Aron Schoenfeld, Marketing Director at Moburst, offers advice on creating effective branded content.
What if we said that there is one secret “recipe” to writing amazing content to promote your brand?
The great news is that there are clear steps to follow – and missteps to avoid – in achieving your content goals.
Today, there are essentially two ways to connect with your customers and users: outbound, and inbound methods. Outbound marketing can be highly rewarding, and though this of course generally costs money, it has advantages such as being scalable and repeatable.
Inbound interest, however, is on another level when it comes to effectiveness – you have people coming to you, people who are specifically interested in what you offer.
The key to inbound interest is content creation. The key question becomes, “How do I create amazing content to promote my brand?”
You do it by focusing on these key areas, which we’ve put together based on in-depth research and hard data.
A successful content strategy starts with defining your overall goals. These goals can include spreading awareness of your offering, converting users, or positioning yourself as a thought leader.
Part of this phase is general research; looking into what competitors are doing, what content seems to be resonating with users, what topics are trending, and which pieces of your own content are getting the best traction.
The strategic planning phase looks at the overall cycle of your content; from the first building blocks to the look and feel and ultimately, the distribution of your content. The best way to start is to work backward. Think about what you want to have live at the end of the process, and plan the previous step that will get you to that point. You should land up with a series of sequential, iterative steps that take you from your marketing goals to successful execution.
Next is your audience. This is really important, as you want to make sure that you’re providing what your audience is looking for. Jumping into your content creation without homing in on your target audience will mean that much of your effort from here on in will be wasted, as it won’t be specific enough to the people that really matter.
We recommend getting as deep as possible with your target audience, much as if you were launching a new business or product. This includes personas, with granular details such as where this person might hang out, what they read, and who they listen to.
Once your target audience is finalized, a lot of your content ideas will naturally flow. You’ll be more aware of pain points, areas of interest, and what creative ideas might speak to this audience.
Writing amazing content is one thing, but writing successful amazing content is another! In order for your content to be seen by your target audience – organically in this case, though using paid campaigns to distribute your content is often a great strategy – it needs to have the right keywords in place. We’ll delve more into your overall SEO strategy shortly, but for now, you need to be using the plethora of tools available to zero in on the keywords that will work for you.
We suggest picking a limited number of keywords to start with, and really focusing on these.
Great content isn’t created with a “checkbox” mentality. You shouldn’t post content for the sake of it, but rather should look at how you can add value to your target audience.
This does not need to be related to your product or service directly. In fact, jumping straight to your benefits or aggressively pushing conversion can often turn readers off.
Rather, focus on the interests and frustrations of your target audience, and create content that fulfills these needs.
As we’ve agreed, being discovered is a key part of a successful content strategy. You can write the best content in the world, but if your target audience isn’t reading it, your efforts are in vain.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, ensures that your content gets in front of the right people. So when users search for a topic that’s relevant to them, it’s your content that pops up first.
SEO comprises a number of different elements coming together. Without delving too deeply into each one, you need to ensure that:
Users are constantly bombarded by content. Much of this content is generic, doesn’t add much value, and certainly doesn’t stand out from the rest.
This is a great opportunity for you. If you can get creative, grab the user’s attention from the first paragraph, and add value throughout, you’re perfectly placed to see your content succeed.
Some out-of-the-box thinking, as well as sharing your passion for the particular topic, are a great starting point when it comes to getting that creativity flowing.
Own the creative content creation process
Writing amazing content that promotes your brand is not as difficult as many people make it out to be. It comes from following a well-thought-out approach, one that starts with strategic planning and culminates in unleashing your creativity.
By following these steps, your creative content will be wowing your target audience in no time.