Tag Archives: Training

Content Marketing: The Power Of Story

Content Marketing, yet another buzzword added to the business lexicon. Let’s not go the jargon way. Let’s just talk.

Every human interaction is a conversation of a sort. Negotiations are conversations. Transactions are conversations. Information exchange is a conversation. Relationships are a series of evolving and shifting conversations. The power to communicate leads to two human beings creating something bigger than themselves together – something that could be fuel to build bigger things like profits, a building, a government and even a philosophy.

Seen in that light, what else is marketing but a conversation between the marketer and the consumer? Isn’t every marketing effort about telling the consumer a story that they can identify with, that gives them a guaranteed payoff, that keeps them engaged and (it is hoped) paying and loyal? Content marketing uses story as a vehicle to connect to, interest and engage consumers as audience.

Custom media published by commercial establishments that were otherwise not involved in content production, were the early harbingers of content marketing. In-flight magazines and trade journals are some examples that continue even today. Procter & Gamble created and backed a series of serial stories on radio, then television that captivated their target audience for Ivory Soap. The product these were created for, gave its name to the content format known now as soap operas. Thus for over a century now, brands have seen value in catering to, even pampering their customers by giving them information & entertainment to hook their attention.

John Deere’s publication ‘The Furrow’ has created such a loyal reader base among its audience of farmers through its articles on agri-business entrepreneurship that it continues being published even today, over a century from its conception. Who do you suppose a farmer is likelier to look to for advice on what tractor to buy? A brand that he interacts with only when he speaks to its salesmen or one that sits at his table every day and gives him ideas on how to be more profitable in his work? For brands willing to look beyond visibility to recognize the value of long-term trust, content marketing is an answer.

What are some of the advantages of telling a good story? It goes beyond interest and right into the realm of engagement. A great story, pulls its listener into a new universe, makes him/her feel emotions and form attachments to the things that the story is about. Consider the effort that brand managers invest in trying to build, understand and sustain brand personality and perceptions. It isn’t a precise science but there is a craft to it and it’s the craft of story-telling. See the brand as a person, a character in a story that should grip the customer. The Sex & the City series singlehandedly made the shoe a hero in a woman’s wardrobe, lifting it up from its accessory status. At a more superficial level, the story relentlessly plugged the Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik brands but look at the larger picture – the story created a new context of consumption for the entire category of women’s footwear.

Content marketing today takes the form of print, audio and video media. It also turns up in interactive media in the form of gamefication and online communities. It makes its presence felt in the form of events that aren’t brand launches or press conferences but well-crafted experiences that make its participants come together with the brand.

In sum, content marketing uses the fundamental premise of a good story to convey a commercial message in a way that it is received by an interested audience. Over and above advertising, which also does the same thing, content marketing helps establish a deeper connection with the consumer. And finally, in an increasingly interactive age, content marketing can turn a brand and its customers into collaborators as they join in conversations to build a common story.

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I gave a talk called ‘Content Marketing: Powering brands through stories’ at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A), Delhi earlier this year. Here’s a video shot during that talk.

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Payal and I will be conducting a workshop on Content Marketing this week, where we will talk about content as it pertains to brands and how to develop brand stories into conversations with customers. We will also work with the participants to build a content strategy for their respective brands. We are still taking registrations so if you’re interested, drop me an email at ideasmithy at gmail dot com or tweet to me –

The workshop details are as follows:

Content Marketing for Brands

Date: Friday, 6 September
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Mahim West (close to Tulsi Pipe Road), Mumbai
Tuition: Rs.2500 per registration

CM 3

Write Click presents ‘Pic it Up’ – Workshop on Visual Blogging

We always knew that a picture could speak a thousand words. Ancient man communicated his first stories down the years with cave paintings. Photography brought the possibility of beautiful pictures even to those who didn’t wield a paintbrush. And the digital boom put a camera in every user’s hand. The internet has made it possible to easily edit and showcase those images. Put a frame, change the hair, add a funny hat – voila, you’ve created art!

If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know that adding a visual component to your text will take your blog up a few notches. But you don’t have to be Michelangelo or a professional photographer to give your content that extra edge. We believe that pictures are the next big thing on the self-publishing frontier. Write Click presents ‘Pic it Up’ a two-day workshop on the creation and showcasing of visual content.

