As any entrepreneur or marketer knows, branding is important. With every field filled to the brim with competitors offering similar services and features, branding gives companies the opportunity to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack by expressing their business philosophy, their objectives and, in some cases, how they plan on reaching their goals.
Branding is the reason logos came into existence, as companies and organizations sought for simple visual representations capable of achieving instant recognition. Ultimately, effective branding requires self-definition, and in this digital age of constant interaction and unquenchable desire for new information, building a content strategy for your blog can help you define your brand, which will strengthen it and make it a considerably more attractive resource for your audience.
Here are five steps to help you devise an effective content strategy for your brand:
1. Set goals
Consider what you want to accomplish both in the short term and the long term. Articulating your objectives will give you a clearer picture of how your brand and content strategy should work together. For blogs, success is often measured in the number of hits a site gets, so creating a list of goals relating to traffic is a great place to start and the easiest to quantify. Statistic analysis tools can help you track and measure daily visitors, specific page views, keywords and referral sites, among other metrics. Google Analytics, in particular, lets users add goals to their profile. From there, Analytics tracks and measures data pertaining to those goals and includes that information in reports.
2. Define your audience
Content must always be tailored to your audience, so it’s important to define precisely who you imagine and want to be a fan of your blog. Topics, style, images and language all depend on the preferences of your target demographic. Who are the people who come to your site? What are they looking for and why? What are their online behavioral habits? Once you’ve established this, you can begin to generate content that will appeal to your audience from a thematic perspective, as well as through execution.
3. Create content people will want to share
One way that blogs increase site traffic and expand their reach is through referrals. Referrals can come from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or other blogs and websites, and they are a great way of introducing an unfamiliar audience to your blog. Featuring well-written, creative, and timely content not only will get people interested, but also sharing with their own networks. If you can, factor in strong visuals because as many social media pros will tell you, visual storytelling has become everything.
4. Be an information resource
In today’s online landscape, the best service you can do for your brand is to build trust through information. Since the Internet is overflowing with blogs and websites, one sure-fire way to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack is to establish your blog as the go-to resource for quality content and relevant information.
5. Communicate your brand’s value
You want people to view your brand as better than your competitors, because once they do, they’re willing to change their behavior to accommodate it. Whether you’re selling products on your website or trying to increase site traffic in order to obtain advertising or investors, you need to show your audience that what you feature on your blog is specific to your brand. Look for well-respected and appropriate platforms to help generate publicity and awareness, such as social media sites, to help build your reputation.
Bio: Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the accredited online mba program offered through the University of North Carolina which also some of the nation’s leading executive MBA programs. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive. When he’s not working, Harrison switches his focus to great food, watching any sport that’s on TV, all things Disney, and traveling. You can find Harrison on Twitter @KratzPR.