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Ignite Your Brand with Content Marketing

April 2017

Sandra Hamilton Rodenas, Your Own Marketing Department

How many advertisements (brand messages) do you see throughout the course of an average day? It is likely you are exposed to a lot more than you realize. Brand messaging starts the minute you roll out of bed to begin your daily routine via labels on toothpaste, coffee, and food. The messaging continues with brand advertisements on TV, radio, social media, your mobile device, magazines, newspapers, billboards, websites and more. Depending on the study, various researchers cite that the average American is exposed to anywhere between 2,000-13,000 impressions daily. That is a lot of messaging!

For the modern marketer, the challenge is how to create a strategy that breaks through the clutter and engages the target market. Choosing channels for marketing and crafting your brand’s messaging likely keeps your marketing team awake at night as they ponder the limitless possibilities.

Enter content marketing. Content Marketing is not a new concept. According to the Content Marketing Institute, it was utilized by marketers as early as 1732 when Benjamin Franklin printed and published “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” Other examples include the “Jello Recipe Book” in 1904, Proctor and Gamble’s foray into radio content with the first soap opera “Ma Perkins” in 1933, and more recently the LEGO movie in 2014.

Today, many major brands employ entire content marketing teams to ensure their brand is breaking the barrier of numbness created by the relentless demands on our attention from more “traditional” marketing and advertising.

Creating a well-planned content marketing strategy will help your brand with multiple initiatives including:

  • Growing your brand’s awareness while fostering trust – By providing engaging content that is relevant, informative and useful to your readers/audience, you have the opportunity to showcase your expertise in your industry.
  • Help improve SEO – Most people understand that the search engines love high-quality content. By aligning your marketing objectives with the questions or needs to which your target market is seeking answers or solutions, your site can become better positioned to improve page rank. At the minimum, your content should be specific to a topic, factor in your keyword research, should be linkable, and valuable enough that your audience is eager to share.
    Create Engagement via Social
  • Media – As your content strategy becomes more focused, productive and valuable, your social media efforts gain momentum. The rewards stemming from the organic growth of your social media content are gratifying and can help propel your brand forward to the next level. B2B content marketers actively utilize social media to distribute content. A recent study shows that the top of the social media content distribution channel is LinkedIn at 94 percent, Twitter at 87 percent, Facebook at 84 percent and YouTube rounding out at 74 percent.
  • Getting started:

  • Determine your core market: Your core market may vary according to your current initiatives. Be specific regarding geography, lifestyle, demographics, and needs fulfillment. Approach your core market in the micro sense to ensure you can craft content that resonates with your audience and elicit the response you are seeking to gain.
  • Identify content objectives. Are you looking to drive sales/leads, recruitment, brand awareness or traffic to your website? Be specific and plan accordingly.
    Define the key message. Be succinct, consistent and create a message that clearly sets your brand apart from others vying for your audience/target market.
  • Research. From target market analysis through competitive research through keyword research – this step is a key ingredient to ensure your content strategy plan is successful. There are many online tools that help marketers drill down on each of these that help save you time and provide the data you need for a more successful outcome.
  • Create a calendar. Utilizing an editorial calendar helps ensure that your content is delivered in a timely fashion and helps keep the content marketing team on task.
    Create high-quality content. If you find the idea of creating your content to be a bit daunting, you can hire a marketing firm or a professional writer. A professional should be familiar with how to write engaging copy that also incorporates best practices for SEO.
  • Distribution channels. Armed with your outstanding content, you will need an aggressive distribution strategy. Factor in your goals for paid, owned and earned media.There are a number of online channels for the distribution of your content including blogs, landing pages, email marketing, social media, YouTube, PR distribution networks and sponsored content on publishing sites.
  • If you are looking to propel your brand to the next level, then content marketing could be a perfect strategy for your business. I95

    Sandra Rodenas is a marketing professional with over 26 years industry experience. Her education includes both an undergraduate (UNF) and an MBA (WU) in marketing (graduating with honors in both). She is owner of Your Own Marketing offering customized marketing services for businesses in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.