It’s widely accepted that content is an effective way to build a brand. There are numerous examples of individuals creating great content and reaping the rewards in the form of an engaged audience and revenue. Today, there are more ways than ever to use media to grow your brand but most people aren’t utilizing them to their full potential. In this guide, you’ll learn multiple ways to use content to get an edge. Some may be obvious and others may be new to you. All of them are effective.
Relevance is key
Before you start pumping out content and trying to get it into the hands of your target audience, there’s one rule to abide by.
The content must be relevant.
This seems obvious but there’s a lot of grey area. For example, a brand that sells to other businesses may be tempted to write about the richest people in the world. On the surface, this may appear relevant because companies are in the business of making money. They might be interested in other people who have made a lot of money.
Unfortunately, they don’t look to you as the source for that kind of information – they look to websites like Forbes. Another thing to consider when it comes to relevance is the delivery format. Millions of people in the United States don’t have access to the internet. Referred to as the digital divide, these people can’t be reached via online distribution channels.
Does that mean they won’t make good customers?
No. It just means you won’t be able to lead with a content strategy that focuses on media that lives online. You’d have to adapt and create media that’s relevant to them.
Let’s look at different ways to use content
The following list doesn’t represent all of the ways you can grow your brand with content. It’s here to give you an idea of what’s possible.
YouTube, as you may be well aware, is one of the most popular websites in the world. Millions of hours of video content are watched every day. Nearly as much is uploaded to the platform.
This presents a unique opportunity and challenge. If you’re able to tap into YouTube properly, it can be its own source of income for your brand. At the same time, you’ll be able to channel interested viewers to your products and services.
Slidebean is a company that’s been able to use YouTube well while growing to nearly 200,000 subscribers.
It serves as a regular source of new business for the company and keeps current customers engaged.
The hardest part of YouTube is getting started. There’s a lot of competition amongst smaller creators and not enough attention.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Spend time to get your thumbnail right (this will improve your CTR)
- Use pattern interrupts in your videos (B-roll, changing the scene, images on the screen, etc.)
- Stick to a regular publishing schedule
It may take a few months but you’ll eventually start to see snowball growth.
Emails from brands are a staple in today’s inbox. There’s a reason for that – they work. A newsletter will help you stay top of mind so even if someone isn’t ready to purchase today, they’ll think of you when they are.
Newsletters are also a great sales and communication channel. You can poll your audience, introduce new products, and everything in between.
The kind of newsletter you publish will depend on your brand. The approach a software company takes will be very different from the approach a blogger takes. Both of them will have a different approach when compared to an eCommerce brand.
Look at the newsletters in a niche similar to yours to see what they’re doing. Are the newsletters graphics heavy, are they plain text, do they come every single day? Use this to inform your strategy but don’t copy them outright. Keep the following in mind:
- Choose a specific cadence for your newsletter. There’s no right answer here but test different frequencies until you find the one that works best for you
- Test different formats and layouts until you find the one that has the best CTR
- Use headline formulas to give yourself a head start and stick to what works over time
- Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and try something new
Stick with it and you’ll find what works best for your brand and your audience.
Podcasts (your own and guest appearances)
Podcasts recently had an inflection point. More than 50% of the American population knows what they are and over a third listen to them regularly.
Similar numbers are being seen in countries around the world. Podcasting is just as diverse as blogging with shows ranging from everyday life to tracking serial killers. They’re are ideal because you can borrow the celebrity of established people and use it as a platform to grow your own brand.
John Lee Dumas is a great example of this.
He runs Entrepreneur On Fire and interviews people that other entrepreneurs would find interesting like executives, startup founders, marketers, etc. As a result of doing this for years, he’s become a celebrity in his own right.
His podcast pulls in millions of dollars a year and has enabled him to launch multiple products. While you may not want to make money from your podcast, it’s still a great way to network and acquire customers. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Produce content regularly
- Have a clear theme of your show
- Ask your audience for feedback
- Pay attention to the audio quality
- Add CTAs to your products and lead magnets the same way you’d advertise a sponsor
Webinars often get a bad rep because people have used them to hard sell attendees without giving them what was promised.
It’s a hurdle you’ll have to overcome before you can see success with this strategy but there are many benefits
- Growing your mailing list (which ties into newsletters)
- Showing your expertise
- Connecting with your audience on a deeper level
- The ability to sell a relatively expensive product to people within an hour
There are multiple moving parts to a webinar so it’s not the easiest strategy to implement. First, choose a topic for your presentation. This can make or break everything because if you choose the wrong topic, people won’t be interested. To find a topic, consider what’s already doing well in your space such as social media posts. Can you piggy back off of it? Also, what questions do you get asked often? These can be great starting points.
After you’ve chosen the topic, you’ll want to test different angles using paid ads. It will save you a lot of time beforehand because you’ve not created the other aspects required for a successful webinar. Once you’re sure about your topic, set up the other parts of your webinar which include:
- Landing pages
- Email sequences
- Sales pages
Webinars can bring in tens of thousands of dollars quickly and cost effectively if you put in the work up front.
A powerful but underutilized way to grow your brand is through the use of interactive content. Specifically, interactive quizzes. They allow you to engage your audience, gather useful information, and grow your mailing list. If done well, you can even generate instant revenue.
With the data you gather, you’ll be able to further segment leads and introduce targeted offers. This is the approach Zenni Optical took with their quiz which generated over a million dollars.
The key with quizzes is choosing a topic people are interested enough in to start the quiz. The best ones are personality quizzes because they promise to reveal something about the quiz taker. These work in any niche but there are a few things to keep in mind when creating this content.
- The topic is essential – it should target a specific group of people
- Keep it between 7 – 10 questions
- When asking them to sign up for your mailing list at the end, promise more than just showing them their results
- Have at least four outcomes and use Barnum statements
There are countless ways to use content to build your brand from scratch or expand its reach. This guide has just touched on a few and shared examples. Hopefully, it has shown you the diverse ways you can utilize it for your brand. Let me know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to share.