Our product is DIY, plug-n-play, and is a must-have tool for all content creators, reveals Instoried's Sharmin Ali

Our product is DIY, plug-n-play, and is a must-have tool for all content creators, reveals Instoried's Sharmin Ali

The platform helps content writers in e-commerce, news, FMCG, and other verticals.

Sharmin Ali

Mumbai: Instoried helps enterprises and individuals create emotionally engaging content thereby improving ROI. Instoried is a deep-tech platform that analyses and optimizes the emotional quotient, tonality and relevance of written content across formats like blogs, articles, social media posts.

Instoried uses a data-driven approach using their proprietary AI driven technology to make real time analysis and suggestions to enhance content to increase engagement and interest for the reader. This leads to more clicks and as a result higher ROI for brands, creating a direct impact on sales and revenues for companies. Instoried uses the principles of neuromarketing to offer smart recommendations to increase or decrease a particular emotion in the content.

The platform helps content writers in e-commerce, news, FMCG, and other verticals to optimise emotions in their marketing content.

The company says that clients can capture the emotions of readers on point, enhance their content and save hours of extra work with the easy-to-adapt platform! Instoried has built deep learning-based natural language processing systems to help optimise content. The aim is to build a highly inclusive workplace for people of all backgrounds and genders who can help it grow.

Indiantelevision.com caught up with Instoried founder & CEO Sharmin Ali to find out more on the company. In her role, she is responsible for driving strategy, leadership and sales. Prior to deep-diving into a technology start-up with Instoried, Ali had founded a media start-up to build India’s own Netflix. Prior to that she was with Mu Sigma, working in sales with Fortune 500 companies in the US.

Ali has been profiled in the Fortune 40 Under 40 list (2022) and also won the best product and best innovation under the startup category by The Economic Times Innotribe Awards in Mumbai in September 2018. She has received an honour from the HRD Ministry of India and COWE Womennovator under Innovation and Entrepreneurship category.

Ali holds a Bachelor's degree in electronics and communications. Instoried is at the cusp of her love for storytelling and a background in technology.

She is an author of two books, the first one 'Y.O.U' that was announced a best-seller by The New Indian Express and the Oxford bookstores. Her second book was titled 'How I was forced to become a staunch racist'. She has also spoken at various TEDx events and international platforms.

She loves exploring new places, writing, is an avid reader and a foodie at heart.


On the market gap seen in 2019 when Instoried launched

My experience with various Fortune 500 companies in India and the US made me observe closely and conclude that even large companies and brands are ineffective in communication. These companies make marketing decisions based on how they feel about the content instead of using data to get better results. Here is where I stepped in with Instoried. We started with just an idea to improve written content that would impact the ROI of a brand positively. We started with a web- app that helps optimise the tonality and emotion of the content for writers. Over the last few years, the tool has been imbibed with many new features that have helped improve the quality of life of writers and enabled them to create content that’s original, impactful, and empathetic. 

On the game plan that has resulted in over 5 million users and 500+ businesses using Instoried

The game plan was simple: how to improve the content game for our customers? We were looking for a full-stack offering and not just a good-to-have feature. This made our customers engage with us like water. Water is a must-have, whereas juice is a good-to-have. We sell water and so our customers love us. We have interviewed a 1000+ content marketers in the US to understand their challenges and each one talked about productivity and about creating content at scale and at speed. So we built a tool with an end-to-end solution.

On how COVID impacted the business

We were able to identify a huge opportunity in this adversity. When stores were shutting down due to very few footfalls, the only option left for them was to sell online. In order to sell online, one needs to create engaging content, and that’s exactly what we do.

On the company's USP

We are the world’s fastest-growing content-tech and media-tech startup. Our greatest USP is that our product is DIY, plug-n-play, and is a must-have tool for all content creators. On top of that, we have a tailored, curated content offering called Content360 which is like WPP on steroids! We add the human element on top of a tech product to help our clients create a broad spectrum of content across sectors.

On the business model

We are both B2B and B2C with a monthly and annual subscription model.

