Content Marketing for Brands and Content Commerce.
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A White Paper on
How Are Marketers Spending ?
• Less than 20% of budget spent on Social
Media Marketing (SMM).
• In 2012 half of Silicon Valley spent between
1% to 10% of on SMM.
• 20% of Silicon Valley spent 15% to 20% of
budget in SMM.
•The budget covers advertising and
maintaining a social media presence
• 30% did not have any social presence!
Budget Allocation For SMM
1 to 10%
Where is the future?
Content budgets are increasing 20% annually.
70% of content curation is outsourced.
Organisations are becoming the next leaders by increasing
engagement, and achieving sales through content.
Social Media is the best channel to drive content on the web!
1. Content Marketing
1.1 Tell a compelling story
1.2 Content is Commerce
1.3 Reach out to audience
1.4 Build affordable, sustained, content strategy
1.5 Be the Host!
Content Marketing 5
Why Tell a compelling story?
―People are hungry for stories. It’s part of our very being.
Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from
one generation to another.‖
— Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 6
The accenture Story
So you decide to deploy social media for your brand, your
automatic choice would be the top end advertisers like
Ogilvy, Buddy Media, Digitas, Omnicon, Dachis.
•Accenture would be the last name you would consider putting on that list . The company
that practically defines the big box, big integration, big strategy, big consulting practice
venturing into SMM as a service would be surprise for many. But why? Here is the story!
•Large consultancies are known for their relationships with chief information and
technology officers, but Accenture's move indicates a focus on forging bonds with chief
marketing officers. It launched Accenture Interactive in 2009, which helps companies
develop digital marketing capabilities and optimize their marketing investments
•In October 2012, the company acquired digital-production-services firm AvVenta which led
•The acquisition list has only grown from there on: Acquity Group, Neo Metrics
Analytics, NewsPage. How did these acquisitions help?
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 7
• BMW hires Accenture to manage digital marketing. The Germans who have always
remained coy on their marketing strategies, keeping it simple and basic. They believe in
technology more than the marketing. But the Bavarian auto maker made a giant leap by
opting for social media and outsourcing its online marketing to Accenture!
•Accenture will manage the global implementation of BMW's centrally created digital
•The client list has only grown from there on. What was the secret behind this success?
Accenture proved its SMM capabilities by implementing it on the ‘accenture’ brand. What
started as a internal branding strategy grew into services that would attract big clients.
Today accenture has 2lac+ followers on twitter facebook and other social media. The
success of accenture is a fairy tale. An internal branding strategy being inducted as a
services is a clear indication of where everyone is heading towards! So if your still not on
Social Media you are killing your brand every second!
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 8
The Red Bull Story
Red Bull, gives you wings! The energy drink maker
that logged a revenue of $5.12 billion in
2011, doesn’t talk about their products across their
award-winning website at events. Instead, the
company’s strategy is centred on what they call
Red Bull hires bloggers to attend events, record the pulse of the community, and write
stories about life behind-the scenes, complete with late -night gatherings at the ski
lodge, underground music and fashion, and trips to tattoo parlours. Rather than
focusing on the beverage itself, Red Bull’s ―playground content‖ tells the story of the
people: from multimedia coverage of global BMX, skateboarding, and motocross
competitions, to in depth interviews with influential musicians like DJ Yoda, Erykah
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 9
The Red Bull Story
• Red Bull ranks among Facebook’s top 10 fan pages
•The statistics is fascinating because Red Bull is an energy drink company with essentially only
one product, while Coke and Starbucks are enormous companies with multiple drink products.
Of marketers place a high
value on content written for
people not search engines
– Digital Content Marketing Survey, 2012
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 11
The Mahindra Rise
Social media is a big leveller, bridging the gap between incomes, occupations, organizational
and social hierarchy, as well as geographical locations. When the inaugural WorldofCEOs.com
ranking of the ‘Top 30 CEOs on Social Media’ was out, it was announced that Anand
Mahindra, auto tycoon was ranked at No. 3 behind Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson at
No. 1, followed by Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. The only Indian CEO to make it to the list, this
is the second year in a row for Mahindra who has been an active ‘Netizen’. What is that Anand
Mahindra is doing right on social media. Here is the story!
Mere tweets, blog posts and ramblings are not enough to establish a strong online presence.
Effective CEOs must use the power of social media to make a difference beyond the board
room. Mahindra has not just engaged in conversations and expressed opinions, but he has
gone out and done something different.
