In our last blog, we explored why it’s necessary to create content within your business, and add credence to your brand. With so little to distinguish between competing companies, it’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to differentiate yourself: to define what you do and why you do it.
As we mentioned last time, the ultimate goal for your content is to allow potential customers (and, to some extent, existing customers) to know, like and trust you. The more they see and hear you, the more they can qualify this in their minds.
Become an authority
There’s a lot to be said for showing your knowledge and expertise of your trade and industry. It’s reassuring to clients that you’re not a charlatan who just got up one morning, fed up of your job, and just decided to offer the service and product that you do. You’re someone who’s honed their craft, studied, perfected, observed and trained.
Against those who haven’t ‘put in the hours’, evidence of your authority is a good reason for a potential client to choose you over a competitor.
Keep abreast of news and developments within your sector/industry. Take regular news stories and repost them, adding your opinion – and explain why you have this opinion. Sign up to newsletters from other industry experts or set a Google Alert for relevant terms, so that you can be timely as well as enlightening. Buy trade magazines and offer to write an article for them. Reply to comments by others on social media with your view (but refrain from penning, or responding to, inflammatory comments; you’re looking to show your expertise, not your temper!). Watch what trends on Twitter – you’ll find plenty of ‘piggyback’ content.
Images are very powerful and add quick impact. Share a relevant picture of an event, a demonstration, an emotive issue, or create a funny meme. Good for sharing across social media channels, images or short videos can quickly go viral and get your name/brand in-front of thousands.
If you can’t supply a relevant image to enforce a message you want to impart, consider using a relevant stock image.
We used the example of Bob Geldof and the starving in Africa in our last blog, to show how people can be moved to act. Talking at your audience is nowhere near as powerful as talking to them; create content they want to read, and if you don’t know what this should be, there’s no harm in asking!
Charities often struggle to appeal to people, simply because there are so many of them. All causes are worthy, so how do they differentiate? One organisation brought some significance and relevance to a campaign; instead of asking for donations, they launched a campaign message for donors to give up their morning takeout coffee once a week and donate the money they would have spent instead. Choosing a small financial amount that didn’t seem much to give up, and aligning a luxury coffee (a ‘treat’) with the hardships the needy endure every day, made the plea far more personal. The donation was tangible and meant something, the act of giving was easy, and it was also the kind of campaign that travelled well across social media and friendship circles.
Become a reporter for your company
Start a blog or post regular updates about the company and what you’re doing; give people the chance to be involved, come along to events, or to learn of new starters within the business.
Interview staff members or providers of products/services that align to yours. Open a window into your daily schedule, but make sure to keep it interesting – no one wants to know what you’ve had for lunch…unless you’re a chef.
All of these aren’t either/or options; ideally, utilise all of these tips, and more, to keep your brand and voice out there in the marketplace. Consistency is key: if you don’t have the time to produce content on a regular basis, make sure someone else does.
Tailor content according to the platform it will appear on, and use tools such as hashtags to improve its reach. On Twitter, for example, there are specific hours that encourage you to share promotions or business content, such as #businesshour, or #factfriday.
This may sound daunting, but it’s not. Once you get into a rhythm, it’s not significantly time-consuming or difficult to find/create content consistently. And the benefits are more than worth it.
The Thinking Cap can help you formulate your brand and its messages, so that anything you post is relevant and on point. Email us for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org