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Content marketing for a brand that’s not yours: It’s not about you


Taking a content marketing role in an industry that excites you can be a double-edged sword.

On one hand, your natural interest will give you an endless stream of ideas to work with.

Be careful not to get so caught up in this excitement that you begin creating content for YOU.

Being responsible for producing social media content on a daily basis helped me learn a lot in a short amount of time.

My biggest takeaway for creating for a brand that’s not yours: separate the individual YOU — the one who uses personal social media accounts — from YOU the creator.

The voice and identity of the brand you’re creating for should reflect THEM. Their identity, their voice, and their vision. Here’s some advice for beginner content marketers on how to maximize this.

Choose content topics with empathy

You’re probably going to see overlap between the content that’s fit for your audience and what you’re interested in. But the broader audience needs to come first. It’ll help to keep your audience personas in mind throughout the process of developing a post. At each stage of the content creation process ask yourself, would ‘X’ want to see this? Does ‘X’ NEED to see this?

Don’t pitch

Now you know that your content shouldn’t reflect you as an individual. It also shouldn’t reflect your company’s products.

Content marketing is a long game. In order to win over your audience and build customer loyalty, you need to get them excited about your industry by sharing trends, breaking news, and key research.

As a newsletter junkie, I can appreciate it when an email is strong enough to make me want to click that blog article or video link.

But what makes an email strong? It’s definitely not marketing copy that simply and aggressively urges me to buy now. Good content marketing is a lot craftier than that.

Again, creating a bottom-of-funnel (BOF) ad ending with the line click to purchase isn’t just a strategy that takes the easy way out. It doesn’t work.

You’re better off sharing industry news info and stories that lead with:

A podcast teaser.

A video clip.

A written hook.

Grabbing potential customers this way feels less sales-y, and depending on what you post, like you’re taking the time to educate them with useful info about your industry. That’s because you are!

Give the people what THEY want

If you’re receiving a rush of interactions with certain types of content, figure out how to remake it in 27 different ways!

Taking advantage of customer feedback shows them that you’re in touch with their needs and interests.


It’s also a surefire way to grow your audience.

Something I’ve heard more and more is the importance of marketers being data-driven. You may have to “kill your darlings” as the renowned William Faulkner says.

If your feel-good Fridays are continually not landing, it’s vital that you go back to the drawing board, figure out what’s not working, and iterate.

When you’re testing out new content or are new to creating altogether, not getting an immediate rush of user interactions is just fine. In fact, it’s expected.

But not being data-driven and iterating on your content is a HUGE missed opportunity for growth. You’ll just be creating content for content’s sake. Establishing posting consistency is important, but eventually, so is increasing your social presence.

Conclusion

Following brand guidelines and creating for your audience are two important constraints in content marketing.

The rest is up to you!

Content marketing is intense and takes more research than you might think. But the journey from brainstorming new ideas to pressing ‘post’ is a satisfying one.

There will always be a little bit of YOU in your writing. As long as you stay conscious of your audience, you might surprise yourself with the creative ideas you can pull out of your brain.

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