Vinoth Poovalingam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hocalwire, a Delhi based start up company which provides end-to-end technology support for the entire content supply chain (from portal management, apps, SEO and enabling revenue) for news portals. He is an alumnus of IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore. Earlier he has worked with Flipkart and then Amazon to develop their logistics networks by building scalable processes.
In an informal conversation with K. Srinivasan, Editor in Chief, Digital PreSense, Vinoth shares with the growing impact of content marketing.
Q: What is Content marketing?
Vinoth: Content marketing is a different way to look at acquiring, engaging and retaining customers by creating great content. Unlike a one-time investment into advertising, content marketing focuses on producing quality content which will engage and be informative about a certain topic which your audience can relate to. In short, it means creating and distributing great quality content to acquire customers for your brand for a longer time horizon.
Q: What is the difference between 'Digital Marketing' and 'Content Marketing'?
Vinoth: Digital Marketing is the 'superset' of everything in the digital environment, including email marketing, display advertising , search marketing, etc. We can assume Content Marketing as a 'subset' of Digital Marketing. In this technique, we promote the websites or products or services through engaging content. Content marketing is fast becoming a major share of the marketing spends of brands globally.
For example, if I want to sell a product or services, in digital marketing we use traditional channels like search keywords or display ads or sms campaign to promote the product. In content marketing on the other hand, we schedule a list of articles which talk about benefits or the market of the product itself. Once, we figure out the content pipeline the article is published in the brand's website and promoted through digital tools like social media and SEO. Thus the content is used for promoting the product or services.
Q: How is content marketing beneficial?
Vinoth: Traditional digital marketing is a one-shot wonder which may or may not result in a long term customer acquisition. On the other hand, with content marketing we regularly engage customer and connect with the customer based on their needs. In this manner we create a loyal following for the brand and become a thought leader for your customer using user product. This helps build the brand's presence online and gets regular traffic for loyal customer base more easily than traditional channels.
Q: What is the trend with respect to content marketing?
Vinoth: Globally brands have started realizing the importance of content marketing and have started investing a bigger share of their marketing spend into content marketing. Brands like Coca-cola and Reebok, have already started using Newsroom to reach out to their audience directly. Globally the content marketing industry is expected to reach $300 Billion by 2019. Based on a survey it was found that the top companies are already allocating more towards content marketing than they previously did.
Q: What is effect of this trend for Digital Journalism?
Vinoth: The effect of this on digital journalism is significant. Content marketing is a double edged knife, it may sometime be also used to promote a wrong cause or news, like the case of fake news during election times. That said, there is definitely a world of opportunity thrown open for Journalists and media planners. Brands have started hiring seasoned Journalists to create content which finds the right audience. With the access to the right tools and techniques, content marketing is nothing but a refined form of story-telling which is the key to journalism. But this also means there people running these newsroom should display a high level of ethics in the content they generate.
Q: How to get started with content marketing?
Vinoth: It is as simple as writing an article which is informative for people about a product or a cause. But on the other hand from a brands perspective, there is a need for a clear platform or process which gets you to consistently reach out to your audience. There are a mix of tools available which helps teams run a successful Newsroom for content marketing. At Hocalwire we are also experimenting ways of helping brands with content marketing. To help brands we use the same set of tools developed for running a full-fledged Newsroom for Media houses, modified for a Brand's audience.
These are all the basic tips to promote the contents. They can be used effectively with proper blend.
Vinoth Poovalingam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org