Admit it. You just about skipped over this article. As an established company with a massive customer base, your brand is practically a household word. Just a shot in the dark, but I’ll guess that creating content for brand awareness is not exactly at the top of your priority list.
But is your content reaching all the potential customers it could? Statistics say otherwise. Back in 2012, our own Brody Dorland went to Content Marketing World – Nirvana for content marketers. There, he heard something that transformed the way he approached brand awareness in his content creation.
The founder of Compendium, Chris Baggott, pointed out something Brody never forgot: Eighty percent of all a company’s blog traffic comes from first-time visitors. That’s a lot of potential customers to leave on the table if your teams don’t create content that gives them a clear picture of who your brand is.
You need to adjust your content strategy to make these newbies aware of your brand. Here’s a simple guide that can help your content marketing teams make every piece of content you put out, a showcase for your brand.
First, Ensure That Future Content Bears Your Brand’s Unmistakable Stamp
Brand awareness isn’t blatant self-promotion. It’s making sure that your company’s values stand at the forefront of all the communications you put out.
What Does Your Company Do for Its Customers Better Than Its Competitors?
At the very top of those values should be what your company does for its customers. If it’s not there, your content efforts will fall flat.
Your first task is to get to know your target customers. Use Google, social media, and content analytics to narrow them down on demographics, online behavior, location, and other details. If it helps your teams put a human face on your customer segments, create buyer personas for each segment.
As Hubspot’s Allie Decker put it, your brand should provide such value for its customers that they describe themselves as “Coke people,” “Starbucks drinkers,” or “Nike wearers.” When a brand becomes so much a part of its customers’ identities that they brand themselves with the company name, it has succeeded.
However, your content needs to provide so much value that it makes new visitors into true believers. It needs to establish brand trust early on in the customer journey. As Decker points out, once a person or company “bonds to your brand,” purchases become second nature.
Position Your Brand as a Helpful Friend
Give your brand personality through emotional content. Then focus those emotions on your customers and their needs. Showing empathy for the challenges they face and then providing content that helps them solve their problems, is the quickest way to win their hearts.
We’re not just talking about B2C customer relationships. For B2B customers, too, as Chandler Hynek shows, emotion is a major driver in purchasing decisions.
Case studies that show how your company has helped others solve perplexing challenges – or simply feel-good content that shows how your brand impacts people’s lives – can build an emotional connection that goes well beyond a run-of-the-mill business relationship. Use storytelling strategies, such as the hero’s journey storyline, to turn a yawnfest of a case study into a compelling read.
Coca-Cola absolutely rocks when it comes to leveraging emotion to build brand loyalty. It might be a global brand, but it’s a friend – that kind of friend that sticks by your side, building your circle of friends, one introduction at a time.
Secondly, Allow Your Content to Be a Two-Way Conversation
All too many brands, particularly large ones with a tremendous workload, simply publish blog posts and email newsletters and all but ignore readers’ comments. Don’t let this be your brand. You can leverage your audience’s reactions at least two ways.
Turn Your Audience’s Questions into Springboards for Future Content
Chances are, for every question an audience member poses, there are several others with the same concern who are too shy or busy to ask the same question. Use these concerns to create other content that addresses the very issues that the questioners raise.
Whether it’s adding these questions – and your answers – to your FAQ page or creating separate blog posts to provide more detailed answers, potential customers’ questions, objections, and comments, are rich sources of content topics. Bonus points if you include a link to content that answers the reader’s question as a reply in the comment thread.
Answer Readers’ Questions Directly
As Decker points out, more than 50 percent of your brand’s reputation comes from what she calls “online sociability.” In other words, if a reader cares enough to comment, reach out to them with a personalized, actionable reply.
No one likes politicians who simply spout off speeches but don’t interact with their constituents. The same is true with brands. To “vote” for your brand, they want to see you as responsive to their concerns.
So, empower a few of your team members to follow up on readers’ comments. Fifty percent is a lot of brand reputation to leave on the table.
Finally, Rebrand Your Existing Content with Brand Personality
We’ve talked a lot about repurposing older content to reach new audiences. We harp on it because there’s a lot of wasted digital space out there. Put these old URLs to work instead of out to pasture.
First, start with a content inventory of your past output. Evaluate each piece for its potential to build brand awareness.
Then, turn your teams loose on revising it to focus on building brand awareness. Make sure that each piece shows who you are, what your brand can do for your audience, and why they should trust you.
While you’re at it, update any dated information, optimize it for today’s SEO algorithms, and reference current events instead of those of a few years ago. If you’ve updated your logo or other branded visuals, swap the old ones for the new ones, unless the older ones have vintage appeal.
Use this three-pronged content marketing strategy, and you’ll build the kind of brand awareness that expands your company’s reach to new audiences. But growing your brand awareness doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor.
You can automate and centralize most of the processes we’ve discussed with a comprehensive content marketing platform. With such a platform, you can have every phase of the content planning, creation, publication, automation, and content measurement processes right at your fingertips – in a single location.
The best news? Your company can try such a platform – DivvyHQ – for 14 days at no cost and no obligation. Start your free trial today!