How much do you think about the needs, expectations and opinions expressed by your past clients while churning out new web content pieces created to support your promotional goals?
If it took you more than a couple of seconds to provide an accurate answer to this question, then perhaps you’re doing something wrong.
Maybe you’re boring your audiences to death with mundane “who-we-are” type of speeches, fluff talk, and empty promises. If that is the case, now would be the best time to rethink your strategy and kick your selfishness to the curb, for your own good.
Today, it is less about you, and more about them- your clients, the ones who keep you in business.
Companies that are currently working on a unique web content creation plan tailored to their short and long-term goals plan have to maintain a fine balance between crafting branded content and elaborating user-oriented content with no brand affiliation whatsoever.
Why Your Branded Web Content Shouldn’t Be Only about You
Let’s face it: no matter how well-researched and informative branded content may be, it can still fail to reach its target, simply because it is promotional by nature. Savvy online visitors can read between the lines and separate a truly useful, reader-oriented piece created to entertain, educate or inform an audience, from a shameless sales pitch. Branded content can serve your best interest, as long as you put the needs of your potential clients first. How do you do that? We invite you to try not one, but five awesome tactics designed to boost the value and overall effectiveness of your content, make it resonate with your public and make your company seem a less self-centered and more inclined towards the happiness and fulfillment of its clients.
1. Try to Become Less Egocentric and More Empathetic
First of all, check out your website and analyze your content. What kind of feeling do you get after taking a closer look at your landing pages? If you are egocentric by definition, chances are that you have stumbled across many “we do this and that”-kind of sentences. In this case, you may want to consider investing in a complete rewrite. Frankly speaking, your prospects don’t care about your products until you give them a reason to do so. In other words, they won’t try your goods until you come up with a combination of incentives (better quality, smaller price tag, freebies, special promotions and so on) that could raise their interest. You don’t have to offer substantial cash rewards to keep your readers on your website. Even the tiniest perks triggering negligible costs (free eBook or white paper download or a discount code) can cultivate the loyalty of your future and existing customers.
2. Write with Your Prospects in Mind and Avoid Promotional, Heavily Brand-Focused Web Content
Promotional content can backfire, especially if it puts your interests above the ones expressed by your prospects. This threat is real, judging by the fact that one year ago, even Facebook considered tweaking the News Feed to reduce the amount of overly promotional content that was being served to its users on a daily basis. Web content, and especially the one meant to be distributed on social media platforms, should become the epitome of interactivity.
Engaging posts usually comprise a plethora of elements that catch the reader’s eye and make him click on links over and over again.
For instance, according to KissMetrics, photo posts get up to 104% more comments and 53% more likes than the rest. Question posts also receive up to 100% more comments. Furthermore, the length of your content appears to be another matter of great importance, considering that posts under 80 characters obtain 66% more engagement than longer ones. Therefore, write with these numbers in mind and tailor the substance and appearance of your posts based on the particularities of your audience.
3. When It Comes to Rolling out Branded Web Content, Make Sure It’s 100% Unique and Catchy
We totally get it: well-rounded, promotional web content can help you increase brand awareness, reinvigorate sales and attract new prospects. If you are planning on turning your branded content into one of the main pillars of your marketing strategy, at least do your best to individualize your writing and make it reflect your vision, expertise, tradition, relationship with clients and the uniqueness of your brand.
As Content Marketing Institute suggests, any business owner should start to think like everyday people, rather than striving to act like a CTA-oriented, old-school marketer. Self-appreciating content is anything but shareable, so work harder to get in touch with your buyer persona and gain insight into your public’s needs, demands and preferences, instead of trying to shove your products down your buyers’ throats.
4. Create a Community around Your Brand Through Engaging Content
Here’s another idea worth developing and implementing: start thinking like a customer.
Yes, you’ve got that right. If you were to shop around for a new detergent, what kind of selection criteria would you set up to make a great buying decision? Maybe you want to discover a formula that eliminates stains faster and more effectively than any other, or wish to spend less money on cleaning products. Or perhaps you want the best of both worlds and feel determined to go for a brand that fulfills your request.
At the same time, as a Forbes article points out, in order to craft engaging content, you should spend a lot of time talking to some of your customers.
Any feedback is much appreciated because it helps you make smarter changes when needed. Once you complete this phase, you should strive to catalyze connections. Socializing with your fans and followers is a relatively straightforward process; the real challenge is to stimulate them to bond with each other. The Red Bull’s success story revolving around a solid community of enthusiastic adrenaline junkies is only one example that may catch your attention.
An article signed by James O’Brien and published by Mashable provides the most logical explanation for Red Bull’s ever-growing popularity: this company is a powerful publishing empire that happens to promote and sell an energy drink. By generating content geared towards the passions and interests of a very specific audience, Red Bull manages to favor natural interactions between its fans and followers, while growing its influence (and profit margins) the easy way.
5. Identify the Perfect Niche/Players that You Can Work With to Promote Your Product from the Shadow
How do you promote your merchandise in an effective manner on social media (and every other online channel) without becoming annoyingly self-centered and redundant? Here’s the key to cultivating your empathy (and even faking a sense of modesty, if you will) while marketing your goods on social networking sites: create associations that make sense to you and your brand.
For instance, Christian Louboutin (@louboutinworld) is featuring some of the best photos sent by happy clients wearing the iconic red sole shoes. At the same time, the giant brand doesn’t hesitate to team up with other powerhouses, such as Louis Vuitton, to enhance the desirability and luxurious appearance of its products.
After all, shoes, handbags or accessories introduced by these two popular brands in the same picture represent Instagram gold and a magnet for likes and reposts.
Can You Really Be Yourself Without Being Too Much for Yourself?
At some point in our lives, we may get the impression that we are being too much for someone- a family member, a friend, an employer or a client. This situation may trigger our frustration and make us reconsider our attitude.
But the other extreme can be just as dangerous, especially for new businesses that need to grow fast. In today’s market being self-absorbed is a crucial sin that your clients and prospects will never tolerate.
Therefore, if you want to preserve your competitiveness, it’s your job to become less self-centered and improve your branded content to highlight the best attributes of your brand without suffocating your audience with sales presentation-like monologues.
If you are at a loss for words or want to let an expert take control of your branded content, hire a team of professional writers and let them ignite a powerful, unshakable desire in all your potential buyers, fans, and followers.