Content marketing is now standard practice, with 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers citing it as a key strategy. Unfortunately, whilst most organizations appreciate the enormous potential of content marketing, many don’t understand how to put together a sound content creation strategy that helps them build a recognizable brand.
The Role of Strong Content in Branding
People are more likely to buy from businesses they know and trust. Effective branding inspires loyalty and repeat purchases; it tells a customer what they can expect, and gives an impression of transparency.
Articles, videos, social media posts, and other pieces of content can help you communicate your brand values, history, and mission, thereby driving engagement and sales.
Key Guidelines to Help You Build a Brand Thought Content Creation
To stand out from the crowd, your branding needs to be clear and consistent. Creating and publishing high-quality content promotes engagement, keeps your brand fresh, and inspires curiosity in your target audience.
So, how can you reinforce your brand via your content?
1. Create a Unique Story For a Brand
Human beings are drawn to stories, and they feel a sense of connection with people who share their histories. The same principle applies to businesses. A faceless corporation isn’t exciting, but a business run by visible people with real personalities is both appealing and memorable.
Start by asking yourself the following questions.
- Why did I/the founder start this business?
- What are the core values underpinning my business/the business?
- What is the business’ Unique Selling Point (USP)?
- How do I/we want to help or benefit others?
- What does a day in the life of our business look like?
Now, take your answers and piece together a concise, cohesive story. This can be used as a basis for different kinds of content, including:
- Behind the scenes videos that give your audience an insider’s view of your business operations;
- Video interviews with company designers, the CEO, or anyone else who plays a major role in developing products and services;
- Content covering any charities your business supports, and how these activities align with your company values;
- An interesting story or timeline for the “About” page of your website.
2. Research Your Audience to Help Tailor Content Production
Along with content that tells the story of your business, you need to publish content that caters to the wants and needs of your ideal customer. By repeatedly engaging with the same people, you will strengthen your brand’s position in the market.
The first step is knowing who it is you want to attract. For instance, if you sell women’s clothing, you might be targeting teenagers and women in their twenties. Having identified your main groups of buyers, you can then segment ideas for your content.
These two groups will have different priorities. For instance, teenagers might still be experimenting with a variety of looks, whereas a recent college graduate might be worrying about how to put together her first professional wardrobe.
Understanding your audience lets you make smart decisions when it comes to every aspect of content creation, including:
- The tone of your message – will your audience appreciate a formal or informal tone?
- The slang or jargon you use;
- The best format for your content – for instance, which social media platform does your ideal buyer prefer?
- The problems you address in your content – for example, men in their 40s and 50s are more likely to appreciate advice on hair loss than young men in their twenties.
Competitor research is useful here. Look at what others in your niche are doing. How do they market to your intended audience? What kind of content gets the most likes and shares? Keep up to date with trending topics on websites geared toward your audience.
Maintain a list of their interests and concerns, as this will provide you with inspiration later. You could also run small focus groups to learn more about their favorite topics.
3. Mix and Match Your Content to Keep Your Brand Fresh
The golden rule: Make sure your content is either informative, entertaining, or both. It should add value to your viewer or reader’s day.
Stay open-minded, and keep experimenting! Try blog posts, images, infographics, ebooks, videos, podcasts, case studies, or webinars – whatever format you think will best suit your audience. If you aren’t sure where to begin, use split testing to see which formats and platforms drive more traffic.
Remember, some platforms are particularly well-suited to various types of content.
For instance, Instagram is an image-based platform, perfect for creating visual marketing. Twitter is great for sharing bitesize pieces of information and links to blog posts, whilst Facebook is a good platform for video content. If you are a professional brand, LinkedIn is a reliable option for sharing articles and tutorials.
4. Create Content That Resonates with The Target Audience n an Emotional Level, Rather Than Focusing On a Product or Service
As a business, your priority is to make sales. However, your prospective customers will not appreciate you bombarding them with promotional messages. Most people have become immune to traditional advertising, instead preferring to buy from brands that care about their needs and resonate with them on a psychological level.
To establish yourself as an interactive, engaging brand, try the following tactics:
- Create articles, images, and videos that trigger strong emotions and invite sharing;
- Address a sensitive or important problem, and offer free advice or guidance;
- If appropriate to your brand, make a brief but high-impact statement on a recent global event;
- Show real customers benefitting from your product or service;
- Challenge a common misconception or myth head-on, by offering an alternative perspective;
- Get your audience excited about the future by analyzing or predicting future trends, and inviting their feedback;
- Limit your use of jargon as far as possible. Stick to plain English.
5. Use The Right Tools and Services
Stay realistic about your skill level. You might need to outsource some tasks, or at least use specialist tools and templates. For instance, if you have several good ideas for blog posts but don’t feel confident writing long articles, it’s best to save yourself time and stress by hiring a writer to turn your ideas into high-quality content.
6. Maintain The Same Voice Across all Your Content
Finally, remember that consistency is key. Follow MailChimp’s example, and put together a voice and tone guide. This ensures that everyone who creates content for your business is on the same page. Make it easy for your audience to pick out your content, keep them entertained, and you will begin to build a base of loyal fans.
About The Author:
Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian and currently she works as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. She traveled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.