Lauren Kaye

Web marketing is like being on an island, surrounded by your competitors. You’re all vying for the attention of the same people sailing by on the internet seas. You need to come out on top, but customers will only choose one business to buy from – so what do you do?

Show your audience why you’re better than the rest of your cohorts. If you can demonstrate what makes you the best solution, you’ll come out the victor.

In Brafton’s Content for Goals eBook series, we take you through best practices to measurably improve your business (not just your Google Analytics charts… though we cover what KPIs to look for, as well). Participate in our March 2015 Goal Polls for the top, middle and lower funnels for the chance to receive a complimentary, custom consultation. The first Goal Poll is in this blog post.  

The Goal Poll

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Ultimately, you want to win customers with content. But first, you need to get their attention. The trouble in this scenario is, your competitors probably have the same idea, so you need to be careful about how go about this. You don’t want to be just another person in the crowd, pleading your case. You’re cool and calculated. You know you have a lot to offer, and you just need to make sure your audience knows that, too.

You need the right tools and you need a good strategy.

Content for brand awareness: Give people a reason to care about you & what you do

Brand awareness is vital to web marketing success because it gives your company a distinct personality that people will instantly recognize and – over time – trust. Companies know this and are already investing more in it. Over 55 percent of businesses are spending more on building brand awareness in 2015 and more than 85 percent listed it as a top priority this year.

Why is brand awareness so important in your ability to win customers’ favor (and purchases)? You need content to get in front of as many eyes as possible, and it should effectively communicate:

  • Who you are (Your business isn’t just another dog groomer. It’s a professional neighborhood establishment started by two passionate Dachshund breeders.)

  • What you do (You offer premium grooming services, including: baths, cuts, massages, nail clippings and teeth cleaning. You welcome all dog breeds and ages, but specialize in services for show dogs.  You don’t provide drop-in services. It’s by-appointment only. )

  • How your values are different (You focus on premium care for your clients and their pets because your business is built around long-lasting client relationships. You aren’t as much about fast turnarounds as you are about quality results and individualized attention.)

  • Which strengths you have (Your skilled groomers specialize in breed-specific haircuts and gentle, custom care.)

It’s these kinds of competitive differences that get someone to drive across town to get to you, even though there are plenty of options along the way. It’s why people choose Coke over Pepsi (or vice versa).

When you have your own brand, you stand out of the crowd. You establish alliances with people who will then have a vested interest in your products and your success. You need to select the right formats to convey these messages, and to encourage shares and links that will help spread the word.

FOCUS ON THE VOICE – This upfront creative work  – before creation ever starts – goes a long way in ensuring people can read (or view!) something and know it came from your business

USE VISUAL CONTENT TO ENFORCE YOUR BRAND IDENTITY – From landing page graphics to small feature images for blogs or social

BE SOCIAL –  And consider the topics that will be popular with a broader range of prospects

social posts with personalityBE DIFFERENT – Play up your differentiators that carve out your place in the market

video content to promote brand awareness

Content for SEO: Make sure people can find you

SEO is the way people find your business. Think of it as the smoke signals consumers out at sea are looking for as they research. This is how you get people to narrow in on your exact location on the island.

It’s the cornerstone of web marketing for about 75 percent of businesses. Why is it so important? Because you need to be found before you can get customers to choose your business.

Unless someone knows your company by name and navigates directly to your website, they’re going to have to search for you.. or more likely, search for what they want from you. And you need to be there with answers and relevant information when they come looking.

This is vital at any stage of the purchase process. Many Brafton customers approach us with the expectation that SEO is a top-of-funnel goal, but the reality is your searching audience can fall into any of these ships:

  • Browsing for information online, not yet aware they need a solution you can provide

  • Need something in a certain product or service category, but they’re not exactly sure what it is yet

  • Narrowed down their options, want to learn more about your offerings and how you stack up to the competition

  • Ready to talk business and buy

How do you make sure you’re there when people are surveilling the web for answers? You’re going to need some tools for this:

KEYWORDS: Craft and leverage keywords that are targeted at answering questions

keywords for brand awareness
WRITTEN CONTENT: Use writing to balance of fast answers and original ideas

VISUAL CONTENT: Create graphics or how-to videos to provide commonly searched answers in an unexpected, appropriate formats

how-to searches for brand awareness
BE SOCIAL: Tweets now show up in SERPs

  • For a deeper look at how to use these tools to put your business in the right place at the right time, download Brafton’s free eBook on Content for Goals: SEO

You’re a contender. Now take the competitive lead

This is the first stage of winning sales. It’s the top of the sales funnel, when you first get on your audience’s radar and win their favor. After that, you can begin to nurture that initial spark of interest into full-fledged purchase intent. But the challenge isn’t over yet. Next, you need to prove why you’re the most worthy candidate for their attention and business.