How to Determine the Best Content for Your Brand:
In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of content marketing as part of your brand building strategy. If you haven’t had a chance, click on over there and read before you move ahead.
In this post, I’m going to help you determine the best content for your brand. This is content that plays to your strengths as a content creator, but also appeals to your target audience.
As we go through the steps, I’m going to use an example based on a made up business we will call Akiko’s Energy Bars. (Akiko is the name of my chihuahua.)
Define your target audience
When you started a business, you probably created a business plan of some sort. If not a formal plan, you’ve probably got an idea in your head of who your ideal customer is. If not, you need to get clear on that before you start creating content.
Spend some time to write out a detailed description of your target audience’s needs and wants.
Example: Akiko’s Energy Bars ideal customer is young, working professionals or students. They are active or would like to be more energy to be active. They are often working long hours or studying and need to keep their energy up. They appreciate high-quality food and ingredients, but they don’t always have time to cook. They don’t want products that are marketed for diets or weight loss because “screw the patriarchy”.
You can go deeper than that with your description, but try to stay focused. You shouldn’t be trying to appeal to everyone.
Create a content strategy mission statement
Now that you have your ideal customer in mind, it is time to come up with a content strategy mission statement. This mission statement should focus on what useful information and content you can provide that will attract and bond customers to your company.
This is not about directly selling your product. So don’t say something like “Our goal is to create blog posts that get people to buy lots of stuff”.
Let’s look at how this applies to Akiko’s Energy Bars.
We know that Akiko’s ideal customers are busy young people who need a quick energy boost. This means we can help them by providing them with resources to help them feel less stressed, more energetic and focused.
This is how I’d phrase it as a content strategy mission statement.
Example: Akiko’s Energy Bars creates online content that helps young professionals stay energized, focused and stress-free.
It’s clear and concise, but flexible enough that I don’t feel restricted.
Brainstorm Content Ideas
Take your content strategy mission statement and use it as a jumping off point for content ideas. Your content can take a number of forms (blog posts, newsletters, ebooks, podcasts, pdf guides, instagram, workshops). You don’t have to do everything. Pick the platforms that make sense for your audience.
Here is a list of potential content ideas for Akiko’s Energy Bars that use the mission statement as a guide:
Blog Posts Ideas:
How to batch cook your lunches to save time and money.
10 ways to boost your energy (without spending a fortune at starbucks)
15 stress-busting yoga moves you can do at your desk
20 great snacks that will survive in your backpack
How to boost your productivity and find more time for the things you love.
Live chat with a nutritionist about foods for energy.
Meal prep demonstration.
Desk yoga demonstration
Grocery store tour for healthy shopping.
Photos of easy lunches and quick dinners.
Quotes about relaxation and self care
Instagram stories talking about energy boosting tips
Photos of active people (variety of body types, skin colors, gender expression)
Shout outs to inspiring customers you find on instagram
Quick lunch meal plan and shopping list
Desk yoga move pdf guide
Productivity planning guide
You may have noticed that I repeated some of the ideas and switched them up to fit the marketing platform. You should do that too. By repurposing your ideas you will save time while simultaneously creating consistency in your brand message. It’s a shortcut that really pays off. How cool is that?
As you come up with your content ideas, you will want to keep “shareability” in mind.
What makes content shareable?
The most shareable content falls one or more of these categories…
Useful or Educational
A useful or educational post that is anything that helps your readers solve a problem or a gap in their knowledge. Tips, tricks and hacks are always popular as are recipes and tutorials.
Let’s be real. Most people surfing the ol’ internet are looking to be entertained. That is why you see so many silly “Which Disney Princess are You?” quizzes on facebook. Entertaining content can come in the form of videos, quizzes, comics, narrative writing— basically anything that is designed to kill boredom or amuse.
Beautiful or Mesmerizing
Some of the most viral content online is purely visual. If you can create strong images, illustrations, videos or graphics — you can incorporate that into your content strategy.
People love a feel good story. If you can motivate or inspire people, you are likely to get shares and likes. Transformation photos are always popular whether we are talking about a kitchen renovation or a fashion makeover.
Deals, coupons, contest, sweepstakes— posts that are incentivized in some way are likely to perform well because people love free stuff.
Is it shocking, weird, odd, funny looking or controversial? That’s clickbait. Some of it is good, a lot of it is bad or in poor taste so proceed with caution if you pursue a clickbait content strategy.
Run your content ideas through the list and make sure you meet at least one of the criteria for shareability.
In Part 3 of this series, I’m going to show you my method for planning out my content using an editorial calendar. In the meantime, start brainstorming!