CONNECTING YOUR BRAND TO YOUR TARGET COMMUNITY THROUGH DIGITAL CONTENT
You’ve got your website up and running. It’s filled with perfect little visual slices of information about you. Your contact information is right there in bold font. There might even be a photo or three.
What more could you need to start generating business, right?
Well, not so fast, because it doesn’t stop there. Your website isn’t a billboard, so it certainly shouldn’t operate like one. It shouldn’t remain stagnant while anyone who MIGHT happen upon it could read it, and MAYBE they’ll give you a call or stop by. We’re past the age of the billboard, and your website should now be a living, breathing thing.
In the ever-evolving world of Google search, SEO tactics, algorithms, lions, tigers, and bears (oh my), it’s hard to keep up. We get it. You have better things to focus on, like…your product. However, it’s up to you to get the word out about your product, and we now have the tools and reach to do so like never before in history via great digital content.
Digital content does a number of things—drives traffic to your website, generates interest and buzz for your service, etc. The common denominator for all these things is that they generate some sort of connection between you and your audience. Regularly updating your blog provides fresh opportunities to keep your brand high in search results, and consistently engaging on social media provides fresh opportunities to connect with your community.
For the purposes of this post, we won’t be focusing on WHAT you should be doing (Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, etc.) so much as HOW you should be doing it.
RELEVANCY TO THEM
The first thing to consider before posting anything is how relevant it might be to your audience. You have to understand who you’re sharing to, with, and for, or else your potential audience will zip on by it. How many times have you scrolled through your Facebook feed, hardly paying any attention to what’s whizzing up on your screen until you stop on something that caught your eye? We all do it, but what is it about those posts that cause us to stop? What causes us to spend our time, however short it might be, on them? Something about it interests us, even if it has almost zero relation to who we are as people.
Your content should have intention. This doesn’t mean that with each blog post, tweet, or Instagram upload you’re trying to change the world. However, there are plenty superfluous things in our lives, and if you’re adding to the noise your audience will soon turn down the volume on you. Figure out why you’re sharing your content, and how it relates to your target audience.
ENGAGING TO THEM
Once you’ve figured out why you’re posting what you’re posting, it’s now time to devise a way to catch the attention of your audience. When I go onto social media, it’s typically in the fleeting moments of my day: standing in line, waiting for the bus, sitting on the…you get the picture. Understanding that this is how your audience likely operates, you now have the unenviable task of competing for their very short attention span and mental real estate.
In order to keep their eyes and ears focused on you, there has to be a hook. It could be through striking visuals, a funny quip, or intriguing video.
VALUABLE TO THEM
This is where the fun—for you—kicks in. You’ve provided them all this info, they know what they need to know, but now what? What do they actually DO with it? Depending on what you’re posting, that could mean a number of things, but that’s for you to figure out. Give them a clear call to action, be it an encouragement to share the post with their friends, sign up for your email newsletter, or come in and talk to one of your people for more details.
This should be your “why” when posting. Sure, you can post GIFs of cats all day long, and that will be fun for awhile. However, your reason is in the call to action, as is the audience’s perceived value. You can’t simply tell or ask them to do something; they need to know WHY they must act. What’s in it for them? How will this transaction (monetarily, socially, whatever) benefit both parties? If you can clearly communicate that to your audience, then you’re on your way to creating engaging and effective content that matters.
Of course, this is merely a framework for content strategy. There is an ebb and flow to anything digital, so it’s up to you to understand what works best for your business. Very few things are one size fits all, and this is especially true when it comes to your content. Play around with it a little. Have fun and don’t be afraid to fail.