We have been talking about it for well over a year now: brands must become publishers online to maintain top-of-mind awareness and build engagement with their customers and potential customers. Knowing it needs to be done and doing it are two very different things. What should you publish? Who writes it? How frequently should you post? The temptation is to create content just for the sake of creating content because you know you should. But, content should be strategic, on-brand and most of all, interesting.
“Keep in mind the fact that your content needs to attract and engage your readers. Search engines love content that is being talked about and shared, so keep the SEO benefits in mind as you plan your content and don’t forget to make it super easy for people to share your content by including social share/bookmarking tools.” Best Practices For Creating Great Content
If you are ready to produce content, but not sure where to begin, here are a few thought-starters to consider:
- Create personas for each of your customers. You may already have these for your marketing purposes. Pull them back out and study your customers again. What are things they are interested in doing that you could help them learn more about? It doesn’t have to be directly connected to your business, only loosely connected. Giving your customers something they are interested in will endear your brand to them and they will start seeing you as a general life resource.
- Think about your product or service from a benefit standpoint. What are the benefits of using the product and service that you offer? Create content around each of these benefits, not the product or service itself. Show the outcome, the happiness, the peace-of-mind, etc.
- Content is bigger than text. Video, audio and photos are infinitely more shareable than text. Tell the stories in multi-media formats.
- Who are the people behind your brand? Relationships matter: they sell the business and then keep the business. Provide your customers and potential customers a glimpse into the lives of the people that manage your brand and your business to encourage a connection and the building of a human bridge.
- How is your product made? Show the behind the scenes images and tell the back story.
- Make recommendations for complementary products or services to your own. Understanding how your product or service can be even better will encourage customers to make the investment and they will appreciate your recommendations beyond just selling your product.
- Address frequently asked questions from your customers. Consider doing this with video to convey a sense of true caring for the questions that your customers have and ask frequently.
- What are your customers searching for online that could lead them to your product or service? Make a list of these keywords and phrases and brainstorm content topics around these words/phrases.
- Think about entertainment that complements your brand: music playlists, recommended reading, movie reviews, etc. Share these with your customers.
- Share creative uses for your product or service in action. How are other customers using it? Where have that put it in their homes/offices? What events have they used your product/service for? Put your product and service in context for your potential customers.
The bottom line: you must be creating content for your brand or you are going to lose relationships and engagements to your competition.