For many small business owners, the relationship between branding and content marketing is not immediately clear. Yoast, an online marketing expert that’s created a number of essential tools for the SEO industry, said it best: “Content marketing without branding is like an airplane without wings: it won’t fly.” Brands are becoming increasingly important to SEO. In fact, Google’s Matt Cutts went as far as to say that the best reason (and only viable reason) to guest post was to “build your brand.” Here are some important factors to bear in mind when thinking about the relationship between content marketing such as website content, blogs, articles, and social media and building your brand.
Online brand building is practical and focuses on ROI
There’s an association that many small business owners have with brand building. It’s the Madison Avenue style of marketing, where you invest a significant amount of capital into advertising campaigns that are simply designed to raise brand awareness. Yet small business owners usually don’t have the financial flexibility to only focus on getting people to recognize their names. It’s important to take the next step toward a conversion at the same time. Content marketing helps achieve the goal of increasing a brand’s visibility while strategically connecting to the buying funnel in a way that converts leads into customers.
Branded content performs better in search engine results
Content is the heart of any effective SEO campaign. Whether you’re talking about website content, an active blog, or videos that describe your business, content needs to exist before it can rank well in search engine results. The more your content is seen and shared, the more your brand is built. Conversely, the better recognized your brand the more likely search engines are to rank your content highly. An investment in solid, branded content has ROI across multiple points in your business’ marketing plan. SearchMetric’s 2013 Search Rankings Rank Correlation study confirmed: “Brands held a privileged position” with regard to search rankings.
Branded content establishes your thought leadership and brand values
Well-known brands are considered industry leaders. The basis of their leadership can be diverse, from knowledge and expertise that transforms clients to world-class customer service or cutting edge products. Whether you lead from a position of thought leadership or because you have exemplary brand values, your brand reputation is built upon these factors. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways for you to convey these distinguishing factors to your readers. When you drive your own content, you control the story that your audience hears about your business. It’s possible to strategically position your thought leadership or brand values through content that’s targeted directly at your audience in a high value and high impact way.
For businesses that need to build brand recognition, content marketing is one of the most effective ways of doing so. Do you need help developing content to market your business or finding the right channels to disseminate your content? Contact Be Locally SEO today to learn more about our branding and content marketing services for small business.