Traditional marketing techniques are slowly fading away in the face of modern marketing methods like social media marketing, affiliate marketing, online advertising, etc. Therefore, it is important for today’s digital marketing agencies to narrow down on the methods that have a strong impact on the target audience. Content marketing is one such method. It focuses on distributing valuable and relevant content for a niche audience and driving a profitable customer action from it. Ultimately, the catch is not to directly pitch the product or service to the audience and put them off, but to create content which is helpful.
By reading this kind of content, if the audience feels that it genuinely makes a difference in their lives, they will not only revisit the website or blog for more but also look for products or services offered by that particular brand. The authenticity and helpfulness of the content leads to brand awareness, one of the most important elements in running a business. But what exactly is brand awareness? Let’s have a look.
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness helps in creating a positive image of the company in the minds of the audience, and also in the market. This eventually helps a brand acquire new clients. With the help of content marketing, brands can speed up this process. To learn how let’s first look at why brand awareness matters and how it builds an online presence for a company.
Why brand awareness matters?
It takes 7 seconds for a person to form an immediate impression of a brand, says Forbes. Therefore, strong brand awareness helps in capitalizing this small window. It makes a customer conscious about a brand by the mere look at its logo or associating it with a popular service. Therefore, the popularity of the brand solidifies its image in the market and helps it in coming on top in a competitive industry.
Brand awareness also helps in creating a loyal customer base. It is proved by this online marketing study, which says that 59% of the customers prefer purchasing from familiar brands. A loyal customer base drives company sales. Hence, brand awareness matters. Let’s elaborate more on that.
1. It fosters trust
According to a study by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of the products are subconsciously purchased by consumers to be not overwhelmed by brands during their decision-making. In that case, if customers like the product they bought from a particular brand, they will return to purchase different products from the same brand without a second thought. Therefore, it helps in creating a level of trust between the brand and the customers. Brand awareness helps in fostering that trust.
2. It shows consistency in quality
It takes at least 5 to 7 impressions for a person to fully remember a brand. If brands are successful in that regard, they cannot only sell their services or products but also show how good they are in what they offer. To make it happen, brand awareness becomes crucial. It could be through advertisements on social media or other mediums of communication.
3. It increases brand revenue
When customers are aware of a particular brand, they will be interested in what it offers. If customers like what they buy, they will not only revisit that brand but also encourage others to do the same; through word-of-mouth. It will reflect on the stark difference in revenue before and after brand awareness. In fact, a study shows that it increases revenues by up to 23%. It acts as an excellent reason for companies to invest in their brand awareness.
4. It will boost a company’s online presence
Today, 50% of people follow one to four brands on social media. This can be a great way for brands to leverage this platform. Companies can promote their products and services, engage with their target audience and more. By using this channel to create awareness, brands won’t only create an image in the minds of the consumers but also drive online sales.
To build trust, increase revenue and boost a company’s presence online, brand awareness is vital. Now, let’s take a look at how content marketing improves it.
How content marketing helps brand awareness?
The basic objective of content marketing is to add value to the lives of the readers. It should be relevant to the subject and interesting enough to build a consumer base for the brand. Therefore, pitching a product or waxing lyrical about its features is not the way to go.
When it comes to adding value, brands could create content about how a certain industry operates or how to make a successful career in it. It could also be about how the operation of the company, its work culture, its achievements, future goals and more. Such content will not only help prospective clients know about the company and work with it but also interest professionals to work for it.
Let’s take an example. Recently, Zomato posted a beautiful message on their social media accounts, urging customers to offer water to delivery partners from any delivery company, owing to extreme temperatures in India. The heartfelt gesture received plaudits on social media, as it showed the emphatic side of Zomato. It also made a positive impression on their brand image. This is how content marketing should be. It should not only inform, but educate and help.
So, how do companies leverage this unique yet effective way of marketing? Here are some ways that will get them off the ground.
1. Understand the audience
The first step for a company to create a content strategy is to understand its audience. To create one, companies must learn the two important aspects of understanding the audience – 1) How to identify the audience and 2. How to analyse audience behaviour.
Let’s start with the first question. Brand awareness through content marketing is only possible if the content reaches its target audience. To avoid this, companies need to figure out the demographic they are targeting. Once that is figured out, the content should be structured in a way that appeals to the interests of the audience. For example, if the website is about providing advice on financial planning, and it plans to target the millennials within a specific age group, the content can be curated by understanding their pain points. It will not generate traffic for that particular article but also other articles related to financial planning.
Moving on to the next question, it is essential to analyse audience behaviour. This can be done by analysing the way they consume content online. Analysing includes tracking users’ time spent on blogs and recognising the type of content that generates the most views. This data-driven approach helps brands identify what their audience wants and how they can create it.
2. Draft a content strategy
Once the target audience is decided, the next step is to draft a content strategy. A strategy refers to planning, managing and developing content to publish on different platforms. This includes the type of content, topics, frequency and more. Let us start with the type of content.
Did you know 45% of markers say blogging is their most important content strategy? When we talk about blogs, we are talking about long-form blogs. It is because long content puts companies in an advantageous position of posting as much information as they can. When readers come across such blogs online, they get everything they need to know about a particular topic in one place. Thanks to this approach, readers won’t have to switch to other websites to learn more. It also throws an impression that a company knows A to Z about their particular domain, and are major players in the market. Therefore, good content leads to online popularity and online popularity leads to brand awareness.
Another way of creating content to increase brand awareness is by posting the company’s story on the website. Readers are always eager to know the background of any company, its vision, projects, services, and its achievements. The story will not only paint a clear picture of the company but also connect on a personal level with the readers.
Once the type of content is figured out, here is a step-by-step process on how to draft a content strategy:
a. Understand campaign goals
Before creating a strategy for the content marketing campaign, understand the campaign goals. The goals should be identifying the target audience, what kind of content to create and how will it benefit them in the long run. It helps in creating a buyer persona.
b. Establish KPIs
To measure the performance of the goals, establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs helps in creating short term milestones which help in achieving long term goals. Examples of KPIs are –
- Hitting a target revenue
- Signups (lead generation)
- New email subscribers
- Increase in site traffic
- Improvement in search rankings
c. Knowing the audience
There are three steps to know the audience. Let’s have a look at them.
- Collect demographic data – By collecting the data on the website visitors, email subscribers and social media followers, audience interests and preference can be understood. The data is in the form of age, gender, income, etc. It can be collected with the help of analytical platform like Google Analytics.
- Analyse customer feedback – Customer feedback helps in analysing how the content is received, how can customer problems be addressed etc. This data helps in creating a buyer persona.
- Creating a buyer persona – Buyer personas are the ideal customers for whom the content is created. By creating a buyer persona, brands can have the following information – target audience, kind of content they will respond to, and how will it be helpful to them.
d. Figuring out the best content channels
With the help of buyer persona and Google analytics, brands can identify the social media channels on which their target is most active. Accordingly, content can be created and posted on these channels.
3. Promote on social media
Social media is the perfect tool to promote content; owing to its wide reach. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, brands can create varied types of content to reach their audience. The content shared on such platforms can receive traction in the form of likes and comments. Thus, a healthy interaction between the user and brand is created – an essential aspect of brand awareness.
4. Analyze results
Once the content is posted, the results should be analysed. It helps in determining the success or failure of the content. Brands will also get an idea which content techniques did and didn’t work. Accordingly, brands can alter their strategy or even create a new one.
By following the above-mentioned ways, brands can create a cohesive content marketing strategy to promote brand awareness. It will also benefit the online presence for business purposes and change the brand’s fortune for the better.