The Workshop

Pic it Up’ will explore emerging visual blogging tools like photographs, cartoons and drawing. We will look at how to optimize this medium with everyday easy-to-use tools (digital cameras, mobile phone apps etc). And we will also explore how to integrate these into your current blogging activities in a way that will enhance your content and make it more engaging.

Pic it Up: Workshop on Visual Blogging

Date: 12th-13th May 2012
Location: InOrbit Mall, Malad West, Mumbai 400 064.
Number of seats: 20
Fee: Single registration-Rs.3500 ; Group of 3-Rs.9000

Registration will be confirmed on full payment in cash, cheque or online transfer. Entry to the workshop will be on presentation of receipt.

REGISTER

To register, email us with ‘REGISTER FOR PIC IT UP’ in the subject line at:

Ramya Pandyan: ideasmithy@gmail.com
Payal Shah Karwa: thewordjockey@gmail.com

You can also call us at 9870964781.

If you are a member of Gyaanexchange, you can register directly here.

About Us

The Write Click team comprises Ramya Pandyan (Ideasmith), a Blogger/Content Consultant and Payal Shah Karwa (The Word Jockey), a Communications Consultant. Both of us have been keen users and observers of the social content space, since its inception. We each have a corporate background as well as writing experience across different media including social media. Starting with the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011, we have conducted blogging workshops for various interest groups. ‘Unboggle the Blog’, our workshop on social content has been so popular that it is now a monthly feature. Come join the Write Click community!

CONNECT

Find Write Click on Facebook.
We’re on Twitter as @ideasmithy and @thewordjockey.
Follow the hash tag on #picitup and #writeclick

‘Unboggle the Blog’ on 28April @InOrbit Mall

I’ve been blogging for eight years now. From having an obscure hobby, to being part of the geekcrowd, to editing to press quotes to being ‘discovered’ by social media professionals and labelled with such words as ‘influencer’, it’s been a long and eventful time. Last year, I had a chance to take it to the next level when Payal asked me to be a part of the ‘Writing for new media‘ workshop that she had put together for the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011. That day long jamming it up with Moksh and Payal was nothing but pure fun.

Write Click

Payal and I both got wrapped up in other things and it was nearly a year before we managed to get together again. Thus was born Write Click, a series of web writing workshops. We started with a two-session workshop on ‘Social Content for Branding‘ with the Avignyata team.

This was followed by our first for-the-public workshop on general blogging, content creation & community management in February. We had a paltry few registrations till 4 days before the workshop. Then suddenly, calls and emails started flooding in and our ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ had a full house. The response was so overwhelming that we had to repeat the workshop within a fortnight for those who couldn’t be accomodated the first time round. And in March, we took ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ to a slicker, glossier venue at MET college.

We’ve had memorable experiences in each of the workshops. The most inspiring, heart-warming story from our February workshop is that of Amar Jain. This bright, friendly law student emailed us to tell us of his interest. And then he mentioned that he was visually challenged and used screen reading software to navigate the internet. It hadn’t occurred to us before this conversation but Amar reminded us that blogging was free, completely democratic expression for anybody. Not only did Amar attend the first ‘Unboggle the Blog‘, he turned out to be a valuable reference for the legal aspects of content. He was also one of the group leaders in our final exercise.

The next ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ brought us cheer in the form of a participant from Nashik and two others from Pune. We also tightened the format and added a few extra things.

Our last ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ was at MET college and a personal phenomenon for me. From student to alumnus to recruiter to faculty, this event completes a full circle for me as a member of the MET community. Our participants included five faculty members as well as the head of GyaanExchange, which partnered with us for registration.

And I’m happy to announce that this month, we take ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ out of Bandra and into the suburbs. The next ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ workshop will happen on 28th April 2012 at InOrbit Mall, Malad. Our focus right from the start has been to make our workshops fun as well as informative for the participants. This might be a different group from the ones we’ve had an opportunity to be with in past workshops. Conducting the workshop in a mall, and a popular ones at that also opens up a range of possibilities for us, in terms of activities & exercises.

