Some of the most important activities in any business are brand building and maintenance. This is particularly true for startups. Content marketing is an effective way to build and maintain your brand image, and to market at the same time. But there’s more to content marketing than meets the eye. Here are five tips that will help you use content to build and maintain your brand image.
1. Take it seriously.
Many business owners give in to the temptation to use an unpaid college intern or, worse yet, a friend or relative to create content for them. Don’t fall into that trap. Remember, the quality of your content will directly impact your brand image, and the success of your marketing efforts overall. If you’re not comfortable with your own writing ability, or you just don’t have the time, hire a professional content writer. It will be worth the investment. In addition to delivering well written content, a good content writer can also offer tips and suggestions that will make your overall content marketing strategy even better.
2. Write in your own voice.
If you decide to create some or all of your own content, keep it as simple as possible. Most people who don’t write for a living have the mistaken impression that the written word has to be formal in tone and grammatically perfect. Not true, unless your audience is a bunch of college professors who actually speak that way. But in most instances, your target audience will be average, ordinary people. So write in your own voice. Writing in your own voice simply means writing the way you speak — in a casual and conversational tone.
3. Embrace white space.
People consume online content on a variety of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. Whatever the device being used, large blocks of text can turn readers off. It just looks boring. Also, when people are consuming content, they need time to breathe. White space is a trigger that gives them that time. And the way to give them plenty of white space is to publish your content in short, bite-sized pieces.
4. Incorporate images.
Another good way to keep readers from becoming bored while reading your content is to incorporate images. Just as large blocks of text can turn readers off, imagery can turn them on. Of course, the images must be relevant to the topic. That’s what makes infographics such an effective tool. They provide visual stimulation, while also providing relevant information.
5. Proofread your work.
When you’ve finished writing a piece of content, it’s important to proofread it. I’d venture to say that proofreading a piece of content almost always results in some final editing. And it’s that last edit that can make the piece just what you wanted it to be. But just reading the piece the way you would read a book or a magazine article won’t do you any good. The reason for this is that when we read text, we do a great deal of skipping over words and filling in the blanks. This is a natural tendency, and it’s fine when you’re casually consuming written material. But if you proofread that way, your mind will see what you intended to say, not necessarily what’s actually on the page. Make sense?
The most effective way to proofread content, especially content you’ve written personally, is to read it out loud. By reading out loud, you’re forcing your mind to see what’s actually on the page, which is what your readers will see.
Because of the variety and volume of media outlets where content can be used, there may be no better single tool for building and maintaining your company’s brand image than an effective and carefully planned content-marketing strategy.