There’s an idea that all of your experiences come together to shape how and who you are. Those defining moments are sometimes big, sometimes small. It could be the day you lost your hero, it could be the day a stranger became a friend. Big days that hurt like hell, or small days that have made all the difference—they are all relevant.
In the world of content marketing, the same principles apply. Everything is relevant. You drive the message, and the message drives you. Your experiences, thoughts, actions drive not only the direction of your business, but are an integral part in the branding of your business.
Content is King, and so it is important that your content is not just telling a story, but it is telling the RIGHT story, YOUR STORY.
Recently, I attended a seminar that featured a branding expert. He talked about his experiences developing logos and websites for new brands, and how disappointed he was when they would eventually fail. It was happening at such a rate that he was beginning to ask himself what wasn’t he doing for his clients that could be contributing to their failure.
“Did I design the wrong logo?” “Were the colors not effective?”
Eventually, he came to understand that maybe the right questions weren’t being asked OF THE CLIENTS. He went on to explain that he was developing brands without actually developing the substance behind the brands. A brand is not just your logo. A brand is not just your company’s name, color scheme, tagline, etc. A brand is comprised of all of those things, and more.
What is the essence of your organization? If you are a small business who caters to a particular niche, why do you do this? Why did you come to the conclusion that your services were necessary in the marketplace? What is at the heart of your business model?
If you are a nonprofit, why is your cause so special to you? What is it about the way you serve the greater good that means the most to you?
The brand specialist explained that for him it was his purpose, his calling that ultimately lead him to develop his own business, and he realized that the same is true for others. I nodded emphatically, because I could not agree more. We must always think of our BRANDS as so much more than what is listed in our style guide.
All of the things that have made you who you are, the breathing, ever-evolving soul that you are (and are always becoming, are relevant. They inform your world views and your opinions, your openness and your reservations. Much like you, your business is living, breathing and ever-evolving. And all of the experiences that your team has had during the developmental and current stages of your business are relevant. These experiences inform how you do what you do, who you do it with and why you do it how you do it. This is what makes up the story of our businesses, this is what creates our brands.
If you are sharing information and images of your organization on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Linked In, or Pinterest (the Social Media Big 5), you are producing content—you are telling your story. What is it saying? Are you only showing pictures of your product? Or are you giving your customers a look behind the “thing.” What’s back there behind the post? I promise it’s relevant, and I bet you they care.