Last Updated : 28-01-2020
Content creation helps in distributing information to the end-user that solves their problem. But content development is just one part of a good content strategy . What’s more important is to have a well- planned robust content marketing campaign – that reaches out to the right customers at the right time in their customer journey.
Vishwas Anand from Aspire Systems has given us some valuable advice on how to go about creating a successful content marketing campaign.
About Aspire Systems
Aspire Systems is a global technology services firm serving as a trusted technology partner for our customers. We work with some of the world’s most innovative enterprises and independent software vendors. And we help them in leveraging technology and outsourcing in our specific areas of expertise.
Our services include Product Engineering, Enterprise Solutions, Independent Testing Services and IT Infrastructure Support services. Our core philosophy of; Attention. Always” communicates our belief in lavishing care and attention on our customers and employees. Aspire has been featured as a Great Place to Work for 8 consecutive years in a row!
About Vishwas Anand
Vishwas Anand is an award-winning Content & Brand Leader who believes in the magic of a Great Content Narrative to script a brand’s success journey. After his MBA from IIM Kozhikode, he’s started working as the Head of Content & Thought Leadership at Aspire Systems.
Vishwas is rated one of “The Greatest Marketing Influencers” by ET Now and The World Federation of Marketing Professionals, among Asia’s “Most Influential Content Marketing Professionals” by the World Marketing Congress and CMO Asia: He was a Role Player and Speaker at the 2017 Congress.
He is also a Speaker at BrightTALK webinars, a Jury Panel member at DMAasia, and an active Participant at Business Summits like the Gartner Summit (2015), the Futurist Business Conclave (2017), CMS Asia (2018) among others. He’s published White Papers and Articles covering industries like Retail and BFS for leading publications.
These include Tech Republic, Tech in Asia, Finextra, The Indian Retailer among others. His 3A Content Model has been featured by a Forbes Columnist as a go-to-model for Content Score evaluation of global businesses.
What do you think is content marketing and how important is it for your brand?
To me, Content Marketing is more about the Content and less about the Marketing. It stands to reason that if the Content is powerful enough, it would serve the purpose of Marketing itself in this digitally connected ecosystem.
Although it is easier said than done, this is what I’d call True Content Power. For our brand, this would translate into Thought Leadership Content. I strongly believe in True Content Power built around my 3 A Content Model for Content Score evaluation: Authenticity, Accuracy and Agility. For our brand, since a dedicated Content Marketing Practice was set up in early 2016, I’ve seen our blog grow by close to 450%.
I’ve considered just one Content type, i.e. blogs, so we can imagine the kind of outcomes when we look at diverse collateral, some of which have gone on to positively engage with potential customers. We went from ad hoc content creation to cascading content synergies with a structured Content Marketing Practice in just 2 years! This, in a nutshell, is the importance of True Content Power.
I’ve coined this term to underscore its importance in a world that’s seen how People Power can spark revolutions! At the 2017 Content Marketing Summit hosted by the World Marketing Congress, in a panel discussion on the topic “The Present and Future of Content Marketing” I made the point that the future of Content Marketing would be a superior blend of technology and human creativity.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience ranges from executive level CXOs, IT Directors or other senior IT executives depending on the type of Service Line, Practice, Geography or Vertical. Basically, anyone who is a key decision-maker in the IT space!
What’s the style, tone and voice that you use to address your audience?
I believe every writer has a unique style and shouldn’t be constrained in this regard. I like puns and catchy phrases and see the value of knowing when to alternate from a conversational tone of a blog to a more serious tone of a White Paper.
Since we need to grab the attention of a top CXO, our Thought Leadership Content needs to have a voice that is prescriptive, authoritative and yet emotionally appealing. We constantly strive to keep an active, credible persona in our Content that can engage with a respectable Thought Leader in their respective field.
How do you go about planning a content marketing campaign for your brand?