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 12
The Mahindra Rise
In December 2012, the world, the web and social media was abuzz with angst over the Delhi
gang rape case. Mahindra too was participating in a Twitter conversation about the event
when a user suggested that a TechMahindra app called FightBack may be useful for the public
at large, widening its reach beyond Mahindra employees.
Within a couple of hours, Mahindra responded to the user by getting Group firm CanvasM to
make the application that tracks a user’s location and sends SOS messages to selected
contacts in case of an emergency, available as a free download on the company website. This
move made a smartphone application to seek emergency help available for public use.
If you think Mahindra’s tweets are all serious and business related then you are wrong. His
tweets are full of humor and guaranteed to make anyone smile when he talks about getting
moustache fertilizer or his take on the rapidly fluctuating Indian stock market.
He also gains insights from surveys and shares these results publicly.
Social aspects like the Indian army’s role in the rescue operations in Kedarnath and lauding
the entrepreneurial efforts by new business owners indicate variety and depth in his tweets.
Content Marketing – Tell a compelling story 13
The Mahindra Rise
Viral Parikh, founder and director of Delmer Products had a bad experience getting his
Mahindra Scorpio serviced. He took out the angst tweeting. The tweet reached Anand
Mahindra, an active twitter buff. What happened next was unexpected, Mahindra
personally addressed the issue by deploying a team to re-check the quality standards at
the Mumbai service centre! For Indian companies it is still early days when it comes to
social media. Many are not sure of how to handle it. Most of them are scared, and very
few are doing it. There are several reasons for this, internet penetration and low speed
internet services being the biggest drawback. The lack of social media awareness and
‘Social Media Illiteracy’ is also a major contributor to the scepticism for marketers.
Make time for social media. In this “connected” world, this is the space that empowers
you to reach customers, shareholders and stakeholders. Use it to your advantage. Be
yourself, reach out to global audiences and make a difference where you can.
Mahindra has promoted its company’s initiatives, acknowledged positive and negative
feedback. He is known to have directed his executives by his tweets, to look into
complaints very often.
All his followers are friends and get glimpses of the pictures his daughters have sent him.
His homegrown approach to social media has won him global recognition. So there is a
lot one can do if one sets out to tread the social media path.
Content is Commerce
A study by Peer Review reveals that 90% of online
buying was influenced by reviews of users already using
The survey revealed that more than 60% people
reached out to web forums before stepping into their
neighbourhood shops to make a purchase.
Content Marketing – Content is Commerce 15
Infosys the story of an Indian middle class fairy tale, which went on to become a global
leader and put India on NYSE was all guns blazing with social media. Infosys edge a
service now offered by the IT major turns your content to commerce for your social
The Infosys Social Edge Social Commerce application helps your enterprise augment e-
commerce capabilities by leveraging social interactions to create a personalized online
shopping experience for your consumers.
The Social Commerce application provides social tools that enable interactions with
consumers on multiple channels. This helps attract consumers and people in their social
circles to your e-commerce site.
Infosys Social Edge Employee Engagement: Social media has penetrated into our daily
life, it is no longer about making friends but a mode of entertainment, employee
engagement through social media provides a platform for your employees to interact on
a social forum and develop more content commerce on work culture.
Content Marketing – Content is Commerce 16
How did Infosys script the ‘Infosys edge’ story?
Enterprises today seek solutions that are available at the tap of a button. Streamlining all
your content across business, sales and marketing is the demand. It all began with cloud
computing. Deepen engagement with consumers and employees, while accelerating
growth and rationalizing business operations across functions. Consumers today are
discussing about you at some social forum, good or bad u cannot control it. But you can
use this content get a real time feedback and use this content to improvise your
This novel idea of using content of all types and converting it to tangible factors for
business operations made Infosys provide it as a service for its clients. Another internal
branding story that grew into a client service.
“A very small fraction of visitors –
typically between 3% and 10% -- are
actually interacting with the content
portions of a site, but those visitors visit
more frequently and convert at a higher
- Maureen Mullen, research and advisory lead at L2, a think tank for digital innovation
Reach out to your Audience
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take
you everywhere. Being present everywhere means
attracting attention, moving beyond traditional banner
advertising, to social and mobile platforms that reach
your audience the moment it is published!
