Instoried: Developing content that taps consumers’ emotional quotients

There is a shift in how we perceive content. It’s all around us and is subtly changing our consumption behaviour. And an application called Instoried is building a business landscape around it


Words carry a lot of weight in themselves. The right set of words can earn you more than just deals. In today’s world, big companies and multi-national organisations acknowledge the importance of communication. They spend heavily on their public relations to maintain and build the brand value of their companies. Not only they, but even the smallest of businesses depend on communication to attract consumers these days. From hotels to restaurants, playing with words and matching the tonality of what their consumers need has become a way for them to attract more customers.

There are many types of software out there which are trying to facilitate the process of writing by making it more efficient and error free. However, not a lot of them are working on the aspect of matching the emotional quotients of their customers. Comprehending the emotional quotients of your consumers and ensuring that the tonality of your content matches them, has become a necessary step that must be taken to engage them and persuade them to buy your product. Appealing to the customer is good but appealing to the customers’ emotions is even better.

A start-up—Instoried is revolutionising this field.

Instoried is a deep-tech start-up that analyses and optimises the emotional quotient, tonality and relevance of written content across formats like blogs, articles, social media posts and emails. SME Futures spoke to Sharmin Ali, Founder and CEO of Instoried, to understand how this application can make things easy for businesses and help them to retain and build a lasting customer base.

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Inception of an idea

It’s only when you face a problem that you realise that there’s something that needs to be solved. And that’s what happened with Sharmin.

“Working with MuSigma and interacting with Fortune 500 companies, both in India and abroad, I identified one problem that was common among all organisations. Even large companies and brands are ineffective in communication,” she says.

She further adds, “These companies make marketing decisions based on how they feel about the content instead of using data to get better results.”

Which is true. Not much thought is given to the tonality and emotional quotient of content, either by the online bots that deal with customers and solve their queries or via the social media posts that keep spamming our feeds.

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“We started with just an idea to improve written content that would impact the ROI of a brand positively. We started with a web-app that helps optimize the tonality and emotion of the content for writers. Over the last year, the tool has been imbibed with many new features that have helped improve the quality of life of the writers and has enabled them to create content that’s original, impactful, and empathetic,” Sharmin asserts.


What goes behind tech?

“Our tech is completely proprietary as we haven’t used any of the open-source APIs available in the market. We have used 50 million data points in-house for building our proprietary dataset. The entire code has been built in-house and our analyses and recommendations are completely state-of-the-art and have the highest levels of accuracy and effectiveness,” she points out.

Social media engagement is on the rise. Everybody is online these days and the usage of social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. is prolific. Businesses spend heavily on celebrities to endorse their brands, but it doesn’t end there. The captions on these posts should be such that they capture the imagination of the reader for which it’s essential to match their emotions and speak in a tone which is relevant to them, and then provide them with a solution i.e., persuade them to buy your product.

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Then there are also the freelance writers who usually have a lot of work on their plates and are always in a hurry. They are hence, often, not able to muster the right tone and emotion that are needed to truly connect with their readers. Applications like Instoried ease this process and make it convenient for them to complete their work on time.

“There are diverse use-cases as well: creating engaging captions for social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), collaborating with the content team and focus groups, increasing the email open rates, checking the originality of content through the plagiarism checker, analysing the mood of your customers while they are chatting with the customer support, among others,” Sharmin tells us.

Neuromarketing: Turning information into actionable insights

Words have always been at the forefront when hordes of customers need to be attracted to any product or service. From online campaigns to hashtag trends, the ways in which brands market their products have changed drastically over time and so has the behaviour of consumers while consuming ads. But, what’s neuromarketing and what new insights can it bring to the world of marketing?

Sharmin says that it is more of an approach than a technique. She further explains,” Neuromarketing as the name suggests is ‘Marketing to the Brain’. It is a very well-known fact that ‘Emotions drive consumer decision-making’. Instead of using logic and selling to the logical brain of your customer, strike the emotional brain which is way more powerful by telling the right story.”

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She further adds,” The idea is to never let go of a customer and keep them hooked onto your platform, courtesy the emotions that it brings along. With our tool, content creators and marketers can optimize the tone and emotion of their content to match the ideal tone and emotion of their end consumers. This enables you to hit the mark every time a new social media post is created or every time you send the user an email or show them an ad. Putting the user in the ideal mental state while consuming your content ensures that the user is more likely to engage with and take action on your content.”

“As the age-old saying goes, content is king. It cannot be truer than in today’s generation, which consumes content anywhere and everywhere from multiple sources (cell phone, tablet, laptop, TV) for various purposes like shopping, studying, networking and for many other things. The future trend would be to make your content really aligned with your target audience, by using the appropriate words, language, emotions, and formats,” Sharmin explains.

Content is everywhere these days, but does it hold the same relevance today that it did back in the day? Being versatile in its applications, Instoried can be utilised by a variety of people ranging from content writers to businesses to journalists, but it’s important to focus on the current trends to develop a product that is efficient and provides the required result.

“Our target audience can be anyone and everyone who requires optimized content to be written as part of their business/ job. It could be a social media manager who needs to put together content that would resonate with their target audience or an enterprise that has key stakeholders viewing its content regularly or an e-commerce website that makes sales solely based on the connection that their content makes with its visitors. Hence, the Instoried platform is useful for marketers, social media managers, enterprises, brands, journalists, and students, among others,” she says.

What makes them different & road ahead

There are many apps now that can be used to make content smooth, crisp and professional, making the whole process seamless for businesses as well as for personal usage. There are many players that are trying to make a mark in the content business like Grammarly, Wordtune, ProWiritngAid, etc. However, compared to all of these, Instoried works on a relatively different aspect of the content business, which is far from usual.

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“We use a database of over 10 million sentences that have been semantically analysed to provide our analyses and recommendations without changing the context of the original content. We are the only end-to-end content solution that offers the analysis of the content, tone, emotion, spell-check, grammar, and the plagiarism verification of any written content as well as provides a content generation tool with 50+ templates and counting,” Sharmin asserts.

To make the application even more efficient, Instoried has collaborated with Oxford Publications to help create an in-house spelling and grammar tool.

“With over 25 million data points from Oxford’s lexicography, we have not only expanded upon our tool’s vocabulary but have even enhanced our suggestions feature to provide more semantic and syntactical recommendations. We are also collaborating with several agencies and publications through projects to enhance our tool as well as provide them with our insights to optimise their content,” she underlines.

There is still a long road to cover. With such rapid progress being made in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, applications like Instoried are the next stage of technological advancement in the content business. It will be really exciting to see what more these applications have in store for us in the future.

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“Our focus for the future is to constantly upgrade our services to offer the best-in-class to our customers, to broaden our scope by introducing analysis of formats other than the written word. We are also working on expanding our product portfolio and our service offerings to help enhance content of all kinds for all our customers, be it B2C or B2B. Our aim is to revolutionise content by adding empathy to it and to improve the quality of life of the content creators,” Sharmin avers.

“In the next five years, we will definitely be impacting the lives of many more brands and individuals by optimising their content game. In the next five years, I envision Instoried to be a unicorn in the content space, revolutionising global content creation and helping users to communicate empathetically while simultaneously boosting their revenues through content,” she says as she signs off.

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