content marketing tips 2016

In our last webinar, we discussed all things content marketing with Scripbox. It was a Q&A session with Anjali Gupta, the Chief Marketing Officer of Scripbox, the 2nd most influential Financial Services brand on LinkedIn!

In case, you missed the recording, here it is:

View the webinar recording

Here’s the Q&A from the session:Most Inventive Marketing, Media, and Digital Campaign

1. What in your opinion is the best use for each platform (Facebook, Twitter)?
Ans. It depends on where your audience is. Ultimately for a business, where lead generation is important, that should be the objective, especially if you are paying (ads). And, don’t think you have to pay on each of the platforms, just because the option is available. Just be there on all of them (have pages) and share informative content – the aim here would be visibility, and engagement (if you are sharing interesting content). However, pay only on channels, where your audience is.

2. How to identify the correct content distribution channel?
Ans. There are standard channels today for content marketing. But it would really depend on your product or service.

  • If your product is slightly behavioral in nature where a certain niche audience likes you, then I think social is a better way to go. In social networks, you can do a lot of behavioral targeting.
  • If you want to distribute it widely to people who generally spend time on news and other display channels, then probably you could go with the content distribution networks like Outbrain, Taboola or Times.
  • If money is probably not a concern in distribution, then you should do both.

The way we do it at Scripbox is, we start from the customer’s needs. So we write the content and tailor the headline or the image for the network or the channel where we are going to distribute it. Then we start with a test budget for those channels and see the kind of ROI we are getting, how many people are reading, what is the bounce rate, how much time they are spending, etc. So I would say content marketing is extremely data-centric and all your decisions should be data driven. You need to be out there, collecting the data and learning from it.

3. How to increase engagement on social media organically for a B2B SaaS company?
Ans. To drive engagement for a B2B SaaS company, you could conduct polls or ask for feedback on something or share some data from a particular article. That’s how you invite comments.

But it’s important to remember that although the person may be engaged with your product, they may not show that kind of engagement on social media because when you share/like/comment on a post, all your friends can see the activity.

In the case of Scripbox, we don’t always get a lot of ‘shares’ or ‘likes’ there but people click through to our website, read other articles by us and sometimes, leave a comment on our website. For instance, some of our posts talk about salaries and managing finances, etc and not everyone would be comfortable expressing their interest in something like that, publicly. The case may be the same for a lot of other products or services. So there are some domains where social media engagement really works and there are cases where it doesn’t, due to other factors.

4. How do you write different content based on the lead stage funnel?
Ans. It depends on your business.

  • In our case (Scripbox), when someone is a beginner at money and financing or managing their money, we keep our content very simple.
  • When we target people under the age of 30 and have a salary in that bracket, ou content focuses on their concerns at that stage of life. For example, getting married, moving up in their career, negotiating a better salary with their boss and so on.
  • When we target people further down in our funnel or people who have already opened an account with us but haven’t started investing (and are probably concerned about the stock market crash or something like that), we write very specific content like ‘how would your SIP do if you had invested in Scripbox maybe 6-7 years ago’ or ‘why should they invest with us and make money’.

So you have to tailor it to the stage of the funnel the person is, to his understanding of your product and the benefits of your product, like how much he understands and where he is in the funnel.

5. How do you differentiate what content is supposed to be for whom?
Ans. It’s a matter of an intelligent estimation.

  • In the case of B2B, a blog post around ‘digital marketing’ might interest Marketing Professionals. ‘
  • ‘Sales advice’ would interest both Sales Professionals and Sales Managers.
  • However content around ROI, revenue etc. is something that would interest CEOs and proactive Marketing and Sales Managers etc.

Further, the content for people in different stages would be different as well. Here are a few resources you could look at:

lead nurturing process

However, this depends on context too. For instance, when we at LeadSquared have to share “LeadSquared overview documents,” or “Case Studies,” it should logically come further down the sales cycle when people are making their buying decision. However, that’s not how it works generally. As in, as soon as they come in the sales funnel, businesses start asking us for these kinds of documents.

