What’s an awareness report?
When it comes to copy, it’s important for businesses to get their language right, but what else are you doing with your content to build an audience?
Brands need to do more than have a well written website and engaging social media. The most competitive companies don’t just capitalise on the most popular trends in the media − they generate their own research in their industries and publish their own news.
They show that they’re thought leaders.
You don’t need to be a big corporation to do that though. Even if you’re a small operation, you can follow the examples of some of these bigger corporations. Whatever industry you’re in, you will have some kind of special knowledge that can − and should − be used to set you apart from the competition, particularly where it contributes to society, or shows innovation.
One such piece of content a is an awareness report. We’re going to focus on that today.
Often used in the technology space to bring attention to the developing solutions to known problems, other industries are now recognising the use of them. Property, finance, building, legal, and beyond, all have the potential to utilise awareness reports to engage audiences, boost their reputation and be serious players in the marketplace of ideas.
Showcasing, not selling
An awareness report is about knowledge. It’s an advert of sorts because it’s about showing authority in your field, but it’s not a hard sell, and it’s definitely not about your product. It’s about your buyer, their problems, and how you can solve them because of what you know.
You’re making friends.
Why should you give away your knowledge for free though?
- Because, done well, good content can build loyalty.
- It can put you in the buyers’ consideration bracket for later on.
- When put in front of the right person, it can prompt them to share your material or talk about you positively.
Content generally is about the long game of capturing the interest of an audience, and building a relationship with them.
Is this really for me?
Awareness reports are not the be all and end all of content marketing. If you don’t have specialist knowledge about your changing industry, then no, this content isn’t right for you.
But if you do, a report might form part of a wider content strategy. In fact, if you’re in an industry that is evolving, and you’ve noticed your competitors publishing their own materials about the industry, then it’s likely you ought to be contributing to the conversation.
I’m not sure I have the resources…
You don’t have to commission expensive research to create good content. In fact, many companies take for granted all the in-house knowledge they hold. Your average client could probably use a bit of education.
What approach should I take?
- Be needs oriented: what problems do your readers have that you can help them with?
- Present the problem in an understanding way. Be sympathetic.
- Think like a publisher: what is unique about your solution?
- Provide some answers to potential objections: if you’re presenting solutions that mean a change in behaviour, help them understand why it’s worth it.
- Include real-life case studies.
- Prove how it is applied in real life.
An awareness report has a higher purpose than just increasing sales. It can, of course, form part of your strategy to do this – relationship building equals sales in the long run. But the main objective should be:
- To share knowledge
- To contribute to thought leadership within your market
An awareness report’s principal aims are not to showcase your products.
Once you’ve planned your awareness report, there are a few other things to ensure, which goes for all content that you’re producing:
- Make sure it’s both useful and enjoyable to read. People will only do so much work.
- Make it easy to find. A hidden piece of content will not be discovered passively sitting on your website.
- Finally, name your experts, your writer and other contributors. Don’t blanket brand any of your content. Your knowledge will be more respected and well received if it’s attached to a human.
If you want more advice on content, like our facebook group. A new instalment on copywriting will be out next month.
Written by Jade Zienkiewicz, Content and Services Director at Phlashweb.
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