Building brand awareness online should be one of the top priorities for companies of all sizes nowadays, regardless of the industry or niche you operate in. Given the fact that modern customers spend more and more time online and that they primarily engage with brands in the digital realm, it should come as no surprise that a thriving online presence is the key to long-term growth through lead generation and customer retention. After all, you’re much more likely to get new customers and keep the existing ones at your side if your brand has a noticeable and trustworthy presence online.
There are numerous ways to build brand awareness through digital marketing, but one of the key tactics you need to employ is, specifically, content marketing. Mastering the art and science of content marketing will be instrumental in ranking you higher on Google, boosting key UX metrics on your site, and spreading the good word of your brand across the digital world.
With that in mind, let’s talk about content marketing and how you can use it to build brand awareness in a competitive industry.
It all starts with audience research
The foundation of every successful content strategy (more on that in a bit) lies in meticulous market research. Specifically, you need to know everything there is to know about your audience and what moves and drives the individual, in order to create highly-relevant content that answers their questions, addresses their pain-points, and improves their lives in some way. Remember, people are not looking for content that will sell them something, they are looking for quality information and a solution to their problems.
To that end, you need to find out what it is exactly that troubles your target demographic, what their values are, what their core beliefs are, and what they’re searching for. No matter how bland you might think your industry may be, always remember that there’s plenty to write and talk about – you just need to know whom you’re talking to. To help you in this research, make sure to check what your competitors are doing as well.
Know the important SEO factors
Search engine optimization is the foundational pillar of digital marketing, and it is the main driving force behind long-term success in today’s online market. Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars on PPC and sponsored social media posts to some effect, but your true potential as a small business lies in SEO-optimized content. Why? Well, have you ever learned anything from an ad?
Probably not, so if your customers are looking for valuable information, why would you serve them targeted ads? You wouldn’t exactly, which is why you need to cover some SEO basics to get your content and website copy to rank higher in organic search:
Create a robust content strategy
Now that you understand your audience and the basic SEO factors that will determine your position in the search results over the long term, you proceed to create a content strategy. This strategy will encompass your short, mid, and long-term content goals, the metrics and KPIs you need to hit, as well as the concrete tactics you’re going to use to achieve them.
Needless to say, developing a content strategy takes time and effort, and it’s something that is usually handled by a content marketing agency with experience in your local market, your industry, and the world of SEO. No matter if you’re working with in-house or external marketing professionals, though, you need to make sure that your content strategy prioritizes content scheduling, keyword implementation, regular content output and audits, as well as backlinking and more.
Disseminate content across the web
While quality, SEO-driven content is definitely enough to get your brand in front of the right people and boost your standing in the search results, you need to give it a little nudge in the right direction after launch. One of the best low-cost marketing ideas you can put into effect is to simply have a clear dissemination strategy for your content.
This means that after launch you’re going to post the content across your social media channels, publish it in your email newsletter, and notify your long-term customers directly via direct messaging through highly-personalized messages. Keep your landing pages updated regularly as well, and put up little banners and notifications about the exciting new stories you have for your visitors.
Diversify your content offering
Last but not least, keep in mind that content marketing is not just about creating written content. Nowadays, there are many other content types that you can explore and integrate into your content strategy, which will allow you to boost brand awareness and engagement, and rank higher on Google.
From SEO-driven infographics and optimized images, to highly engaging videos, podcasts, quizzes and more, the content world is your playground, and you should start diversifying to boost engagement for your small business. With a diverse content offering, you will be able to post on many other platforms and websites across the web, especially the visual ones like IG and TikTok, which will further help boost your brand awareness online.
Over to you
Content marketing is the foundation of any successful digital marketing strategy, so it’s important to invest in content creation and dissemination early on. With these key tips in mind, go ahead and start creating quality content that will take your small business forward.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.