6. How do you know if you are sending out too many emails, or worse, spamming leads or clients? marketing strategy

So, typically when your leads start unsubscribing from your mailing list or when they stop opening your emails (low open rates), you will know that you are spamming them. Before it gets to that, your first hint will be the low open rates – your leads stop reading your emails.

7. How can one reach out to an influencer?
Ans. It totally depends on your objective. If you want them to publish your article, then you have to give them something in return (something that is of value to him). Do your research and then send him an email.

If he is on LinkedIn, then an ‘inmail’ might work. For a more indirect approach, try frequenting his community – share your thoughts on his content and once you have built a relationship with him, then reach out.

If you have a product or service, you could also ask the influencer to review/evaluate your product or service. If you get a positive feedback, ask them if you could share that in a post or use it as a testimonial.

8. What tips will you give beginners, in the content marketing industry?
Ans. Learn by doing. Keep it simple, something that is understood by all. People don’t have the time to read complex sentences. Cognitive resources are limited. You don’t want people to overthink while reading your article or not understand certain words.

Think about the last 10 conversations you had with your customer. Pick out one conversation that you really liked or which was important and just write an article about it. Think content marketing is just about having conversations and documenting those conversations.

9. How can we optimize our marketing budget among various channels?
Ans. Are you looking to build awareness? Are you looking for conversion? Are you looking for a combination? The way to distribute your budget is to first understand what your high-level goals.

Social networks and content distribution networks like Outbrain and Taboola can help you build awareness. Running ads on social networks will help in generating leads for your business.

At Scripbox, we keep changing it as our business grows. In some quarters, we focus on awareness and in some quarters we focus on conversion.

You have to be data-driven in this. You have to have your channel metrics coming in from every channel every day and analyze them thoroughly. Sometimes, in smaller companies (like startups), you might have to take hourly decisions on where your money gets spent. That’s the advantage of digital. You have the data and if something goes wrong, you can fix it right away.

10. How to make content or writing more engaging for customers?
Ans. Give them value adding content in the format they are interested in – we have seen that not a lot of people want to read, so as much as we would love to write more and more blog posts, when we actually want people to take notice, and read them (like, in case of case studies etc.), we create easy to consume PDF docs, with less content and more visuals. This doesn’t mean you stop writing, because high-value content helps discoverability, and some people do read. But, try to create more videos, infographics, quizzes etc., because that’s what interests people. E-books are also something that people are willing to read. This once again would depend on who your target audience is.

11. What are the major key points to keep in mind while content production?
Ans. Context, value, and right content for right people. Don’t do something just for the heck of it. Rehash existing content as much as you can.

12. How do you get people to open your e-mails when you are trying to market your product?
Ans. Use good subject lines. Concentrate on what is there for them in the product. Test a lot of variations of subject lines, ‘Introducing’ or ‘Announcing’ sort of subject lines. Test feature vs benefit-centric subject lines, and test short vs long subject lines. Here are a few resources you could refer to:

Targeted email marketing

13. What kind of content marketing should a software and web development company do, to attract more clients? What is the ideal image to content ratio?
Ans. Blog posts, infographics, videos, e-books, white papers, research reports, content partnership with news sites, and relevant Trade Magazines is the way to go. There’s nothing like an ideal image to content ratio. It should just be easy to read. Concentrate on content distribution as well, in addition to content creation. Republish content on Medium, LinkedIn Pulse etc.

14. How do we do trend analysis for content marketing and drive in clients from social networks?
Ans. You’ll be able to do a trend analysis after you have started some activities, and have started to get some traction. All the platforms have basic analytics tools (Google Analytics for the blog). Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn have their own reports that’ll tell you what kind of traction are you getting, and at what time of the day or day of the week, demographics of the people who are interested in your content etc. Make use of that, and eventually, tie everything back to ROI, like which platform is giving you leads and revenue. Invest more on that. Sometimes, plain visibility is also an aim, which is not easily quantifiable. (Link it to the Content Marketing ROI article)

If you want to know more about how to measure your content marketing ROI, read this post.

