Is Your Content Good Enough to Cut Through the Noise?

At this point, you get it: content is integral to your marketing efforts. You probably understand that it builds a foundation on which you can build your business because it gives you credibility and authority.

But to what ends are you creating this content?

At one point or another you’re going to hit a wall with content creation and wonder what this is all for. If you don’t know the answer to why you’re creating content, your passion and thoughts and ideas are going to dry up and fade away.

The reason behind your content creation should lie much deeper than to simply check off a box on a list of things to market your business well.

Your content is an extension of yourself— the written and spoken pieces of yourself that will stand out amongst the noise of all the other content out there. 

So what do you want said?

 

If your voice isn’t heard, it doesn’t exist

It’s harsh but it’s true. There are plenty of voices out there and most of them are just adding noise. We can all agree that to at least be recognized, our voices need to be heard.

The culture, the value, the methodologies, and the things that go on behind the scenes in business are the things that really matter. If these things only exist inside your head, that’s fine and dandy, but if nobody knows about it, it doesn’t exist.

So you have to create content for the sake of being heard, for being seen, and for adding something of value to this world. Documentation is not a checkbox, it’s a means to creating something bigger than yourself.

That being said, if that “something bigger than yourself” isn’t seen or heard, it cannot actually be bigger than yourself.

 

Video is the best way to communicate your voice

The best way to get your voice out there and heard is through video. Period.

You may think this whole video marketing thing only applies to people who are extroverted and outgoing, but that’s not true.

There’s personality inside of everybody. You don’t have to be an off-the-wall, energetic person just to justify doing video. It’s okay to be yourself on video everyday.

Every single platform out there is tailoring to video. So if you’re going to create content that resonates, then you have to be on the cusp of what’s actually happening. Communication is never going away and it is always evolving.

This means your brand will forever have to learn how to communicate effectively. And in this modern day, that means being on video.

 

Consistency is the means to an end

Consistency is a marketing strategy. Just doing it once or twice isn’t going to work.

And it’s not just about staying consistent, it’s about retaining attention. Sure, your consistent videos may draw new attention, but are they retaining that attention?

That consistency is merely a strategy for building something bigger. There’s no guarantee you will retain attention just because you show up regularly.

You have to create that reason for people to show up.

 

Give your audience a reason to keep coming back

You have to strategize how you’ll retain attention. Don’t be that brand that fades out over time.

If you look at what’s going on inside your content strategy right now, is it driving people that show up multiple times a week? And if there are people who do show up multiple times a week, how many more can you get to do the same?

Your strategy for retaining attention is simple: develop authentic relationships with people using your content.

 

Give yourself a reason to keep creating content

If you want to be an ever-flowing source for content, you have to know why you’re creating it in the first place.

So is your content good enough to cut through the noise?

At the end of the day, you’re not just creating content to knock out your agenda or your client’s agenda. Where’s the greater meaning in that? We’re in business to tell our stories because these stories are worth being told.

So what are you really doing? If you’re just here to own a business, that’s all your content will communicate. Document what you want remembered.

 

Following through with your content

Are you inspired to create your content? Maybe so. Will you be just as inspired a week from now? A month? A year? Maybe not.

When you get all wrapped up in your to do list and your emotions, you exhaust yourself. You lose sight of what really matters.

So ask yourself: why are you creating content? Are you doing it because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do? Or are you creating it because you truly want to resonate with your audience?

Think about it. It’s not something you’re going to figure out after one day. It’s a continual process you work on everyday.

And as you figure out what you’re leaving behind, continue to document. Don’t just document the good stuff, document the bad stuff too. The best content is formed from storytelling.

So keep on documenting for the sake of something greater, and you will produce amazing content.

For Entrepreneur DeVries, the Risk is Worth the Reward

MOSourceLink

Linking Missouri’s Businesses to the Right Resource at the Right Time

by Sarah Mote | Sep 23, 2015 Leave a comment


Laura DeVries, the director of communication and marketing for a St. Louis office, had an opportunity. During her 19 years of marketing experience, she recognized that small businesses and entrepreneurs needed marketing help in order to focus their attention on what they did best.

On the verge of transferring to another company, Laura instead decided to start her own business, CommCore Marketing.

Even though the timing was right and the opportunity was ideal, she had a problem. “My biggest obstacle was myself. I feared taking the plunge and failing,” she says.

Her scary moments built up fast when she became responsible for all aspects of her business. “Too many things were coming all at once and I struggled most with the technical side of running a business.”

Not willing to quit, Laura sought advice from small business owners she knew and respected. She asked questions. She asked for referrals and introductions. “Everyone was friendly, helpful and happy to offer guidance.” Laura advises anyone in a similar situation to reach out to their professional network.

