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The Secret Behind a Successful Brand Lift

October 6, 2015

Content marketers have a new challenge laid out in front of them — to try and gauge how much they have contributed to something called as the “brand lift”.

It’s an elusive concept, this one of ‘brand lift’. Some call it the ultimate performance metric today but only few brands — the likes of Coca-Cola and Nike — have been able to successfully dole out any real proof of the same.

What’s the fuss about brand lift?

Brand lift is all about generating positive brand interactions. And by positive interactions you pretty much take into account anything and everything positive that a customer says or does with regards to a brand — moving from just being aware of your existence to actively looking you up online, or from being a mere brand browser to a first time buyer.

If you have been able to successfully stimulate a person to actively pursue a brand, you have just caused a brand lift.

How do you measure a brand’s lift?

Essentially, brand lift suggests a series of positive events in favor of your brand. It is typically measured across 5 stages of interactions:

  • Brand Awareness (of product or offering)
  • Brand Opinion (about the quality, perceived and objective value of the offering)
  • Brand Recall (how well and how regularly you remember the brand)
  • Brand Favorability (the likelihood of you recommending the brand to someone)
  • Brand Preference (the likelihood of you purchasing from the brand)

Any increase at any of these interaction points suggest a ‘lift’ or improvement in how much interest a brand has been able to generate among its people.

Why does brand lift matter so much?

Tracking how many conversions have occurred through a piece of content isn’t all that difficult today. Plenty of web analytics tools give you a bang on count of what’s your audience share, number of email subscribers, number of engaged subscribers, how many leads you have generated and nurtured, and even the exact revenue you have been to generate from these leads.

But numbers tell a sobering story of how much real ‘value’ has the brand really generated for the customer. After all, in an ideal world, the content exists for the sake of the consumer and not the brand.

Brand lift is where any content provides its real value.

To cause a brand to be perceived positively, to make someone favor it above all else, to make them advocate for it and, in some cases even evangelize it, is how potent a good piece of content can be. And this bit is possibly the most elusive and difficult thing to measure in the world of content marketing.

Today there is a startling realization among digital marketers that no brand is built over financial quarters. It takes years for a brand to be built and many more go into managing it and sustaining it. So instead of routinely investing in short-term sales oriented goals, a systematic investment towards long term returns is what will really direct the course of a brand these days.

Resultantly, deriving competitive advantage through great content is the go-to mantra today. And for good reason too. Content levels the playing field for both small enterprises and big powerhouses. Either can lead the game if they invest mindfully in developing engaging and relevant piece of content across the board. And this is what makes content marketing such a powerful ecosystem to work with.

What kind of content creates brand lift?

Relevant and Interactive content. And here’s how.

Look up any successful brand launch in the last 2 years and you are sure to find traces of impressive content across each customer touch point — drip campaigns that appeal to a state of mind at every point of digital interaction with a brand, relevant social media posts, blog features and so on. Remember that time you added something to a cart, but did not buy? Did you happen to get a sweet email from this brand asking why you didn’t and if they could be of any further assistance?

It is through thought-out content gestures like these that really good brands have leveraged the power of content to not only drive conversion, but build good will, care and positive image in the minds of its people.

Scientifically speaking, our perceptions are, after all, based on our experience with things. Ergo, favorable experiences lead to positive perceptions and vice versa. And what better way to spin some charm than will with a conversation carried out well.

There is a famous saying by Plato which says, “Those who tell stories rule the society.” And this statement could not be truer than it is today. This is because stories draw attention, makes people take notice of you and stems relationships. People care because you have a good story to tell. And that’s what any brand wants today — to be cared for.

5 Key things to know about good content and brand lift:

  1. Great content creates great brand impression and happy interactions.
  2. The more engaged your people; the more they are likely to care for your (brand’s) existence.
  3. The more your people care, the more actively they will try to uphold you, promote you and stand by you.
  4. The more people care for you, the longer they are likely to remain by your side.
  5. And to keep your people by your side, always give them something to believe in — gestures that say that you care about them and their happiness just as much.

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