If you missed our October 5th webinar, fear not! Check out this amazing recap from our speaker, Afton Brazzoni.
The digital marketing landscape is a vast, noisy place where companies are constantly vying for customers’ attention. Traditional, “look at me!” outbound marketing tactics are no longer enough to build lasting relationships that will drive your organization forward. But how do you tell compelling stories that can entice cold prospects to trust you with their business?
- Why producing content is crucial to growing your audience, getting your message heard and landing more sales faster while keeping your customers engaged.
- How to define who you are and in turn establish your company’s credibility through strong brand messaging and content marketing.
Amplify your voice with content marketing
Content marketing is an essential business activity. It’s a long-term strategy that focuses on consistent creation and distribution of content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. Content marketing involves much more than posting on social media, though. It typically includes creating case studies, white papers and blog posts as well as video content or even a podcast, to educate your market on your company’s industry, products and services, and the results you deliver for customers.
As a type of inbound marketing, content marketing doesn’t involve tactics such as advertising, which is more costly and less effective at building relationships. This isn’t to say you should stop running ads, but rather to say you need inbound and outbound pillars to support your marketing strategy. This is especially important in a time when third party cookies are on the way out and advertisers need to rely more heavily on first-party data (or owned data such as email lists) to reach potential customers. Content marketing is a powerful tool in your toolkit.
The case for content marketing:
- 43% of internet users globally and 41% in Canada use ad blocking tools at least once a month (Backlinko, 2021)
- 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (HubSpot, 2021)
- 64% of top marketers use content to generate sales/revenue (Content Marketing Institute, 2021)
The case for content marketing is strong. However, before you can get started, you need to have a well-defined, consistent brand story and brand voice. Let’s explore how to establish these written elements of your brand to lay a solid foundation for the future content you’ll produce.
Articulate your brand and build credibility
As a marketer, you have a mile-long to-do list. If you haven’t yet created brand messaging to complement your visual identity, you’re not alone. In the marketing industry, emphasis tends to be placed on the visual when we think of branding. Your brand’s visual identity is likely well thought out with consistency to it — and the way your company comes across in writing should be as well. This is critical to building brand awareness and your credibility. In fact, consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by 33%.
Here are 3 things to focus on when it comes to your brand messaging:
- Brand values: These should guide your interactions with your audience and establish trust with them. When you get to know someone well, you learn what they stand for and what you can expect from them. The relationship between your company and your customers plays out similarly through the type of content you create. Nearly 90% of consumers stay loyal to brands that share their values, so knowing your values and creating content that aligns with them is well worth the effort.
- Brand personality: Your personality should be reflected in the way your brand comes across in writing and in other mediums. This will help inform your voice so it stays true to your values and personality, again building trust with your audience in all of the stories you tell through content marketing.
- Brand story: Your story should include how your company got started, and the key points about your organization that set you apart from competitors. If you don’t have this written component of your branding nailed down yet, you risk others writing your story for you – and you always want to shape the conversation about your company. Share snippets of your story on social media to drive engagement.
Tell your story authentically
So, how do you craft an authentic storyline in a way that reaches your target audience and keeps them engaged? Here’s one example:
This case study by dictation software company Talkatoo keeps the focus on the company’s customer (a veterinary clinic) and their customer’s mission of saving animals’ lives, which Talkatoo’s software helps them achieve. As a tech company, one of the biggest storytelling challenges is crafting a relatable, human narrative that places your customer in the spotlight. You need to showcase the value and impact of your product while not making it the main focus.
When determining what kind of content is best for your target audience, think about what stories would be valuable for them to read, listen to or watch on video. Ask your audience directly what kind of content they’re interested in, too.
Ask yourself these questions to generate content ideas:
- What challenges does your target audience have? How do those challenges make them feel?
- What solutions do you offer? What do your customers say the impact is of working with you or buying from you?
- What are the most common questions you get asked about your business, products or services?
- What are some of the obstacles that may come up for people when they’re deciding whether to buy from you?
Above all, remember that content marketing is about making human connections and helping your audience solve problems. Try to entertain them whenever possible, too.
About The Author
Afton Brazzoni is the founder of Scribe National, a B2B content strategy and writing studio. She is passionate about helping companies amplify their voices to build thought leadership and support sales with content marketing.