How to Build a Content Library to Leverage as a Brand Asset
Think about your favorite music artist really quick.
A person you’ve grown to love more and more as time passes.
They probably have a discography of at least a few hours worth of music and some leaked stuff from back in the day that shows you consistency in their growth and commitment to branding. This has a lot to do with how you should be approaching content if you’re a company that’s playing for longevity.
Being able to go viral with one piece of content while you’re early in the game is pretty cool and has become a goal for many people. However, that isn’t the only way (and not even the most common or efficient way) of how you should build a solid brand. Instead, you should think about building a content archive over time to create a space for your business.
Content archives are one of the most valuable brand assets you can leverage.
Take a look at this clip:
In this clip, it might seem like he’s just talking about working hard and building over time but the more subtle message is how important content archives are. What this really does is elongate the experience of people that stumble across your brand and creates a “world” for them to live in and explore. Essentially you can create a “rabbit hole” experience with your content. It also gives you something to prop up your entire message and branding on. This is what a stack of content can do for you. It’s how a lot of people actually become “overnight celebrities”.
But before we get too excited, let’s breakdown how you can effectively build content archives for your brand.
Know and Mix Together Content Categories
Content can generally be split into two groups─ evergreen and time-sensitive. Most successful content creators (artists, musicians, writers, etc) have a mixed bag of evergreen content and time-sensitive material.
The difference is obvious─ one form of content is best for the moment, a temporary high if you will. The other can stand the test of time and age well in the process.
Both types are essential because they have roles to play. For instance, time-sensitive/trendy content like holidays sales or gossip articles about celebs that relate to your business brings in a lump sum of views because a large population of internet users are interested in searching for that particular thing at the moment all at once. On the other hand, when they get there you can keep them around with information that they’ll need to know for the next couple of tomorrows.
One of the best examples of evergreen content for a company is your Frequently Asked Questions page. These are pretty much inquiries that you get repeatedly and probably will continue to. They’re always relevant to your business unless you make changes and are typically connected to the collective concerns of your customers. You can use the technique of starting off with approaching evergreen content creation like an FAQ page to help determine whether it’ll stand the test of time.
When figuring out how to balance these two together, a lot of folks (mostly marketers to be exact) use an 80/20 rule with evergreen contenting winning the majority. You have to understand that whether you’re running a tech business or creating an album, people have values that are attached to the things they’re looking for in the content they seek out.
Which brings us to our next point.
Know and Acknowledge Value Types
Like I said, people directly connect to your content based on values. And these values typically come in two forms as well.
The first one is trend values ─ things they care about but can switch on a day-to-day basis.
The second one is what I like to call “static” values ─ what they care about on a daily basis and typically doesn’t change often (if ever).
When you’re going to create your content to add to your archive you should be considering which values you’re speaking to in your audience. For instance, a value that tends to change very rapidly in pop culture is fashion. What people like (or whether they care at all) when it comes to clothing specifically might be new almost every week. However, an overall consideration for their appearance and self-esteem is more of a static quality.
It might look something like this “7 of the Hottest New Boot Styles for the Fall” vs “How to Wear Any Outfit With Confidence”.
You’re highlighting something that people really care about right now because it’s popular and hip versus something people tend to always care about because it’s deeply rooted and well…they really can’t escape it.
You can figure out where both types of your audience’s values lie by doing market research and being observant. Pay attention to their candid conversations on platforms and forums, keep an eye on where pop culture goes and watch out for the things that they “like” and share.
You can also just ask them!
Have a Strategy
Content that you want to build out long-term usually requires a strategy behind it.
It needs purpose. A set of actionable steps that allow you to make predictions for results. CMI reported that 69% of effective marketers have documented using content strategy for their B2B audiences.
Strategy will do a few things for you. Firstly, it’ll take away the chaos and overwhelming feeling that comes with constantly creating on a whim and throwing mud at the wall. Secondly, it’ll help you to identify and track which pieces of content are supposed to do what then allow you to monitor the response and ROI thereafter.
Here are some categories your content can fall under::
Once you’ve figured out which category you’d like to create your content in (you can cross more than one), you’ll have a better roadmap for tone and structure. These categories can then be broken down even further into goals which helps gain more purpose and direction of the content.
Take a look at this image on content marketing organizational goals for a better understanding:
Remember, the point of a strategy is to be able to give your content purpose (and track it thereafter). This doesn’t mean it has to take away from the creative aspect of things. But being able to pinpoint the type of content that your audience enjoys and reacts to so that you can continue to recreate and deliver this experience is important.
And this is a by-product of what strategy does.
Content Distribution Selection
Another part of your content strategy is how you get the message out to your community.
Your selected distribution hubs.
In marketing, distribution refers to the network that is set in place to get a product from the manufacturer or the creator to the end-user. It’s the “placement” component in the 4 P’s of marketing (product, promotion, pricing, placement). This same concept stands when we apply it to content specifically. Most people will recognize these distribution options as social media platforms and other places where you can publish your content─ which is true. But the whole point of even considering this factor is to push further for effectiveness.
Depending on your industry/product/service, you may not need to use certain distribution methods─ even if they’re popular and work for lots of other brands. The popularity of a platform for a certain publishing medium does *not* equal success for you. You also might not need to use as many other people do. Where one company might find reaching their audience more beneficial when they use 4–5 mediums, you may find your own success in focusing your energy on 2–3. This applies to frequency as well.
Content distribution is typically split into three sections─ owned, earned and paid.
Examples of each:
- Owned- channels that your own and control (blogs; company mobile apps)
- Earned- third-party platforms that share and promote your content (articles written by journalists; guest articles; Reddit)
- Paid- channels that you can pay for distribution (PPC ads; paid influencer content)
Distribution is like creating the map for your content that your audience uses to enter the world of your brand. You can start creating a strategy for your distribution by understanding the ins and outs of your audience─ where they hang out (why) and how they prefer to consume. This way you can already be there when they arrive.
Benefits of Content Archives
Overall a content archive just gives you a really solid foundation for branding and visibility for your business. But there are some invaluable nuances to this whole concept that makes it even more of a good idea.
- Leverage as a brand profitable brand asset
- Reiterate and build support for your brand message
- Track ROI and applying to future efforts
- Act as tool for gathering data
- Enhance possibility and create practical plan for longevity
- Create a personal “time capsule” for your business
- Allow users to engage with different versions of your brand
- Force you to evaluate and engage with values of audience you serve
- Build authority, awareness and trust
There are plenty more benefits of consciously building a content archive but we’ll just stop there.
If you haven’t started mapping out and executing a content archive for your business then the best time is now. It starts with vision then add strategy for purpose and direction.
Sign up here for tips and innovative advice on how to use content to build and grow your business.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.