Businesses just like yours are spending close to $700 billion a year on brand activation efforts.

And it makes sense.

Today’s consumers and end users are inundated with so much media it’s a wonder they haven’t grown a third eyeball to help absorb the optic onslaught. The sheer mass of smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs, VR headsets, gaming devices and physical advertisements makes it exceedingly difficult to propel your brand above the fray.

That’s why marketers and advertisers are investing more in brand activation strategies to identify new ways to engage the public.

Fret not – you don’t have to break the bank.

Here’s how you can inexpensively unleash the potential of your brand’s identity through content marketing.

Unlock your brand’s latent resources

As we’ve touched on before, you have to have a strong grip on the image your brand projects. Though even the largest and most successful enterprises encounter PR hiccups from time to time (no thank you, Kendall Jenner and Pepsi; and you too, United Airlines!), your brand requires a consistent, human message that people can relate to on first impression – and then you have to maintain that perception ad infinitum.

The best way to build – and then control – your message is to utilize all the real estate your website and social profiles afford. Post early, post often, post confidently.

Luckily, some of your company’s existing assets are sitting on the sidelines waiting to make a big impact on your brand messaging.

Have a team of subject matter experts? Conduct 20-minute interviews to get their opinions on the future of your industry. Then, spin those thoughts into collateral on your website in the form of eBooks and long-form blog content.

Already have paper manuals, guidebooks or sales sheets? Repurpose them for the web and include small illustrations and graphics to convey complex ideas. From there, you can embed these data-heavy resources into your blog posts or blast them out through email newsletters. Or, you can print out these updated and visually appealing assets to bring to trade shows and industry events.

Have an exec who likes to talk a lot? Get them on camera to answer questions about your brand. Cut up the videos into small snippets and share with prospects, or pass around internally to keep staff apprised of the latest brand talking points.

In all likelihood, you’re sitting on a goldmine. By assessing the untapped capital at your fingertips, you can restrategize and redeploy content that aligns with your brand’s identity. The best part is that if you happen to undergo a brand shift, you can easily pivot and repeat the steps above with minimal undertaking.

Turn your digital strategy into an interactive experience

It’s not enough to allow your content to speak for you – after all, content can get stale pretty quickly, and your competitors can one-up you at a moment’s notice.

Content should also allow customers to speak for you. Prospects, random internet users, passersby on the street – anyone who comes into contact with your brand is an inherent stakeholder in its success.

So how do you enhance and optimize those touchpoints?

Answer: Transform your branded content into an interactive emporium.

This can take the shape of:

  • Polls.
  • Surveys.
  • Trivia/quizzes.
  • Online giveaways/tournaments.
  • Calculators.
  • Deminars.
  • Simulators.
  • Maps/graphics.
  • AR/VR journey videos and apps.

Suffice to say, there are plenty of options.

Are any of your competitors jumping on these opportunities in a meaningful way? Likely not.

Prospects aren’t looking for more content, they’re looking for better content.

By reimagining your brand as the exemplar of better content, you have an instant leg up on other brands. Now that’s an identity worth being proud of.

Capitalize on the (mostly) free benefits of social campaigns

Everyone loves free. It’s one of the main reasons people follow brands on social media.

Social platforms enable brands to reach their core group of supporters and amplify their message in the way they intend, trolls be damned.

But in terms of brand activation, you need to be leveraging your social channels to maximize engagement and interaction. Competitions for likes, contests for swag and native advertising through paid ads are easy to run and even easier to measure.

And with the recent advent of Facebook Live, Periscope, Twitter Live, Snapchat, Instagram Stories and even virtual reality video features, you can interact with your audience in new ways that are much more exciting than the written word or the same ol’ industry meme that took you 10 seconds to make.

Even further, you can broadcast experiential marketing efforts in real time and then encourage social engagement through a giveaway, bringing together the physical and digital streams of your audience.

It all depends on the type of content you choose to represent you. Asking the question, “How do I create a memorable brand?” is effectively the same as saying, “How do I create memorable content?”

To the end user, your content is your brand, and your brand is your content.

Pretty simple, huh?

Mike O'Neill is a writer, editor and content manager in Chicago. When he's not keeping a close eye on Brafton's editorial content, he's auditioning to narrate the next Ken Burns documentary. All buzzwords are his own.