I always considered myself a decent writer – at least on par with my fellow classmates while in business school. When I took a gig in PR, however, I learned that I had much to learn. As I was working diligently to up my writing game, I thought, “Why the heck didn’t we focus more on writing in my marketing classes?”
Let me clarify – focus more on writing to consumers, or should I say, like consumers. Sure, we wrote a lot for class, but we rarely focused on how to write engaging content for a consumer audience. Looking back, this seems foolish because the marketer’s role is to be a liaison between a company and its customers.
We’re living in the knowledge era, which means content is king. For years, consumers have had advertisements and schemes thrown at them, but they’re now looking for more. Whether through blogging, social media or e-marketing, developing interesting content in an authentic voice is one of the most effective tools for reaching your target audiences.
The problem is – and trust I’m also an offender of this – most brand managers only know how to write like they’re constructing an ad. Of course, we want to ensure the message gets across, but the trick is to do it in a not-so-blatant way.
One of my favorite books, “101 Truths About Branding,” argues that the number one truth in branding is that no one loves your brand more than you. It makes sense – if we don’t love it, why would someone else? However, sometimes we get so close to our brand that we forget to view it through the consumer’s eye.
Taking a step back when developing good content is vital because it makes you stop and think, “What does the consumer really want to know about my product or service?”
Content marketing is one of the best ways to build your brand as an expert in your field. Why do you think we blog at SPR? We want to show our site visitors that we know our stuff – plus that we’re fun and will take you out for wine, if you ask.
It’s about going below the surface to explore more than what can be listed on a sell sheet or a website description. Find the interesting stories that make your brand unique and share them. Maybe it’s an employee who is innovating how your company operates, a unique production method or just an interesting corporate culture – find what relates to your customers and write about it.
Once you find your topics, you need to ensure that you’re writing in an interesting and authentic voice – hopefully using proper grammar. This is often when the team at SPR gets called in. (See what I did there?) We help marketers who know they have a good brand story, but aren’t quite sure how to talk about it in an effective and engaging way.
Content marketing isn’t going anywhere – in fact, 77 percent of marketers say they will produce more content in 2016. So, if you aren’t thinking about content strategy, now’s the time. I’m hopeful that you are thinking about all the great stories your brand has and how you want to share them. There’s a world of consumers out there waiting to hear it.
If you’re ready to tell your story, give us a call. We promise to pick up the phone.