More and more companies are investing resources into branded content. Are you? If so, why? If your answer solely involves selling your company or product to consumers, chances are you’re not seeing much engagement in return.
Believe it or not, the number one goal of your content marketing campaign shouldn’t be to sell. Sales will come in time (think ‘Field of Dreams’: build it and they will come), but the overall aim of your campaign should be to build an emotional connection with your consumers.
The Content Marketing Institute sums it up well:
“The emotion that a brand evokes in someone—or more importantly, in a specific group of people—has a big impact on a company’s success or failure. Emotions play a huge role in how consumers act and react. Emotions drive decisions, prompt actions, and change mind-sets, leading to strong loyalty and a deep personal connection with a given brand that can extend beyond its rational attributes.”
By establishing credibility and loyalty, you will create lifetime brand advocates versus one-time buyers.
So, how can you create the content that sticks?
Stay true to your brand’s mission
Even though you’re trying to connect with your customers, the first step is to reflect your brand’s mission. What does your company stand for? Make sure that vision is never lost when developing your company’s content.
The Coca-Cola Company is well-known for its iconic images and messaging, and uniting people has always been a big part of Coca-Cola’s mission. Their ‘Crazy for Good’ campaign connected people in India and Pakistan, people who have been physically disconnected by political conflict for over 60 years, with a live communication portal. The Small World Machines allowed Indians and Pakistanis to share rare messages of peace, love, and happiness. It’s an example of the emotional impact that creative, thoughtful brand content can have and I guarantee you can’t watch it without feeling your own heart strings being pulled.
Speak Your Customers’ Language
When developing content for your audience, use specific and unique language that resonates with your core audience and goes beyond the functionality of your service or product. More specifically, treat your audience like old friends. Would you use industry jargon on a date? Probably not much engagement coming your way if you do! When communicating with your audience, you want to create a real sense of comfort.
J. Crew is an good example of this. The company transformed its blog into a “Style Guide” that speaks to fashionistas everywhere. The fashion brand does a great job of dissecting how customers can build their “personal styles” through tips and how-tos from the J. Crew staff—all part of their customers’ fashion dialect.
Understand and Meet Your Customers’ Needs
Think about this: your customers don’t have to be interested in your content. You need to give them good reason to be. Show a fundamental understanding of your audience and what their needs are and they’ll respond favorably to your brand.
The Four Seasons Hotel prides itself on making each and every guest feel at home and its travel content is the first step of that experience. As much as I’d love to stay at a Four Seasons on every trip, the reality is it’s out of my price category. But whenever my family travels, I use the hotel’s site to find kid-friendly activities and get the lay of the land for the city we’re visiting. Even though I’m not yet a paying guest they’ve helped me and my family enjoy our vacations, so when the day comes that my hotel category takes a step up I won’t even think twice about where to stay.
Have you made an emotional connection with a brand through their content? Share with us in the comments!
Image via: sorokti (Creative Commons)