Like Falling Snow…
We know none of us are ready for falling snow yet. Maybe we should have renamed this “Like Falling Leaves…” Either way, whether we’re talking about leaves or snowflakes, here’s something we can all agree is true. The reason we notice the falling leaves and snowflakes is based on their quantity. A single leaf or one snowflake falling to the ground would be forgettable. Unless we’re looking out the window at the right moment, we might not even notice it. Seeing enough leaves to require raking, or snowflakes to require shoveling, is another story.
Your brand’s content strategy is no different. If you’re trying to increase your brand presence or add to your tribe, you need to produce enough content that you get noticed. Here’s what we mean…
Let’s start by stepping back for a moment to define what we mean by content. Your blog, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, email marketing… that’s content. All of those pieces you’re putting out into the world to attract and retain your customers – to engage with your audience – that’s content. You’re sharing information and entertainment with a purpose, to an audience on a channel – a video on YouTube or LinkedIn, a photo in Instagram, a blog post on your website, an email to your list – that’s content.
The challenge we’re all facing as we work to grow our brands using content is two-fold.
First, we need to understand what content is valuable to our audience. It needs to inspire, entertain, educate, engage – or create some combination of these. That’s how you can measure your content’s value. Share mediocre or pointless content, and your audience will quit paying attention. Make it valuable, and they’ll pay attention every time you share something.
Think about that statement for a quick second – paying attention. Instead of paying you in dollars, they are “paying you” with their attention. Some would argue that attention and time are much more valuable than their money in this brand-building process. Curate the right content, and it will attract the right people. It’s magnetic. (Get our free tool to help you find the right words.)
The second challenge we face has to do with those leaves and snowflakes. We need to embrace producing valuable content at scale. As we shared in the beginning, one leaf or snowflake falling is easy to miss, and the wind can easily blow it away. In the same way, one or two pieces of content (even if it’s valuable) can be easy to miss in a sea of digital distractions. A steady stream of useful content, on the other hand, is impossible to ignore. When people hear from us and see us in many formats on many platforms, consistently, we become visible and heard. And, if we’re careful to keep our content beneficial to our audience, we’re valued as well.
Overwhelmed when you hear this message about creating content at scale? We get it. Content creation, when done well, requires work and intentional effort. That word “intentional” is interesting. It’s based on “intent.” As in, our intent is to connect with our customers and engage our audience. The dictionary defines intent as “being resolved or determined to do something.” It also refers to intent as “showing earnest and eager attention.” We know from experience that these definitions are accurate and challenging at the same time.
So what’s the secret? If you agree that content is important and see its potential in building your brand and keeping you top-of-mind with your audience, what next? One way or another, you need to come up with a content development strategy. You need to find a way to create a “valuable content factory” with an assembly line to streamline this process. Some of our clients handle this internally, within their current teams, and others have engaged us to help them create social posts, write blogs, and craft emails. Whether you do it in-house or reach out to a partner for help, doing nothing isn’t an option in this digital economy.
There’s a difference between valuing a strong content strategy and executing on one. Execution takes work and planning, and an understanding that you’ll experience a great ROI if you’re intentional about creating valuable content. If you’re reading this today, take a look at your business or organization and do a quick measure of your own content strategy. Ask yourself these three questions:
- When did our clients hear from us last using content marketing? Social, emails, blogs, videos, etc.?
- Thinking about the last three times they heard from us, how did we add value?
- How could we use content marketing to add more value for our audience?
If you’re at a point where you know you need a plan, check out this past blog where we share five essential questions to help guide your strategy.
Ready for more?
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