vary, from showcasing promos to focusing on specific product features.
Netflix is a great example of a company that has mastered content marketing through continuous trial and error. They seamlessly collaborate with influencers and create engaging content on various platforms because they have tested extensively across different geographies.
For startups, reaching such a level of success requires a lot of creativity and experimentation. It's essential to remain open to failure and learn from each iteration. What may seem perfect in your head might not resonate with the broader audience, so adaptability is crucial. The content marketing journey involves constant iteration until you reach a Eureka moment where strategies align and resonate with the audience effectively.
How do you structure your internal teams for content creation, and what are the advantages and challenges you face in content operations, both from a people and technology perspective?
At Pocket FM, we have dedicated teams focusing on specific aspects of content creation and distribution. One team is responsible for creating compelling video content, crafting engaging storylines, and producing five to six-minute videos. They are the creative force behind our content. On the other hand, another team handles content distribution and metadata optimization for various platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Reels, and Facebook. They carefully select which parts of the content go where to maximize its impact.
This structure has advantages as it allows each team to specialize in their domain and ensures a cohesive and efficient content creation and distribution process. The creative team can focus solely on producing high-quality content, while the distribution team can tailor it to suit different platforms and audiences, maximizing its reach.
However, challenges do arise in content operations. From a people perspective, maintaining consistent creativity and staying updated with evolving audience preferences can be demanding. The content landscape is constantly changing, and the teams must stay agile and adaptable to keep up.
From a technology standpoint, managing content metadata and distribution across various platforms can be complex. Content creators and distributors need to be proficient in using various tools and platforms efficiently to ensure effective content delivery.
Overall, a well-structured internal team and a nimble approach to content creation and distribution are essential to overcome challenges and drive successful content marketing campaigns.
What are your personal growth marketing go-to content sources, such as favorite books, podcasts, or other learning materials?
Personally, I have found my biggest learning opportunities through real-life examples and experiences while working with some outstanding colleagues. Being part of startup has allowed me to be surrounded by people with diverse ideas, and I've learned a lot through open discussions and brainstorming sessions. Additionally, I actively reach out to relevant individuals on LinkedIn to understand their approaches and gain insights from their successes. Peer-to-peer learning has been my go-to source for growth marketing knowledge, and I haven't relied on specific books or podcasts for my learning so far.
Where do you see the future of content marketing heading, given the rise of AI and the challenges of organic growth?
I believe the future of content marketing is promising and will soon become parallel to performance marketing. The potential of content marketing is enormous, and companies serious about brand growth and scale will need to incorporate content marketing strategies. While organic growth may be challenging, content marketing can offer long-term benefits with perseverance. As AI continues to evolve, it may play a role in enhancing content creation and distribution, making strategies more efficient and effective. Content marketing will become an essential component for every brand, and though immediate results may not be guaranteed, it will prove rewarding in the long run.
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