If 2016 taught us anything it was the importance of a solid content marketing strategy for small businesses. In an age where growing your brand means increasing your business’ voice, branded content offers a unique opportunity for you to directly speak to your brand’s target audience in a way that not only resonates but also helps to expand the bottom line. In fact, content strategies have become so successful that many businesses are now eagerly searching for content integration opportunities in the advertising for their brand.
Just as a well-developed content marketing strategy can help your business better reach its target audience, integrating those same strategies in how you advertise your brand provides the opportunity to engage with an audience in a new and more compelling way while still maintaining the purity of content marketing.
Businesses have started to discover that a real appetite and attention span exists with their target audiences for longer branded content if that content tells an authentic story that really resonates with their needs and interests.
Branded content unquestionably helps businesses better connect with their customers, and that content is no longer limited to short videos and blog posts.
So how can you integrate a content marketing strategy into your advertising? Here are a few tips on how to improve your advertising programs with content:
Utilize an Interactive Format
Developing content using interactive formats enables you to start a conversation and speak more directly to your audience by, for example, asking questions and giving your audience the room to voice a preference or provide feedback.
An interactive format also helps to enable your call to action. For example, posts that ask questions like, “How does your oral health measure up?” or “Is it time to switch dentists?” may revolve around presenting information that leads your audience to a certain conclusion that suggests your brand – here a dental practice – is best suited to their individual needs. With these types of titles, you can even dive deeper into micro-questions that lead a customer to the answer you want without having to aggressively promote your brand.
If you have a good understanding of your audience, this type of approach can enable you to better target your advertising message to aim at specific readers and gently nudge them to engage with your brand.
Take Advantage of Testimonials
Numerous studies have shown that consumers are significantly more likely to engage with a brand they can both identify with and trust. Consumers are even more likely to engage with a brand if they can see positive testimonials given by other consumers. This makes using real stories as told by real people an incredibly powerful advertising tool.
The type of testimonials you select should not only help potential customers relate to the existing customer experience, they should also personify the core values of your brand. Utilizing this type of approach enables you to not only tell the audience what your products can do, it actually successfully demonstrates what your products have done.
Don’t Forget Your SEO
Keep in mind that the overall goal is to get your readers so intrigued by the story you’re telling that they click on a link embedded in the post that leads back to your website or look up your brand. You don’t want to spend the energy creating content and an advertising strategy that only ends up leading a consumer to a competitor’s website by failing to rank on the first page of an organic Google search. This means you need to dedicate as much effort to your search marketing strategies as you do your content marketing strategies.
Lead with a Strong CTA
It’s easy to assume that branded content will speak for itself so you don’t need to spend time crafting a strong call to action. The usually strategy includes developing content that clearly establishes a brand as a thought leader in their industry, leaving it up to the potential customer to determine the next course of action – to make a purchase. This type of strategy often tries to avoid coming off as too direct with its CTA and risk turning off readers that don’t respond well to a strong sales pitch. With this type of strategy, the plan is to strongly nudge the reader in a direction that will yield a desired result without actually telling them which way to go so that the brand maintains its credibility.
This type of strategy often ends up making what could become a critical mistake that costs business in the end. Readers crave direction. Otherwise, what stops them from finishing your blog post and then simply moving on to engage with the next piece of content they come across? A subtle but effective call to action that successfully improves your brand recognition while also maintaining credibility and transparency can achieve the best possible results.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hire Help
How do you know if your content marketing strategy is actually working? Even more importantly, how do you determine that your content will successfully reach your target audience when surrounded in a sea of similar voices? Developing a successful content marketing strategy requires more than just developing strong branded content. It’s also requires gathering relevant data that will help you decide on what’s the right move to make next. This type of endeavor can take a lot of time and energy; two things that most small business owners simply do not have. In cases like this, it makes sense to hire an expert.
At Local Fresh, our content marketing strategy specialists have the tools, experience, and knowhow needed to successfully promote your brand online. From creating compelling, branded content to connecting that content with your target audience, Local Fresh can help redefine how you measure your online marketing success. Click here to find out more about how Local Fresh can give your business the content marketing success needed to achieve your goals.