Our brand will influence the content we put out in public. If our brand is sassy or controversial, then what we say will likely be sassy or controversial. And if our brand is sophisticated, our content will be too.
What we want to avoid is sharing random thoughts and content that either says nothing about who we are or is simply fluff. In other words – avoid producing content just to get something out.
You might hear or read that you should not wait for the “perfect” moment or even the most polished content to put it out there for all to read. The key, so claims these “experts,” is to just spit out material. While it is important to remain in the forefront of your clients and customers, you will need to make sure your information is on target.
Your content has to provide value.
Consider your goals
When people are asked what the goals are for their company, the first thing that tends to come to mind is their financial goals. While this is a good idea for everyone to consider, the real key is: what are the goals that will get you there?
Think about why you are doing what you do. Ask yourself:
- What am I passionate about?
- Why did I like the idea in the first place?
- How did I form my company’s culture and values?
- What do I want to achieve on a personal and business level?
- How can I help others understand why this is important?
- How can I become the “go to” expert?
If we are sticking closely to our original values, then the financial aspect will follow.
Once you understand your goals and passion, then your marketing content will help others feel that same passion and turn to you for your expertise.
Understand your target market
The content we produce should not only speak volumes about who we are, but it should speak directly to our target market. What is the age and gender of our market? How do they like to receive information? What is it about you that will appeal to them? What are their challenges and how can you help them overcome them?
Once you understand your audience, you will be able to produce appealing information that will draw them in. You will continue to build trust with them so that they will turn to you as an expert. When we speak to our market as if we are having lunch with them – a personal, casual, one-on-one conversation – they will sense our sincerity and they will know we do understand their needs and we want to help them.
Make sure your content marketing assures your audience that you are the best company for them. You have competition, just like everyone else, so you need to prove your value. Know what your competition is doing well and what is not working. Do not slam your competition, but do show your audience you understand them better than anyone else.
Keep in mind that the reason you are trying to produce content to aid you in marketing your company is to gain trust. Nothing says doubt more than inaccurate information, misspellings and sloppy editing.
If your content does not have anything to do with your brand and who you are, people will stop paying attention. If the information does not apply to your audience, then you have gained nothing. You want content that is honest, sincere and reaches the heart of your target market.
Think about this way: do you want to be that landscaper who touts his professional and creative designs, only to see his yard has not been mowed in weeks and his own landscaping has not been touched in years? Or the mechanic who claims he is fast and can always find the problem, and yet you observe cars rusting on his front lawn?
Live up to your brand. Be the person or organization you say you are.
Do not be quick
When we rush to spread the word about who we are and what we are doing, mistakes happen. And not just spelling and grammar errors, which are a given when you are in a rush, but you might say something that should have been said differently. Your thoughts might be misunderstood and give the wrong impression.
Remember, unless you are the news media, you are not in the position to be the first one to spread the word about you. And while you cannot always fight social media, you can use it wisely to reach your goals. Everything you say online stays there, so make sure that what you say is accurate.
Check your facts
When we are quick to respond to something said or printed about our company, it is a guarantee we do not have all the facts on our side. Take some time to verify your sources and information. Whenever you publish material, make sure you either provide your resources or at least have them on hand if something is called into question later.
Just because something is said on the internet – or even on the news – does not make it true. Reliable sources will help you feel confident in the information you produce. Avoid the time-consuming duty to undo your mistakes by getting it right the first time.
(This post first appeared on LinkedIn)
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