Content creation is the cornerstone of a successful inbound marketing strategy. This new Checklist: Perfecting Your B2B Brand Identity helps B2B companies hone how their brand looks, feels, and sounds in the marketplace, which is a great first step to creating the voice that will transcend your content.
Once companies establish a brand identity, they can begin to consistently infuse content with the right language, tone, and other nuances that make your company distinct. With these foundational pillars solidified, the next challenge is understanding how to make your content attractive to your audience.
With so much content inundating customers today—from short ads on social media to longer form blogs, eBooks, white papers, and articles—you need to carve out your content niche by asking yourself: What type of content will my target audience actually want to read? What will be worth their time?
Here, we’re discussing how you can build and leverage your brand identity to create content your audience actually wants to read by choosing a theme, identifying a voice, and keeping content fresh.
Choose a Theme
What are people most commonly searching for surrounding your products or services? The first step in deciding what content to create is understanding what people are looking for and what questions they’re asking.
This is a great way to brainstorm the type of content pieces you could produce, as well as the answers, expertise, and unique benefits your company can offer to these common queries.
In addition to choosing the topic, consider what format would best support it. Have any competitors produced similar content that you could do better?
Maybe a competitor has published a blog on a particular topic—can you do them one better by developing a longer form eBook on the subject that dives deep or includes more updated information or statistics? It’s also possible that you created content in the past that is still relevant but simply need updates to reflect your current brand identity.
Things to think about:
- Topics: Map out the topics you’re considering, and decide if you should focus on niche concepts that engage a particular subset of your audience or a more inclusive piece that casts a broader net of awareness.
- Format: Determine what format best supports the content and its objectives—whether that be an SEO-friendly blog or gated whitepaper, eBook, or Guide that can help drive downloads and leads. Depending on how much content there is and how valuable it is, you may consider one format over the other.
- Layout: Think about headings, essential links, and other details to develop the final piece. The layout of a content piece can contribute to search engine optimization (SEO) through simple headings, bolding, lists, and links. Once you have a layout that you’re happy with, keep it to ensure consistency across future similar content pieces.
Identify A Voice
Many companies have brand guidelines, but often they’re used as design guidelines that restrict rather than inspire. For others, brand voice guidelines are developed once and never considered again.
When used properly, brand voice guidelines act as an evolving asset that helps content creators communicate with similar styles.
To get started, your brand voice should contain a few adjectives that capture the personality of your brand and the characteristics of your audience. Then, define how each adjective can be brought to life through specific style guides, word choices, tone of voice, and so forth.
Example of bringing your tone to life:
- Convenient: No matter when you need us, we’re there for you. With 24/7 customer support and a robust online platform, you have complete access to the products and services you need at any moment.
- Cost-Effective: Are you getting the most value out of your current strategy? Unlock the potential for new savings within your existing operations to reduce spend and improve efficiency.
- Personable: We’re a relaxed, casual, and fun group of hardworking people who strive to help your business succeed.
In practice, it’s a good idea to use language that directly addresses your audience. Use words like “you” and “your business” to help readers envision themselves in a better situation thanks to you. Also, be affirmative in your abilities to provide services and solve problems. Tell people what you do and how you do it without the words “will” and “can” to strengthen your position of expertise.
Example of writing style considerations:
- Use this: Achieve your business goals quickly and easily with help from our experienced team. Our dedicated professionals help you optimize operational strategies, reduce spending, and achieve new business goals.
- Not this: We will provide comprehensive solutions that can help cut costs and improve efficiency. Our team can help companies of all sizes achieve their business goals.
Keep Content Fresh
Your themes and voice will need to shift to better align with new product and service offerings and unique and emerging needs coming from your audience over time. As you continually create new pieces, it’s vital to avoid rehashing the same ideas repeatedly. Different content types go a long way in maintaining engagement and are easily supported through corresponding social media, email, and ad campaigns.
Some ideas for diversifying your content include:
- Explore broader concepts that are relevant to your specific products
- Transform old blogs into videos
- Try long-form content like eBooks and white papers
- Expand your social media footprint
- Host a webinar and promote the record
- Carry out and share new research and market analyses
Always consider the usefulness of a piece. Does it demonstrate expertise or answer a specific question? If the answer is no, no amount of flashy production will keep people interested. Keep your audience’s needs and how you solve their problems in mind at all times as you test new content concepts. Being on the right platforms with the right offerings is just as important as knowing what to say and how to say it!
Taking Your Content Further
Hopefully, some of the tips outlined here give you direction on creating content that people actually want to read and engage with. No part of the process should be set in stone, and you should always be listening to what your clients have to say about your business offerings to help mold the direction of future messaging, tone, and topics.
If you don’t think you’ve nailed down every aspect of your brand identity quite yet, that’s OK! To get started, download the Checklist: Perfecting Your B2B Brand Identity. Whether you’re focused on your overall customer-facing brand identity, a specific product identity, or recruitment, this checklist helps companies form clear, competitive brand identities and guidelines that allow for consistent content creation that convinces readers to take the next step.