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Module 2 - Lesson 5
Welcome to the final lesson of the branding and content module! Today, for our last topic, we’ll be looking at what the challenges and opportunities in creating fantastic branded content are and how you can leverage them for your brand.
Content is king. We’ve all heard this phrase, famously written by Bill Gates about what will dominate the internet in 1996. But why is content still so important now, almost 25 years later? It’s because stories continue to engage audiences and evoke action and feeling.
People love to spend their time precious free time reading, watching movies and videos. Companies take advantage of this and try to capture the attention of their target market by creating content that resonates with this group. This is also known as content marketing.
While content marketing might not be the fastest way to grow your revenue, quality content impacts your visitor’s buying decision more than any other any other technique. Content like blogs, emails, images, infographics and videos can explain your unique offering, prove your expertise and thought leadership position, and help your target audience find you on search engines like Google.
Like most things worth pursuing, content marketing is not easy. In fact, it has only become exponentially more difficult since 1996. Millions of new blogs and other content pieces are published online every day. It requires a significant amount of resources and talent to build an audience and make your posts stand out so you can reach the people who are interested in what your brand has to offer. Thankfully, while there is more pressure to perform well, there are also tools and solutions that help tackle the biggest challenges. Let’s jump into the biggest bottlenecks of content producing. The first one is…
Lack of time: Honestly, most problems and challenges with anything can be traced back to not having enough time. Creatives need to keep increasing their output and one of the most common issues they face is too many requests for new collateral, too little time. A Digital Asset Management solution (DAM) tackles this issue by cutting time from tasks that require no creativity, like recreating lost presentations or scuffling through folders searching for the right image for a specific campaign. When we add all these mundane tasks up, they actually can take up most of your working time. Many creatives and marketers spend at least half of their time working with content in a way that doesn’t create new content. When used right, a DAM system can free up to 70% of this time.
Reaction speed and content relevance: This challenge is a consequence of lack of time but still worth mentioning since it can be detrimental to increasing your digital visibility. Two trends are happening at the same time: people’s attention spans are getting shorter and there is more information out in the world than ever before.Combine these two and you’ll find that your audience is deeply interested in a current topic for a short time, then they hit a saturation point quickly and move on to the next topic. In order to be able to jump in and create content and information on topics that are trending in your industry, you need to have time to react quickly.If you can plan in a post about a surprising new development a month from now, it’s highly likely that your audience has already moved on by the time you give your five cents on it. You can save some of the time that is freed up by a DAM streamlining the ‘boring work’ and use it to interact with your audience on breaking news.
Creating diversified content that resonates: Another ongoing challenge creatives face daily has to do with the quality of content. How to create diverse, interesting pieces that rank well on Google and that offer new insights to your audience? Most of your digital content pieces actually go unused while 20% of your assets are used over and over again. This is because people in your company simply don’t know or can’t easily access all the goodies that you own. A central location to store all your content helps users see all relevant content with just a couple of clicks. It evenanalyzes and tracks which content has been used, how many times, where and by whom, making it easier to avoid over-using popular marketing collateral.
Brand consistency: Staying on-brand means that your logos, fonts, colors, look of images, tone of voice, etc. need to remain consistent and comply with the brand style guidelines of your organization. It can be difficult for the content creators in your company and external agencies to remember or find out what all those guidelines are, especially if they work for a larger employer with lots of products, employees and regions. Storing all guidelines and accompanying downloadables inone location that everyone can access is one of the benefits of a DAM solution. A top-tier DAM also integrates with design software like Adobe’s Creative Cloud and enables working with templates for white papers, presentations, business cards, infographics and banners where the brand managers can lock elements so that creators always publish content that is brand compliant.
Become more satisfied and get into the flow: The consequence of getting some of your time back by not having to spend hours on searching, back-and-forth emailing, exporting, uploading, sharing, etc. is not only that you and other creatives can use that time somewhere else. You also get to do less of what you dislike and more of what you love. This sounds obvious but let me illustrate.
I once worked in a company where a part of my role was doing hours of the above-mentioned type of tasks. Because I found it so mind-numbingly boring, it affected my motivation and passion to do the kind of work that I enjoyed as well. The human mind is not able to move on from ‘Ugh, what do you mean there is an error in my export!?’ to ‘Yay, let me write a research piece on the impact of motivation!’ like a light switch. Your lack of interest in some work will impact the rest of your work to some extent. Eliminating work that you dread doing will increase your happiness, motivation and creative flow, which will most likely up your efficiency and the quality of your output.
Those were the biggest bottlenecks in creating content that speaks your brand message and engages your audience. I hope you will be inspired to take a critical look at your own creative teams and help them reduce some of these issues, like the expert and leader that you are.
Module 1: Brand management
Module 2: Content and brand
Module 3: Managing branded assets