Report on Shemaroo

Why storytelling is crucial in content marketing

Brands need to invest more in this on a long-term strategy.

NEW DELHI: Storytelling in content marketing is a vital tool to connect with the audience. Content marketing has always been used in a more personal manner. However, in today’s digital era, brands are eager to not only be creative in their advertising but also using content to sell, connect and engage.

Madison Media Digital creative director Anuradha Agarwal says, “Content marketing can be the most cost-effective way for a new entrant to make a mark in a highly competitive market or for more established brands to play a larger role in the consumer’s life. Storytelling is a tried and tested means to create stickiness in an era where audiences are constantly distracted.”

22feet Tribal Worldwide president Preetham Venkky also opines that content marketing has a significant role to play in establishing trust towards a brand. However, the main challenge marketers face is that they don’t have the relevant KPIs in place to justify spends on content marketing.

According to him, “Brand marketers have short-term KPIs and look at monthly or quarterly KPIs linked to TOMA / SOV or equivalent. For content marketing to play a key role, the KPIs to marketers need to go beyond short-term and focus on the long-term.”

Venkky also explains that marketing saturation has made consumers distrust content that comes directly from the brands because it seems too sales-y. “Brands have to learn to be more benevolent and not look at directly measuring the business impact of every piece of content produced,” he says.

In the post-digital world, Venkky says that there is a shift in trust from brands to aggregator platforms. “With plenty of aggregator players in each industry investing heavily in content marketing (their primary source to grow their offering), brands will find it difficult to compete with them,” he adds.

Kumar Deb Sinha, executive VP, Dentsu Aegis Network and country head, The Story Lab India explains that advertising is based on fabricating brand stories to amplify the features of the product and their usage to stand out. This model worked until the volume of advertising became overwhelming for a consumer.

He says, “Content marketing starts playing a larger leadership role when marketers evolve to this realisation and use marketing as a tool to tell relevant consumer stories rather than brand stories. Some of the best examples of content marketing happen today in B2B marketing, where brands share content (whitepaper, research, latest trends, etc.) proactively with their prospective and existing consumers and initiate a conversation with him/her. A B2B marketer understands the significance of content marketing as the primary tool of engagement with their consumers. For a B2C marketer, unfortunately, it is still lagging behind the traditional routes which help reach a mass audience at low cost with minimal engagement.”

If used right, it can play a leadership role in the broader marketing planning of a brand. “For any effective content marketing approach, brands should focus on seamless storytelling across platforms to keep an audience engaged over time. A content-first, platform-specific approach is the need of the hour,” shares YAAP partner Manan Kapur.

Agarwal shares, “Brands need to find their place in this new world and connect with audiences through content that adds value to their life. The more authentic, credible and humane brands become, the better chances they have of building a loyal audience base."

Sinha explains that trust is dependent on many things. Foremost amongst them is product experience. If the product doesn’t live up to the experience promised or expected by the consumer, no amount of content marketing or advertising will ever deliver trust.

“It should be measured against parameters like relevant conversations it has driven for the brand (which is linked to brand marketing objective), engagement score vis-à-vis competition, sentiment analysis leading to the word of mouth and brand advocacy by their consumers and followers. It is the journey of falling in love with a brand,” he says.

With other forms of engagement taking importance, such as influencer and social media marketing, brands may think content marketing is outdated. Sinha believes that influencer and social media marketing is the easiest entry point but content marketing isn’t limited to this.

“I feel marketers/agencies miss the larger picture. We leave our content marketing effort limited to influencers and digital films only. We don’t take the conversation forward with our consumers that we have initiated through these initiatives. Content marketing can’t be a start and stop engagement through few initiatives a year. It has to be sustained engagement generating conversations around the year. And once you have sustained engagement, you will drive strong and meaningful conversations with consumers,” he says. founder, CEO and editor in chief Anil Wanvari says that there’s a lot of promotion happening in terms of TVCs, digital content and messaging by brands asking consumers to buy their respective products; which works contrary to the communication's objective. Because of the barrage of communications, consumers develop a blind spot to it when it is being served to them.

