Monthly Archives: February 2015

An Anna a Day

- L Subramanyan, CEO, Trivone Digital

So Anna is back at it again! Dharna at Jantar Mantar, with Kejriwall (the second ‘l’ is not a typo) to boot. The key question I have for Anna is just this – Have you really, really, read the Land Acquisition ordinance? If you have, go for it, because I do trust you. If you haven’t and you are going by the sound bytes of our TV channels, then join me – even I haven’t read the ordinance in full but know a little more than the TV anchors.

However, that is completely besides the point!

I believe that Anna is honest in his thoughts and his actions are guided by what he thinks are ‘Gandhian’ principles. However, one small point of history… Gandhi died 67 years ago and the India that we see today has nothing, repeat nothing, in comparison to what Gandhi saw or what he wanted to see. So Anna, trying to create an India the way Gandhi ‘might’ have wanted to create India is a little like Murli Manohar Joshi saying studying yoga will lead to fewer rapes! That's that.

And Kejriwall (it is not a typo, I insist). What is his motive? A love for his former mentor, perhaps? Or simply a desire to wash away some ‘siyasi’ guilt in front of Anna? I don't know. All that I know is that the Wall has not read the ordinance or even a synopsys of it.

That leads me to the fact that since, Anna and the wall are in a dharna, why don't we make use of it and given the fact that it is budget time, there are things that they could do which can lead to a better life for some citizens:

1.     100% depreciation on PCs

2.     Broadband prices and availability:  know Anna will not be amused by this, but imagine the speed with which people can come to a dharna if only Anna were to send an EDM

3.     Ensure TRAI’s reccos are accepted by the ministry: no leeway, no committees.. Trai is a constitutional body and it is foolish to expect that it will be against the country (it is not BCCI, you know!). Again, immediate impact, prices come down and Anna can send SMS’s inviting people for his rally very cheaply.

4.     Stop CMs from giving away ‘freebies’. It is not their property, last I checked. No CM, including the Wall, can tell a business company, how to do business.. he can ask them to leave, with all the protection, that the judiciary offers him AND THE COMPANY.. nothing more and nothing less. How can the wall promise free water? Who is going to pay for it? You and me, or Anna? In any case, Anna is a poor farmer and doesn't pay for anything.

5.     Stop fighting.. Anna.. please stop. Please, please stop. You are making all of us, the poor middle class (which includes a lot of farmers, by the way) very very nervous. I am not a supporter of the PM but believe that the people of the country have given him a mandate.. allow him to succeed or fail.. but don't do what you did to the earlier government – whip up passions, promise a dream and then vanish..

No, I don't have  the standard list of 10 or 15 or 20.. These are all that I want from Anna. Read the document first, and then we will talk.

As for the Wall..

jab tak khada hai, tab tak gadh hai… jis din tootega, us din

DDA ka bulldozer ka kamaal hai!

Muffler se munh baandh lo,

Dhool sey bach jaooge

Jis din kharche se middle class ki kamar tooti

Woh din to dhamal hai

Woh din to dhamal hai

 

 

Trivone at the Content Marketing Summit Asia 2015

- Ruchika Narang, Marketing Program Director, Trivone Digital

 

We at Trivone attended one of Asia’s largest Content Marketing summits last week, the CMS Asia 2015, presented by Sirez Group, Kontent Café and powered by Taboola. The event saw several innovators, entrepreneurs as well as industry veterans from the marketing domain coming together to share and exchange views on the rise of ‘Content Marketing’ particularly in India.

Trivone’s flagship enterprise IT media portal, www.CXOToday.com was a proud Knowledge partner for the summit. Along with the CMS team, we conducted a short survey among marketers across India to assess the Content Marketing requirements and application. The results are available on www.CXOToday.com

The first day of the summit started with an interesting talk from RP Singh, CEO of Sirez Group (organizers of the event) talking about how Content Marketing is the way to go, be it brands or even airplanes! A powerful talk by Ran Buck, VP APAC of Taboola who were co-partners of the event, paved way for some great insights that were shared throughout the day. We heard marketing success and growth stories from Marketing gurus of Genpact, Coca-Cola, Satyameva Jayate among others. While some great ideas were thrown our way, listed below are some of the key messages that struck a strong chord with us here at Trivone.

Creating Content on and for Social Platforms

The growing trend in the field of content is that consumption is moving quickly and heavily towards social platforms, compared to that on websites. Social players in the next 5 odd years may become larger than search players. The importance of social and community driven content platforms is rising, so much so that traditional publishing sites like Huffinton Post are being taken over by the likes of PlayBuzz. People are now quickly moving towards consuming even their daily dose of news pieces from Facebook directly rather than a FirstPost (read: Trending topics on the right side of your FB page was quite an appealing innovation!). Users spend more time on their social pages today not just to ‘connect’ with fellow friends, colleagues, family but to absorb interesting trivia, work and industry information, political and business news etc. Basically, a social site might just have moved beyond ‘social’ alone and become a one-stop-shop for all one’s content needs. Referred content (through FB shares, Re-tweets, Pinterest etc.) is one such phenomenon driving content consumption on social platforms.

