Content marketing is a broad field that requires a great deal of creativity backed by excellent market research. As internet access becomes more widespread, online content becomes a more valuable asset to marketing plans and strategies. Through social media and online content, brands are now sharing and letting their message roam throughout markets and across demographics organically, and actual sales pitches are few and far between.
That doesn’t mean online marketing is the sole focus of online marketing strategies. Far from it: in reality, online compliments offline marketing well, and can enhance your brand’s overall impact. Impact is the name of the game when it comes to online marketing now: to be successful, you have to leave an impression that establishes instant recall with your potential customers. Here are a few reasons why and some tips on how to do it.
Brand Impact Is Everything
The impact your brand has on your customers—from the past, in the present day, and in the future—will determine overall success and business health in the long-term. If you’re not building any impact, you aren’t encouraging repeat business, and you aren’t creating curious new customers, meaning they won’t be there to convert later on.
Brand influences purchase decisions, drives sales, and impacts the overall price customers are willing to pay for a product. It’s common for smaller businesses to think that “Brand” is just a buzzword, and is something that doesn’t apply to them, or something they don’t have the resources to develop. That’s far from the case; especially now with the sheer amount of free and relatively inexpensive marketing services and platforms on the internet today.
For small businesses, all it takes is a few social media accounts, the determination to make valuable content, and the willingness to share it with customers—not as a business, but as a friend.
Getting Involved As a Positive Influence Strengthens Brand Impact
The key to brand impact, both online and offline, is a content marketing strategy that focuses on shareable, valuable content. Search engines are leaning in favor of this content online. Internet users are becoming more and more accustomed to preferring this content over other content as they browse the web. The telltale signs of shifting market values are all there, and businesses that can hop on this wave can ride it for a good long while.
The best outlet for shareable content is a blog on your business’s webpage. As David Germano from the Content Marketing Institute says, few brands are truly “owning” their content these days, and aren’t taking full advantage of these trends and technologies. True media ownership requires that your content should be fresh, consistent, immediately valuable to readers, instantly optimized for social sharing, carefully measured, and potentially lucrative content for not only yourself, but others.
This means daily or weekly blog posts that aren’t selling your product—they are promoting your brand with valuable, business-relevant stories, news posts, editorial pieces and resources. Businesses need to act more like publishers and less like marketers: your marketing content should become a service in itself.
Careful Research Produces Measurable Success
The necessity for more content designed to satisfy readers means that the topics and subjects of that content need to be the focus of careful, constant reassessment. Germano discusses this point as it applies to businesses just beginning to transition to these new practices: “it’s within these initial phases of content marketing that brands soon discover how important some level of editorial process is in generating quality content […] I mean the constant process of determining what the audience needs.”
By focusing your content generation on fresh topics with research from free traffic statistics tools, and thanks to simply paying attention to trends and demands within your targeted markets, content marketing becomes immediately relevant to consumers.
This is the power of “new” content marketing practices and the brand impact it creates: no longer are you trying to reach customers when they are simply seeking your product. You’re hitting potential customers with content that may not be immediately relevant to your product, but carries with it your brand name.
Adopting a new content marketing strategy sounds like a daunting task, but with help from professionals that can take the guesswork out of SEO marketing and keyword research, anyone can make the transition. The rigors of making the change are far less costly than the business losses incurred from not adapting to current trends.