You’re at a conference with a friend at one of those ‘mixer’ networking events the night before the event starts. Your friend spots someone she knows, and calls him over. They quickly say their hellos, then she turns to you and says ‘Pete, I want you to meet my friend Kate. Kate is…..’ And at that point one of two things happens:
1 – Your friend tries to explain who you are and what you do based on her perceptions of who you are and what you do
2 – Your friend knows who you are and what you do, and explains that to her friend
Whenever I work with companies on their content strategies, one of the most important questions I ask them is ‘How do you want to be known?’ If someone was going to introduce you at a networking event, how would they explain what your company does and what it stands for?
In other words, you need to decide what you want to be known for, and plant your flag there. You need to own the topics that you want to be associated with, and create content that focuses on these areas. The more useful and relevant your content is to others, the stronger the association you’ll create between yourself and your expertise in these areas.
This works for a company or an individual:
Jay Baer – “Oh he’s that YouTility guy, he writes about marketing that’s so useful that people would pay for it”
Red Bull – “Oh they are that company that sells energy drinks and is active in all those extreme sports”
Jeremiah Owyang – “Oh he’s that analyst that’s always writing about The Collaborative Economy”
Patagonia – “Oh they are that clothing company that sells active wear and supports the environment”
Jay and Jeremiah focus on the topics of YouTility and the Collaborative Economy because they want to be associated with those ideas and terms. Your company needs to have the same focus, think about what you want to be known for, and write content around those topics or areas.
But I Know Zip About SEO and Hate the Idea of ‘Writing For Search Engines’
This is why this approach works so well, because if you focus on creating content that relates to the topics that you want to be known for, the SEO stuff largely takes care of itself.
The cold, hard reality is that if you don’t define yourself, someone else will, and you might not like the definition they give you. For years I was known as ‘The #Blogchat guy’. I love and am very proud of #Blogchat, but from a business perspective, being known as ‘The #Blogchat guy’ really doesn’t help me. So a couple of years ago as I was writing Think Like a Rock Star I really buckled down on my content and started focusing on the topics I wanted to be known for. Such as brand advocacy, customer-centric content, brand ambassador programs, and customer engagement. By focusing on creating content around these topics, I’ve changed the conversation about who I am and how others view me. Plus writing a book that covers these same topics didn’t hurt!
So as you are getting ready to focus on your planning for 2015, apply this method to your content strategy. Ask and answer this question:
“What are the 2-3 things that we want to be known for?”
If you need help thinking this through, you can apply the Topic Buckets approach to this. Once you have determined what those 2-3 things are, relentlessly create content around each topic area. Over time, it will become easier for search engines and people that read your blog and interact with your content to identify you and your business with those topics.
Plant your flag, and win!
Pic via Flickr user marsmettnn tallahaassee