10 Jul, 2015 Using Your Brand to Engage with Consumers Online 9 February 2016 Rachael Hand Digital Marketing Manager Since the beginning of time, mankind has been discovering new and exciting ways to tell engaging stories. From stone carvings and paintings, to plays and novels and more contemporary techniques of video production and online content; stories have evolved for an audience hungry for knowledge and new experiences. The digital revolution saw many changes for the way in which we communicate and connect with the world around us; including the way we present and interpret stories and bind them together to generate impressions and new experiences for audiences. The world we live in is saturated with content and stories so it is now more than ever that marketers need to make sure their brand stories are the ones that resonate and stand out to their target audience. Content Marketing Content Marketing and Customer Experience are set to be two of the biggest trends in Digital Marketing of the next year. Great news for budding writers and brand ambassadors! One of the greatest features of content marketing is the proximity that it brings marketers to its consumers. It is estimated that a huge 78% of consumers are more interested in building a relationship with brands that create unique and personalised content. Blog articles, news features and social media strategy are just some of the key content marketing strategies that will be used together to create personalised stories to each of its consumers; revealing more about a company’s brand identity and key ideologies. How Content Marketing can work with your Branding Strategy A company's brand is the beating heart which gives life to the rest of the company. It is its identification, unique selling point and is what will make a company stand out against its competitors. The accumulation of well-conceived designs, logos and words; used to harness and influence associated meanings to a company or organisation. The online marketplace is overcrowed meaning branding has never been so important within the commercial and corporate markets. The average brand lifecycle is around four years, as brand leaders are encouraged to develop and regenerate their company's identify to make it relevant to its audience over a sustainable time period. Brand ambassadors will need to work hard to marry their branding with content marketing to ensure that their brand reputation is maintained as positive as possible. One of the most famous examples of content and brand regeneration of the last year was done by Coca Cola. We all know what it is, we all know where it is available and at what cost. However, it is not enough for market leaders of this multinational company to rely on its reputation to boost sales. They are continually having to revalue and regenerate their branding and products to keep up to date with their consumers; to keep their story alive in the eyes of their loyal and new customers. Say hello to the 'Share Campaign' one of the biggest and most successful marketing campaigns used within the consumer market. Rather than changing their product to boost sales, Coca Cola look at its image and branding and by deciding to remove their icon logo and personalise each bottle of their product with the top 250 female and male names; they managed to boost sales for the first time in a decade. The campaign worked as it told a personalised story of sharing and joy and it managed to make customers believe that each bottle was unique to them, a gift. They didn’t stop there either and marketers managed to pushed sales further by developing a social media strategy that invited customers to submit names they had missed the first time round. The 'share campaign' has since been replicated by a number of other multi-national companies such as Nutella and Heinz who now offer personalised messages on their food products. Moving Forward Brands are quickly realizing that the audience of consumers they are trying to reach are people sat behind keyboards, magazines and televisions. They are people that respond more to personal and unique ways of brand communication, and are people who have always loved a good story. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your virtual pen and tell me a story.