Working with clients across the B2C Lifestyle sector, I love to ask why they do what they do and watch reactions. Some people can answer in a heartbeat and others furrow their brows. Many people or brands know what and how they do what they do, but not the why they do it.
Fully understand your brand
Let’s use me for example, because that’s what I know best. My name is Sally. Working extensively in content-related roles and blogging in my spare time are all part of my main objective in both my professional and personal life: to discover, share and encourage community and culture. Everything I do comes from a profound love for sharing. How I do that is by offering what I have to people; ideas for great content, help tips and advice. The outcome of what I do builds great, long-lasting relationships. People in general don’t buy what you do, they buy into why you do it.
This interesting video below from Simon Sinek has become my ‘go-to’ video of the year and further fortifies that before going any further, we must know why we do what we do. Once defined and branded, only then can we be best placed to get ahead in the content revolution.
Encourage channels to speak
I almost think it’s worth developing a tag line (also known as a sticky message) for all to chant like a mantra. Something simple and easily transferable like ‘I believe in sharing. I believe in sharing. I BELIEVE IN SHARING.’ Encourage everyone to think it, say it, shout it. Over communicate it to the point that the sound of it makes your internal teams roll their eyes. Tedious perhaps, but you’ll find everyone is on the same page.
For your content contributors and creators, handy brand guidelines ought to do the trick, including:
- Your tagline in giant letters
- A guide on tone of voice
- Considerations for online content – seasonality, trends, topical subject lines
KnOW THY Customer
So you know who your audience is, right? If you don’t, go back to the beginning of How to Win Bloggers and Influence People.
Now, for those of you who do know your audiences. Get to know them as if they were your family. What are their habits? Their behaviours? What questions are they asking? Where do they like to go? Where are they likely to go next?
Follow them along their journeys and go where they go. It’s a bit like stalking but they can’t see you.
If you can get to know them really well, you can even start to pre-empt their actions. You want to provide content for them at every step of the journey from awareness, to consideration through to conversion and, eventually, loyalty.
Talk, Talk, Talk
A common misconception is that content is something written like an article or an infographic but consider the following as content too:
- Press Releases
- Case Studies
These, and more, all fall under the realm of content as they are assets that can be created with the intention of building awareness of your brand, supporting the considerations of your product competitively and then simply guiding to conversion. Brands are moving into the realm of becoming publishers*- and why shouldn’t they? Content needs to come directly from the authoritative source.
By talking to each of your internal teams, look at how you can create and distribute each asset, pushing it through your different channels and through a cycle of analysis to see how it performs, constantly moving in this way to challenge and test new formats. Your content marketing strategy is not a series of campaigns but instead, the integration of content across your internal teams, always in line with your brand message and strategy.
In short, it is the union of your brand and its message across all disciplines. A tall task perhaps, but no better place to start than now.
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