Custom content is your brand’s multiplier. Here is how to create it

Zest guests' marketing takes March 4, 2020
Hero image: Zesters Write: Custom content is your brand's multiplier. Here is how to create it, by Moss Clement, Founder at


Custom content is your brand’s multiplier. Here is how to create it

Are you using custom content to engage your readers? Does branded content make up part of your content marketing strategy? Whether you’re a content marketer or a small business owner who’s selling products or offering services, content is crucial to the success of your digital marketing tactics.

You regularly need to provide valuable content pieces that connect with your target buyers and add value to their lives. So, providing useful materials is necessary for growing your brand—and you owe it to your readers.

96% of respondents admit that their customers consider their brands to be trusted resources, and that’s because 90% of B2B content marketers give precedence to their audiences’ needs when producing content.

Clip from B2B Content Marketing 2019 report by CMI: Chart representing data that 96% of the most successful B2B content marketers agree that their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource.
Source: B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends–North America, Content Marketing Institute

However, as more and more material is being published, the competition has become intense. As a result, many businesses are finding it challenging to create useful content. In fact, 65% of marketers find it challenging to create content that engages their audiences. According to OptinMonster, 60% of respondents cannot produce content frequently.

Visual representation of statistics from Optinmonster. 

Biggest content marketing challenges your company has faced? 65% of marketers find it a challenge to produce engaging content; 62% don't know how to measure the RIO of their campaigns; 60% say that they can't produce content consistently.
Source: 85 Fascinating Content Marketing Statistics To Make You A Marketing Genius, Optinmonster

But there are options available for scaling your content marketing strategy with custom content.

Here are a few of the choices you have:

  1. Hire a qualified freelance writer to help with your content-writing jobs (several influencers publish quality content on their blogs frequently, but they don’t do the writing themselves. They employ the services of freelance writers).
  2. Employ an in-house content team to handle your content strategy in ways that will help your readers and potential customers.
  3. Learn how to create quality custom content that is beneficial to your audience. (If you choose this option, you must try to balance learning and working to improve growth).

You may wonder why you have to go through either of these processes. It’s because you need to create content pieces that are unique to your brand and that engage your readers. This is where custom content enters the picture.

What Is Custom Content?

Custom content is brand material or branded content created by an organization for the sole aim of building connections with existing customers. It helps to strengthen your brand message and convey the value of your services to customers.

From CMI a circle graph:
Percentage of B2B Respondents Who Use Content Marketing
9% No
91% yes
"Content marketing is defined as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience--and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action." Note: Of the nonusers, 54% said they plan to launch a content marketing effort within 12 months...
Source: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends–North America, Content Marketing Institute

Put differently, branded content is how the company shares its professionalism and proficiency with customers. Thus, the focus here is not the brand but the existing customer. The content could be any material, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • White papers
  • Videos
  • Podcast
  • Etc.

It should be any content that is relevant to your community. However, note that custom content is not content marketing. These two marketing strategies have a remarkable resemblance, but they are very different.

What Is The Difference? Content Marketing versus Custom Content

As professionals, you already know that content marketing is the creation and publishing of different content types, including custom content for attracting new consumers and keeping them. The phrase “attracting new customers” highlights the fact that content marketing as a tool is used to draw in new prospects and create awareness for your brand.

But, custom content focuses on engaging existing consumers and building connections with them. It can also bring in new prospects.

Why Is Custom Content Important to Your Marketing Strategy?

You need custom content in your marketing mix because it can help your business build online authority. Generally, content marketing enables brands to attract new customers and drive more web traffic. Custom content amplifies your marketing campaign by offering customers helpful information that will generate more interest in your brand.

And since branded-content engages the reader, you can bring forth more quality leads through referrals from existing clients. That is why, according to research, over 80% of engaged customers would promote their favorite business brands to family and friends.

