Co-Founder and CMO at Blusteak Media
A Journey through Digital Marketing: From Memes to Entrepreneurship With Jaison
Over the past few years, the digital marketing landscape has undergone a remarkable transformation. The strategies and tools that once ruled the scene have given way to new, more dynamic approaches. As technology continues to evolve and consumer behavior shifts, businesses are compelled to adapt to these changes to stay relevant and competitive.
Join Rishabh Shekhar - Co-Founder & Chief Operations Officer at Pepper Content and Jaison, Co-Founder and CMO at Blusteak Media as they take a deep dive into the evolution of digital marketing, exploring the key trends, shifts, and innovations that have shaped this ever-changing-landscape.
Here are some excerpts:
1. Tell us a bit about your journey so far.
My journey in the world of digital marketing began quite early, back in my 11th standard. My brother and I shared a love for football, and this passion led us to the idea of creating a football meme page.
As we experimented with multiple meme pages, one eventually took off and became one of India's biggest meme pages, boasting 4.4 million followers nationwide. This success prompted us to launch our app, a platform for sharing memes specifically designed for the Indian audience. We further expanded by creating a YouTube channel linked to our meme page, gaining invaluable hands-on experience in online marketing.
In 2017, our meme page faced a setback when it was temporarily banned due to policy violations. This unexpected turn left us in a state of uncertainty. However, during this time, friends and businesses began approaching us for guidance on social media and building an online presence. In response to the growing demand, we decided to conduct workshops to share our expertise. These workshops gained popularity and attracted both individuals and brands.
One of the workshop's sponsors even approached us with the opportunity to manage their social media, recognizing our deep understanding of the digital landscape. This marked the beginning of our journey as a digital marketing agency. Over the past five years, we've grown from a small team of four to five people to a robust team of nearly 50, working with over a hundred brands across 11 different countries. Today, our primary focus is on helping brands boost their sales through various digital channels.
2. How has digital marketing evolved since the inception of your agency, and what key changes have you noticed?
Digital marketing has undergone significant changes since the inception of our agency about five to six years ago. Back then, the most notable challenge was shifting the mindset of brands and convincing them to invest in digital marketing. We had to educate them about concepts like content marketing and the immense potential of digital platforms. It often took up a significant portion of our initial meetings, where we emphasized the importance of allocating a portion of their marketing budget to digital channels.
However, a pivotal shift occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was during this time that businesses and individuals truly recognized the power of digital marketing. They started grasping the impact of platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The need to convince them to explore digital marketing waned as they began approaching us directly. Some brands even made a complete shift, reallocating their entire budget from traditional TV advertising to social media and digital marketing, a testament to their newfound belief in the effectiveness of these channels.
The digital marketing landscape has become more accessible, with an influx of newcomers starting their agencies. The barriers to entry are lower; all you need is a laptop, and some skills in design or writing, and you can label yourself as a digital marketing agency.
However, what sets agencies apart is the quality of their work, the depth of their experience, and the caliber of clients they work with.
This competition has intensified, making it essential for agencies to continually innovate and deliver outstanding results to stand out in the crowded digital marketing space.
3. How do you determine the most suitable marketing channels for a specific business, considering the numerous options available today?
Selecting the most suitable marketing channels for a business hinges on understanding both the nature of the business and the target audience. It's a dynamic process that takes into account the specific demographics and preferences of the audience. For instance, if the business caters to a young demographic, such as college students aged 18 to 25, marketing on platforms like Instagram, utilizing influencers, and focusing on lifestyle content can be highly effective. This approach resonates with the youthful and visually oriented audience.
On the other hand, if the business is in sectors like real estate or healthcare, which typically cater to an older audience, platforms like Facebook might be more appropriate. As individuals in their 30s and 35s are often the target, it's important to align with the platforms they frequently use. Additionally, B2B businesses often find success on platforms like LinkedIn, or through Google Ads and email marketing. These strategies are better suited for professional and corporate communication, as opposed to an intense focus on platforms like Instagram.
Moreover, emerging platforms should not be overlooked. For example, new apps or social media platforms can gain traction within specific demographics, like Gen Z or Gen C (Connected). For businesses targeting these groups, it's vital to stay updated on the latest trends and platforms that resonate with these audiences.
The key to success lies in tailoring the marketing approach to the unique characteristics and preferences of each client's target audience, ensuring a more effective and precise marketing strategy.
4. What are your thoughts on the role of AI in content creation and how content creators can adapt to this technological shift?
AI plays a fascinating role in our agency, where we actively leverage it as a valuable assistant rather than a replacement for human creativity. When it comes to brainstorming ideas for pitches or content creation, AI comes to our aid. We outline the basic idea during our brainstorming sessions, and then we pass it over to AI, specifically using GPT models or tools like Google Spark. In a matter of hours, AI helps transform those basic ideas into polished presentations or documents. It's incredibly efficient.
In the realm of content creation, we've found AI to be a powerful ally. For instance, when generating content for Instagram reels, we provide AI with the product's essence and the kind of reel we're aiming for. In return, AI generates six to seven ideas. What's remarkable is the feedback loop; we can provide input to tweak elements like the hook, ending, call to action, or tone. It's akin to a conversation with an intern who precisely follows your instructions. By identifying and focusing on three to four AI tools, content creators can significantly enhance their efficiency.
One noteworthy trend is that AI has the potential to drastically increase the productivity of content writers.
In the future, a single content writer might do the work of several writers by effectively utilizing AI tools. The key lies in understanding how to integrate these tools, prompt them, and deploy different types of tools seamlessly.
What's essential is for content creators to adapt to this transformative technological shift by embracing AI and effectively incorporating it into their creative processes. It's also crucial for teams to remember to leverage the full capabilities of AI tools rather than spending unnecessary time on tasks that these tools can accomplish within seconds. The mindset should shift from "Should I do this?" to "I'll delegate this to the AI tools."
5. Your career path as a co-founder has been quite unconventional. What prompted you to choose entrepreneurship?
Choosing the path of entrepreneurship was more of an accidental choice for me. During my college years, I was already involved in managing a successful meme page, which was generating a decent revenue stream. This experience began in my second year of college, and it provided valuable insights into hiring and delegation. As my college journey progressed, others were exploring job placements, but I found myself less interested in that path.
The allure of entrepreneurship was strong, primarily because it offered a sense of freedom that a traditional nine-to-five job might not provide. In a corporate job, you're often constrained by a fixed salary and limited autonomy. In contrast, running your own business means being your boss, pursuing your goals, and finding motivation from within. I'm more driven when I have a clear goal in mind and can work towards it independently. While I may have missed out on some aspects of corporate life, the choice to embrace entrepreneurship has been fulfilling and aligned with my inclination for autonomy and self-direction.
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