Content marketing and Brand Awareness are two concepts–two realities and two processes–that are closely related to each other.
In their interdependent relationship, content marketing for brand awareness is absolutely central to the development of a brand presence in the marketplace that is visible, laser focused, and instantly recognizable, online and offline.
How is this dependence expressed?
- On the one hand, the best way to create Brand Awareness is to design and implement content that is able to both attract and maintain the attention of the target audience and strengthen the company’s reputation.
- Content marketing, on the other hand, is concerned with defining the guidelines that are used for the creation and distribution of the content that shapes Brand Awareness on different channels, in a way that is consistent with the other actions related to building the brand narrative.
Content marketing plays a major role in focusing the exact contours of the brand identity:
- It helps organizations carve out their own space within increasingly crowded competitive arenas,
- It enables customers (both potential and existing) to navigate purchasing paths, even those that are very elaborate.
If we think about the impact of digital transformation on company-consumer communication over the past 20 years, it’s easy to see how updating, enriching, and strengthening Brand Awareness is even more necessary today than in the past. In fact, it’s an indispensable step if we want to succeed in penetrating the background noise caused by the incessant flow of gigantic amounts of data.
In this cycle of articles dedicated to marketing we have also talked about Real Time marketing, while in this post, after briefly describing the context where typical content marketing techniques are applied today, we will see that the type of content that best lends itself to increasing Brand Awareness is video, and especially personalized video.
A context of overload information
We have been living in a condition of information overload for at least 15 years now, immersed in the situation that Treccani defines as one characterized by “excessive circulation of information that is not filtered accurately, which makes it difficult to orient oneself on a given topic because of the difficulty of identifying reliable sources”.
A recent IDC study found that 64.2 Zettabytes of data were created or replicated in 2020, and according to predictions in the same survey, we will hit the 180 Zb mark by 2025. Of this enormous amount of new information, however, just 2% was saved and retained in 2021, with the rest consumed or cached temporarily and later overwritten. This last figure also gives us an idea of how just a tiny portion of truly useful knowledge is produced every second in such a context of information overload.
The volume of business communications has also been growing relentlessly, and this has contributed significantly to the exponential growth in the amount of data created, consumed, and stored around the world. Already by 2007, Americans were exposed to about 5,000 advertisements per day, according to The New York Times.
For marketers, the issue is critically important and translates into the need to constantly try to be relevant, creating and conveying proprietary content and identifying and leveraging user-generated content. To stand out among the myriad of brands attempting to make their voices resonate across different channels, a company has no choice but to calibrate its offerings against customer expectations, while at the same time giving due consideration to its established business objectives.
Differentiating one’s message is therefore an integral part of a concerted effort that marketing carries out with the aim of highlighting the distinctive elements of a brand.
Content marketing: “showcasing” the brand’s world and creating a trusting relationship
This need to make oneself distinctive, relevant, and to some extent “unique”, remains central regardless of the model chosen for content distribution, whether it be paid media or organic traffic. A clarification: here the reference is not so much to a “uniqueness” understood as an ideal quality but rather to a pragmatic way of “staging” the brand’s world. In the case of organic traffic, for example, the content strategy will work best if it contains elements of personalization and investing in SEO optimization of websites and landing pages if possible.
Moreover, in order for a product to be chosen, it must be able to intercept the buyer’s attention and become the point of origin of a relationship of trust. In fact, content marketing is based on the recognition of trust as a sales tool.
The premise on which Content Marketing, but also Real Time Marketing – which tends to represent the instantaneous version – and Inbound Marketing – which encompasses both modalities – rests is that trust is an extremely powerful tool, capable supporting effectiveness especially at the top of the funnel, as well as the purely transactional logic that often underlies traditional advertising.
To gain trust, a brand must produce value for the consumer, and to produce value it must provide content that is able to satisfy a symbolic need, a desire for education, for example, or for identity recognition, or even for entertainment. Here, the association between Content Marketing and Brand Awareness becomes evident: brand awareness, which is also the consumer’s awareness of belonging to the community around the brand, increases through tactical actions implemented within a coherent content marketing plan.
Content Marketing thus potentially acts throughout the entire journey: it disseminates the purchase path with materials that tickle curiosity, provide answers to explicit or as yet unexpressed questions, and offer insights into the semantic universes to which a brand claims to belong. But content marketing can also fulfill more service-related functions by enabling a direct interaction with the target audience thanks to tools that make it possible to combine interactivity, storytelling, and personalization in a single piece of content, such as videos or mini-sites.