Also, these consumers are more likely to spend 2x more money than those without a connection to the brand. More benefits of using branded-content in your content strategy include:

  • Custom content makes your brand stand out from the competition.
  • Branded content improves brand visibility through several marketing platforms, including social media channels.
  • Consumers who watch branded video material react more positively than those who watch regular commercials. (They are 62% more likely to show positive reactions.)
  • About 67% of respondents say that branded content is more influential.
  • Custom content provides added value and guidance to customers.
  • It helps connect your business objectives with your customers’ needs.
  • Custom content is more engaging.
  • It helps to retain existing clients and enhance their interest in your offerings.
  • It builds your brand authority.
  • It builds a community around your site. (That is why 90% of consumers prefer to engage with brands through custom content.)

As a result, by creating custom content, you set yourself up as an expert in your industry, thereby attracting the right prospects. Your target market will rely on you as a trusted source of information.

What Are the Characteristics of Custom Content?

Did you know that content is one of the most efficient ways to promote your brand? It is no wonder that 90% of marketers are using content to sell their products or services. They’re also using content to support existing clients and eventual customers.

So what are the features of branded content that stands out from the noise? Let us look at a few traits of outstanding custom content.

Shane Barker, "Becoming a Zest Contributor exposed my content to a community of highly engaged marketing pros" banner (Contribute your content)

1. Custom Content Must Focus on Your Ideal Reader (User-Oriented Content)

Consumers don’t care about your brand, but instead, they care about their problems and how to solve them. Therefore, be the solution to the issues they’re trying to resolve. While other brands channel their energy into talking about themselves, tailor your articles to the users’ needs.

Help them understand how to deal with their pain points and make their lives better. The concept of emphasizing the advantages of your product or service is not wrong on its own; however, it is not sufficient.

But helping your audience to realize that you understand what they’re dealing with via the content you create will make your business more credible. Consequently, follow these simple steps to produce remarkable custom content:

  • Write in your brand voice: Your brand voice is one of the most vital elements of your business. It enables you to communicate your values and makes you recognizable quickly. Moreover, your tone of voice can create a wholesome experience of a brand-audience relationship.
  • Write in your audience’s language: Your buyer persona embraces both intellectuals and those with low intellect who may be on the same marketing journey. Given this, you should convey your message in ways that both groups can quickly understand. This process involves understanding their pain, how your customers think and feel, and how you can make them feel better.

More Tips to Create User-focus Content

  • Use rhetorical questions in your copy to influence your readers: Rhetorical questions work incredibly well because they can persuade consumers and get them thinking about your brand. It is a ploy you can use to emphasize your point, urge your audience to engage in thoughts, and subtly influence them to action.
  • Ensure your content is concise: Don’t get consumers confused with unnecessary wordings. Instead, make your post concise and to the point. To ensure that you’re giving your readers valuable content, keep your blog content brief and compelling.
  • Include calls-to-action in your posts: One of the best ways to encourage your readership to take the desired action is by adding calls-to-action in your content copy. It tells customers which action you want them to take after engaging with your post.
  • Request customer feedback: It is essential to ask your audience for feedback. Why? Requesting feedback will help you to identify pressing issues that you may not be aware of. Also, gathering consumers’ comments shows that you value their opinions. This marketing tactic will help to amplify the bond between your brand and your customers.

2. Custom Content Must Be Share-worthy

Low-value content pieces rarely attract social shares. Create content that people will share naturally, without persuasion. The best way to produce share-worthy material is to define what your ideal reader loves. Pinpoint the type of content that engages them.

When you’ve identified these topics, use them to create pieces that conform to your brand objectives and messaging. Your readers will be more likely to share these pieces across social media sites.

3. Custom Content Should Have a Competitive Advantage

One fantastic way to produce outstanding branded content is to perform competitor research. This information will allow you to pinpoint what kind of content is doing well for your competitors. This step means evaluating competitors’ content across different marketing channels. It’s also important to examine how your target market is interacting with their posts.

