The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. #Beginanywhere - Walt Disney
As a digital marketer and content specialist with over 10 years of experience, Sonal Mishra has used her expertise to help global brands from India, Norway, the USA, and the UK. After working with organisations like Capgemini and HSBC in India, Sonal moved to Norway with her husband in 2018 and now works as a Content Marketing Manager in Oslo. She also works as a board member at PWN Norway. When she is not working, she likes to enjoy lazy afternoons, meet new people, travel or create content to help small business owners find their brand avatar.
Before starting her business, Sonal worked as a Content Strategy Manager for Generation Mobility AS and a Content Manager at Cue Hosting. She also worked as a Freelance Content Writer and Social Media Manager at XinFin Organization. Sonal additionally had stints working as a Senior Software Engineer - Technical Writer at HSBC Private Banking and an Associate Consultant - Technical Writer at Capgemini.
Sonal started her career in the Finance field as a Financial Analyst and an Associate Analyst at XL Dynamics India Pvt. Ltd. She did a Summer Internship at Sahara India. Sonal graduated with an M.B.A in Finance at the International Institute of Management Studies (IIMS), Pune, and a Bachelor of Science in Maths from the Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow University.
What does a typical day as a Content Marketing Manager look like?
Like any other job in digital space where you have to work with a global team -
a typical day for a content marketing manager also starts with checking slack notifications and flagging emails.
The real work that a content marketing manager does involves -
Developing a comprehensive content strategy that aligns with the company’s goals
Identifying a potential customer’s buyer journey
Finding content ideas to fill content gaps to educate, inspire, entertain and sell to their #brandavataar (ideal customer profile)
Planning content productions and distribution
Testing and improving content production and distribution tactics
Managing campaigns and tracking progress
Managing stakeholders expectations
Collaborating with the product and commercial teams
Repurposing evergreen content to reiterate value proposition on online and offline marketing channels
Identifying brand advocates
Managing content pipeline and deadlines
The day also includes catching up with marketing team members, performing admin tasks like generating reports and presenting campaign progress, listening to 10-min hype music to get into the creative zone before writing a new piece of content and doubting your skills at least 2-3 times a day.
What are you passionate about? (In your work, personal life, or other)
I am a curious person by nature, and I feel having a sense of purpose or solving a problem drives my thought process in life. As a content marketing manager, I like that my work allows me to learn about multiple platforms for marketing automation, industry trends and challenges, consumer behaviour, human psychology, etc., which fuels my creativity.
What do you find most challenging about being a Content Marketing Manager?
Measuring content performance. Many businesses are still stuck with the idea that measuring vanity metrics like impressions and downloads can offer them a clear idea about how their target customer makes a buying decision. However, it is not an exact formula. The dark funnel includes multiple touchpoints in the customer journey with multiple social channels, online events, online communities, referrals etc. which cannot be measured by CRMs. This is where the opportunity and the challenge lie for today’s marketing teams, as the process is not as straightforward as TOFU, MOFU and BOFU marketing.
What do you find most enriching about being a Content Marketing Manager?
Learning about human psychology while understanding consumer behaviour. I am fascinated by psychology as a subject, and I believe moving forwards, brands need to accept that product features are not going to help them sell. They will need to cater to human emotions and vulnerability and show that they care. Consumers are changing the way companies used to do business, and that is why human to human marketing is gaining popularity in both B2C as well B2B companies.
How did you find yourself in your current career?
I didn't find it; it found me. After completing my graduation in Finance and Marketing in 2011, I accepted a financial analyst role in a US-based mortgage company. It was my first job, and I was eager to prove myself. After 3 years in that job, I left to move to a different city to be with my family. The move gave me a much-needed break to think back and reflect on what I was going to do next.
During this time, I stumbled upon a freelancing job as a content writer, and it was a paid gig. I used to write for myself in my journals but never for others. The idea made me excited as well as super uncomfortable. That was the cue for me. Lately, I haven't felt the rush of exploring something new and unknown. I took it as a challenge and have never looked back ever since.
After working with organizations like Capgemini and HSBC, I finally decided to start my own venture, sonalmishra.co, to offer marketing services to startups and growing companies globally. You can learn more about my experience of starting a business in a new country where I didn’t even know the language here.
Currently, I am working full-time as Content Marketing Manager with an amazing team at Xeneta. I volunteer with PWN Norway as a board member in my free time and produce content for sonalmishra.co to help small business owners leverage content marketing to grow online.
Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue this career?
As a content creator, never doubt your first draft. Some great pieces of content started as a note on a napkin. As a marketer, listen to your existing customers to generate more leads. Even your unhappy customers can prove to be a great source of learning and help you improve your marketing tactics.
Thanks for reading!