We all know what a brand is and why it is important to keep our brand visible in the market. Branding refers to the look and feel of the company, how somebody perceives it from the outside. Branding is the ultimate goal of any marketing activity be it digital, traditional or content marketing.
In the recent times, content marketing has become the golden word and caught everybody’s fancy. It is an essential B2B marketing strategy. There are many benefits to branded content, both for consumers and marketers. For marketers, quality content can be shared through social media and can spread very quickly. For a consumer, content marketing can be informative, entertaining, and more interactive than traditional marketing.
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According to HubSpot, B2B marketers allocate 28 % of their total marketing budget to content marketing.
From startups to global businesses, the organizations with the best content strategy are those that create unique content showcasing their brand and then use this content to build stronger relationships with prospects and clients.
The Demand Gen Report provides some useful insights:
- 86% of readers prefer interactive, visual content
- 64% of buyers want vendors to use more data and research to support their content strategies
A classic example of great corporate branding is Nike. The logo, the tagline “Just Do It”, and the company’s ads that feature real athletes make the brand a success.
As soon as you see a Nike ad, you recognize it.
How do we create good content?
Content marketing is not rocket science and can be done with a clear focus in mind. There are key pointers you have to adhere to, before you become a good content marketer.
Try to be authentic
Being authentic is the backbone of content marketing strategy.
People can spot you if you are fake! Whatever you say, do and write should be consistent with your personality, your values, and what you’re passionate about. If you are trying to be somebody else, it will come through your content.
A strong personal brand creates trust between you and your audience. A recent study found that 50% of buyers buy a product based trust factor.
And 67% of first-time customers will make a purchase if their values align with your brand’s values.
What is your business strategy?
Your primary goal should be to develop content that tells your story in an engaging way to the audience. That means every time your audience sees your content across various platforms; there should be a uniformity in terms of appearance, use, size, scope, color, feel, etc. Your brand should have a good recall value with the users.
The questions you need to ask yourself is:
- Do you want to raise brand awareness among your potential consumers?
- Increase sales among your occasional consumers?
- Shift your brand image among one of your consumer segments?
- Or better engage with your loyal consumers?
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Identify your audience
Your next goal should be to identify your target audience and to find out where they are in the consumer journey. Accordingly, your goals will differ. Start asking questions like:
- What are the needs, issues, challenges, and aspirations of the consumers?
- How do they shop?
- What information are they after?
- What are their social media habits?
Allocate a specific budget to your content marketing team
Prioritize your channels of content marketing based on your available budget: Be focused. You can’t go everywhere your audience is and can’t please everyone.
Sit with your marketing team and try to figure out a roadmap to develop your brand and the corresponding content strategy.
Follow a brand guide: The entire marketing team (from freelance writers to marketing directors) of your company, should have a distinct brand voice and guidelines to adhere to. After all branding is all about building reputation of the company! Scattered messaging and inconsistent brand voice can confuse your audience. The guidelines should be such that it encourages the use of clear, concise language that avoids technical jargon.
Define your value: You have to constantly remind your customers how useful your offering is and that they are getting value for money. Give information about your products or services in the form of case studies or white papers or advertise a new offering.
If your content is in line with your brand, it will lead to customer retention.
Take action: Once everything is sorted out, it’s time to take action.
Blogging is a big part of content marketing. You can choose to market your content through a blog, start a YouTube channel, or launch a podcast… or do all three simultaneously!
Studies show that, businesses that blog get 67% more leads than those that don’t.
But the blogs you write should build trust among your audience.
Here’s a good content marketing example:
With its Share a Coke campaign, Coca-Cola customizes its cans and bottles with names, jargons and messages, creating a unique and personalized brand experience. Coca-Cola encourages its young consumers to become its brand advocates and share the products on social media. In addition, it also inspires them to connect with each other and with the brand. The Share a Coke campaign thus created a storm on social media, leading to increased sales, and strengthened the relationship between the young customers and the brand.
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Share a Coke (Coca-Cola)
Lastly, content strategy must be a continuous process. It is advisable to not go for “campaigns” in content marketing since they have an expiry date. Do some routine work to keep having eyeballs for your brand like:
- Publish one blog post per week
- Share your content on social media regularly
- Connect with influencers to get them to share your content and build a relationship
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