When it comes to content strategy, you need to have a brand. It can’t be said enough, but most businesses still don’t recognize the necessity. Sure, you’ll buy groovy Nike sneakers over some name you’ve never heard of, and sure, you’ll trust National Geographic over Joe’s Flat Earth News when it comes to science, but why is that? You might mention quality, trustworthiness, prestige, or some other reasons, and chances are you’re right. But how did you associate those well-known brands with those qualities?
They didn’t just beam into your head one day. I’d wager to say that the companies have been working hard to establish themselves and to foster their brand. That’s why branding is so vital to your content strategy. So, how does branding work for content strategy and how can you take advantage of it for your business?
Name Recognition and Differentiation
There are tons content being spewed forth by different sites. Some are brilliant; some are simply awful. How do you build your brand so your savvy customers recognize you over a competitor? I’d say “easily,” but apparently it’s not so obvious to many businesses out there. The trick isn’t magic, though. Provide quality content that your potential customers will come back to again and again. This will raise you above your competition and get you recognized as a place that has exceptional content. That means your potential customers are likely to return to your site. They trust your information and therefore will pay closer attention to the products and services you provide. By providing great content regularly, you differentiate your company or organization from others.
Create a Strong Relationship
The Internet today is all about relationships — and I’m not talking the one-night-stand variety or even the dating site variety. It’s about creating a strong relationship between you and your potential customers. A lot has to do with trust (you did read my first point, yes?) and fulfilling the expectation your customers have. Customers like to feel as though they know you and your business. Many don’t want to buy some widget from some faceless name. A few do, but they are often the ones who buy from the first one they see on the Internet. If you can’t top Amazon, Wal-mart, or one of the big box stores in a search engine, it’s unlikely you’re going to get their business anyway.
So, how do you attract and keep customers? First, by providing great content (see above). The second, by creating a relationship with each and every customer and potential customer. Customers want to know about your business and about you. Whether it is a persona you’ve created about yourself, or whether it’s genuine, your customers desire to see “the man behind the curtain.” Like Toto revealing the Wizard of Oz, you can attract a lot of attention and gain more trust being someone they can relate to.
Establish Yourself as a Leader (and Act Like It)
Let’s talk money. Unless you’re rich and are giving away all your money (in which case, contact me please, I would be happy to relieve you of your burden), you’re in the business of making money. Even nonprofits and charities need to make money, if, for nothing else, paying their workers and doing the good deeds that they do. So, when you offer goods or services, you should establish yourself as a leader, and charge accordingly for your product or service. Don’t cheapen your product by charging a lot less than your competition. Most customers have done their due diligence when it comes to prices and know what they’re buying when they pay a certain amount. They’re going to not trust someone low-balling the more known competition.
Let’s say I told you could could get your car’s brake pads replaced at Cheapo Brake Visiting Mechanic for a mere $5. Any make, model, or age of car. Would you do it? Or would you take your car to your mechanic and pay $150 per axle to replace the brake pads? While you may wince at paying the going rate for brake servicing, I’ll bet you wouldn’t trust Cheapo Brake one bit. Why? Because you know that some things are too good to be true, and if the mechanic isn’t charging close to the going rate, you can bet there are going to be some corners cut.
I bring up this story, not because I like to tell stories about cheap mechanics but, because I want to point out how a cheap product or service looks to a customer who doesn’t know your company. It looks like you’re a small time operator. If you’ve got the best product out there, price your product accordingly. You can be slightly lower than your competition, but not so low that it would backfire. If you’ve got the best product or service, act like it.
Use Content to Further the Impression of Value and Quality
You have the best product or service and you’ve priced it accordingly. Now, it’s time to tell the world how wonderful it is. Use your content to talk about the care that goes into making your products. Introduce people to your star employees who get the job done with a smile. Talk about innovations. All these things will bolster your products and services by showing the readers how awesome you and your products are.
When you’re looking for original, exceptional content, contact WriterAccess, the leader in quality Internet content.
Maggie B is a professional, multiple award-winning writer and editor of more than 30 books and more than a thousand articles. She earned her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Denver. She has written articles on science, pets, sustainability, hunting, technology, outdoors and recreation, food, writing, publishing, careers, and other topics. She is the publisher for Sky Warrior Books and Garnet Mountain Press.