Cliches. We hate them, but can’t avoid them.
As we write this, there are over 500 million blogs on the web. Naturally, not all of it is quality stuff. Much of it is redundant, plagiarised, and cliched. So how do you stand out in this sea of content?
This is especially true in 2021, where we are bombarded with spammy content and fake news. In fact, a recent study shows that 70% of consumers are suspicious of all advertising.
In this scenario, content creation is all about creating trust. In the following paragraphs, we talk about how you can create authentic content for your brand without being corny.
Find Your Voice
To start, your audience doesn’t want to engage with AI or a faceless corporation. Your content should make them feel as if they are connecting with a human.
See how the branding of massive companies like Amazon and Tesla resonates with the audience due to the unique voices of their CEOs. This is what you want to achieve with your content.
Who is the voice of your brand? Does the content you publish align with your vision and company values? Answering these questions will help you find a voice for your brand that resonates with your audience.
Know Your Audience
We talk a lot about persona-focused content. Before you create content, ask the following questions:
- Who are my readers? (men, women, young, seniors, or college students, etc.)
- What are their pain points?
- What kind of solutions are they looking for?
It becomes easier to create relevant content when you know who is reading you. So map out your audience’s persona and speak to that persona. Doing so will also help you choose the relevant vocabulary and lingo.
There’s always scope for original content.
And while every topic on the planet has been done to death, there is always a way to make your content fresh and original:
- Use the latest facts, figures, and data
- Read books on your subject and approach it from a different angle
- Interview experts (even within your company)
- Invite authorities for guest posts
You can follow these techniques even while covering trending topics.
Write for Search Engines AND Humans
This cannot be stressed enough.
There is no dichotomy between quality content created for people vs search engines. In fact, when you create authentic content that provides value to your audience, you will improve your ranking in the process.
SEO helps to make content reader-friendly. The target keywords can tell you exactly what your audience is looking for, and you can then publish content that answers their questions.
As a species, we resonate with narratives.
And that’s why high-performing content almost always revolves around stories. Marketing is all about telling a story, a story that involves the protagonist (your customer) overcoming obstacles in her life (obesity, debt, depression, etc.) through your product or service.
You can find countless examples of story-based content on the best-seller list of any bookstore. Popular books on personal finance, management, and leadership all convey a story, whether you talk about Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson or The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason.
You can add stories to your content in many ways:
- Incorporate personal experiences and anecdotes in your blogs
- Make videos of behind-the-scenes or after-hours at your organization
- Use case studies of actual customers to elucidate the benefits of what you’re selling
This also resonates with what we discussed above about your brand voice. Using pronouns like “I” or “we” personalize your content and also engages with your readers on a human level.
Of course, there’s always the temptation to make it too personal. Remember that you are creating corporate messaging and not publishing your diary.
Finally, creating authentic content on a regular basis is no simple feat. It requires experience and expertise that many companies, especially SMEs, usually don’t have in-house.
The solution is to work with a content marketing agency. The most experienced content writers will know how to produce content for different platforms and campaigns while staying true to your brand’s voice.
And it’s always a great idea to reach out to experts if you find it hard to manage content creation at your company.