6 Ways Poor Content Marketing Can Mess Up a Successful Brand Strategy19 min read
So, you think you have a pretty great brand strategy.
You know your niche, your business goals, and you’ve done your audience research.
But there’s one thing letting you down: your content marketing.
Content marketing should be the MVP for a strong brand.
But are you even creating your own content? What are you doing once it’s published?
These are the big questions.
Here are 6 mistakes you’re making that are messing up your brand strategy:
- 1. You don’t create your own content
- 2. Your brand doesn’t have a visual identity
- 3. Your messaging is inconsistent
- 4. You’re not curating content
- 5. Content promotion isn’t on your radar
- 6. You don’t interact with your target audience
Let’s fix this!
1. Your branding strategy doesn’t include creating content
First up, do you create your own content?
If yes, you can move on to the next section. If not, we gotta talk.
Did you know, businesses that blog see a 126% higher lead growth than those that don’t?
But content marketing doesn’t have to be lists or how-to guides.
Content can come in the form of:
- Ebooks/white papers
- Template downloads
We all know that consumers love visual content. Heck, we love it too!
According to Venngage, over 40% of marketers credit their marketing success to original graphics. Things like infographics and illustrations.
Not only that, posts with 7+ images get 4x more traffic than articles containing just text.
It’s clear. You need to be creating content, and it has to have visuals.
But what are some of the benefits of content creation in general?
- It’ll help build a loyal audience
- You can get more organic traffic through SEO
- Quality content increases brand awareness
- You can share your expertise
- It can increase your engagement on social media
So, if you’re new to creating content – what are some things you should do?
HubSpot suggested 4 great tips:
- Don’t just tell a story; show it with your content
- Tap into specific emotions with each thing you post
- Include characters your audience can identify with
- Highlight the benefits of your product or service (but don’t just sell)
Keep these in mind and get creative!
2. Your brand doesn’t have a visual identity
Sure, you’ve got a cool logo. But creating a memorable identity doesn’t stop there.
Take one of the most famous brands ever: Coca-Cola.
They have such positive brand equity; no other coke-flavored beverage has a chance.
Marketing Evolution explains:
“In marketing, brand equity is the level of sway a brand name has in the minds of consumers, and the value of having a brand that is identifiable and well thought of.”
It started before 1900, and its brand strategy is still killing it over a decade later. So, apart from the great taste, what makes it timeless?
First up, did you know there’s a psychology to colors in marketing and advertising?
Color palettes are used to evoke specific emotional reactions.
It’s why we feel calmer in the green of nature or why red warning signs alarm us.
Source: Digital Synopsis
So, why is Coca-Cola red?
Some say it’s to stand out. Make a statement.
According to Coca-Cola, though, barrels of their bottles were originally painted red so tax agents could tell them apart from alcohol when being transported. Go figure!
Regardless, the iconic color is everywhere in their marketing.
Whatever content they’re creating, it’s obvious who it belongs to.
How to build a visual identity
Here’s how you can build a visual identity with your content marketing:
- Choose your brand’s personality
- Decide on the emotions you want to evoke with your content
- Create mood boards for on-brand images
- Pick a brand voice
- Work out how you can stand out
- Get feedback from experts
- Be consistent with it all
3. Inconsistent messaging is messing with your brand identity
There’s no quicker turn-off to potential customers than an inconsistent brand message.
A marketing strategy these days involves lots of different channels. It can be easy to get muddled if you don’t have a solid plan.
Your core values and brand positioning has to be obvious whenever you post something.
Your value proposition (or mission statement) should be the first thing people see. When people hear your brand name, they should be able to describe it in a few words.
- Apple: slick, consumer electronics.
- Nike: athletic apparel.
- Quuu: content marketing tools for social media.
If you’re a startup or small business, this is a really important exercise. If you can’t describe yours, something has to change.
You might think that a status or reply to a comment doesn’t count as content. Believe us, it does.
Everything that comes from your brand becomes part of your marketing efforts.
Building trust should always be one of a brand’s long-term goals. Your content needs to reveal your personality – and stick to it!
Your brand values will shape every aspect of your business.
Inconsistency with your brand messaging usually leads to:
- Miscommunication with your target market
- Confusion for new customers
- Lack of trust
- Poor customer experience (CX)
Your brand strategy as a whole should create instant recognition.
When Disney missed the mark
Take Disney’s 2009 blunder with their popular show, Hannah Montana.
