Build Your Content for a Powerful Brand

Build Your Brand with Great Content

We all love good content. It’s why we spend so much time searching on Google, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter, Amazon, or news sites.  Good content helps us gather ideas to make important purchase decisions.

Unfortunately, many small business owners spend little time and effort on their branding.  They simply don’t appreciate that all they do and what customers experience is pooled by the audience’s minds into a set of images, which then creates an emotion.  It’s that emotion that drives their purchases.

That set of images is your brand.  Your content creates your brand, and then your brand supports the content. It’s a continuous cycle that creates sales.

Discover more about your content quality via a digital marketing audit

And online, your marketing content represents your brand. It’s more than words, headings, and phrases though.  It’s the voice of a message that resonates with your target audience. If your branding isn’t laser clear, doesn’t convey the promise clearly, and isn’t reaching the right audience, your customer engagement and sales numbers will fail.

What is Great Content and How do You Make it?

Screenshot courtesy of Cortex.ai.

In this post, I wanted to discuss what is great content that creates an amazing brand experience. So let’s brush up on branding and the value of the brand, and then how you can ramp up your content quality to help build an impressive brand image.

There are a lot of confusing definitions of branding.  But we can avoid all that by focusing specifically on the message your content gives your sales prospects.

What is the message they get about what you will provide? Why should they buy from you and not the market leader? What is the unique value proposition you want to present to them? You must be clear about that because it’s this laser-like clarity that burns the image into the brain the best. It will make more impact, create a Wow sensation, keep their attention, trust you, and overcome objections.

The Power of the Apple Brand

Think about the power of the Apple brand.  It has such power that buyers are willing to spend $1200 on a smartphone.  Apple is the market leader and Apple’s stock price just keeps soaring.

The brand promise is a comfortable, leading edge, device that makes all their digital activity an enjoyable experience. While competitors let users do anything, Apple goes further to make people feel comfortable, hip, and able to enjoy all digital experiences more. Add on 5G and 3 camera lenses, and now they’re unbeatable!

iPhone 12 5G. Screenshot courtesy of Apple.

Let’s Get Clear on What Your Brand is

Your brand is vitally important because it determines customer relevance, trust, value, and purchase intent.  Customers buy your brand promise of satisfaction.  Great content gives a persuasive description which your prospects can understand and like.  And great content also builds an audience via Google and Social Media, thus creating a sales funnel.

Content is wrapped within your brand image.  If your content is going to create customers and build sales, your brand needs to be high quality.  Good content well packaged can significantly help your bottom line which is why we should hire experts to optimize the content/branding challenge.

Here’s a common small business website situation: traffic is low, leads are few, rankings non existent, no one shares your stuff on social media, and visitors are bouncing.  Why?  It could be your content isn’t good enough. It might also be your brand is irrelevant.

But, before you shoot your marketing team, remember that low conversion rates happen many different ways. It’s not so easy to see why your brand seems irrelevant. A branding consultant might be necessary.

Let’s take a closer look at good content, its role, purpose, and how you might give it full power to produce and move up to market leader status.

Good Content Can’t Save a Bad Brand

Your graphics, headings and content, topics and keyword choices aren’t going to save a low quality brand. If the value proposition is poor, uncompetitive, stale, or not believable, no amount of words is going to change it.

Your copywriting can’t lie, because the prospect can tell if your product is relevant to them.  Good content starts with a good value proposition and convinces the prospect of what they already know.  At this point, it just romances them.

My former client Dream Homes Magazine had a fantastic brand image. The brand promise came through clear, that they helped wealthy homebuyers find their dream home. And they helped luxury home Realtors get the best online exposure possible to wealthy buyers.  Their magazines were lavish, beautiful, and descriptive in their presentation of gorgeous luxury homes.  Home details, locations, story telling, community connections and information are all in place for readers. It’s all clean and laser clear.

All Dream Homes Magazine needs is massive traffic from Google, Bing and Facebook.  Both copywriting and photography was from very skilled specialists. In the luxury million dollar home sector they had no rivals.

Screen capture courtesy of Dreamhomesmagazine.com

The only issue for them might be visibility of the connections to homeowners and Realtors.  Passive approaches and passive copy can be low key and friendly, but will the buyer make contact?

This is a big problem in real estate marketing, where prospects come and go quick, thus no lead and no sale.  What is it about the visible branding and the brand promise in the copy that gets these window shoppers to make a phone call?

It’s the relevance, and the believability of the promise.  They keep skipping through Realtors and home listings until one certain Realtor pops up who offers the promise they want.  That’s when they call.

Weak brand promise?  Confusing set of benefits?  Irrelevant points and ideas? Then there’s no lead.

A Good Brand Elevates Weak Web Content

Just go to any top news or media website, and you’ll find the content is paper thin, dressed up propaganda, with sensationalism and posturing. It’s horrible. Not an experience that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.  Why did you stay for more than 30 seconds? Because the brand image is so strong, it makes you believe they are the trusted, informed authority. Yes, a brand is a very powerful thing.

