Content Marketing Strategy: How to Stand Out from the Crowd
The numbers speak for themselves, almost everyone is using content marketing nowadays.
In order to stand out from your competition, you should provide your customers with more than just educational content.
Marketers are increasing the number of tactics used to attract their target audience through content.
In this article, we will explain key tactics that you can use to create a deeper connection with your target audience through content marketing.
We believe that connecting with your customers has the advantage of leaving a lasting impression.
These tactics will improve your overall content marketing strategy and increase the likelihood of success.
Read on to find out which steps you need to take for making your content marketing strategy stand out.
Which Marketing channels should you use?
This makes blogs one of the most effective tools to create valuable content for your customers.
Your articles should have the goal to solve a specific question your target audience has in mind.
Write about topics that matter to them to attract their attention.
This will drive continuous traffic to your website as people will come to you to search for answers to their questions.
Blog posts should create a connection between the topic you are writing about and your company. It is the perfect tool for your audience to become familiar with your brand.
To have a complete content marketing strategy, however, it is important to include multiple marketing tools to reach your audience.
The following tools could provide beneficial support for your blog posts:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
After having built a diverse portfolio of marketing tools, we are going to look step-by-step at how you can get the most out of them.
Before continuing check out our starter guide: How to Succeed with Content Marketing: 8 Useful Tips to Include in your Strategy.
Tailor your Content to your Target Audience
No matter which means you use to reach your customers, it is essential to know who your target audience is, in order to provide them with the content they need.
Researching about your target audience should revolve around finding out the answers to their biggest questions.
By solving their problems, you will become a trustworthy source for your customers. This will increase their loyalty towards you.
Find out other important aspects of your target audience to have a better idea of their marketing situation.
For example, in B2C transactions, find out what their hobbies are, in which stages of life are they in right now and which interests/needs do they have.
Addressing their needs with bespoke content (instead of a generic message) will make them feel that you understand their needs.
This is the best way to make your customers remember you.
This will lead them to become more susceptible to your messages and other marketing activities.
Another important point is avoiding using specific jargon, which the average person doesn’t understand.
Always remember to design your communications in the easiest and clearest possible way including a language that everyone could understand.
Audience Segmentation & Buyer Personas
Oftentimes, it's beneficial to categorize your audience into smaller segments with unique traits.
Dividing them can make it easier to create tailored content for different groups of people.
This way you will be able to specifically target each group which will increase the likelihood of success from your marketing campaigns.
After you have researched your target audience and divided them into smaller, more distinguishable groups, you can create buyer personas out of them.
A buyer persona is a popular marketing strategy that combines all the relevant information of our target segment into a complete profile of a fictional person.
Putting all these traits into one person will make it easier to visualize who your customers are.
The buyer persona visualizes the average person from your target audience or segment.
This profile should include the following information:
The benefit of creating a buyer persona is to clearly lay out what your target audience’s common needs are at this point in their life.
This information is crucial in understanding your customers, as this directly relates to how you can produce content addressing their needs and wants.
When you find out what to write about, the next step is to focus on making engaging content for your customers.
Creating engaging content is the first step to provide value and building a connection with your customers.
An excellent method to make your content marketing strategy more engaging is to include multiple channels to reach out to your audience.
This way your customers will interact more often with your brand, which will increase your brand awareness.
Identify the most relevant channels in your industry. For instance, not every brand needs an expensive PR campaign or affiliate marketing in their marketing strategy.
Including Emotions in your Stories
Another way to build a good connection with your target audience is to make emotions a big part of your content.
This is where emotional marketing comes into play.
This marketing technique focuses primarily on using emotions to make your target audience remember your message.
It is also used to promote actions like sharing your blog or buying your product.
The key to success here is to use strong emotions because they have been proven to increase engagement rates as well as the ability to recall things.
The ability to emotionally connect with your target audience is a powerful force that will make your brand stand out from the competition.
Before incorporating emotional marketing into your campaigns, you should look at which emotions you can include to best fit in your campaign.
The emotional spectrum can be divided into 2 categories in which all emotions can be categorized: valence and arousal.
Valence is the direction of the emotion, which means if it is a positive or negative emotion.
Arousal gives those directions more dimension by saying how strong these positive or negative emotions are.
In emotional marketing, the focus lies exclusively on emotions with a strong arousal level.
