Varun A R

Head Of Marketing At Livspace

Content Marketing Strategy: Balancing Agility, Quality, and Effective Distribution with Varun A R

In the dynamic realm of modern marketing, content has emerged as the cornerstone of brand communication and engagement. With consumer preferences evolving rapidly and digital platforms reshaping how information is consumed, content marketing has transformed from a static approach to a dynamic and multifaceted strategy.

Join Kisan, Head of Business at Pepper Content, and Varun AR, Head Of Marketing At Livspace as they discuss all this and more.

From leveraging the power of search engines to strategically harnessing the potential of various platforms, this conversation explores the strategies that can elevate your content game and ensure your brand remains relevant in a sea of digital noise.

Here are some excerpts.

1. How has content marketing evolved over the years?

Over the past few years, content marketing has undergone a significant transformation. In the earlier days, content creation was primarily focused on producing long-term assets and advertisements. This involved extensive research, meticulous scripting, testing, production, and publication. This approach was prevalent in the marketing space, where content was carefully crafted to convey a message. However, with the rise of various platforms, the landscape has shifted.

Nowadays, content creation is much more dynamic and agile. Instead of fixating on the production quality, the emphasis has shifted to the quality of the content itself.

Whether it's blogs or videos shot on mobile phones, as long as the content is engaging and valuable, audiences are receptive.

This evolution is driven by the need to maintain a consistent presence across platforms, allowing for better discoverability and creating the right impression among the target audience. While the volume of content being generated has reached staggering heights, the future seems to favor content that stands out by delivering unique and compelling propositions.

Looking ahead, the winning strategy in content marketing appears to be centered around uniqueness and quality.

Amid the vast sea of content being churned out daily, what captures attention and resonates with the audience is content that possesses a distinct edge.

The competition is fierce, and the key to success lies in offering something that truly stands out.

This shift from quantity to quality reflects the changing consumer behavior and the need for brands to make a meaningful impact. In this era of abundant content, it's the content that brings value, offers novel perspectives, and addresses specific needs that will command attention and foster engagement.

2. How do you foresee a content marketing structure within our organization?

When considering a content marketing structure for our organization, my experience in the hospitality industry comes to mind. Back then, our approach was more traditional, involving long-term content development that went through production houses before being released to the market. However, things have drastically changed. In my current role, my team includes dedicated individuals responsible for creating videos. These team members interact directly with consumers, often using basic tools like mobile phones.

They collaborate with designers, record content, and handle backend editing, with the possibility of going live on the same day or within a few days. To maintain consistency, we've implemented a content calendar to ensure a steady distribution of content rather than sporadic bursts. This shift towards greater agility in content creation has occurred rapidly, evolving by leaps and bounds over the last 4 to 5 years. This dynamic environment has led organizations to reshape their teams accordingly.

Unlike the past where a single social media manager might have sufficed, today's pace requires an in-house team to handle content creation. Interestingly, the emphasis on production quality has taken a back seat to the importance of subject knowledge within the content itself.

Quality content, in terms of its value and insights, has emerged as the true driver of success.

In this context, it's fascinating to see the transformation firsthand, as the traditional methods have given way to a more streamlined and agile process. The industry has adapted quickly to meet the demands of rapid content creation, leveraging both technological advancements and the growing importance of authentic, valuable content. As we look forward, content marketing will continue to evolve, and the key lies in striking the right balance between agility, substance, and effective distribution across platforms.

3. What role does organic content play in your marketing strategy?

Organic content holds a pivotal role in our content strategy; it's intricately woven into our business structure, forming what we refer to as a non-paid business segment. This means that the leads and inquiries generated through organic content are not driven by paid advertising. To ensure the effectiveness of this approach, we've established a robust team that focuses on optimizing various types of content. The ultimate yardstick of success is the tangible business results that stem from these efforts. This process operates like a well-oiled machine, consistently delivering outcomes.

A notable example of this is evident in the evolution of search engines, particularly Google, which stands as the largest search engine. In our industry, which has a strong visual component, a significant portion of searches occurs on YouTube. This observation is particularly surprising, considering that roughly one in every four searches related to the home category takes place on this video-sharing platform.

Our strategy centers on crafting highly relevant content for YouTube and meticulously optimizing it for specific keywords. By doing so, we position ourselves to appear prominently in search results when individuals seek information in our domain.

Incorporating organic content into our content strategy isn't just a passing trend; it's a fundamental and strategic move that leverages the power of search engines and online platforms to drive meaningful engagement and real business outcomes.

4. What would be your ideal content marketing stack?

In an ideal content marketing stack, I envision a platform that's highly intuitive and personalized. It should have the ability to identify and categorize customers, understand their content preferences, and pinpoint their online consumption patterns. This platform would essentially serve as an imaginary recommendation engine, detailing where my customers are and what type of content they're engaging with at specific times throughout the day.

This data would come complete with engagement scores for different content formats such as videos, blogs, short videos, and long videos. The goal would be to shift from post-analysis to real-time insights, enabling my team to focus on creating more impactful content based on live data feedback, rather than retrospectively realizing what could have been done differently.

Moreover, this comprehensive platform could potentially connect me with content producers who align with my specific content needs. This would address the challenge of content production, as collaborating with skilled creators can significantly accelerate the process. Additionally, if this platform integrates commerce functionalities, it could establish a self-sustaining ecosystem where content producers are incentivized by demand and where content creation becomes more agile and efficient.

Essentially, my ideal content marketing stack revolves around a predictive engine that not only offers actionable insights but also empowers me to proactively strategize and create content that truly resonates with my audience.

5. What brands impress you with their content marketing approach?

When I evaluate content marketing, I see it as a comprehensive approach where every aspect plays a role in conveying a brand's message. This includes not just traditional marketing materials like ads and blogs, but also elements like product packaging, website design, and even the ambiance of physical spaces like office environments.

One brand that truly impresses me with its holistic content marketing approach is Innocent, a fruit drinks company based in the UK.

Their consistency in storytelling across various touchpoints is remarkable. From their engaging packaging and well-designed website to the content they share on social media, everything aligns seamlessly. This consistency creates a strong brand image and message that resonates with their audience. Although they were acquired by Coca-Cola, I still hold them in high regard for their initial content-focused strategy that managed to create such a distinctive and memorable brand presence.

6. How do you foresee a content marketing structure within our organization?

Reflecting on the evolution of content marketing structures, I can draw insights from my experience in the hospitality industry. In the past, content creation was a more traditional process, involving long-term planning and collaboration with production houses to develop assets. However, in the current landscape, our content marketing structure has transformed significantly.

Our team now comprises dedicated individuals responsible for creating various types of content, such as videos. We engage directly with our consumers, utilizing even basic mobile phones for recording. The agility in this approach allows us to produce and publish content swiftly, sometimes within a day or a few days.

To maintain consistency and avoid content spikes, we rely on a well-maintained content calendar that ensures even distribution.

This shift towards agility is a result of the rapid changes in content consumption habits over the past 4 to 5 years. The paradigm has shifted drastically, and we've embraced this change by adapting our team structure. Unlike in the past, where a single social media manager might have handled all content creation and coordination with external agencies, our current strategy involves in-house content creators.

This strategy aligns with the urgency of content production required to keep up with the dynamic digital landscape. Quality is no longer solely determined by production values; instead, the depth of subject knowledge and the resonance of the content with our target audience is paramount. Moreover, the proliferation of platforms dedicated to content distribution has enabled us to disseminate our content effectively to the right audiences.

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