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When you hear or read the words “content marketing,” what comes to mind? Most would start with the obvious contenders of blog posts, original landing page copy, or whitepapers. That isn’t all there is to content marketing. In fact, it’s a slim portion of what you should be focusing on and putting in front of your customers.
The traditional content marketing examples I listed are necessary (we have got you covered there), but it’s time to start thinking of your content as the heart of your brand. Successful content must come from a brand idea, breathe the brand voice, and be a constant advocate of the purpose of your product.
I believe the in the definition of the future of content, as explained by Tom Doctoroff: “Creative executions consumers can actively choose to ‘engage’ with.” There are a few major keys to keep in mind when transforming your branded content into a small aspect of the overall content brand. Follow these pointers and you’re on your way to being the “go-to” for resources in your space.
Image via Flickr by Tim Letscher
Just because you have an amazing product or service, doesn’t mean that is all you should be focusing your content marketing efforts around. You should be putting in the work and resources it takes to create in-depth content that is informational about your industry, yet relatable to all your readers.
By doing this, you will eventually build up a rapport with your readers. In time, two things will happen. First, the organic traffic your in-depth and awesome content gets will create leads and a viewer base. Second, once you have a solid viewer base, you can continue to create content, which that newer viewer base will naturally share with other potential leads. Feel the snowball effect yet?
You will never become a content brand by creating redundant content that has been written over and over again in different “angles.” The best way to come up with a new idea is to either outsource your content, or think of a problem you want to solve or explain. From there you will need to conduct surveys and put together the data that would make for a great long form informational read, again, that people want to read. I am sure you have heard that quality is the new quantity.
There is an abundant amount of ways to find free data out there, or you can create your own. We have found that the most successful, engaging content pieces we have created have always been pulled from a great pool of data that hasn’t been dissected and written about before. You can attack any source of data and research it at a new angle to solve a different type of problem for your customers.
Let’s face it, static content is out and interactive content is in. People want to have a unique experience each and every time they view a piece of content. Readers want to feel like the content is tailored specifically to them.
You can easily offer engagement by creating interactives. Interactive content offers the viewer a personalized experience. An ideal example of this is through quizzes or if/then content where the next view is based on something the user has chosen. By doing so, it is personalized each time a user goes through a unique decision making process. This also incurs a positive sharing effect when users want to ask others, “What answer did you get?”
Chipotle created an amazing interactive and informational piece of content named Friend or Faux. It takes the user through a unique journey, allowing them to decide which foods they believe are better for you than others. If the user selects an incorrect answer, it immediately shows them the correct answer along with an explanation as to why that food is better and is your “friend.”
Another important aspect of being a content brand is being able to share the content across all platforms and devices so it is easily and organically spread. You want to make sure your content is mobile responsive (as if that’s a choice in today’s world). Make sure your readers can view your content where and when they want it, as you are becoming their go-to resource.
Being a content brand comes with responsibility. You need to address the pain points of your audience and provide them with resources to help solve their day-to-day problems.
Once you continually do this, you will eventually build up enough cred with your customers that you can then move towards a sales funnel. It is time to become the one stop shop for their needs and create plenty of resources for them to keep coming back to learn more.
Now that you have the tools, it is time to finally evolve from being the looked over branded content into the trusted and reliable content brand. Always remember that content must come from a brand idea and must breathe the brand voice and goals.
Content needs to have a purpose whether it be humorous or emotional and it must engage the consumer. Content has to be relatable to every reader. By being the advocator in your space, you will eventually align your product with its purpose.
A few key points to remember are:
Content development has to be a core part of your business. Content isn’t optional anymore, as everyone is increasing their unique content marketing goals. They’re focusing on online resource building to, in time, grow the business as a whole.
When becoming a content brand, you need to remember that you are trying to not only educate, but to tempt your viewers into wanting more, wanting to come back to see what informational and entertaining content you will be publishing next.