Experiment and adapt for an effective content strategy
Content's importance in modern-day marketing is undeniable, despite varying opinions. Companies need to ensure that their content strategy is future-ready. Quantitative measures are often used to evaluate the success of content-driven campaigns. Collaboration between internal content teams and external agencies may have further potential. But what can be the optimal strategy for bandwidth allocation across channels? Should guard rails be put around user-generated content?
We spoke on these burning topics of the content world with Resha Jain, Chief Brand Officer, of GIVA Jewellery.
Here are the excerpts:
1. What is the role of content marketing in the overall scheme of marketing in the present world?
From my perspective, having worked in content marketing and as a content creator, I truly believe that content is at the heart of marketing. At the end of the day, marketing is about communicating with people, and the way you communicate with them can make a difference in how they remember and perceive your brand. Good content can help establish your brand in their minds and make them more likely to choose you when they're looking to make a purchase.
Even if we go back to the 90s, when I was younger, I remember Amul's iconic "Utterly Butterly Delicious" ad campaign, which was all about building the brand through memorable content. Today, whether you're creating conversation-led ads, building brand awareness, creating the best social media presence, or integrating your brand into film and TV shows, it all comes down to content. Even the way you describe your brand on your website, the photos you use on your partner pages, or the organic content you create for your blog, it's all about content.
2. What is the role of content marketing in demand generation versus engagement and nurturing, specifically from a B2C perspective?
As a content marketer, I believe that content plays a crucial role in both demand generation and engagement/nurturing, regardless of whether the target audience is B2B or B2C. While the content may differ depending on the position of the customer in the funnel, it is necessary to create awareness, generate interest, and convert leads. At the top of the funnel, content can be used to create awareness and generate interest, whereas, in the middle of the funnel, content becomes even more important in terms of engagement and nurturing.
To be successful, a content marketing strategy should focus on creating valuable and engaging content that speaks to the specific needs and interests of the target audience. This can include a wide range of content types such as blog posts, social media, infographics, videos, and case studies, among others.
The key is to provide potential customers with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions, which in turn can help to build a strong brand identity and increase conversions.
4. Can you talk about the collaboration that is missing or needed in the content marketing fraternity?
There is a gap between what companies expect and what is delivered by freelancers or even internal teams. In my experience, sometimes the briefs are not clear enough, or people are working on too many projects at once, which leads to a lack of focus and understanding of the business. This often results in content being produced just for the sake of it, with little thought or effort put into making it effective. I think it's important for companies to invest in building their content teams so they can have a deeper understanding of the business and create content that truly reflects their brand and values.
5. Your thoughts on the role played by in-house experts versus freelancers.
I believe that the role of in-house experts versus freelancers or agencies depends on the quality of the in-house talent. If you have a great person leading your in-house team who truly understands marketing content and the different types of content required for different purposes, then execution can certainly be outsourced. On the other hand, if you're working with a freelancer or agency, they must also have a deep understanding of marketing and the company's current requirements, whether it's for branding or conversion.
In my experience working with growth-stage companies like Myntra, Sugar, and GIVA, it's not always possible or desirable to build internal teams at the pace required. This is where great freelancers can come in and fill the gap. However, it's important to have someone at the helm who truly understands the brand and its requests.
I don't think either approach works entirely on its own, at least not for new-age businesses that cannot afford the top agencies in the world. A combination of both in-house and freelance talent can drive success in content marketing, in my opinion.
6. Can you share your thoughts on the bandwidth consumption of content marketers across various channels?
I believe that content creation for a company depends on its priorities and goals. It's not just about SEO or social media or blogs, but rather about creating different types of content that resonate with the target audience. Some companies spend a lot of money on various branding activities, including social media, videos for YouTube or Instagram, and content for other platforms. Each type of content requires different approaches, and you need to keep creating them to maintain your brand's presence.
In my experience, the maximum amount of time and effort for content usually goes into the company's channels, such as its website, app, and social media. Of course, some effort is also put into other channels, such as partner photos and offline retail branding. One area that I believe takes a lot of time and effort to build is video content.
If I were to rejig the content creation process, I would prioritize packaging content that has a high chance of converting customers. Understanding where your customers are and what they expect is crucial to creating effective content.
It's important to decide on priorities and allocate effort accordingly, rather than trying to do everything at once. Initially, companies may want to go all guns blazing on every channel, but over time they will learn what works and what doesn't. It's important to experiment and adapt to find the most effective content creation strategy.
7. How do you manage expectations and create guardrails for content created by influencers?
So honestly speaking, when I was working at Myntra, Sugar, and now at GIVA, I have seen that people often tag the brands on their social media accounts, post pictures of themselves wearing our products, and share their feedback and testimonials. This is something that people do organically because they want to showcase what they are wearing and that they bought it from our brand.
When it comes to managing this type of content, we do not try to control it because it's important to let people share their honest feedback and opinions. We try to engage with them, learn from their feedback, and address any issues that come up promptly.
However, when it comes to influencers or paid content, we do have certain guardrails in place in terms of meeting the brief and ensuring that the content aligns with our brand values. But even then, we let the influencers share their honest feedback and opinions. At the end of the day, the goal of any B2C marketer is to make people fall in love with the brand, and we try to achieve that by building great brands and products that people want to talk about and share with others.
8. How difficult is it to measure the success of content marketing and how important do you think it is to have a measurable attribution for the success of a campaign?
I believe that measuring metrics is crucial to track the success of content marketing. While some things are very rare and cannot be attributed to a single factor, certain things can be thrown out through pivot tables on subject lines or copy that has performed well. I also understand that short-term attribution can be difficult, but long-term attribution is not. It's important to understand the metrics that need to be measured for each channel separately. For example, I want to understand the traffic that comes to the blog, but that's part of the marketing of the blog. Once the traffic is there, how long they stay, how many bounce off, and how many read more than a certain number of pages are some of the many metrics that can contribute.
9. What three problems Pepper could solve for you in the content marketing space?
My first concern would be around attribution. It's important to understand what led to a particular result, but it can be difficult to accurately attribute a purchase to a specific marketing activity due to the complexity of the funnel. However, I believe that with careful analysis and experimentation, we can get a better understanding of what works and what doesn't.
Another issue is building a strong content marketing team. It's important to have a team that is talented, dedicated, and able to work collaboratively to produce high-quality content.
Finally, I think it's important to stay ahead of the curve and explore new forms of content, such as immersive 3D experiences. This requires a willingness to experiment and a team that is up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
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