Last week, I gave a presentation to 300-plus folks on a Cision/Vocus webinar around content strategy. It was a similar presentation to the one I gave at the Fort Worth PRSA meeting in October (I shortened and updated the deck with a bunch of new examples and case studies).
As part of that presentation, I had a section dubbed “Content Cornerstones”, where I suggested 9 tips to consider when creating online content on behalf of your brand or client. I set these up with a “Don’t do this–do this instead” context, which allowed me to actually show you what I believe some brands are doing wrong. And, consequently, what others are doing right.
Take a peek at these 9 content cornerstones and let me know if you might have any to add:
Don’t mimic what other brands are doing:
Doesn’t this post from Reese’s look familiar?
#1: Instead: Stay true to your mission, values and brand voice.
Sleep Number (client) stays on brand with most of its posts. Its mission: To provide personalized sleep experiences. Most content the brand creates syncs up with that mission quite well.
Don’t play off popular social memes:
Sure these kinds of posts get a lot of RTs and favorites, but toward what end?
#2: Instead: Create content your customers will fine useful–and entertaining
Love this series of resources from Intelligentsia (one of my favorite coffees). Extremely helpful for the DIY coffee geek.
Don’t: Promote meaningless holidays
How many times have we seen brands “celebrate” ridiculous holidays like “National Better Breakfast Month?”
#3: Instead: Amplify your customers’ best content
Side benefit: Building community by highlighting your customers’ best stuff.
Don’t: Try to become the next Oreo
Please, God. I’m begging you.
#4: Instead: Focus on content that builds pride
Think about most of the people that follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social network. Chances are, they’re already a fan. Why not just play to that pride factor a bit?
Don’t: Promote your products/services TOO much
Go ahead, promote. Just don’t do it too much. Even Facebook is coming down on brands for over-promoting now…
#5: Instead: Inspire your customers through video and audio
Not every brand can produce a video like this (one of my faves from this year), but think about what kind of video you CAN produce that will inspire and solicit emotions in your customers.
Don’t: Talk about events only you care about
Really. Very few people cares.
#6: Instead: Tell rich, meaningful stories about the people who make up your company
I’ve blogged about Microsoft Stories before, but I’m a big fan. Love the way they tell employee stories here (see Kevin White at left here).
Don’t: Be too cute–resist that urge.
Denny’s is hardly the only “offender” here…
#7: Instead: Be a resource and build trust and affinity with customers
Sure, Hilton suggests its own hotels from time to time in this feed. But I’d say 90 percent of the time they’re merely suggesting the best restaurants, routes and activities in locales around the world.
Don’t: Focus on creating “compelling content.”
#8: Instead: Focus on creating compelling headlines!
It’s all about the headline. Without a great headline, no one will read your content. My thought: Create 5 headlines for every post you develop–better way to get to the BEST headline.
Don’t: Focus on short-form content exclusively
When you focus on short-form content exclusively, this is what happens…
#9: Instead: Create long-form content that can be broken apart into smaller pieces
One piece of long-form content can last for months when broken apart into smaller chunks. With Bike Walk Move, my partners (Mod & Co.) and I broke this large infographic into many Facebook posts, ads and posters we used for months afterward.