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By: Outbrain (Published on 11.19.2013)
In recent years, big brands like Oreo and Coca-Cola have utilized content as a branding tool to reaffirm their positions in the hearts and minds of consumers around the world. Content serves as a powerful tool that helps tell their story and generate awareness without giving consumers a hard sell. Many small businesses look at examples like these and assume that content only works for large B2C brands with multi-million dollars budgets and already-loyal fan bases.
…every company, no matter how large or small, needs to worry about brand awareness…
The reality is that every company, no matter how large or small, needs to worry about brand awareness, and content is one of the most powerful branding tools around. Sure, it’s easy to focus on direct-response campaigns that can be more easily connected to sales, but the reality is that if your marketing efforts are only focused on pushing customers through the sales funnel, you’ll miss those individuals who don’t know your business even exists. A well-executed content marketing campaign can target these folks, while bringing your brand to life for existing customers and helping to separate you from the competition.
For example, Savvy Rest makes super high-quality organic mattresses and they’ve built a content program around educating consumers about healthy sleep. Their blog details what kinds of materials should be found in a true organic mattress and how those help give you a good night’s sleep. No hard sell, just useful information. They’ve used a variety of strategies to get this awesome content in front of LOHAS-minded consumers, including promoting it via Outbrain’s network.
Implementing a successful content strategy aimed at generating brand awareness like Savvy Rest’s takes time and effort, but here are a few basic tips to help you get started:
Start With Social
Glean some inspiration here from the tongue-in-cheek twitter account of British mobile provider Tesco Mobile and give your brand a memorable voice and personality that fits with your business’s message and product. Social networks are the perfect outlets to speak directly to the audience you’re targeting. By giving your small business a human voice and interacting with fans and followers in a consistent, personal and authentic way, social media can be key in establishing your small business’s identity.
Blog, Blog, Blog
Blogging is an impactful way to connect with audiences and a well-written blog is a simple way to engage customers with content they may find interesting, educational or entertaining. As a small business marketer it’s likely you’re already keeping a close eye on the marketplace, so tap into your industry knowledge and use your company’s blog to share your brand’s viewpoint. Ideally, your small business’s blog will grow into a place to share insight and expertise and not just a platform for sharing company news. Williams-Sonoma’s blog, Taste, is a great example of a company blog that speaks to customers’ lifestyle without overly touting the product.
Now that you’ve created content that will resonate, it’s time to push it out across multiple channels to reach your audience. Promoted posts on Facebook, Sponsored Tweets or using Outbrain Amplify to put your brand’s content alongside the links recommended to readers on top publishing sites are all easy and inexpensive options to start with.
Building your small business’s brand may seem like a daunting task, but if you’re a competitive market, a distinguishable and personable brand voice can be key in elevating your small business to a household name.