Brands are fighting over screen space, customers, and loyalty. It is becoming increasingly more complex for your message to gain visibility and traction.
As a result, company leadership continues to ask, how will our brand capture the attention of our prospect and further differentiate from our competitors?
Based on the results we have seen with our clients and the success we have gained through our branding and marketing practice, we advocate that you must be developing a continuous and dedicated content marketing strategy.
This strategy must leverage compelling creative and meaningful content to drive traffic and nurture your prospects. If you already have an inbound marketing strategy in place for your company, this article will reveal four techniques that you can apply to your inbound marketing process to continue growing your brand.
Content is the gasoline that fuels your inbound machine and should be at the center of every marketing and brand strategy. To maximize the return on your investment, you'll want to include these four strategies in your content strategy.
Humanize your Brand
Your brand is not your product. Your brand is your personality. Your brand is built on values that give rise to warm feelings of customer satisfaction.
Brand personification, giving human characteristics to products or brands, is not new. Subaru is an excellent example of how brand personification can drive (pun intended) new and returning customers. Take this advertisement for example:
If you have pets, you see them as a member of your family. By drawing a comparison between the family dog and the family car Subaru arouses the feelings we have for our pets and aligns it with their car.
So how can we apply Brand Personification to our inbound marketing strategy? Start by building brand associations into your content. Reinforce your brand's taglines, catchphrases, and most importantly hashtags. Hashtags are a great way for brands to bridge digital marketing channels. Attach your taglines to educational articles and feel-good images and your taglines will gain an affinity with positive experiences.
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Develop Branded Keywords
When you need to blow your nose do you ask for a tissue or a kleenex?
Branded Keywords should be used in messaging across all channels. For example, a print advertisement in a beauty magazine should use branded keywords and distinct keyword phrases to measure for lift and ad recall. New phrases in analog advertising can also be used to measure lift when tied to specific web pages.
Consumers trying to recall your product without knowing the brand can easily find it online by searching for easy to remember keyword phrases. When your brand name product enters your market's vernacular the leads will come pouring in and you will dominate sales. This is what many brand strategies refer to as the holy grail of branding.
Build Trust with a Consistent Promise
Why do we buy brand name products instead of generic products? They're the same, right? As consumers, we prefer brand name products because we trust the brand. Trust means we can depend on the consistency and quality of the product(s). This is the heart of what a brand is – a CONSISTENT PROMISE.
Because the first stage of the buyer's journey is awareness, we need to establish trust from the very beginning. During the first stage potential buyers are only beginning to realize they have a problem that needs fixing. If you can help a curious consumer understand why they are experiencing the issue in the first place, they will be more likely to buy your product when they accept purchasing a solution is the best route.
Here are a few ways to build trust with content marketing:
- Mimic the attitudes and sentiments of your buyers. When the voice and tone of your written content correspond with the expectations of our prospect, it creates an instant, and often, lasting connection.
- Speak the same language. If you aren't, your messaging will be less persuasive because there are breakdowns in communication. When brands share an extreme likeness to their consumers, it builds trust through similarities.
Be Authentic. When you meet someone that is unapologetically true to themselves, it makes us feel secure in their honesty. One of our senior designers has a step by step guide to developing an authentic brand.
Building trust comes back to humanizing your brand. When brands have a great personality, it shines through their marketing effort. As humans, we enjoy working with friendly people and avoid those we dislike. So even if your product has all the latest features, if you fail to delight your customers throughout the entire buyer's journey earning business will be an uphill battle.
Takeaway: establish trust from the beginning, and there will be less friction at the bottom of your inbound funnel.
Created Branded "Thought Leadership"
The primary purpose of inbound marketing is to educate consumers. The secondary purpose is to convert visitors. The second only happens once you've demonstrated your ability to solve the most pressing problems. Educated and inspiring your customer, or your prospect is where thought leadership comes in.
When we read content, watch videos, or shop online our brain unconsciously filters information to arrive at a decision. Don't be filtered. Be captivating. Talk about the most pressing issues facing your industry. Advance the conversation. Do not recycle old ideas.
What separates successful brands, bloggers, and online personalities from the rest is commitment. To become a thought leader you need to dedicate time and energy to your professional growth. Take what your competitors are doing and do it 10X better.
When a brand or individual provides answers and innovations free of charge, they will thank you. They will associate your business and domain with feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and relief.
Takeaway: commit yourself to writing about current issues in your industry to reduce friction between understanding and achieving success.
Bring it all Together
Inbound marketing is an on-going process of planning, creating, publishing, and analyzing content. Integrate your brand's vision and values into your writing, your media, creative and your content to allow your personality to shine. Do research to always provide the best advice to your readers – anticipate and answer the questions they have. Remain consistent in style and always push the envelope. If you work hard to integrate these qualities into your process, you might just find yourself at the top.
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