PathFactory’s Branding

This is Path Factory’s homepage. They provide a marketing software platform (out of Toronto) which optimizes the customer journey. For those who want to leverage AI marketing technology, their marketing page is clear and concise. It makes an impact.

They help personalize content in a specific way to each visitor and produce a unique high quality experience. What it is and how it works is clear, and the blog link is clearly visible.

There brand promise is “micro-personalize the content journey using AI to create an always on experience to deliver your content just like Netflix.”  Wow, that sounds so nice. Is it believable?  If you read the content, watch the videos, you will likely believe it is highly credible.

PathFactory produced some great whitepapers, videos and specialized landing pages. And they have market leading ideas.  The brand colors are fun, alive, and energizing. They have trust building content that’s easy to read and understand. And they give you a process to see how it works. Even the name PathFactory promises an optimized content funnel for eager content publishers.

Screen capture courtesy of PathFactory.com

Good content too is a workhorse and creates its own value proposition. Your content serves purposes from branding, to Google rankings, to engagement and outreach, to sales promotion and more. Great content, if you can create it, could significantly help your business.

Rich content can help a weak brand, while bad content can drag a good brand down. Let’s see if we can find a way to improve both simultaneously for better leads, engagement and sales revenue.

Delta Hotels, Canada’s Top Business Class Hotel Brand

I grew Delta Hotels website visits from 1.2 million per year to 2.5 million using content and SEO. Delta had a quality brand image and it only lacked reach. This was Canada’s premium business hotel brand which made capturing click throughs a lot easier.  The hotel chain was bought out by Marriott who must have liked what they saw.

Screen capture courtesy of Delta Hotels

Value of Great Content

  1. gets your unique value proposition across
  2. gets key selling points across
  3. differentiates your brand from the competition
  4. establishes preference for your brand, product or service
  5. easy to consume and engages your prospects while building comfort, trust and desire
  6. leverages whatever intent or desire your visitor has
  7. moves your prospects along the sales conversion funnel
  8. showcases the value for each unique visitor
  9. fills your prospect’s mind with your images and value
  10. creates a good customer experience and builds customer loyalty

Is the Brand the Core of All Problems?

Your Content is Your Conversion Funnel

In my experience, weak brands are a problem. I had the opportunity to work with a branding agency in Boston and saw the before and after brand change. The after brand was more feel good, relevant and engaging. The brand promise was more bold, clear and inviting.

The brand is boss, controller, and the engine, therefore it is responsible for marketing success. Failing means it simply misses the mark in credibility, trust, relevance, and brand leadership.  You may have made extensive changes to your own website and content and saw zero improvement. The brand message overpowers everything and it has lasting power.

From the layout, to the font selection, to colors, links to relevant content, graphics and visuals, the slogan, pitch, features, benefits, to the brand promise, something in your visible brand may not appeal to the audience. It might not look like a market leader with a clear promise of satisfaction, and instead only appeals to a vague audience of lower quality prospects.

Hone in on that clear promise of satisfaction, because this is where most businesses back out of the competition. To win, you need to stick your neck out with a promise others can’t recreate or compete with.

Is Your Brand Relevant and Competitive?

It might be one thing or ten things. Sometimes, a company’s brand isn’t competitive — the UVP doesn’t compare to the top competition (who may own the market). Sometimes managers/execs have an inferiority complex about their brand vs the market leader.  They lack ideas and a strategy to gain an advantage.

You can build this advantage, because the top brands are just words, sounds and images just like your brand is.

Your next brand might has to compete better. And better content will help (use some marketing software too) the cause.

Content too, can be the wrong voice and tone, wrong topics, not sophisticated enough, too shallow, or the topics aren’t consistent with the brand promise. Content, including important blogs, needs brand alignment too. This is where high quality analytics come in. One content type may not suit each visitor.  (AI personalization allows tracking to find the specific content that does perform well. Then you can rewrite your content and refine your content delivery strategy).

What Will a Branding Consultant Tell You?

A branding consultant would provide good insight into what’s wrong with your brand and your content.

There is really big money in brand consulting. My client, a top branding guru in Boston, enjoyed tremendous success because owners realized their brand was poor or not competitive — it was the problem.

Humboldt Moving Company, Massachusetts. Rebranding and website content project.

His clients in the Boston area had brands that didn’t hit the mark with consumers. With a brand change and a whole new content strategy, those companies finally took off.

If you’re going to invest in a rebrand, you want to make sure you can also reach lots of prospects. A great brand with no reach is also a failure.

And rather than instant success, the rebranding process is a work in progress with continuous iterations to make it perfect.

You Have to Compete Before you Can be the Market Leader

If branding is not the issue, then it could be you’re simply not reaching your ideal prospect.

