Brand content is among the most useful online marketing tools. A recent study by Online Publishers Association revealed that “web sites featuring branded content outscored internet industry norms 41 out of 43 times across a wide range of advertising metrics.”
But branded content is a two-edged sword: do it poorly and you’re almost worse off than having no content at all. Here are some of the most common traps the unwary marketer can succumb to.
The modern consumer wants dialogue with business, so relaying on outdated advertising that only talks about the company and products in hyper-glowing terms is a safe bet to alienate consumers. Hard sales tactics couched in the language of self-flattery is marketing suicide to an age jaded and skeptical of marketing claims.
Listening to customers’ concerns gives you the means to gather data and make informed decisions with accuracy and speed that marketers of a generation ago could only dream about.
Write primarily for SEO.
You’ll never fool anyone. Focusing on keyword density is not going to be the portal to quality content. Instead focus on developing an authentic voice to share useful information about your products and services. Consumers use internet searches and social media to shop items before they purchase. Optimizing your site to facilitate this research is a critical function of brand content. Producing material that reads like it had keywords crop dusted over it is just not engaging
Talk like a robot.
Using as many buzzwords as you can (and let’s not forget the sales-speak) is a superlative means of killing the connection you need to make conversions. When it comes to your blog, you’re crafting a narrative, making a connection that favors an emotive response that can support the decision to make a purchase. Save the sales lingo for e-mail marketing and other sales-centered channels.
Talk like an idiot.
If pop culture and the latest buzz in slang and catch phrases are your idea of a gripping prose style, you might want to double check your audience. Such lexical items have an increasingly short shelf life. You want to place yourself as a thought leader, not someone incapable of original thought.
Reading produces strong emotional responses. Consequently, massive blocks of text with no images, or images with no text are off putting – leading to unfavorable gut reactions to your brand.
Use subheadings to break up the visual flow. They also give you the ability to snag a skimming eye with a creative, intriguing description. Remember: presentation is key.
What’s a distribution plan?
You may have the best content around, and you can’t wait to spread sweetness and light, but if you have no clear idea of how to deploy content you’d be better off sticking to messenger pigeons.
As part of your strategy you should select in advance the social media and marketing channels that will deliver your content. You want to be able to track and analyze how you’re engaging with your followers – as well as finding out what they like or dislike.
Let those weird spam posts about foreign bank accounts and dating opportunities just pile up. Refuse to respond to a negative comment.
Again, what’s the point of crafting good content if you’re going to ignore follower response? Keep that comment section neat and tidy. And take the time to respond to both favorable and hostile comments – establishing a rational, attentive persona is a major contributing factor to a good business reputation.
Be a zombie marketer.
The start and stop blog, the outdated website, the haphazard layout – all are signs of the zombie marketer who periodically comes back from the dead, shambles about moaning, only to return to the grave a short time later.
Content takes commitment. Remember the adage: ‘Content is a conversation that leads to conversion.’ Nurture your content and you’ll foster the kind of quality conversation that engages followers, persuading them to purchase your products.
Want to lean ways you can use online marketing to increase your sales? Zen Media’s got the map to the digital landscape. Our team knows where the tiger traps are and can steer your company in the right direction. Contact us today and learn how we can help your business grow.