While social media algorithms and SEO guidelines are always changing, content development should still be a very important part of your PR and marketing efforts. Offering your expertise and opinions can be a great way to engage with your customers. However, content generation can often be challenging, particularly for small- and mid-sized companies facing a lack of time, resources and expertise.
If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to figure out what to write or how to continually develop new stories or posts, you’re not alone. I was there too. However I realized after getting serious about my own brand purpose, that content development became much easier.
Defining Brand Purpose
I’ve shared in previous posts about the importance of a succinct, authentic brand purpose and the value it brings to driving strategic decision making, building employee morale and streamlining marketing. The same is true for content development.
If you think about it, brand purpose serves both as a street sign and as guardrails. It provides a roadmap for your editorial calendar giving light to topics that align with the company’s purpose, while also creating boundaries for what fits and what doesn’t.
Identifying Like-minded Influencers
When I started in retail real estate, I learned the term co-tenancy; that retailers in shopping malls often require to be located with or near other stores of a similar nature. To build your following, it’s important to find and engage with like-minded influencers. Share, like or comment on content that aligns with your purpose. Give appropriate credit to that person or brand and consider adding your own viewpoint.
Take a little time to explore your follower recommendations, get to know your followers and identify popular hashtags. These can be great places to begin to find your co-tenants. I would also recommend magazines, newsletters, journalists, podcasts and blogs. Use your brand purpose to determine what fits and what doesn’t.
The same way brand purpose offers guardrails for earned and shared content, it also helps build consistency. Using brand purpose to create a strategy for your social channels, blog or website, gives audiences a clearer understanding of your value as well as what to expect from your business.
Consistency should also be reflected in the visual brand. Photos and videos are much more effective in reaching your audience than text alone. Invest in the time, training and/or resources to be able to deliver a consistent and professional look.
Luckily, there are a host of free or affordable solutions for businesses growing their brand. Check out tools, like Pexels for free photos, Canva for graphics, and of course YouTube for how-to videos on everything from building a WordPress site to taking better pictures.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for developing relevant and engaging content. There are so many great resources and conferences to learn more. However, in each step you take to build your content platform, keep in mind that starting with a brand purpose greater than profit will lead to better content.