It’s a perennial problem for executives and corporate writers tasked with blogging. How do you develop worthwhile content for your brand, expand your brand’s awareness, and develop fresh topics on a consistent basis?
Brand awareness is all about capturing the consumer’s imagination and associating your entity’s image with a positive reputation in the consumer. Whether it’s demonstrating expertise or knowledge on a subject, sharing how your organization is in some way connecting to its community, or even using humor to interest a wider audience, this is a form of communication filled with potential pitfalls, but also offering great returns for skilled storytellers.
Always Provide Value First
Let’s face it- if valuable content isn’t there, no one is going to visit your website. It’s never a wise decision to try to overemphasize your SEO to the detriment of your brand’s story. As you’re in the process of writing, ask yourself whether what you’re typing up is something you’d actually look to for advice, information, or at the very least, entertainment. If your website offers none of these things, step away from the keyboard.
David Beebe, known as The Brand Storyteller, once said, “we need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.” This is sound advice for anyone developing content for their website. Why should someone spend their limited and valuable time reading your page? Consider the reader’s self-interest when writing.
That being said, there are ways to stay relevant to your brand and produce solid content. Consider running a regular search on certain keywords associated with your brand and see if there’s a relevant story you can tie in with your writing.
For instance, if you’re representing a fast food restaurants brand and a new study found that casual dining may provide cognitive benefits for some older adults, you may want to write about the study. You could offer some insight into your own brand’s relationship with older communities and tie that in with the study.
Know Yourself and Your Brand
It’s a good idea to develop an inventory of assets, specifically related to your brand and its reputation. If you know yourself, it helps you to decide how to project your image as a brand. A government entity blogging, for instance, needs to maintain a level of professionality and be aware of any guidance or parameters issued by their agencies and departments; that can be limiting.
At the same time, there’s even government agencies that have learned that being a little more personable and direct with the taxpayer can earn them greater respect, trust, and interest in future updates.
Humor can be a great way to connect with people, but it also risks offending an audience. If your brand isn’t known for being funny, you don’t necessarily need to push it to connect. Sometimes simply being true to yourself and your values will be enough; sincerity is always a good trait.
Consider the User Experience
It’s trendy to talk about user interface and user experience (UI/UX) nowadays, however it’s something to take into consideration. Do people know what to do when they visit your site? Is there a clear call to action or navigation that guides them seamlessly through your pages? If they read a blog article on your page, does that help guide them through your purchase funnel?
Look at your website like potential customers will look at your website. Make sure that you have quality web hosting so that your site is dependably online and has reliable upload times. People will quickly abandon your well curated content if they are left waiting, so you might invest some time into looking at online guides on how to set up website hosting to figure out what the best fit is for your site for optimal user experience.
Invite Influencer Guest Bloggers
If there’s a product out there, someone is likely already blogging about it. Try reaching out to influencers within your industry and see if they’re willing to do some occasional heavy lifting.
Social media influencers have a built-in audience that are likely already interested in products within your industry. Connecting with influencers will provide them with a new outlet for their thoughts, enrich your content base, and help you connect to new markets primed for your brand.
Maintain a Consistent Message
Remember that it’s not necessary to comment on every subject. It’s hard to stay focused and respected if your brand is weighing in on the latest political dust-up in one post and then offering a reduced, one-time only price on an item in the product lineup in the next.
It’s probable that neither subject is necessarily the best focus for content intended to raise awareness of your brand. How is the first related to your brand, unless you’re a political consultant? Isn’t the second a little too narrow of a focus for a brand, and better intended for general advertising? Your blog tells your audience who you are, what you think, and what you specialize in. Be sure it’s targeted correctly and consistently developed, or you risk alienating any reader base you may establish.
About the Author
Shawn Humphrey is the former social media manager for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a technical writer for banks and tech firms, and part of the content team at Magnus Opus. He’s currently working on his second novel and enjoys singing soul music and visiting his son.