Creating branded content can build thought leadership. It can deliver real and immediate value to clients and prospects. It can even help close a sale.
But what makes it branded content as opposed to some helpful information or tools you pass along? It’s the relation that valuable content has to your brand. It’s how it supports and amplifies who you are and what you have to offer.
With that in mind, we offer this four-point branded content gut check to help you evaluate your efforts.
1. Is it ownable?
Can your brand credibly offer this insight/information/tool? If a prospect is surprised that you are offering it, you ought to question whether you can really own the content. Take it one step further. Ask yourself, “What thought leadership is our brand most qualified to offer?” Use that question to get to the heart of the expertise you can offer through your branded content.
2. Is it authentic?
Think of your brand as a person for a moment. Does it seem natural that it could offer this expertise or help? Also, are you truly trying to help or is this content a sales pitch masquerading as thought leadership? I recently downloaded a 30-page “kit” that promised to offer real help with a discipline our company is looking to expand. It turned out to be 30 pages of why we should do business with them. I immediately lost trust in the vendor.
3. Is it valuable?
Just because you’re offering thought leadership doesn’t mean that anybody wants it. What do your clients and prospects really need and want help with? If you’re unsure, ask them. Then, look at how your brand addresses that need or want and develop content that can help them solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity in their lives.
4. Is it compelling?
Is it an idea that your audience can get excited about? Does it reflect the most compelling qualities your best clients identify as reasons for engaging you? If not, don’t fool yourself in believing it. Next, is it presented in a way that helps them quickly recognized the significance of your thought leadership? Don’t assume that just because you think that you have a great idea that everyone will recognize your genius. Find a compelling way to present your insight.
Remember, your brand is a valuable asset. It can lend instant credibility to your content. And when your content is aligned with your brand, it can return the favor – helping expand the equity you’ve built and create a meaningful connection with your clients and prospects.
- Branded content supports and amplifies who you are and what you have to offer.
- You can keep your content in brand by asking, “Is it ownable? Is it authentic? Is it valuable? Is it compelling?”
- Branded content can help expand the equity you’ve built.