Dragon Boat racing

Content strategy begins with a relationship

February 12, 2018

You’ve probably seen lots of content swings and misses, from random trivia that wastes your time to generic platitudes that don’t tell you anything new. Let’s not forget the soft drink that thinks it can deliver peace on earth. If all of this grates on you, content strategy is already on your radar.

Assume your customers’ instincts are just as good as yours. So take a moment to study your content approach from 30,000 feet, beginning with knowing who you are. You’re way ahead of the game if you’ve been through a brand discovery or rebranding process (especially one led by Vendi). You can draw on your brand ideals, core strengths and value proposition to guide your approach.

But enough about you. Your content is about your customers… what keeps them up at night, what hurts, itches or fills their imaginations when they think about the life they want.

Your relationship with them is what animates your content, so elevate it from generic to personal. Explore how you want to connect, then create your strategic content plan around it.

Your content should reflect the role(s) you want to have.

  • Thought leader
    Address issues of consequence to your community on a macro level. This shows you’re well informed and working to find better answers. You’re a philosopher, a deep thinker who is serious about the problem… whether it’s dry skin or sustainability.
  • Trusted advisor
    This role is about empathy. Demonstrate that you understand your customers’ experiences… their pain points, challenges, frustrations and aspirations. The trick is to demonstrate rather than tell. Don’t simply present what your customers already know. Apply your understanding directly to the solutions they’re looking for.
  • Subject matter expert
    Be a helpful friend. You don’t have to produce white papers, but the depth of your expertise can help you become the go-to for questions about your product or service category. Find a way to package up useful tips, ways to troubleshoot problems, checklists, infographics and planning templates.
  • Advocate
    When you get behind what your customers value, it becomes more of a peer relationship. You’re all rowing together for breast cancer, hunger, clean water, education or the issue that best aligns with your core business. The advocacy has to be authentic, though. Customers can smell blatant opportunism.

A consistent voice helps convert and retain customers. It humanizes your organization, making brand loyalty and active brand evangelism possible.

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