Think about the last time you put together a content marketing strategy. Did you increase your “brand awareness?” Or did the fruits of your labor go unnoticed?
Don’t worry — you’re not alone. Brand awareness can be elusive to even the most experienced business owners.
Now, you might be thinking “brand awareness” is a pretty vague term. Still, you may have a general sense of what it means. After all, it’s like putting your brand “out there.”
Right? Sort of, but here’s the thing: there’s more to content marketing and brand awareness than that.
You have to be intentional with your efforts. In fact, you’ll never reach your target audience if you go in blind.
That could also mean continual low conversions, low sales, and loss of return on marketing investment (ROMI).
You don’t want that.
Now, what if there was a silver lining? How about a systematic way to increase your brand awareness? Imagine it: actionable steps you could take to improve your conversion rates.
Well, you don’t have to imagine anymore. This article will go over the content marketing strategies you need to use to increase your brand awareness.
If you want that and the conversions that come from it, give the article a read.
Brand awareness is how well consumers recognize a brand and associate it with a product or service.
For example, where do you go when you need to grab a coffee in the morning before work? What about when you’re on the go and need a quick bite? When you need to search for information online, what do you use?
The potential for brand awareness is so big that it could even become a part of our everyday vocabulary, like Q-tips, Powerpoint, Post-Its, and Google.
The more your consumers connect your brand with its product or service, the more sales you’ll get. After all, people are more likely to buy from a brand they recognize rather than one they don’t.
Plus, when customers feel an affinity to your brand, they’ll choose your product or service over another competitor’s. That can lead to more customer retention.
I’m not going to lie: it’s difficult to generate brand awareness when there are so many competitors out there.
But that’s where content marketing strategies come in.
Learn how to build a powerful personal brand through copywriting here.
One of the best things about content marketing strategies is that they can help you distinguish your brand from your competitors.
Think about it this way: What’s different between Marvel and DC? They’re both comic book publishers with yearly big-budget Hollywood adaptations. They both have universes filled with unique superheroes, mythical beings, and intergalactic creatures.
And yet, fans are zealous when it comes to their favorite superhero universe. There are die-hard Marvel fans and die-hard DC fans alike. That’s because they feel a sense of loyalty, trust, and affection with the brand that created their favorite superhero.
Since fans identify with a certain superhero and superhero universe, they revel in the differences between the two brands as a result.
That’s why there are such passionate competitions between similar products, not just between Marvel vs. DC, but also iPhones and Androids, Macs vs. PCs, Coke vs. Pepsi, and more.
If you want to set your brand apart from other competitors and build the same kind of loyalty and trust as the examples above, you need to know how to use the right content marketing strategies at the right time to appeal to your customers.
That’s another benefit of content marketing strategies. The right kinds of strategies can help your business connect with the right audience.
For example, if you run a business selling bananas, you probably won’t generate many new leads by promoting on forums that help people manage their banana phobia (yes, that’s a real thing).
Understanding content marketing strategies will help you know which tactics are the most effective, and when, where, and how to apply them.
Read on to find out where to start.
Before you can implement a strategy to increase brand awareness, you have to know who you’re targeting first.
For B2Bs, your target clients are not individual consumers, but other businesses. That means you have to appeal to the decision-makers of those businesses.
So, conduct proper research about your audience. Identify their wants, needs, hopes, and desires. What are their problems, challenges, and pain points within their industry?
Once you understand these things, you can offer more specific and unique solutions.
The clearer you are about the value you bring, the more attractive you’ll be than your competitors who still aren’t sure what they’re about.
Learn how to build credibility and trust with your customers here.
Here’s some current information about B2Bs to keep in mind:
Half of all B2Bs are run by millennials. That means they are more likely to promote and conduct their business online. Depending on the industry they’re targeting, there could be vastly different ownership demographics.
There’s also usually more than one person involved in making decisions for the business. So, you’ll have to consider more than one person’s concerns when promoting your products or services.
