Building Your Brand Image Through Compelling Content
In a 1996 essay titled “Content Is King,” Bill Gates spelled out the reasons he believed the practice of creating and distributing content would take on exponential momentum in the coming years. Among those reasons was the all-important notion that the “basically zero marginal cost” of worldwide distribution via the Internet gave companies of all sizes a voice of potentially unlimited global range.
In the quarter century since Gates’ assertion, content has indeed proven itself to be essential to brand-building campaigns. Savvy business leaders harness its power to connect with their audiences in exciting new ways as they introduce novel ideas, promote products and services, highlight their corporate vision and establish themselves as authoritative voices in their respective fields. As long as digital platforms continue to diversify and audiences continue to engage, content will be critical to branding success.
Is your own content marketing campaign performing as well as you’d like? Here are a few ideas to help you keep it fresh and make the most of its (regal) potential:
Be strategic in your messaging
As you create content, think about your objectives — growing your company’s presence, expanding its reach, strengthening its image, generating leads, building your clientele, selling products and services, etc. Take stock of the information and expertise you can share. Then flip all of that around to your target audience’s point of view. Their time is precious: Why should they spend time absorbing the content you create? One reason: You’re going to provide them with value.
Here’s an example. Say you sell accounting services to small businesses. Your objective is to grow your business by landing more clients. You can either create content that touts your capabilities outright, or you can produce a series of articles, blogs or posts that speak directly to prospective clients’ concerns: “5 Quick Tips for Making Tax Time Easier” or “How the New Tax Laws Could Affect Your Bottom Line.” The latter approach doesn’t just have grabbing power; it also provides an opportunity for you to show your commitment to business leaders’ success and to establish your company as a trusted advisor.
As you begin making a list of content areas likely to be of interest to your audience, start by addressing the questions you answer most often when talking with customers or the public at large. Focus groups, surveys and researching your competitors’ content can help you identify hot-button topics as well.
Know — and go — where your customers are
Videos, articles, newsletters, blogs, whitepapers, podcasts and social media posts all have their place in the content continuum. That doesn’t mean they’re all appropriate for your content campaign.
The key is to identify where your audience goes for information and establish a strong presence there. If your audience is teens, for example, you might choose to connect primarily through videos posted to Instagram and other popular social media platforms. If your audience is engineers, your content is more likely to take shape as in-depth blogs or downloadable whitepapers on your website, or articles in technical publications.
Not quite sure which formats and channels resonate with a particular audience? Experiment! See if a video or podcast performs better than the blogs you’ve been posting, or measure the response you get to a post about a business product on Facebook versus LinkedIn. Never assume you know exactly where your target audience is hanging out, because online behaviors and trends are constantly evolving.
Reuse — repurpose — recycle
Unless you want to blow your entire marketing budget on original content creation, consider instead the various ways you can repackage and repurpose your content for different channels. Quality beats quantity any day of the week, so focus on your strongest messages and share them in a variety of forms.
- You may be able to get a half-dozen social media posts out of one article, blog post or video; more than that from a whitepaper. Just package the points individually rather than all in one place. Link each post to the original piece to drive readers to engage more deeply.
- Update articles as industry trends evolve. Sometimes a gentle refresh is all you need to attract additional readership and renew interest in your brand.
- Repackage any media coverage you may get as a splash on your website, a social media post or a newsletter story.
Consider all types and all relevant, reliable sourcesA successful content strategy requires a steady flow of compelling material. That doesn’t mean that every piece of content you share must be originally created within your organization. Yes, your company leaders and in-house subject-matter experts can be excellent content sources, but don’t discount the idea of curating content from other reliable industry sources, too.
Gathering and sharing relevant content from other sources can not only reinforce your reputation as a helpful information provider, but also help you build positive relationships with the content creators, since you will be driving traffic to their sites as well as your own. Review the content thoroughly to ascertain its veracity before you share. Then be sure to add your own value to the content, commenting on the subject matter and inviting readers to check out related content created by your team, visit your website for more information, or call your offices to discuss their needs.
Depending on the product or service you sell, you may also want to solicit content from customers, asking them to share their experiences using your product or offering testimonials of how your services have helped their business thrive.
This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. Any reliance on the information herein is solely and exclusively at your own risk and you are urged to do your own independent research. To the extent information herein references an outside resource or Internet site, Dollar Bank is not responsible for information, products or services obtained from outside sources and Dollar Bank will not be liable for any damages that may result from your access to outside resources. As always, please consult your own counsel, accountant, or other advisor regarding your specific situation.
Posted: June 13, 2023