If you’re struggling to increase your brand awareness and build meaningful, trusting relationships with your audience, the solution could quite literally be staring you in the face every day…
We’re all acutely aware of the power of press coverage and just how many leads one solitary piece of PR can generate. But not many organisations are fortunate enough to have newsworthy stories to tell on a regular basis.
Instead many have turned to content marketing. Everyone understands the concept – create material, be that in written or image form, which doesn’t explicitly promote your brand but instead comes across as interesting or informative content while stimulating interest in your organisation’s products or services.
Where many companies’ content marketing goes wrong…
There are a lot of things you need to get right like the correct message for the right audience, aligning your content with your objectives and frequency of posts. But there’s one thing that really holds organisations back and that is a reluctance to put their people in the spotlight.
For many different reasons it’s hard for some organisations to loosen their grip on the reins and let their employees share some of the limelight. Sharing news and blogs via the organisation’s social media pages is great but it’s important to remember that social media platforms were originally created to connect people with people.
A study by US marketing and strategy firm The McCarthy Group found that 84 percent of 18-34 year olds no longer trust traditional advertising strategies and instead want to connect with brands through “people-powered” marketing.
This means allowing the people in your organisation to take centre stage. Don’t underestimate the power of their opinions, knowledge and creativity which channeled right and by association can add immense value to the credibility of your organisation. So alongside the content you push out through official organisational channels, it’s important to create a coordinated content calendar that includes thought leadership pieces created by your employees, particularly senior leaders, which are then shared through their own personal social media platforms as well as official channels. This can be particularly fruitful for those operating in the B2B space which as we know is so heavily reliant upon relationship building.
Personal branding, allowing your senior leaders to be human, be real and be themselves, will help your audience to build a more meaningful connection with your organisation. Understandably, there still needs to be a sign off process but to really engender trust, personal blogs need to be a bit more causal to read and feel like user content – and not polished content from someone carefully toeing the company line. It needs to be reflective of their way of expressing themselves.
The success of this approach can be likened to the positive PR organisations get when they’re brave enough to let their social media managers and customer service operators be human when responding to customer messages.
Your team members at the coal face of your organisation will often have the best understanding of your customers’ pain points and areas of interest, so by sitting down with them and tapping into their knowledge – there’s very often a treasure trove of pure gold waiting for you.
If they’re not accomplished writers themselves, marketing and comms managers can ghost write for them or employ the services of third party communication professionals who are often able to extract the best information as they’re not so close to it they can’t see the wood from the trees.
For more information about personal branding, employee blogs and social media content calendars, get in touch with us at The Clarity Business by emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 09 950 5304.
By Daniel McCabe