Using Content to Drive Engagement

    [Beginner – 101] Do Large Consumer Brands Need to Invest in Content Marketing?

    As a large consumer brand, you may be unsure if content creation should be included in your marketing strategy. If you have the budget to invest in TV, radio, and ad campaigns in major newspapers and magazines—you may feel like content marketing is not something worth your while. However, many of the most successful brands in the nation continue to utilize content marketing and confirm its vital role in their brand marketing strategy.

    Since content creation and online distribution is not a new method of online advertising, you may be looking toward investing more of your time and resources on newer forms of online marketing. While it is essential to diversify your brand marketing strategy—it is a method of marketing that will always play a vital role in maintaining your competitive edge online. If you have considered lessening you focus on content, consider the statistics below:

    • Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages.
    • Websites with blogs have 97% more indexed links.
    • Websites with blogs have 55% more traffic.
    • 70% of consumers prefer to read articles about a brand or product, then an online advertisement.
    • 60% of consumers feel more confident about a brand after reading their blog content.
    • Blog content influences purchase decisions 64% more than magazine content and ads.
    • 67% of Twitter users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow.

    Those statistics are too impressive to ignore and highlight that whether your company is large or small—content creation and online distribution is still essential. With mobile technology playing a larger role in our daily lives, it is essential to understand the importance of increasing your online presence—not just with online advertising, but by increasing the links back to your primary website.

    What Is The Difference Between Content Marketing And Placing Ads Online?

    Content marketing refers to blog posts, social media posts, or articles that are distributed online as a part of your brand marketing strategy. Content marketing can, and should, include relevant videos, images, graphs, charts, and graphic design.

    Content marketing differs from online ads, in that they are designed to engage your target audience—instead of just advertising your brand or products. It is important to keep in mind that there is occasional overlap between content marketing and online ads, with advertising methods that fuse the two platforms.

    How Can You Create Successful Content Marketing?

    Successful content marketing must be designed in a manner aimed to connect and engage with your target audience. Articles should be written to build trust, offer valuable insight, and educate the consumer on relevant information. In other words, successful articles are not written only with the latest search engine algorithms in mind—but with your target audience in mind.

    Another mistake many brands make is making every article too sales heavy. While the overall goal of posting articles as part of your brand marketing strategy is to increase conversions—the reality is that reading pure sales content is rarely interesting and engaging. Instead, content marketing has to creatively engage with your target audience. For example, instead of writing an article with all of the features and functions of your new product—you could write an article about how your clients can utilize your product in their everyday life. This will achieve your goal of highlighting your product features but makes the content more engaging and relevant.

    Which Forms Of Content Marketing Should You Add To Your Brand Marketing Strategy?

    There are many methods of content marketing that you can add to your brand marketing strategy. Select the methods below that best to meet the needs of your marketing goals.

    Writing About Products And Services

    As mentioned earlier, when you write about your brand, product, or services—it is essential to write with the intent to engage and provide valuable information and insight. That is not to say that you can’t write an occasional article that is sales heavy—but find ways to write about your products and services in a manner that relates to how it will solve your consumers wants and needs. These articles can be placed on your blog, on social media, or distributed online with the intent to drive traffic back to your blog, social media, or landing pages.

    Native Advertising

    Native advertising is a method of advertising in which you pay to have your articles placed in newspapers and magazines, but unlike online ads, these native articles are placed in-between editorial content. Native content most often has a “sponsored by” byline, as to not be deceptive—but to most readers, they look as if they are editorial content.

    In order for native articles to achieve success, they must be written in the same manner as the editorial content within the online publication and must achieve a higher level of engagement. Native articles should not read as if your brand has written them but should relate back to your brand, product or services. An excellent example is when nationwide brand Purina posted an online article titled “5 Heartwarming Stories That Prove Dog Is Man’s Best Friend.” While the article did not refer directly to their products—it article tugged at the heartstrings of their target audience.

    Cross-Platform Advertising

    When creating your brand marketing strategy it is essential to link together all of your marketing platforms. Look for ways to weave together your TV, radio, print, offline, online, and mobile marketing so that there is a common message amongst them all. This is essential both for branding, as well as increased consumer engagement.

    Use The Right Channels

    In order to achieve success, you must place your content marketing on the online platforms that your target audience most frequents. To do this perform market research at least once annually to identify which social media platforms, online publications, and online websites your target audience visits with frequency—then design the content marketing portion of your brand marketing strategy around the places you can find your consumers online. If you need assistance with distribution outside of your blog or social media, invest in a content distribution expert.

    Investing time and resources into content creation and distribution must be strategized in a manner that is designed to connect and engage with your target audience. It must not be done for the sake of posting content, but as relevant, interesting, and entertaining content that your consumers will engage with—otherwise it will have the opposite effect of what you are hoping to achieve.

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