17th October 2018
How can content marketing help strengthen your brand?
Inspired by an article I had read which described how Kylie Jenner can teach brands a lesson or two about content marketing, I wanted my latest SilverDisc piece to address this dilemma. It wasn’t necessarily the dubious title of Kylie being a “self-made” billionaire that peaked my interest, it was more so the in-depth consideration of how important branding is for the success her make-up business in particular.
For many who are more familiar with the Kardashians, unfortunately it can be quite difficult not to see them online, it is easy to see how their social media presence is usually a measured and cultured consideration to help maintain both their image, and to pump new content out to their millions of online followers. So, despite their interesting origins, the Kardashians were the motivation for this blog in my exploration into how great content marketing can help strengthen your business’s brand - a sentence I never thought I’d be writing in my first full-time job.
Why is content marketing important for your brand?
Content marketing is a crucial component of the murky world of SEO. I say murky in the sense of the occasionally unquantifiable, and generally unattributable, data which could demonstrate the improvement of organic traffic to your website. In other words, it can be difficult to show quantitative data which demonstrates the success of SEO campaigns, and even if you can, it could take several weeks or months to accumulate. Even then, there’s no sure way of attributing this to your actions. Explanations are hidden behind the sheltered walls of Google’s algorithms.
It’s enough to dissuade any business from engaging in content marketing, but it would be foolish to ignore this channel entirely. Content marketing is a prominent feature in establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with your specific audiences. If you put enough time and energy in your content strategy, you create an audience who think of you when they need information, and therefore come back to your brand time and time again to consume fresh content that is both interesting and informative. As potential customers come back to your website or read your marketing emails, they are more frequently in a position to take action based on your offering – whether it be to buy, to enquire or simply to call.
Take Kylie Jenner, a socialite who has created a mass media audience who consistently return to her social networks for new content. Regardless of her reality tv origins, this audience had to be maintained and fed new content regularly. This is a sure-fire reason why her make-up brand has made her millions of dollars and caused the ‘Kylie Cosmetics’ pop-up shops to overflow as and when they open across the globe. Her audience want to be part of her brand.
How does B2B content marketing differ from consumer content?
In the relatively short time I have spent as a SilverDisc employee, coming to terms with the different perspectives of B2B and B2C clients has been a small but important consideration when creating content. As a B2B content creator, you aren’t producing content for the masses to consume - you’re creating content for an audience who seek your service to fix a problem or improve a process. There are many lessons which ring true for both B2B and B2C content however, as they both stem from creating a reliable and resourceful source of information.
For most, the idea of content marketing usually sparks the idea of blog writing. It’s true, creating a blog is a fundamental element to successful content marketing. The issue comes when a business uses a blog to pump out native advertising of their own services: create a topic related to what we sell, and then drive for a hard sell by mentioning the products and services throughout the blog. With the update of Google’s algorithms, the mystical processes which dictate what content is best suited and most important for readers, Google now focuses on quality rather than quantity. This rule is the most important tip for creating create content for B2B business. Here are a few more:
- Ensure your blog answers a question. By creating a blog which provides your audience with factual content, you are one step closer towards demonstrating you know your stuff by providing a solution. In many ways, your content becomes your CV: you can demonstrate you are up to date with industry news, are in tune with your audience, and are extremely knowledgeable about the service you provide.
- Words are boring. Don’t get bogged down with words by churning out the same structure of blog post. Visual content is a great way to grab the attention of you audience whilst simultaneously feeding them useful information. Infographics are a great place to start - even if you aren’t a designer and there are a growing number of tools online to help you create them easily.
- Ignore social media at your peril. Social media is a monumental element of marketing, but it will need to be tailored slightly differently for B2B companies. Your primary points of call may be LinkedIn or Twitter, but keeping in tune with the networks your audience is using and maintaining an active presence within those networks is crucial for your brand’s image.
But what content should I create?
Deciding what content is best for your brand is an important decision. A great place to start could be to ask your audience itself. You could conduct a poll, or use another simple method, to reach out to your potential audience and ask what they would like to see. The whole basis for your content marketing strategy should focus on how your content can bring value to your consumers. Do they just want to read about the latest industry news, or do they want to read about how this news will directly affect them?
Gone are the days of aimlessly filling a blog post with the same targeted keyword. Successful content in today’s online climate are long, informative sources of information which are published regularly. With more intelligent search algorithms comes the need to be more creative and innovative with the content you create online. The more accurate and informative content you post, the larger and more engaged your returning audience will be. Set a goal based on where you are now in terms of your organic audience, lay out where you want to be in an allotted time and then fill in the gaps of how to get there. I’m sure most of you would enjoy a Twitter following of over 25million, just like Kylie.