On the strategy of selling products to the consumer's brain

Humans are emotional. Our emotional brain decides and logic never prevails, exactly the reason why we love iPhones over anything else. Similarly, our content needs to exude the right set of emotions that we humans can connect with easily. Our product has both generation and analysis to help writers gauge the effectiveness of their content.

On how deep tech can help brands create emotionally engaging content

Instoried is a deep-tech platform that analyses and optimizes the emotional quotient, tonality, and relevance of written content across multiple formats of blogs, articles, and social media posts. Instoried uses a data-driven approach using their proprietary AI-driven technology to make real-time analysis and suggestions to enhance written content to increase engagement and interest for the reader. Our platform helps content writers, in the SME category, e-commerce, FMCG, MNCs, and others to optimize emotions in their marketing content. 

As one creates content, the tool dynamically analyses it using AI and displays the tone and emotion of the text used. When you click on a particular tone or emotion, the tool highlights all the words in your content exuding that particular tone or emotion. Upon hovering the cursor over a particular word, it gives you multiple recommendations that are both semantically and contextually relevant, thereby enhancing the empathy of your content.

We use natural language processing (NLP) to analyse the semantics of content and identify the tone, emotion and impact of the written content. With the help of Instoried, our clients have increased engagement of their blogs and marketing communication by optimising their content’s emotion, tonality and use of impactful text. We help content creators be consistently engaging with the audience.

On recent work done by the company that stands out

We are on our way to profitability in the next six months. I think that’s the most outstanding work we are doing.

On how Content360 will help content writers create better content

Content360 is a full-fledged services/ consulting arm offering end-to-end content services to companies. It will help create content at scale using empathy and focusing on the desired long-term outcome and not just the short-term output. Content360 addresses the limitation of traditional content agencies, digital-first brands, and freelancers who churn out multiple content forms per month, focusing on just the output. Users include startups, SMEs, MNCs, e-commerce sites, D2C websites, content creators, mid-size digital marketing agencies, content agencies, freelance marketers, bloggers, and more.

The process starts with understanding the business goals and objectives of the company, current content strategy, current output, and outcome, and then improving on the goals. As a use-case, the business goal of an e-commerce firm is to generate more revenue from their website channel, after understanding various parameters like - current click through/ conversion rates, best-converting landing pages, tone, emotion, and impact of content. Instoried will advise on the best way to create website content with the best emotion, tone, and words that would result in higher conversions.

On the importance of empathy in content creation

My experience gave me the insight that corporations of all sizes were poor at communicating effectively! They have a tough time building human connections and communicating with empathy to their target audience. They make marketing decisions based on how they feel they should communicate instead of using data to their advantage. Here is where I thought Instoried would be a good product-market fit in the writing arena. Instoried helps large companies make their marketing and communications content more human with a data-driven, scalable, and repeatable approach using AI. 

Our tool is an all-inclusive one where we now have a spell check, Grammar check, headline generation, plagiarism checker, panel testing, and tonal & emotional analysis checker. You can check it out at app.instoried.com. We aim to make the concept of ‘adding empathy into content’ a part of daily communication by focusing on mobile devices, both android, and iOS. Since content is a global and day-to-day phenomenon, it’s only commonplace to ensure that we communicate with empathy on every social media platform. The importance of adding empathy cannot be underestimated or overlooked.

On the investments being made by Instoried and fundraising

We have closed a few rounds in the last three years, right now the focus is to get to profitability by March next year and then raise a larger round of funding.

On what brands need to keep in mind when marketing to consumers at a time of layoffs and a possible hard-landing recession next year

Profitability is key. Do whatever it takes to be profitable as companies that are profitable are here to stay.

On using text versus video in brand storytelling

Every video has a text caption to go along with it. Text tags along with every content format. Text is like water which is a must-have with everything one consumes.

On the potential of Linkedin in B2B marketing

I love Linkedin sales navigator for its targeted approach to reaching out to plausible prospects.

On what you expect to see from Twitter under a new owner when it comes to advertising on that platform

I love the idea of charging eight dollars per month for a blue tick. The man is a sheer genius. However, it’s too early to comment on how advertising will be affected under his leadership. I hope to see a startup slab for advertising so that it gets affordable as opposed to standard pricing across all brands.