Expand Your Brand: One Piece of Content At A Time

Let’s be honest; content marketing has evolved into a fluff term — a term so overused that the phrase itself fails to evoke any emotion or impact. But despite its buzzy persona and overuse, the actual practice of content marketing can still move brands forward. As defined by Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Boiled down, content marketing is the practice of creating written or visual content with the intention of relaying a brand message. Every single piece of content created for a digital audience, whether it’s a single 140-character tweet or a 10-minute long YouTube video starring a popular lifestyle influencer, can be included under a brand’s content marketing umbrella. Essentially, any brand, big or small, across every vertical, that publishes content for an audience is already driving a content marketing strategy.

Caleb Ulku of Ulku Logistics dedicates much of his practice to leading client’s strategies to effectively build content that both engages audiences and boosts discoverability. While not an official Google ranking signal, the correlation between social content marketing and overall brand ranking on the SERP is too evident to ignore. The lines are becoming increasingly blurred between earned, paid, and organic content, and as Ulku helps his clients understand, those brands that prioritize creating and distributing a wide array of rich media content not only have the best shot at sparking search discovery, but also, word of mouth discovery.

Small brands, especially, can benefit from strategies derived to spark user education and community interactions. In fact, this type of grassroots marketing is necessary to assure the long-term viability of a main street organization. As small business owners can attest, every marketing component matters. When smaller organizations apply for financing through platforms like Currency Capital, it is most often with the intention of serving a greater audience or expanding their services to current and loyal customers.

While obtaining the resources to expand a business is a great first step, organizations must also take the initiative to communicate their expansion efforts to target customers. If customers think a business is becoming outdated or irrelevant, they will move on to a competitor whose services are decidedly more visible without hesitation. The only way to assure expansion and scalability success is to pair it with strategic and diverse content.

If your business is looking for ways to increase the value of its content marketing efforts and expand its digital footprint, here are three ideas to infuse in your cross-platform publishing efforts:

Remove the filter — More than ever before, audiences are craving authenticity from influencers and brands alike. Many social audiences are tired of seeing perfect, glossy images promoting blemish-free lifestyles. Today’s audiences are more interested in seeing content that is unfiltered and raw. So, in the context of brand content, this might mean taking audiences behind the scenes of how your products get made –including the blood, sweat, and tears — rather than just photos and shiny videos of the finished product.

Take it live — Videos are becoming increasingly powerful content marketing tools. In fact, some studies indicate that Facebook users spend more time watching live videos than traditional ones. Whether you’re streaming a live question and answer session, event panel, or product launch, audiences across social platforms are tuning in to watch this real-time, unfiltered experience.

Dig into the data — When it comes to creating content that speaks to your target audience and has the potential to increase your brand recognition, there is no set formula. Content themes and strategies that might work for some brands may not make an impression on your audience. Agility and a willingness to experiment with new subjects and formats are crucial to success. Additionally, just because a piece of content looks nice or seems like it should work it doesn’t mean that it does. When it comes to content, numbers matter.

SEO agency 180Fusion believes that data is the key to driving content success. In a blog post dedicated to data-driven content marketing, the 180Fusion team promotes constant analysis; simply publishing and moving on to the next project does not serve your team. If you want to take up space for your brand across the increasingly saturated content marketing landscape, you must be willing to constantly analyze and pivot your strategy based on the numbers.

The entire internet landscape is continuously evolving. The content marketing strategies that were lauded a year ago may already be on the way to becoming outdated. All brands, regardless of size or industry, must find ways to evolve with the landscape and create and distribute content that speaks to what 2018’s consumers want out of brand interactions.