The Importance of Portable Content 

Another key aspect to consider while creating your content is which platform you are creating it for! Yes, we’ve all heard of responsive designs but can content be responsive as well? Probably not. Content has to designed differently say for mobile and for desktop consumption. The reason behind this is simple. People’s attention spans are quite effected by the device they are using. For one the screen size on mobile is smaller. Secondly, a person consuming content from a mobile is likely to be on the move while absorbing that content and hence the latter should be designed in such a way that it is short, yet informative and gets the message across. A good example of this is a video blog versus a long text blog (which might be more suited to a desktop consumer). Talking about videos, it is fascinating how video consumption is exponentially rising globally. This is simply correlated to more people accessing content ‘on the move’ i.e. on mobile where a video is a more accepted content type. Ran Buck at the CMS Asia made a favoured statement about how ‘The next revolution won’t be televised’ referring to the video creation growth rate. Buck went on to emphasize that not only is it important for editorial teams to keep the content platform in mind while designing the latter but it is equally crucial to personalize the content at every touch point. ‘Every page must be personalised’, says Buck. The idea is to bring every end user to the page carrying content that he is looking for, at that very moment. To keep a user engaged, you must provide him with an array of content that is personalized and in a format suitable for his content consumption device.

What to Outsource, what to Crowd-source and what to create In-house?

When it comes to content creation, the above is a big challenge faced by most Content / Marketing Heads. Firms across almost all industries, domains and sizes have gradually but surely started realizing the importance of content and content marketing to reach their target audience. However, all of these firms may not have the core capabilities or even bandwidth to actually flesh out this ‘content’ internally. Or rather, should they even? This was another key topic touched upon at the CMS Asia event. Amrita Thapar, Content Head (Global Marketing), Genpact gave us her views on what to create in-house and what to outsource. Giving an example of how Genpact, one of the largest outsourcing firms in India today, she spoke about how Genpact moved steadily from a sales focus to a marketing focus, in order to be more visible and heard. They found that targeted content marketing campaigns proved to be more effective than traditional ATL marketing such as a billboard on Times Square! However, in order to be both efficient and productive, Amrita recommends the following framework for Content Marketers:

1.     Identify your storytellers: These are your thought leaders, business heads and strategists who will form the source of your information. These are specialists, providing you industry insights, product / service messaging and domain specific inputs. The source must be IN-HOUSE.

2.     Identify your Hunters & Gatherers: These are your product managers for instance who know, feel, understand your products and services better than anyone else! These guys interact with your clients and implement your solutions. They will be able to pick out the relevant and important stories from your key businesses and further add on to talk about how your clients are benefiting for it (an ideal content piece here would be a case study). Again, this information is obtained IN-HOUSE or you CROWD-SOURCE ideas internally.

3.     Content Creators: These are your writers, editors, designers, videographers converting the message provided by the above 2 groups into interesting and engaging content pieces. OUT-SOURCE this activity. The writing and production of the content piece can easily be outsourced to specialists in the content creation field, so that you focus your time and energies on your core business. 

We are happy to see Content Marketing gaining momentum in India and we sure do hope there are more such events to throw light on this very interesting topic. Kudos to the CMS Asia team!

Content Marketing: Asking the Right Questions

- Ruchika Narang – Marketing Program Director, Trivone Digital (@Ruchika_N)

 

Step by Step Guide to Content Marketing

I’ve often had our clients ask us if Content Marketing is ‘right’ for their business. The answer is a resounding Yes! According to Content Marketing Institute, 90% of B2B marketers use Content Marketing to grow their business. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t! In fact, to ensure success of your business in today’s digital age, it is not sufficient to just create products; you need to create great content as well. Content Marketing is nothing but telling your story, be it around your brand, services, products or industry expertise in an effective and optimized manner to reach and communicate with your audience.

The better question to ask is ‘What is the best way to get started with Content Marketing?’  Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started on your Content Marketing strategy:

Step 1: Define your goals.

Whether it is lead generation, visibility, brand awareness, reach and recall, defining your goals and end objectives is the first step to start marketing your product.

Step 2: Define your target audience.

Understand and segment your target market. You will need to highlight the demographic and psychographic behaviour of this audience. Understand their interests, needs and infuencers.

Step 3: Tell your story.

Keeping your consumer’s interests in mind, start telling your story. Create content that is both relevant as well as informative to your audience. The tone and voice of the content should be aligned to the content format, for instance an article has a more ‘scholarly’ tone while a blog usually has a ‘helpful’ tone.

