Content Planning: Creating Your Brand Identity

Build a Solid Foundation with an Identity and a Plan

Talk to any leading Expert Author and you will find a plan (big or small) at the center of their success. If you want to succeed and ultimately get more out of your return on time investment, establishing a plan will help you achieve your article writing goals as well as any goal you wish to achieve.

In any plan – content plans, strategic plans, etc. – you must first define your backstory via a mission and a vision. Once you’ve established these focal points, you can begin to establish your brand identity.

What do you value?

Your brand identity is made up of the visual characteristics unique to you and your organization – on the Internet, that’s everything. One of the keys to developing an identity that resonates with your audience is to identify your core values.

Core values are the attitudes or beliefs of your organization. These values are not a result of the activities you perform. Instead, the activities are a result of your core values.

To define your values, consider the most basic elements of your organization’s principles and beliefs. Examples of core values are maintaining a healthy work/life balance, a commitment to sustainability, and being resourceful. Use these values, along with your mission and vision to align members of your organization as well as guide activities (i.e., “this activity” reflects “this value,” “this product” reflects “this value,” “this article” reflects “this value”).

Is your Expert Author brand identity consistent?

Cover the bases of your Expert Author identity by ensuring everything points back to your mission, vision, and core values. The following are key areas to review and update:

  • Author Name – Your name must be consistent between your website and your articles. In addition, ensure your name can easily be found on your website for added transparency and brand exposure.
     
  • Author Photo – Readers trust someone they can visualize behind the writing and it’s critical to your Expert Author identity. Use your EzineArticles Author Photo on your website for an easy visual cue of your brand and to reassure the reader of your connection and authenticity. [Learn more]
     
  • Author Profile – Your profile is the #1 spot to discuss your credentials as an authority in your niche, your organization, your mission, your vision, and your values. Provide your readers with a call-to-action that will motivate them to visit your website, blog, or other links you provide on your profile. [Learn more]
     
  • Niche – When choosing a niche, avoid the broadest area – the smaller you are, the more focused your niche should be. Start small to build big by establishing your credibility in focused areas. [Learn more]
     
  • Relevance – Avoid writing articles that are irrelevant to your niche. All content in your article portfolio should reinforce your brand, not weaken it with subjects irrelevant to your audience. Save personal commentaries and other content of that ilk for a personal blog.
     
  • Resource Box – Your Resource Box should succinctly include your name, your vision, a call-to-action, and a link to a relevant page on your website.

What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)?

Once you have a foundation, it’s time to take inventory to discover what’s working for you and what’s not. Identify all of your assets – both online and off. Then perform a SWOT analysis to pinpoint areas of improvement as well as effectively create and achieve goals efficiently. Consider the following by using your mission, vision, and values as a lens:

  • Strengths – Assets and characteristics that give you and your organization an advantage.
     
  • Weaknesses – Assets and characteristics that limit you and your organization.
     
  • Opportunities – Outside prospects you can use to improve.
     
  • Threats – Outside elements that prevent growth or cause harm.

Once identified, use this information to realign your goals and build the framework of a seamless content strategy that targets readers.

Building a foundation is critical to any successful venture that will resonate with readers. Identify who you are, what you represent, what you value, and be consistent. From there you can identify where you stand and how you can plan to improve. We’ll show you more content planning strategies on audience targeting, evaluating, and more in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Did you miss our first content planning post on developing a mission and a vision? Click here!

View next post
View previous post

6 Comments »


1
Lance Winslow writes:

Branding is very important, and those who fail to plan, are planning to fail at their brand. Great Post!

Comment provided October 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

[Reply]

2
Randall Magwood writes:

I know the value of having a plan, and creating a brand in the marketplace. Ever since i started writing out my plans and goals for the week, after 90 days i became an Ebay Powerseller and a Top Rated Seller. With this kind of recognition behind my name, my sales increased dramatically due to the brand of “powerseller” and “top rated seller”.

Comment provided October 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM

[Reply]

3
Rinkesh Kukreja writes:

I completely agree with the point that one must submit articles related to his/her niche. Most of the people just randomly submit articles and then penalized by Google.

Comment provided October 11, 2012 at 2:52 AM

[Reply]

4
Howad Dion writes:

Absolutely great advice. Well thought out and communicated. Thank you. Having been a facilitator for Strategic Planning, I can tell you that SWOT is a very motivating experience.

Comment provided October 11, 2012 at 9:47 AM

[Reply]

5
Salihu S Dikko writes:

Planning concerns every aspect of human life and development. As such, in article writing, enough of it needs be applied every now and then.
Now, I need great help, concerning website, that I’m yet to have. Kindly assist me to obtain one or how do I go about having one, because from the look of things, one needs it greatly.

Comment provided October 11, 2012 at 11:02 AM

[Reply]

6
Lee writes:

If I had to give a prime example of great quality content, this article would be one. It’s well-written material that keeps your interest well.

Comment provided October 11, 2012 at 8:03 PM

[Reply]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.