Is there any doubt as to the role that content marketing plays in brand awareness? In fact, every marketing pro knows that, in order to increase brand awareness to any great degree, they must employ a well-rounded content marketing strategy. How else will consumers or B2B peers find any new company or product to deal with? This is the most basic relationship between brand awareness and content marketing, but how do you get there? How do you develop this all-important liaison?
It’s really quite interesting how this union begins and develops over time. In fact, there are universities that offer in-depth perspectives on this relationship within their graduate degrees. The SBU Online Master’s Degree in Communication, for example, delves into the brand awareness/content marketing relationship.
What Exactly Is Brand Awareness?
If you are a small business seeking to increase exposure within your market, you will want to understand exactly what brand awareness is and how it can help to grow your business in two ways. Usually, people think of brand awareness as a way to introduce a business to a new audience. Many people believe that this is how consumers first become aware of what it is you do. While this is true, it is only half the focus of brand awareness. Equally important, in fact often more important, is customer retention.
Brand awareness is how your audience perceives you, what it is you do and what it is you sell, but it is also a key factor in retaining those customers you have developed a relationship with. It is how you actually become a household word. Think for just a moment of the brand Kleenex when it comes to facial tissues. Most often you will hear someone in the United States ask for a Kleenex and you will rarely hear them say, “Do you have a facial tissue?” Why is this?
It is precisely because Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc., the parent company of the Kleenex brand, did such an amazing job at branding through content available at the time. No, there was no internet in 1924 when Kleenex first hit the market, but there were other forms of marketing that led to one of the most famous examples of brand awareness in the history of marketing in this country.
The Role of Content Marketing
Here is where content marketing comes into play. An astute content marketer will find keywords or keyword phrases that immediately get at the heart of what it is you do for what it is you sell. It is a way in which consumers, private or business, can immediately identify with your brand. Again, you hear the word Kleenex and you immediately think of facial tissues whether they’re Kleenex or not. That is the relationship you are trying to build for your company between content marketing and brand awareness. When someone hears anything related to your brand, you want them to think of your brand and not the name of a competitor.
Actually, content marketing is a very broad spectrum of strategies used with keywords as the underlying core. While you know that keywords are integral in online searches, there are a number of channels through which to employ those phrases. Sometimes keywords are used in blogs or articles and other times keywords are tags in videos. YouTube has become one of the major outlets for video content marketing in the world.
Without getting into the art and science of content marketing, it should suffice it to say that the foundation is keywords and it is how these keywords are used that forms the basis of every content marketing strategy. From tags on photos, to tags on videos, to keywords used in blogs, articles, and ads, every effective content marketing strategy is built around keywords with just the right amount of competition.
Content Beyond Marketing Firms
If you want a close look at the relationship between content marketing and brand awareness, you only have to look at what it is market influencers do. Originally, companies sought celebrities and star athletes to endorse their products. This was the advent of influencer marketing because it is human nature to want to be and act like those celebs we idolize. How many of us remember those days in the 80s and 90s when Michael Jordan began promoting Nike athleticwear?
While you will still see your favorite celebs and athletes on television promoting products, they are not the only influencers out there. Today, social media has taken the spotlight and market influencers come in many forms. They can be highly-followed bloggers, business professionals, authors and any other person or business that has gathered an enormous audience.
If you’ve done your job well within the field of content marketing, you will have identified and employed keywords that will be used by market influencers, and this is exactly what you want to accomplish. This goes beyond content marketing in that you have laid the foundation and now you are leaving it open for other influential people to build upon. It is part and parcel of the whole concept of content marketing but it’s not something you have to create. However, it is up to you as the content marketer to do the research in order to find the exact terms market influencers are likely to use so that it will be just another avenue within your content marketing strategy.
Lasting Relationships Take Continued Effort
In the end, it is important to remember that lasting relationships take continued effort. You don’t fall in love one day and expect your partner to be just as amorous 20 or 30 years down the road. Any marriage counselor will tell you that keeping the love alive will take effort. The same holds true with the relationship between content marketing and brand awareness. You can’t expect consumers to be just as excited tomorrow with products and brands they love today because other content marketers will step in with currently trending keywords to capture a market you let go stale. Think of the relationship between brand awareness and content marketing in the same way you would a love affair and you will easily be able to keep the love alive.