Step 4: Get Creative

Explore various formats of content such as articles, infographics, videos, blogs, whitepapers etc. Visual content is often more attractive and engaging compared to text. Consider video blogs, interview snippets, product demo videos, review videos as part of your content mix.

Step 5: Distribute your Content

Write content that is shareable! Content that is both fun to read yet informative has good potential to be shared by readers. Keep an eye out for ongoing trends in the Content field – ex. Listicles and Slideshows have become quite popular, and might I add, quite shareable. Use your website platform along with your social media platforms to distribute and cross-promote your content.

Step 6: Track and Analyse

Tracking your content pieces will give you a fair idea of what’s clicking and what’s not! Identify metrics before hand that you need to measure, such as number of visits, links of your content shared, social shares, likes, comments etc. Ensure that you track regularly and analyse the data collected to better your content / content strategy in the long term.

 

 

 

 

Content Marketing: The latest ‘trend’ in Marketing

- Ruchika Narang, Marketing Program Director, Trivone Digital

 

In businesses across domains, sizes and industries, marketing is a core business strategy. Right from launch of a product or service and sales enhancement to customer engagement, marketers across the globe have followed traditional ATL / BTL activities to promote brands, gain customers and gather behavioral data. With the rapid increase in digitization and Google search becoming a go-to tool for all consumers to shape their buying decisions, some of the traditional marketing methods are becoming outdated and uninteresting. New and creative marketing techniques are now taking shape in order to both attract and retain customers, particularly by leveraging the online medium.

This is where Content Marketing comes in.

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a strategy that involves creating and distributing informative, engaging and valuable content with the aim of attracting customers, keeping them engaged and involved with your brand and further converting them to repeat buyers / users, thus paving way for future business opportunities.

The idea behind using content marketing is to keep a potential consumer well informed about your product/service, interested to find out more about you and engaged enough to inculcate loyalty. Content marketing helps to increase brand recall as well as reduce the sales cycle. A customer better educated about your brand is more likely to choose you over your competitors.

What we must keep in mind is that customer expectations are constantly evolving and this means you (as a brand) needs to be ready and aligned for this dynamism. Customers today do not want advertising thrown in their face, they want valuable information. They pay more importance to ‘viral’ content on their social media pages versus sales pitches. Customers need to be able to trust your brand, give you feedback, engage in a conversation with you before they decide to become ‘loyal’.

Content Marketing helps achieve this by means of a carefully structured and targeted content strategy. What’s best is that Content Marketing is a fantastic way to increase your brand reach, recall and credibility without the enormous costs attached to more traditional forms of marketing, particularly ATL methods. Even Google gives you points for fresh and good quality content!

How to get started with Content Marketing

Here are some tips to get you started:

Blog Away!

Much like this one, blogs are a useful way to get your thoughts, opinions, messaging across to potential consumers. It is a great way to establish yourself as thought leaders in your domain as well as connect with your audience by encouraging comments and conversations on the blog page. Regularly refreshed and original content boosts your search rankings as well. Create a blog calendar with a weekly blogging schedule, in order to plan your blog well. Try putting up at least 2 original posts a week. You can also share content from other sources – such as news articles relevant to your industry.

Say Goodbye to the ‘Sales Pitch’

With effective content marketing, you do not need flashy sales pitches, slogans and ads. The tone and voice of your content should be such that it easily appeals to the reader by educating and engaging him at the same time. Avoid ‘promotional’ messaging and opt for ‘informative’ content. Customers are more inclined to reading about your business’ area of expertise and not to experience a hard sell. Keep the content informative and creative – try using infographics to get your messaging across!

Post, Like, Share!

Do not stop at just writing and updating your blog. Spread the word! Use your social media platforms to distribute your blog / site content. Social media is a great tool to reach many eyeballs in a short span of time. Most companies are now integrating a dedicated social media strategy into the overall marketing strategy and rightly so, since this can go a long way to establish your company’s web presence. Social Media platforms are ideal to ‘talk’ to your customers. The more viewers comment on, like and share your posts, the higher the ROI your social media outreach earns.

Use Videos

Market research indicates that more people are browsing the internet from their mobile devices rather than from desktops/laptops. With the increased penetration of smartphones in India, users are accessing and consuming content ‘on the go’. What does this mean for marketers? That we must create content that is more easily and readily consumable, content such as videos. Videos are popular because people connect more strongly to visuals than copy. Videos are often more entertaining and quick to consume compared to long texts and are hence likely to get higher views. Not just this, multimedia content again increases your Google juice!

To conclude, Content Marketing is an efficient, low-cost and creative technique for companies to establish their brand presence, and develop relationships with customers, while allowing them to stand out in a highly competitive market.

Keep tuned for more on content marketing – tips, lessons, examples in the future posts!