Brand publishing offers the unique opportunity to build a connection with your target audience.
It’s hard to deny that producing quality content adds value to your brand. The internet is flooded with information, and consumers are searching for trustworthy insights from reliable sources. But Liane Davey of Harvard Business Review advises against “great writing for the sake of great writing.”
We asked some of our in-house experts at L&T to weigh in on Davey’s article while offering their own strategies for successful brand publishing. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Communicate Clearly.
“I think the vast majority of business bloggers are more concerned with sounding ‘smart’ and packing in as much jargon as possible,” says Jamie Ayers, L&T’s in-house Content Manager. “But when you get past all that and look at the message or story, it’s incredibly simplistic, obvious, and boring.”
If you’re not directly communicating a message to your target audience, what’s the point of producing content at all? Brand publishing gives you an opportunity to deliver a precise missive, so don’t dilute it with obscure language.
2. Build Value.
“Success isn’t measured by how many clever turns of phrase or ten-dollar buzzwords you can slip in, but by whether the content you produce offers true value to your readers,” says COO Remy Bernstein. While it is important to produce well-written content, in order to build a loyal consumer base, you must give readers something they find valuable.
So how exactly do you create valuable content? According to Bernstein, Davey hits the nail on the head when she suggests, “You go beyond the facts and information you’re transmitting and push yourself to clarify what you want your audience to think, to feel, and to do after they’ve read your message.” In other words, your content should aim to resonate with the reader long after he navigates away from the page.
3. Make a Connection.
Remember that the point of brand publishing isn’t to reach as many people as possible, but to instead reach people who particularly connect with and benefit from your content.
As Ayers says, “If you’re actually selling a product or service, audience size isn’t necessarily an indicator of anything. It’s more about reaching a highly targeted audience, making an actual connection, and convincing them that you’re an expert in the field.”
4. Be Intentional.
Instead of focusing on the simple fact that publishing content is important, consider why it’s important for your brand specifically.
“Think about not just what topics you’re going to write about, but how the content you create can inspire your audience to take action,” says Danny Goodwin, L&T’s in-house Content Strategist. “What do you want readers to do AFTER they’ve consumed your content?”
Is your main goal to attract links, engage your existing audience, generate sales, or accomplish something else entirely? Be intentional about what you are trying to achieve, and mold your content to reach those goals.
5. Express your Passion.
“If you truly inspire people, they will seek out more information about the company behind this genius content,” says Goodwin. By creating awesome content consistently, you’re showing everyone who visits your website that you care deeply about your industry, that you have an important perspective to share, and that you provide consistently thoughtful and informative insights. When you find effective ways to weave together your knowledge and passion, your writing will reflect this.
The industry conversation has shifted away from the relevance and necessity of brand publishing, and towards the importance of establishing intent and following through with leads generated as a result of resonating, high-quality content. So ask yourself: what content do you find intriguing, and why does it appeal to you? Chances are, it’s the same thing consumers are after: content that’s clearly articulated, passionate, insightful — and worth their while.
Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into a sophisticated trade publication that influences your market. Learn more about brand publishing here.