fireside chat between Virginia Sharma, Director- Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn India and Jessie Paul, CEO,

If you are not toothpaste then you can actually be multiple things on any given day and not necessarily stand for bright teeth all the time. Intrigued? Well, this and much more such interesting topics on various facets of content marketing were discussed during the fireside chat between Virginia Sharma, Director- Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn India and Jessie Paul, CEO, Paul Writer at the Futurist Business Conclave. Virginia was the Jury Chair at this year’s LinkedIn Content 50 powered by Paul Writer.

Jessie Paul: What do you think are the key pillars of good content?

Virginia Sharma: A great piece of content is reusable and is measured by its strong lifetime value. It’s familiar and is identifiable with the brand. I would say that the best success measure is that if you remove your logo from the properties it is still identifiable with the brand. The e-Marketer graphs, for example, are always black and red. Even if you did not see e-Marketer listed as a source but it was black and red horizontal bar graphs, they are still identifiable and familiar.

Jessie Paul: Reusable content or fresh campaigns – which do you prefer?

Virginia Sharma: I think what works
best is adding freshness to existing content.

LinkedIn has a property called ‘ The Sophisticated Marketer’ which has been going on for six
years. It started by saying that LinkedIn is for Sophisticated Marketers. In the last few years we have come out with refreshed versions with new format like ‘Sophisticated Marketer’s -Dinner for Five which is video content of five marketers sharing insights on marketing. First year was an ebook, next year was a podcast, so
Dinner for Five is a fresh concept but it’s in the idea that it is familiar and in sync with who we are.

Though a bit controversial but I think real time marketing – trending content, following
hashtag, trending for a day- is one of the worst things that have happened to our industry.

I’d rather pick longevity, conversation that the audiences care about or the environment versus something that is just a flash in the pan and moves out.

Jessie Paul: I know you consider personas very important. Can you share some examples of persona-based campaigns that impressed you while evaluating the LinkedIn Content 50 applications?

Virginia Sharma: There was a very direct question on the Content 50 application- who are the personas of your campaign? I can bucket them into three groups, people who just don’t use personas, marketers who are clear on personas and create content accordingly and lastly those who create personas and then don’t use them. The third category is the most dangerous because you’re creating  personas that sit on the shelf. They have invested money and resources in creating these personas and figured out what content works best for them, and then not using this is almost irresponsible.

One of the Content 50 entries that really stood out for me said that- we are known to help banks reach millennials more effectively. They understand how millennials think, what
they are looking for and what they buy. They are a B2B company who sell software to banks but they are actually able to create content about the audience that the bank would care about.

So it’s using personas on behalf of your client to really understand their audiences.

I thought that was very smart and sophisticated. They were able to carve a niche for themselves that stands out beyond just a CRM software for banks.

Jessie Paul: What are the risks that a content marketer ought to take? And what should he never take?

Virginia Sharma: You don’t market everything that you sell and then you don’t sell everything that you market. What I mean by that is if you have 14 lines of businesses and 15 verticals that you support, you as a brand don’t need to let the market know all those things.

You do need to have top of the mind recall around a couple of things that will allow to the brand to be known for something. The risk you need to take is that you have to decide
what you stand for.

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