Content Marketing ROI Cover

15. How effective are marketing automation tools?
Ans. People do use tools to make their life easy. After all, you are distributing content on multiple networks, you need to answer questions and comments. You need to make sure the post goes out with a certain frequency. You need tools to manage your newsletters. You really need a bunch of tools to do good content marketing at scale. Whatever automation works for you, you should take that. But there is no one out-of-the-box solution that works for every business because every business wants to tweak it or customize it in some way. That’s where you need your own in-house team to help you with that.

For more inputs, take a look at this post on marketing automation.

16. We tend to often put in our own interests while writing content. How do we focus and generalize it to give an all new perspective?
Ans. Yes, it is something that one has to watch out for. You don’t completely tailor it to your own understanding. The only way to do it is to talk to your customers and to think like your customer. If you are not your target customer and you cannot identify with your target customer, then you need to spend a lot of time talking to your target customers and hire people whose profiles are matching your target customers. If you are talking to people under the age of 35, make sure that people who write your content are also under the age of 35 or around the same age, because they will exactly understand what are the problems, what are their situations.

Also, you don’t have to write all the content yourself. You can hire freelance content writers. You can give them a lot of inputs, research material and blogs which other people have written. You have to give them an outline before getting them to write the content.

17. Do you think we need to pitch in with new content at every stage of product development or wait till it creates awareness and we start receiving responses? What should be spoken more about, what we have done or what we are planning to do?
Ans. You can keep making announcements of every new development that you make. That would create some buzz, and get you visibility before the launch itself. If something is PR-worthy, try to reach out to news publications.

Basically, it might help, but is not a necessity to do it at every stage. If you have the time and resources, then definitely go for it. Try creating personalized emails at least – reach out to people you already know/connected with on LinkedIn etc. It would help spread the word.

You should talk about the value that you are bringing to prospective clients. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about your product all the time. Speak about things that are related to what you offer, and are valuable to your audience.

18. What makes Scripbox content marketing stand out compared to other companies?
Ans. I think what makes it stand out is that we are very focused on the customer. All of the content marketing that we do is by thinking backwards – what the customer needs are. And in our space, the customer just wants to understand how he should manage his money. He doesn’t want to get confused with financial terms, growth rates and interest rates and all of that. Let me give you an example.

When we started this, we used to write articles like, ‘what will you discuss with your spouse when you are buying a new home’ or ‘what are the things you will think about when you get married, when it comes to money?’

We are still focused on being very simple. We don’t use any jargon in our content. We try to keep it very relevant to the customer and that’s the context where we come from. We just take very simple, everyday conversations that people might be having, where money happens to be an enabler, and we sort of build our content around that.

We apply all the fundamentals of marketing. We don’t try to sound very impressive. We try to keep it very relevant to the average guy and do simple ROI metrics on content. Just have a conversation with them and build an emotional connect so they start remembering you in some way.

19. What are top 3 guidelines for creating high CTR Facebook ads?
Ans. Keep the following in mind:

  • Targeting
  • Image (colors that stand out)
  • Ad copy (always include a CTA)

Here’s an example of a high CTR Facebook ad that worked really well for LeadSquared:

20. How effective would you say are customer testimonials as part of marketing?
Ans. They are relevant to a certain extent. It depends on how genuine they are. It depends on what format you have taken them in.

Try to make them authentic. Make sure you have the permission of your customer and ask them if they will be okay sharing LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle, in addition to their name. In Web 1.0, people used to just handwrite the testimonials. A lot of companies used to mix buzzwords into the testimonial. Now people figure all of that out so keep it authentic.

Video testimonials are very authentic – try to bring them in. Also,if people share their reviews on Facebook or Twitter or even on review sites, convert that into a testimonial or show a live feed.

21. How do you know when your content isn’t working? 
Ans. Don’t spend money distributing it straightaway. Do an in-house check first. Let’s say you have nothing to do with the business and this content suddenly popped up on your phone, would you like to read it? Just because you have put a lot of information into that piece, doesn’t mean a lot of people would like to read it if it’s not interesting.

