Content can take you and your brand from an unknown nobody to a credible expert, that people trust and buy from to better themselves or their business. So it’s important that you correctly use your content to shine the best light on you and your business. Your content can truly make you or break you and your business.
Content is how you share your experience and knowledge with the world.
So, how exactly do you use content to build your brand?
There are various methods, techniques, and strategies for using content to build your brand. These can be simplified into three steps: creating, distributing, and tracking your content.
Using these three steps properly will help your content to build your brand for you.
Step One: Create
There’s an enormous variety of content that you can create. The goal with this step is to determine which type you want to create, the purpose for creating it, and who is going to receive it. It’s essential here to understand who your ideal customer is.
What content are they looking for?
In what format do they want that content?
Types of content you can create include:
- How-to – This is most often a systematic process that you share with your audience, giving instructions on how to do something.
- Q & A – Use this type of content if you have a list of questions commonly asked by your audience. Answer the questions once and share with everyone.
- Case Study – Share how you or your team, products or services have helped a client. Use anecdotes and statistics.
- Testimonial – Let you clients tell your potential clients how you have helped them.
- Company News – Share information from behind the scenes to show how you operate. Prove that you are not just in it for the quick money.
- Why – Let your audience know why you believe a certain way, or why they should choose you and your business to help their needs.
Your purpose will help you determine which type of content you want to create. It will also help you determine how you want to deliver the content. Ask yourself, “What action do I want my audience to take afterward?”
Who is your Audience?
Depending on your audience, you may decide a specific type of content is better suited. If they are beginners, a step-by-step process may be best. If they have purchased from you before, letting them know why the next product may help them go even further and how it may benefit them.
Step Two: Distribute
Once you know what type of content you are creating, how are you going to distribute that content? The answer to this question will determine which type of media you use and again, who your audience is.
Types of Distribution Media include:
- Video – Choose between live-streaming or pre-recorded video platforms and devices.
- Audio – This is great for podcasts or sharing information with your audience through a teleconference.
- White paper – If you are sharing technical information, this is a perfect format.
- Blog – Share general information with the public. This is the ideal platform to use to share content in various formats.
- Newsletter – Hard copy or email.
- Article – This can be used in many forms, from advertising to detailed blog posts.
- Infographic – This is a great way to show statistics in a highly visual format.
- Guides – Dive into detail about a topic that your audience wants to know more about.
- Worksheets – Use these if your clients need something they can use for their own clients or as fill-in-the-blanks for learning.
- Checklists – Great for easy to follow systematic directions for a desired outcome.
- Templates – Combines information for creating worksheets, guides, and checklists to walk your clients through a process that works.
- Posters – This classic media form allows your client to have something tangible.
The type of distribution media you use requires that you know your audience well and that you are clear about what you want to share with them.
You may even decide that you can share the same thing three or more ways to connect with even more potential clients.
As a generalisation, if your content is directed towards millennials, you may want to use more videos and audios. However, if you are targeting the baby boomers, a whitepaper delivered in the mail often works well. Although this is something you may want to test as it can vary greatly from one market to the next.
Step Three: Tracking
In this example, the goal of using content is to build your brand – this means that you need to know how your business is growing.
Whether you like to crunch numbers or not, you will need some form of tracking to see how effective each type of content and distribution method is for you.
It will take time to generate useful data, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying something new.
There are many free analytic tools available to you. (Google Analytics is a good place to start). You can also hire someone to do the tracking for you. Whichever route you take, you need to know your end goal. You will need to determine what it is that you want your audience to know or do once they consume your information.
At first, the idea of creating, distributing and tracking content may seem overwhelming, so much so that it doesn’t get done. But once you get started – in even the most simplest way possible – you’ll soon start to get a better understand of what your audience is looking for and how to give this to them, without your content marketing taking up all your time and money.