Why Great Content Aligns Your Brand and Prospects
A fortune teller looks for meaning in the alignment of the planets, but if you’re a content marketer, it’s more important to you that there’s alignment of your content between your business goals and the needs of your prospects.
In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Stone Temple’s Mark Traphagen explains what that alignment looks like, and why it is critical to your content marketing.
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- The Three Marks of Great Content
- B2B Buyers on What Content Works…and What Doesn’t
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Eric: Mark, what do you mean when you say that great content aligns your brand and prospects?
Mark: Eric, that came out of my intensive study of the most effective content marketing by brands. Now, over time, I came to realize the best brand content has three characteristics in common. It’s useful, unique, and aligned. Now, by aligned, I mean that there’s a proper balance in the content between the business goals of the brand and the wants and needs of its prospects and customers.
Eric: What does that balance look like?
Mark: It’s probably easiest to illustrate that by talking about content that’s out of balance on either side. So when content is skewed too heavily to business goals, it’s typically salesy and self-promotional. It’s not about helping and engaging your prospects but tries too hard to push whatever you’re trying to sell.
Direct selling content can be useful content if you’re moving somebody to the point where they’re considering buying from you, but it totally fails at breaking through the natural sales resistance in people who aren’t comfortable with you yet.
Eric: But you can be out of balance on the prospect side as well, right?
Mark: You sure can, and that happens when your content is trying so hard to catch attention, or get engagement, that it loses any connection to the business and the goals to which it wants to move the prospect.
An example of that is Super Bowl ads. You’ve probably seen the surveys that they take after the big game, right? Most of the people can recall many of the most entertaining ads in great detail, but few can actually name the brands that they were advertising. The advertiser spent so much attention on just gaining that attention, that they failed to make a strong association with the brand or product.
Eric: How do brands create content that’s balanced and better aligned?
Mark: I think we need to think of every content piece like we’re trying to build a bridge between our business and its prospects. Start with your business goals, whether that’s brand awareness and reputation, creating community around your brand, or making people aware of your products or solutions.
Then put yourself in your prospect’s place, and think about his or her needs, desires, and pain points. As you construct your content, seek to build a bridge between those two things.
Ask yourself how this piece of content is relevant to your business, but also why should it matter to your prospects. What does it do for them? That’s the content development bridge, and when you build it properly, your content starts working for you.
Eric: Thanks, Mark. Folks, you really should check out Mark’s in-depth examination of effective content, “The Three Marks of Great content.” You’ll find it here.
Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.
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See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel