Creating content that is both relevant to consumers and builds a brand is a fine balancing act.
Creating content is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses. How do you make it relevant, engaging, timely and interesting all at the same time as ensuring it will actually benefit your company or brand?
Orion Brown, senior associate brand manager at Capri Sun, told Digiday that the biggest challenge is balancing consumer-relevant content with brand-building content.
"For many brands, it's a delicate balance between creating a branded message that doesn't sound preachy or like a sales pitch but still drives consumers ultimately to purchase," said Brown.
"In my experience, identifying the consumer need that a brand meets, then laddering that back up to a higher emotional need helps drive relevant content creation. But even then, brands need to be mindful of not getting too lofty in their brand promise to keep the content grounded and believable to the consumer."
It comes back to the idea of not being pushy with your content. Don't try to sell, inform.
The Content Marketing Institute's Joe Pulizzi said in a blog post earlier this year: "Great content marketing, content that is shared and spread by customers and prospects, is almost never about the company’s products or services.
"Epic content is all about stories that inform or entertain, that compel people to action and truly makes a difference in people’s lives. It positions the company as a trusted leader. It makes the buying process easier."
Remember that phrase "trusted leader" – it brings to mind the idea of thought leadership. It's something often undervalued by firms, but pressing the thought leadership button has many advantages. And just like everything else, thought leadership begins with great content.
Blogs are a great starting point, allowing a business owner to share their expertise with consumers. By sharing your knowledge you can build trust. Moreover, people will want to come back if what you have to say is interesting and informative. Blogs are the best place to start your thought leadership-based content marketing strategy, but it doesn't need to stop there - why not consider whitepapers and infographics?