The rise in popularity and noise surrounding content marketing has opened a tremendous opportunity for business. At the same time, it has created a great deal of responsibility and anxiety for businesses to get their message across. It’s harder for businesses to tell their own story nowadays because a lot of businesses have similar stories. Your business can get lost in the noise when you broadcast the same message as everyone else to the world. Some examples of these messages are “we specialize in top quality software” or “#1 leading technology company in the GTA” which doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in consumer interest. Finding a voice for your business helps solve this problem.
The first few questions to ask yourself are: Are you taking the right steps to find your voice as a business, and reflect that out in the market? Or are you letting your competitors, the media, customers, and others shape your message? Here are some simple steps to help brand your business:
Voice vs. Brand
The best thing you can do for your business is build a brand surrounding it. From building trust to establishing the context for how your message will be delivered through multiple media channels, it’s important to answer the following questions:
Voice is part of your branding and yet, separate from it. Your brand covers many things:
Who are you speaking to?
A company’s voice must resonate with customers and prospects for it to work. It must align with your vision and your perspective, but it also should resonate well with your audience. Knowing who you are speaking to and how your message will relate to them, will overall help you find your voice and grow your business.
What are you saying?
You should also know what you want to say. What’s your big message? What is your business trying to accomplish in the world? And to put it bluntly, so what? Why is your message of broader significance to the market in general and to your target customers in particular?
How are you saying it?
How your message gets across is truly important. Be aware of how you are communicating to your audience and you should keep looking until you find the right medium for your unique voice. For a person, the answer could be painting, writing fiction or dance. For a writer, you could drill down and argue that the medium could be long-form narrative or biographies or romance novels or blog posts about SEO. From a business perspective, there are multiple layers to “how” you communicate. A business owner needs to consider the tone, the approach and the medium of the message. The medium is a critical piece of the content marketing discussion. If you look at a pre-created content marketing plan, it often ticks off items from a checklist that you must do. Write and publish one new post each business day on your blog, develop and place one guest post a week, or create a great opt-in guide for your e-newsletter list. All of these are valid, and I would argue important, strategies.
Hopefully these tips will lead you to help find your voice for your brand, your company, and explain to your audience why it is important. If you feel confident enough in your message, then your consumers will too.