Content marketing is an evolution of traditional marketing. It shifts the focus from product centric messaging to pull marketing techniques with benefit-led content, easing customer challenges. It answers the increasingly hard challenge of getting the attention of our customers by engaging prospects with content that answers their pain points.
Content is the heart of communication strategy. Getting the message right, in the right format and delivered at the right time is the key to encouraging action from your audience.
But where does it all start from? The foundation of your entire content marketing strategy is not an attractive logo, or a catchy slogan. It is a compelling brand story. Building a strong brand in a world where consumers are flooded with news and information and confronted with more choices than ever is all about reaching and building a meaningful relationship with your customer. That is why it is essential for marketers or businesses to develop a compelling brand story that they can share with people.
A great brand story is a gift that never stops giving. Unless you are telling a good brand story and connecting with your audience on an emotional level, they are just going to take the cheapest offer. They have no brand loyalty to your brand. So whenever you are creating the content marketing collateral, it is important to focus on the brand story.
Tell the story of your brand
There are four key elements to every brand story:
- Common ground – Know where to connect with your audience based on key consumer insights. That allows you to drive the right message and do something that will resonate with your prospects.
- Brand history – The origins of your company, why you started and what was the original problem that inspired you to create your product or service.
- Consistency – People like the messages they receive to be consistent. A consistent story, well told, is a powerful tool for how a brand will be received. “Consistency” translates to honesty, clarity, and believability when it comes to how your audience perceives you.
- Authenticity – Cheesy stories won’t do the job. Also, brand stories are not ads or sales pitches. You want to tell the real story with a lot of personality, from the writer’s perspective, that will attract and retain your customers, and the best way to do it is just being genuine.
A thoughtful, unique, emotional brand story can help tie your audience into your brand unlike any other type of marketing content.
Wedding Wire is a brand that does the brand story right. By allowing couples to share their stories of their big day with others, they show the “human” part of their brand. And as we know, people connect with people, not with products and services.
Benefits of content marketing
Build stronger connections with clients
By distributing content that adds value to your target audience without directly selling products or services, it’s possible to build trust amongst your audience, which in turn is likely to influence a prospective client to pick your brand over a competitors later on.
Establish your company as a thought leader
Content marketing is a long term strategy. By distributing content that talks directly to your audience and providing advice on the issues that matter most to them, over time you can position your company as thought leader in your market, setting your company above the competition.
Reach varied audiences
Unlike traditional marketing which broadcasts content in a “push” fashion, content marketing is a lot more about “pull” messages. By drawing user interest, rather than broadly publishing material, it’s possible to target your different audiences with the specific content that will appeal to them.
Many forms of content marketing open up avenues to start conversations with your audience such as comments enabled on blog posts. Content marketing creates the opportunity for interaction: Listen to user comments and create conversations to get closer to your audience and understand their needs.
Get more search engine traffic
Content marketing pieces should be full of all the right terms your audience are searching for which Google, Bing and all search engines alike love. Make it easy for your audience to find you by publishing the right content filled with key phrases and meta- tags for SEO performance.
Attract new clients
In the ecommerce industry, especially B2B ecommerce, information search is crucial during the buying cycle. Content marketing is a perfect platform to reach buyers when they are looking for information to solve their challenges. Try to understand the needs of your audience and publish content that will help alleviate their problems.