The golden rule behind branded content marketing success

The customer is always right. It's a well worn saying that applies as much to content marketing as it does to customer service...

branded content marketing


We’ve said it before and, make no mistake, we will absolutely say it again: in terms of marketing, nearly every aspect of your success comes down to your ability to get the right message in front of the right person at exactly the right time.

Your customers are carrying around powerful little devices in their pockets that are millions of times more powerful than the tech that NASA used to send men to the moon. They’re using them all day, every day, to learn more about what you and your competitors have to offer.

Buyers these days aren’t just more tech savvy – they’ve got an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Content marketing is one of the best ways to use this fact to your advantage. It works incredibly well, too. Consider these facts:

  • In terms of unique site traffic, content marketing leaders tend to experience 7.8 times as much year-over-year growth as non-leaders.
  • Content marketing generates as much as three times the amount of quality, organic leads as traditional outbound marketing, yet at the same time costs an average of 62 per cent less overall.
  • An amazing 78 per cent of CMOs believe that custom branded content is literally the future of marketing. This is one genie that isn’t going back into its proverbial bottle anytime soon.

Yet for as objectively powerful as content marketing is, it’s also largely meaningless on its own. You could create what is arguably the best and most valuable piece of content ever created, but it’ll be largely ignored if it wasn’t exactly what your audience was looking for in the first place.

READ MORE: Video marketing: Can brands tell a story in just six seconds?

Again: it’s all about the right message in the right place at the right time… but it’s also about doing all of that in exactly the right way. This is why you should never start with a random content idea, spend time crafting and honing it and then put it out into the world hoping to get attention.

Instead, you need to start with your customer and work your way back to your brand. Only then will you be able to generate the type of self-sustaining success that will help you achieve your goals.

In the eyes of your customer, everything matters

The most important thing to understand about all of this is that everything matters in the eyes of your consumers – not just the message itself, but how that message is delivered.

Every choice you’re making, both in terms of the message you’re broadcasting but more importantly how that message is being delivered, needs to be laser focused on what the people you’re trying to reach are actually looking for.

Case in point: Infographics. Infographics are incredibly popular, but they’re not the silver bullet you might think they are just because they’re a flashy visual format that statistically does well on social media.

You shouldn’t use a tool like Visme (which I helped to found) to create a stunning new infographic because you read an article about how this will increase your retweets on Twitter.

What if your target audience doesn’t happen to be on Twitter? What if they don’t like infographics in the first place? Where does that leave you then?

If you’re going to create an infographic, you need to do so because that’s what your audience is actually looking for. Because that’s the format they prefer.

You need to start with what they like, what they need and what they’re searching for, and work your way backwards from there. With every single piece of content you create, this needs to be your starting point if you’re going to have anything even remotely resembling the success you’re looking for in the future.

This is true with other types of visual formats like presentations, too. Don’t create a presentation because you want to – create one because your audience needs you too. Everything – from font choice to theme to length, pace and beyond – needs to be dictated by what your audience wants.

Don’t create content and then go out in search of an audience. Find your audience and create the content that they themselves are searching for. This is how you strike the type of emotional chord with a large group of people that will carry you both for years to come.

Anything short of this is doing both yourself and the people you’re trying to reach a massive disservice.

Never forget those who matter the most

All of the most successful brands in history have one thing in common: they tended to focus on the customer above all else. What do these people want? What do they need? How can I make their lives better?

The answers to these questions are largely why you got into business in the first place – to make a positive impact and to begin a strong relationship that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.

Your content in terms of business marketing is a natural evolution of this idea. You need to start with what they want, why they want it and how they’d prefer to have it and reverse-engineer a piece of content that meets those needs.

Then, you need to do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. This is how you not only begin a relationship, but maintain it and empower it over time.

Content marketing is not going away and it isn’t a trend that is just waiting to fizzle out. In many ways it is the future of marketing, and approaching things from this perspective guarantees that you, your business and everything you’ve worked so hard to build will be on the right side of history moving forward.

READ MORE: 3 examples of branded content marketing done really, really well

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