Content marketing and digital branding are two completely different things but go great together like peanut butter and bananas.
Content marketing and digital branding can both stand alone like bananas and peanut butter, but they complement each other perfectly.
If you haven’t tried it yet, feel free to make a sandwich and let me know what you think in the comments section.
W.T.H. Does Content Marketing Have to Do With Digital Branding?
Both techniques have commonalities and differences. So, before I go any further, I want to explain the difference between content marketing and digital branding.
Content Marketing vs Digital Branding in a head-to-head matchup
- Content marketing re-enforces your value proposition.
- Digital branding is your value proposition.
- Content marketing integrates content into the stages of a user’s journey.
- Digital branding integrates different channels into the stages of a user’s journey
- Content marketing considers the user journey at every stage of their purchasing decisions.
- Digital branding considers the position in which you are ranked in a users short-list of competitors with comparable offerings.
- The key to successful content marketing is really understanding your audience.
- The key to successful digital branding is your audience’s understanding and perception of you.
- A content strategy maps out who your audience is, what is the problem(s) you are solving for them, and how will you consistently deliver content that they will want to read and share.
- A digital branding strategy maps out what your identity is, where you are found online, and what credibility you have in the market.
Using Content Marketing to Build Your Digital Brand
Content Helps to Develop Identity
Using content to develop your digital identity requires a deep understanding of your audience, your offering, and your organization. Understanding your audience requires you to know what challenges them.
It goes beyond simple demographic information such as their name and location. It’s all about understanding what keeps them up at night or what’s the main obstacle preventing them from accomplishing a particular objective, goal, or task.
Then you want to consider this when developing content that conveys the value of your offering. Specifically, how does your offering help to alleviate your audience’s challenges?
What value does this offering bring to your audience?
These are important questions to ask when using content to build your digital brand. The more you know about your audience and how your offering will make their lives better in any way, the better you’ll communicate with them.
Last, for a very specific reason, is your organization. Your organization is the last component of building your digital identity because it’s no longer about business, it’s about the people.
Your organizational mission, vision, and core values is already something with which you should be familiar.
Therefore, it’s easy to create content to convey or demonstrate these pillars of your organization. But how does this connect with your audience and offering? Why have you chosen to offer it in the first place?
Why is your offering the best solution for your audience?
Your content must convey personality more than ever before. Developing consistent content allows your audience to build a memory structure around who you are and what value you have to offer.
The goal is to develop content that tells your story and engages people in a meaningful way. That means ensuring every time your content is consumed, it is consistent in appearance, use, size, scope, color, feel, etc.
This memory structure becomes the identity of your organization.
Every time your audience is exposed to your brand at various digital touch points, your brand is subconsciously etched in their memory.
This is very similar to seeing something bright then closing your eyes only to see the image still remain.
OK let’s dive deeper…
Let’s say you’re at the beach enjoying a nice vacation (or holiday). It’s sunny out and you see people frolicking in the water. You’re laying on a beach chair taking a sip of pina colada. You set the drink down, sit back, close your eyes and relax.
After closing your eyes, something fascinating happens. You still see an image burn from what you just saw. This parallels what your audience sees and remembers about your brand based on each of the digital touch points your brand resides.
Here’s a great example of a company being authentic, transparent, and creating content worth talking about:
This video series is a very candid day in the life of the company president winding down after a long day of work.
Note: This company is a client of DIGITAL DELANE
Use Content to Gain Visibility
A brand’s visibility and exposure online has a direct link the to the success of a business.
Your content represents who you are but considering your audience can also help you target them effectively.
Your primary and secondary keywords are not always as obvious as you may think. You must leverage keywords or phrases that are relevant to your brand, industry, location, and competition to gain more visibility in search engine results.
The Facebook Newsfeed change will affect your visibility as promotional messages are inhibited from being displayed on user’s Newsfeeds.
Your content marketing must convey personality more than ever before. Facebook wants more personal engagements on the site and, as a result, will throttle any promotional messages.
Using Content to Develop Credibility
As you post personal stories about your brand, your credibility will increase as users begin to know, like, and trust your brand.
Overall, you should utilize content marketing to help build your digital identity, visibility, and credibility.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines credibility as:
The quality of being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest
Honestly is the best policy when enhancing your digital brand’s credibility. People are more sensitive to brand communications based on the business, political, and financial landscape in the United States.
As a result, if you break a promise to your audience once, it will be extremely difficult to remedy.
The most obvious case for building trust is truth in advertising:
Here’s an example of how Classmates.com broke the trust of its audience.
The company sent emails saying old friends were trying to contact them, promising to rekindle old friendships and flames if subscribers upgraded to a “Gold” membership.
According to the Business Journal, the site used the ploy to deceptively increase revenue from existing members. As a result, the company eventually agreed to pay a $9.5 million settlement to resolve the case.
But wait! There’s more!
Lighting struck twice when the company was caught executing misleading advertisements and they were hit with another $11 million in fines according to Consumer Affairs.
Bottomline, credibility is all about trust. Just because we have the ability to do things, doesn’t mean that we should– both as individuals and organizations.
This is especially important when you are building your digital brand.
By virtue of the digital platform, anything to produce, distribute, and advertise can immediately be fact-checked or examined for deception.
Using content marketing to build your digital brand can easily position your brand as a thought leader, attract interest from customers, clients, and leads, and improve your search engine rankings.
Content marketing also offers a means to shape your brand identity by telling your brand story in a meaningful and relevant way.
I think of digital branding as the oil in your sales engine. Meaning, with a concerted focus on enhancing your digital identity, visibility, and credibility, your sales will come easier.
It will alleviate the stress and friction caused by your brand being unfamiliar, invisible, or uncredible.
I think of content marketing as the special additive in that oil that makes it last longer. Since you may not see immediate results from content marketing, your brand will see benefits later which will strengthen your future digital branding efforts.
Are there any additional ways to use content marketing to build you digital brand? Let us know! Comment below…