Have a Conversation With Your Brand
It’s been shouted from blogs, echoed through social media valleys, and whispered across the richest plains of the Internet:
Content is king.
Wait! Before your eyes glaze over because you’ve heard these three words so many times that they seem cliché, hear me out.
You understand that content creation (articles, social media posts, videos, and much more) is important to your success and exposure, but there’s another side to this story.
Does Your Content Resonate?
Content only works if it resonates in two ways:
- Resonates with your readers by compelling them to think, feel, or act.
- Resonates with your brand by inherently relating to your mission and values.
Merely posting content and sending it through various promotional channels may seem like it’s enough to resonate with your brand, but it takes more than that. You need to create a lasting ripple effect that traces all the way back to your brand.
How Do You Create Content With a Ripple Effect?
Before all else, understand your brand.
Don’t just have a vague idea of your brand – sit down and flesh it out. In fact, imagine sitting down and having a conversation with your brand. What would it say? If your brand sounds like a marketing strategy’s elevator pitch because that’s all it’s been prepared to say, then you’re in trouble.
Times have changed. Audiences are social and want brands to be just as social: to have a conversation. They want to talk about likes, dislikes, what makes them tick, what they are most passionate about, and more. Audiences want to align themselves with you and what your products or services stand for – not necessarily with the product itself.
How do you encourage alignment? One principle:
Use the power of opposites.
Love and Hate
Hot and Cold
Powerful and Weak
Private and Public
Pretty and Ugly
For and Against
Opposites are potent and they create resonating ripples.
How Can You Harness the Power of Opposites?
Remember that conversation with your brand? Take it a step further. Dissociate yourself from your brand for a moment and pretend you don’t know a thing about it. Ask it this question:
What does your brand stand for?
Beyond a stuffy, uninspiring mission statement write down the answer and truly make it convincing – enough to convince you. We want to hear passion and conviction in your reply detailing everything that your brand stands for. Next, ask it this follow up question:
What does your brand oppose?
For every point your brand was for, there is an opposite. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to trade hot for cold – it means you change the lens with which you view the original idea.
For example, I “asked” EzineArticles what it was for. Here’s a condensed list of its responses (you know how chatty EzineArticles can be):
- We stand for a positive user experience.
- We stand for quality.
- We stand for speed and will invest in new resources to deliver a faster experience.
- We stand for sharing original knowledge, expertise, and wisdom.
- We stand for a passionate team of editors who care about providing a great service.
Next, I “asked” EzineArticles what it opposed:
- We oppose a bad user experience.
- We oppose shoddy, poor quality.
- We oppose delays and slowness.
- We oppose derivative, hackneyed content.
- We oppose allowing a “robot” (technology) to make a judgment on something as human as writing.
You see: brands can love and hate (or strongly dislike in most cases) just as much as the next person! By identifying what they are for and then specifying what they are against helps both the audience and the brand find common ground. If they have a common enemy (not just a common love or passion), it provides an opportunity to join forces and rally against what they oppose.
How Does This Work Into Your Content?
Use the opposing forces (what you stand for and what you oppose) as a foundation to write great content that resonates to create a ripple effect.
For example, because we’re opposed to poor quality, we might say to you, “WE HATE SHODDY QUALITY.” Then we might ask you to “STAND WITH US AGAINST POOR QUALITY” and recommend measures to take against poor quality.
Take time today to truly meet your brand – have a conversation with it and get to know it. Find out what it’s for and what it’s against and then use that ground to introduce it to your audience through resonating content. When your audience finds your brand’s ideas resonate with them, your audience will find ample common ground to get to know your brand (and even introduce you to their friends and family too).