Content marketing is essential to build your brand online. With the right kind of content, you can build and optimize your brand on the Internet so that it brings more traffic to your website and more sales to your business. More importantly, it can improve the overall image of the business and result in more sales, referrals, and consequently, more website traffic. The cycle goes on and on.
Content should be leveraged through several media channels to create a circle of traffic that is directed to your website lead funnel. The main media channels are organic search, social media, direct, web referrals and paid advertisements. Within these are several more channels. Most websites are invisible in search and some businesses therefore use PPC to attract enquiries. These businesses do not achieve the vast benefits of brand exposure. You need to leverage content through ALL media channels to really boost your digital brand and sales.
But if content marketing is so effective for branding, how come a lot of businesses are struggling in building their brand through content? What challenges do business owners like you face and what can you do to overcome them?
Brand Awareness: Top Content Marketing Goal
It’s important to first understand the link between content marketing and branding. By now, many marketers – probably your competition included – have already realized the power of content when it comes to boosting brands. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Marketing Profs, the No. 1 reason why organizations use content marketing is to raise brand awareness. Some 79% of marketers surveyed said so.
Other goals that scored high in the survey are customer acquisition (71%), customer retention / loyalty (65%), engagement (64%), and website traffic (62%). However, brand awareness is the only goal that nearly broke the 80% mark. Obviously, today’s businesses want to improve their branding online and are using content to make it happen.
Content Improves Branding, Website Traffic & Sales
Now if branding is the top priority for content marketers, how then do they measure success? In the CMI and MarketingProfs research, the majority of marketers cite web traffic as their main metric (66%). Others said they measure content marketing success by looking at social media sharing (52%), time spent on website (46%), and direct sales (44%), among others.
The right mix of content marketing that boosts your brand will result in more traffic, engagement, shares and sales.
Building Brand through Content: Challenges
Many marketers understand that for them to build their brand and generate traffic for their website as well, they need to market online using content. However, this is easier said than done. A lot of small business owners struggle with content marketing—much of this has to do with shortage of various resources to make it happen.
The CMI and MarketingProfs research shows lack of time (24%) is the biggest hindrance to implementing content marketing. Lack of budget (16%), producing the kind of content that engages (13%), and producing enough content (10%) are also major challenges for business owners. From here, you’ll notice that these resources are needed in this strategy: time, money, and technical skills. Does this situation sound familiar?
Solve Your Challenges with One Solution
You already know that the top goal of organizations in content marketing is to build brand awareness. You also know that they are faced with several challenges in doing so, such as lack of time and budget. Many business owners are stalled by these hindrances. But here’s the good news. You don’t have to be one of them. Here’s the solution in three words: Patterson Digital Marketing.
A survey by Aweber found that in smaller businesses, the CEO also serves as the primary marketer as well. In this setup, marketing takes a backseat because you are preoccupied with running the core business. As for branding? It tends to be forgotten; at least until you notice that you are losing customers to competitors with stronger branding. Don’t let this happen to you.
While you cannot do anything to increase the amount of hours you have in a day, you can dedicate a small portion of your revenue to content marketing done for you by us. Remember that content marketing helps in both brand optimization, traffic generation, engagement, shares and sales. No one else can run the core business like you can, but there are agencies like us who can take care of optimizing your branding and content marketing for you.
Your Brand Needs Engaging Content Now
The tricky part, with assigning your content marketing efforts to agencies, is knowing which content can be used for both brand optimization and traffic generation. What type of content is effective enough to yield both results? Indeed this is a nuisance. Should you ask the marketing agency to create typical SEO articles? Should you order press releases or product pages?
To understand what is “engaging,” you need to know what type of format your audience wants. In this regard, two formats stand out: videos and articles. Research by Gfk found that business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles rather than an advertisement. Marketers agree; some 72% of respondents in a Custom Content Council survey said branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements.
In the case of video, Accenture found that 90% of consumers actually watch online video. Here’s more: according to data collected by Animoto, 96% of consumers said they found videos helpful in making purchase decisions. Some 71% went as far as saying watching corporate videos left them with a positive impression of the brand. When it comes to reach, engagement, and building the brand, the best content formats to use are videos and articles.
Optimizing Content for Both Brand & Traffic
In typical online marketing techniques, content is optimized by making it more “searchable” to search engines. This entails the proper categorization and tagging, as well as the inclusion of meta tags, which are keywords that communicate with search engines like Google. You can also use this approach when using content for branding – with a slight addition to the process.
When you want to use content for branding, it must be tailored to improve the image of the business. This means balancing and mixing your key messages to address both the needs of your target market and your brand. Progressive marketers are going in this direction. According to Forrester research, 79% of marketers said their organizations are shifting to branded content.
While your customers appreciate it when you write about them, their needs, and how you can solve their problems, they also want to get to know you. They need to know if you are a brand they can trust and be loyal to. Remember, 62% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they are familiar with rather than try a new seller, a Nielsen study found. This is your opportunity to help them get to know you. You need to highlight the strengths of your business and make potential and existing customers understand why they should deal with you. This might mean you’ll be exerting extra effort as branded articles and videos are more difficult to create, but if you succeed, you’ll not only get that website traffic you need, you’ll also be able to build and optimize your brand.
Track Your Brand Expansion
We want your brand and content to be seen across ALL 5 digital marketing media channels including organic (search), social media (Facebook, You Tube, Google +, etc), direct (blog, landing pages), web referrals and paid advertisements. You need to optimize your digital marketing by linking all the content in these media channels to your website to drive more customers to your site and lead funnel. It is this optimization and linking that expands your brand and maximizes the number of customers reaching your site and buying because it attracts enquiries from ALL channels, not just search. You may use some of them like You Tube but they are probably not optimized and provide little value to your brand. Creating incoming links will expand your brand and enquiries.
We have our own software called Monster Metrics, based on analytics, that measures in real time the performance of each of the 5 channels and the contribution of each to your total website traffic. It also shows any problems with your website that may diminish its effectiveness. This is part of our service for clients but can be purchased on its own for just $180 + GST for 12 months – just 50 cents per day.
Every quarter, we give our clients a Total Brand Expansion Factor which is a score or measure we calculate from the metrics to show them progress on expanding their brand. No other agency does this.
We can help build and optimize your brand online through content marketing. We combine the power of articles and videos so your website gets the traffic it badly needs and your brand gets the boost it deserves. Don’t let your brand stay invisible.
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us now at (09) 449 1005 or (027) 489 5009 to arrange a free consultation on brand optimization and how to build your brand, enquiries and sales.
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