Here are the details of this event:

Unboggle the Blog @InOrbit mall, Malad on 28Apr

As with other media like magazines, newspapers, radio & television, the social media has its own unique personality. A tweet, a status update, a blogpost, an email, a comment or even a shared link have their own code and language. This workshop will look at blog creation & viralling, microblogging, managing conversations and community building. Participants can expect to learn:

  • How to create engaging & sustainable conversations
  • How to manage responses
  • How to initiate and drive conversations
  • How to build communities

Date: Saturday, 28 April 2012
Time: 10AM-6PM
Venue: InOrbit Mall, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai 400 064
Number of seats: 20
Fee: Single-Rs.2300 ; Group of 3- Rs.6000

Registration will be confirmed on full payment. Entry to the workshop will be on presentation of receipt.

To register, email us with ‘REGISTER FOR UNBOGGLE’ in the subject line at:

Ramya Pandyan: ideasmithy@gmail.com
Payal Shah Karwa: thewordjockey@gmail.com

You can also call us at 9870964781 or sign up through GyaanExchange.

Connect with us!

We are Ramya Pandyan (Ideasmith), writer/blogger and Payal Shah Karwa (The Word Jockey), an independent communications consultant. Both of us have been keen users and observers of this space, since its inception. We each have a corporate background as well as writing experience across different media including social media. Each of us also enjoys good readership on Twitter and our blogs.

We are on Facebook. Follow the hash tag on Twitter: #unboggleblog.
We tweet as @ideasmithy and @thewordjockey.

Our blogs: Ramya Pandyan – The Idea-smithy, XX Factor
Payal Shah Karwa – The Word Jockey

Catch the pictures from our past workshops on Facebook.

April 2012 ‘Unboggle The Blog’ – Workshop on Social Content

We started our series of web writing workshops with ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ in February. The workshop got such a good response that we conducted the workshop again in March. Both occasions have been greatly fun as well as informative, for us and for the participants.

Encouraged by this, we plan to make this a monthly feature. We start with an ‘Unboggle the Blog‘ workshop on Sunday, 8th April 2012. Here are some of the things that participants can look forward to:

  • How to create engaging & sustainable conversations
  • How to manage responses
  • How to initiate and drive conversations
  • How to build communities

We are Ramya Pandyan (Ideasmith), writer/blogger and Payal Shah Karwa (The Word Jockey), an independent communications consultant. Both of us have been keen users and observers of this space, since its inception. We each have a corporate background as well as writing experience across different media including social media. Come, explore this new medium with us!

The workshop details are as follows:

Unboggle The Blog: Workshop on Social Content

As with other media like magazines, newspapers, radio & television, the social media has its own unique personality. A tweet, a status update, a blogpost, an email, a comment or even a shared link have their own code and language. This workshop will look at blog creation & viralling, microblogging, managing conversations and community building.

Date: Sunday, 8th April 2012
Time: 10.00a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Location: Bandra West, Mumbai
Number of seats: 20
Fee: Single: Rs.2300 ; Group of three: Rs.6000.
Registration will be confirmed on full payment. Entry to the workshop will be on presentation of receipt.

To register, email us with ‘REGISTER FOR UNBOGGLE’ in the subject line at:

Ramya Pandyan: ideasmithy@gmail.com
Payal Shah Karwa: thewordjockey@gmail.com

You can also call us at 9870964781.

Connect

Find Write Click on Facebook.
We’re on Twitter as @ideasmithy and @thewordjockey.
Follow the hash tag on #unboggleblog.

Workshop On ‘Social Content For Branding’ For Avignyata Inc.

Last week, Payal & I concluded a two-day workshop for Avignyata Inc., a social media agency. The Avignyata team included client servicing executives, designers and content creators for different social channels. The objective of our workshop was to understand the anatomy of a brand, give it a distinct voice, devise a content strategy and create engaging content across relevant channels.

The conversations that came out of it, took me back to my days as a business analyst. I spent most of my last year as a corporate employee, with a young, vibrant group of people with excellent ideas. My role there, was to focus those thoughts, tie them into coherent structures, develop them into actionables and devise tangible metrics to assess them.

So much of good marketing is about fresh, innovative ideas, no matter which aspect of the function you look at. I find young people are possessed in abundance with these. What some of them find missing is the tools to organize them and take them to fruitful conclusions. This of course, is something that I have and continue to develop with experience and a natural maturing in thought. When it comes to social media, the early adopters of the channels are easily the youngest, brightest sparks. But the ability to convert the knowledge of these channels into business strategy doesn’t always follow automatically.It requires an understanding of basic business realities, domain understanding, content creation skills and a working knowledge of the social media.

