When I started building Digital Uncovered way back in 2011, there were not many content marketplaces. Content writers and publishers in India had to rely on international marketplaces which were never geared for the Indian market. So when Pepper Content emerged into the scene, it was a relief to see a marketplace that finally caters to the Indian audience.
Over the years, we have seen Pepper grow into a full-fledged content company with several offerings. What makes the venture unique is Anirudh and Rishabh, founders of Pepper Content, understand the space really well given their own background.
When we were presented with an opportunity to speak with Rishabh, we quickly realized that this is one of those defining movements for us to hear from a company that could very well change how content marketing is perceived and approached in the country in the next decade. So without further ado, let’s jump into the interview.
How did Pepper Content start?
Pepper content – the idea first sprouted when Anirudh ( the founder ) was interning in his first summer break of college. Anirudh cold-emailed 50 publications to get absorbed into the content ecosystem only to realize how huge the entry barrier is. Once he managed to penetrate through is when he realized how much could one mint out of it with of course the right platform and skillset.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
But like with any other startup, the idea isn’t just what brings in the money. It’s the combination of the unsolved problem that you see in a market, and the solution you come up with to address the need created by that problem. It’s the hole you’re going to fill and what you’ll fill it with that we’re talking about. And that’s where comes the next stage – Conceptualising and Execution.
After a successful summer run, Anirudh came back to college with much more than an “idea”. Anirudh and Rishabh, along with two other co-founders broke down the idea into tiny buckets and started their execution to fill up each one of them, step by step.
They tasted their first success when their first order came rolling in for 250 articles on automotive content at 10p/word around 10 days before their finals!
After successfully delivering, all by themselves they figured out that there was no looking back.
What are some of the challenges you faced as an organization, and how did you overcome them?
- Making people take us seriously because of our age
- Getting good writers to work for us in the start to maintain quality standards at a pay scale that was less than what they expected it to be
- Managing college with a startup was difficult
What problems are you trying to solve with Peppertype? Do you believe that functional copywriting (metadata) will be completely machine-driven in the future?
Peppertype’s tagline says it all – Create quality content faster. In today’s world everything boils down to Money vs Time – and money is something you can always get back. We, as a content company, interact with ….. creators every day and as content creators ourselves understand the pain in keeping up with the fast-paced world – we constantly find ourselves in the race to create content that’s not only informative or relevant but also funny, witty, attractive, catchy and the kind that gets more eyeballs! And, more often than not, this race gets tiring. That’s where peppertype comes into the picture, it’s purpose is solely to brew fresh ideas for you when you give it the bare basic inputs. We believe it’s to help anyone accelerate their process of delivering content that not only falls into all these brackets but also eases out on the pressure of creating constantly.
When we talk about an AI machine helping you with ideas, we don’t mean to see it as a tool that’ll replace human intelligence. We believe that Humans are milk and AI is water, and the concoction just makes everything sweeter.
How do you see the content marketing space evolving? Do you believe that content is treated as a commodity in India, and do you see this perspective-changing?
Yes. With the rapid digital transformation happening, the only good differentiator after a good product is good content. What gets users hooked with your brand? If you don’t create content, you will lack behind and every company is realizing that. As we say, every company is going to be a content company and the perspective is fast changing.
What’s your take on article spinners? As a publisher/advertiser, how do I make sure that the content I receive is not coming via an article spinner?
I think investing in tools that help you detect that is the way to go about it. We at Pepper take plagiarism very seriously and are investing in custom solutions to make sure that we can provide original content to all our clients.
Which brands in India, according to you, are doing a great job with their content and why?
- Every brand is moving towards the content marketing bandwagon, whether it’s witty Email marketing campaigns by Zomato or out-of-the-box CRED ads or dunzo’s innovative Instagram posts- every company is spending good amounts of money on their content to leave a lasting impression on their audience.
- Swiggy, Zomato – great push message prompts with personalized messages that look into your pattern of ordering.
- Dunzo – with a whooping 52.6K followers on their Instagram page, innovative creatives that go out every day and somehow are always either satires or a take on the current happenings
- Netflix – they utilize their actors to run various campaigns like #behensplaining etc.. constantly keep churning out scenes from the movies they release and edit them according to the trends.
With the emergence of GPT3 and other AI language models, how do you see the role of content marketers evolving?
We see tech as an enabler. With such models, content marketers will have more time on their hands to actually think out of the box and let the creator tools like Peppertype do the most of the legwork. Creators and marketing professionals investing their time in creative solutions is what is enabled by tools like Peppertype.
What qualities do you look for in content writers/potent hires, and how can someone prepare for a career in content marketing?
- An understanding of strategy: Great content writers should be able to spin around any boring tale and throw it out at the audience. They will know the talk of the town and adapt your content to ride the wave accordingly. The best ones do this while also ensuring it’s relevant to your marketing objectives.
- Adaptability and flexibility: Adapting to what new is working for clients is probably very important. You need to be flexible with what you can create and catch the nerve of the moment to create content that actually has an impact. Being flexible with your own beliefs makes you a great writer.
- Research skills. Good research = good content. Period. A great content writer knows how to source reliable data and embed it into their writing to strengthen arguments and add to a story’s credibility.