This is a short one today. Building on my earlier pieces discussing the value and necessity of content marketing to both your business and your personal brand, I wanted to reiterate the value of offering solid content. When you use content to build either your personal or business brand it needs to be engaging and something worth reading. Better, of course, is to write something worth sharing.
The best way to do this is to offer practically useful information in your content. Whichever direction you take your company’s blog or daily or weekly email, give your readers something they can use in their everyday or professional lives. This will work no matter what field you are in. If you are a restaurant then offer daily cooking tips and weekly meal recipes. If you sell vacuums then write a weekly blog post on house cleaning tips or on recommended cleaning products. If you’re a web developer or designer then write articles on your preferred WordPress plugins.
It’s important to note that your content does not necessarily have to be directly related to your brand or company. The point is to offer engaging and practically useful information related to your field in general. While you definitely don’t need to be pushing your readers to your direct competitors, you don’t need to shy away from recommending or discussing other companies’ products in a favorable light. This still helps your brand by confirming your status as an expert on all things in your field, and will show your readers that you are interested in helping them and not just directly promoting or advertising your product.
Stories and anecdotes are good and your should strive for your content to be entertaining, but practicality is key. People like to read and share useful information that is relevant to their lives–and the lives of their family and friends. People share things that increase their social capital. Things that make themselves look good, smart, or “in the know”. Tell someone a great cooking or cleaning tip and they will share it with their friends. This is how you build your brand.
Become an expert in your field, write interesting content using prose (as opposed to lists or bullet points), maybe tell a story, and definitely offer information that your target demographic can use in their everyday lives. People will then trust and recognize your brand and turn to you for both advice and your product.