Creating a strong brand requires a lot of hard work. Maintaining its good reputation is even harder. But when it comes to ROI proper branding is a must. Many business owners and marketers realize that brand awareness is one of the most important points in every marketing plan.
Today, we’ll be talking about increasing brand awareness through content marketing. A few words about content – this is every piece of text, image, video, or anything else you can think of that conveys a specific message to an audience. Utilizing this powerful technique gets your business to a whole new level of communication with customers.
Now, let’s begin. Diving into content marketing requires a solid background of experience and knowledge in the field in order to stay on top of the wave (and avoid drowning). Here’s how you can get started.
Remember – Content. Is. King. Period. However, you can’t just create a piece and post it around like crazy with no plan and expect positive results. You need to create a strategy which has a specific purpose and follow it. You can start with:
The best way to promote your brand and engage people is to have a story. Every business has its story. Think of yours, it’s easy. How did you get the idea? While taking a shower? Or you got hit by an apple? How did you met with your business partner (if you have one)? How did your business grow? What are your successes? How did you manage to reach them? What are your company values?
Here’s an advice – take a piece of paper and pinpoint everything you can think of. Everything, even if you think it’s ridiculous or boring (like getting the idea while taking a shower). Then start writing and refining. Think of it as a fairy tale which tells the story of a company far, far away.
Now, when you get your story you’ll need to tell it to people. Think of your audience. Who they are, what they do, what interests they have, where they like to spend their free time. You need this to determine what type of content to use and which channels to choose. We’ll cover both in a jiffy.
You’ll also need to know what topics your audience is interested in. This is always useful when it comes to creating new and unique content. Do you receive the same question from your customers over and over? Answer it via a blog post, or social media, or wherever your audience is.
Brand awareness requires consistency and really hard work. You’ll need to remind your audience about you, who you are, what you do. Remember, people tend to forget pretty easily. Create a schedule of what, when and where so you can keep your content marketing on track and follow your strategy. Of course, you can improve it over time depending on your business needs. Just keep in mind that consistency keeps people engaged while schedule keeps you organized and on track. It also saves time and money indirectly.
Now, let’s assume you have all the data on your target audience. What types of content do they consume? Here are some ideas to consider:
Images – a picture is worth a thousand words. You can use this to convey specific messages like a motto or a photo of a charity organization your business is involved with.
Infographics – this is an image which includes interesting facts or data on it. But it’s not just an image of some plain text. It combines graphics and text visualized in an easy-to-read manner. You can choose this type of content to tell your story visualized like a timeline for instance. Another way to utilize it is to show off your company’s success with numbers.
Videos – you can use videos to tell whatever you want. Tell your business’ story, or record something nice your company had done. *Having in mind how much people love cat videos, you may shoot a video of you saving a kitten. Just kidding 🙂
Website – every self-respecting business has a company website. You can use those to tell people more about what and how you do it. What services you provide, what products you sell, how they can contact you, who are you. What you need to have in mind that this is more close to one-way communication than having a dialog. Yet, this is where you clearly state your company’s values and define your brand.
Blog posts – having a company blog is important. It’s one of the best ways to communicate with your audience. Keep it updated at all times so people can see that you’re real.
Press releases – you can use those to announce a new service, or an expansion of your business, or anything new around your brand.
E-books or online brochures – you can use those to describe your products or services in depth. Much like your website but in a downloadable version. Or you can write an e-book in the field of expertise of your business to educate your audience.
Webinars – a great way to communicate directly with your audience. This is basically an online seminar. You can share how stuff work in your company, engage and answer direct questions of your audience in real time.
You’ve chosen the types of content that suit your business needs. Now what? How people will know about this type of content?
Search engine optimization – this is basically ranking high on search engine (e.g. Google) result pages. It works great for your website and blog.
Online advertising platforms – Google Adwords, Bing Ads and other. You can promote your website through those. Actually, this is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness online.
Social media – don’t just stop at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Of course, they are a must but you can increase your brand’s exposure even more. Think of Viber, Snapchat, 9GAG, Reddit, Quora, and so on. Those are communities you really want to be in. Use Viber to create a public chat where you can update your customers for new deals. Use Snapchat’s new Promoted stories to tell them what a great new product/service you’ve developed. Use 9GAG to tell something funny about your business. Use Reddit to discuss important matters of the field of your business. Use Quora to answer people’s questions about your business, the field of your business, a specific product you sell, etc. All of those social media websites give you the opportunity to directly connect with your audience and create informative and valuable content. Which inevitably leads to increase in brand awareness. You want to be really careful with those as just one wrong step may ruin everything you’ve built so far. Remember, everything that is close to direct sales doesn’t work on any social media. Use it to build relationships.
E-mail – let’s not forget about this old buddy. E-mails remain a powerful channel to introduce your business, remind people of your brand and directly communicate with them. Create a newsletter and update your subscribers on a regular basis.
When you combine everything above you get the content marketing that will help your brand grow. Everything mentioned is actually content. Even when you write direct messages to your clients, you create content. Be sure to make it informative while staying true to your brand values.