Head of Marketing at Silvermine Group
Siddhesh Rane on Crafting Content with Precision for Personalized Marketing
Plunge into an empowering discussion with Siddhesh Rane, a visionary in creative marketing who champions the cause of crafting precisely targeted and tailored content for maximizing marketing efficacy. This enlightening exchange delves into Siddhesh's philosophy of leveraging the most suitable channels for content promotion instead of a ubiquitous presence across all platforms.
The conversation between Prateek Kalra, Associate Director of Sales at Pepper Content, and Siddhesh Rane, Head Of Marketing at Silvermine Group, also reveals invaluable insights into conducting audience research and implementing shrewd content adaptation strategies to enhance outreach and foster connections. Siddhesh also talks about the significance of nuances such as localization and the optimal media mix for marketers who grapple with creating personalized content for diverse markets.
1. Please tell us about your journey.
I had my startup at the beginning of my career for about six years. It was a fantastic experience that I suggest every young person who wants to work in tech or software should try. It helps you learn a lot. During those years, I learned how to convince people about my business, make intelligent plans for my offering, and even handle getting paid by customers. It was my own business, so I got a complete picture of how to manage everything.
Starting that business was the best thing for my career. But as time passed, we had to close it down for reasons I won't go into now. After that, I joined a company called Netcore, where I got into the world of MarTech. It was exciting because I learned about AI and machine learning from the start of my career.
Later, I worked with companies like Prime Focus, CleverTap, and Silvermine. In all these places, my main job was to help make more people interested in the products and build up the company's brand. I also got to work a bit on how to make the products fit well in the market. Looking back, starting my own business taught me so much that I carry, and working with different companies added more to my learning.
It's not important to promote your content on every channel. Content creation is one strategy, but amplification should involve promoting your content on relevant channels.
2. What's your take on the current state of content, including challenges and new emerging issues?
I began my career writing blogs, initially focusing on storytelling, a principle that still holds true. While narrating and aligning content with the target audience remains crucial, a scientific element has emerged. Relying solely on persona-based content isn't enough anymore.
Regarding SEO, the pillar strategy with supportive content is pivotal. Consider building a website, say Peppercorn, to educate about content strategy. Start with a comprehensive guide (pillar content) and surround it with additional pieces. This bolsters your domain's search engine relevance.
AI integration aids, but not everything can be AI-generated. Your unique perspective is vital. AI's potential in storytelling might fully bloom in five to seven years. I've explored ChatGPT and Jasper.ai, leaning toward the latter. Jasper.ai assists, but prompts can be challenging. The fork chart technique helps identify triggers and messages for specific audiences. While AI doesn't fully cover these nuances, progress is inevitable.
3. How do you handle creating and sharing content across your audience's various platforms in today's media-rich environment?
I firmly believe that you don't need to be present on every channel to get your content out there. While creating content is essential, what matters most, in my opinion, is how you amplify it. Sharing your content on the channels where it matters is crucial. For instance, let's consider Silvermine. We faced a challenge with one of our products targeting truckers. During our research, we discovered that 30% of truck drivers in the U.S. listen to music on Spotify. This insight led us to create Spotify playlists tailored to this audience. This innovative approach allowed us to connect with them in a meaningful way. It's all about finding the right avenues.
Similarly, in my experience with CleverTap, my focus was on targeting users interested in mobile marketing and retention strategies. Besides the usual SEO, paid ads, and social media, I explored partnerships with platforms like TechCrunch, TechTarget, and BrightTalk, which aligned well with our target personas. Collaborating with such content syndication partners ensured that our content reached the right audience through networks that resonated with their interests. Targeting the relevant channels is the key to success in content promotion.
4. Given the diverse markets, adapting content for various regions and languages, and personalization challenges, do you see these as current pain points?
To a certain extent, these challenges highlight the crucial role of a well-balanced media mix. Without the right blend, achieving a solid ROI can be challenging. While widespread promotion is possible, avoiding inadvertently reaching the wrong audience or using inappropriate platforms is essential. Such missteps can lead to a surge in visitor numbers but with an equally high bounce rate, undermining the effort.
An intriguing insight I've gathered pertains to companies optimizing their SEO strategies by acquiring backlinks from diverse websites, often inspired by competitor analysis. Yet, an interesting pattern emerges - the more backlinks secured, the higher the influx of organic search visitors. However, the geographic source of these visitors matters greatly. For instance, if your target audience is the U.S., it's vital to investigate whether your competitors' organic traffic mainly originates from countries like India or the Middle East. Such misalignment won't yield the desired outcomes.
5. What's your definition of ideal content today?
When approaching this, I usually start by understanding the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) comprehensively. After grasping the ICP, the next step involves delving into the specific personas I need to focus on. At times, certain personas take precedence in marketing efforts. For example, at CleverTap, this might involve targeting marketing heads, VP of marketing, VP of product marketing, or even IT heads as part of top-of-the-line efforts.
Following this, I pivot to engage with those in a technical review phase once a potential customer has shown interest by requesting a demo or exhibiting SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) intent. This entails directing efforts toward IT professionals like IT heads, CIOs, and CTOs.
Throughout this process, the goal is to streamline the sales cycle. As the journey progresses, targeting shifts to a different set of personas. For instance, during the contract review stage, the focus might shift towards CFOs. It's important to note that tailored messaging is essential. The content used for each persona cannot be uniform; it needs to be attuned to their unique needs and positions. By catering to these diverse personas with specialized content, the approach remains effective and resonant.
Your personas and content have to be different. That's how you go about targeting.
6. How are you supporting your teams for multilevel marketing across funnel stages, and what technology investments, including AI, are you prioritizing as a decision maker?
When it comes to this, I typically categorize it based on the goals, either individual or company-wide. If it's all about revenue, let's break it down this way: if we're entering a fresh market and the primary aim is to secure around 50 logos in that specific region, the tech stack takes a different shape. Initially, I'd consider an email marketing tool, maybe HubSpot, if the budget allows. HubSpot is my go-to for automation – not just for CRM but for crafting email sequences, setting up workflows, dynamic pages, forms, and even tracking keywords linked to leads. It's quite comprehensive.
Another tool worth noting is MutinyHQ, particularly useful for SDRs. Imagine an outbound campaign using tools like Outreach. When recipients click on your meeting link, they land on a personalized landing page tailored to their details – name, company, pain points – creating a unique experience for each recipient within a consistent design.
However, if our goal encompasses not only revenue but brand marketing as well, the toolkit shifts. For content, Jasper.ai and ChatGPT come into play. ChartGPT is potent with the right engineering setup using APIs. We also tap into mass mailing tools like MailChimp for specific outreach and nurturing campaigns.
ABM tools are a must for 2023 and beyond, moving from spray-and-pray to personalized strategies. For instance, Demandbase offers strategic targeting, while Influ2 serves well in the Indian market. As we delve into 2024, tools like Demandbase ABM and others provide avenues for advanced ABM tactics.
7. If you could shape your perfect content marketing stack without limitations on budget or decision-making, how would you envision it?
In the current scenario, AI isn't replacing content writers but enhancing their capabilities. Tools like Quillbot and Grammarly aid in content refinement. For content creation, Jasper.ai and Copy.ai stand out, and AI-driven video models add a new dimension.
A noteworthy trend is the formation of freelance content writer pools with AI knowledge, ensuring faster content creation. This aligns with the increasing demand for quality content produced efficiently. AI is poised to eliminate subpar content, allowing skilled writers assisted by AI to create highly valuable, Google-friendly content.
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