One of the things we do internally is we get multiple people to read it. We get people outside of marketing to read it, who have no clue about the other stuff we are writing. Get people who are unbiased and get their comments. Share it with friends ask them for their opinion. Do a lot of this before you spend money.

You can also take a very small audience, a small budget, and test it on a social network. Look at analytics and see if people spent a lot of time reading it. Try 2-3 different headlines maybe.

22. How do you find the right content strategist for your project?
Ans. You are the right content strategist – as you understand the audience. If you want outside help, bring in people who have experience in your industry. You don’t need the best writers, you need the best marketers, planners, and executioners.

23. How do we measure ROI for content marketing? What metrics will you use to measure it?
Ans. ROI again is business specific. Whether B2B or B2C, the eventual ROI is converting a lead to a customer. Maybe content marketing is the first step of the funnel.

In your case, maybe the ROI is that he spends a lot of time on your website or starts trusting your brand. Another ROI could be he gives you his email address so in the future you could send him more updates. Different things can be an ROI. The ROI depends on how you are using content marketing, how much time is spent writing that piece of content, for production for distribution, etc., and so on.

In terms of how to measure it, it has to always be tied to the revenue. However, metrics like impressions, visits, leads etc. also need to be measured, so that you know when a sudden surge or drop appears, and can identify the reasons, and take appropriate action. You can continue reading this post to know how to measure you content marketing ROI.

But eventually, whatever doesn’t make you money, is not really investing into from a business standpoint. However, if you are in a knowledge sharing domain, where knowledge leadership is important, then your metrics might differ, and the ROI might be more long term. Anyway, the ROI on Inbound Marketing is long-term.

24. Does using influencer marketing with content marketing help drive better results? Can you share some experience if you have tried it earlier?
Ans. Influencer marketing is where you identify a set of customers or potential customers who are also influencers within their domain and get them to share your content or get them to write about you or get them to do a product review for you. It definitely works but I feel it is very heavily dependent on the credibility of the influencer itself. For example, I wouldn’t place my bets on somebody who people haven’t really heard about and who doesn’t have such an impact when it comes to writing.

The influencer could be doing things like he could be talking to people about your content. That itself is great. That’s referral marketing. If word-of-mouth happens around a piece of content that you have written, it’s great. But trying to get somebody else to tweet it or write about it, that’s a gray area and gets hard to do on a repeatable basis.

However, if you can share it as part of an example or a case story which is authentic, and the influencer gives you permission to do that, then it would work really well.

In B2B, you have some industry experts who people look up to. In B2C, it’s really hard. Brand Ambassadors and all of those – they are expensive.

At LeadSquared, in the past, we have asked influencers and experts to review our product and share their review about it, and it has been a success to a certain extent.

25. How to market content when it is prepared by the customer themselves? 
Ans. This is the best kind of content because it’s straight from the customer. You can create case studies, testimonials, and distribute it. You can create paid campaigns also with the case study/success stories in the ad copy/landing page. It has worked well for us. Video testimonials etc. can go on your website, YouTube etc. There are a lot of options.

26. We are a notes marketplace called ‘Notesgen.’ The platform helps students share their content (Notes, Assignments, Projects, PPT’s, etc.) on a marketplace model. The content received at Notesgen is delievered to the relevant audience through technology. How can I drive more purchases?
Ans. As this is a platform targeted at students – try to give a lot of freebies – notes, mock-papers etc. Students love to download them. But, hold something back, that’ll be available when they purchase. Content marketing + lead nurturing is very effective when students are a target audience. Create a lot of content that’ll help your discoverability as well. Have forum discussions if it makes sense.

27. What tools do you use for content sharing / management?
Ans. For content management, we use WordPress. For sharing, we use Hootsuite, Buffer etc. But don’t try to automate everything. You can use tools like Trello, or simple Google Sheets, or CoSchedule to have a content management project.

