Why Brand Strategy is Crucial to Content Marketing

How Denali Group’s Brand Attributes Drove Successful Content Marketing

Today, content marketing is all the rage. We’re all eager to position ourselves as thought leaders with whitepapers, webinars, blogs, newsletters, tweets and the like. But if your content isn’t grounded in your brand strategy, then what’s all the noise about? After all, customers do make choices, and we are in the business of persuading them to choose us.

Old-school branding experts used to say, “Each customer touch-point is the brand.” It’s no different today. Just because we can reach out with abandon doesn’t mean we should, at least without a game plan. This doesn’t mean that your content should overtly pitch the benefits of your brand. It means that your content should be thoughtful and reflect your strategic advantage.

So, what’s the game plan? Do your homework. Develop a strategy. Deliver relevant and original content. Here’s a story of my brand-driven content marketing work with Denali Group, where I ran marketing.

Denali Group wanted to win more procurement transformation engagements. So, marketing did its homework. Research focused on the customer, the company, and the competition. Prospects rated three key brand attributes as most important in making a procurement transformation purchase decision: being innovative, collaborative, and faster and more efficient. And, primary and secondary research revealed that these same attributes distinguished Denali Group from the competition.

Next, marketing developed the brand strategy. Denali Group’s differentiating brand attributes became: innovative, collaborative, and faster and more efficient. A new customer and benefit-driven tagline was launched – Expanding Procurement’s Value.

And, a content-driven marketing initiative was devised with innovation as the theme. We conducted primary research on procurement innovation and communicated relevant and original findings in a variety of ways. Denali Group partners presented research insights and innovation predictions at our own exclusive events, speaking engagements, and webinars, reaching hundreds of prospects. A procurement innovation whitepaper series was distributed via subscription email and website downloads. The three-part series drove 1282 downloads in the first six months, which was an 80% increase over downloads for our top three papers of the previous six months.

Well-conceived content marketing should be a core component of business-to-business marketing efforts. It worked for Denali Group, where content driven by a differentiating brand attribute dramatically increased whitepaper downloads.