Build Your Brand Credibility Through Content
You might have heard this message before, especially if you’ve spent any amount of time trying to establish your brand or company online, but I wanted to share my perspective on why content is so vital for your business.
Having worked with many different brands, I’ve found that the same strategies apply across the board and they all seem to be rooted in content. This word can be very intimidating, though, because either you’re not a great writer or don’t like appearing on video or don’t have the time to generate new ideas everyday.
Don’t let it overwhelm you. The idea, in my mind, is much simpler. It’s not always about how much you create but rather that what you create is authentic and informative.
Why is Content Important?
Before we get into the strategies behind the content, let’s address the first question you might be asking: why? Maintaining a blog on your website or developing a social media plan for your business might not seem like a necessity, but you might be leaving a customer acquisition source behind.
There are two key reasons why I feel it benefits every business.
1. It’s often the first impression you make on someone.
Think about how you search for a business online. Say someone recommended a place to you or you heard about a company from a friend. There’s a strong possibility you’ll hop on your phone and search that business. What are two of the top search results? Facebook pages and company websites.
So when you click on these results, will you see a business that shows off its products and communicates frequently with customers? Or how about a page that’s full of relevant and valuable information that reflects positively on your level of expertise?
All of these pieces create a professional representation of your brand to someone that finds you online. And that’s extremely important because that’s most likely the first impression you’ll make on a potential customer.
2. Search Engines need to be your friend, not your enemy.
The other factor, and it somewhat ties into the first, is content increases the SEO (search engine optimization) strength of your site. That means your page will rank higher in search results when someone searches a keyword(s).
But content also gives you another opportunity to pull someone into your website with a well-crafted blog. Utilizing best SEO practices will put you in a position to become a digital authority and put your brand in front of more people.
Content Over Branding
Now that you know why, let’s focus on how you should approach your content. One of the biggest mental hurdles to overcome is taking an approach that puts the message over the branding. By that I mean you need to focus on what you want to tell the reader rather than distracting them by making your brand the priority.
This might seem like a poor way to establish your brand but it’s quite the opposite. By presenting content that’s valuable, informative, and entertaining first, your reader will seek out the brand. That’s what I mean by building credibility through content. The more value you can provide, the stronger your credibility becomes.
With strong content, you’re able to position yourself as a brand that’s an expert on the subject, cares about its customer, and is passionate enough to put the time and energy into the process. That alone will set you apart from similar companies.
Hammering away at the customer with your logo and sales pitches provides no value. Eventually, the people you want to attract will just associate your branding with another ad and keep on moving.
The digital experience isn’t any different than the face-to-face experience. As a consumer, you value someone that puts your interests and needs before their sales goals.
Softer Calls to Action
The goal hasn’t changed so it’s still important to drive people to your website or through your doors. That’s why presenting a call to action is still part of the process. Just don’t make it your main focus when you publish content.
I like to find the best connection between the subject of my content and a product I want to introduce to the reader. Maybe I send out weekly emails with tips for building your 401(k) so I include a link to my newsletter at the end of my blog or video and ask them to subscribe. Or maybe I have a podcast episode that ties into the subject and goes into more detail so I’ll include a link to that audio that makes it easy for them to come to my website if they want to learn more.
If you’ve provided valuable content, chances are that someone will seek you out for additional information or at least recall your brand when a similar subject comes up.
Content Ideas for Your Business
Like I wrote earlier, it’s not imperative that you’re creating tons of content every day. Your team might be small and your plate overflowing and that’s fine. Try to find time once or twice each week to share a picture or a blog or a video that relates to your business.
Think about what’s on your mind or what type of subjects or issues your company dealt with recently. Something that’s important to you and top of mind will be easier to talk about and the authenticity will resonate with the consumer.
This checklist is a little more detailed but a great resource for maximizing the impact your content has in a competitive digital landscape. Save it and pull it up whenever you need a little guidance.