What do think of when you hear the word Branding? Usually the answer is logos, slogans and colors because these are the typical things that people associate with a companies online and offline identity. But what about content? In the age of B2B and content marketing, however, content can be a powerful force for shaping your brand and expanding your online presence. So here are some good ground rules to follow when branding your content.
Content isn’t always Branded Content
Lets face it, just because you post an article on your company blog doesn’t mean its branded. It is important to differentiate between the two to reap the benefits of having branded content. A good definition of what branded content is any content that is used in the place of traditional advertising mediums. This usually takes the form of advertorials, product placements and sponsored post. While all content that businesses use will be branded in some, generally, the branding is too subtle and should never take away from the main message of the content.
Care about your Audience
Content can be created with two reasons in mind: either with the mindset of attracting new/existing visitors, links and shares and overall sales, or you’re coming with the mindset of helping visitors. If you’re helping, your content needs to meet the needs, desires and pain points of your audience. If helping your audience is what you want, then nurture an environment of caring. Caring individuals, caring organizations and caring processes. When you care about your audience, it reflects in all the work you do and that includes the content you produce.
Understand your Value
What is your company known for? What differentiates you from the competition? What are the core values of your company or project? These are the question you must understand in order to reach your audience and know what they think of you. If you want to present yourself in a certain way, then change the companies values to reflect that. All the content that you produce, whether it be on social media, email newsletters or on your website, should hit the big points that you want others to understand about you and your ideas. This means that the people in charge of creating, editing and distributing your content needs to be a master of your brands values.
Can your Brand be your Content
Content is a powerful tool in getting new customers to come to your site or click on that CTA. Of course your content can be your brand! There are whole sites dedicated to what people write and that is their brand. WordPress and Hubspot are two companies whose entire premise is built on the content that you or someone else provides. Hubspot specifically invest heavily in content creation, and it shows by the how well crafted it is. This type of model can really work for anyone, but by consistently promoting relevant content to your audience, you brand will become useful content.
I think that these points give a good general idea of how to craft specific content that will not only make your brand seem more credible and useful but also how to avoid some of the common pitfalls when it comes to branding specific content on your site.