Content Marketing for Brand Awareness: dimensions and trends in the content market
We have seen how Content Marketing and Brand Awareness proceed together, with the former setting the conditions for a progressive enrichment of the latter. This is also confirmed by Statista, which highlights in numerous reports how companies of all sizes and in various industries are turning to content to promote brand awareness, educate audiences, and generate revenue. Over the past two years, content marketing budgets have grown significantly to meet consumer demand, and according to the latest forecasts, the “content market” is expected to double in revenue by 2026.
To get a sense of the scale of the phenomenon, let’s take a look at some numbers (from Statista):
- Around 97% of industry experts surveyed said that content marketing was part of their marketing mix in 2021.
- Nearly 80% of organizations had a content strategy in place in 2019.
- More than 40% of marketers planned to increase their content marketing budget in the current year.
Videos are confirmed as the preferred content for content marketers
There are various content marketing approaches that meet different needs and goals. In recent surveys by Statista,blog articles were identified as the most popular content in 2020, while video stood out as the main area of investment in B2B content marketing in 2021. This is not news: professionals, in B2B and B2C, consider video content to be one of the most effective content marketing tactics.
This should come as no surprise. Videos have proven time and again that they have an extraordinary ability to increase Brand Awareness. In fact, more than other formats, they are capable of attracting and engaging audiences and setting the stage for future loyalty.
Doxee Pvideo® personalized videos, in addition to attracting attention, offer a comprehensive set of personalization features that transform content into a tailored story based on each recipient’s data. The video can be customized in every component according to the individual user’s information, dynamically editing scenes to compose a unique narrative, influencing the narrative and scene components, or inserting custom text elements that are seamlessly integrated with the video content.
While organic search and social media rank among the most widely used channels, companies are increasingly choosing to convey content in a multichannel, if not quite omnichannel, approach. In the case of Doxee Pvideo®, multichannel is a largely viable and easy to implement option. Personalized videos can be distributed digitally both securely and intelligently via a PURL–a personalized URL–that makes the content accessible only to the recipient and for a limited time.
With the PURL, Doxee Pvideo® can be distributed multichannel, through any digital channel: social media, messaging, email, app notifications, and chatbots. You can also embed the PURL into a site or landing page, or create custom QR Codes to turn any direct marketing campaign into a digital experience.
Content Marketing that produces value for the brand
Building Brand Awareness through Content Marketing requires continuous monitoring and careful strategic planning. Only in this way can content–video first and foremost–be used by exploiting its full potential.
Moving away from a one-size-fits-all and limiting type of communication, flattened on the urgency of conversion and sales for its own sake, content marketing reaches people where they are to offer them valuable content. Beginning with creating and enhancing Brand Awareness, Content Marketing is the most effective strategic approach to establishing a relationship with leads and buyers, at every stage of the journey.
To reach people wherever they are and at the time they prefer to be found, a company can move in different directions and use different techniques, for example, by:
- distributing content on social media platforms best suited to the target segment;
- employing automated platforms for producing personalized videos and dynamic, interactive sites;
- optimizing content so that it appears on the first page of search results.
The main difference between content marketing and traditional marketing is that the former, in order to succeed in the company’s long-term goals (e.g., increasing revenue), focuses on the consumer’s needs. A kind of reversal of the brand perspective takes place: from the product and sales in the strictest sense, we move to the consumer, his habits, expectations, and the obstacles he most frequently faces.
To support this movement, which is proceeding more and more decisively in a customer-centric direction, content marketing uses blog posts, videos, podcasts, mini-sites, or other forms of content.
How to support content marketing to enhance Brand Awareness
The first moment in a funnel that is reorganized around the consumer is that of Brand Awareness. Content Marketing offers invaluable initial support in this delicate stage of awareness, where potential customers identify their weaknesses and concerns and learn to trust. Even from this moment and then throughout the funnel, content can be conveyed through advanced solutions that are designed to create interactive experiences. It is the Doxee interactive experience (Doxee ix) that enables the management of all moments of customer contact through personalized and interactive communications.
With Doxee technology, it becomes possible to extract the hidden value in customer data and offer quality information assets as support for content marketing initiatives, right from the Brand Awareness stage.
For companies, Doxee ix produces the immediate benefit of creating and managing countless individual conversations by enabling an ongoing dialog with the customer.
Through the acquisition of useful information to update the user profile, Doxee ix products come to incorporate higher and higher levels of personalization and interactivity thus succeeding in transforming every touchpoint into an opportunity in which to achieve high conversion rates, generate value, and build and consolidate the relationship.