Start writing better brand content

I’ve talked about creating a content calendar and establishing relevant content categories for your brand, but today we’re going to talk about how to write better content for your brand (to be used on any channel) by understanding the authority and uniqueness of what your brand has to offer.

Here at Fifteen4 we’ve worked with a wide range of clients when it comes to their experience with content creation: from those just getting started to those with years of posts that they need to audit and clean up. Regardless of your experience level or current content library, the following exercise will generate clarity, provide better focus, and help you create higher quality content for your brand.

Why focus on authority and uniqueness?

Two reasons:

#1 Understanding your authority and unique point of view will instantly provide a realistic focus for what content topics actually make sense for you to create.

#2 There’s a lot of noise out there and we want to encourage you to put forth quality content rather than just putting content out there for the sake of it.

So, to help you abide by this way of thinking, ask yourself the three questions we’ve listed below. Each question will reveal a certain level of authority and uniqueness of your potential content topic and help you understand how each type of content may or may not make sense for you. Proceed with humility and, please, be brutally honest with yourself along the way.

Question #1

Are you going to write about something that’s an industry standard or explain a way of doing things to educate your audience? Do you have the experience or credentials to do so?

This has no real unique quality to it but it does demonstrate authority and helps establish your library of basic educational content. When a prospective client comes along and sees this kind of content they immediately recognize that you know the best-in-class way to do what you claim to do. It also shows that you appreciate a job done the right way because quality work matters.

Make sure when you go about this that you really do have the experience necessary to educate others. If you find yourself sourcing several articles just to substantiate what you’re saying or to provide real life examples that you don’t have on your own, that’s a flag that you may not have the experience and education to be speaking on the topic (remember: it’s content creation not content curation). You’ll know you’re speaking to something you have authority on if you can substantiate each claim you make with professional experiences you’ve had alongside past clients and teammates.

remember: it’s content creation not content curation

Note: Building and educational base in your content is a great way to show your brand is passionate and all-in on what you do. Although the basics may be obvious to you, generating base-line, elementary posts is a great way for potential clients to get to know your expertise, to break down industry jargon, and to build an evergreen content base.

Here are some examples of posts like this from our library:

What is a Design Pattern?

What is a Grid?

Best Practices for Designing a Blog

Question #2

Are you going to write about something that anyone in your industry can speak to, but you’re bringing a unique perspective or voice to it?

This type of content is somewhat unique because you’re speaking within the relevant conversations of your industry, but you’re usually advocating for something, sharing an opinion on something, or presenting something well known infused with your brand’s voice. These types of posts give a lot of room to speak through your brand’s personality, to “walk the walk” of your brand’s beliefs, and really flex the “This is why our brand exists!” muscles.

If people love your brand because of its humor, then you could probably write about anything and your witty copywriter would win over the hearts of everyone involved (and people would subsequently love getting your newsletter. Dollar Shave Club, anyone?). Alas, not every brand includes humor as a core value, but every brand does have its guiding principles and personality traits. Use these to your advantage to breathe life into your posts while simultaneously conducting relevant conversations.

If you fall into this category, it’s okay that you’re not sharing something unique and revolutionary. Just remember that it’s your unique approach that’s really going to determine if it’s well received or a flop. This type of content can really emphasize the how and why of what you (rather than just what you do), and it’s an opportunity to speak to why you are different from your competition.

Here are some examples of posts like this from our library:

Story: No Brand Should Be Without One

Yes, even your B2B tech company needs a great website

Is WordPress Dead?

Question #3

Are you going to write about something that only you can uniquely speak to?

This content is the gold standard and not easily accessed (a.k.a very unique and authoritative!). To be in a position where only you can share the story is where your content gets elevated, desirable, and out of the reach of others. Think about a journalist or news network that gets exclusive coverage of an event. Or when a brand gives certain brand ambassadors a special experience that only they can document and share with the world.

While the majority of us may not have access to such extremes, you do have access to the work your brand creates, the clients you work with, and your brand’s unique narrative.

Sharing the work your brand creates

Don’t just post some screenshots of the work that was created and leave it at that. Set the stage, tell the story of what the client was struggling through, show the progress (take pictures of your staff working along the way!), talk about the struggles your team faced and how they were overcome, and then reveal the final product. Everyone loves a good “overcoming the challenge” type story, so why not elevate your previously-mundane work showcase with that approach?

Sharing stories about your clients

If you have a product or service that your clients really love, you’re in a spot that many brands dream of! But neglecting to tell the stories of these clients is a hugely missed opportunity. Only you can tell the story of your relationship with your clients and why they love life with your brand. Remember: this isn’t simply a case study of the work you did for them, it’s their story of why they love life with you.

Your brand’s unique narrative

We’re big advocates for understanding why your brand exists, and when you take the time to figure that out, you’ll have a unique story to tell that no one else can. That’s the whole reason a brand gets started in the first place, right? There’s a passion, there’s a need, there’s a want to make a difference, so the brand was born.

That story is worth telling and creating a feeling of exclusiveness. However you choose to do that is up to you: talk about why your process is so revolutionary (this simultaneously gives the sales team valuable material!), host quarterly private dinners with clients and pay the extra money to have a quality photographer document it, host intimate events to remind people you know how to have fun, share the stories of your amazing employees, and, especially right now, think of the moment your brand is in and how you can creatively step up to the plate to make your customers’ lives better (and then write about it).

Here are some examples of posts like this from our library:

Cook Off for a Cause: Meet the Fifteen4 Chefs!

Whoever said marketing and poetry don’t mix?

Creative Journeys are Rarely Linear

Go forth in authority and uniqueness

Hopefully that provides a generous dose of both honest reality and elevated focus to create powerful content for your brand. Remember: working inside the box of your constraints is not a bad thing. Au contraire! When you combine those constraints with a dose of creativity and intentionality, you’ll be contributing quality content to the world that excites your audience and breathes life into your brand.

Emily Wolf

User Experience Strategist

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