It can be difficult to win clients round when it comes to non-branded content, and most search marketers would probably agree. Convincing certain businesses that not every single blog post or article has be a sales pitch can be a challenge, and it often comes down to them not fully understanding how content fits into their digital marketing strategy.
This rings particularly true for companies that fall into ‘boring’ industries. It’s of course subjective, but if your company isn’t a global brand or a product/service to get excited about, then it can be tricky to build up an engaged audience through branded content.
The answer is to look at the bigger picture, broaden your content horizons, and think about reaching your target audience through non-branded content..
What exactly is ‘non-branded content’?
This refers to content that is not directly about your brand or your product/service. Take for example an website that sells lawnmowers. Not a particularly glamorous product, but one that can be complimented by a huge range of topics that will appeal to exactly right audience. Think seasonal content, gardening, plants, landscaping, lawn care, maintenance, environment, sheds, tools, growing herbs, vegetables, outdoor furniture, decor, nature, the list is endless!
Or a local plumbing service? Think house buying, energy saving, money saving, emergencies, DIY, bathroom design, kitchen design, preparing for winter. Speak to homeowners, students, businesses, landlords – so many topics for so many audiences that probably aren’t in the slightest bit interested in plumbing as a trade…
Think about the types of people who are likely to need your product or service, then delve into the topics that will appeal to them. Don’t go for the hard sell when you’re talking to them – it’s more about providing helpful, engaging content and becoming a trusted source in the industry. This way, you’ll build up the right audience who will remember your brand for all the right reasons.
A strong content strategy will consider audiences at each stage of the search journey. Articles that appeal to the browsers, researchers and buyers. Although the browsers and the researchers aren’t ready to commit to buying/enquiring just yet, they are still in the market, educating themselves, and actively looking for information. A salesy blog post isn’t going to work at this stage. Softer, relevant content is what they’re after, but be sure to make an impression before they become a buyer and focus on quality, valuable posts.
Another important consideration is the impact non-branded content is going to have from an SEO perspective. A broader range of topics allows for a broader range of keywords to be targeted; especially the longer tailed, more ‘conversational’ type search terms. Naturally, your organic presence will start to pick up for a huge range of related keywords, and whether these are directly related to your business offering or not, it’s going to help your brand and overall site authority.
You’ll probably also start to notice that the content you’re producing is getting attention – it’s getting shared, picked up by press and naturally linked to as an interesting and credible source. If there’s one thing Google likes, it’s a natural link…
Tangential vs. Non-Branded Performance
Content marketing agency Fractl have recently looked into branded vs. non-branded content performance. They categorised their clients content into either ‘tangential’ (aka. Non branded) and on-brand, then looked into the average number of links, press mentions and social shares for each one. As suspected, the non-branded content reviewed around 30% more links and press mentions, and a huge 70% more social shares.
There lies proof that non-branded content is fundamental to any digital marketing strategy. Not only is it going to build up a highly targeted audience, it is likely to directly influence your organic presence through naturally acquired links.
If you’d like a hand devising a content marketing strategy fit for your audience, whatever industry you’re in, then give us a call today.