Content Marketing — something to contend or be content?
In marketing, Content is King. Content marketing isn’t just direct marketing, but rather about creating a presence. Born much before the webs were webbed, it is the art of storytelling. People have always loved stories, so when a service or product has a story about it, it not only hooks readers but also sells. Consistency plays a vital role in growing a customer relationship that lasts longer and keeps getting stronger. Hence customer loyalty, like in real life relationships, is something that is earned over time by turning to long term content strategy. Sailing the seas of content marketing, we had our portfolio companies namely Mindler, Travelyaari, Finception, and Thrillophilia share what kept them afloat.
Get. Set. Traffic.
In a world shrinking to screens, change is inevitable. Though what remains unchanged in the web world is the relevance of traffic. SEO, shortened for Search Engine Optimisation‘s key role in a company is to gather traffic. The higher the site ranks in the engine results, the more traffic it attracts. Mindler that counsels on careers, looks at traffic as a means to keep their story going. Finding the good, bad, and the ugly; noting preferences and motivators; Mindler matches the profile with compatible careers. Their primary hashtag #DiscoverYourPerfectCareer, ‘Communicates the message that each person has an inherent potential or “true calling” that is waiting to be unlocked,’ avers the founder Prateek Bhargava. Watching out for often raised questions on Quora lets them stay in sync with the customer’s lingo. Mindler juggles long and short tail keywords to invite views on their site. Time has taught them about the viewers who benefit but don’t end up buying versus the ones who do cart it. They use these insights to craft strategies that enhance their SEO ranking making the website discovery easy. Right keywords drive in the expected traffic or more; but as true for most trades, it ain’t just the views but the keeps.
Make the deadlines count
Marketing and media compete with time to survive. Old news isn’t news but scrap. Thus, funnel marketing is one of the most sought after ways to guide the customers from the relevant know-how to the shipping cart. Thrillophilia that offers activity-based travel experience keeps updating tours and activities online for travelers to plan their trips faster and better. Travelyaari, a bus ticketing platform, knows all clicks are not potential buyers. But it keeps in touch even after online cute-meet, or booking and payments, and rewards loyalty with a privilege point system. For them, it isn’t just one trip, but hope for many more to come. Aurvind Lama (co-founder) prefers online marketing over word-of-mouth. They make use of different mediums, differently. If it’s re-engagement they use direct means of emails and SMS, for brand visibility their social media handles get active, while the news flash covers the innovations. Bring in the V for value and the V for victory follows, feels Travelyaari. Product, the need it caters and the value for its users sums up their content strategy. Devil is indeed in the detail, so define your USP, put it out in words and let it fly in the online sky. Talking about the brand, the marketing head reveals, ‘Simply put imagine what you would want a customer to imagine…when they hear your brand name.’
What’s in the name? Brand!
Just like the name, the brand’s voice is what sets it apart in the crowd. Brand personality gets evident in the words they use and the attitude they project towards their customers. Finception as an investor’s handbook doesn’t tell you what to buy but ‘how to’ with market and finance news. Sale jingles that advertise fade away but stories resonate. Shrehith Karkera(co-founder) feels the same, ‘Focus on selling your story rather than selling your product.’ It believes in a voice that mimics a cuppa of coffee that’s simple, strong and short in all that it communicates. Finception churns out content to expand its reach in the with talks on finance and business. Going by the golden rule to keep it simple, its reads are easy peasy for ones from a non-finance background as well. Confiding in us they spoke of Twitter as their priority adding, ‘We also disseminate using Whatsapp business, where we share our content to our Whatsapp subscribers. This worked really well for us, we get views/ clicks within minutes.’
Once the ‘what to say’ part is clear, it’s time to think of the ‘how to.’ Creation is just the beginning, the way the content gets disseminated speaks volumes about a brand. When out for a meal, the family never really agrees on the same dessert, then how could there be one way to convince a diverse mix of customers? Tailored mail trails are one of the ways to bait the reader at the brand’s doorbell, their private inbox. Once hooked the reader would soon be the traffic the sites await. Abhishek and Chitra, the co-founders of Thrillophilia echo the same sentiment! Capturing the tell-tale vibe of cities, they offer packages with tour guides, bike or car rentals, activities, photography tours, homestay and much more; in their make-your-own style. Sending subscribers relevant information might be better than the sing-song of “buy” all the time. Broadcast to them is just noise, instead, they go on to reveal, ‘We segment our users at the micro-level, and then send personalised content with them which really works.’ Being social lets you ping the buyer on Whatsapp, follow on Insta, request on Facebook or tweet with Twitter! The right use of UX gives the much-needed user experience. Presentation of content is a choice dictated by how each type (text, pictures, videos) is received; this is where regular visits, devices used, or browsing time comes to the rescue. ‘We drive close to 3 Million traffic on the platform via content marketing,’ claims Abhishek with pride. Rome wasn’t built in a day; to fish out good quality content day in and day out, on repeat, is a long- term commitment. But if truly followed, trust is sure to follow.
Big Data for better stories and brand loyalty
The emerging joystick of the marketing world is Big Data. Gone are the days when one had to imagine the buyer’s profile and guess their needs. The sea of sites, hold within them the buyers’ information, the big data. Content strategy ‘should’ rely heavily on user personas and target audience. Travelyaari dives deep in the big data to know its frequent travelers. Data-driven stories are like those grandma tales that will remain with the buyer. Better data helps create better stories and better brand loyalty. Your brand name should inspire an image, and you have control over what this could be with apt content marketing.
Changing the style of content marketing with changing time, is a need. Timelines and site traffic set the content rolling, socialising gets the brand name familiar but it’s the consistency that makes the difference. Craft content for people not search engines, based on well-researched buyer personas. Layer your content like a club sandwich and mix-match to get the proportion right across social media channels. Believe in what you say and sell, and the viewers will believe you. The right kind usually end with a tweet, a like or a share, plus a potential buyer! So make sure yours is one of them.
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