Tanvi Malik of FabAlley interacts with Rameet Arora of HT in Episode 11 of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2.
Tanvi Malik of FabAlley interacts with Rameet Arora of HT in Episode 11 of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2.

Leveraging content is tricky. Can brands keep up?

The nitty-gritty of content marketing has never been so grey. There are new audiences to be cracked, new products to be launched and new heights to be reached. At the crux of all this, lies content. In the 11th episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2, five brand leaders shared their views

Content marketing—the term is an insight into the scope it holds, especially at a day and age where the right kind of communication holds paramount importance. The boundaries by which content was earlier defined are slowly being broken, with new ideas taking foreground.

Sudhir Sitapati, Executive Director, Foods & Refreshment, Hindustan Unilever Limited, said, “In content marketing, it is generally more important to be famous than be persuasive, and you can’t be famous unless you create content in whatever you do. Consumers have to be persuaded to buy into a category but once in that category, generally, the most famous brand wins. It’s a misnomer for a lot of people to think that they have to persuade their customers to buy their brand. No, they simply have to stay on top of the consumer’s mind. For a consumer, it’s not a rational decision to buy a brand; they buy into it simply because they remember it. Needless to say, such an impact is only possible through content."

The 11th episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2, featured industry leaders like Sitapati and focused on how brands can leverage content marketing. The consumer lies in the midst of it all, waiting to be wooed by content that resonates with them, motivates them and ultimately moves them to invest in a product.

HT Brand Studio Live is a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. It is anchored by Rameet Arora, Chief Operating Officer, HT Digital Streams, and co-hosted by HT Brand Studio and DMAasia.

However, leveraging content marketing is not possible without experimentation. Rubeena Singh, CEO of iProspect said, “There’s a lot of optimisation that happens but, unfortunately, experimentation is less when it comes to effectively marketing content. It's probably because marketers find it difficult to put the resources and the time that’s needed. Experimentation could fail in the short term, but in the long term, it can be beneficial."

This is especially relevant for B2B markets, where clients take bigger risks and look for partners that mirror similar sentiments. Rajesh Kumar Jindal, Vice President & Head of Marketing (India Region), UiPath, said, “Even in B2B, it’s essentially people doing business with people. It’s a long-term relationship. So, it’s important to consider what your clients can expect once the sale is done. People will choose you if they know you will be with them when they need you."

Not to forget, the screens have shifted—from the desktops and the TVs to the mobile phone where communication is restricted both by a six-inch screen and a constantly shifting audience attention. The plethora of content formats makes it harder for brands to land an idea which pervades the medium and resonates with its designated audience, irrespective of its representation.

Siddharth Banerjee, Director- Global Sales Organisation, Facebook India, said, “Consumers process information faster on mobile phones. Marketers need to respond to that with content that works harder and lands faster. Consumers who are digital natives are creating content and also moving away from content very fast; the trend is ephemeral. It’s time for us to develop ourselves as people who think about content based on consumer insights, deploy content across various screens, and measure the impact of content based on marketing and business objectives."

The importance of personalization and influencer marketing can’t be denied in this respect; they can mean more than just jargon if there’s a proper business thought behind them.

Tanvi Malik, Co-founder, FabAlley & Indya, said, “Personalizing communication for new consumers is tricky. It’s important for brands to know their broad TG and work with the lookalikes of that. In order to do so, brands can partner with channels that are already leveraging this audience. When it comes to influencer marketing, brands shouldn’t care about how many likes an influencer post got; they should care about what they got out of it. Did they gain any new followers or shares? Was there any traffic to their website or, more importantly, were there any leads or revenue? These are the most important questions to consider rather than simply relying on vanity metrics."

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