Let’s say your company has developed an amazing product for a new audience, but no one in the new industry has any clue your company is now in the space. You need to create brand awareness, but where to begin? We at Suite Seven would say developing a content strategy and creating and sharing high-quality content is a great place to start.
Lots of other marketers are on board with using content marketing to drive brand awareness. A 2013 study by the Content Marketing Institute reveals brand awareness has been a top goal for B2B marketers for the last four years and that 58% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. According to the study, currently B2B marketers spend 33% of their budget on content marketing — with some portion likely allocated to supporting brand awareness goals.
Content marketing isn’t new; it just has a new-ish buzzy name, which encourages more marketers to check it out. Although some estimate content marketing has been around since the John Deere catalog launched in 1895, I’d hazard the difference today is there’s more demand for good, useful content than ever before, facilitated by the rapid proliferation of new real-time channels to consume and share it through.
Use the right content to build brand awareness
Not all types of content help build brand awareness, just as not all types of content drive leads or nurture existing customer relationships. Awareness-building content adds to the conversation on channels where potential customers are — like industry publications, social channels and blogs. When developing a content strategy to build brand awareness, it’s important to focus on content that:
- Showcases thought leadership. Thought leadership content, as we explained in a previous post, establishes your company as an expert, whether to a niche audience or more broadly as a leader in an industry. “Thought leadership” means providing content that adds value with insights, analyses and opinions, which demonstrates you’re engaged and a knowledgeable resource in your field.
- Is useful. People pay attention to content and companies that help them by providing the information they want, when they want it, via the channel that’s most convenient to them. When people have a good experience with a company, they’re more likely to register who that company is and potentially recommend the company to others.
- Tells a story. This is really the aspect of content marketing that has been around since the dawn of time. As we explain in this post about the role of storytelling in content marketing, good stories are really what compel people to pause, engage and share – helping to boost brand awareness.
- Is shareable. When creating content specifically to build brand awareness, make sure the content is easy to share. Highlight pull quotes, statistics, sound bytes and make it effortless for people to share them by adding social share buttons. And don’t forget visual assets — on social media channels, visuals like photos, video and infographics are significantly more likely to be shared than text.
To ensure your content successfully embodies these traits and supports your efforts of building brand awareness, it’s important to first have a solid content strategy in place. If you’re not sure why or how to develop one, start by reading more here and here, or give us a call!