When not talking about your brand is a good thing

Content that is interesting to an audience often isn’t the content where you’re talking about your product. Unless you have a universally interesting brand, it can be difficult to keep your audience engaged by only offering brand-centric content.

A lot of brands don’t see the value in talking about topics that aren’t directly related to them, but they still want to offer engaging content that ranks.

Content marketing aims to solve this issue.

By creating content that relates to–but isn’t directly about–your brand, you can offer insight into topics your audience care about and also build their trust by not being overly shouty about your own message.

If you position your brand as an authority of knowledge in your field, people will come to you as a source of interest and insight, which builds brand love, loyalty, advocacy and all that good stuff that provides long term value.

Stay relevant and dare to be more than just your products.

This method works best when the intent of shares, engagement and the chance to be picked up by larger publishers. Content marketing is great for PR mentions (hello high quality links!).

How to create content that benefits your brand but isn’t about your brand:

  1. Make a case against playing it safe

If you have to convince stakeholders that not talking about your brand in your content is a good idea, first prove that the safe way isn’t working. People don’t want to be sold to, they want to pull the content to themselves. Find examples of businesses in boring fields who have successfully used content marketing to get attention from their target audience.

It’s also a good idea to address how you’ll minimise risk, or start small and scale up based on success.

2. Choose topics based on search terms

Firstly, you need to find out exactly what your audience wants to read about. You can do this by finding out more about what they search for. You can then plan content around what they actively seek out.

Use your preferred keyword lord (Search Console, Adwords, Moz) to find out what keywords and related topics your audience searches for and think about creative solutions to provide content around those topics.

E.g. An energy company doesn’t supply solar panels but notices their audience are searching for keywords like ‘solar energy’, ‘solar power’ and ‘solar panels’. They create content around the benefits of solar energy and a how-to on getting solar panels. Engagement and re-shares are higher than brand-centric content.

3. Find your place in the keyword circle

circle within a circle within a circle…

When using search tools, you can explore related keywords for days. If you think of your brand in the centre of the circle, any circle outside your brand’s circle are keywords not directly related to your brand. Each larger circle has a bigger audience and more keywords, but gets further away from your topic.

Experiment with which circle works best for your brand. It might be staying close to your original keywords, or it might be going far away from your original keywords. You can experiment sharing content on social media and see what performs the best.

4. Be creative when producing content

You should know what mediums and channels your audience prefer, so try to cater for their preferences while also creating content that’s engaging and new. Can you use data in an interesting way? E.g. an online sex toy company use their customer data to produce content called ‘The kinkiest cities in the UK’ which gives funny speculations why certain cities might be kinkier than others. It gets a lot more shares than anything they’ve produced before.

5. Above all else, GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

This kind of content isn’t about direct sales. It’s about the long game. Be a brand that offers your customers something else other than your products. Offer them high quality, relevant content that they want to return for.