Finding the Balance Between Branded Content Marketing and Customer Needs
As your content needs to lead prospects closer to a sale, an element of branding is essential. But who wants to hear you talk about your products and services over and over again? No one! Finding the right niche between branded content marketing and customer needs and wants is essential for successful sales! Here are a few ways you can create content that is educable, interesting, fun to read, and valuable for your readers.
1. Focus on Tone of Voice
Create a sense of your brand through a voice that reflects who you are, your values, and how you see your customers. Ensure your writers understand the uniqueness of your brand and where it fits into the marketplace! If you have multiple writers contributing to your content, the voice needs to stay consistent but the message can be individualized so it does not become stagnant! You can develop an appropriate tone of voice by researching your buyer personas and deciding how best to address your readers, considering elements of style like formality, person, and language.
2. Wait to Introduce Your Brand with Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is a popular approach for gradually providing prospects with branded content marketing. Start with useful or entertaining pieces that grab your readers’ attention because using this type of content will create a sense of trust and build brand awareness. After you have developed a bond with your readers you may request their contact information, at which point you can start sending premium content with clear calls-to-action.
To be successful thought leadership requires patience. You must avoid reverting back to old habits like publishing overt sales pieces such as whitepapers, press releases, and case studies, in the initial stages, warns Movable Media. Even small businesses can benefit from this method provided they dedicate enough time to creating both organic and branded content marketing.
3. Use Gateway Content
Gateway content can work well in conjunction with other techniques, but because it leads to heavily branded pieces it should not be your only tactic. Each piece of gateway content covers four stages:
- Identify a problem your audience may be experiencing.
- Talk about why this problem may have occurred.
- Provide advice for solving the problem.
- Present your brand as a solution for the problem, suggesting products or services that will benefit the reader.
Gateway content can be useful to speed up conversions and avoid frustration when waiting for prospects to reach a sale. The tactic can be helpful for small businesses in particular that may lack the resources to wait for each lead to trickle slowly down the sales funnel.
4. Measure Your Results
To determine whether you are branding your content appropriately you need to pay attention to metrics. For instance, few return visits and a high bounce rate may suggest that your content is too brand-focused and lacks the information readers want. On the other hand a lot of engagement but few conversions may imply the need for stronger calls-to-action and more branding. If more branding is needed ensure you are branding with impact, and grabbing your readers with emotion-kindled content because emotion sells harder than rationalized data!
The techniques that work best for you will depend on your brand, the products and services you offer, the size of your company, and the resources you are able to dedicate to branded content marketing. If your sales funnel is short, you may need to brand your content early on; however, with a longer sales funnel, you have more chances to gradually introduce your brand to prospects. You have to find the right balance for your branding with your customers! Whatever actions you decide to take, remember that your content needs to bring your prospects to you so if you create content that is too heavily branded, you will not gain readers or leads.
If you are looking for writers that can help you implement a good branded content marketing strategy, you may be looking for a branded content agency. In this case, be sure you check out our white paper, "Don't Hire A Content Marketing Agency Before You Read This."