If you’re wondering why content marketing is important for brand building, and why this is important to your company specifically, allow us to elaborate. While content marketing and digital marketing both aim to achieve increased reach and sales, the former is more subtle. Content marketing aims to educate, inform and entertain audiences using content as a strategy to build brand and drive organic engagement with its product to acquire customers.
Using content marketing to build brand is a smart strategy because consumers prefer to interact with brands that provide them useful custom content. This means that the more relevant content you create and share with audiences, the more they become aware of your brand and engage with its products. The quality of the content you create will also influence brand perceptions.
Eventually, this will organically drive engagement and help to position your company as a leader in the industry. This holds true for every brand, whether they are in the B2B or B2C industry. Companies such as MailChimp, Cisco, Toshiba and even much older brands like Hermes and Rolex have successfully harnessed the power of content marketing to build and maintain their brand.
What are the components of content marketing?
Content marketing comprising of useful long form and short form content, and made available at the right time to your audience helps build brand as it connects to the audience. Long-form content such as websites, blogs, eBooks and case studies communicate all the information that your audience needs on a product or service. Short term content such as social posts is not enough, long form content is key to delivering the complete message.
Some of the components of content marketing are:
Brand website: Create yourself an attractive, interactive website that will answer any queries your audience might have about your brand, product and services.
Various types of content: Blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, eBooks, webinars, case studies, white papers, newsletters, and even memes nowadays make up your content strategy.
Content distribution: All the content that you create needs to be promoted on the right channels and to the right target audience in order to yield maximum results.
Content marketing and brand
A good brand will evoke a positive reaction in audiences because it would have built up a bond, a relationship with them.
Content marketing, by explaining and communicating all aspects of your product and service, guides audiences’ perception of your brand and influences them to become your customers.
Using content marketing to influence and build brand
In today’s context, it is important to use content marketing in brand building. Content is not only about what your brand represents, it’s about what your audiences need and then providing them the appropriate options. There are a number of steps involved in developing and executing a content plan that is a strong testament to your brand.
Understand your audience and their behaviour
This is the first step involved in creating any kind of marketing strategy and the same applies to content as well. Without understanding who the people are that want and need your product or service, you won’t have any consumers to influence. Consider your target audience and cater your content to appeal to their tastes and values.
Another big part of audience study is knowing where and how they spend their time. You should research what their online tendencies are, the sites and types of content they spend time on. Doing so will help you connect with them and understand how to keep them coming back.
Differentiate your brand from competitors
It never hurts to know what your competition is publishing, what posts of theirs garner the most traffic. While you shouldn’t copy any content, it’s still good to understand what kinds of ideas generally get consumed.
Create a strategy complete with tools, channels, schedules
What follows understanding your audience is creating your content strategy. Talking about your company’s story and values is a great way to start as it helps establish a personal bond with customers by allowing them to see who the people behind the brand are. This can be followed up with all kinds of content that would be of interest to your consumers and over a period of time, your content marketing and brand building will grow together.
Next, you need to decide content forms. There are so many to choose from – blogs, videos, downloadable guides, webinars, newsletters…the options are rather endless.
The final step in executing your content strategy is to decide your channels and make a schedule. This will ensure that you consistently post content for your audience.
Deliver value to customers by sending them relevant content
You have to provide value to your audience first and only then can you expect to get their attention and any return from them. Your content needs to have credibility and should be of use to consumers. When you deliver good quality content, it distinguishes your brand as well.
The content you publish should be relevant not only to your audience, but to your brand as well. It doesn’t make sense for you to post content that is completely disconnected from the business you deal with. Over time as you publish more content addressing the same industry concerns and trends, it will shape your brand perception.
Content marketing ensures value creation with consistent messaging
Messaging should be consistent across all content channels. Follow brand guidelines so that your messaging is always consistent in terms of personality, voice and tone.
All types of content, whether they are blogs or web content, or company brochures, or social media, etc. should carry the same writing style – voice, tone, brand colours. This is because brands are strong and memorable and it is extremely important to have a distinct and consistent brand voice. So right from the website to the ads to the product brochures to the tweets, you brand voice should be consistent and clear. Over time, your audiences will have internalised your brand voice and style and will easily be able to understand pieces of content as belonging to your company merely from the way in which they have been presented.
Be active on social media to reach a larger audience
Social media is a great way to promote your brand as all it takes is the click of a button for followers to share your content and thereby for it to reach a larger audience. Not only that, on social media, users can easily share comments and opinions and you can interact with them real-time, enabling the building of relationships.
Get involved in the community – answer queries, post updates
Interacting with your customers is a certain way of gaining their loyalty. Customers love it when a company is receptive to feedback and communicates with them on a personal level.
You could also let your loyal customer base know about new updates, product releases etc. and they will only appreciate the effort.
Brand perception, brand building and content marketing are deeply intertwined. Good content is contextual and useful. By informing and engaging your audience and providing them with a great experience, you are building your brand. Content marketing spreads awareness about your brand, brings more traffic to your website and converts visitors to leads. It also addresses buyer needs at different stages of the buyer journey.
So get started using content marketing as a means of building your brand and get on the road to attracting customers in troves!
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