Trying to make a quick buck, they paired the show with one of the worst examples of product marketing. Maybe ever.
Hannah Montana branded cherries.
Now, this would make sense if it related to the show in any way. But it didn’t.
This is an extreme example, but it’s worth keeping in mind. You may not be selling child-star-branded fruit, but your messaging has to be relevant.
According to Sprout Social, 45% of consumers unfollow brands because of irrelevant content.
“Posting content that doesn’t match your brand’s perceived style is one way of getting your account unfollowed.”
Whether it’s created content, curation, or comments, you should always use the same brand voice in your content marketing.
Keep your brand strategy relevant. Always.
4. You’re not curating content on social media
Let’s talk content curation. Are you part of the club?
Marketers – if you’re not, it’s time to join.
It seems like an odd idea. Sharing others’ content when you’re trying to build a brand of your own.
But an effective brand strategy has to include curated content.
Who would you rather follow – a company that only posts about how great they are or one that always shares a variety of interesting stuff from their niche? That’s the differentiation.
It can even be as simple as a quoted retweet.
On top of that, it can be hard to constantly fill your social media accounts with your own content. Curating is a huge time-saver that can turn you into an expert resource.
Manual ways of curating content
So, where do you find this high-quality content to share?
Here are some manual ways of finding content to curate:
- RSS feeds
- Google Alerts
- Trending topics/hashtags
- User-generated content
- Repost influencers’ content
- Sign up to email newsletters
Whatever method you choose, never forget the golden rules:
- Always add a personal twist
- Credit the creator
There are tools out there like Pocket or Feedly, which are brilliant. They make RSS feeds easy to use.
But what if you want something more?
Elegant Themes has the low-down:
“Quuu combines the features that make Pocket and Feedly unique (i.e., reading mode and RSS feeds). If you want a tool that includes key features from both, then Quuu is a good go-to.”
You heard ‘em!
Quuu – A content curation tool for social media
Quuu has 6 years of hand-reviewed content data in the bank. So, we decided to use modern machine learning to create an A.I. curation strategist called Robin.
Robin knows everything we know. Now it’s taking the reins.
We have over 500 interest categories. From DIY to Cosmetics, Astrophysics, and Marketing – you name it, we’ve probably got it.
Choose those that relate to your niche, hook up your social profiles, and you’re good to go!
Robin will send you blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more that are relevant to your industry. Every. Day.
Share on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Start conversations. Expand your target market. Network.
There are so many benefits, and there’s so much time to be saved! So, what are you waiting for?
5. Content promotion isn’t on your radar
Back to content creation in your brand strategy. Time for some metrics.
According to one of Ahrefs’s case studies, 90.63% of all pages in their index get zero traffic from Google. Zero!
Plus, 5.29% of them only get 10 (or less) visits per month.
The web is growing at an astonishing rate.
“Our Content Explorer tool discovers 1.8 million new pages every 24 hours while being very picky about the pages that qualify for inclusion. The “main” Ahrefs web crawler crawls more than double that number of pages every minute!”
Wondering what’s been stopping your pages from getting organic traffic? That’ll do it!
So, how do you make sure your brand gets a chunk of the market share?
Well, you need to give your target audience the best possible chance of seeing your content.
Whether you’re trying to access new markets or plug a new product, content promotion needs to be a part of your business strategy.
Time to make a promotional marketing plan.
Ideas for content promotion
We wrote a blog post on 3 of the fastest content promotion strategies for super busy small businesses.
If you’ve got more time, here are some ideas for promoting your content:
- Send it out to your email list
- Mention, then get in touch with influencers
- Guest blog on sites with a higher DR (domain rating)
- Network and ask people to share it
- Submit your content to weekly/monthly roundups
Of course, none of the results here are guaranteed. But if you want to try a really simple tool that does guarantee results – we might know of one.
Quuu Promote – A content promotion tool for social media
Think about it. Where does the sharing of content happen the most?
Maybe it’s your Aunt Debbie posing with her glass of wine. Every Friday at 5 like clockwork.
Or the viral ‘dress’ debate (it was definitely white and gold!) Social media is where it’s at.
Quuu Promote is a content promotion tool built specifically for social media.
You’ve learned all about Quuu above. But where does all that great content come from? You guessed it – Quuu Promote users!
And it could be yours too. Simply add your site’s RSS feed, sit back, and relax.
