A lot of brands struggle with a similar problem: what do we do with our content marketing?
Especially marketing agencies. Can you believe it? For the heck of it, we can’t figure out our own content needs.
- Shouldn’t we be able to nail it for ourselves?
- Why should my clients trust that I can help them when I can’t do it myself?
- Will they be concerned that we’re inconsistent at posting on our blog, and on social?
Eating your own dog food often seems near impossible for lack of time. But I think it’s because the answer lies deeper.
You need to decide which of the 4 kinds of brand you might be. Are you:
- Gun for Hire (most of us)
- Santa (also most of us)
- Unicorn Viewpoint (very rare)
- Visioneers (Some)
- Platformation (Most love these)
Let’s break it down.
1. Guns for Hire: Pay me, and I’ll get it done.
These kinds of brands don’t need to have much of a content game. Your clients are looking for your skillset to get their job done. All they want to see is the results you’ve brought your clients.
Your content and credibility is in your portfolio.
This is probably most companies. And they’re often very successful. Since it is your content game, your reach will be likely limited to prospective clients, or others in your space who want inspiration.
This runs aground when you don’t have enough going on. That’s when you might want to incorporate at these other options.
2. Santa: giving gifts and checking lists
This is what a lot of brands expect to do; creating valuable content that helps with inbound marketing, educates a mailing list, and keeps people learning.
This content isn’t always for the target buyer. These listicles and content clusters are perfect for the DIYer out there. The target buyer sees that you’ve spent time and thought on a problem, and trusts that you can handle theirs.
This content mission runs a knife edge between blah and brilliant. Without any of the next missions, it can maroon in the doldrums, and read like every other site out there.
3. Unicorn Viewpoint: A new way of seeing something
These brands bring a new angle to the same methods and tools. They are often hugely inventive, a fantastic sense of distinction and originality.
You have to have a incredibly unique voice or approach if you want to stand out. Usually there’s some learning transfer that’s happened. You’re bringing a new system or thought flow to the market.
Most brands don’t have unique viewpoints that make people go crazy with anticipation.
The reach for this kind of content is much broader, but most of the time, will be limited to prospective clients and people within this niche. Not a bad thing, but there’s a lot of education that often happens. There’s not usually a broader appeal or cross-pollination into other niches.
Since most of us are learning a craft, and not yet at a point of unicornity (is that a word?), then the next option might work for you.
3. Visioneers: market your why.
Does your brand have a reason for existing beyond serving your clients? Do you have a cause that you’re passionate about? Will you continue to post and blog about it, even 2 years from now? 5 years?
If yes, then that’s your focus. That’s what you’ll become known for. Make that an ongoing campaign that puts all your skills and team in play.
This is often a hugely interesting kind of brand. It creates all kinds of followers, not just from your target audience and your buyers. You can have a much broader reach this way.
4. Platformation: create a voice for others
This kind of brand builds off the ‘Visioneer’ type, with a strong voice and vision. But instead of creating a ton of your own content, you create a platform that allows others to do the talking.
This kind of brand builds of ‘user generated content,’ where you’re corralling content, instead of creating it. You focus on keeping everyone clear about the vision, and give them a voice, a chance in the ‘spotlight.’
Out the gate, this kind of brand has the potential for a lot of growth, and for reaching a lot of people. Everyone loves to be seen, heard, and understood. So when you make that your focus, they make you theirs.
You’re now off the hook to create stuff. You cultivate and curate.
These kinds of brands often build loyal tribes, because you’re giving so much attention to others.
Dream Again is gunning to be this kind of brand in 2020, focusing on helping more people tell their stories.
What do you think?
So if you’re having the hardest time cranking out blog articles, staying on top of your Instagram, tweeting and going live on Facebook, and so on, perhaps you haven’t yet cleared up your brand type.
There’s only so many things that can be said about a literal hammer. Or how to use it. That horse has been flogged till the cows came home to roost.
Today, focusing on the stories that the hammer makes happen is often easier, and more valuable.
What do you think? Are there any other kinds of brands? What’s yours?
Go ahead and reply with your type, and how you’ve made it work for you. Or how you’re struggling with it.
I attribute this article Eating Your Own Dog Food, The Cobbler’s Kids, And The Texas Law Hawk for helping me make sense of this.