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How brands can leverage content to build community


Dipashree Das, Senior Marketer with a Global OTT Platform, and his team have leveraged a creative and carefully executed storytelling strategy to market their OTT content.

In conversation with Natasha Puri, Head of Content Marketing at Pepper, Dipashree traces the evolution of content marketing as it has become in recent years, noting that a the consumer-centric approach is at the heart of content marketing.

The first steps: marrying marketing and content

According to Dipashree, when she fell into content marketing “by accident, quite by accident,” she knew that marketing, branding and entertainment, or better yet, all of the above would be his playground.

During her time at NDTV, the worlds of marketing and content collided for her. In 2009, she realized the shift in the world’s attention to “YouTube snackable content” which has now evolved into “15 minutes, then 16 to 20 seconds, if you’re lucky.” A brand that serves the interests of consumers would be able to grab their attention.

Storytelling at the heart of content marketing

Dipashree talked about the importance of storytelling by weaving a branding strategy, by stating “how storytelling and having a well thought out, scientific and really nuanced strategy at the heart of your marketing could make a huge difference in the way you launch and grow a brand” . She firmly believes that “stories are the best way to sell stories. ”

She added, “All marketers are storytellers, at least the good ones are.”

As she raves about storytelling as an optimal branding strategy, she also talks about the importance of designing an “evolved, nuanced, science-based” technique for best results.

The role of the community in brand building: tapping into people’s interests

Dipashree cited Harley Davidson, one of the brand creators in the OG community, and said that the “power to identify people with common interests and to make their brand one of the enablers that bring them together” does not should never be underestimated. She said a lot of brands are wrong, assuming people come for the brand. But they come together for the common good and the feeling of community.

Community development: rooted in history and data

Backing her beliefs to history and statistics, as the detailed marketer that she is, she explains how brands should use community building to harness the power of the 70 million consumers joining the internet, since the last year (as reported in the Google 2020 report). She goes back to primitive times, citing examples of how people have always lived in communities to feel a sense of belonging and emphasizes the need to adopt a similar mindset.

She says: “Ultimately, in a hyper digitalized and increasingly polarizing world, because of physical distance and for several other reasons that we will not discuss, we are looking for a sense of belonging. People have always come together to share stories and form communities. It is only that in the modern era, our spaces have become digital. A need for community building has always been there. It’s up to brands to recognize this need and leverage content to build that community.

Content marketing during the pandemic

Content marketing is constantly evolving as people and their interests constantly change. She notes that marketers also have to constantly evolve to stay on top of their game. We moved to a completely different system during the pandemic.

Dipashree notes that when 70% of internet users say their habits have changed forever, “it’s up to marketers of all shapes and sizes to try to figure out within their category what the change has happened.” Most marketers have had to resort to ingenious tactics like Google Duo using their employees to promote their content amid the pandemic in order to capitalize on the results. When people were forced to “think in the box” during the pandemic, it spawned beautiful and creative campaigns.

Relevance and consistency: the pillars of content marketing

Dipashree highlights the mistakes that a new brand often makes. They are often unsure of their customers’ desires, see the future of their content plan, and want fast results. She advised brands to invigorate their creative enthusiasm with science and patience.

Content marketing is not an adventure, it’s a marriage. And we all know what weddings are like. So, before you jump in, think about it. ”

Culture Junkie and Consumer-Centric: the future of content marketing

Cookie-cutter approaches to marketing would not hold up in the future. Dipashree says brands need to deepen the culture of their consumers and personalize content that is fully tailored to their consumers’ needs to gain their attention.

According to Dipashree Das, “valuable, relevant and consistent” content planning is the future of content marketing. She concludes by saying that brands need to be “really consumer-centric, instead of just pretending to be.”

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