Since our combined repository of experience and skills covers these, Payal & I are conducting a series of workshops, lectures and other training services. A big thank you to Moksh Juneja, for getting us to work with the Avignyata team over the last week!

Pictures of the Avignyata workshop are posted to our Facebook Page.

‘Unboggle The Blog’ – Workshop On Content Creation For Blogging

The online social space has earned the right to be known as an independent medium. As with other media like magazines, newspapers, radio & television, the social media has its own unique personality. The audience that consumes social media content, differs from typical ‘readers’ or ‘viewers’ of other media. How they consume the content is also markedly different, given that this medium touches their lives differently. Thus, the content that draws and engages them, must have its own specific requirements. A tweet, a status update, a blogpost, an email, a comment or even a shared link have their own code and language.

With this in mind, we bring you Write Click, a series of workshops on web writing. We began with a very successful workshop on new media at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011. Now, Write Click presents ‘Unboggle The Blog’, a one-day workshop on blogging content.

Unboggle The Blog’ addresses the fundamental content requirements of this space. The workshop will look at blog creation & viralling, microblogging, managing conversations and community building.

The Write Click team comprises Ramya Pandyan (Ideasmith), a writer/blogger and Payal Shah Karwa (The Word Jockey), an independent communications consultant. Both of us have been keen users and observers of this space, since its inception. We each have a corporate background as well as writing experience across different media including social media. Come, explore this new medium with us!

The workshop details are as follows:

Unboggle The Blog: Content Creation For Professional Blogging

Date: Saturday, 25th February 2011
Time: 10.00a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Location: Bombay Hub, 4th Floor, Candela Bldg, John Baptista Rd. near Mount Mary steps, ahead of Leelavati and Bungalow 9, Above Dilshad Salon, Bandra Reclamation.

Number of seats: 12
Fee: Rs.1500/-.
Registration will be confirmed on full payment in cash.

To register, email us with ‘REGISTER FOR UNBOGGLE’ in the subject line at:

Ramya Pandyan: ideasmithy@gmail.com
Payal Shah Karwa: thewordjockey@gmail.com

You can also call us at 9870964781.

Wifi access will be available. Participants are welcome to bring along their laptops.

Connect

Find Write Click on Facebook.
We’re on Twitter as @ideasmithy and @thewordjockey.
Follow the hash tag on #unboggleblog.

Write Click: Workshop On Writing For Social Media At Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011

I’ve been a keen visitor to the Kala Ghoda Art Festival every year. Four years ago, I also started writing for the Kala Ghoda Gazette, the festival’s official blog (which unfortunately is not running this year). So I was thrilled when Payal asked if I’d like to be a part of a workshop she was organizing for the literary end of the festival.

Here’s presenting Write Click, a workshop on writing for social & online media. The workshop is for people who love the written word, who work in a profession that requires it and who are intrigued by the new media available for its expression. You don’t have to be a blogger to participate but if you are, then my end of the workshop may be of special interest to you.

In this 2 half-day workshop, we’ll look at blogging, social media, online marketing tools, content strategies and how the online medium differs from the offline. We’re looking at keeping it light and fun but also useful for the future blogger-writers in you!

Place: Kala Ghoda Association Office. This is in the lane between Rhythm House and the building with a horse painted on it.

Date: 12th & 13th February, 2011

Time: 11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. each day

Materials: Participants are requested to carry pen and paper and will be allowed to take notes. Cameras and laptops are welcome too.

Fees: This workshop is completely free. However there may be a nominal deposit to be paid on the first day, which will be returned at the end of the workshop.

Registration: To participate, please write to kalaghoda.workshops[at]gmail[dot]com,
with a copy to Payal thewordjockey[at]gmail[dot]com
and to me ideasmithy[at]gmail[dot]com.
Use ‘Workshop: Write Click” in the title of the email.

Participation: This being a workshop, we may need to limit the number of people participating in the exercises to ensure fair attention to each of them. However, the workshop includes conversations and presentations and non-participating audience members are welcome too.

People: This workshop is being organized by The Word Jockey and conducted by Moksh Juneja, Nimesh Shah, Snigdha Manchanda, Sandhya, Juhi Dua and myself.

If you’re passionate about writing or blogging or know someone who is, come join us this weekend!

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