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IAMAI Conference: Engaging content will work better on internet

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 03, 2009
The first session was aimed at relevant content creation and ways of monetising it

The first session of the Fifth Digital Marketing Conference, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in New Delhi, focused on the online content ecosystem.

The panel discussion was moderated by Shailesh Rao, managing director, Google India. He initiated the discussion by setting the agenda -- how publishers can develop and make available more relevant content to users; and how online content can be monetised.

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Frazier Miller, director, audience and content, Yahoo.com, listed some key observations about online content. He talked about the explosion of content in the online space, pointing out that one of the reasons for this is that publishers are making the technology available to users to generate the content. Users create content in different formats, such as text, videos and photos, and upload it online.

Miller elaborated that content generation has moved beyond the authoritative model, and as a result, netizens are empowered by platforms like Twitter.com, the micro blogging site, to report and share news, before offline journalists pick it up.

Sanjay Trehan, head, MSN.co.in agreed with Miller, and said, "Internet has led to the democratization of content." He added that consumers are not just consuming content, but are also creating, sharing and storing content on the internet. He also gave examples of the usage of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, in content generation.

On the monetisation of online content, Venkata Rao Mallineni, president, portals, Sify.com said, "Monetisation aspects have changed from the users landing on your website to engagement." He pointed out that the capability of the content to engage users is directly proportional to monetisation. Thus, more users landing on your website will be beneficial, only if your online content can engage them for a longer period of time.

Shriram Adukoorie, founder, Asklaila.com, a local search engine, said that those who want to venture into the online content business should ensure that the type of content generated on their site is differentiated. One should know the types of content that consumers like and the types of content that can be monetised.

Adukoorie added, "The content which adds value to consumers, but does not charge them, also works better." For instance, matrimony and job related content worked, because consumers were not charged for it.

Trehan said that publishers should develop premium, value-added, differentiated and rich media content, to command a higher level of cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) from the marketers.