Your brand is everything. Well, maybe not everything, but if buyers don’t know who you are, it’s going to be remarkably difficult to earn customers.
Here’s the good news: Well-executed multichannel content marketing campaigns can help you effectively build brand awareness and reputation. In this post, we’ll discuss how to target prospects in the first stage of the buyer’s journey—awareness.
There are four concepts to keep in mind as you build your multichannel marketing strategy:
BONUS TIP: Mobile is not its own channel and should not be treated as such—all of your content and your website should be mobile-friendly.
When your goal is to build brand recognition, focus on ungated content. Buyers in the awareness stage are just starting their search and thus are more hesitant to hand over their information. As you provide more and more useful information across multiple channels, you’ll build their trust, help move them along the buyer’s journey and make them feel more confident about giving you their email address.
Each time you create new content, you can repurpose small sections into more general ungated content pieces such as infographics and SlideShares, which can be promoted via email campaigns, social media updates and blog posts. This broader content can be used as a sort of teaser to garner interest in a gated download.
Episodic content—or content that has been divided into a series of multiple parts—is perfect for multichannel marketing. This type of content is presented as more of a narrative with each “chapter” building on the next, urging readers to continue reading. With episodic content and a consistent multichannel marketing strategy, you can encourage repeat engagement with your brand and keep your audience invested.
Here’s an example:
Another option is user-generated content. Rather than capitalizing only on content you’ve created, take advantage of user-generated content.
The objective is to benefit from the work you’ve already put into creating an established customer base. Your existing customers can be the best marketers for your brand; give them a place where they can interact with both you and your prospects—for instance, social media.
According to Jay Wilson, research director for Gartner for Marketing Leaders, marketers consider social media one of the most effective channels in all stages of the buyer’s journey.
Sharing a blog post on social media can help drive traffic to your website. Including social buttons on your blog posts allows readers to share your content with their connections, which can result in increased branded Google searches and help with SEO. Your strategy should be based on using each channel as a stepping stone to the next.
One idea is to use social media along with Google AdWords to promote an upcoming event, such as a webinar. Again, this will drive traffic to your site. Then, after the webinar, use social media to start conversations with the attendees. Those who watched can share their opinions, and, if you’re offering a recording of the webinar, the discussion among participants can encourage others who couldn’t attend to download the recording.
Track as many performance metrics as possible to make data-driven decisions. Use closed-loop analytics to determine which channels have been effective and which have not. Ensure your reporting tools integrate all channels and allow you to see the data in segments as well as in aggregate—you need visibility into how each channel affected the others.
Then, optimize your campaigns based on this information. It isn’t enough to simply collect the data—you must know how to take advantage of it. If one channel is performing poorly, you don’t necessarily have to nix it immediately. You can certainly test a different approach to how you utilize it, but if the results are consistently underwhelming, reallocate your time and budget elsewhere.
In addition to identifying the stronger and weaker channels, you can leverage this data to determine your prospects’ interest in particular themes and, in turn, specific content topics. Don’t make assumptions about your audience; see the story your data is giving you.
BONUS TIP: It’s difficult to find a topic about which dozens or hundreds of articles haven’t already been written, but they do exist. Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMrush can help you find relevant keywords with good search volume and low competition, and then you can create content around them.
Multichannel content marketing should be focused on fluidity. Your prospects’ needs may evolve, which means their behavior will evolve, which means your strategy should evolve. The ultimate goal of using multichannel marketing for brand awareness is to help buyers see your company as an advocate and a partner.