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5 essential tips to increase brand awareness using content marketing

Outbrain’s European marketing director Sarah Gavin discusses the importance of content marketing for brand awareness.

As content marketing budgets continue on their steady upward trajectory, more and more marketers are becoming content creators. Key to increasing brand awareness through content marketing is an end-to-end strategy and a laser focus on the end user.

Unlike traditional revenue-driven advertising, branded content marketing is not about a hard sell. Its focus is centred on building an emotional relationship with the consumer, establishing a voice and increasing brand awareness in order to build a customer base. To achieve this, it’s essential that content is genuinely entertaining, interesting and relevant for your target readers in order to create value.

When you’re thinking about content marketing for brand awareness, make sure you’re focusing on what matters: adding value, not selling your product or services. For example, Red Bull has earned a reputation for taking content marketing “to the extreme” and is committed to broadcasting the most extreme sporting escapades to the world. Red Bull’s Stratos Jump was watched by some 8 million people and was broadcast across every major news outlet. It’s a great example of branded content marketing that may not have resulted in the immediate increase in drinks sales, but certainly established a topical, unique, and irreverent voice for the brand – forming part of Red Bull Media House’s global content marketing and discovery strategy.

Branded content marketing is not the place to wax lyrical about a new feature or must-have purchase. It is a place to create and reveal positive, productive content that celebrates the individuality of your company and engages consumers by revealing your personality.

Here are some of the most effective ways to get your branded content marketing off the ground:

1. Map out a content strategy

The ultimate goal of branded content marketing is to help your company further hone and clarify your image and messaging. For this reason, it’s important to have a clearly articulated strategy, developing content that goes towards telling the cohesive story of your brand. Before embarking on a campaign, take the time to consider what story you want to tell, and make sure that all your content has an unequivocal focus, in-line with your stated goals.

2. Create an email newsletter

It may seem outdated, but strong and specific weekly or bi-monthly email newsletters remain one of the most important ways to keep your customers updated and engaged. Again, focus on the content aspect of your newsletter. It should not just be a place to tout your latest product or promote a sale or discount. The unique e-marketplace, Of a Kind puts out a twice-monthly newsletter in which the editors share their current obsessions, from food to beauty products to music. These carefully curated newsletters make almost no mention of the site itself, but do go a long way towards establishing the unique voice and perspective of the overall brand.

3. Build a branded blog

In the UK, 77% of internet users read blogs. Simple but effective, content-driven blogs are one of the best ways to establish your voice as an authority in your field, and a vital piece of the content marketing puzzle. They are also one of the easiest branded content strategies to get off the ground. In an ideal world, your blog will become a daily destination for consumers looking to learn more about your industry. It should also be the first stop for any curious customer hoping to get a better sense of what your world has to offer.

4. Engage your professional community and become an authority

When considering your branded content marketing strategy, it’s key to remember that you are a small fish in a very, very big pond. Rather than swimming alone, think about ways to engage others in your community. Consider participating in online industry forums where you can establish yourself as a problem-solver and thought leader. Create tutorials, how-to style articles, or Q&A white papers, and offer these resources for free. These resources can have two major advances: firstly establishing your brand as an authority in the field and secondly providing content that is useful and highly shareable, which will go a long way towards increasing your brand awareness.

5. Think viral

While your content should of course reflect the voice of your brand, remember: the most frequently shared content is not always the most informative or professional. More often, content that is fun, dynamic, and hits the spot is what goes viral. Even if your brand tends to be more serious, don’t be afraid of videos or photos that give your brand a playful or humorous vibe. The adage ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is true when it comes to using video or images and also demonstrates to your audience that your brand is current and willing to embrace digital trends - both great qualities to have in today’s connected world.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Outbrain .

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