Content Marketing is Essential to Build Your Brand Online
With the right kind of content, you can build and optimise your brand on the Internet so that it brings more visitors to your website and more sales to your business. More importantly, it can improve the overall image of the business and results in more sales, referrals, and consequently, more website visitors. The cycle goes on and on.
Content should be leveraged through several media channels to create a circle of traffic/readers 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 untargeted PPC ads 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 the reach of you digital brand and grow your sales, profit and business.
But if content marketing is so effective for branding, how come a lot of small and medium-sized 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 realised 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 organisations 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 visitors (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 Visitors & 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 visitors 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 visitors, engagement, shares and sales.
Building Brand through Content: Challenges
Many marketers understand that for them to build their brand and generate visitors for the 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 organisations 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 have your content marketing done for you by us. Content marketing helps in both brand optimisation and increasing web visitors, engagement, shares and sales. We can’t run your core business but Patterson Digital Marketing can do your branding and content marketing for you. On a monthly basis, we write and distribute content in the form of articles, blogs, press releases and videos about your products and business. We do this from notes we take as we get to know you and the monthly program of topics we agree with you. You approve all content prior to publishing. This saves you time and utilises our proven track record of increasing web visitors and sales.
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 optimisation and web visitor 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.
Optimising Content for Both Brand & Website Visitors
In typical online marketing techniques, content is optimised 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 organisations 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 optimise your brand.
How Do I Implement Content Marketing?
Your brand needs 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 must optimise your digital marketing by linking all these media channels to your website to drive more customers to your site. It is this optimisation/linking that expands your brand and maximises 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 optimised. Creating incoming links will expand your brand and enquiries.
Next week’s Blog will set out exactly how to implement Content Marketing to build your brand and grow sales.
We can help build and optimise your brand online through content marketing. We use the power of content so your website gets the visitors it badly needs and your brand gets the boost it deserves. This WILL grow your sales by at least 50-70% pa and more.
CALL US on (09) 449 1005 or (027) 489 5009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation on brand optimisation and how to build your website visitors, enquiries and sales.