Q. How is the role of content changing in these times of COVID-19?
SS: COVID-19 is not going to change the role of content. Engaging customers, driving product education and enabling customers to make well-informed buying decisions, were and will continue to be the core role of content.
Q. Would brands be investing more/ less in content marketing during these times, share your views.
SS: My perspective on B-to-B marketing is that yes, B-to-B brands will invest more in content marketing, primarily for two reasons:
1. Because of the adverse economic impact of this health crisis, demand will be weaker in the short-term. Hence, advertisements that just focus on creating demand, won’t work in most cases. This is where content marketing can fill the gap to keep the customer engagement on and keep the brand’s visibility and mindshare high. Brands that manage to do so, will find customers including them in their shortlist once they are ready to buy.
2. Typically in B-to-B organizations, events are a large part of the marketing mix. Last year, around 75% of our budgets were allocated towards events and conferences. But now that events are off the table (at least in the short-term), a significant portion of marketing investments are going to move digital and content marketing will definitely have a large share.
Q. What is the role of Content in your organization/brand? How does it fit in the overall marketing mix?
SS: Yotta is a provider of Datacenter, cloud hosting and associated managed IT services. The services are complex to deploy and a typical customer organization has various decision makers and influencers. The duration of a sale is also long and can take anywhere between 30-60 days or longer.
Hence content is an integral part of our marketing stack. We use content marketing to nurture leads depending on their stage in the buying cycle. Buying Guides, Explainer Videos, Case Studies etc. help us educate customers and move them down the sales funnel.
Content such as Whitepapers are used for demand generation. Blogs and executive viewpoints are used for building thought leadership.
Q. Any content marketing campaigns or projects that you are proud of, in the last 12-18 months? And why? If you don’t have any such campaign, please share a campaign that you liked from other brands.
SS: At Yotta, we have created an IP - Yotta CIO Masterclass - a weekly, interactive webinar that we air every Friday.
We started this when the lock-down was announced, as a program to keep our closed group of customers, prospects and channel partners engaged in the absence of events.
So far, we have done 10 webinars that has been seen by over 2100 unique viewers.
Some of the topics and speakers included:
-Stress Management Session with a prominent Psychiatrist
-CIO panel discussion on Navigating the Pandemic
-Live Fitness Masterclass with celebrity fitness trainer - Yasmin Karachiwala
-Wealth Management Insights from Feroze Azeez - Deputy CEO, Anand Rathi
-Nutrition to Boost Immunity by celebrity nutritionist - Pooja Makhija
-Grooming and Personal Branding
-Masterclass on Blockchain Technology
-Leadership in a Virtual World by a IIT-Bombay Prof.
-Yoga for Everyone by Ira Trivedi
We have deliberately tried to keep the topics neutral and do not engage in any product pitches. This has made our webinar series extremely popular in the IT community and has found loyal viewers week-after-week, resulting in inbound enquiring for our services.
Q. What can B2C brands learn from their B2B counterparts?
SS: Both B-to-C and B-to-B brands can learn a lot from each other. In most occasions B-to-B campaigns are guilty of not being creative or rather they are ‘too serious’, unlike their B-to-C counterparts. Even though in a B-to-B relationship, we are selling to businesses, we must not forget that we are still dealing with real people and creating the emotional connect is important.
Areas where B-to-B marketing scores well are measurement, hyper personalization, precision targeting, account-based marketing etc.