If you’re a social entrepreneur, you’ve probably thought a lot about your brand. One critical way to establish your brand — your company’s unique identity — is through content marketing, the practice of using original content (like blogs or videos) to promote your message. But original content can easily get lost or work against you unless you leverage it correctly. We polled the panelists of our “Content Marketing For Entrepreneurs: How To Be Lean And Effective At The Same Time” webinar (March 29 at 11 pm PDT; sign up now!) for these three simple, effective content marketing tips you can implement today.
1. Create an editorial calendar
Easier said than done, right? Wrong. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A no-frills version is fine as long as it contains enough information to map your message across the year. You can use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to track when you plan on publishing new blogs, videos, articles, etc. Then add a schedule for follow-up promotions with that same content.
Ask yourself what messages are most critical to deploy in your publications at what time during the year. Once you have everything mapped out, it will be easy for you or others to execute, and you can more smoothly roll individual elements into a larger message if you plan ahead.
2. Use what you have.
A common misconception is that an effective content marketing strategy requires lots of content. In reality, you can gain lots of visibility without lots of content. Especially if you have an article or video that is presenting a new or innovative idea, it will stay relevant for longer than you might think. Promoting it multiple times across several weeks will give it greater traction and allow people to digest the information and message.
At the same time, come up with a way to track the results of your content. If certain content isn’t getting the traction you expected, make some adjustments. Again, tracking doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of free online tools to help with this. Ultimately, the time you spend creating original content is precious, so make it worthwhile.
3. Speak human.
Too often social entrepreneurs believe branding needs to sell directly, so they push rather than pull. Experts agree that there is nothing more important than understanding what your customers want (by asking them) and using their voice to communicate the brand.
If customers feel like your brand was created by them and for them, you are light years ahead of your competitors. This also means that brands themselves don’t need to sell directly — you have personnel for that. Remove sales pitches from your branding and replace them with descriptions of how your brand connects with people and builds relationships.
For lots more great content marketing insights and skills, attend the Conscious Company / Social Venture Network webinar on March 29 to hear three experts talk about these tips and more, live.
Content Marketing For Entrepreneurs: How To Be Lean And Effective At The Same Time
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11am-12pm PDT
Risa Blumlein has led and advised nonprofits and social enterprises for over 15 years, and uses this experience to lift up communities on the margins of opportunity as a business consultant at Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF). At NCCLF Risa manages capacity-building programs for the City of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund, and is responsible for a full suite of financial management advisory and educational services. Before joining NCCLF she co-led Social Venture Network, a membership community of socially-responsible CEOs and investors, through a leadership and business model transition. She has held director-level roles in finance, operations, strategy and development, and enjoys volunteering with the SF Garden for the Environment and the SF Produce Market. Risa freelances as @TheEmoBiz, has written pieces for Conscious Company, and is a fifth-generation San Franciscan.