Include your Twitter handle, and you can track anyone who mentions you when they share. It’s a great way of starting conversations and engaging. (More on that soon…)
Check out the calculator on our homepage, find your niche, and work out how many shares you could get.
Did you know there’s also a link between social shares and SEO? We’re not kidding!
A powerful brand strategy means your content will be seen by as many people as possible. Promoting it is the easiest way to make this happen initially.
If content promotion hasn’t been on your radar up till now, it’s time for it to be.
6. You don’t interact with your target audience
A ‘touchpoint’ is defined as any way a consumer interacts with a business -in person or online. Even simply reading your site’s tagline.
Nailing every touchpoint is critical for your brand strategy.
Remember what we said earlier?
Anything that comes from your company’s official accounts or site is ‘content’. All interaction online is a form of content marketing.
Build a relationship with your followers, and business will likely improve. Mess up interaction, and you could see sales declining – along with your follower count.
The easiest places to interact with your target audience are through:
- Created content
- Social media engagement
Here’s how they both play a part.
Interacting with your target audience through created content
Content marketing is so useful because it lets your target audience find you.
By using SEO writing, you’re giving yourself the best chance of appearing on search engines as the most relevant result.
In this case, your audience is interacting with what you’ve created. But it’s still interaction on your part.
To make sure the right people see it, you need to create a buyer persona. These will help you understand your target audience better.
HubSpot explained why,
“[It] makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of the members of your target audience.”
How to create a buyer persona
So, how do you create one if you’ve never done it before?
Well, you need to start by going through your data. Who has purchased your product or service? Who interacts with your brand online?
Look for trends.
Once you’ve done that, create fictional (yet accurate) bios of your consumers.
Here are a great couple of examples from Hootsuite:
|Andrea Rogers||Works in marketing for a sports team
In her 30s, recently married
Senior marketing and communications rep for a major soccer team
Manages a small team of social marketers
|Uses Facebook and Instagram to connect with her family, and Twitter and LinkedIn for professional networking
Interested in apps, IoT, virtual reality, and eSports
Wants to connect the team with younger and more female fans
Is frustrated that her team has no plans to build its own app
|Jim Watson||A sports fan
52-year-old van driver living in Salford with his wife
Season ticket holder with Salford Red Devils
|Watches TV, uses Twitter, Facebook, and YouTubeA former athlete who has gained weight and thought about buying a fitness tracker but is unsure what to buy
Motivated to use a mobile app to improve health and quality of life after a friend suffered a minor heart attack
Then, when creating content, take into account:
- Their pain points
- Customer goals
- Work out how you can help
Once you know exactly who your audience is, you can create content that will appeal directly to them.
If your brand strategy is aiming at anyone and everyone, you’re unlikely to see results.
Make sure your content is relevant to those who will be buying from you.
The power of social media engagement
We keep going on about social media, but it’s the easiest place to interact with your target audience. Especially sites like Twitter, where you can directly message anyone.
It also encourages natural growth. Social media can make it easier to work out the types of content marketing that your target audience enjoys.
How? Well, the types of social media content with high engagement should be regulars in your brand strategy.
Don’t have enough content to have that information yet? Start by creating some polls and surveys.
They’re a great way of sparking conversation and encouraging engagement.
You can also find out a lot about your target audience by directly asking them.
As Buffer once said,
“People don’t use social networks for a one-way experience. They’re seeking connections — with people and with brands.”
Social media engagement is the missing link for raising brand awareness. And each time you engage, that’s a form of content in itself.
Make it genuine. Make it entertaining, inspiring, helpful, or educating. Just make sure you do it.
Need some actionable tips?
How to interact effectively on social media
To interact effectively you need to:
- Speak the language of your customers (conversational copy)
- Get to the point
- Address your audience directly
- Keep it simple
- Stick to your brand voice
- Be genuine
- Provide detailed responses
Make sure you’re regularly engaging. That’s how to have a successful brand strategy.
Whether you’re a business owner or brand manager, content marketing is key to brand strategy success.
From what you’re writing on Twitter to the look of your blog, it all plays a part.
Here were the 6 mistakes we covered. Time to fix whichever you’re making:
- You don’t create content
- Your brand doesn’t have a visual identity
- Your messaging is inconsistent
- You’re not curating content
- You’re not promoting what you’ve created
- You don’t interact with your target audience
Are there any content marketing mishaps we missed? What other things can mess up a successful brand strategy? Let us know in the comments!