Business Branding + Content
Business branding is one of the most important activities you can do to grow your business. Not only is it important for overall visibility, it’s also important for developing trust with new potential customers.
That said, building a business brand isn’t easy. But by creating relevant content online, it can be a less daunting than it used to be.
Many businesses (although all should) have a blog or resource section to their website where they share relevant content. Yet, many businesses miss the mark on true branding success with their content and lose opportunities by having a weak content strategy.
Below are some tips on improving business branding with content.
Content is More Than Advertising
One mistake that many businesses make, is treating their content like a giant advertisement for their product or services. By this I mean, each new blog post or article is only about what your company does or how the company does “XYZ.”
That’s not to say you shouldn’t have company related articles or blog posts every now and then, but keep these to a minimum. (Transparent business articles can be very insightful, something I’m a fan of personally.)
The content that represents your business on the blog should answer questions your customers or “buyer personas” are concerned with, would find interesting, or provide value to your industry.
Sure, you ultimately want them to pay for your product or services, but give the audience tons of free information and resources first.
Be that trusted source that discusses relevant industry information and nurture them through content as to why they should be interested in your product or service.
Companies like Groove, Moz and Buffer do this quite well and understand the importance of business branding with content. Each of those companies write numerous resource posts, guides, tips, how to’s, and more.
Besides having a great product, I’m willing to bet a lot of their overall business was generated based on their great content related to their buyer personas.
Authentic and Honest Content
Content for your company should be authentic and honest, building a trust with your audience. Providing well thought out content with knowledgeable insight, research, and original content will make your company the “go-to” for your core buyer persona.
Creating content that is intriguing to read and does not sound robotic, will also keep people engaged with your content and help establish your brand.
There is plenty of content that I personally might not be interested in, but if someone is a good writer and makes the post intriguing, I’ll continue to trust and read future posts.
Authenticity and honesty are two words every business, regardless of industry, want their brand to be described as. These two words are also what brings continuous business, clients, customers, and overall revenue to your company.
The Audience Also Defines Your Brand
While you or the company leaders are in charge of defining the overall brand, your audience and customers play a huge role in your branding as well. Getting the audience involved in conversations about the content, product, services, etc. essentially turns them into your brand advocates.
Yet, get them even more involved by encouraging online reviews, involve customers in case studies, guest blogging, or whatever can drive the conversations outside of the company internally. The voices of your audience add so much value to your brand.
Essentially, figuring out your voice and the values you want your brand to have will help you attract an audience with similar values. Your overall content strategy actually helps shape your brand and the perspective your audience has on your business.
Content and Employee Advocacy
So you have all this great content that does not read like a giant advertisement, answers questions related to your industry, with an authentic and transparent voice. Now what? This content needs to be seen by the world of course, which you use SEO, email blasts, and your social media business accounts to promote. You may think you are done. Not quite.
This content only goes so far on your social media business accounts, even companies with millions of followers can get a huge increase in brand visibility with employee advocacy.
You may be familiar with the term, but if not, employee advocacy is the promotion of a company by its employees. Usually with content via social media outlets. You may think your employees are doing so and because you send emails asking them to that this is happening. But the majority of the time, that is also wrong.
On average, only 3% of employees share content from their company. Yet, those shares are responsible for driving a 30% increase in the total engagement a company sees (LinkedIn).
And according to Edelman’s 2013 Trust Barometer, 41% of people think a company’s employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO/Founder, or social media business accounts.
There is a huge missed opportunity here and that’s where an employee advocacy platform is used, creating a unique and engaging way to get employees to become your brand advocates and enhance brand visibility.
Now, employee advocacy software is not going to best suit every company, so it’s definitely recommended that you research and explore your options before jumping in.
If you were looking for an easy branding solution, I probably disappointed you here. But if you follow some (although you should follow all) the above tips, your content will not only improve your business branding, but encourage employee engagement, help boost social reach, and increase your business leads.
The tips are not too complicated to implement, but they do take some trial and error along with a strategy to figure out what will best improve your company brand.
Any others that may come to mind? Let us know in the comments.