(The Story Store, October 2018)
As we’ve already established, content marketing is the future of digital marketing. For many brands beginning their journey into this new paradigm, there are many questions. One of the most important is: how much do I need to create? That can be a serious investment, and the question’s valid.
The truth is, you don’t just good content: you need a lot of good content. You need enough content to dominate your space. Now let’s talk about what that means.
Content Diversity is Essential
Good advertising and branding makes people aware of you, but great advertising and branding makes people remember you. The same can be said of content. Content isn’t just about raising awareness, although it can certainly do that (especially with video.) It’s the best way to to deliver your marketing message and teach people what makes you remarkable . Here’s the problem that content solves: people learn in different ways.
With so much media being consumed, the types of media preferred are different for everyone; there are people who prefer to consume audio content in the car while driving, while others prefer short video clips. Despite what many predicted, long-form written content is still one of the most popular types of content, especially for older users. The only way for you to effectively tackle this to take the message you’re trying to communicate and distribute it in as diverse a spectrum of media types as possible.
With the incredible wealth of content available online, people are more free than ever to find precisely what they want in whatever format they can. It’s your job to make yourself available.
Carving Out an Unpredictable Niche
The average person can only remember a few brands for any need or purpose at any given time. If you scan your thoughts right now, you can probably think of only a few relevant computer brands, a few Cola brands, a couple Sushi places you like, etc. Humans are phenomenally adept at sorting information and filtering out irrelevant knowledge, especially when it comes to immediate recall.
How you become associated with a concept is called positioning, and it’s integral for finding a niche in a competitive landscape.
For example, let’s say you’re a dentist. There’s high competition for dentistry in your area, and it will be very difficult to compete for “best dentist.” That’s something everyone from CEOs in Finance to shoe shiners look for, by the way: the “best” at whatever they’re looking for. Your positioning becomes more effective the more you narrow it down, in this case if you chose to be the best dentist for children, or the best dentist for couples.
How about positioning yourself as the best dentist for children who absolutely hate the dentist? You could say the best dentist in the world would be good at that, but that dentist isn’t talking about it, they’re not telling people that’s what makes them unique. People like the “best” thing, but they also search for specialty.
Your first job as a brand is to find unique positioning. The content you create will work to establish your authority on that idea. Click To TweetIt’s like word association, but for problems and desires. This is how you get what’s called ”top-of-mind” awareness. When you think computers for artists, you probably think of Apple. If you’re a dentist who is known for specializing in difficult children, you’ve established your own space. Now when a dentist wants to talk to parents who want the best for their kid, they need to compete with you in the space you created.
You own a market by owning an idea. Your first job is to find that idea, and the more unique it is the better. The content you create will work to establish your authority on that idea.
Owning an Idea Requires Quality and Volume
So you want to get that precious top-of-mind awareness; when someone thinks of your specific service, they think of you. The best way to own an idea is to encircle it.
You need to have as much quality content out there as possible so when someone looks for information, you’re there with your message expressed in a multitude of ways. You will have videos explaining your expertise, you’ll have articles exploring specific problems or solutions they will want, you will have recordings of any interviews you’ve given, you’ll have infographics ready to help them easily understand complicated topics and you will have these put out into social media so they’re quick and easy to find.
Let’s return to our dentist example. This dentist wants to be known as the one in their area that specializes in difficult children. First off, let’s explore having a video explaining his process and what sets his practice apart. This would be a good opportunity to put a friendly face to the name, show off the location, and walk through elements that set them apart. We can then explore a series of blogs discussing child psychology, why they fear the dentist specifically, and the steps not only dentists can take to put them at east but parents as well. For much of this content, we will be talking directly to parents.
We can also use these articles to discuss what parents can do at home to both limit trips to the dentist, and possible rewards for kids being vigilant about dental care. A great piece of content would be an infographic showing off the most problematic dental procedures, why they are particularly scary, and specific tips to make it easier. I would also want to explore the ability to create a series of interviews with the kids themselves, getting them to explain why they hate the dentist and what could be done to improve it. While we are talking to parents, we need to involve the kids as much as possible.
As you can see, we are using a variety of media to begin encircling the topic from different angles. Furthermore, each message of the content is crafted to fit the format as much as possible.
I’ll leave you with this: for whatever your business is, think of three different types of content that you think would work for your brand, and think of a unique message for each one that serves your central positioning statement. If you don’t have one yet, feel free to drop us a line and we can get started on that.