Brand Tracking for Better Content Development
Martin Zwilling, entrepreneur and contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider and other sources, writes about the importance of listening. In an article titled “You Never Learn Anything While You Are Talking” he discusses the tendency of business people to talk and talk and talk about themselves to the point that their audience loses interest and stops listening too. Think about it: when someone talks about themselves and how great they are for too long without engaging you, you lose interest pretty fast, don’t you?
Brands these days often have the same problem when it comes to content development and sharing. Instead of listening, brand tracking and finding out what people really want to hear about, they default to posting what they think is most important.
What Issues Do Brands Run Into When Implementing Content Marketing?
If you’re a content creator, you may be tackling your article creation and promotion the wrong way. With the huge amount of content available to people these days, it becomes harder and harder to get that click through, like or retweet. People are simply so overloaded by media that brands find it difficult to engage people with their content.
Too often, the reaction to this is to simply increase posting frequency. After all, posting a blog post 20 times instead of 2 should get 10 times more views, right? While the brute force approach may eventually work, there is a much better way to get people to engage with your content. That method is brand tracking. Doing more social listening and brand tracking can help you get a pulse on your followers, competitors and the industry you are in, which will in turn help you accomplish more engaging content development.
Sorry to break it to you, but brands doing content marketing are already at a disadvantage. People have become so numb to advertising that brands have to fight the reputation of being overly “salesy” before they even start producing content. When brands post content without knowledge of what their audience really wants to hear, this validates the negative stereotype that people have in their heads.
What are the Benefits of Brand Tracking?
Brand tracking—researching to find out what your audience is talking about, what they’re saying about you, what your competitors are saying and what’s going on in your industry—helps you get better at content development because your articles are actually based on things that your potential customers care about. Here are four reasons that brand tracking is so vitally important to the future of your content marketing.
1. You’ll Learn What Topics You’re Missing Out On
If you don’t use brand tracking to keep tabs on what’s hot and trending in your industry, you could end up missing the chance to write posts about important issues that your customers are interested in. When a new development in any industry comes out, there may be a lack of information or in-depth details on the topic. This is your chance to step in as a content writer and write a post that positions you as a knowledgeable thought leader.
2. You’ll Get to Know Your Audience Better
As a good article writer and content marketer, you probably have detailed buyer personas that you use to create blog posts for your audience. This is a great start, but if you haven’t updated those personas in a while, they might not accurately reflect your audience. Even if they are up-to-date and based on hard data, people can be unpredictable. The absolute best way to know what matters to your customers, what topics keep them up at night, what information would convert them from an uninterested individual to a brand advocate or paying customer, is brand tracking.
Monitor your audience’s reactions to your content, including comments, shares, likes, retweets and other metrics to see which of your pieces of content are having the greatest impact. Also, watch what other content they engage with. What makes it effective? Lastly, look at your web traffic to find out which articles not only inspired engagement on social media but also prompted people to click through to your blog to learn more.
3. You’ll Get to Know Your Own Brand Better
Most content marketers use social media to promote their content to audiences. For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is the most popular promotion tool at 94% use, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Large percentages of marketers also use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and other platforms. All of these platforms are great places to do your brand tracking.
Conduct manual searches for your company and product names to see what people are saying about you or invest in a social listening tool to get a pulse on how you are perceived in the digital space. You might find, for example, that people are missing a key aspect of how your product works. Maybe they have a misconception about what kind of company you are. Perhaps your image of your own brand doesn’t match what people think about it.
You can use all of this information found through brand tracking to shape your content strategy and help people see you in a different light.
4. You’ll Be Able to Get a Leg up on Your Competitors
In addition to getting valuable intelligence about your brand and your customers, brand tracking can help you learn more about your competitors. Watch your competitors and figure out their content strategy. Then, look at what’s working for them and what areas they are falling short in. This can help you in several ways. First, you can find areas that they’re not addressing and swoop in to bring this information to their customers (who will hopefully become yours). Second, you will be able to learn from any mistakes they made. Lastly, you will be able to know how well you are doing relative to them.
All of this information can make you a stronger content marketing force in your industry.
Use Surveys for Your Brand Tracking
We’ve just covered how you can use social media and web analytics to track your brand (in addition to what you can find out). One more way to do brand tracking is to conduct surveys.
Survey Monkey recommends asking questions that uncover “brand awareness,” “brand attributes,” “brand usage” and “purchase intent.” Depending on the answers to the survey, you may need to adjust your content strategy to align with the reality of your customer’s expectations.
How to Make Brand Tracking Pay Off
Brand tracking involves lots of focused research and can be time-consuming. You can make the most out of your efforts by hiring an article writer or content creator to help write content based on what your research uncovered.
Content development can become a breeze if you are trusting it to a qualified, skilled writer. Some companies shy away from using the services of a content writing company because they don’t want to pay the associated costs. However, research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that companies that designate a larger chunk of their budget to content marketing outperform those who spend a smaller portion on this area. To get results, sometimes you have to spend money strategically. Content creation is one area where your investment will pay off.
Brand Tracking Leads to Better Content
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 76% of B2B marketers report that they plan to put out more content each year, compared to 77% of B2C marketers. It’s very important that there is a strategy behind your content if you are one of the marketers planning to up their content output.
You may think you know your customers, your company, your competitors and your market, but you may be missing key details about what makes your content successful. Brand tracking is a great way to get in touch with all these areas and gain a competitive advantage. Use the techniques above to learn more about your audience so you can craft content that hits home with your readers and pushes you far ahead of the competition.