When blogging first came into vogue, marketers were inundated with stats about how the practice could promote consumer engagement and elevate their brands. Now, as the digital landscape continues to evolve, simply updating a blog semi-regularly will not cut it as a full-fledged marketing strategy.
The key to staying on top of the latest trends? Remember that your ultimate goal as a marketer is to provide the most value to potential consumers. While blog posts can be a helpful tool to engage consumers and encourage interaction with your products or services, brand publishing - which takes on a more structured, editorial approach to your content process - offers more value and therefore has more potential for growing your business.
According to a recent Forbes study, "brand publishing is central to achieving virtually every program on the executive growth agenda."
Brand publishing gives you a unique opportunity to achieve several objectives:
1. Demonstrate your Expertise
Brand publishing is a great way to demonstrate your industry experience and expertise to potential customers.
When you're shopping for a particular product or service, chances are you do your research and make a decision based on which brands inspire the most confidence. Look at brand publishing as a channel for proving your qualifications. The more helpful your content is to your target audience, the better chance you have of winning them over.
Remember to take advantage of this opportunity by clearly communicating your message to your target audience. Before you begin writing, establish what action you want your readers to take, and tailor your content to achieve your specific goals.
2. Establish Trust
Routinely publishing high quality content not only gives your brand a voice, but it also helps establish trust with your followers.
Just as avid readers and cinema buffs often feel like they know their favorite characters from books and movies, your publication can help your target audience relate to your brand's personality. By giving potential consumers a consistent resource, you're showing them they can rely on your publication for guidance within your industry.
The key to trust is consistency. Come up with a plan to ensure that you're publishing quality content on a regular basis. Depending on your resources and needs, that might mean leveraging existing content, establishing an in-house editorial meeting for organization and ideation, or appointing a few key people for the job.
3. Target Traffic
Audience size doesn't necessarily help you accomplish your goals or grow your brand - your success ultimately depends upon reaching a highly targeted audience, making a meaningful connection, and convincing them that you're an expert in your field.
With this in mind, brainstorm some key insights that could benefit a prospective client. Think about the consumer journey and how your industry knowledge and resources can be used to enhance the experience.
What's more, great content anticipates and answers consumer questions before they're even asked. Providing a sufficient response to an industry-specific search drives highly targeted traffic straight to your site and convinces the inquirer you're the best fit for the job.
4. Influence Peer Opinion
Peer opinion plays a substantial role in the consumer decision-making process - after all, it's only natural to trust in a brand that friends and family members recommend. And in the age of social media, where great content can be instantly shared with one's inner circle, publishing highly shareable information can not only extend your reach, but can also have a positive impact on the perception of your brand.
According to Content+, "interesting content' is cited as one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media. Do some research on your competitors to determine which brands have the largest followings and publish the most viral content.
What value does their content offer to consumers and how can you mimic those efforts to fulfill your own goals? Be intentional about the channels on which you're publishing and sharing.
5. Increase Brand Recognition
By consistently creating high-quality content, you're showing online visitors that you're passionate and knowledgeable about your industry. Aim to inspire your target audience, and they'll remember your brand long after they've left your site.
Write what you know and what your target audience wants to know. Even the best written content will go unnoticed if it's not exciting and relevant. Find a sweet spot where your passions and insights align