Recently, we looked at the role of organic content in the new consumer buying journey. To help marketers put this information to use, we’re now going to dive deeper into each stage of the buying journey. In this post, we examine how organic content can help increase brand awareness and get consumers moving in the right direction.
An overview of the awareness stage
The awareness stage is perhaps the most critical leg of the buying journey for consumers. After all, consumers have to realize they need to buy something before making any purchase. And, to buy something from a specific brand, consumers need to know that the brand exists.
Using organic content to increase brand awareness
In the awareness stage, consumers are just starting their buying journey and often have a lot of questions about the purchase. When done right, organic content pieces can help your brand answer those questions and build a rapport with consumers. Here are a few examples of organic content strategies your brand should be using to engage with consumers in the awareness stage.
Create informative and optimized blog posts
In the awareness stage, consumers aren’t necessarily looking for in-depth product detail, they typically want more high-level information. Instead of creating content about the features and benefits of your products, try publishing blog posts that answer common questions consumers have about them.
To explain what we mean here, let’s look at an example of how we’ve used this strategy for one of our clients – AT&T Experience. Last year, we worked with the brand to generate traffic to their site ahead of the new iPhone launch. Rather than pushing out content promoting deals or specific features of the new models, we created blog posts designed to answer popular search queries about the iPhone in general.
Months before the launch, we published a blog post with a timeline of Apple iPhone launches. The blog post wasn’t designed to sell phones, it was just an informative piece about the history of the iPhone. There was no paid search promotion around the piece. But, by employing SEO best practices, we were able to earn the post a coveted featured snippet result on Google.
As the launch grew nearer, iPhone-related queries spiked as the post climbed to the top of several search result pages. The result was thousands of new visitors to the site with an average time spent on the page of almost 7 minutes. The influx of visitors and the time they spent on the page indicated there was a lot of interest in the topic and people found our piece valuable. By the time the new iPhones launched, the monthly web traffic numbers to the post were up considerably.
Produce more video content
If you’re still not using video to increase brand awareness, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Today’s consumers are increasingly turning to online video to find information about products and discover new brands.
One of the best examples of a brand using video content to boost awareness is Dollar Shave Club’s introduction video. The relatively low-budget production (the video cost DSC just $4,500 to produce) has racked up more than 26 million views on YouTube to date.
In 2012, the brand entered a crowded marketplace and needed a message that would help them stand out from other razor companies. Producing a generic commercial about the quality of their razors wasn’t going to cut it. So the brand eschewed standard product promotion in favor of a video highlighting their unique personality. DSC used a dancing bear, an upbeat employee named Alejandro and their machete-wielding CEO to differentiate their brand from other razor companies. And, to really make the video stand out, the company introduced a tagline that consumers could not easily forget: “Our blades are f**cking great.”
But if your brand doesn’t have the factory space or access to dancing bears to create a 90-second feature like this one, there are simpler options. For example, here’s a recent video we produced here at Mindstream Media. It’s concise, visually appealing and perfect for social media audiences.
Improve your social media presence
Social media platforms are a great place for your brand to engage with audiences of potential and existing customers. But when using social media in the awareness stage, it’s important to think beyond your existing followers since these users are most likely already familiar with your brand. To increase brand awareness on social media, you need to create content that your existing audiences find interesting enough to share, re-tweet and distribute out to their followers.
Here are a few tips to help you create social media posts that grab users’ attention, get them talking and generate a buzz.
Use eye-catching visuals
Social media users typically scroll their feeds at lightning speed, giving you just a split second to grab their attention. To increase the chances of them noticing your message, make sure to add eye-catching images or video to each post.
Tag others to amplify your posts
Tagging people in your social media posts is an easy way to get your message out to their followers and reach new audiences. It also increases the likelihood that they’ll like, share or comment on your post.
Leverage the power of hashtags
Adding hashtags to your posts makes them searchable and easier for new audiences to find. But randomly adding a bunch of hashtags to your posts isn’t good enough. You need to be strategic with which hashtags you use and how many tags you include in each post.
Number of hashtags per post vs. average engagement per post
While creating blogs, video and social media posts are a good start, we’ve only scratched the surface on all the ways you can use organic content to increase brand awareness. If you’re interested in implementing a holistic organic content strategy, contact Mindstream Media today to learn how our Content Marketing campaigns amplify your brand’s online presence.