A blog about copywriting best practices, insights, and more.
Well, not literally. But you get the idea.
Halloween is upon us, and in the spirit of the spookiest of seasons I've decided to have a little fun with a post about using your content marketing strategy to raise brand awareness from the dead (See what I did there? Don't worry folks, I'm here all week).
We all know brand awareness is important, but sometimes defining the actionable steps a business can take to raise it can be difficult. That's why we're going to focus on three content marketing strategies that you can deploy right now to improve the chances of becoming your next customer's favorite haunt.
Create Social Media Posts That Treat Instead Of Trick
When it comes to our favorite brands, it can be easy to forget that at the end of the day they're operated by people just like you and me. We've all heard stories about certain companies posting cringeworthy content on social media in an effort to drive engagement only to see horrific results.
Take the famous case of Cinnabon, for example. Following the death of iconic screen actress Carrie Fisher back in 2016, Cinnabon took to Twitter in an effort to pay tribute to the Star Wars actress by posting a tweet that appeared to promote one of their products. The online response was swift as social media users called out the brand for being tacky while trying to capitalize on the passing of screen legend, and Cinnabon had to deploy damage control almost immediately.
So what's the lesson here? When you're using social media to increase brand awareness, be careful not to post something that drives the wrong kind of awareness. I liken social media engagement to an old rule about writing angry emails: if someone upsets you, wait 24 hours before responding. A majority of the time you'll find that what you want to say will be completely different after you've slept on it, and you won't burn any bridges in the process.
Same goes for social media posts, which is why I would suggest keeping a majority of your social media posts tied to a content calendar. That way you'll have a social media engagement strategy that has been planned, reviewed, and slept on long before the posts are live.
See HubSpot's 11 Social Media Calendars, Tools, & Templates to Plan Your Content
Of course, I also know that when it comes to social, it's important to be timely, too. So should you feel the need to jump on a trending topic and believe it's a post that just can't wait, make sure you have a team (not one person, but several) to run the idea by beforehand.
Because the more eyeballs you've got on your content, the better.
Keep The Cobwebs Off Your Website's Blog
Okay, so I'm going to look like a real hypocrite here, and rightfully so, because I get so busy working for clients that I rarely find time to post on my blog. It's kind of like the lawn care guy who's got the worst yard in the neighborhood because he's busy cutting everyone else's grass all day, but sooner or later, the HOA is going to come calling and he's going to wish his place didn't look like a haunted house.
Same goes for blogging. Maintaining a regular posting schedule on your company's blog is by far one of the best ways to drive organic traffic for relatively little cost. It's also a great way to increase your visibility in search engine results by improving your Google ranking.
Check out Neil Patel's step-by-step guide to improve your Google rankings
I can't stress the importance a blog has for brand awareness. Your blog gives you the opportunity to speak to industry challenges, promote your products and services, share relevant content like articles, infographics, surveys, spreadsheets, educational videos ... the list goes on.
If you're looking to improve your blog today, a good place to start would be to write a few posts that answer your customers' most commonly asked questions. Not only does this drive engagement and increase brand awareness by providing customers with valuable information, it also works to shorten the gap between the customer awareness and consideration stages.
And don't forget to put your blog content on the content calendar, too!
Step Out Of The Shadows And Into The Light
If your customers can't see you, how are they supposed to know your brand even exists? Most business owners know they've got to advertise to a certain degree to land new clients and customers, but a surprising number of businesses fail to take it a step further, leaving people who could potentially be their next best customers—as well as their brand image—in the dark.
This is where I believe a lot of brands really have the opportunity to shine by meeting customers on their terms. Start by thinking outside of the traditional marketing box to identify touch points you've either overlooked, or failed to properly cultivate in the first place.
For example, you may be posting on social media, but are you certain you even know who your target audience is? A social media post using language designed to engage Generation Z is essentially worthless if you're selling retirement homes. The same goes for Baby-Boomer-style copy designed to drive traffic to a page selling Monster High Dolls—unless you're targeting a generation that's looking for gift ideas for the grandkids around the holidays. Then you may be onto something.
Check out HubSpot's advice on finding your target audience
The point is, you've got to know who your target audience is, and to do that you've got to step out of the shadows to let them know that you're more than just a brand—you're human, too. Start online conversations about relevant topics that aren't just about getting leads, represent your brand offline in local community events, and use a content calendar to plan a quarter's worth of high-value content that'll educate audiences, answer their questions, and provide real value.
Trade Ghouls For Goals This Week
When brainstorming your next content marketing plan to raise brand awareness, you don't have to rethink the wheel. In fact, you can get started right now. Consider working on the following this week:
Take these steps and you'll be well on your way toward building the kind of long-lasting relationships that increase brand awareness organically and without the five-figure ad campaign. And with any luck, when it's time for your new best customers to pick up the phone or place an order online, your brand will be fresh on their minds—and not some zombie's down the street.
(Sorry, I just had to get in one last pun.)
John Cagle is a freelance B2B MarTech copywriter living on the Florida coast. He specializes in copywriting and content marketing for businesses seeking brand recognition through print and digital channels. John is the owner of Firewave Media DBA Cagle Copywriting & Content Marketing, a Florida company.