Competitor research is a remarkable way to gather useful information about the posts your followers love the most. Use the data you’ve collected to produce highly informative custom content. Hence, use these steps when conducting competitor analysis:

  1. Get an Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheets, Evernote, Trello, or your preferred content marketing tool and create a list of your top ten competitors. Track them on social media to see what they’re posting.
  2. Monitor their posts’ performance over time and outline the best performing content.
  3. Write down the type of posts that generate the highest engagement (reshares, likes, and comments).
  4. Use the pieces of information to your advantage and improve on their best-performing content to establish your authority. Your audience and Google will love you.

4. Content Should Serve a Purpose for Your Business and Customers

The primary goal of content marketing is to establish brand awareness. Although publishing quality content regularly will help attract new readers, the overall aim is to build awareness for your products or services.

Thus, the materials you create must serve a purpose for your business and consumers. It should be attractive to your target market and relevant to their needs. Besides, your content should be able to solve issues relating to business growth and set you up as an authority in your niche.

As a result, your buyer persona and prospective clients will see you as their go-to resource for solutions.

5 Practical Ways to Produce Compelling Custom Content

Before you start creating branded materials for publishing, you need to bootstrap your website for an unforgettable user experience (UX). User experience is a critical Google ranking factor, so make it count!

Here’s what to do:

  1. Create and design a user-friendly blog or website.
  2. Optimize your site for SEO.
  3. Make your site mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive.
  4. Publish useful and informative content that adds value to your audience.
  5. Make your posts highly engaging and entertaining.

Your site should have these attributes to help improve your visibility on organic searches. It will also grow your audience. Nevertheless, notice that in the 5th step, I highlighted the need to publish highly engaging and entertaining blog content.

Here is how to create engaging customer-focused content in four easy steps:

1. Know Your Marketing Persona.

Marketing persona (also known as customer persona and buyer persona) is a representation of the significant characteristics of a group of your target audience according to data analysis. Knowing your marketing persona enables you to provide needed value that aligns with the needs of each segment. As a result, you will be able to identify with consumers and serve them better.

How to Know Your Buyer Persona

Understanding your customer persona is not rocket science; it involves studying your analytics dashboard. You can also use questions in the form of interviews to understand your community. If you choose to analyze your analytic dashboard, try to figure out the customers’:

  • Demographics
  • Buyer behaviors
  • Interests
  • Needs and challenges
  • Aspiration
  • Goals

With this data, you create an efficient website user experience, deliver custom content more effectively, and engage them better. For example, have a look at the sample buyer persona template below from the SingleGrain blog.

It shows a young entrepreneur, Eduardo, with all the vital details you need to create custom content that will connect better with him.

Buyer Persona Template from Single Grain describing Eduardo Entrepreneur
Demographics: Male, age 22. Lives in San Francisco... Biggest Fears: Feeling like he's falling behind and failing at being a "young entrepreneur"... Overview: Always on the go and thinking of new business ideas. Doesn't have any full-time staff... Challenges or Pain Points: Creating a website on a small budget for each new business. Focusing on one business at a time...
Other personal categories on the template include: Goals and Motivations, Common Objections, and Hobbies.
Source: The Ultimate Guide to Developing Buyer Personas (with Templates!), Single Grain

Therefore, knowing your marketing persona and creating a buyer persona should be an element of your content marketing strategy.

2: Understand User Search Intent

To make the most of custom content, you need to apply SEO best practices to your digital marketing tactics. It will help drive organic traffic and generate quality leads because 56% of web users visit local business websites each month.

Research by BrightLocal also revealed that the average business appears in over 1,000 monthly searches, and 84% of those are from discovery searches.

BrightLocal circle graph: 
Proportion of Direct and Discovery searches per Google My Business Listing
16% direct searches
84% discovery searches
Source: Google My Business Insights Study, BrightLocal

Because of this, SEO should be prominent in your content marketing strategy. But to make gains with SEO and generate more leads, understanding search intent is essential.

