The proliferation of the internet has changed the marketing sector in various ways. The most crucial impact is the rise of personal communication channels. The current generation of consumers are looking for a brand they genuinely connect with. They want to hear your company story, they want their needs to be heard, and they want to form a lasting human relationship with the brands they purchase. They want engagement. If you employ traditional marketing techniques, they will see through that façade and look for someone else who will give them what they want.
If you use traditional marketing tactics, your brand will become obsolete. If you use content marketing, your brand will grow.
What is the difference between content marketing and brand?
Content marketing is, “a strategic 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,” as defined by Content Marketing Institute. Essentially, you are providing materials or content that your prospective customers need to solve their pain point.
The definition of brand has shifted a bit since the rise of the Internet. What it once meant was the name given to a product or service by a specific source – like a trademark. Brand, as it is currently defined, is what consumers think of when they hear or say your company name; what the public thinks they know of your brand and what you offer. Your brand is the public’s perception of your product or service.
How does content marketing benefit your brand?
Content marketing and branding coexist with one another to increase the effectiveness of each other. Your company blog, for example, shares information about the product or service you sell, addresses pain points typical customers have, and lets the consumer gain a greater perspective of who your company is. This directly impacts how an individual views your brand name. It paints a picture, narrates a story of your company and what you stand for. It’s the engagement consumers are looking for.
Your content, over time, compounds on that image or story you’ve built, shaping and molding what consumers’ perceptions are of your company. Think of Harry Potter. The story evolves in each book as well as across the entire series. That’s what your content does with your brand.
To further capitalize on this example, think about how each book was written at a different time. Throughout those years, J.K. Rowling most likely shifted the direction of a character or a plotline – revamping the Harry Potter image. Depending on the direction of your content or campaign, you can redirect and revamp the image of your brand while still maintaining credibility.
Video also helps your brand. On media outlets like YouTube and social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn companies use video to attract consumers. The video is a visual depiction of your company that people can remember. An animated illustration of your product or service is processed faster, stays longer in the brain, and is elaborated on the longer consumers think about it.
Live video is also a great way to create a connection with your consumer and gain visibility. A live stream shows a vulnerability and a realness about your company that consumers love. It’s personable and extremely shareable across multiple channels. An impactful video clearly defines your brand identity and helps your audience build a memory structure around who you are and what value you have to offer them, simultaneously building trust and credibility.
The advantages content marketing gives is the opportunity for your brand to grow, shape, and evolve to your customer base. The Internet is the new word of mouth, and everyone is competing to be the company on its lips. Through blogging, social media, and video you can grow your brand awareness, shape consumers' perceptions of your brand and build upon your established credibility.
Content marketing is the solution to your branding issues. It's time to start resolving them!
My fire is fueled by the relationships I make, build, and cherish. I love hearing people’s stories, what makes them who they are, and where I fit into their lives. As the Creative Content Lead at Leighton Interactive, I'm a storyteller. I’m lucky that I can use my natural ability to help people find their voices, tell their stories, and reach their goals so their businesses can get results. Outside the office I get excited to find sunshine, consume iced coffee, work out, or add unique pieces of jewelry to my ever-growing collection. I also tell stories on behalf of my local AAF chapter, and serve as the Board's Past President.