Many young (and even established) companies hit the ground running because they came up with an epic product or service that people just HAD to have. It wasn’t about a marketing play or about having a great website or business plan, it was just about developing something awesome that people wanted to get behind.
But what happens next? Once you’ve established a customer base for yourself and learned through trial and error what these people want from you, what is the next step? How can you keep growing and reach the people who haven’t heard of you yet? The answer, in most cases, comes down to branding. But, it’s not going to stop there.
How content marketing and branding work together
Have you ever heard of the term branded content? It’s a twist on the traditional way of advertising, meaning it’s still advertising without looking or feeling like it. It’s about bringing value to the consumer and can come in essentially any form, like live streaming, blogging, webinars, or a video on YouTube. The goal behind creating branded content is to give your audience something that they want, like entertainment or knowledge, in a way that allows them to engage with your brand in an authentic way.
Now the way that branding and content marketing works together is like this — you create the content to give your audience what they want, but you do it strategically so that you’re simultaneously building your brand — it’s a win-win for everyone.
We’ve talked before about the 3 Vs of building your brand with content marketing and explored how defining your vision, value, and voice is an essential component of building your brand through content. But what else can you do? How can you use content to build your brand?
How to build your brand with content
Branding incorporates countless elements and variables, but one of the main components of building your brand is content marketing. If you want to create a presence that gets noticed and remembered, you’re going to do it through your content.
Here are some tips to help you use your content marketing to build your brand.
DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE GROUPS
It’s unlikely that you have just one group of ideal customers. Typically, businesses wind up with multiple buyer personas that all represent various types of people. Different people have different needs, therefore requiring different messaging if you want to convert.
An initial part of your content marketing strategy will always be defining your audience and building out those buyer personas, so make sure you take full advantage of this opportunity to get as specific as possible. Create as many buyer personas as you need, and develop a content strategy specifically for each one. This way, you can ensure that your brand message is strong and on point for each customer segment.
TALK ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT
Building a unique brand is going to require that you take a hard stand on how you’re different from everyone else, so make sure you leverage that messaging in your content creation.
Whatever it is that makes you better or different from the other guys must become part of your overall branding and used in your content. It’s how people will remember you, and how you’ll get found in the search engines for those insanely specific problems.
OPTIMIZE, PROMOTE, & ANALYZE YOUR CONTENT
This isn’t anything new or groundbreaking but it’s shocking how many businesses just blindly continue to pump out content without paying attention to what’s working, what’s not, and ensuring it’s getting pushed out to as many places as possible.
There is zero value in creating content that no one sees, so don’t be shy about posting and promoting your content everywhere you can. If you’re truly creating valuable content that people will want, you’re doing them a disservice by making it hard to find.
The other key thing here is that you need to PAY ATTENTION to your analytics. What topics are getting the most views and engagements? Your audience will tell you what they want more of, you just need to listen.
As we forge ahead into this fast-changing digital landscape, one thing is clear — the most powerful companies and people will be the ones who manage to establish a brand. Something that is uniquely theirs that people recognize, trust, and value. Content marketing will continue to play an integral role in building a brand and will be one of the most impactful and powerful tools in your arsenal.