Search intent is the main objective of the searcher, the reason behind the search. When you perform a search query on Google, for example, you have a specific goal in searching that might differ from any other person.

So, based on your searches, Google bot can translate the intent behind your search and present search results that align with that particular search intent. Therefore, understanding user search intent can help you create custom content that generates more traffic and leads.

3. Optimize With the Right Keywords

Creating content without the right keywords is NOT an excellent digital marketing practice. Content marketing drives web traffic, thereby increasing engagement and sales. That’s primarily because your posts get found on search results.

In view of this, you should optimize your posts with the keywords that your customers are searching on the web. Using the right keyword terms will improve your SEO strategy, engagement, and traffic. For this reason, 61% of B2B marketers say their top inbound marketing priority is improving SEO and growing their organic presence.

So to create custom content that engages your audience, the first step is to perform research to find related keywords that your ideal customers are searching on Google. Look for long-tail keywords as they are less competitive but have a higher search volume.

Also, use semantic (LSI) keywords to boost your content SEO. Depending on your website DA, I suggest you aim for keywords with SEO difficulty under 50. Make a list of such terms and strategically add them to your posts. The results can be incredible.

4. Create Compelling Content That Resonates With Your Customers

Now that you understand your buyer persona search intent and have prepared a list of the most relevant keywords for optimizing your posts, it’s time to create your custom content. But to ensure that your material engages your customers, you must make it compelling enough to keep them coming back.

How Can You Produce Compelling Custom Content for Your Customers?

Use the information you gathered above when you were studying your marketing persona. Make the most of that data and produce blogs or other content types that connect well with existing consumers.

Also, if customers made inquiries relating to a post on your blog, social media, email, or concerning a product or service, provide the answer in the form of custom content. Use it to strengthen your material. There is no better way to produce more helpful blog content than to use user-generated content.

Your target market asks the questions, and you offer solutions in content format. Moreover, you can conduct surveys to get into their minds. It helps you to know how they feel about your brand and also which type of content will perform well.

5. Use Content Marketing Tools

You have successfully created and published your branded-content. Now what? You need to take it to your audience through content distribution and promotion channels. So share your posts on different marketing channels to reach a broader audience.

It will aid in driving more traffic, increasing engagement, and generating more leads. To publish blog posts or articles on your blog regularly is okay, but it’s not good enough. Why?

Here’s why:

Your blog is only one content distribution channel that your clients already know. But other people may or may not discover your site. More so, since content marketing is intensely competitive, you need other avenues for content distribution to support your blog.

Put differently, don’t depend only on your blog if you want to make significant progress. Hence, here are a few content distribution platforms you can start using today:

By sharing your posts on these content platforms, you will be able to drive more web traffic, attract more leads, build quality backlinks, and boost search ranking.

Banner ad: Your boosted content will get 10x more clicks [Get it here]

Wrapping Up: What Is Custom Content?

Content marketing is an integral part of digital marketing that marketers cannot ignore. Adding custom content marketing into your marketing mix is a profitable venture. However, some business owners are always intimidated by the mere concept of creating custom content.

The good news is that creating this material is not a challenging procedure. By following the tips in this article, you will be able to produce outstanding custom content that excites your customers and attracts new prospects.

Additionally, ensure that you monitor content interaction and vital metrics to know how your posts are performing. Do you want to add more tips and insights? We would be glad to hear from you!

About the author

Moss Clement is the founder of Moss Media, a premium content writing service, and also the content manager of Writers Per Hour. He is a b2b freelance writer and blogger who is working closely with B2B marketers, helping​ several startups grow their online presence in the digital marketing space. By delivering highly informative content pieces​, Moss has assisted small and medium-sized businesses in building their online reputation.

Connect with him onTwitter, Instagram, &LinkedIn.