That makes the marketing efforts stick most likely to people’s minds.
Important things to consider
There are a few things to take into account before using emotional marketing in your campaigns.
Understanding cultural differences is one of them. It is important to avoid misinterpretations between the expected emotional responses and the actual responses of people in different regions of the world.
In certain cultures, not all emotions are expressed the same way as it is in the western world.
For instance, Japanese society is in general perceived as less emotionally expressive than people from Latin America.
Therefore, you have to look closely at the context and place in which you plan to launch your marketing campaign as it can startle a different reaction than initially expected.
Another point to discuss is that depending on your company, you can use either positive or negative emotions for your campaigns.
You can use emotions to inspire people. For instance, people with a strong moral justice system will likely be inspired by articles talking about negative news.
A charity can write an article about how you can help children in poor countries survive by donating to them.
This is why you need to know your audience and what moves them.
When you know what your audience is striving for and what passions they have, then you can use that to your advantage.
The buyer persona will help you, in knowing what content your customers might be more likely to read.
Make it as Visual as Possible
The next step to make your content more appealing for your customers is to include pictures, videos, and infographics.
Give people something to imagine while explaining to them your concepts.
Videos are one of the easiest forms of media to remember. 20% of people will read the text on a page, but 80% of people will watch a video.
Breaking up the content not only in paragraphs but also with pictures, videos and infographics can help to make your content more digestible.
It is important for the customer to feel engaged while reading your blog.
What is Top-of-Mind Awareness (TOMA)
TOMA is a marketing term that relates to making content stick to people’s minds.
This phenomenon can be identified when doing the following exercise:
What brand comes to mind when you think about car brands, chips, phones, sodas, etc?.
All those companies you had in your mind are part of your top-of-mind awareness.
They are the first names that pop up when you are asked to remember brands from certain industries.
Once those brands have made it into your TOMA, they will very likely stay in your mind for a long time.
Brands that make it to TOMA have a strong awareness among their audience and thus are more prone to generate more revenue.
How do brands achieve top-of-mind awareness?
First, people need to recognize your name and the industry in which you operate.
In order to become a brand on top of people’s minds, your branding should be designed from a customer's perspective.
People should know what your company stands for, in short, what your identity is.
Only then they will be able to link your name to a specific description that is easy to remember.
People remember you in 2 ways:
How you look like
What you do
You can increase awareness by presenting a clear brand message across all marketing channels.
A brand awareness campaign must seek to reinforce your company’s identity.
Also, making your audience familiar with who you are as a company, what your core values are, and why they should distinguish you from your competitors is of utmost importance.
As mentioned previously, your brand should connect with your customers in a smart way on different platforms.
Being active on multiple channels increases the likelihood of making your brand message stick.
Therefore, it is also important to use visual elements in your marketing campaigns to solidify your brand's visual identity.
Ideally, people should associate your brand with a distinctive characteristic. For example, when we see a white apple that has already been bitten, we immediately think of Apple.
Another example is when we see Nike’s logo, our minds think of their popular catch-phrase: Just do it.
Linking your logo or brand message to a certain characteristic is a powerful tool to make your brand memorable and let it stand out from the competition.
Referring back to including strong emotions in your marketing campaigns, this will help people to recall your brand through a direct association with a specific emotion.
Building trust through TOMA
Being the first name that pops up is the result of a great brand awareness positioning.
The aim is to portray a cohesive picture of the organization to the outside world bridging the branding messages with the company’s offering.
By delivering on their promise, companies will most certainly build trust and a good reputation among their target audience.
If your brand meets consumer expectations, then you will be one step closer to building an army of brand advocates and promoters.
Be clear when messaging your target audience. If your consumers perceive any deviations in your branding then you will confuse them and lose their attention.
Keep consistency in all your marketing messages that you are communicating.
This will make it easier for your target audience to recognize you.
Developing a sound Content Marketing Strategy
Now you know the tools to develop a content marketing strategy to reach your target audience and effectively increase your brand awareness.
First, it is key to get a solid understanding of who your customers are.
This will make it easier for you to address their needs and create tailored content for them.
Embedding strong emotions in your stories is crucial to connect with your consumers on a deeper level.
This will make you stand out from your competitors.
Furthermore, matching people’s expectations with your brand promise will establish your company as a trustworthy and reliable brand.
In the end, this strong connection will lead to strong brand advocacy.