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 19
In an age where we are spoiled for choices, its always a confusion when you are gifting
those special people in your life. Choosing the right gift is one of the biggest dilemma that
still bothers many of us. Ever wondered if there was an application that could do this for
you? That’s the story behind the shopycat!! An intelligent algorithm that studies the
social media posts of your friends and suggests what best you could gift to those special
people in your life.
Seventy-Five percent of social media time is spent on Facebook. With this in
mind, Walmart Labs launched Shopycat, a Facebook application that produced gift ideas
based on social data. While Shopycat could have limited the products available to those it
stocks in Walmart stores, Walmart took the uncommon approach of including other
retailers, ranging from Barnes & Noble to Hot Topic, in its database. In doing so, Shopycat
provides users with a truly comprehensive search engine for gifts without requiring them
to leave the Facebook interface. Paid advertising of the Shopycat service drove 275.4
million impressions. More impressive, however, is the way Shopycat’s utility earned an
additional 117.3 million impressions – a 43 percent boost – through social sharing.
Reaching out to your audience on facebook is the sole mantra behind this success story!
The Shopycat Story
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 20
Glassdoor a job and career site that helps job seekers to know about the work culture in
organizations scripted its success around its audience. A simple application where you could
register through your facebook login, glassdoor was not the one of those job boards that
suggested you jobs. It connected people, analysed your social data and suggested suitable
jobs according to your current positions and education.
But it did not end there glassdoor took things to the next level by allowing users to share
their experience in their organizations, interview experience, ratings of CEOs and workplaces.
Glassdoor managed the integrity of content, it verified if the reviews came from real
employees through technological checks of e-mail addresses and through screenings by a
content management team. About 15 to 20 per cent of the content that is submitted to
Glassdoor is actually rejected because it either doesn't meet the community guidelines or it
appears suspicious. The site has been mentioned by the Wall Street Journal as contributing to
a wider trend: "Sites where people post salaries and other feedback about employers, also
contribute to the sense that pay is no longer a private issue.“
The facebook application drove audience to come out of their comfort zone and share in
public about their work and salary secrets which was a taboo in the past, this helped
organization modify their policies and improved competitor analysis for several companies.
Looking Through The Glass
―What’s required is a social media Sherpa, who
can find you the audience you seek, who can
reach them on platforms where they are already
congregating, and who can help promote in
tasteful ways that fit the sensitivities of the
networks where your audiences are found‖.
– Chris Brogan author ‘Trust Agents’
Build Affordable, Sustained Content Strategy
Though, content marketing being the future, many companies are still
hesitant on maintaining a robust editorial team for it. A University of
Dartmouth survey of the 500 fastest-growing companies listed by Inc.
magazine found that only 37% of companies maintained blogs in
2011, down from 50% in 2010. While investing in a full editorial team is
not feasible for many; building an aﬀordable, sustainable content
marketing strategy can be an achievable goal – you just have to be smart
about how you go about it.
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 23
Betsy Morgan, former CEO of Huffington Post, pioneered the “rule of thirds”: an audience
and cost strategy that allowed the publication to grow to a multi-billion dollar business.
She advises publishers to use one-third original, professional content; one-third voice and
opinion; and one-third curated, aggregated content. Brands can learn from this model too.
Think of your content as a pyramid. Your thought leadership, the original content that
distinguishes you apart from the crowd, is at the top (and is the most costly). Curated or
third-party content is the foundation, but allows readers to easily "nd and read what’s of
interest to them and allows you to leave your stamp in the form of context. Finally, the middle
third provides you with a space for innovation: video manuals, Instagram albums, Storify
articles and Pinterest boards.
On February 7, 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for US$315 million, making Arianna
Huffington editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. In 2012, The Huffington Post
became the first commercially run, United States digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer
Prize. In July 2012, The Huffington Post was ranked #1 on the 15 Most Popular Political Sites
list by eBizMBA Rank.
The Huffington Post
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 24
Decades ago, launching a global marketing campaign across 200 markets would have required
tremendous effort. Leveraging technology, Pepsi was able to launch “Pepsi Pulse” the digital
home of their new campaign, “Live For Now.” In “Pepsi Pulse,” a multimedia entertainment
platform hosted at Pepsi.com, the company blended new technology with a decades-long
commitment. “When we look at what Pepsi really stands for,” Simon Lowden, CMO of
PepsiCo, told “we’ve been an entertainment platform for as far back as everyone
can remember.” “Pepsi Pulse” offers users a “cheat sheet” of the top 10 entertainment stories
of the day surrounded by live tweets from Pepsi fans. Consumers will be able to tweet, “like”
and pin items from the dashboard, as well as participate in unique “challenges” sponsored by
Just a few years ago, constructing the site would have been a nightmare of individual
licensing contracts and copyright laws. Working with a content provider that could license
news and provide proprietary curation technology, semantic analysis and an API curating and
customizing the site to a number of hyper local markets took just three weeks. Th
The Pepsi Pulse
Be The Host!
