Go to Google Search and write a query about something at the heart of your business.Â What shows up on the Google results page?Â Is it fresh, relevant content that draws readers to your companyâ€™s field of expertise?
Todayâ€™s consumers want value content.Â They may not even care as much about the source of that content. They just want helpful information.Â Â You probably know a company who is doing just that; continuously providing you with helpful information.Â They have your attention.Â Â They are good brand managers.
Whether you are a private, not-for-profit, or public sector company, whatâ€™s stopping you from creating and sharing the great content that consumers, and your potential customers, crave?
Relationships built on value content
I respond less and less to the marketing hard sell.Â I bet the same goes for you, too.
I do respond, though, to individuals and businesses who continuously offer me content that is fresh and relevant to my world.Â And usually Iâ€™m looking for and finding that content online.
Thatâ€™s why I follow people like Michael Sliwinski (@michaelnozbe).Â He not only delivers a popular project management application product, he also generates regular and engaging content, â€śhow toâ€ť type videos on internet productivity, thereby building trust and brand.
The relationship between company and media
In a feature article about brand journalism in last weekendâ€™s Globe and Mail, Ira Basen says â€śtodayâ€™s consumer is looking for helpful information that will help them do something better in their jobs or live better lives, and corporations can provide that just as well as media companies.â€ť
Why leave good content outside of your companyâ€™s control?Â Better to generate within.Â Give consumers value content.Â You donâ€™t have to push it down their throats. Â Â Leave the pushy marketing stuff out. Â Pull them in to your brand; whether youâ€™re a telecom, a community non-profit, a government agency, etc.
Joe Pulizzi (@juntajoe), founder of the Content Marketing Institute, believes every company should be its own publishing company, itsâ€™ own media company.Â Pulizzi and others have drafted a job description for a Chief Content Officer, to serve as a template for the executive tasked with managing the intersection between marketing, journalism and content.
Brand content management
Most of us handpick who we pay attention to.Â We choose. Â To what extent does the source of good content matter?Â For me, there has to be some match to my value set.Â Does it have to be a 100% match?Â No it doesnâ€™t.Â And, for sure, thatâ€™s the sentiment of many (most?) young people, today.
The relevance of content source is a paradox.Â Being a mediator, I welcome paradox.Â On the one hand we may love how helpful the information is.Â On the other hand, we may feel less certain about the source of that content?Â Are their business objectives for sharing that content authentic?Â Certainly, transparency of intent counts.Â Â We are then more likely to accept those â€śengaging narrativesâ€ť that show the brand in a good light.
Working with the yin yang of brand content managementâ€¦
Taking ownership of content, making it regular, fresh, relevant and easily accessible, (all of which Google rewards) is a positive way to build relationships and your brandâ€™s image.
How are you using content to attract people to your company, and what you and your brand stand for?
photo credit: pinksherbet on flickr
About the author
Ben Ziegler is a collaboration consultant and online conflict management specialist, based in Victoria, on Canada's west coast. Connect with him on Twitter.