How to Create Content that Adds Genuine Value

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I consistently talk about developing content that adds value to the communities you operate in.

Instead of talking about the theory that embodies this philosophy, I wanted to bring a very specific example to life.

It will hopefully show how helping someone with a problem can potentially make them more likely to engage with a brand, and ultimately become an advocate for that brand by regularly sharing the content that is being published.

Let’s get to it.

Adding value through content: An example

To illustrate my point, we’re going to consider two parties:

  1. A running shoe brand
  2. A running enthusiast

As the running shoe brand, let’s have a think about the problems we can help runner’s solve in the area we have expertise in.

An obvious one is injuries.

People who run regularly often face issues with their bodies, ranging from little niggles to more serious problems.

Running injuries can stem from a number of things, but more often than not, it can be put down to running technique.

So, if I’m a runner who is struggling with shin splints and my initial research suggests that an adjustment in the way I run may solve my problem, I’ll probably get very specific with some searches on Google and / or YouTube.

Here are some examples of the proactive searches I might conduct on YouTube as a runner facing some injury concerns:

I conducted various searches featuring different types of keyword combinations and results from running shoe brands were few and far between.

This seems like quite an obvious conversation theme to own for a brand that sells products related to running.

If a brand did adopt ‘running techniques’ as a theme, it could manifest itself beyond simply being discovered via a search query – it can very easily be adapted for the popular social media platforms too.

Let’s bring this to life via a twitter.

Now, let’s bring this to life via a Facebook update that includes a chart outlining a number of things you need to keep in mind:

Both the tweet and Facebook example don’t need to involve the production of original content, curating something that already exists is completely appropriate too.

You can probably see how owning this content theme can manifest itself elsewhere too.

A good example might be a fun run or marathon that is coming up which gives the brand in question an opportunity to provide additional tips about running form and injury prevention in the lead up to the event.

What normally happens

Based on what I see more often than not, thinking in this manner is either not considered or very low down on the priorities list. Or, it is disconnected from the way brands operate on social platforms which decreases the chances for it to have an impact.

The other thing that happens is that a big portion of marketing time and money goes towards ‘cool digital concepts’ or ‘creative activations’.

I’m not saying these things don’t have a role to play, but that activity is much more likely to have an impact if the right ‘always on’ content strategy is in place.

The other thing that often occurs is that brands and organisation attempt to create ‘value adding’ content in areas that are too specifically tied to a commercial interest e.g. how to assemble a brand ‘x’ table. Again, this can play a role, but it isn’t an everyday problem people face and won’t increase visibility beyond existing customers / stakeholders.

Adopting this approach in your business

As mentioned up top, I didn’t want to get too heavy on the theory in this post, but instead wanted highlight a very simple way to bring this approach to life via a very specific example.

If this example has struck a chord, you can have a think about the following things if you want to gauge your ability to own some conversation themes:

  1. What topics of conversation do you have permission to talk about and what expertise can you share?
  2. Can this knowledge help solve everyday problems faced by existing and prospective customers?
  3. Can you own a very niche topic arising from this review and become a trusted source of information?

It is important to point out that a lot more background work is required to make this work, ranging from keyword research to content production capabilities.

And, while content continues to be a big buzzword, creating it without considering how it adds genuine  is likely to drain resources and not deliver the impact it potentially can.

(Image via lululemon athletica)

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