Branded Content Marketing Must Stop Selling & Start Helping

Stop Selling, Start Helping: What The Aim of Your Branded Content Marketing Should Be

by | Sep 8, 2016 | Content Marketing

Content marketing is a breeze, right?

In theory.

The theory often goes like this…

You take a bunch of words, string them together, complement those sentences with striking images and stick out there for your fans and followers. If you have the know-how you can add a couple custom images, videos or even podcasts…maybe an infographic or two.

You tweet, post and holler like crazy–until your content goes viral.

It’s that easy, isn’t it?

If only!

branded content marketing

Building Customer Trust Through Branded Content Marketing

The lure to create, curate and then distribute content is so strong for brands because it works.

Brands and marketers who prioritize blogging as not 5, or 10 but 13x more likely to enjoy a positive ROI. That’s huge.

Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as its more traditional counterpart, outbound marketing, but costs more than 50% less. So, how come only 30% of all content strategists consider their efforts effective? And, there’s a lot of B2B marketers who seem lost in translation between their actual business results and content marketing efforts.

So, what’s going on? What’s missing from the big picture? Is branded content marketing really “all that?”

In short: content marketing is all that.

The longer answer: content marketing will work if you care enough to delve into that nitty-gritty element of gaining your reader’s trust and creating content that is catered to them.

Here at Express Writers, we think of branded content marketing as something much bigger than merely a tactic.

It’s an essential tool. Better yet, it’s your lifeblood online to help you build meaningful relationships with customers and prospects. What you put out makes you, online. Or breaks you, if you don’t put anything out. Be the brand that does content marketing right.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Content is your lifeblood online to help you build relationships with prospects. [email protected]” quote=”Content is your lifeblood online to help you build relationships with prospects. [email protected]”]

Building Relationships Rooted on Trust

The swiftly and ever evolving digital landscape has made it entirely possible for brands to overcome all sorts of weird and wonderful barriers in order to reach out to their target demographics. Brands and markets can now effortlessly seek and segment prospects, garner information and very readily respond through a whole shopping list worth of platforms. And best of all, feedback arrives in a matter of seconds.

This all sounds great, doesn’t it? And it is. But you cannot force your services and products on your tribe once you’ve found them. You’ve got to work at building relationships, one solid piece of content at a time.

For every piece of content you post, your number one goal should be to gain trust and elicit a real response from your audience in favor of your content (an action, whether that’s conversion-oriented or a simple responsive comment).

Gaining Trust: Emotions vs. Logic

Charts, statistics data – they’re all pretty cool.

They’re like the geek squad who unwaveringly support your brand’s claim or cheer on about why you’re the best thing to ever happen to your niche.

But hang on just a second.

Have you ever stopped and thought about how your customers and prospects go through the gamut of emotions on a daily basis?

Whether you’re promoting hip replacement surgery, selling a bread knife, or convincing your readers that a holiday to Bali is just what they need, it’s important to craft content that makes them feel.

You need to be creating content that will have them nodding in agreement, chuckling at your humor and leaning in closer to read and share your words.

In due time, it’s those emotions that will draw them to subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for a free trial and ultimately, seal a deal.

According to Roger Dooley, brand campaigns with highly emotional content perform twice as well as content that is rational. Emotional content also does a little better than mixed emotional and rational content.

What’s more, the more positive the readers feel with your content, the more likely they are to start talking about your brand.

5 Ways to Build Trust With Your Branded Content Marketing

To whittle it down: emotions drive buying decisions, and to evoke emotions in your readers, you need to build trust in what you put out online. Let’s explore how.

1. Who Is Your Audience & What Are Your Intended Outcomes?

Brands always need to consider who they’re writing for and why. It’s a lot easier to build trust (which leads to sales) when the right reader is presented with the right content. Then brands need to think about why they’re writing: what’s the goal of your content marketing? If your object is trust – and it should be – make sure you’re not pushing too hard, too soon

2. Determine Content Type, Frequency & Location

While these three elements alone won’t build trust, trust really begins by placing the information your audience wants somewhere where they’ll benefit from it. So let’s say your audience mostly looks for content on Reddit, make sure you make it available to them in their favorite space.

3. Share > Promote > Engage

In order to build trust, you need to get word out that your content is available. That being said, there’s a fine line between spammy promotion and a little nudge towards awareness. Share on the platforms where your audience is most active and curate your content carefully to help the reader realize that want to read it.

Finally, once a reader takes time to engage with your content, reach out and let them know you appreciate it.

4. Make It Easy To Connect With Your Brand

If you’re working hard on your content, chances are good you want to make it easy for people to connect with your brand, right? So make sure interested readers can easily connect with you, be it through RSS, email, phone or any other means.

5. Analyze Responses, Optimize for Next Time

Brands need to look at their content to what’s being viewed, shared and, of course, engaged with.

If particular content is attracting a good response and other posts are being ignored, then you need to pivot and customize to create more of what your readers are connecting with. This will help drive more readers and create new opportunities to build trust.

Here’s What Your Audience Wants You To Know About Gaining Their Trust

Without good old fashioned face-to-face interaction, gaining the trust of your audience can be pretty intimidating.

But, you can gain trust from content marketing. It’s a proven fact.

In order to do so, you have to know what’s in the minds of the common audience as a whole. Here are a few questions and statements that could be surging within your audience, if you’re not on the right path as a content marketer:

  • I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. What’s the most important thing you want me to know? What’s your Unique Value Proposition?
  • Please don’t tell me why your services or products are the best in the whole wide world. Tell me how they can add exceptional value to my business, life or relationships.
  • Who the heck are you? Why on earth should I listen to you? What exactly have you done in the past to become an authority on this particular subject?
  • Entertain me with a good story. Stories tend to make people experience, as opposed to see, things. It is stories that elicit those emotions. Stop placing all your efforts on that hard sell and start focusing on communication your brand’s story.
  • Stop rushing me into doing something, leave me to decide at my own pace. Substantial results from content marketing should take time.
  • What new tidbit have you taught me today? Will I be able to use this information to improve any aspect of my life, business or relationships that I seem to struggle with?
  • Please, stop telling me you’re perfect. I’d rather hear vulnerability or honesty when you’re wrong. Being perfect is just too suspicious to me.

Draw on Trust As Your #1 Content Writing Objective & the Sales Will Flow

Content that is successful, is content that takes time to accomplish.

Brands who infuse care, thought, honesty, and the right voice for their audience into their content marketing will win more than those who don’t.

Putting all other aspects of marketing aside, the genuine goal to help along with pure authenticity, as reflected in your content is for sure going to get your brand noticed and talked about, nay, raved about.

Too many marketers try to take shortcuts between each point.

Other marketers blindly create content wastelands instead of becoming content warriors and creators of wordy evergreen gardens that allow the sales to flow like stunning waterfalls.

Which camp are you in?

More importantly, which camp do YOU want to be in?

Don’t let your online content land up in the forgotten pile. Talk to Express Writers about your brand’s content marketing. We’ll help you build the trust of your audience with great, custom-written content suited to their needs. 

We're hiring writers and editors!Apply Now