As Global Lead – Digital Marketing, Sooraj Divakaran has successfully managed all aspects of marketing: digital marketing, social media, digital development (website platform and mobile apps), analytics, content strategy, interface design, and usability. Besides work, Sooraj writes about Marketing on his blog (Digital Uncovered) which currently ranks among the top hundred blogs on marketing in India on IndiBlogger. Some of his content has been published on Forbes India, School of Digital Marketing, Paul Writer, and Scatter.
Santosh: Content Marketing is seen as an integral part of the marketing mix and complements the overall marketing strategy. How have the efforts and budget for content marketing evolved in the organization?
Sooraj: We have scaled our content marketing efforts over the past few years. As a team, we are now focused on mining stories within the organization, across both employer branding and thought-leadership initiatives. Content distribution is also integral to our strategy as traditionally, we have only focused on social and e-mail as channels to disseminate content. Now the focus is shifting to content syndication and partnerships as we expand the reach of our content.
Santosh: In the Survey, you mentioned that Measuring content effectiveness as the top challenge you face while developing a Content marketing strategy. How are you tackling it in your organization? Also, how technology plays a role here?
Sooraj: Most organizations struggle when it comes to justifying costs related to content marketing. We have over the last year deployed the core components of our marketing technology stack – CMS, Marketing Automation Platform and CRM. We will be adding more tools to our stack to build advanced attribution capabilities to link leads to clicks and impressions. The idea is to build full funnel metrics to showcase greater cause and effect as a function.
Santosh: How would you rate your organization’s proficiency with the use of content marketing technology? Which are the key tools that assist your content marketing efforts?
Sooraj: We are only getting started. Technology is critical to content marketing, right from researching possible topics/keywords to measuring the effectiveness of content. Currently, we use tools like SEMRush, Adobe Analytics, Lead Squared, etc. We plan to include more tools as we move forward to develop full-funnel metrics.
Santosh: How has the use of Social Media for Content Marketing changed in your company, compared with one year ago?
Sooraj: Social media continues to be our core distribution channel when it comes to content marketing. We have set-up an in-house team to scale our video marketing efforts. The video content developed internally has seen considerable success. The idea to experiment with new forms of storytelling including interactive content, augmented reality, etc.
Santosh: How successful is your organization at tracking the ROI of content marketing? What metrics do you use to measure content marketing success?
Sooraj: We evaluate our effectiveness using a range of business and vanity metrics. The focus, however, is on improving the consumption of content across the defined target audience.
Santosh: Your blog – Digital Uncovered, ranks amongst the top hundred blogs on marketing in India on IndiBlogger. As an expert blogger, can you define best practices that you follow while creating a content piece?
Sooraj: At the core of good content is empathy for the reader/user. Every piece of content that I have published on my site is to help someone who has sought answers to the same questions. The recommended best practices for content marketers include building your audience before you need them, writing for an audience and not for the search engine and always remember that real influence is always built offline (augment your online efforts with events/workshops/sessions, etc.).