Whenever doubts and fears roll in—what if the phone doesn’t ring?—Laura reaches out to her contacts again. “Take a step back and realize it’s going to fix itself, but you must be patient,” Laura says, while admitting patience can be tough some days. “Making it happen also requires setting realistic goals and being accountable to yourself.”

Working strange hours in order to spend time with the family is a great satisfaction. It’s rewarding to be in charge of her life, her business and her success.

Laura knew she was making a positive impact when she overheard one client tell a potential client that she now sleeps better through Laura’s help.

“Knowing that I’ve made that much difference for someone makes it all worthwhile.”


Ready to Get Something Started?

MOSourceLink has a network of more than 400 Resource Partners, nonprofit organizations ready to help you start, grow and scale your business. Start with our Resource Navigator to find help near you. Still stumped? Give us a call and we’ll connect you with the right resource, right now.

Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.

Link to complete article here.

Do You Have a Value Statement?

What is a value statement? A value statement is a declaration of a business’s top priorities and beliefs. These are used not only to remind employees of what a business’s goals are, but to connect with targeted consumers.

 

Your value statement, like your brand, will set you apart from other businesses. When it comes down to it, what do you really want to accomplish with your business? What do you really want to engage in your potential customers to make them identify with you? Remember, your business isn’t just about what you want, it’s also about what your customers want.

 

With so much media clutter out there, it’s important to be unique. If you look and sound like everyone else, then you are just going to blend into the clutter — and that’s not what great brands do. How can you set yourself apart? Think about it from a consumer’s point of view. If you were a consumer looking for the services your kind of business offers, what would you want that business to look and feel like in order for you to trust it? What kind of priorities would you want that business to have to earn your business?

 

Answering these questions will not only help you determine what your values are, but they will help you determine your target market as well. People don’t want just a service or product — a service or product is the bare minimum. People want a service or product that they can relate to and makes them feel something. A value statement brings in those feelings that help people connect a service or product to their business needs. So decide what it is you value, and what you think it is that your customers value, and create a statement that cultivates those feelings.

Brand Consistency: Why You Need It

Building a brand is tricky. You want people to think of your business uniquely. Ideally, you want to create a “vibe” that not only connects you with your market but associates a specific meaning within the mind of the consumer. In order to establish such a position, this requires a synchronicity between your brand strategy, brand message, and brand appearance. In other words, you need consistency.

 

Once you have established an idea for your brand, you begin to actualize this by putting out a message. Who are you? What do you offer? How are you different from the competition? These are the questions your message will answer. And once you have your message — stick with it. The longer you continue to put out your unique message, the more familiar it will become to people. And the more familiar it becomes, the more you build credibility. When it comes down to it, the consumer will seek out people and services that they recognize. So it’s important to be persistent with the same message — branding doesn’t happen overnight!

 

Your brand appearance should be consistent with the brand message. Think about it this way — the brand message is the meaning that you desire people to associate with your brand, whereas the brand appearance is how your message is actually perceived. You want to always be working toward closing the gap between your desired perception of your brand and the consumer’s perception of your brand.

 

Be aware that even the subtleties of your brand have an effect on the perception of your brand! If you’re a spa business and you want to brand your business with the colors black and red, your message may not be consistent with your appearance. Black is a very mysterious color often associated with fear and insecurity and red is often associated with high energy and sometimes aggression or anger. The associations that people have with black and red are not ones that would communicate a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation — the feelings you seek from a spa. So this would be an example of a lack of consistency between brand message and brand appearance.

 

Matching your brand message to your brand appearance is achieved through a brand strategy. Not all methods work the same for every message. If you are going to claim to be a “local” expert, then you need to do something truly local with your look and feel. If you’re a St. Louis local for example, one strategy to accomplish this might be to associate yourself with St. Louis sports teams like the Cardinals, the Blues, or the Rams. But this particular strategy may not work if you’re claiming local expertise as a bar owner, because most bars in St. Louis already associate themselves with the St. Louis teams. So another strategy to establish your brand message of “local expertise” may be in order.

 

When building a brand, cohesion is also key. However it should be noted that cohesion and consistency are not the same thing. By definition, consistency is doing the same thing predictably, whereas cohesion is doing things in a way that create unity. You can be successful in positioning your brand, having cohesion between your message and your appearance, but if you aren’t consistent your brand won’t last. Cohesion establishes your brand, but consistency builds it up. If you keep changing your message, people won’t be able to keep up with who you are and they will lose interest or forget about you.

 

Therefore it is important to find a look and feel and stick with it. Because the more you repeat a message, the more space it takes up in a person’s mind. Consistency is key!