Your Content Marketing Begins With These Two Questions

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And these questions aren’t as simple to answer as you may think. A room filled with people from established companies and organizations were left scratching their heads. However, taking the time to develop thoughtful responses to these questions is key to crafting compelling and effective content.


There I was, on my feet with the rest of the audience at a SXSW event 3 years ago. We were companies and organizations, joined together with a common goal – to help change the world. Thinking back, I can’t tell you how many mission statements I’ve seen that promised to help change the world in some way.  Nevertheless, we were among those companies. Guilty as charged.

We were all asked to stand up and in unison, scream out our answers to a simple question: “What do you stand for?” Everyone looked at each other.  A few people piped in, some with conviction and some not so much. “To change the world”, “to make a difference in some way”, “to make an impact”, “to change the world!” I think you get the picture. The second question asked was, “Ok, then what are you against?” The room was silent.

What Do You Stand For?

Defining what you stand for helps consumers emotionally connect with your brand and enables you to become part of their stories.

It took us over a year to determine what we stand for, but it now informs every decision we make – choosing which partners and influencers we align with, identifying our target audience, crafting our branding and messaging, and creating valuable content. Our answer to this question has become our Manifesto. It is important to take the time to think about what you believe in – not just a mission statement that looks good on paper.

With the amount of digital ads and social stimuli that reach consumers everyday, people are overwhelmed with choices. More and more consumers are now seeking authenticity, and choosing brands that align with their values. Defining what you stand for helps consumers emotionally connect with your brand and enables you to become a part of their stories.

What Are You Against?

Compromising on your core values can alienate existing and future customers.

I personally found this question simpler to answer. Why is asking yourself this question so important? It gives you the conviction to say “no” to things that do not align with your values. This is difficult for any business – call it FOMO, or what one of my team members loves to coin FOMOR (fear of missing out on revenue). Compromising on your core values can alienate existing and future customers. Consumers, especially your loyal fans, can sense inauthenticity from a mile away. Focusing resources on your brand’s core values and mission will win the hearts and minds of your customers and partners.

So what are we against? Inaction.

And what do we stand for? Start here to find out.

Hope this article inspires your content marketing journey, and to be true to your brand’s story. In the beginning, we tried to chase the stories of others, but success lies in what makes your brand’s story unique.