Back in the day, branding consisted of a snappy business name with a custom sign and possibly a logo. The purpose was simple: to let potential customers know what goods or services you had to offer. There wasn't much competition and there wasn't much need for more than one of the same type business in a particular town.
Boy how times have changed! There are so many choices out there. In order to stand out, you have to distinguish yourself and your business and that can be a challenge. That's where branding comes in.
What Is Branding Anyway?
Branding is the way an entrepreneur or business builds their reputation. It is the process of building awareness and creating customer loyalty. In more simpler terms, it is about making sure your business if visible and expressing why someone should choose you over another.
Gain The Lead
The quickest way to gain the lead on your competition is to resonate with your ideal customer. In order to do that, you have to be on point with your brand strategy, messaging, and visual identity. You also have to communicate and develop a relationship with your customers.
That's where original content creation comes in.
In It For The Long Haul
Creating content delivers long-term value and it's one of the best ways to invest in your business brand. All you need is your time!
The reason it delivers such value is because it's the cheapest way to demonstrate your expertise. What better way to create a strong connection with your potential customers than to share your knowledge in an article or blog? I mean, there's only so much room on the home page of your website, right?
Every piece you write adds to your brand voice, your brand message, and your overall brand foundation. Creating original content forces you to establish your unique point of view and paves the way to your ideal client. By the time prospective clients get to you, they're already interested!
Cut To The Chase
Less is more. If you have a lot of ideas running around it's better to have shorter articles than one long-winded one. You don't have to explain everything all at once. You can build on an idea, point of view, or topic in your industry over time in multiple articles - all with your own personal twist. Make sure you are speaking to topics that are relevant to your business and brand.
Pass The Time With A Story
To increase your engagement get personal. People are driven by their emotions, so for every article you write, tap into an emotion and tell a story which connects with your target audience. People buy from people and as a small business, this is an amazing way to build credibility and get your brand noticed.
Take The Scenic Route
It's one thing to write original content, but it's quite another to hit the road without taking the scenic route. In other words, add engaging imagery to your blog posts.
The truth is, the message is not enough. Not in this day and age where people have the attention span of a toddler and there's so many flashy new things to catch their attention. Not only do they have a very short attention span, but your audience is lazy and wants information fast. They want to be able to get to the nitty gritty quick and find what is of value to them.
Images are what lure them in and provide support for your content, taking it from a jumble of words on the screen, to an exciting story they have to read (or at least skim).
Be sure that the image is relevant to your content. Don't just throw up a pretty scenic image when you're talking about SEO rankings. Every image used needs to add something to the article. And don't go crazy with images either or you'll end up with it looking more like a photo gallery. A good rule of thumb is one main image and depending on the length of the article, maybe one or two smaller images sprinkled throughout the copy. Or you can use other things to break up the copy.
Make Sure to Take Pit Stops
Just like when you are traveling long distances, the reader needs to take a break and stretch their legs every now and then. You can use imagery to separate points, call out some important text in a large, bold font, or add sub-headlines to make it easier for the reader to digest.
No Fuzzy Dice Required
Creating original content is one of the best ways to build a brand over time and the images you use in your articles tell a story, just as much as the words do. You should think of images the same way you think of the overall concept of the article. With imagery your content will be more unique and your story will be stronger. Increasing brand awareness takes time, effort, and a lot of experimentation. You won't see results immediately - very few pieces of content go viral, and shaping your brand voice takes time, but it's so worth it!
SIGN UP for these articles in your inbox.
Amanda Johnson Young is a brand designer with over 20 years experience. READ MORE
LIKE WHAT YOU READ HERE?
SIGN UP for these articles in your inbox.