Raising brand awareness is a difficult task, and making users passionate about your brand is even more challenging. Promoting brand visibility is a simple matter of getting your name and brand in front of more people, but in order to win the loyalty or enduring respect of those people, you need to convince them that youare worth it.
Content marketing in its modern form is all about providing value to your users and increasing your brand’s reputation. But not all types of content yield the same results. Try using these five types of content to encourage passion in your followers:
When people look for information on how to do something, they’re usually in the middle of a problem. If you can provide them the information they’re looking for, quickly and efficiently, you’ll immediately save them from that problem. Do that a handful of times consistently, and they’ll instantly associate you as a problem solver, falling in love with your brand.
That doesn’t mean your blog needs to mimic Wiki-how and offer an endless series of step-by-step instructional posts. You can use whatever format you’re most comfortable with. Walk your users through a problem from the beginning with specific micro-steps, or write in broad strokes. The goal is to solve a problem, so make sure you include all the necessary information.
Incorporate a visual element, such as instructional images, an infographic, or even a helpful video to gain more followers and increase your chances of going viral. The more detailed you can be, and the more you can stand out from your competitors, the better. It’s also a good idea to phrase your article titles in a way that reflects what users will actually be searching, such as “how do I change a car tire?” or “what’s the best way to fry a turkey?”
People love to read stories. There’s something psychologically addicting and compelling about stories that draw in a reader’s attention. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to illustrate a complex topic or demonstrate a multifaceted problem in a way that is straightforward and approachable. This type of content has a kind of immediate resonance with your readership, and if you can consistently execute that level of emotional connection, you can win the long-term loyalty and passion of your followers.
Case studies, specifically, can be an effective type of story as long as you present it the right way. Like any story, case studies need to have a beginning, middle, and end, with a background, a problem, and an eventual solution. Don’t make your case studies seem salesy, or they’ll turn your followers off. Instead, focus on the logical, practical aspects of the story, and make it as personal and approachable as you can.
Of course, it’s almost impossible to churn out a case study every week, but there are plenty of other types of stories you can tell. Post an interview with an industry leader, or recount the story of a major breakthrough in your company. The key is to strike an emotion with a narrative.
Another type of content that generates passion is an article that takes a strong stance. By “strong stance,” I mean that your article undeniably comes down on one side of a complex and divisive issue. Some content marketers are reluctant to make this kind of stance, since it could divide their user base and immediately alienate half of the crowd, but despite these risks, it’s an excellent strategy to earn yourself more company loyalty.
Fence-sitters tend to play peacekeeping, neutral roles. It keeps them from angering anybody, but it also prevents them from making any new friends. Brands that never take strong stances might have a slightly larger audience than brands that do, but those followers aren’t passionate or loyal. Writing content that takes a firm stance in a familiar debate might alienate a few of your readers, but the rest of them will become enamored with your brand. And in the end, it’s better to have a few dozen customers who care deeply about your brand than a few hundred who couldn’t care less about it.
Choose an issue that’s relevant to your company and industry, and make sure your article is grounded in verifiable facts and logical reasoning.
Original research posts take more time and money to develop, but they also get better results. It’s a lot easier to look up information that someone else pulled and spin it into your own presentation than it is to plan, conduct, and analyze the research yourself. But brands that do complete original research are immediately seen as thought leaders, paving the way for their competitors and contemporaries, and introducing brand-new information into the world.
The same advantages can be had with making new insights in a given industry. Like with taking a strong stance on a divisive issue, this strategy comes with a bit of risk, but it also poises you as a unique player in the field. Coming up with a new idea or a new application for an old idea in the industry is tough, so it might be better to start with a new research effort and build your content around that.
Start by finding something that hasn’t yet been covered by your competitors. You can look to similar industry blogs for inspiration by acknowledging what topics have already been covered and brainstorming about how to expand that scope.
Nothing makes users passionate about a brand as much as giving them exactly what they want. Some content marketers fret over this idea, insisting that they can’t read their readers’ minds. This is true. But there’s nothing stopping you from asking your users what they’d like to read on your blog directly.
Get on social media and pose the question regularly: what types of content would you like to see more of on our blog? If you want to be more subtle about it, create a survey or a quick poll that uncovers the interests and intentions of your followers. Observe the trends amongst your user base and customize your strategy to fit their desires and expectations.
You might not be able to fulfill every request, but you should have enough information to start with. If one follower goes out of their way to let you know about a specific topic, chances are that hundreds of other followers would also like to see it (but didn’t take the time to let you know). Take user requests seriously, and fulfill them whenever you can.
Simply creating these types of content isn’t enough, however. You need to support this content by posting it regularly, and syndicating it to new readers through your social media channels. Collect feedback at every turn, and think of what your followers would want when it’s time to make a new post or revise an old one. That system of feedback is what makes good content great, and with passion-inspiring content like the examples above, you’ll have a loyal, dedicated audience that grows stronger and larger every day.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.