How To Turn Your Brand Into A Knowledge Centre
13 November 2015, Jonathan Saipe
This article was written by digital marketing specialist Simon Swan.
Nowadays, brands are finding themselves operating in ever-competitive sectors, being disrupted by increasingly leaner emerging brands, who are successfully delighting customers and offering that extra value. Take a look at Blockbuster being taken out of the game by the little-known start-up Netflix.
And this disruptive innovation has continued to gather pace, looking to re-map and re-invent any market sector that has not embraced technology and innovation.
Brands need to adapt. Fast. One key area that they can play to their strength is to start to look inside their brand and the opportunity to reinvent themselves through digital channels. For example, an organisation’s history and background is a valuable asset in how they are perceived to a wider audience; this is something that can be used to its advantage. This provides an opportunity for brands to become knowledge centres, reinventing themselves as the go-to authority for their sector.
To do this, brands need to invest time and effort to understand what exactly do they offer for a digital audience? It requires a full audit and analysis of the brand’s digital platforms, but more importantly, their strategy.
Transforming into a knowledge centre provides brands with a point of difference and an online value proposition. As more organisations find it difficult to differentiate themselves, knowledge centres help make their voice heard, and to define themselves as a useful destination for their own users, as well as prospects.
To transform into a knowledge centre requires 7 key requirements from my own research:
1. Brand Domination Of Search Results
Google gives preference to brands that drive trust, and act as a knowledge centre for the vertical in which they operate. This post from Moz.com focuses on the ability to utilise modern SEO techniques to help build brand authority. Brands need to focus on creating content that users want to find. Persona research will enable brands to understand their audiences and the resulting content that will engage them best.
2. Develop Your Authority
Many brands fail to realise the branding opportunity of creating a brand narrative – a story that takes place over time and through different channels. The art of story-telling, creating a great narrative, that will delight your audience, is a clear USP.
3. Identify Your Online Value Proposition (OVP)
Creating an OVP provides a differential advantage over your competitors’ products, service and brand within the marketplace. And it provides an opportunity to build on something that’s unique and remarkable within the sector.
4. Build Trust
A brand that exemplifies trust, provides the user with an affinity, and helps to build a relationship by engaging with the consumer’s emotions through imaginative associations, such as user-generated content.
5. Building A Brand Narrative
Brands need to boldly embrace the fear factor when engaging with their users in online conversations. By driving engagement, this will enhance their online reputation. The rise in influencer marketing, and the role companies like Traackr are playing to assist in this, shows the importance of engaging with your audience in a real-time and effortless way.
6. Brand Transparency
More traditional organisations fall into the trap of thinking they still have to try to control media content that impacts their brand and its perception. Rather, their focus needs to shift towards becoming more transparent and seek to build engagement, credibility and collaboration. Both Ford and Virgin are two traditional organisations that have embraced, re-defined and re-invented themselves, whilst at the same time continuing to delight their audiences.
7. Utilitarianism Marketing
Look to provide your customer-base with a true value and utility. Create something your customers would want to use every day promoting ‘stickiness’. More importantly, aim to stand out in a media-saturated world by building an emotional connection with your customers.