“To get the consumer's attention, a piece of communication needs to stand out . One way is to tell an engaging story, with different messaging. It tends to get larger traction if targeted right. It’s important that the messaging goes to the right set of audience. A consumer enjoys engagement with which he is able to resonate. A brand can sell a product by talking about its benefits or by weaving it into a piece of content well told but it needs to have a connection with its consumer,” he says.

“We recently partnered with ZEE5 and created content around Sushant Singh Rajput on which we got millions of impressions on's sister  brand Zee5 wanted to communicate to its subscribers and potential subscribers that they could watch Suhshant's shows on the streaming service. We produced a piece of native content which talked about Sushant's greeat attributes, his life, his charm, and his shows. Fans loved it. It was shared, it created a lot of buzz, and conversations. It was a more effective way of communication; as it was very sticky too. Engagment, virality, go to a different level if a piece of communication has a story which is told well,” Wanvari adds.

If there is a long-term vision in place, content marketing can help humanise the brand, build authority trust and credibility, create awareness, generate organic sales and gradually, build loyalty.

Latest Reads
Amazon Prime Video appoints Vishal Shrivastav sr digital marketing manager

NEW DELHI: Vishal Shrivastav has joined Amazon Prime Video as senior digital marketing manager. In his new role, he will be responsible for brand and content marketing for the OTT platform’s originals and movies, while also spearheading the company’s digital growth. Shrivastav was previously with...

MAM Media and Advertising People
Prachi Mohapatra joins Dr Reddy's as marketing head - OTC, emerging markets

NEW DELHI: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has appointed Prachi Mohapatra as marketing head – OTC, emerging markets. She joins from Future Group’s FBB, where she was the CMO for over four years. With a keen interest in brand and business building, Mohapatra has had extensive experience working with large...

MAM Media and Advertising People
LinkedIn says #WeCanDoIt on Women's Day

Online professional network LinkedIn has launched its first global integrated campaign for International Women’s Day 2021 with creators, content and community at its heart. The campaign sees LinkedIn bring together influencers and its community to share content that helps and supports women,...

MAM Marketing MAM
Innovation and pioneering helped Marico grow: Harsh Mariwala

MUMBAI: Harsh Mariwala transformed his family's trading business in spices and edible oils into Rs 7,300-crore FMCG giant Marico, led by flagship brands such as Saffola and Parachute which sell in 25 countries. The company recently launched Saffola FITTIFY, a range of healthy soups and shakes....

MAM Media and Advertising People
Puma joins hands with NGO Parcham to fuel girls’ football dreams

MUMBAI: Global sportswear brand Puma has joined hands with Mumbai-based NGO Parcham to empower it in its efforts to break gender stereotypes. It aims to bolster the NGO’s  mission of inspiring women from marginalised communities of Mumbra, a small town in Thane district near Mumbai, to take up...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
IKEA sparks conversation about gender roles at home with new online game

MUMBAI: This women’s Day, Ikea wants to help make our homes more gender-equal. To this end the Swedish furniture giant has launched a fun game designed for couples to assess how well tasks are shared between them in a household. Recent research on the side-effects of Covid19 indicates that the load...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Kantar Public hires Gaurav Sabharwal as India CEO

NEW DELHI: Kantar’s public policy arm Kantar Public has welcomed aboard Gaurav Sabharwal as chief executive officer of India and South Asia, based in New Delhi. Sabharwal was formerly an executive director / associate partner at consulting firm Ernst & Young where he was involved in business,...

MAM Media and Advertising People
Carat India onboards Ashish Singh as VP - planning

NEW DELHI: Carat India, the flagship media agency from the house of Dentsu International, has appointed Ashish Singh as vice president - planning. In his new role, Singh will report into Carat India CEO Anita Kotwani, and will lead the agency’s digital mandate for north and east. Singh will focus...

MAM Media and Advertising People
On Women’s Day, Godrej tells us to #ChallengeBiasesWithin

MUMBAI: Mahatma Gandhi famously said – ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Exemplifying this powerful message on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2021, the Godrej Group has released a new digital video campaign #ChallengeBiasesWithin which urges every person irrespective of...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required