Rohit Uttamchandani is Senior Manager – Digital Marketing at Social Beat, one of South India’s leading digital marketing agencies. In the two and a half years that he has spent there, he was worked across the length and breadth of digital marketing from community building and management to lead generation. He has helped multiple clients across various sectors craft their digital strategy, scale their online presence and leverage digital media to achieve their business goals. He has also managed crores of rupees in advertising spends across various digital advertising channels and platforms, delivering stellar results for his clients. A data-driven digital marketer at the core, he is excited about how digital marketing is becoming a rapidly growing force,in the current marketing playing field, to activate audiences and drive sales.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Rohit: I have been passionate about everything tech and digital from a very young age. I very vividly remember my first brush with the internet in the late 90s, when I used AltaVista search (Google wasn’t as popular then!) for researching a school project. And I have been smitten by the digital world ever since!During my short stint in the merchant navy, after doing my marine engineering, I would constantly read about the tech world, startups and how they were using digital media to accelerate their growth. I found the space so interesting that I decided to move completely into it. I went on to do the CDMM course at Digital Vidya and joined Social Beat.
During my short stint in the merchant navy, after doing my marine engineering, I would constantly read about the tech world, startups and how they were using digital media to accelerate their growth. I found the space so interesting that I decided to move completely into it. I went on to do the CDMM course at Digital Vidya and joined Social Beat.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Talking too much about their brand:A lot of brands tend to focus largely on themselves and their products as part of their content and social media strategies. They fail to understand that their audience is not on social media and the web to hear what brands have to say. They are there to connect with the friends and family, have fun, be more informed and find solutions to their real world problems. As part of their content strategy, brands should focus on how they can add value to their users by creating content that users would find useful and share-worthy, rather than only talking about themselves and their products.
- Buying fans and followers on social media:I’ll start by saying I agree that follower count numbers do lend some credibility to a business, make it appear more established and provide social proof. But, with most social media channels cutting down on their organic reach, these fan and follower counts have been reduced to a pure vanity metric with very little business value. A lot of brands spend money just to acquire them but that might not be the best long-term strategy. One should rather focus on publishing engaging content to help drive conversation and grow a relevant, engaged fan base over time.Spending on activities that move the needle on more impactful, ROI-driven metrics liketraffic and revenue growth is always a better bet.
- Not tracking results effectively: Unlike traditional marketing methods, the beauty of digital marketing lies in its ability to help you track the effectiveness of all your activities with a good degree of accuracy and calculate your ROI. There are a number of tools available which provide digital marketers enough data to draw actionable insights and base their marketing decisions.Leveraging analytics and attribution data effectively can help brands know which aspects of their digital strategy are delivering the best ROI.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
- Hootsuite: A truly powerful tool for social media scheduling, listening, monitoring, analytics and collaboration. Can’t imagine managing without this!
- Buzzsumo: By far, the best tool around for content ideation and research. Helps in content amplification as well.
- Google Analytics:Being data-driven, this simple yet very powerful tool gives me key data and insights to base my marketing decisions on.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: Digital marketing has levelled the marketing playing field like never before, making it much easier for startups and SMEs to take on bigger established brands, even on a bootstrapped budget. Every entrepreneur must understand how they can best leverage digital media to accelerate their growth.
- For Professionals: Professionals(particularly those in marketing roles), who upskill themselves with knowledge in digital marketing, will have an edge over others. This will make them more indispensable in their organizations as well as help them rise up the corporate ladder quickly.
- For Students: With businesses the world over making digital marketing an inalienable part of their overall marketing strategy, the demand for skilled professionals with knowledge and experience in the field has increased manifold. This is the best time for interested students to learn digital marketing and build a great career in the space.
How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Digital Marketing? Which are the Digital Marketing resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) you visit regularly?
Rohit: I stay updated with what’s happening in the space by closely following updates from leading industry blogs likeMoz, Quick Sprout, Marketing Land, Social Media Examiner, Hubspot, Search Engine Land, PPC Hero and Kissmetrics.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
- The ability to self-learn quickly (This is a key skill for a space like digital marketing where things change almost every day)
- Strong communication skills
- Basic knowledge and understanding of the industry and common tools
- Strong analytical mindset
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
- Neil Patel
- Rand Fishkin
- Jeff Bullas
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Rohit: One key piece of advice that I would give any newbie looking at getting into the digital space is to get hands-on as soon as possible. The only way you can get yourself up to speed quickly in the space is by diving in and getting your hands dirty and feet wet. Look for a good company to work for, or at least intern at. In fact, I would recommend interning even while you are doing the CDMM course. That way you will have a real-life platform to apply your course learnings. Also, I would advise you to follow industry experts and blogs, keep learning from them and stay constantly updated in the space.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Rohit: Towards the end of 2015, I wrote an article on eight digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2016. Here are the top three from those:
- Newer channels like Instagram will continue to gain rapid ground:With a large number of marketers swarming the three most popular social media marketing channels – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (93% of marketers use Facebook!), there’s a great deal of competition for any audience you would want to target. Relatively new and upcoming channels like Instagram (only 36% of marketers currently use Instagram), Snapchat (a meagre 2% of marketers currently use Snapchat) and Periscope, on the other hand, are fairly untapped and unlike Facebook, have seen a growth in organic reach over the last few years. Early adopters to these channels are already seeing results and adoption will continue gain ground in 2016.
- Spends on Programmatic buying and Real-Time-Bidding will rise: Programmatic buying uses the power of data to ensure the right kind of ads are served to the right kind of people in the most meaningful way, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the ads and the return on ad spends. An increasing number of advertisers are expected to allocate larger spends to programmatic in 2016 and beyond.
- 10X Content will be the new SEO: The focus of SEO has shifted from just keyword optimization and link building to not only producing quality content that addresses users’ needs but also delivering that content to the user with the best experience possible. Content is now the new SEO. But, with large swathes of content being generated every day, only content that is not just the best content out there, but 10 times the best, will stand out. Creating this 10X content is going to be the way forward in 2016. I have also spoken about these aspects in a recent webinar on 10x Content for Digital Vidya.
You led the webinar ‘How To Create A Data-Driven Content Marketing Engine’. How was your experience in leading the webinar?
I thoroughly enjoyed leading the webinar session. The excellent response to the webinar, with it being packed to its full capacity, was very encouraging. The attendees asked some really interesting questions as well. It was an awesome experience overall.
Please share top 3-5 takeaways from the Webinar you led for our community.
- Creating 10x Content – content that is 10 times better than the best content on that topic, on the web – is the way forward to content marketing success in 2016 and beyond.
- Content Amplification is key to your content being found and requires as much time and effort, if not more, than content creation
- A combination of 10x Content creation and amplification, done effectively, can generate social buzz, build credible backlinks, ace search rankings and drive loads of targeted traffic to your website
Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the value of our Digital Marketing Webinars for our community?
Digital Vidya Webinars are full of high-quality content. Ensuring they are held on a weekly basis would be great for the community.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
There is currently a strong need for quality talent in the digital marketing industry and Digital Vidya is doing a wonderful job in filling this need. The content and structure of courses at Digital Vidya combined with the knowledge, skill and experience of their trainers helps participants become industry-ready, with a strong foundation in the digital space which they can build on.
Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).