“I make all this content but none of it seems to do anything” Does this sound like you?
I hear it all the time, clients and business owners running round in circles trying to keep up with the ever-moving content treadmill. Clients might even have a plan they’re following and still see no results.
Before I start creating content for clients, I like to understand four fundamental things about them - Brand Purpose, Values, Identity, and Audience. These are the foundations that create a solid content marketing strategy, whether you’re building it yourself or working with an expert.
Brand Purpose and Values
A brand's purpose is a brand’s reason for existing aside from making money, any good business should know what this is, but it’s not always easy to put into words. A concise brand purpose statement acts as a guiding light to any output of the business, especially content.
For example, Dove’s brand purpose is “Discovering the value of ‘real’ beauty and improving self-esteem worldwide”. It’s easy to see this purpose driving campaign and content decisions in every pillar of their business.
Your brand values are the beliefs and standards you as a company uphold. Core values aren’t just something to be used internally on decision making, they inform your brand story, personality and you got it, content.
A whopping 77% of consumers buy brands that share their values, so it’s important to know what your values are and make sure your audience does too!
My brand values are:
- Purpose: Helping people. To help you help others live healthier and happier lives.
- Dependability: To hold space for you so you can hold space for your clients
- Curiosity: To approach everything I do with an open heart and mind. To ask loads of questions, always be learning and coming up with creative solutions.
- Customer-centric: To always be guiding people based on their needs and wants.
- Ethical: To do good business for good businesses, to not compromise people or planet in the comms I create or the businesses I work with. To recommend ethical marketing practices and abide by the Ethical Move pledge.
Your brand identity is made up of quite a few components, with your purpose and values already guiding it. Let’s break them down:
- Design: This includes having a logo, brand colours and fonts defined that are used when creating any visual assets for your brand.
- Story & Vision: Being able to tell the story of your brand, where it’s come from and where it’s going invites audiences in and builds authenticity and trust between you.
- Behaviour: This is the personality your brand embodies, are you corporate and professional, or playful and lighthearted?
- Language: With your personality defined, this then has to be pulled through into your language or ‘tone of voice’. This brings your brand's personality to life through the verbal communication you put out there.
- Culture: All of this needs to be wrapped up in a company culture, when brands are seen to be living by their values it’s a lot easier to trust them.
Getting To Know Your Audience
Knowing who you want to reach with your brand purpose and identity, aka, your target audience is the last piece of the puzzle.
Getting into your target audiences headspace, knowing everything there is to know about them - right down to their behaviours and what motivates them means you can create content that speaks directly to them.
Without this, you might not attract the people that you love and want to work with, so spend some time living in their shoes!
Top tip: A quick look at your analytics each week can give you insight into who is currently following you and why. Use this to refine your content moving forward.
If you are not crystal clear on these three areas of your brand, go back to the drawing board, collaborate with people who can help develop a strong brand and then come back to your content marketing plan.
I can recommend some amazing brand consultants, so feel free to drop me an email and I can intro you to the right person.