On top of that, millennials don’t like phone calls. Rather than directly talking to a salesperson, modern businesses prefer to do their own research online instead. In fact, businesses conduct an average of 12 online searches before contacting another business.
All of this information confirms how your efforts should be focused on targeting customers online, as well as optimizing their decision-making process for them!
By knowing what your target customer wants and what their tendencies are, you can communicate your value to them more effectively.
Now you know who your audience is, what they need, and what they’re lacking, it’s time to insert yourself into the picture!
Again, the point of researching your audience is to figure out how you can specifically offer your services and fix their problems.
You’ve also seen how difficult it can be if you’re dealing with a lot of competitors who are trying to do the same thing. That’s why it’s important to understand your brand’s story.
Storytelling is a way to introduce your company’s brand and share its unique voice. A unique story will attract your audience’s attention, and get them interested in your business. Plus, if it’s distinct, it can also set you apart from your competitors.
But what is my brand’s story? you may ask.
Great question! To begin figuring that out, try answering these questions:
Do you want to be seen as funny, quirky, dependable, knowledgeable, sarcastic? There are many ways you could come across to your target audience. But what characteristics make sense for your company and industry?
Let’s go back to the banana-selling business example from above and call it Banana Corp. As a business selling bananas, how do you want to attract your audience? What emotions do you want to leave them with?
Figuring this out will help you understand your brand better.
For example, you may try to go for a quirky angle. Let’s say your target audience is adults with kids. Maybe you can use a cartoon banana mascot to get their kids’ attention, like a superhero named Bananaman.
In commercials, Bananaman can be seen eating bananas for a brain and energy boost in funny situations. It will show kids that bananas help him defeat monsters and solve problems. The commercials can also show how bananas give kids a brain and energy boost as well while helping Bananaman save the day.
By associating Bananaman with empowering emotions, your target audience will remember you as the fun banana brand that their kids love.
When you know what kinds of feelings you want your audience to associate your brand with, you can figure out what marketing decisions to take to get this message across.
You know your customer’s pain points, and you know what they need. So how can you present your solutions to them in a unique way?
Continuing with the Banana Corp example, let’s say parents have a hard time convincing their kids to eat healthy food instead of junk food. What kinds of things can your company do to address these challenges?
Maybe you can use Bananaman as an educational mascot as well. Bananaman can share why eating less junk food is so important for kids to grow up strong and healthy. Maybe you can also create healthy versions of junk food, such as banana cookies and banana chips with Bananaman as the mascot.
That way your target audience’s kids will be more eager to follow Bananaman’s example, and eat the healthier products associated with him. Your real target audience will feel thankful for your mascot helping their kids eat better.
See, what makes you truly unique is the experience you promise to your customers. Once you know what these things are, capitalize on them.
Having a unique vision can also set your business apart from other competitors.
Imagine Banana Corp has a goal of eliminating food insecurity and obesity among children one banana at a time. This vision is a cause that consumers can get behind. By aligning themselves with this health-conscious purpose, they can feel like they’re a part of a worthy cause.
Buying your bananas essentially means they are buying into the vision of creating a world full of happy and healthy children.
It’s a beautiful sight, isn’t it?
So try making one for your business!
Create a vision that others will want to buy into! If you can get your consumers to see beyond into a brighter future, they’ll be more likely to join in.
Answering these questions will give you a better idea of your brand’s identity.
Once you’ve got your story down, you can then incorporate how your business fits into other businesses.
When you are clear about how you can help them achieve their goals, you can make it so they can’t imagine doing their business without yours. Essentially, you’re making your business essential to theirs!
If you’re still stumped on how to answer these questions, try hiring a marketing consultant to help you figure out your brand identity!
Either way, once you’re clear on what distinguishes you, you’ll be able to better promote yourself genuinely and authentically, and set yourself apart from everyone else.
Here's a storytelling guide to help you with your copy.
Now that you know who your target audience is and what their tendencies are, you can start formulating a strategy to get their attention.
This sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised to know how many businesses neglect this stage. It’s simply easier to keep doing whatever it is you’ve been doing, rather than implementing a ton of changes and actions in a bid to get some traction. It’s the whole reason why so many businesses fail – stagnation.
Suppose for a second that you’ve been told a great way to promote your brand is to “write a blog” or “create videos” or “start a newsletter.” They’re “guaranteed” to work for every and any industry, and you’re in good hands if you can handle all that content.
But these things aren’t done in a vacuum. Well, they shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. Rather, there should be a deliberate intention behind each post, script, and email.
Translation: these things are a part of a bigger picture — not enough on their own. And since they’re a puzzle piece, they should serve a purpose.
The most successful people know what they’re doing and why these strategies work. They’re not just throwing out random ideas just to see what will stick.
Ain’t nobody got the time, or the money, for that! Every failed action, wasted hour, or pointless effort costs money.
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you have to consider your next steps carefully. And that’s all based on where your customer is at in their journey (sales funnel).
Since most B2Bs use digital content to help them make business decisions, it’s important to know where your customer is in their buyer’s journey, That way, you’ll know which content to use at the right time, which will help lead them further down your sales funnel.
Indeed, the most effective content marketing strategies depend on what stage your customer is at in their buying process: awareness, interest, purchase, and repeat purchase.
Let’s take a closer look at these stages and what the best approaches are:
Now that you have a better understanding of your audience and what you can uniquely offer them, you can start generating awareness and interest. A great way to start is by showing them what they’re missing!
In other words, communicate your value to them by demonstrating what it would be like if they bought into your product or service. How would their business be benefited? How would their lives improve?
Some great ways to do this are through;
Use these strategies to promote your solutions that fix their problems. After all, at this stage, it’s crucial to focus on establishing contact with potential clients.
Once you’ve got their attention, the next step is building trust between you and your potential clients. But building trust is a systematic process.
It’s like building trust with a friend in real life. You can’t make long-lasting friendships if you only focus on getting what you want out of it.
We’ve all had that “friend” who only talks to us when they need a favor. After asking for a ride or some money one too many times, we’re more likely to cut them off and avoid them.
If you want to develop a long-term relationship with your customers, don’t just only promote your brand image or voice. Instead, focus on solving problems for your customers and what you can do for them.
How can your business benefit theirs? And how will they know they can depend on you? Some great ways to do this are through:
As you can see, it’s not enough that brands know you. But, if other people in your industry can trust you, that signals to them that they can trust you, too.
Since most B2Bs generate their profit from inbound sales, other businesses need to associate your brand with positive outcomes. That’s why it’s even more important to build long-lasting relationships. So, focus on doing what you can to nurture these relationships!
Once you’ve got your clients, now you’ve got to keep them coming back for more!
Some ways you can do this is keeping them interested in your business and all of the good work that it’s doing. You can do this through:
These are not exhaustive lists. But implementing these strategies at the right time can help you generate new leads, drive sales, and keep loyal customers.
Learn how to write buyer-congruent copy here.
You won’t be able to see how effective your content marketing is if you don’t know what you’re measuring.
All of this also depends on your goals! Choose the right goals, and know how to measure each of them!
How do you even measure the audience's recognition of your brand?
This can be broken down into two main categories: quantitative and qualitative.
Once you know which metrics to use, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what’s not. Then, you can better tailor your content marketing strategies to generate even more brand awareness.
Now you know how to use content marketing to increase your brand awareness. It’s time to use these strategies to attract the right audience to your sales funnel.
First, make sure content marketing makes your audience associate you with positive outcomes and experiences.
After grabbing their attention, start nurturing a relationship with your potential customers. Building trust and credibility, and eventually, their business and loyalty.
Once your system is in place, you can be sure you’re doing content marketing the right way.
No more shooting in the dark, no more uncertainty. Instead, you’ll have more leads, sales, and happy and loyal customers. In other words, you’ll be well on your way to living every business owner’s dream.
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