28. What are the new trends to watch out for, that will impact content creation?
Ans. There is so much content coming in from social networks, content shared by friends via email or social networks. There’s just so much happening out there that your ability to grab someone’s attention and make sure they read your piece of content, is difficult.

The other thing is that you see the same topics and same headlines being churned again and again by different brands. It gets repetitive. So what happens is, the moment someone sees that headline, he builds a story in his head saying, “this is what the article is about and since I have read it, I am not interested.

Original, fresh content is still something people should try to create. At least you’ll stand out in the whole sea of content. Videos are another thing to watch out for. People will also stop searching for things on Google and rely on their newsfeed.

29. As a part of a startup, how much content should I be creating?
Ans. A lot of people feel that more content is better and that you should be posting something new every day on every network or you should be having 10 posts a day.

But it really depends on your industry and brand. What are the brand values (and I’m talking in the B2C context again)? If your brand value is about giving very relevant, very well-researched information, you can’t be posting something every day because then it’s not really that well researched and that well written. It’s probably just short updates.

But if your brand is about sharing news and being the first one out there, then you need to be doing something every hour on your network.

Finally, you content communicates your brand values. If I post 10 articles in a week, and out of them only one is really worth reading, then your audience will soon start to unfollow your posts.

So I would say, don’t think about the frequency too much. Think more about the topics and the quality of that content. Quality over quantity.

30. Which platform has given you most ROI?
Ans. In the journey of Scripbox, the platforms have changed. At different times, at different stages of our growth, the platform has been different. Initially, we got a lot of ROI from Google Display. Now we get a lot of ROI through social networks. There’s no one answer there.

The best thing to do would be to start with a small test budget and use it across different platforms. Use it to build a small sizeable audience on each platform and then see whether they are moving down the funnel and see if they are converting. If they are, how much time are they taking? After testing, you’d be able to figure out which platform is giving you the right ROI.

LinkedIn has been very successful for us because people on LinkedIn are all working professionals. They all are interested in growing their careers. Salary is very important to them and investing their savings. That’s why Scripbox is a natural fit for LinkedIn.

31. Do you write content keeping SEO in mind, including high volume keywords? 
Ans. Always have value on the forefront. Instead of high volume keywords, long tailed keywords with lower volume, but more value and more specific solutions would help. Write very frequently. If there are 100 more blogs targeting the same high-volume keywords, then unless what you are writing is really differentiated or entertaining or engaging or value-adding, it won’t get traction anyway.

32. What type of content have the best results in terms of lead generation for B2B and B2C industry?
Ans. In the case of B2C, short posts and infographics work well. In B2B, something more detailed, maybe a case study or some use cases or a PPT would work well. It depends on the audience as well as the type of business.

Q&A format works really well for us (Scripbox). As we are in finance, content that has actual hard numbers like ‘how much money will you save and ‘how many years it will take’, or similar savings-related posts, have worked well for us.

33. What are the best tools for content marketing for a startup?
Ans. These two posts I came across should help you get started:

34. What is the significance of domain related buzz words while preparing the content?
Ans. I would say none. We don’t use any buzzwords. We actually focus completely on the customer and what the customer may be interested in. Think about what words would appeal to the customer. In content marketing, 90% of the thinking is in the headline.

If you are writing an article about retirement, like retirement funding, retirement saving, make it interesting. Say something like, ‘how do you quit your job in 10 years and make sure you have a decent income every month,’ to make it interesting.  That headline becomes way more catchy than putting the word ‘retirement’ in the headline.

So you can put in something related to the buzzword but don’t put in the buzzword exactly. Usually, questions or simple lists of things to remember, those kinds of headlines work well. Or something that is of immediate concern and if you address the concern in the headline itself, that also works really well.

35. Do you recommend any sites for good content?
Ans. I may not be the best person to answer this question because one of the things I do consciously at Scripbox is to try to avoid reading best practices. I realized that there’s a lot of gyan out there but what happens sometimes is you tend to defocus on the customer and start applying what somebody else is applying in his/her business. It’s better that you understand your business, you understand your customer, and think afresh.

