Content marketing continues to be one of the most powerful methods for driving targeted traffic and getting new clients. For new and growing brands, content can be a way to put themselves on the map and generate traffic for their brands.
Here’s how to use content marketing to drum up visibility for your brand and even attract new customers in the process.
Research Your Target Market And Audience
Before you type a word of content, you should determine your target market and the ideal audience you want to reach with your brand.
Without this step, you risk creating the wrong type of content on the wrong platforms for the wrong audience – and wasting time in the process.
Fortunately, market research has become far easier now that we have many tools at our disposal e.g Google Forms, Survey etc which you can use to survey potential audiences and gauge their interest in brands like yours
Define Your Brand’s Unique Selling Proposition
In order to stand out in your market, you need to define a unique thing your brand brings to the marketplace.
This may be a more efficient way to solve a customer problem, a more affordable solution, better customer service, or a range of what we call unique selling points.
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that highlights your brand’s key selling points and frames them in a way that communicates value to your target audience.
Forge Strategic Industry Partnerships
Getting your foot in the door as a new startup or business often requires forming close partnerships with other business owners. Never underestimate the power of referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
While in-person networking will certainly serve these interests, your content marketing can as well. Here are a few ways to use content to build industry partnerships:
Publish thought leadership content on LinkedIn and form new connections.
Host a Facebook Live or other live chat to grow your following.
Post informative video content and engage with other business owners in the comments.
Publish On Third-Party Websites
If you have a new business, chances are your website lacks the authority to really push your content to the top of the Google search results.
This has much to do with the age of your domain, your backlink history, and how much optimized content you have on your site.
Fortunately, you can use other websites’ authority and influence to boost your own. Here’s how this works:
Create a list of industry-related websites which may be likely to publish your content (think: small businesses, not Forbes).
Reach out to the publisher or business owner via email asking if you can contribute blog content on a periodic basis. Specify that this is not for linking purposes, but to share your industry experience.
Once accepted, write content on topics that your audience would find valuable (again, keep your USP in mind). However, avoid being self-promotional.
Share this content with your growing audience. See the results of publishing your content on larger platforms.
“Guest posting”, as this is called, is particularly helpful if you have a very small audience. With guest posting, you can get more eyes on your experience, content, and, eventually, brand.
Similar to the above, you can use influencer marketing to reach a wider audience. This is particularly common for ecommerce brands, which engage with influencers to share and promote their products.
Find influencers in your industry who may be interested in shouting out your brand. This may be in exchange for free products or other incentives. If they accept, this can be a good way to grow your following your brand content
Let Data Drive Your Content
The success of your content marketing relies on using data to drive your content.
There are many tools you can use to help you interpret user data and use this to inform your content strategy. Some of these tools include:
Google Analytics – for performance insights, user demographics, and user behavior.
Google Search Console – for keyword performance, click-through rate, and positioning.
SEMRush – for keyword research, competitor analysis, content analysis, and backlinks reports.
Hootsuite – for social media engagement, impressions, and brand awareness.
Monitor these tools on a weekly basis to see how your platforms are currently performing, what content is driving the most awareness of your brand, and how users are engaging with content on your website.
Diversify Your Content Strategy
When you are first starting out, it’s nearly impossible to know which platforms and which types of content will resonate most with your target audience.
Truly, you will need to diversify your content strategy to see which strategies have the most impact on your particular brand.
Really, your content should serve the purpose of communicating your values as a business.
Then, you can use different types of content to engage your audience:
Social media posts.
Over time, your analytics will reflect which types of content users engage with most. This will give you direction on what content to publish most often, and which types to nix from your content strategy.
Utilize Social Listening Tools
Sentiment analysis uses machine learning to essentially “listen” to conversations users are having online and determine how people are talking about your brand. This can be highly valuable, as it allows you to see whether your brand is being portrayed in a positive light (or not).
Establish A Content Publishing Strategy
Based on your audience research, data analytics, and social listening insights, you may now know what to publish – but actually getting the content out there is a different story. Building brand awareness is often a fragile time where messaging and consistency really make the difference.
If you are lax on your publishing schedule, you may miss out on opportunities to drum up brand awareness. If you are inconsistent in your messaging, you may confuse your audience about what your brand is about.
Establishing a publishing schedule – with outlined topics and dates – will help keep you accountable for creating content on a regular basis. Plus, you will have a record of what you’ve published already so you don’t duplicate your efforts in the future.
Own Branded And Non-Branded Conversations
It’s tempting to try and be the sole voice regarding your brand, but you should be present in non-branded conversations as well.
Are you sharing your knowledge on certain industry topics?
Are you asking users what they are interested in or what they are struggling with?
Are you weighing in on recent trends?
The goal here is to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry, not just your business. The more you’re able to “talk shop” with your audience, the more chances you give them to encounter your brand.