If you could turn a magazine story, newspaper article or broadcast newscast into exactly what your marketing or PR director wants, a story about your brand, I could count on one finger who would read or watch enthusiastically. Only that marketing or public relations director would be interested, because only he or she wants to hear your brand story. To get your story out, and make it interesting to a larger audience, you need content focus, and it’s simpler than it may sound.
The biggest misunderstanding for traditional marketers facing the challenge of incorporating content marketing into their digital presence today is content focus and relevance. The old school folks take the adage that says the democratization of media means you can now become your own media outlet. They think that means every article can be all about your brand.
But your customers, the very valuable people you need to consume that media, couldn’t care less about your precious brand. They do, however, care about the things in life that your brand impacts.
Content focus example: VW
I’m a Volkswagen owner and driver. I feel very positively about the VW brand. I do not, however, care one bit about the latest and greatest Volkswagen models, features, safety tests and the like.
But when I get my monthly issue of Das Auto magazine, I do thumb through it. Because, it has feature stories about interesting places to visit on road trips and interesting people who also happen to be VW owners.
The VW media outlet knows I don’t want to read about its company. I want to read about what interests me and impacts my life.
Identifying your content focus
Start by looking at your audience the same way a newsroom editor or producer would. Ask the following questions:
- Who is your core audience?
- What do they care about?
- What will they read, watch or listen to?
Once you know these answers, you can seek out your content focus point.
The focus point needs to be in the cross-hairs of the content requirements for your audience, but it also needs to have some level of association with your brand. Don’t get me wrong! The audience need comes first, but Volkswagen isn’t going to feed me information about nutrition. It just doesn’t make sense. (Unless, of course, consumer research says VW owners are inordinately health conscious. In my case, that would be a no.)
As an example, a few idea starters:
- A convenience store chain that supplies content for the on-the-go professional
- An accounting firm that writes about management and leadership in the construction industry
- A jeweler that provides photo essays on luxury lifestyle
- A sporting goods store that produces instructional videos on various sports for kids
It’s not hard to see content opportunities, and where your brand can provide expertise, if you look at what you sell, then widen the angle of your lens a bit. Once you land on a content focus point – and there can be more than one – become an expert in that area and run your blog, social channels, videos, podcasts and more, like you’re the only media outlet in the world covering your subject matter.