When it comes to establishing an online footprint for your brand, competition has never been fiercer.
Connecting with your customers is about getting them to engage with your story, but the popularity of the internet means your competitors are also trying to create compelling narratives. This means getting your message across in a coherent manner is essential.
If you look at some of the most popular UK brands - BT, British Airways and HP Sauce all feature on the most recent Superbrands list - they all have a clear brand story and look to build on this through a series of marketing tactics.
Their success underlines the value of developing a digital content strategy to not only nurture leads, but to create long-lasting relationships with consumers that are built on trust.
Follow our top tips for digital content strategy success.
Put your customers first
Spend time getting to know your customers; their likes, dislikes, interests and pain points. Compiling all of this information allows you to paint a fairly accurate picture of your typical customer(s), and will dictate the type of content you create. Don't forget, one piece of perfectly-pitched content can achieve more traction than 40 mediocre pieces that fail to properly engage your audience.
Establish a brand voice
Once you know who you are targeting, it's important for brands develop the right brand voice. Consistency is key to marketing efforts, as this will enshrine loyalty in the customer journey and help to make you a trusted resource. For example, if you are targeting business customers, you are going to use a different tone of voice than when appealing to young holidaymakers. Getting this right helps to establish your brand.
Create engaging and unique content
You have to give your customers a reason to keep returning to your website. Providing unique, relevant and valuable content is a great way of getting and keeping their attention. Whether it is blogs, video, infographics, quizzes or something else, don't be afraid to get a little creative. Following the 70/20/10 principle is advised - this means 70 per cent of your budget is spent on 'safe' standard content, 20 per cent on slightly risky content that has been well received, and 10 per cent on completely experimental content.
Develop relationships with your customers
Use social media to establish a rapport with your customers. Research by the Business of Reviews highlights how dangerous online reviews can be, as it estimates that negative comments cost one in five UK companies £30,000 a year. To avoid such problems, make sure your brand has at least one person responsible for monitoring social media channels and engaging with anyone who makes a comment. As part of this process, you should also be encouraging user generated content.
Measure your success
Brands need to be monitoring the success of their efforts and reviewing their strategies based on data-driven insights. Not only will analytics show you how well your content is performing in answering the needs of your customer, it can also help you to identify any gaps in your digital content strategy.