By Cara Sloman
The morning commute is no longer populated by a sea of passengers whose faces are obscured by newspapers. Instead, these passengers are scrolling through news feeds on their mobile devices. Rather than clipping interesting news articles, readers simply post them to social media sites or upload them to a cloud-based storage service.
Digital transformation has forever changed how people interact with each other, how affinity groups are formed, and how stories are shared. It has heightened customer expectations and shortened attention spans. With literally thousands of messages coming at them every day, your audience needs to quickly assess whether your message is relevant to their lives.
This means that organizations need to change how and what they communicate to prospects and customers. The ability to tell the right story to the right audience, and to know how to write compelling content for a variety of audiences is non-negotiable in today’s digitally driven environment. As with any communications campaign, the goal is to meet your key business objectives, whether it’s driving website traffic, increasing engagement with audience segments, or even pushing leads into the sales funnel.
Here are seven ways you can make your message stand out and position your brand for success:
1. Leverage influencer audiences
You want to position yourself as an influencer within your industry and target audience, or retain that status. An expert can become a thought leader by developing a blog that consistently delivers innovative insights and/or by sparking interaction and engagement across social channels.
In addition to your own channels, you can connect directly with audiences through influencers with an already-established reach. Writing guest posts for an influencer’s blog is another way to increase reach and connect with new prospects.
2. Make content multipurpose
Amidst all the competition, content must be unique and valuable. For example, instead of reinventing the wheel every time, one article or white paper can be repurposed in multiple ways to great effect. Share infographics based on statistics from the white paper on Facebook. Use an excerpt for a blog post. Tweet key findings or attention-grabbing opinions. This creates consistent messaging in formats that are tailored for each channel.
3. Make the most of video
The human brain loves a good story, and video is one of the best ways to tell one. Viewers worldwide watch one billion hours of YouTube content every day, while Facebook users watch (including Facebook Live) more than 64 billion videos per day. Businesses have an opportunity to connect with customers and prospects using live or produced video on their website, social media, and video portals, including Instagram, Vimeo, and even Snapchat.
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4. Create real-time connections
Businesses and influencers can connect with their audiences in real time, thanks to the accessibility of live streaming and the option to push live updates or notifications via mobile devices. Tailor your content to match your audience’s interests while incorporating feedback and opinions to build a sense of community.
5. Track your links and traffic
It’s easier today to identify whether you are reaching the audience you intended. Incorporating trackable links into your media efforts helps identify who you are reaching and what types of content are resonating with people. These links can be embedded in blogs, social media posts, press releases, and other digital content.
6. Share your origin
How did your company get its start? By sharing the history of the company, you inform readers about the “why”—the market need the founders saw, and the “who”—the qualifications that make them worthy of customer trust. We all want a story we can connect with and relate to.
7. Diversify for the win
A comprehensive approach to brand awareness combines owned, earned, and paid media. So continue to create great content for your site and your social channels, but add in paid content, advertising, and earned media such as product reviews by influencers and features in established publications. The combination of these efforts is sure to maximize your reach and yield the strongest results.