Eight Ideas for Creating Branded Content People Actually Enjoy

| June 4, 2014

Filament spelling out ideaCPN On Point is pleased to publish marketing articles from Bob Hutchins, President of BuzzPlant, a leading national marketing company.

What is “content?” It’s a loose term. Vague. Nonspecific. It can be used to describe a “Happy Friday!” tweet or an all-in, multi-million, multimedia, market-saturating campaign front. Content is… well, whatever you want it to be. If you and your brand are struggling with the content creation process, then I know that “definition” isn’t very helpful. So, I’ll give you a few things that do help.

It Starts With a Spark…
Truly great content – whether it’s a short-and-sweet blog post or an interactive video – shares one thing in common: the creative spark that only your brand can deliver. I’m a firm believer that every company has some creative spark within; the spark is something that can be ignited if you can just find it and breathe life into it.

This is a blog post about finding that spark. For many brands, it’s not a eureka moment, but something that happens gradually through the creative process. You try creating content. You fail. You try a different way. You enjoy a moderate success. You try again. Eventually, you nail it! I’ve seen it happen, but it requires a special endurance in the creative process. Ready to get started?

8 Ideas for Creating Content That Bears the ‘Spark’
1. Marcus Sheridan (of www.thesaleslion.com) is a strong proponent of this approach to blogging: Write down 25-100 questions your business gets. Turn the answers into blog posts. Create a publishing schedule, and crank ‘em out! (Perhaps not the most creative content, but I guarantee the process will open the door for a flood of creative material.)

2. Pay attention to the comments section. What are your readers interested in talking about? Grab hold of their interests and ideas. (If your blog doesn’t get comments, read the comments left on the blog posts you wish you had written.)

3. The next two ideas are from Peter Shallard (www.petershallard.com) Find something controversial in your industry, take a position that you believe in and can defend, and write about it.

4. Make predictions about where your industry is heading. (Again, reasoning and defense have to be there, otherwise you’re just a loon.)

5. Tap into the wealth of resources found in your customers’ product reviews and testimonials. What do people like about your company or products/services? Are you creating content that highlights the good that others see in you?

6. You’re probably using Google Analytics and/or have a Facebook brand page that gives you some basic demographic information. Are you treating analytics as mere trivia? Or, are you actually trying to create content for the audience that you have? Sometimes you have to write for who is reading – not who you want to attract. So, pay attention to those analytics as you search for your spark!

7. If you have a sizable and responsive audience, poll them to see what kind of content they want. Follow through.

8. Go in-depth. Most of the time, surface-level is okay. But, if you want to truly gain the respect and attention of your viewership, dedicate the necessary resources for going in-depth with some of your content. These are your heavy-hitting, flagship pieces. Make ‘em count!

Category: Marketing

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Email | Website | Bob Hutchins (Franklin, TN) runs Buzzplant (www.buzzplant.com), A 12+ year old Internet marketing agency targeting the faith/family market. His team was an integral part of the online campaign for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia, Soul Surfer, and many other movies, books, music releases, and events. His client/partner roster includes Time-Life, Sony Pictures, General Motors, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, Thomas Nelson Publishers and Zondervan. He is co-founder of The Faith-Based Marketing Association and Ground Force Network, and has been featured on Fox News, MSNBC, in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, INC Magazine, Fortune Magazine, MarketingVOX, American City Business Journals, Dallas Morning News, and on various television/radio media. He is also the co-author of Faith Based Marketing, published by John Wiley and Sons, and his second book- The Recommendation Age. He also teaches Social Media Marketing to MBA students at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.