Apurva Chamaria is currently the Chief Revenue Officer at RateGain, world’s leading SaaS provider to travel and hospitality sectors. In his previous stint at HCL, Apurva headed corporate marketing and was responsible for brand marketing, employer brand, employee marketing, thought-leadership, digital marketing, analytics, finance and Marcom. Under his leadership HCL debuted at: 1) InterBrand Top 100 Brands at 19, grew 35% y-o-y in brand value 2) Brand Finance Global 500 ’17 at 378 with a value of 4.46 Bn US$. Between 2014-18 the HCLT brand campaigns won 130 global awards.
Santosh: Content Marketing is seen as an integral part of the marketing mix and complements the overall marketing strategy. During your 18 years of industry experience how has the efforts and budget for content marketing evolved?
Apurva: Content is the heart of any marketing strategy. In fact, the quality of content defines the success and failure of a marketing campaign. In my 16 years of experience, I’ve seen a consistent increase in the efforts, budget and professionalism in content marketing. In my view, a fantastic design coupled with great content itself has a viral and engaging capability. We must never forget that consumers don’t watch ads or read branded content, they watch/read stories and at times the best ones can be branded content/ads.
Santosh: What are your top content marketing challenges? How do you tackle them?
Apurva: Some of the top content marketing challenges that I’ve witnessed are:
- Lack of good resources who can write high-quality business-centric content without making it boring. We occasionally outsource content development to industry experts/ freelancers/ agencies.
- Speed: Most of the times, it’s required to deliver high-quality content on short notice. We have created templates for various content types to shorten delivery time.
Santosh: How would you rate your current organization’s proficiency with the use of content marketing technology? Which are the key tools that assist your content marketing efforts?
Apurva: We extensively use & leverage some of the best content marketing tools:
- Google alerts for listening around topics, brand, and influencers
- Hootsuite for social media content scheduling
- Grammarly for checking grammar mistakes
- Pardot for email communication as a part of content dissemination
- WhatsApp & SharePoint for internal communication
- Google analytics (incl. using utm_content & utm_term) to track content performance
Santosh: How has the use of Social Media for Content Marketing changed in RateGain, in the last couple of years?
Apurva: It has increased tremendously, no. of posts, followers and engagement rate have improved significantly over the last 2 years. We’ll be focusing more on including diverse content types this year and strategies to improve no. of followers. Video content is a huge focus for us.
Santosh: What metrics do you use to measure content marketing success?
Apurva: Engagement on social media, unique visitors to website, avg. time on page, bounce rate, no. of downloads, leads, pipeline and revenue mapped with the content asset.
Santosh: How do you think AI will shape content Marketing in the coming years?
Apurva: It’s going to only increase and esp. because there’s a need to get more attention from prospects and learning and predicting user interest so that more meaningful content can be served to them is the only way to get user attention and potential business. Chatbots are used extensively these days to provide generic automated responses but whether the bot predicts or anticipate user response or for that matter even the need and then serving the right response is the key.
Santosh: In your latest book, Master Growth Hacking, you have stressed the importance of the combination of coding, data intelligence, and marketing. Could you explain it further for our subscribers who are yet to read the book?
Apurva: Data intelligence will help you discover the insight, coding will allow you to build the right platforms based on those insights and marketing will enable distribution of the platform/content. Anyone without the other two will find it hard to get traction. All three of them are going to be critical elements to work on for a compelling growth plan in the future.