In today’s competitive marketplace, there are thousands of businesses offering similar services or products as yours. However, some of these companies are doing well, while the majority have been struggling to make ends meet. Surprisingly, the difference could be as simple as their branding strategy. A branding strategy involves a lot of elements but in the end, it should define your business personality, your promise to the customers, and generally what your business stands for. While color scheme, a logo, and a slogan are an integral part of your brand, effective branding involves more. You need to make use of resourceful websites like https://keyword.com/ to learn what your audience needs and create the right perception in their mind.
What is an effective branding strategy and why is it important?
Simply put, a branding strategy is a comprehensive plan for building a unique identity for your business to achieve your business objectives. An effective branding strategy, therefore, impacts on all aspects of your entity and directly connects to your customers’ emotions and needs. A branding strategy can help promote your business in the following ways:
- It improves brand recognition – your audience can easily and quickly identify your business.
- It increases trust – most customers want to buy from a company that they already know and identify with. Both your prospects and existing customers know what you offer, making it easy to engage them.
- Inspires your employees – Branding gives your staff a sense of direction and motivation to work towards achieving a specific goal.
- Increases your financial value – a strong brand is by itself an asset. Moreover, it allows you to charge a premium your audience knows your value and are willing to pay for it.
- Generates new customers – Consumers are quick to refer their friends to products, services, and companies they love and trust. According to statistics published on invespcro.com, word-of-mouth referrals are 90% more likely to buy from and trust a recommended brand.
- Influences stakeholders – the reputation of your brand can affect the decision of other stakeholders including local authority, investors and even your suppliers. For instance, with the right brand strategy, you can secure valuable partnership, mergers, and even qualified employees.
Of the many branding elements, one of the major tools of creating a powerful brand strategy is content marketing. In short, content marketing is the core of all your branding efforts.
The Role of Content Marketing in Branding
Content marketing involves building quality content that brings value to your audience, making them engage with your business and eventually purchase your product or services. It includes blogging, social media publishing, and sharing videos with a tone that feels and looks non-promotional. Content marketing enables you to:
- Build a unique identity – define and communicate your value, vision, and voice for your brand.
- Increase your brand reputation – your content will help prospects and customer to develop a positive opinion of your business. 70% of consumers fancy learning about a company through articles over direct ads (Lyfe Marketing).
- Establish authority in your niche – great content showcases your expertise in your field, increasing consumer confidence in your business and products. 61% of online shoppers make a purchase decision after reading recommendations on blog articles (Content Marketing Institute).
- Build strong relationships with customers – Interactive content can boost customer retention, getting you more repeat sales and brand advocates. Over 78% of consumers feel that brands that build custom content are interested and willing to build a lasting relationship with them (Lyfe Marketing).
Creating a Powerful Brand Strategy Through Content Marketing
- Define your content marketing goals
The first thing is to clearly define the purpose of your content. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your brand have a unique and consistent voice?
- Are you struggling to gain and retain customers?
- Are people aware of your business and your products/ services?
- Do you get relevant feedback from your customers?
Once you have figured out the above, you can develop and prioritize specific goals for your content marketing. For instance, you can have goals to increase your brand awareness, audience engagement, promote customer loyalty and so on. It is also important to create goals that are specific, realistic and measurable.
- Conduct a thorough market research
Market research helps you to understand the specific needs of your different target audience groups. It enables you to identify your customer, potential partner, and other relevant stakeholder personas. Create as many personas to represent the various audience segments and develop a content strategy for each. This enables you to create an accurate and strong message for your brand.
How do you know what your target audience needs?
- Keyword research – using an online keyword research tool such as Google Keyword Planner to discover what your audience want to learn in your field. For example, if you want to promote your realtor agency in New York, you can use ‘Realtor Services in NY’ to get high demand keywords focusing on your audience group.
- Use search suggestions – When you type a search phrase on Google, you will get suggestions and questions that your potential and existing customers have around your topic.
- Create a content strategy
Content strategy involves defining and documenting the process of creating, publication and the management of your content. This helps your organization to manage all types of content while keeping both the audience and your team happy. A good approach may comprise of the following practices:
- Content inventory and auditing – keeping a record of all your content can help you decide which pieces to replace, keep or update depending on their relevance to your branding goals. On the other hand, content auditing analyzes the performance of every piece of content and focus on content that works for your brand.
- Content governance framework – Identify and assign content marketing tasks like creation, distribution, production, and management to members of your team. Document and distribute your content standards to other departments.
- Digital asset management (DAM) – Use DAM solutions/ services to store and access all your digital content such as text, videos, images, and other digital assets. This also involves registering your digital assets to obtain licenses or copyright, making them your property.
Besides, DAMs promote efficient use and reuse of content as well as enhance version control and consistency.
- Content Planning
This is the tactical bit of your content strategy. It defines the type of content you need to promote your brand, major topics, when and how to share your content.
Which type of content is fit for my branding strategy?
- Informative/ Educational – Content that educates your customers, employees, partners and other target groups.
- Entertaining – creating and formatting your content to make it readable and interesting. You can add images, video clips and humorous tone where possible.
- Overcoming objections – Content to guide the audience through the buying journey to minimize potential objections. A good example would be ‘how to subscribe for ABC Package’ for a service subscription brand or FAQs.
- Forum/ Debate/ Community – creating pieces that spark debate and encourage the interaction of your brand community.
- Customer Experience – Focuses on filling content gaps to make the lives of your customers easy.
- Content promotion, Analysis, and optimization
This involves choosing the right platforms to promote your content such as social networks, business website, and guest blogs and so on. Additionally, you need to analyze the value of each piece of content to learn which content is or not working as well as optimize your content to achieve your desired results.
Content marketing takes a very critical role in creating an effective branding strategy. Focusing on your content marketing strategy helps you to identify your target audience groups, develop a unique and identifiable voice for your brand, and increase your brand awareness. The above guide shows you how to use content marketing to create a powerful brand strategy for promoting your business.
Author Dancun Kingori
Dancun has been working with writing-challenged clients for over five years now. He offers ghostwriting, ghost editing, coaching, and SEO writing for businesses that want to see their sites at the helm of Google SERPs. His education background in communications and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches. His writing skills can be confirmed on upwork.com, where he is a top-rated freelance writer. He especially enjoys writing website and blog content for startups and e-commerce businesses.