FSC has been part of a collective of agencies contributing to the Pub, Restaurant and Coffee Shop 100 Day Brand, Marketing and PR Playbook. As part of this playbook, we looked at the key role that content plays in helping operators set themselves apart from the competition, writes Mike Berry.
‘Content is king’ is a well-worn phrase, but for it to remain king, your content has to be something that gives meaning and enjoyment to the people who hear, see, and experience it.
As the digital world becomes ever noisier, the role of content in building a long term and, ultimately, valuable relationship with current and future customers cannot be underestimated. You don’t have to be a big company to create great, impactful, content (clearly that is advantageous) but you do need to take the time to plan your goals, define your audience, and consider how to get maximum eyeballs on your content.
Aside from the basics of experimenting with different formats, such as video, blogs, listicles or how-to articles, writing catchy headlines and keyword-rich intros, there are a few must-have attributes to your content that will help grab people’s attention. It should be engaging, educational, shareable, relevant and reflect your brand’s personality – ideally all at the same time!
But for any strategy to ultimately succeed there are some rules, or steps, that should be followed.
- GOALS – what are you looking to achieve?
- AUDIENCE – who are you looking to reach?
- KEY MESSAGES – what are you saying?
- PLAN – how will you achieve your goal?
- CREATE – what formats are best to utilise?
- DISTRIBUTE – which channels will work best?
- MONITOR – how is your content performing?
What’s useful to remember is that people might recall various statistics and facts, but they are more likely to remember powerful stories that show how you tackled a business issue or added value to customers. Storytelling is how we have connected with each other down the centuries and the way you ensure your content (whatever format it’s in; blogs, social posts, videos or customer communications) more memorable, is by taking this approach. Your audience will connect more with your content when there’s a narrative running through it.
It’s worth reinforcing here that lots of brands can often overlook their most valuable grass-roots experts: their team. On the face of it, giving employees the freedom or permission to become content creators might sound terrifying, so it’s important to provide the right tools and support, along with setting out clear guidelines and defining what ‘good’ looks like. This kind of content helps build credibility, reinforces your culture and feels more relevant to your customers.
Ultimately, content is how your brand can differentiate, reconnect and create new opportunities in a crowded marketplace. It builds trust and credibility which has never been more important – or harder to win – than in current times.
Mike Berry is FSC’s Head of Content