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Visit any of our websites — even our stores, like Fanorama — and it will become absolutely clear that our marketing strategy is deeply rooted in content marketing.

In fact, I’ll draw an even finer distinction.

We’re totally committed to putting our message out there as branded content.

This is a marketing strategy where brands treat themselves not as advertisers, but as content publishers.

It’s effective because, in today’s information-rich world, purchasers prefer to walk themselves through much of the buying cycle rather than be led by a salesperson.

Actually, we’ll answer it now, because it’s really quite simple:

Both branded content and content marketing can pay huge dividends for your enterprise. One of their most joyful aspects is they allow you to be yourself. Thus, it’s important that you give yourself the best chance to succeed by utilizing them.

Here are five tips that can help:

1. Continuity is essential.

When prospective customers first visit your site, they’ll give you — on average — about three seconds to see whether or not it’s worth their time.

This means your initial presentation must be clear and concise:

  • Your unique logo and brand name must quickly confirm to them where they are,
  • Your layout must quickly show them how to navigate your site, and
  • Your opening content must quickly engage their attention.

Then, once engaged visitors return and begin to explore your site more often, they’re going to start expecting what they’ll see on your pages, on a subliminal level if nothing else.

Don’t disorient them:

  • Pick a page template that isn’t too busy and stick with it;
  • Include your home page’s unique elements so your presence is always represented.
  • Be consistent with your writing style, tone, and terminology.

In other words, you can’t wing it. Your brand voice must be clear and anticipated.

2. Your site isn’t about you.

Consumers are smart. They expect content that brings value to their lives. You need to deliver it, or else they’ll cast you aside.

You don’t need to constantly hawk your product or service if your messages show your confidence in what you’re representing. In so doing, you’re demonstrating a fluency in your niche as well as providing depth to how your product or service will address a need.

Thus, you’re projecting authority and providing an identifiable frame of reference.

That’s the sort of content that will be shared.

3. You’re conversing, not dictating.

There’s a time and place for long-form writing and webinars, but your site and/or social media outlets are rarely the right platforms.

When your visitors want to proceed more deeply into the buying cycle, you’ll have included portals in those outlets to accommodate them. Don’t worry; they’ll be clever enough to get there.

Your branded content strategy is to keep drawing them back to check in with whatever else you have to say.

Any writer or marketer will confirm there’s a huge difference between discourse and narration. The former is much more conducive to engagement.

Your success in this regard depends on how well you know and interact with your visitors. That’s why it’s vital that you research and then create your target market’s ideal personas.

The first objective of keeping your visitors focused is keeping yourself focused. This process will do it.

4. Branded content isn’t a funnel; it’s a catalyst

It’s cool to speak of visitors traveling through a sales funnel in linear fashion, but that’s not the way most customers act.

Funnels are essential to your marketing strategy, and the function of your primary platforms — site and/or social media — is to enhance their potency.

Every phase of the buying cycle will be much more productive if a means of message reinforcement is readily available.

That’s your branded content. You and your message are there as a reliable and credible beacon of authority and assurance.

Your most productive customers will sell themselves and usually keep returning to purchase again and again. They don’t need a pitch from you. Guidance offers them more value.

5. Utilize your content’s full potential.

Obviously, the various website and social media platforms have different characteristics.

In terms of maximizing your content’s effectiveness, they’re not always compatible with each other.

Content is the fuel that powers social, and many brand owners concern themselves over the amount needed to power all of their different outlets.

However, it really doesn’t take much if you have a system.

With one feature package — articles, photos, and video — you can create a series of smaller combinations to take advantage of each distinct platform. A key here is not to skimp on video. Thanks to cheaper technology, it’s become incredibly simple to create dynamic videos and action graphics.

If any of this sounds daunting, it really isn’t.

Break the process down into tasks, study other sites in your niche, and create your strategy.

Your customers are worth the effort. So is your quest to achieve the Dot Com lifestyle.

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