I preach several mantras to my clients when it comes to Content Marketing.  Chief among the mantras is “make sure your content is heading in the right direction” because it leads to successful branding.

All web content should have a purpose or objective.  It should move your brand in the right direction. This blog post identifies three popular objectives and offers specific suggestions to help ensure it (and your brand) are heading in the right direction.

Be An Expert. Companies that enjoy successful branding are usually experts in their space. Content marketing is a great vehicle for positioning your brand or company as an expert.  And one of the easiest (and most popular) ways to position your brand as an expert through content is to provide a how-to list.

Just about every product or service related business can generate how-to lists. Simplicity is important here.  Remember your high school teacher or college professor that connected well with students – they connected because they made their subject matter seem so easy, you couldn’t help but like them (and you couldn’t help but learn!).  That’s your role in creating a how-to list.

Another way to position yourself or your brand as an expert is to review a product or service and suggest how someone may best put it to use.  For example, you probably have a supplier that sells you an exceptional product.  This presents a good opportunity for you to make a few positive comments about how great the product works for your company.  Include a few pointers on how you’ve applied it to the business.

Be a Reliable Business “Partner”.  Share a link from another source and be sure to give credit.  The link needs to bring some degree of value to your target audience.  Therefore, the link should inform, enlighten, engage or amuse them.  Give the source the proper credit – it’s the professional thing to do and may provide a “halo” effect to your brand.

Call your audience’s attention to why they should take the time to read it.  Pull out a salient point and share it with your readers or introduce the link with your take on the article’s main theme.

Be A Resource or Problem Solver.  Develop and share a case study that is structured in the classic format: Problem / Solution / Outcome.  This isn’t a platform where you are the star of the show.  The real star of the show in the case study is the positive outcome enjoyed by your customer as a result of using your product or service.

Show you understand your customers’ problems. How did your solution make their life better or their business more profitable?  Help your prospect relate to the scenario and motivate them to contact you.

You could also discuss popular industry topics and include another person’s point of view. I have a client that includes commentary from his employees in his blog posts and in his newsletter.  As owner of the company, he recognizes that he has employees with unique perspectives on their custom manufacturing business and the products they build. His company’s culture mixes those different points of view into an interesting blend.  Readers of his blog get to hear those different perspectives and come to respect them.

Content Marketing ties directly to successful branding. The bottom line: make sure your marketing content is heading in the right direction by giving it an objective that ties directly to your brand.