There are many reasons you should be publishing content through your website, social platforms, emails, etc.
Content can help bring in new, prospective customers. It can help increase your organic search rankings. It can help you appear more authoritative within your field. The list goes on and on.
Perhaps one of the top reasons to create consistent, high-quality content is to create lasting connections with your consumers.
Now more than ever, consumers are looking to purchase from brands that provide value long after their initial purpose.
Whether it comes in the form of an educational newsletter, an intriguing blog post, or an informational video, if you can provide value to your customers through your content, you’re well on your way to creating a strong connection to them. One that will keep them coming back again and again.
To help you create content that does just that, here is the ultimate guide to creating brand connections through content.
Many first-time content producers look at this marketing avenue as a chance to further promote their products.
This is not the right way to go about creating content for your brand. Instead of establishing a connection, you’ll likely appear overly-promotional which will alienate your audience.
Instead, focus on making your audience the hero of content. That doesn’t mean you can’t have call-to-actions sprinkled in there, but for the most part, the reader or viewer should be the ‘hero’ of the content.
An example of a passage from a piece of content that utilizes this messaging:
“Accidents can happen at any time. Make sure you’re prepared and protect your home and your family with (Name of Insurance Company)”
The main idea here is that if you don’t have insurance — whether it’s life, home, or car insurance — then you’re not doing everything you can to make sure your family will be protected in case something were to happen.
There is no limit to using this overall messaging when it comes to any product or service.
“Be the best dressed at the party and feel confident in our suits.”
“Be healthier and more agile in your elder years so you can play with your grandchildren with our arthritis medication.”
This leads directly into the next tip for creating valuable content, which is to figure out what your audience is struggling with and the problems they need to solve.
What is it that drives consumers to your product or service? What is the need (and sometimes want) that compels them to drive to your store and make that purchase?
The answer may seem simple. In fact, oftentimes it is. However, if you want to create truly compelling content, you can’t just go with the obvious topics.
Let’s look at an example to see how digging a little deeper into the pain points of your consumers can help you create valuable content.
Say you work for John Deere in the content strategy department. Summer is coming around, and so you come up with a guide to post on your blog that is all about summer lawn care tips for keeping your grass green.
That’s all good and fine. But aside from keeping their lawn looking good, what else is your ideal customer concerned about? Perhaps you do some keyword research on some competitors and find that another lawnmower company is ranking high for “landscaping.”
So, you create the ultimate guide to summer landscaping projects with all sorts of tips and tricks (one of these tips just happens to be about finding a quality lawn mower to help you maintain your new and improved lawn and you can use this opportunity to plug your product).
Now, you have a piece of content that provides value for the reader while still slicing out a small piece of the article to talk about how John Deere can help with their mowers.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little, as well as use keyword research to identify any questions or concerns your consumers are Googling.
This is one of the trickiest parts of content — especially when it comes to written content like blogs and emails. If you don’t have a standard brand guideline that outlines your brand tone and voice, then consider creating one ASAP.
Are you going for the fun, care-free, personable company? For example, Kit-Kat, Oreo, and MoonPie all feature more laid-back brand voices that work well with their not-so-serious product offerings.
Or should you go for a more serious, professional voice? Think about a law firm or healthcare service. When people need those services, there isn’t exactly the time for fun and jokes.
Think carefully about how you want to be perceived, as well as what the best tone and voice is to reach your audience effectively.
This is where graphic designers get to shine. Even a not-so-sexy blog post can be turned into something great if you have an awesome infographic to accompany it.
While some people learn best from reading, some of your consumers may retain information better when it is demonstrated visually.
You don’t have to go all out with your visuals all the time. Make sure that every piece of content you put out there has at least one image attached to it somewhere. A block full of text is much less appealing to look at than a blog that features some imagery to break up the paragraphs.
We cannot stress this enough: create a content calendar.
Sure, you may THINK that you’re going to consistently publish content. However, many a content calendar is a great encouragement for you and your team to actually get the work created, proofed, and posted on the date it needs to be out.
You don’t need to have a deliverable for every day of the week, but shooting for at least one every week is a great way to get started — especially for a smaller team.
Just like keeping a ‘to-do’ list, a content calendar will help keep you accountable for getting your stuff done.
Even if your content is high-quality and valuable to your audience, if the publishing of the content is sporadic and unorganized, it will be difficult to keep your consumers interested and engaged.
For example, a weekly newsletter that goes out at the same time on the same day gives your consumers something to look forward to that they can count on every week.
Many of the top brands that excel at content marketing have one thing in common: they encourage user-generated content.
User-generated content is exactly what it sounds like — content that your consumers create that you then share on your website or social platforms.
The best example is GoPro. And yes, it obviously helps that their product literally produces content, but nevertheless, we can all learn a lot about their ability to engage and create connections with their audience through user-generated content.
Rex the BMX Kid’s GoPro video won an award through the company and was featured on commercials, their Youtube channel, Instagram, and more.
Minnesota’s very own Duluth Pack is another brand that does a great job with user-generated content. They use a hashtag (#PersonBehindThePack) to encourage their customers to post pictures on with their Duluth Pack products for the chance to be featured on their Instagram.
Duluth Pack’s Instagram is made up almost entirely of user-generated photos (and adorable dogs)
To help create content that encourages connections between your brand and consumers, generating content at the right time and place is key. That’s where DAM can help. With a DAM solution, your content teams have access to reuse content from previous campaigns in seconds. Instead of needing to re-shoot photography or start over from scratch with design, content creators can search and find the video and image assets that are already available to them. To learn more about DAM, contact MediaBeacon.