Building Awareness through Content

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Building Awareness Through Content

Authenticity of your brand is a running theme across all aspects of building your business because authenticity leads to trust. In today’s markets consumers are looking for brands they can trust and brands they feel connected to. The content you create is the main way to communicate your brand’s story, mission, values, authority, and trustworthiness. 

By nature, people buy into something that they can believe in. Take TOMS shoes, for example. Their content strategy highlighted their company’s practice and value that for every pair of shoes they sold, they gave a pair of shoes to those in need. TOMS as a brand blew up because they were able to tap into connecting with their customers by appealing to those who are attracted to doing good and they are genuine about their humanitarian efforts. Not everyone needs to be TOMS, but the point is that authenticity sells. 

So what does that mean for you and your brand? It means that your content strategy has to be rooted in the mindset of connecting to your target market as people rather than a sale. Whether you are selling a new product or providing a service, the people you are targeting are the key to successful brand awareness. 

Where to Begin

The core of your content strategy needs to be storytelling. Storytelling is an innately human trait. People like to tell stories, hear stories, communicate via stories, and connect with stories. Taking advantage of the appeal of stories is an extremely effective awareness tool. No matter what type of content you are creating or the context in which the content is applied, asking yourself, “What story do I want to tell here?” is a necessary starting point. 

The first story you want to tell needs to be the story of your company. Think about what you want your target market to know about where you started, what you believe, and what your company’s values are. Telling your story is your chance to humanize your brand. Obviously, the story, values, culture, and what makes your brand unique should be on your website, but you can also utilize your social media platforms to create videos or posts that promote your story.

Even when you are creating content that is more informational, the story is still important. Informational articles are more engaging when personalized. By this, we mean that if you were writing an informational article to educate your consumer base, then integrate a story throughout about someone experiencing the topic you are addressing. 

Stories are particularly important when creating campaigns as well. In 2015, Extra gum ran a campaign centered around a love story. The high-school sweethearts are seen changing sticks of gum throughout their relationship and the wrappers end up playing a vital role in the proposal. This campaign was people-centered, relatable, and connected to viewers emotionally. It is a prime example of the power of storytelling in creating content. 

Forms of Content

Much like other aspects of starting your own company, which forms of content you choose to use depends on what you are offering and your brand persona. There isn’t a right or wrong combination of content forms to use. You will have to decide what is right for you, but it is important to remember that one piece of content will be suitable for one segment of your audience, while another type of content will speak louder to others. For this reason, your content strategy will have to include a variety of forms. Here are some of the most popular forms of content and a newer one to consider. 

Blog Posts/Articles

If you don’t have a company blog, it is smart to start one. Blogs give you the opportunity to provide informational content to consumers. Since you are addressing a pain point with your brand, you are in a unique position to educate people who see your articles. If you use blog posts and articles as a type of content for your brand, it is important to remember that your content should not only be relevant to your brand, but it should also be unique. It will not help you stand out to just rewrite the same content as other competitors. If your brand is in a highly competitive field, make sure your informational content provides a new spin, goes more in depth, or caters to a certain niche in order to ensure your content is unique.  

Guest Blogging

If maintaining your own blog is not sustainable, still reap the benefits of writing informative content by guest blogging on other sites. Third-party sites benefit you in terms of better exposure and customer relationship. Remember, building trust with potential customers is a necessity. By posting content on third-party sites, you can build customer trust by providing relevant and informative content. If audiences see your quality content on other sites than your own, you will become a more trusted voice and authority figure with your content. 

Freemium/Lead Magnets

Especially when people are looking for information or for a solution, free materials is a great way to gain customer interest and information. This type of content can include checklists, ebooks, reports, how-to videos, guides, or worksheets. Not only is this content helpful to the consumer, but it is also a great opportunity for you to prove your expertise in your industry. 

Infographics

Infographics are a great way to build awareness because they are easy to read and understand. They are also shareable and a great way to get a good amount of information across in a short amount of time. If you decide to create infographics, they should be utilized for key points, statistics, and ideas. An advantage to infographics is that you can make detailed content out of them, or use them to simplify complex information. 

Videos

Videos are a great way to show the people and personalities behind your brand. When you and your team are visible to your potential customers, your brand becomes more conversational and approachable. How you utilize videos in terms of content can include how-to videos, brand videos, behind-the-scenes insights or documentaries. 

Photos

Photos can serve the same purpose as videos in terms of providing insights to the inner workings of your brand, but they can also showcase your brand’s involvement in the community. Customers enjoy brands that are involved in humanitarian efforts and community events. If this is one of your brand’s values, photos, along with the story of the event, is a great way to engage potential customers and build awareness. 

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters are a great way to keep your brand in the forefront of customers’ minds. Newsletters provide the opportunity to have both personal and informative content all in one place. Emails are also easily shareable, so if you are providing quality content to your customers, they are more likely to forward the newsletter on to another interested party. 

Case Studies

Case studies are an effective form of content because they are deeply personal. Case studies allow you to tell a client’s story and their struggle before your brand helped them. Remember the power of storytelling? Potential customers remember personal stories better, and as you present a success story, it helps to create a positive image of your brand. 

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is new on the scene in terms of content, but the advantage of utilizing it is your brand will have an edge over your competitors. Pokemon Go was one of the first major uses of AR but the same technology is used in Instagram and Snapchat filters. If your brand allows for the use of AR, it is a unique, interactive, and engaging form of content to get customer’s attention.  

Managing Your Content

Much like a social media strategy, your content strategy also needs careful planning. Especially as you create a presence on more platforms, online content can get out of control. In your official strategy plan, you need to make sure that you have identified the forms of content you are going to use and for what purpose. It is also helpful to decide how often you are going to be posting content and create a schedule for yourself. Content schedules could change depending on campaigns, but informative content should remain steady. 

Depending on how much time you have to devote to creating content, managing your content strategy may also include farming out some of your article writing to freelancers or hiring a firm to create your website for you. We mention the balance of your time and money a lot throughout the process. If organically creating your content is too time consuming, consider setting aside a budget for hiring people to help you manage your content. 

Final Thoughts

As you create your content, there are some pointers to keep in mind. Make sure your content is well-written, articulate, and represents the brand and what it stands for. Relevant content is key to a positive image of your brand. If you post content with purpose, your potential customers perceive a lack of vision from your brand. To keep your content relevant, research a timely topic or trend that impacts your target market. The more you can connect with them, the better. It’s so important to understand who your audience is, answer their questions, provide the information they need in the format they want, and do it consistently. When you do these things on a regular basis, you will build your audience and brand awareness.

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Chapter 1: Getting started

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Chapter 2: Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

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Chapter 3: General Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 4: Phishing & Email Attack Statistics

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Chapter 5: Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 6: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 7: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 8: Privacy Statistics

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