Being part of the conversation is vital for brand success.
We espouse the holy triumvirate of SEO + PR + Content as a great place to start drawing in audiences and to drive your bottom line. But how can you be sure your brand communication stands out from the crowd?
Our friends at Digital Content Agency, Very Tall know a thing or two about creating content that travels far and wide.
They produce RedBull.com’s International Music and Culture content (which goes out to 70+ territories globally), so we thought we would share with you their top tips for creating killer branded content.
The audience rules
Put yourself in your audiences shoes and remember you’re not just writing about things that are relevant to you. You’re talking to a person, so before you begin, ask yourself:
- Who is your audience?
- How do you want them to respond to this communication?
Content that is exciting, engaging or educational is more likely to be shared and passed along, so ask yourself:
- What can you say that hasn’t been said before? This is a great sanity check for all content ideas – separate the “meh” from the “marvellous”!
- If you want to avoid drowning in click bait, you have to keep your audience engaged. People respond to people, so use real-life-examples and create a distinctive story that will make the subject pop.
Know your onions. Audiences can smell the whiff of a poorly researched piece a mile off and are not afraid to call you out on it.
Actions speak louder than words
- “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci. Not content with being a mathematical genius, painter, inventor and occasional Dan Brown muse, Da Vinci predicted the importance of a call to action. So if you want prospects and customers to act on your words, you must ask them to do so.
- Using Personal Pronouns (I, you, he, she, us etc) is a great way to help you achieve this and remember whatever your desired outcome, you need to make it the key takeaway for your audience.
Two ears, one mouth
- It’s not all about your brand, so learn the art of listening and focusing on your audience. In real-life, this means responding to them when they engage on social platforms and use ‘you’ at least as often as ‘we’ in your brand communications.
- Of course, you want your prospects to take action, but focus on the benefits for your audience, so they can see what is in it for them.
Don’t focus on the problem
- Provide the solution. Life is hard enough and your audience already knows about the trials and tribulations they face, so no need to rub it in.
- Great content can build trust and engagement, so show your audience that help is at hand.
- How to… guides, top tips, lets us show you how… etc can be simple and quick to produce. But be warned, simple doesn’t mean fluffy and don’t even think about trading detail for brevity. Your audience will see right through it. Be concise, but be precise.
Turn your amps up to 11
What’s the difference between great content and great content that gets shared and passed along? Ask yourself these questions and you will be well on the way to achieving the latter.
- Have you established a social media amplification plan?
- Do you have budget to support targeted paid promotion? Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN, PPC, AdWords could help your content soar.
- Have you thought about a schedule to ensure long-lasting impact of the project? A great PR can help you achieve quality industry placements and back links to optimise your SEO and extend the reach of your content.
- However, if your budget is tight, have you arranged for your content subjects, collaborators, colleagues and production partners to share your posts? You can make things super easy by composing an email with a link to share with your cohorts and asking them to spread the love. Copy, Paste, Share.
We hope this has debunked some of myths around branded content and would love to hear your thoughts. Got a question? Please get in touch.
To see more of Very Tall’s branded content, check their sizzle reel here.