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Day one of the Content Marketing Summit held at The Leela, Gurgaon, on February 15 was a fully packed affair where many sessions were organised on issues related to content marketing. One such session was addressed by Radhika Shapoorjee of Digital 5. The topic of the panel was Content Marketing Challenges for Brands – How to overcome? The participants included Sameer Seth, Director Marketing, Dolby Laboratories; Sunay Bhasin, Chief Marketing Officer, MTR Foods; Anand Dubey, Head Marketing, Mahindra Finance; Sakshi Chadha, Head Marketing and Communication, Payback.

Long-term sustainability and challenges in the content marketing space

Shapoorjee addressed the panel with her first question about the long-term sustainability of content marketing and the biggest challenges, opportunity and the breaking point.

Mahindra’s Dubey said that the first thing that should be kept in mind while doing content is the brand purpose. He said, “Brands get into content without doing proper homework. We must see how the content fits into the brand ethos. At times, brands get into the arena of content with distant relation to the brand philosophy.”

Dolby's Seth said content marketing is something where one won’t see results overnight. Pointing out at a few things one needs to keep in mind in terms of sustainability, he said, “How do you translate your goals into the content task? How do you understand your audience more? What’s the right content formula? Do you have an editorial calendar?”

Seth said that the need is to extract the maximum from your content and try to reach as many touch points as you can. Measurability and adaptability are other two things that should be kept in mind.

Emphasising on the content marketing challenges, Seth said that there are pieces of content that lack a clear goal and how you keep your content engaging.

MTR’s Bhasin believes that the brand must need to set aside a clear goal for the content marketing initiative and there should be a balance between quality and quantity. “Sometimes there is an urge to keep going and generating content and barter it with quality,” added Bhasin.

Tips on good quality compelling content

Going ahead, Shapoorjee asked the panel experts about tips on maintaining a good quality of content.

Dubey has set aside 4Rs to maintain the quality of content: Relevance, relatability, rich and real. “How relevant is the content for the consumer? Is he understanding and engaging? The consumer should relate to the content. The content should be rich and not shallow. Be real and don’t misguide as a brand and content can also come out from real stories.”

Seth’s idea of maintaining good quality content is to conceive that is thought-provoking. Content should be original and have topicality.

Bhasin said there should be some kind of social currency. Explaining the meaning of social currency, Bhasin said, “Social currency is when you provide a point of view which somebody is ready to share.”

Payback’s Chadha shares Payback’s mantra of content marketing, which is CPR: Contextual, Personalisation and Real-time communication. She said, “It is important to have a context. It is important to understand who your consumer is. If we are able to track the consumer on social, we are actually able to create brand personas.”

She also said that it is important that your content evokes some kind of content at the end of the day, and that is what will help the brand connect with the consumer.

Key takeaways from the panel discussion

Giving away the key messages, Chadha said that content is the core. It’s important to create compelling messages. It is important to understand data in today’s day and age. One can’t do carpet bombing of content. The needs are to be subtle in the kind of message that is sent out.

Bhasin’s concluding message was that the content piece should come from the brand strategy and the understanding of the audience is a must.

Seth added, “It’s all about the timing and having meaningful conversations on topicals. It is important to play with the platforms and what is the right mix of platforms.”

Dubey concluded, “Loyalty is at an all-time low and the choices are at an all-time high. There is a subset of loyalty, which is love and respect and content can create that love and respect.”