The 2 top reasons companies don’t reach their ideal prospect: 1) the company is a new entrant or 2) the market is too competitive. In other words, the company doesn’t have the budget, nor the time to establish high enough quality content to lead that market via organic SEO, social media or paid advertising. It takes time and money.

Companies need great SEO services and content development when they hire a branding consultant.  A brand must have visibility, and a process to find the most targeted audience.

A poor brand, low budget, and low quality content are the perfect storm for 90% of all SMB businesses. A poor quality brand is usually the result of a lack of customer and market knowledge. Branding gurus do their market research to find gaps in the market that might be served, branding mistakes made, and they strategize a new brand that will compete for number one.

Competition is intense everywhere today. If your brand, website, or content sucks however, don’t worry because you can turn it around.

A Branding Consultant Who Knows Your Market

The smart thing to do is talk to some branding experts and get their insight on how to solve your issue. Some branding consultants don’t have experience in your industry. You’ll want to speak to an expert who is online savvy, and knows your specific market and industry. Expertise is important. Then you can trust that they do comprehend the full scope of market competition and positioning. Of course, hiring branding consultants will come with price tag.

Buying a new website might freshen your brand up a bit, and build more focus — stronger branding. But consumers don’t buy web design, they buy the promise of your brand image. Consumers buy Nike, Apple, and Tesla products because of the clear promise of value they offer. Tesla’s stock price wavers according to the strength of the brand.

Branding in Boston

My work with Franklin Sports of Boston, a major US sporting equipment manufacturer needed a new look and a better value proposition. They got it and saw their business take off substantially.

And our work with their content and SEO resulted in massive gains in traffic, sales revenue and brand visibility. They went from a Boston and New England region brand to a much stronger international brand.

One of their products, a kids football uniform set exploded in sales. I presented the kids uniform set as a gift for birthdays, Halloween costumes, boys pajamas, and more. Parents were delighted with this “new kids gift idea.”

The strength of the Franklin brand made customers trust the product and the copy in the pages.

There ecommerce pages were sometimes cluttered with pictures and keywords, but this actually stimulates buyers, something you see frequently on Amazon.com. The page is what people want to see and experience.

A Brand that’s Clear and Flexible Will Win

Franklin Sport’s graphics team created great product photo shots that helped the cause. Their brand and products were flexible enough to allow some creativity in presenting them. A good brand gives you this latitude. Some brands are so stiff there are few ways to present their products effectively.

 

When you’re redesigning your brand, make sure you consider everything that happens after the rebrand. Will the brand and products be able to presented well? Create some test content/blogs for the new brand to see whether the brand concept is presentable or flat and unconvincing.

Your content reflects and supports the brand, but should never be crippled by it.

Creating High Quality Content

  1. start with customer research — what do they like about the brand or products?
  2. brand inventory – rank the best features that will give the best promotional leverage
  3. create the unique value proposition – and how it can adapted or personalized to fit all prospects
  4. research – keywords, competitors positioning, and core content topics
  5. consider how you can elevate your weak brand – graphics, photos, videos, and contrast with competitors weaknesses
  6. create and identify your very best content pieces – and how all prospects will experience them
  7. develop your content engagement – and the storyline that makes them feel good and confident about your brand
  8. share stories that demonstrate – how customers use and love your brand
  9. develop your strategy – how will you rank on Google and create a lot of traffic?
  10. outreach — how will you get your content shared and exposed online?
  11. content funnel – how will you keep prospects engaged in their learning pursuit
  12. sales conversion lift – ensure your content leads to a purchase and a call to action

The topic of branding and online content is very complex. If you do use AI marketing software to serve up personalized content to each unique visitor, that adds to the complexity too. What’s nice about AI solutions is that it is going to do the hard work of finding the most effective content and what it is about it that each visitor likes.

AI should produce much deeper analytics. And in the content game, analytics is everything. Your success will likely hinge on what you know about your customer experience and which content drives revenue.

Build Really Good Content Your Visitors Want

Build really good content, watch how customers experience it, and then keep improving it. Be informative, helpful, fun, insightful, and authoritative simultaneously.

No company gets their content perfect right away. It’s an endless series of improvements (content hacking) and discoveries that ultimately helps you create the industry’s best content. If you’ve got the industry’s best content, your company will move toward market leader status.  Shallow content on your competitor’s sites is their achilles heel.

Good content takes time, patience and attention (along with skills & resources).  A commitment to taking the time to perfect it is required. Today, few companies have that luxury which is why you see poor quality content. Good quality is all about planning, research and editing.

Learn more about brilliant content strategy, advanced SEO, SEO consultant fees, Google’s Ranking Algorithm and  Customer Intent.  Let’s make 2020 a launch year for your online marketing.

 

AI Marketers provides digital marketing services (content, SEO, social media, PPC) for software companies, manufacturers, hotels, recruiters, moving companies, publishers, sports equipment retailers, building supplies companies, window and door companies, Realtors, investment companies, IT companies, clean energy, consumer products, branding consultants and many more.

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