Interview with Content Marketing Expert : Sanjay Shenoy

7 Min Read. |

sanjay-shenoySanjay Shenoy has been into Digital Marketing for the past 7 years now. He started off as a freelancer with clients in Bangalore, Singapore and USA. After which, Sanjay made that into a full-fledged agency which he ran for about 4 years. He thought that he should give product companies a try, which is when Sanjay joined Thrillophilia, post which he also had a stint at Explara. Sanjay is currently taking care of digital marketing at a FinTech startup called Quiklo.

How did you get into Content Marketing? What interested you in learning Content Marketing?

Sanjay Shenoy: I started off as an SEO guy which made content a very important aspect since the beginning. But to use content marketing as a completely independent means to get traffic, I experimented that when I was in Thrillophilia and was successfully able to replicate the success in Explara also.

The fact that, when done properly, content marketing can get you a ton of traffic made me realize how powerful this can actually be. I started digging a little deeper and started trying to understand why certain blogs work and why certain blogs don’t.

According to you, what are the advantages of conventional marketing over Digital Marketing? Do you think that Digital Marketing is a threat to the future of conventional marketing?

Sanjay Shenoy: I think the biggest advantage of conventional marketing, with the right medium, the ability to reach out to a large section of the audience. It helps in creating brand awareness and increase the credibility of the brand but of course at a very high cost and no guaranteed results.

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Digital Marketing is definitely taking over the entire marketing spectrum but I feel that it might not make conventional marketing completely obsolete. For starters, there is still a huge segment of the audience which is not online. The only way to reach them is through conventional channels. Secondly, I feel conventional marketing is evolving to include digital aspects into it and might become more interactive in the near future. My prediction is that, both digital and conventional channels will become very seamless and marketers will get a broader playground to play in.

How do you think Content Marketing for B2B is different from Content Marketing for B2C?

Sanjay Shenoy: Frankly, it’s not very different. Apart from the fact that your goals might be different, at the end of the day you are trying to convince another human that you know what you are talking about and ultimately convince him to take up an action which is profitable to you.

Would you like to throw some light on the “a-ha” moments in your Content Marketing journey up till now?

Sanjay Shenoy: When I realized how important emotions are when writing content. When you connect with your user with the right emotion you are bound to succeed. This happened to me and my team when we wrote a blog, which we never expected to go viral but did. When we looked back and tried to understand why it went viral, we understood exactly why it was so successful.

Also, one more such moment was when we failed at video marketing. We were foolish enough to think, just by rehashing our existing content into videos we will be able to make videos go viral. Video is a whole new ball game altogether.

What do you think is your greatest Content Marketing achievement till date?

Sanjay Shenoy: When I was working in Explara, this blog we had worked on went super viral. We clocked in half a million sessions in less than a week. It got picked up by HuffPost, Slovenian Tourism Board and a lot of other major publications across the globe which gave us a massive boost. Not only did we get a ton of traffic we could also rake in some awesome backlinks.

Share about your 3 favourite Content Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?

Sanjay Shenoy: I wouldn’t say case study, but I would like to point out certain brands and their content marketing efforts which I really like.

  • Redbull according to me is the king of content marketing. They have pretty much-nailed content marketing in every aspect. I mean, throwing a man off the stratosphere is as high as you can get in terms of content marketing ( pun intended ). Even GoPro falls under the same category.
  • In terms of India, I think Amul takes the prize in terms of content marketing. It’s short, crisp pun-ny take at current affairs helps us connect with the brand so well. What makes this so commendable is the fact that they are consistent at this.
  • Coke, around the world, does a great job in making feel good ads. They are very contextual, and they never hard sell which is what makes it so appealing. They are also a great example of how to use conventional channels and ride the digital wave with that.

According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Content Marketing?

Sanjay Shenoy: 

  1. The biggest mistake organizations do in terms of content marketing is to NOT align their strategy with their business goals. If you are not aligning it with your business, don’t bother at all. If your content marketing strategy is not making you money, then no point in investing further into it.
  2. Try out a strategy/channel/medium just because competitor/another is succesfully doing it. I will be honest here, I am guilty of doing this and I have learnt it the hard way. Just because it is working for another company does not necessarily mean that it is going to work for you. Think from YOUR audience’s perspective and design your strategy accordingly.
  3. Not investing in a content strategy at all! I see a lot of companies with great opportunities in terms of content marketing and they would have hardly done anything about it. It’s not very difficult to start off content marketing and I don’t see any reason why companies can invest a little bit in content marketing.

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Which are your 3 favorite Content Marketing Tools?

Sanjay Shenoy: You give me, 3 Content Marketers, I will be more than happy 🙂

Share the names of 3 people you look up to when it comes to Content Marketing.

Sanjay Shenoy: Like mentioned before, Redbull and GoPro are really good at what they do. There is a blogger called Glen Allsopp who is actually not that much into content marketing but the way he approaches and dissects things, I really enjoy it and there is a lot to learn there. And since recently, I am beginning to really enjoy this blog called ‘Wait But Why’. It is amazing! They write really long content (which I recommend against for web readers) but yet amass such a massive amount of shares it is unbelievable. The main reason behind this is the information hierarchy and the way it basically flows, you can’t keep your eyes off it.

How do you see Digital Media, specifically Content Marketing evolve in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2017?

Sanjay Shenoy: With the rise in ad blockers and intelligent humans, contextual marketing is the way to go. If you try to sell too hard you lose. You need to make it very subtle, nurture your visitors and convince them to convert into customers. In terms of trends I think like everyone is saying video is going to be huge in 2017. I also see more and more brands opting the influencer way so I think influencer marketing will see a massive growth in 2017. I also hope user generated/crowd sourced content will take up more importance considering how effective and cost-effective it can be.

What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Content Marketing industry?

Sanjay Shenoy: The barrier to entry for content marketing is absolutely zero. There is nothing that stops you from being a content marketer. Just set up a single blog and start writing or recording videos or whatever you are comfortable with. Don’t worry about screwing up. Trust me, that’s the best way to learn.

How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Content Marketing? Which are the Content Marketing resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) you visit regularly?

Sanjay Shenoy: I usually observe what others are doing in terms of content marketing. I try to dissect it and understand the fundamentals and they why of it. If it seems feasible I go ahead and tweak it and try and replicate it to my own objectives.

Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Sanjay Shenoy:

More and more people are getting interested in Digital Marketing and unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Thankfully there are companies like Digital Vidya which are imparting the right kind of knowledge and making better digital marketers. Keep up the good work guys!

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