Do you want to attract the interest of your audience and captivate their attention? Well, then you need to master the art of effective Internet marketing. With this tool, you’ll build a distinctive brand and a loyal brand community, which in turn will lead to more sales.
The good news? You don’t need a huge budget, just good content marketing.
Up until just a few years ago, Internet marketing used tools like newsletters and magazines. Now, it is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, ranging from blogs to white papers, videos or infographics.
So how can you specifically use content marketing to build a better brand image and increase your sales? Everything starts with a successful internet marketing strategy, and that includes content. In short, you will have to think of ways that your content will influence the brand that you’re trying to create.
Your brand’s style
Unlike real life where non-verbal communication allows you to adjust your tone and speaking style as you go, content marketing requires of you to plan for this in advance. If you don’t have a unitary style, you’ll sound inconsistent. And, an inconsistent brand feels untrustworthy. So, don’t start writing content just for the sake of increasing your number of blog entries.
Think of your brand as a person. Every person has his/her own style, right? This person can be anybody real or invented, you just have to think of a list of characteristics that define them.
Say you represent a vet’s clinic… In this case you will want to show that they have expertise, they’re good at problem-solving and that they care about the environment. That’s why you have to write with authority, explain every medical term as clearly as possible, and use informal language at times.
Choosing the writers
One of the key components of a successful content marketing strategy is to choose experienced writers that have a background in marketing, someone who’s experienced in your niche and who can adapt to your brand’s style. It’s wise to ask for sample blog posts to evaluate their copy first.
Organise your team
Some companies have one person that does everything from research to writing, editing and publishing content. While this strategy might be more cost-effective, it’s wiser to have a team of different people for the job.
This brings in more perspectives and helps you tackle a project with out-of-the-box thinking. Plus, it’s easier to catch possible errors.
However, this depends on the project. If you need to put together an e-book, you need about five people for the job. If you only want to send direct emails to clients, one or two people are enough.
Good content is easy to understand. So, don’t try to impress your readers with complicated words that just sound showy. Even if you need to use technical terms, you can explain them in simple words and short sentences that are easy to read.
Point of view
If you want to be relevant and seem interesting to your readers, you need to take a stand about something. You can’t please everyone! So, find an ideology that defines your brand and make your opinions plain to everyone reading.
The logic is this: if you and your online readers agree about certain problems, these people are more likely to agree with you on other topics about which they don’t have a strong opinion.
Your products need to be relevant to your consumers, help solve their needs and make their lives easier. And so does your content!
In short, each time you write an article, you have to help your readers solve a specific problem. You can help them to learn how to use one of your products, teach them how to do certain things by themselves or offer a buyer’s guide.
If people are on your page, they want to know details about your specific products and services, not about the whole industry in general. Start with advice and answers that will actually help people, not fluff. Therefore, instead of focusing on abstract issues, think about practical tips you can offer to your readers.
Bring original content to the table
A lot of brands publish unoriginal, copied content, which is a great advantage for you. If you come up with a new way of looking at things, you become more relevant to your audience.
Your content doesn’t have to be about something completely new, but you can gather scattered information about a topic that hasn’t been discussed in its entirety. This melting pot of info can be quite useful for someone who wants to have a complete picture on a certain topic.
Another idea is to use a different format for subjects that have already been discussed. Instead of writing another article about massage chairs, how about an infographic, a video of you testing one, or a table?
The good news is that you can focus on things you find interesting and research them further so that you can multiply your opportunities of disseminating relevant content to your users. If you’re out of ideas, ask your social media followers what they would like to read.
Company studies are great starting points too. Look at which studies have been conducted by your brand and try to uncover a hidden gem. Who knows which interesting things your company’s archive holds? The best thing is that this requires no budget, and you can turn the material you find into actual news, with a bit of luck.
Your content has to be captivating and show some personality. Stories and heroes always lure readers in, making them come back for more. This will help you to rank higher on Google searches and bring in more conversions.
Stories have always been a great way of connecting the members of the same community. There are various articles on how storytelling can build user experience, considering this is a basic form of human interaction.
Basically, telling stories and sharing the same legends will help your brand look more human and more engaging. It also helps you to become a relevant authority figure and your brand will seem more personal.
It’s a good idea to write about your difficult moments too, not just about your successes. If you found it difficult to raise capital for your business, if you came up with a new idea for a patent but someone else already did it, it’s a good idea to talk about it.
Your brand needs a story with heroes who deal with conflicts. The story needs suspense and intrigue to captivate readers and make them come back.
Ikea is a good example of a brand who uses the power of storytelling to the max. Ikea has always taken pride in its Swedish origin and has associated the brand’s image with concepts like “natural”, “organic” and “authentic”. This helps users to become invested in the company and agree with its vision, so they end up becoming loyal customers.
Another idea is to use case studies to tell stories. This works because it’s an effective way to harness the power of Internet marketing. Case studies show readers everything about the problem you had to deal with, your competitors, your way of thinking, the solutions you considered, the ones you tried and the ones you discarded. It also helps people to understand the effects of your decisions and how you have evaluated your results.
Storytelling uses a lot of tools, from anecdotes to blog writing, or using social media to build a narrative. Just follow the same rules we have talked about earlier: keep the language simple and the information straight to the point. You might need to repeat some details, but don’t forget to be consistent.
And, keep in mind that storytelling isn’t just about seeming interesting to your readers. It’s also about being useful and presenting relevant information so that your audience doesn’t feel like they’re not getting anything out of reading your content.
The real heroes
It’s important to make readers, consumers and potential customers feel like they’re part of your brand’s family. So, let them in by posting pictures and videos of your employees. Tell people how your employees work, which problems they face, how they spend their free time and so forth.
This way, you’ll build a loyal brand community that feels like your brand is truly part of their lives. While Internet users ignore generic images, they engage with images that present real, genuine people.
Conversely, Internet users prefer brands that can be personified, so they can build actual connections. Just be careful not to introduce all your employees at once, but rather one at a time, as in any good story.
It’s important for your brand to have a personality and a compelling style. Therefore, choose the best writers. Your content should be informative, relevant and tell stories that convert into legends. Your brand and employees should be the central heroes of those stories so that you can build a close-knit, loyal brand community.
This article was contributed by Magicdust, one of Australia’s leading web design agencies.