Content marketing is a buzzword across most industries these days.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, over 89 percent of brands use content marketing to grow their business. Though many don’t realize it, content marketing is especially important for small businesses.
Many small businesses don’t have massive budgets to invest in advertising or other expensive marketing strategies and tactics to grow their brand. Content marketing is a great way to help you grow your brand with limited resources.
If your company is not using proper content marketing strategies, you're missing out on a fresh opportunity to grow your brand.
Strong content allows you to show your customers who your company is and what your brand represents.
Understanding brand awareness
Brand awareness is more than whether or not your audience knows your name and/or the name of your brand. It’s also about how well they understand what you do and how that make your brand unique.
To create this distinction, you need to generate good-quality content that sets your brand apart from your competitors.
In it, you’ll want to highlight details about your company that shows your audience and others in your market how your different, demonstrating to potential customers why they should choose you over your competitors.
For example, you might want to dedicate one page on your website solely to describe your company culture and how it’s unique within your market place.
You may also want to use a page to identify exactly what’s different about your company speaking specifically to the materials, strategies or methodologies you use to solve your prospect’s biggest problems.
How to use content marketing to grow your brand
Increasing brand awareness is challenging, but you can follow these seven steps to use content marketing to achieve your branding goals.
1. Know your audience and what makes them tick.
Knowing to whom you are speaking and what they’re all about - your audience - is the first step in creating any brand marketing strategy. You audience is the people you want and need to connect with, so all of your content needs to be directed to, and created specifically for, them.
There are a few key questions you should ask about your audience to ensure that you’re writing for them.
Who is your audience?
Brand awareness starts with understanding your audience. Without an audience that desires and needs your product, you wouldn’t have any customers with whom you can grow your brand awareness.
And to that end, it’s crucial you need to consider whom you are targeting.
The demographics of your your target audience are a key consideration in how you need to structure your content and what will appeal to their interests and values.
As a real estate agent, your content needs to be catered to educating buyers and sellers on how to achieve their goals while avoiding the mistakes that cost real estate consumers thousands of dollars when the buy and/or sell a home. You’d also want to communicate how your company is committed to providing them with a great experience through your dedication to the industry as an expert in the industry.
Where can you find your audience online?
Knowing your audience’s online tendencies is important, as well.
You should spend time identifying the sites and blogs your target audience spends time on and how you can create content that appeals to that audience.
You can also look into the types of content your audience spends the most time with on your existing pages. If you notice that they seem to interact more with pages that include videos rather than images, then make video a part of your brand awareness strategy.
The goal is to connect with your visitors by addressing their needs and wants in a website, and by studying their tendencies online, you’ll have data-driven insight on how to keep them coming back to your website.
2. Create a content strategy
Once you’ve gained a solid understanding of your audience, you’ll need to create a strategy for reaching them:
One of the best ways to align yourself with your audience and then grow your brand awareness is to tell your story.
By doing this, can promote your brand by letting people know where you started, how you succeeded, what you stand for, and what your company’s values are. Make sure these aspects of your story stay front and center in your campaign to give people a clear picture of who you are as a person and a company.
Doing this allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level and show them who you are, beyond just your products and services.
Next, you’ll need to make a choice about which types of content you want to distribute. There are many that can get the job done well:
Site pages: The first place people go when they want to learn about your brand, is the “About Us” section of your website. As I mentioned earlier, they should also be able to find a page that explains and describes your company culture, including information on your beliefs, values and work environment.
Blog posts: Blogs are one of the best ways to get in front of your audience and drive traffic to your site. It’s also a great place to do regular content marketing. In a blog, you don’t sell. You share your knowledge and become a trusted advisor in your industry, especially if you post blogs regularly.
Downloadable materials: People who come to your site love anything free and information is chief among that. Provide a free, downloadable guide on the front page of your website or on pages that go along with the information you’re covering in the guide.
Videos: Videos are an amazing type of content that gives potential customers the chance to see what you’re all about individually as well as a company. They give people a way to connect with you and your company, which makes them feel like they’re part of the family.
Webinars/Teleseminars: Webinars and teleseminars are extremely popular because you can watch and listen to the information rather than reading it. This is a great content marketing technique that you can even link to in your blogs about similar topics.
3. Create a schedule
Putting a schedule in place helps to keep your plan on track. Without it, you’ve got a map with no roads.
Determine how often you want to publish new content, and stick to that schedule.
It’s important to your brand awareness that you create consistency within your company—whether it’s the frequency of blog posts or in what tone you write them in.
The more consistent you are with your content, the stronger your brand will be. The stronger your brand is, the more influence you’ll have over your audience to get them to take action and choose you as someone with whom they’d like to work.
Yes. Implementing a content strategy is going to take some time, effort and creativity on your part.
As well, it’s going to take a consistent effort.
However, the rewards are absolutely worth all of it.
Put a brand awareness strategy in place today and see how it changes your business for the future.
This post was originally published by Market Maker Leads.