In the world of marketing, we consistently talk about the importance of the brand. As the business owner or decision maker, you spend a great deal of time and research on what needs to happen to develop your brand. At that point you then start to push it out to your target audience. If you’ve been doing this a while, you know what happens next – the audience runs with it, associating their own elements with your brand.
This outcome can be both good and bad. If your audience immediately takes to your brand, you can drive home the message you want to communicate. For most, however, solidifying that brand takes some time, and then consumers play a role. They often have more say about what your brand means than your entire marketing department. The good news is you don’t have to settle on the consumer direction – you just have to get in the conversation.
Today, you have access to so many more tools than you did even 10 years ago that allow you to drive the conversation, engage your audience and achieve the branding initiatives you want. First and foremost – it starts with the content you create. You have to add value for the target audience. Don’t use your social media and promotional platforms to simply shout out things you want your audience to hear or know. Instead, focus on those things they want to know and tie back to your brand.
For instance, are you a retail operation with a storefront and an online store? You may want to brag about the products you carry, your customer service and the free shipping you offer. Yes, all of those things are important to your audience and you should definitely promote that information as an extension of your brand. But, what if your target audience member doesn’t feel like making a purchase? Will they come to your store or your site?
Consider providing him or her information on the latest movements in your industry as they pertain to their use of your products. If there is a new fabric available that is sturdier than the old standby, let them know. If one of your main manufacturers is offering a webinar on the importance of their platform, push that information out. Not every communication will lead to a sale, but it does contribute to the building of valuable relationships.
In the content marketing realm, you have a world of opportunities to get into the conversation. Make a video that is communicative and entertaining and ask your audience to share it; write regular blogs that share valuable information your audience actual wants to read; comment on other posts within the industry so you’re engaged on leading platforms; invite your social media followers to share ideas and comments with you – and respond.
The important point is to use content marketing to promote the messages you want to send, as well as those your audience wants to hear. In doing so, you can have more control over your brand and the impact it has in the market.