We all know how important our branding is. It’s more than just a fun novelty, it’s integral to your business’ success. Treat it as an add on or a box checking activity and you will deprive your business of its myriad benefits. A brand is far more than a catchy tagline, a pretty logo or a unified color scheme in your physical presence. Sure, branding incorporates all of those elements but it goes much deeper than any of that… or at least it should. Branding has its cosmetic considerations but it is also an encapsulation of everything your business is, everything it does and everything it stands for.
Branding makes a promise to your customers. It sets out your stall and demonstrates the values and ideals upon which your business was built. As such it is represented in every aspect of your business; operations from the way in which your employees interact with your customers to the layout of your website and the speed with which you pick up the phone. It’s in the quality of the raw materials you use in your manufacturing. It’s in the appearance of your physical premises on the outside as well as the inside. Would you want to hang your sign on damaged or rusty steel pipes? Heck no! That’s why you go to VarnerPipe.com. It’s in the ingenuity of the creative solutions that you come up with to solve your customers’ problems. Think about when you meet someone special wither in the world of work, friendship or romance. What qualities make them attractive? Sure, their physical appearance may play a part but there are plenty of beautiful people with whom we’d rather not associate. It’s their deeds, their actions, their sincerity, their beliefs or their ideals. All of these things represent that person’s character and your brand is just that… A character for your business.
So… how do we go about giving our business character? Do we give it a cute mascot? Sure, that could work. Do we build the business around ourselves, tailoring its image to fit our own? That can also work, but be aware that if you take this step, your personal fate will be inextricably tied to that of your business. If something happens to tarnish your business’ reputation, yours will inevitably be tarnished as well. A big part of lending character and personality to your business is giving your brand a voice. That’s where content marketing comes in. here we’ll look at how content creation can help to build your brand while also improving your visibility by creating an organic boost in your Search Engine Optimization.
Quality or quantity… You pretty much have to invest in both
In order to boost your SEO and improve your online visibility it’s essential that your business posts regular content. And by regular we mean daily. Does this require care, effort, dedication and attention? It sure does! However, far too many small businesses including bloggers looking to turn pro place too much emphasis on quantity over quality. As such they outsource to dirt cheap overseas content farms for generic filler content written by writers for whom English is an additional language. As such the content you post on your site may be poorly researched, inaccurate, misleading or just poorly written.
In order to get content marketing right and ensure that your brand has a consistent, authoritative voice your content needs to be entrusted to someone with an intimate working knowledge of your business and familiarity with the principles behind your brand. That means paying a member of your staff to create content in accordance with a clearly defined content strategy. You should also make the time to generate some content yourself every now and then. After all, your unique experience, knowledge and insight are your USP, and the one thing that no competitor can ever replicate. Not only will you add depth and dimension to the voice of your brand, you’ll also establish yourself as an expert in the field. If you do choose to outsource, at least entrust your content to a company that hires talented writers who will write accessible yet factually dense content specifically tailored to the voice of your brand.
Tell a story with your social media
We human beings are psychologically predisposed to love stories. We literally can’t get enough of them. We lap them up on TV, in books, in movies and even in video games. As such, your social media presence can really win over prospective customers or clients if you use it to tell a story. Instagram stories are a great example of this. By using short vignettes of video clips and / or images you can give those legions of leads out there an insight into your working processes, life on your shop floor or the testimonials of happy customers. Instagram stories in particular are great tools for small business because they are short, easy to digest and rely on economy of narrative to tell a story that resonates with the viewer.
Lights, camera… traction!
Video may have killed the radio star, but it can breathe a whole lot of new life into your business. In an era where more and more of us consume digital content through mobile devices in short bursts, video is the perfect medium for gaining traction with decision makers who may not have the time to sit and peruse a lengthy blog post.
While video creation may require a little more in terms of time, effort and resources than writing a blog post, now’s the time to get in on the ground floor. It’s estimated that by 2021 video will account for 81% of all internet traffic. Already, there are 100 million hours of video consumed every day on Facebook alone. If you expect to retain the attention of your audience now and for the next decade, video is a medium that you’ll need to learn to embrace.
When you create great content on a regular basis, users will get a clearer idea of what (and even who) your business is. When they invest in that persona, they’ll come back to you time and again!