5 Things: Developing Content That Works for Your Brand
Updated: May 15
Read any article about marketing your business, or speak with any marketing professional, and you'll hear a lot about content. In today's environment, developing your own content -- articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, etc. -- is key to brand visibility.
But as anyone who's spent a few minutes online knows, there's a lot of bad content out there. Aside from the obvious -- good grammar, avoiding typos, making sure the information is useful and interesting -- how do you ensure you're developing quality content?
1. Take a Stand
Having a distinct point of view helps your brand - and raises your visibility. If you write a bland piece that appeals to everyone, chances are, no one will do much with it after reading it. They'll nod their heads and move on. But if you advocate for a particular position, and appeal to your readers' guts - there's a much better chance they'll share, comment and interact. Appealing to everyone often results in appealing to no one.
This is a really smart marketing strategy for entrepreneurs, especially. Founders who build their own personality online - through a unique point of view - can help drive more interest in their business, and help shape the company's brand personality. Don't be afraid to take a stand and get attention. It will result in more leads.
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2. Speak to Your Audience's Motivations
If you're solving a major pain point - start there. You want your audience to see your content, identify themselves as your primary audience, and reach out to you directly to learn more.
We start every client engagement with an audience identification exercise. We literally draw out all the attributes of an ideal customer: who they are, what they earn, where they work, what the worry about, etc. This is a useful exercise for any business - small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs, especially, can benefit from this as it keeps you focused. In terms of content development, it can be a lifesaver. Once you know who you're writing to attract, you can tailor your content to them. They'll feel seen, heard and appreciated - which is definitely how you want them to feel about your brand.
3. Use Current Customers to Speak to Potential New Ones
One of our client's most-read, shared and interactive pieces came from a series of interviews he did with current customers where he shared their advice. The piece was shared widely and resulted in a lot of new leads.
Testimonials and case studies are also invaluable here. Writing up a "news" story about a customer's pain point, why they chose your product to solve it, and specific results (cost savings, improved operations, etc.) tells a great story - and helps the prospect see why they should be working with you.
4. Remember a Call to Action
You're not doing this for fun. Remember to ask your audience to do something -- call you, share their own story, refer a friend, something.
Use active words and urgency to drive behavior. "Act now!" "Are you ready to change your business?" "Start saving today!"
5. Make Sure It Resonates
Often we're too close to our content. Read it with a detached eye -- then ask someone else to read it, and embrace their feedback. You want to make sure people "get" where you are coming from.
Go back to your audience identification exercise. If your prospects aren't reading your content and thinking to themselves, "hey, they're talking about me," then your content isn't doing its job. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and write for them. That's a sure strategy for winning content.
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