Continuing on in our ABC's of Branding series, we can't overlook the rapid popularization of using branded content. Content has become the key to effective advertising, retaining customers and spreading a precise brand narrative.
In this case, a simple definition of content is the subject or idea for a piece of audio or visual material created by a brand. It's important that this content is deemed valuable by your viewers, and enhances their experience with each encounter. The point of spreading content is to get your audience engaged with your brand, no strings attached. Spending time to craft content that mutually benefits the brand and viewer can be both brain racking and time consuming. Thus, the art of content creation was born.
Content creation is the process of shaping and developing visual and verbal materials to spread a message from a brand to a certain audience. There are several types of content genres, including storytelling, educational pieces, industry updates, and conversational debates. Adjusting your approach according to the audience you intent to reach is one of the main needs for content creation. For example, HubSpot explains that 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. This is evidence that like everything else in branding, your approach may change to suit a certain audience.
If content creation is the valuable message you wish to bring to your viewers, then content marketing is the vehicle which gets it there. Content marketing is the process of tailoring and distributing this valuable content to a larger targeted audience. The purpose of content marketing is to increase brand engagement in a way that appears low risk to customers. This type of content should be somewhat neutral and not too product heavy, and if calls to action are included, should be kept brief and to the point, since content marketing should serve a different purpose than advertising. Content marketing is taking the marketing world by storm due its time and cost effectivity in the long run. Distribution methods like social media have become crucial because of its wide reach, real time sharing and easy access. Whether its blogs or social media, more online content means a better chance of increasing consistency with your search engine optimization efforts - the more digital content, the better.
This makes it easier for your users to follow your content - if they're interested, they'll want to know when to expect new content. You have a better chance of succeeding if your content can be integrated into your viewers daily routine rather than being disruptive.
Content is not meant to be synonymous for advertising, so make sure to leave company and product specific calls to action to a minimum. While it is acceptable to personalize some content to your brand, make sure to respect the barrier between interactive content and persuasive ads.
If you're using social media, make sure to keep your posts visually enticing, while being short, sweet and to the point. However, if you opt towards educational content, lengthier content may be acceptable to explain and prove your statistics in detail. Be mindful of your audience, and try not to overload your viewers with information.
The appeal of content marketing is the creation of an online space where customers are welcome to engage and spend time with your company. Content has to be one of the most important things to get right in your brand. Mastering content creation and marketing is a definite must for your brand this year - if its wide reach to viewers isn't a good enough reason, its next-to-nothing price is.