According to the 2013 Content Marketing Institute Report, 85% of B2B Marketers use content marketing to promote their products and the values of their brand. This important finding reinforces the fact that content marketing is one of the major pillars of internet marketing. Seeing the critical role that content plays in promoting a business, I want to show you how you can use content to build a brand and look at some of the important considerations that you should keep at the back of your mind.
In the world of internet marketing, “Content is King”. It not only defines who you are but it also draws people to your business and helps you build a brand. Most importantly, it conveys the values of your brand and gives your prospects and customers something to think about. So, if you are not generating quality content then you are doing yourself and your customers a great disservice.
What does it takes to build a successful brand?
Our markets have become so competitive. The average consumer is bombarded with tons of online marketing information to the extent that they cannot focus on a single brand. Brand managers have to work extra hard to get their brands noticed (with the hope that it will encourage consumer engagement). Here are few things that I find indispensable when developing content to build a brand.
- Draw the attention of new audience and maintain the affinity of existing customers by creating valuable content
- Shift your focus from direct response tactics to top of the funnel consumer awareness and engagement
- Invest in the best brand communication channels for brand building
- Use brand content amplification tactics such as social networks to encourage sharing and distribution
- Always remain true to your brand
Using Content to Build a Brand
It’s almost impossible to promote or build a brand without raising brand awareness through some form of content. Good content creates social brand awareness and something which is to drawing customers to engage with you brand. Here a few things that you should bear in mind when using content to build a brand.
- Plan and Use a content calendar to determine what and when you will publish
- Create content that meets the needs, interests and answers questions of your target audience
- Publish quality content that informs, entertains, and engages your audience
- Create and post content regularly to strengthen the voice of your brand
Creating Value through Content Sharing
As much as people say “content is king” you have to realize that we operate in a crowded market place. I am sorry to say this, but majority of content marketers waste time creating promotional content in the hope that it will help them build a brand. Such content adds little or no value to the user brand experience. If you have been doing this then you need to refocus your attention to relevant brand content.
Publishing and sharing content is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. As we have seen, content is just the medium through which you share and communicate brand values. Leverage the power of content sharing through your social networks and platforms so that you can increase awareness and generate buzz and inters about your brand. Ultimately, the nature and quality of content will determine whether you will build a brand or not.
Brand Communication Channels
Brand communication is a very important aspect of brand building. It not only raises awareness about your brand, it also closes the gap between what people know or think as you build a brand. In order to build your brand, you have to identify and use the best media and publishing outlets.
Actually, you cannot build a brand if you have no channel to tell a story or share brand your values. All the big brands create and send unified messages across a variety of channels. Therefore, you have to utilize all forms of relevant media to relay brand messages.
Content is NOT the Message, it’s the Medium
One of the common mistakes that marketers and business make is to confuse content for message. The truth is that content is just a medium that you use to build a brand. Your brand content is only a channel through which you reach out, share, and engage your customers. Therefore, when you are creating brand content, you should have something worth telling your audience, prospects, and loyal customers.
While content marketing strategy plays a central role in raising awareness about your brand, it is the nature and quality of content that drives engagement. One that you should remember is that not every category of content has the power to build a brand or resonate with consumers.
Different Content for Different Segments
When creating brand content, you have to bear in mind that there are different segments of the market that view your brand differently. Therefore, you have to create and relay strategic content that impacts on your audience in different ways. For instance, if you want to educate your audience or draw in web traffic then cornerstone and informational content will suffice. Though these two types of content may not build a brand, they will establish you as a niche authority and a thought leader in the market something which builds your credibility and that of your brand.
While cornerstone content plays a fundamental role in brand awareness, it does little to encourage participation and engagement with your brand. Brand stories and inspirational content are the major things that inspire consumers to stick around longer and to want to associate with your brand for a lifetime. Similarly, trending topics and current events are also powerful factors that can help you build a brand. Therefore, factor this when creating your brand content.
Understand Brand Consumer Intelligence
When developing content to build a brand, you should never ever underestimate the intelligence of your audience or consumers. Most importantly, don’t use content as bait to attract people. The allure of content is not enough to draw the attention of new audience or win the loyalty of your customers as you build a brand. If you want to generate interest in your brand, then create exceptional stories and focus on unique aspects about your brand. Consumers are more savvy now than ever before, so you have to meet their expectations as you developed brand content.
When done properly, content marketing can be a powerful technique of increasing brand awareness and brand engagement. If you want to build a brand, then you have to create and relay content that attracts and engages your audience. Don’t waste time creating promotional content in the hope that it will help you build a brand. You have to take time to understand your target audience and the things that your loyal customers like and use that to come up with sentimental, inspirational, and thought-provoking content.