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Brand You- Context trumps Content

April 30, 2012

It is the most hackneyed expression there is: content is King.


In a way, though, content is not the problem – how many search results did your last Google search return? But, rather, context: does the material meet my needs, and earn my attention?

If you or your business was the only show in town, then it wouldn’t be a problem because practically anything you said would be picked up and read. But, of course, life is rarely that simple, and where, previously, it was the size of your (advertising) budget that dictated your success, nowadays it is predicated on how much you are prepared to give away for free, the import of the idea and its value to the recipient.

Social media is not the answer

My thing is social media, but, increasingly, I find that the ‘runners and riders’ all have the same platforms, which means that the field has been well and truly levelled. For those people who are serious about marketing their business (or their brand you persona), the only sure fire method is to consistently generate content that earns a following. It could be a blog, but, equally, it could be a valuable newsletter or podcast.

As yet, no one has been able to write a book for your niche which sets out the precise content that is guaranteed to generate leads, sales or hits for your website. The only way to find out what works is to fail faster. In other words, not to get discouraged when no one reads your blog, or re-Tweets your post or makes a comment on your Facebook page, but to keep pushing on through the dip. 

One tip that I have always found useful when creating content, is to picture the actual person who is your target client.  You can’t be expected to get this right every time, but if you simply talk in terms of your (vertical) market, you will find your aim is off before you even start. Adopting this approach may mean that you have a smaller market to go after (the end of the long tail) but you are far more likely to get a return on your investment of time than simply pumping out generic information.

Should you get help?

If you feel that you deserve a better take up, don’t be afraid to hire in someone (yes me). For a few dollars less than you think, I can work with you on producing a content plan that is focused on getting results, gives you an edge in the market, and means you can focus on what you do best.

Take the humble website or always-talked-about Blog. We all know that Google likes fresh (and relevant) content, but how many people write something every day, let alone every month?  It shouldn’t be hard but when you have client/customer demands, the website comes a very distant second.

You know you should be blogging but how often do you find that you either run out of ideas or you end up creating something on the hoof for fear that people might forget you.

I know this is self-promotional, but I am confident that, for all your investment of time in marketing, social media and PR, without remarkable content you will find it increasingly difficult to get noticed and win work. Even if you have a fantastic idea, you still have to find a way to distill that into a form that people will read, share and comment upon.

Don’t wait for tomorrow

Seize the moment.

Send me an email or Tweet me or link on Google+. I am keen to understand what is your biggest challenge in generating content.

Is it a lack of time?

Or a lack of resources?

Or is it simply you don’t know where to start?

Whatever the issue, I can help.


Best wishes



PS. Thank you to those people who responded to my last email on coaching. For those people that I spoke with I hope you found the experience useful. For those of you who would like to receive advice on maximising your social media efforts, please do email me with the issues that you need help with.

Julian Summerhayes
Brand You
T: 07588 815384

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