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How content marketing bolsters corporate branding [infographic]

Brand Marketing

The infographic below, created by Zeno, highlights seven ways to improve your corporate branding strategy. The steps outlined in the infographic focus largely on traditional corporate branding and marketing tactics. Because we think that content should play a huge role in your corporate branding strategy, we thought we’d add our two cents on how content marketing can really strengthen your corporate branding.

1. Get noticed with original, thought-provoking content.
Too many brands stick to creating ‘safe’ content only. This is how PR people usually approach content; going to great lengths to ensure that the brand doesn’t publish anything that might be taken the wrong way or cause offence, even if it’s what you really think. The problem with this approach, however, is that it isn’t going to get you noticed. If you want your brand to stand out from the crowd, you need to be bold. Create original, interesting content that says something different. Don’t be afraid to be controversial. Sparking interest – and, better yet, conversation – should be a core tenet of your corporate branding strategy.

2. Connect with your audience.
Once you’ve created interesting, original content, you need to make sure that your target market – your audience – engages with it. This means connecting with your audience via social media and other content distribution channels, like LinkedIn groups. Don’t just post links to your content; it’s important to respond to comments and questions too. Online conversations are invaluable opportunities to position your brand as an industry thought leader.

3. Be clear and concise.
One of the most important rules for content creation – especially in the online sphere – is to keep it clear and concise. Web users aren’t going to bother getting stuck into an article that’s 2 000 words long. They’re looking for short blog posts that communicate interesting information as quickly and simply as possible. Optimising your content for search is important, however, and search engines do enforce a minimum word count when indexing content. While you should strive to create content that search engines will recognise, don’t fill your writing with fluff just to increase the word count. Rather keep your content short and clear; after all, you are primarily writing for humans.

4. Be sure of yourself.
When creating bold, controversial content, make sure that you’re prepared to stick to your guns. Don’t say something controversial that you don’t really believe just for the sake of causing a stir. If the resulting online conversation challenges your opinion, you need to be able to defend it. For example, I once wrote an article on Memeburn about why you shouldn’t trust a web designer with your website design. I was fiercely attacked by many people who disagreed with my article, but I stood by my point of view and engaged with these people in the comments section. While I believe that a web designer is an important cog in the web design engine, I don’t think that they should be trusted with the entire design of a website. The marketer is the most important stakeholder.

5. Publish content consistently.
Publishing content often and regularly will greatly benefit your corporate branding strategy. To build a strong corporate brand through content marketing, you need to be publishing new, original content twice a week at the very least. This will grow your brand’s online presence and improve your search engine rankings.

6. Be different: think outside the box when creating your content calendar.
You’re probably not the only brand in your industry implementing a content marketing strategy. So, how do you stand out from your competitors? The key is to make sure that your content has a little something that your competitors’ content lacks. Don’t copy other brands’ content ideas. Rather, think outside the box when coming up with story ideas, angles and mediums.

7. Make sure that every piece of content results in a direct action.
Remember, you are not creating content for fun. While your blogs can by all means be entertaining, keep in mind that entertainment is not the main aim. Similarly, while content marketing can be an effective corporate branding tool, corporate branding isn’t the only reason for creating content. Every single piece of content you create should be accompanied by a call to action that drives lead conversion. Use your content to convert anonymous web visitors into leads and leads into customers.

Seven Steps to Building a Strong Brand infographic

Author Daryn Smith:
Daryn Smith is co-founder and director of MPULL, a marketing agency based in South Africa. He is an entrepreneur at heart and is always challenging conventional and incumbent thinking.

Daryn has operated in the business-to-business space throughout his career, including heading up the marketing team at MTN Business, managing marketing communications and CRM for the African operation of Verizon Business and managing UUNET Africa’s digital properties. As the Head of Marketing in Africa and the Middle East for InMobi, which was the largest independent mobile advertising network worldwide, he was responsible for the development and activation of marketing strategies across the continent.
Daryn, in essence a marketing scientist, has qualifications in both marketing and computer science. He has combined these disciplines to bring accountability and measurability to the creative magic of marketing.

Daryn Smith
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