Loyalty to a brand drives business. You don’t want to be a churn and burn company. No, you want to develop loyalty amongst your customers. You want to do this because ultimately it means that customers are more likely to choose you over competitors because they feel that they get more value from your brand as a whole, often regardless of price.
There’s no excuse for not implementing a content marketing strategy for your brand, with so many options entailed within this discipline, there’s an activity to support any business, in any industry. Not to mention that it’s highly accessible – you don’t need a big budget – just some creativity and an understanding of your audience.
1. Avoid being misleading
One of the key concerns of customers over content marketing is being misled. One of the problems facing brands who utilise content marketing can be engaging with audiences in a genuine way. The content you create must support your offering without being too ‘salesy’ and offer genuine value.
If you continuously push irrelevant, spammy or misleading content, instead of providing genuinely entertaining or useful content, your audience will quickly distrust you and no longer view you as an authority in your industry.
2. Establish a method of measurement
Without a way to determine the success of your content, it can present difficulties in creating effective resources. If your success metrics are website hits or increasing session duration, then you’ll want to create content that draws people to the site or maintains their attention over longer periods of time.
If your KPI is to increase brand interactions on social media, then you’ll need to consider what content is the most regularly shared by the types of people in your audience persona. You’ll have to explore what they share regularly and what they enjoy, whether this is DIY videos, memes or long form blogs, it needs to have a measurement methodology behind it.
3. Determine a need
One of the worst things a brand can do is create the content that they want to make instead of the content which their audience wants or needs. You may have a desire to create a content that directly supports your sales messaging, however, this isn’t the approach you should take if it doesn’t suit your customer’s needs.
Instead, you should look for knowledge gaps, spaces in competitor content and overarching industry questions derived from social media and forums. You can then use your platform to create and distribute useful content that supports your customers before, during and beyond making a purchase.
For example, companies who produce cookware shouldn’t just aim to create advice for using their products, but instead, create ways to help all kinds of people develop their cooking skills through instructional and free content such as recipes and videos from similar people.
4. Develop audience goals
Understanding the final desired outcome for your customers is crucial to developing content that meets their needs. Without an understanding of why they might follow you on social media or the ways in which they need help, will mean less steer for your content strategy.
First, you need to identify a problem, this can be big or small. You then need to look at the journey from problem to solution and what steps your brand can take to make this process easy. It could be creating a series of videos, a ‘how-to’ blog post of a series of images or any number of types of content. The important thing here is to determine the best medium to suit your audience and build the journey around this to ensure suitability and relevance.
5. Find backlink and SERP gaps
If you’re unsure of where to begin when determining a content strategy for your brand, you can use data to point you in the right direction. This can be done by considering which key terms you’re perhaps failing to rank for organically in the SERPs or by identifying opportunities through finding search terms with missing featured snippets.
Another route is to consider conducting a link gap analysis. Through this, you can compare your backlink profile with that of key competitors and identify areas where they have obtained coverage, citations and links back to their site and you have not. You can then use this to inspire your content strategy and align it with SEO objectives too.
6. Start scheduling
You shouldn’t rely on your audience being online during your office hours, so you should invest in scheduling software to ensure you can get your content in front of the right people at the right time.
Most scheduling software will also tell you the best times of day to post and offer insights into your user’s activity. From this and other analytics, you can determine what types of content to post in order to see the highest level of engagement. You should also undertake A/B testing regularly to understand what types of content your audience prefers.
7. Get users involved
User-generated content is arguably one of the most effective approaches when it comes to boosting trust and engagement. Not only does it build brand affinity through feeling special for having your content, as a customer, noticed by a brand, but it is also more effective in convincing other users of the value of your brand.
As with influencers, user-generated content is often trusted more so than content created by the brand. We often trust the views of ‘real people’, over those perpetrated by a brand, because these people have less of a perceived agenda when speaking highly of an experience. It’s important to keep an eye out, particularly on social media, for users who are your existing brand advocates as they can prove highly valuable.
8. Demonstrate genuine brand values
We’ve previously discussed the importance of having a point of view as a brand and this is one of the key ways you can create content that aligns with your customer’s beliefs. If you’re going to fit into your customers lives effectively you’ll have to find common ground that you can then centre your content around.
It’s important to use your content to communicate your brand values as this can help establish a community of customers who feel that you understand their lifestyles and choices, in depth, and will prefer to purchase from you than a company who is trying to please everyone.
9. Choose the media fit your audience
Different audiences prefer different media, that much should be obvious. If your content is targeted to meet busy commuters needs, then it shouldn’t consist of multimedia which is hard to access on mobile or relies on a long period of free time, such an ebook.
Instead, you should consider the most accessible and easily digestible type of multimedia which will meet the audience needs. Consider the time and place that your audience is most likely to access this content and ensure that you’ve designed to fit this situation.
You should consider copy, video, audio and imagery. Your approach might just consist of one of these media assets or multiple types to enhance the experience.
10. Consider your channels carefully
There’s no good in creating highly tailored, quality and relevant content if it’s not going to reach your core audiences. The most effective way to distribute your content, to get it in front of your customers, is to explore the channels they are most likely to interact with.
This could be anything from publications they frequent, to the social media channels they use. It’s important to position your content on the right platforms, not just to ensure it is seen, but also to demonstrate your understanding of the audience’s preferences. You should also look into analytics platforms available to you to distinguish the optimal times to serve this content.
For more information on how we can support your brand awareness through content marketing, why not get in touch with us today?
Also published on Medium.