We go with our intuition and we see how our content is doing on a particular channel. We do a lot of A/B testing with our headlines. Go with experimentation. Go with graphics, go with a short snippet of content. Answer one or two simple questions that customers have asked you – convert that into a small post. Start small and learn from your own customer and your own data.

36. While writing content for financial services, what are the behavioral points we have to keep in mind?
Ans. People don’t like to talk about how much money they make. People don’t like to talk about where they save their money. People generally forget to invest their money. It just lies idle in the bank accounts. These kinds of behavioral traits we know and understand and our content tries to bring these up in different ways.

37. What tools do you use for A/B testing in content marketing?
Ans. We don’t use a particular tool for A/B Testing. However, we do A/B test headlines and subject lines of emails and newsletters.

38. What were the best digital campaigns last year? 
Ans. Check out these 2 posts that talk about the most amazing digital marketing campaigns from last year:

39. What is the best way to collect customer reviews on multiple platforms?
Ans. Give them certain incentives, run contents, make it entertaining. It will also depend on the domain.

For travel / hospitality, it’s really easy. Ask them to post pics on Instagram / social media and give them something complementary. This post will help you get started.

In the case of education, give students simple incentives, like a discount on some course etc.

40. Do you think there should be different drafts of the same content? If yes, then how to create those different drafts?
Ans. Yes, if you can do it, it would be great. If you have enough writers, then you have so many fresh ideas and you have time to carry it out. Create different drafts by giving it to different writers.

The writer will always have a bias towards one article or one way of writing. And that’s a natural thing. So you’ll have to give it to different writers to get different drafts.

41. How to generate leads from content marketing in the training industry?
Ans. Give some of your material for free. Let’s say, you are in the training industry and your course has 5-6 modules. Give the first module free. Write some content around some of the questions that you are answering as part of these modules or release some parts of it to generate interest. If they want the whole content, they can sign up for the training.

You could also give more material and say, well if you come here, we will give you some tools, some other goodies which you won’t get if you just read our content. That’s what people who market their books, do. They give a chapter away. They give a video away. Give something so the person understands that you are worth it.

42. Can you elaborate on content for social media?
Ans. I wouldn’t say there is anything different about social media other than the fact that you have to do good targeting. For example, if you are writing for a younger audience or older audience, social media actually lets you slice and dice the audience.

The younger audience in India more socially active. They are more on social networks. The content itself I wouldn’t change other than the fact that you could probably go with 3-4 different headlines. Try it on one network, try it in one city. If that works well then you do it across India.

If you are referring to the length of the content, shorter content works better on social media. So if you have written a long blog post, make sure you can write a very short version of it. Convert it maybe into an infographic and try that or a small bullet list with a picture.

On social media, people are easily distracted. You may have the photograph of a family member next to a piece of content – so you need to make sure that you can grab the guy’s attention in spite of all the distractions. So shorter, more catchy, more image heavy.

43. How to promote our content in social media for learning and development industry
Ans. Nowadays, even if your page has a lot of likes, Facebook doesn’t automatically post to all the people who have liked your page. Less than 10% of people will see it. Even if you want to show your content to people who have already liked your page or who are already your followers, you need to run sponsored updates, sponsored content marketing on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

So start with a small budget. You define a particular target audience, based on

  • Age group
  • Geography
  • Behaviour

and see where’s going and the kind of ROI you are getting.

44. Our company sells a content development tool. Which websites or places can we target content developers ?
Ans. You need to figure out where your audience is. Many of these social networks have good ways of targeting people. You need to figure out what else your audience is doing online and be in those places.

If you are planning to individually approach content developers, try

You could also promote it in Facebook groups like ‘Put Me In Touch’ (PMIT).

45. Please suggest some content generation organizations for promotional material, campaigns (print & digital)
Ans. You can check out the following:

46. What type of content marketing will work for B2B companies?
Ans. In the case of B2B, the sales cycle is really long. Personal relationships matter in B2B.