Content marketing is not just about promoting your product
or service; it’s about providing a platform for action. In a
crowded marketplace, the brands that stand out foster genuine
community and inspire action around a bigger cause.
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 26
GE’s brand purpose, “Imagination at Work,” brings the company’s 310,000 employees
together around a shared business strategy: creating new value for customers, investors and
society by helping to solve energy efficiency and water challenges. With GE’s online
blog, Ecomagination, they’re riding the cutting edge of content marketing, providing a “forum
fresh thinking and conversation about clean technology and sustainable infrastructure.” All of
GE’s content - from their daily posts on topics like LED lightbulbs and preventing deforestation
- hit on this core purpose. The key take away? To stand out, reach more people and
grow, build a content marketing strategy around a purpose bigger than yourself.
By setting up a platform for commoners to innovate and ideate, GE allowed its employees to
create content for its digital marketing. This also connected well with people as it was voices
of your fellow neighbors experiences at workplace. This also helped people outside GE to
interact and create more valuable content that spoke about the Imagination at work
Imagination at Work
of brands now engage in cause marketing.
Moreover, 97% of marketing executives
believe cause marketing is a valid business
- 2010 PR Week/Barkley PR Cause Survey
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 28
TED created a viral platform for global thought leadership by
tapping into people’s innate curosity and leveraging the power
of quality content. While TED events stand out for their ability
to bring the greatest minds together in service of greater
ideas, it’s TED’s embrace of technology to distribute video that
makes it stand apart. Today, over 900 TED Talks are available in
86 languages all translated for free by 3,100 Open Translation
Project volunteers. Where did they find these translators?
They are all available online to almost anyone with an Internet
Rather than diluting the TED brand, this syndication strategy
has helped the organization grow exponentially. The
organization has a social profile that crosses national borders,
and includes more Facebook followers than the United
Nations, the World Bank, NATO, and the World Economic
Ideas Worth Spreading
“By combining the principles of
‘radical openness’ and of
leveraging the power of ideas
to change the world,’ TED is in
the process of creating
brand new. I would go so far as
to argue that it’s creating a new
Harvard the first new top
prestige education brand in
more than 100 years.”
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 29
In 2009, Intel and Vice magazine partnered to launch The Creators Project: a global network
dedicated to the celebration of creativity, culture and technology.
Founded on the principle of blending online and offline content, the site brings together
artists within the digital world. From legendary DJ John Peel’s Record Collection to “A 24-Hour
Panorama Of Planet Earth,” the Creators Project supports visionary artists who are using
technology to push the boundaries of creative expression.
With documentary videos, a content-creation studio and a travelling event series in San
Francisco, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Beijing and New York, The Creator’s Project built
community around a shared interest in community, taking the idea of “content + marketing”
far beyond the blog.
Being the host for a global carnival the ‘Intel’ branding reached new heights with diverse
contents that stood out in the webscape.
The Creators Project
Content Marketing – Reach out to Audience 30
Content marketing will drive the branding strategy of the future world. Stories will be
shared, experiences will sell your product, and soon take over advertisements using a hot
footballer or a model!
Content could be created from any resource from the employee whose at the workstation
meeting his deadlines to the CEO in the board room. Experiences narrate a story, stories
connect people, they engage readers, they create fresh and relatable content. Where there is
fresh content, new experiences are shared and people flock to read them! It’s human instinct
to know what's happening in others life, when you can use this for developing your
brand, why not?
From the accenture’s internal branding story growing into a services offering, to Intel‘s
Creators Project. The way these organizations have leveraged content marketing using social
media in this study is a milestone in the corporate world. The reason behind common people
still connecting to these brand being loyal customers cannot be achieved overnight! It is a
sustained practice and continuous engagement process. Content marketing through social
media is the best way to connect in the present and future world. A world where we will be
connected and buying services on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!
Social Media Monetization
Follow Me! @kartzb /kartzb
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