Content marketing campaigns are planned during March of every year. These are split by Marketing themes for every quarter of the subsequent year. This is done during the yearly planning meeting chaired by our CEO and involves the Delivery Owners, Marketing & Sales Heads, Marketing Partners, and me.
This is done for every Service Line/Practice across Aspire’s service offerings: Software Engineering, Digital Services, Testing and Infrastructure & Application Support. The messages and themes span our targeted industry focus areas: Retail, Banking & Financial Services and Insurance. A Content marketing calendar is conceptualized around specific topics for the chosen Marketing themes and designated Content Writers positioned as Research Analysts are assigned collateral based on this calendar. The Research Analyst collaborates with the Subject Matter Expert for inputs and also conducts extensive research through leading research firms like Gartner, Forrester, IDG and so on.
We also conduct primary research in a few cases. The Research Analyst then writes a compelling story that captures the essence of the subject and stitches it to suit the type of collateral: Blog, Article, White Paper, Case Study, Infographic, Video, Webinar and so forth.
What is more important SEO or SEM for your organisation?
Both components of the digital marketing strategy are equally important for our organization. We create our content to be SEO-friendly and for Google to rank it high for related keywords. We also do SEM to increase the visibility of our content for our targeted audience.
What content formats work well for you?
I don’t think we can really put it down to one format since we’ve had good success with White Papers, Webinars, Blogs and so forth. There are a number of occasions when different formats work in tandem to serve as topic clusters around our Marketing themes.
This helps us rank well and also connect the dots in our Marketing efforts in building a Thought Museum that will stand the test of time. I’ve always dreamt of a Thought Museum where structured thoughts craft unique Content Pillars, Forms and Structures serving as keystones in the architecture that anchor the museum together.
Which companies/brands do you think are doing well with content?
Intel is doing well with Content Marketing. The way they’ve become a Content Brand and redefined Digital Governance is an impressive case study in itself. From having chaotic user journeys, inconsistent brand experiences and an under-optimized marketing-technology stack to bringing about a transformation through self-governing business units with a strong Digital Governance strategy, Intel was actually able to do more with less.
Their webpages dropped from 12,500 to 10,800 and microsites shrunk to 494 from 715. As a result, their upstream content engagement rose by 250%. Capital Group, GE and Red Bull are other brands that come to mind, who think like publishers and are setting new benchmarks with their Content.
Do you think a content marketer is a multi-tasker?
I feel Content Marketers must focus on creating powerful, compelling stories. Anything that comes in the way of their story-telling is a distraction. This can even be the Analytics that don’t paint a rosy picture. This is because one story that underperforms today could make a great one in the future.
Let me draw an analogy with disruptive technologies that need to do well in emerging markets before coming into the mainstream. So, yes a Content Marketer is a multi-tasker: who would do well handling Dedication, Frustration and Patience with the Grit that the future demands.
What all people play an important role in your content marketing team?
In our organization, we have a structured Marketing team with our Marketing Partners who own the theme/message, our Content team that tells the story and a Digital Marketing team that makes this story visible. Every single person plays a vital role in seeing to it that the right message is driven to the right person at the right time!
Do you have any tips for the marketers of today?
In my opinion, marketers that spend time in building a Thought Museum will be the ones who will see good long-term ROI in their marketing efforts. Marketers who go beyond content marketing campaigns would do well, as those are just time-bound but Content is never time-bound.
They could be repurposed in certain cases but if they’re written with a passion for excellence, then it will still stand the test of time. Marketers need to strive to be trendsetters and this is where the courage of conviction comes into play, as analytics will only tell you one part of the story. In the quest for a competitive rivalry, please orient ideas around ethical practices as this is what you’d be known for in the long run.
Some notable work by Vishwas
Finextra’s Top Blog Post of the Month (January 2018)- Today’s Banks Need a Millennial Banking Technology Framework
White Paper published on Tech Republic- Multidimensional Digitization Framework for Digital Transformation
With this, we have come to the end of our blog with Anand. We would like to thank him for giving valuable tips on content marketing. This surely will help content marketers move towards a positive direction!