Content marketing is a great way to build your brand online. With the right kind of content, you can build and optimize your brand on the Internet so that it brings more traffic to your website and more sales to your business. More importantly, it can improve the overall image of the business and results in more sales, referrals, and consequently, more website traffic. The cycle goes on and on.
But if content marketing is so effective for branding, how come a lot of small and medium-sized businesses are struggling in building their brand through content? What challenges do business owners like you face and what can you do to overcome them?
Brand Awareness: Top Content Marketing Goal
It’s important to first understand the link between content marketing and branding. By now, many marketers – probably your competition included – have already realized the power of content when it comes to boosting brands. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Marketing Profs, the No. 1 reason why organizations use content marketing is to raise brand awareness. Some 79% of marketers surveyed said so.
Other goals that scored high in the survey are customer acquisition (71%), customer retention / loyalty (65%), engagement (64%), and website traffic (62%). However, brand awareness is the only goal that nearly broke the 80% mark. Obviously, today’s businesses want to improve their branding online and are using content to make it happen.
Content Improves Branding, Website Traffic & Sales
Now if branding is the top priority for content marketers, how then do they measure success? Still according to the CMI and MarketingProfs research, majority of marketers cite web traffic as their main metric (66%). Others said they measure content marketing success by looking at social media sharing (52%), time spent on website (46%), and direct sales (44%), among others.
Indeed, the right mix of content marketing that boosts your brand will result to more traffic, engagement, shares and sales.
Building Brand through Content: Challenges
Many marketers understand that for them to build their brand and generate traffic for the website as well, they need to market online using content. However, this is easier said than done. A lot of small business owners struggle with content marketing—much of this has to do with shortage of various resources to make it happen.
Looking at the answers of survey respondents for a study by CMI and MarketingProfs shows lack of time (24%) is the biggest hindrance to implementing content marketing. Lack of budget (16%), producing the kind of content that engages (13%), and producing enough content (10%) are also major challenges for business owners. From here, you’ll notice that these resources are needed in this strategy: time, money, and technical skills. Does this situation sound familiar?
Let it Go: Solve Most Challenges with 1 Solution
You already know that the top goal of organizations in content marketing is to build brand awareness. You also know that they are faced with several challenges in doing so, such as lack of time and budget. Many business owners are stalled by these hindrances. But here’s the good news. You don’t have to be one of them. Here’s the solution in two words: Our Company.
A survey by Aweber found that in smaller businesses, the CEO also serves as the primary marketer as well. In this setup, marketing takes a backseat because you are preoccupied with running the core business. As for branding? It tends to be forgotten; at least until you notice that you are losing customers to competitors with stronger branding. This should not be the case.
While you cannot do anything to increase the amount of hours you have in a day, you can dedicate a portion of your revenue to content marketing done for you by us. Remember that content marketing helps in both brand optimization, traffic generation, engagement, shares and sales. No one else can run the core business like you can, but there are agencies like us who can take care of branding and content marketing for you.
Your Brand Needs Engaging Content Now
The tricky part, with assigning your content marketing efforts to agencies, is knowing which content can be used for both brand optimization and traffic generation. What type of content is effective enough to yield both results? Indeed this is a nuisance. Should you ask the marketing agency to create typical SEO articles? Should you order press releases or product pages?
To understand what is “engaging,” you need to know what type of format your audience wants. In this regard, two formats stand out: videos and articles. Research by Gfk found that business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Marketers agree; some 72% of respondents in a Custom Content Council survey said branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements.
In the case of video, Accenture found that 90% of consumers actually watch online video. Here’s more: according to data collected by Animoto, 96% of consumers said they found videos helpful in making purchase decisions. Some 71% went as far as saying watching corporate videos left them with a positive impression of the brand.
When it comes to reach, engagement, and building the brand, the best content formats to use are videos and articles.
Optimizing Content for Both Brand & Traffic
In typical online marketing techniques, content is optimized by making it more “searchable” to search engines. This entails the proper categorization and tagging, as well as the inclusion of meta tags, which are keywords that communicate with search engines like Google. You can also use this approach when using content for branding – with a slight addition to the process.
When you want to use content for branding, it must be tailored to improve the image of the business. This means balancing and mixing your key messages to address both the needs of your target market and your brand. Progressive marketers are going in this direction. According to Forrester, 79% of marketers asked said their organizations are shifting to branded content.
While your customers appreciate it when you write about them, their needs, and how you can solve their problems, they also want to get to know you. They need to know if you are a brand they can trust and be loyal to, Remember, 62% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they are familiar with rather than try a new seller, a Nielsen study found.
This is your opportunity to help them get to know you. You need to highlight the strengths of your business and make potential and existing customers understand why they should deal with you. This might mean you’ll be exerting extra effort as branded articles and videos are more difficult to create, but if you succeed, you’ll not only get that website traffic you need, you’ll also be able to build and optimize your brand