But in B2C, it’s very instantaneous. You have to work very hard to get somebody’s attention.

But the basics remain the same in both. You have to give something that your customer wants. You have to talk about something relevant.

In B2B, you can talk about the problems that the business has and how your product or service would solve those problems. You don’t necessarily need to focus on your product. You could talk about the costs associated with running the business and if your product could either help them ‘save’ or ‘make more’ money. Share customer case stories. Just remember that you are speaking to a person, not a business.

47. What video content works on LikedIn (for B2B company)?
Ans. Testimonials and product overviews in video format would work well. Slack has some cool product overview videos that you could refer to.

48. How to ensure that your mail doesn’t land up in the spam folder? 

This post will help you out. For more inputs, take a look at these posts on email marketing.

49. Any advice for people running a content marketing process with a small team and even smaller budget? 
Ans. Start small; try to analyze what can give you benefit in smaller time, with less effort. Not everyone needs an inbound marketing team to succeed. Sometimes, it’s just not practical. It would also depend on what industry they are in.

In the case of an education business, the marketing team can rehash content they sell to create discoverable blog posts, source content from customers if possible, like photographs/video testimonials etc.

In the case of a travel / hospitality business, drive engagement on social media platforms. This webinar on hospitality marketing can give you good inputs.

Hospitality Marketing

50. What are some good ways to get other people to link to your content? What are the various catchy subject lines which you feel are best to grab the attention of the target customer?
Ans. Write high-quality content. When you link to people, let them know. They might link to you too, or at least share what you write.

In the case of LeadSquared, we noticed that words like, ‘Master Class’ and ‘You’re Invited’ in the subject line, have really worked well for our webinars. Just keep it fresh. Don’t use the same words over and over again. Try to use the person’s name in the subject line. That makes it more personal. Tools like LeadSquared can help you do that.

51. Do you create all the content internally or outsource? What is your recommendation?
Ans. We (Scripbox) create it internally. We actually have a very tight control on our production. We take extreme care about what we write, how we write it, what headline goes with it, how do we generate a topic for it. It depends on how important content marketing is to your business. If you have other channels where your sales are coming from, then maybe you can get away with writing less or maybe you can hire a part-time writer.

You have to understand the customer before you write good content. And if you outsource it, then you have to explain that to the firm or the freelance writer. You need to explain, ‘what your customer will like’, ‘why would he think in a certain way’, and maybe ‘what ROI you are expecting from that content.’ The most important thing in content marketing is guidance. You need someone senior, who understands the customer, who can guide them on a day to day basis about what to focus on.

Sometimes, writing the outline of the article can take multiple weeks. Start with the topic / headline. Then build an outline / story around it. Make it interesting. Make it worth somebody’s time. I’d recommend in-house content creation.

52. What form of content works well, blog post, e-books or something else?
Ans. It depends on the business. I wouldn’t say that there’s one form that works for everyone but my general suggestion is that shorter content works better. A blog would work better than an ebook. Even within a blog, a 500-word blog would work better than a 1000-word blog.

If you are working on an article about how you would travel to a particular destination, you need to give all the possible things to do. In that case, obviously, your content is going to be long. But if it’s very relevant and very interesting, it will work. But if you are generally giving people ideas or writing ‘top 10’ sort of articles, keep those points short.

Images work better but only if they are very relevant, very emotive, and focus on a single theme. Images, where there’s a lot going on and are not very relevant, can backfire on your content.

You need to map out the whole journey in the sales funnel and see which form of content fits better at that stage of the funnel. Ebooks work better as freebies. A free ebook for a form signup would work.

53. Any content marketing ideas for Redlily, an online retail store?
Ans. I think you’ll definitely find some value in this post.

54. How did content networks like Taboola, Outbrain work for you?
Ans. It depends on the goal that we (Scripbox) are trying to reach in that particular month. Taboola and Outbrain do better with awareness than with conversion. It changes, though. These channels themselves are evolving. It depends on the content that we are putting out there also. Experimenting every day, analyzing results and taking date-driven decisions is the way to go.

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