Here’s why stand-out branding equals white-hot content

by Craig McBreen · 35 comments · Branding


The term content marketing can seem pretty, “meh” right?

It often translates to SEO-engineered material or oh, so informative posts wrapped in a not so hot skin.

Your posts might be packed with more pearls of wisdom than a Carl Sagan tome, but here’s the thing.

After the recent Google algorithmic updates, it’s essential to provide unique content, because things like visitor engagement and social shares do matter. At least that’s the word on the street.

Your network, your peeps, your potential customers. Those who read and share your posts, well they can and will bring you to the top of search engine heaven.

To rank. To sell. To spread influence – Relevant, powerful and informative information is an obvious must, but distinctiveness might just translate to rock star status. Originality is shared more often than milquetoast. And this builds authority and reach, which just might trump SEO.

In fact, quality + distinction could be your killer combo for bringing in those customers you covet and those subscribers you need.

So when it comes to that extra spice, here’s where I play my part as chief proselytizer and tell you how crackin’ a bold, consistent and uncommon brand can be.

Attracting eyeballs is your mission, yes? Well, those distinguishing characteristics act as the swagalicious medicine you need. It’s spot-on branding, my friend.

Crafting a new logo and tagline isn’t branding. Nor is simply touting your expertise.

And bang-on content is not just about keyword stuffing and search friendly phrases. You knew that, but sometimes the obvious needs to be repeated.

Effective branding means cohesiveness from top to bottom. And a gigantic part of branding done right means crafting words that provide value and are consistent, but you want that stuff to sing, right?

Rich data is shared, but information with extra spice can go semi-viral. And continually shared content equals social influence and a certain compounding effect will simply make your heart sing.

And best of all: That magic subject matter you produce will become a magnet, bringing in fresh customers and subscribers.

Effective content marketing is good branding, but branding done right increasingly means being different.

And bringing that uniqueness to the fore should be goal numero uno for any small business, solopreneur, or budding blogger.

And to be 100% honest this is where I get more excited than Snooki at a spray tan convention.

Content might be king, but helpful, powerful and uncommon material is like that benevolent ruler who sticks around, because his people love him so.

So if you’re an entrepreneur trying to make a dent in our digital wonderland, take your information rich material and ask yourself if it needs a good old spice rub. And then figure out how you will make those uncommon words sing time and time again.

Bring the killer content. Bring the killer content. Bring the killer content.

Repeat this mantra and get busy, why don’t ya?

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack@TheJackB July 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

I am beginning to hate the term “content marketing.” I am not sure that it has any real meaning or that it is used as anything other than a buzz word.

Some things in business never change regardless of the venue or time.

Identify a problem.
Provide the solution to the problem.
Find prospects.
Sign up prospects,
Rinse and repeat.

It is storytelling, Maybe I am an old curmudgeon, but I don’t see the point in creating a new phrase to cover it.
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Jill Tooley July 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I agree, Jack! Content Marketing is essentially a fancy-schmancy word for brand storytelling. It’s about providing solutions in creative ways, but some marketers abuse it by getting pushy and/or stuffing keywords onto their pages.

Your “steps” are dead-on. That’s what it’s all about!

And Craig, you wouldn’t believe how often my department’s hard work (original content) gets ripped off and spun for junky websites looking for an easy gain! It’s unreal, and it makes my blood boil. On a more positive note, your Snooki joke made me laugh. Strong work. :)
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi Jill,

I like brand storytelling way more and I would say it defines more of what I’m about, but like I said above, I don’t have a problem with the term though. I get caught up in marketing speak on a daily basis ;)

Those are indeed the steps from Mr. Jack.

I’ve had a few cut-n-paste goons rip off my stuff as well. One even had the gall to post it on Twitter with my handle. What the … ? Anyway it is unreal and maybe these fancy new Google Algorithms will help. IDK.

Thanks … just looking at Snooki makes me laugh … ;)

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Ralph July 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Jack. Your take makes total sense to me.
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I needed to write a more concise post, but Jack’s been at this blogging thing longer than me … :)

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Jens P. Berget July 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I agree Jack. But, that’s the thing about marketing, we need new words to create a buzz.
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Ha. I like the way you think, Mr. Berget … ;)

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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Hi Jack,

I might just think, “meh” as I mentioned, but have no problem with the term, really. It’s like the term “personal branding.” I can take it or leave it (some detest it), but it is the de-facto term we’re stuck with.

Your common sense methods work for me, Sir! One of my problems (not sure if it is a problem) is that I work with B2B clients every day and this means I often get mired in this marketing buzz-speak. Kinda hard to snap out of it sometimes.

Anyway. I’m on a mission to get companies to embrace this newfangled way of telling their potential customers what they do. It helps my bottom line ;)

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Kaarina Dillabough July 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Ditto what Jack said:) Cheers! Kaarina
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Jack drops commenting wisdom everywhere … And here I went and wrote a 500 word post and blathered on … ;)

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Ralph July 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

Clarity is king. And so is context. I struggle with both. Jack is my hero. YOU my friend are doing just fine.
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Craig McBreen July 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thanks, and yes, I’m a big JackB fan myself … :)

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Jack@TheJackB August 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

I am just a guy who is lucky enough to pick the right people to hang out with.
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Craig McBreen August 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Hey … I feel the same way!

Bill Dorman July 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Is that an ol’ spice rub, or an old school Old Spice rub?

Who wants more business, huh? I wish my phone would quit ringing………..

All these tools at my disposal and I just hope I don’t end up w/ a box full of screwdrivers and nothing else.

My youngest son is going to interview at Lanier next week; I’m kind of excited about it.
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Ralph July 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Are those the drinkable kind of screwdrivers?

Good luck with bringing your son into the fold. Let me get this straight. He WANTS to sell insurance, right? :-)
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Bill Dorman August 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

He wants a job; we’ll see how much he wants to sell insurance pretty quickly, huh?
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Jens P. Berget July 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I wouldn’t think that your son would need an interview :)
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Bill Dorman August 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Not quite that easy primarily because he has no experience and we haven’t done a good job w/ hires that didn’t have some kind of experience.

However, I’m prepared to ‘mentor’ him and make sure he stays on task if we can make it happen.
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Funny, I didn’t even think of Old Spice, but an old school Old Spice rub brings up some interesting visuals.

Well, if you ended up with the Ridgid 16573 Multi-Purpose 6-in-1 Screwdriver, you’d be in pretty good shape.

Good luck with your son. You’ve told him about the excitement that goes with the job, right … ;)

By the way, I just got off the phone with my agent. Somebody whacked my car once again, while it was innocently parked on the street. The last culprit was a hungover garbage truck driver who almost totalled my car. Thing’s a magnet for this.

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Bill Dorman August 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I’m sorry sir, we are going to have to cancel your coverage; I would suggest you start looking elsewhere………..:).
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Craig McBreen August 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

We are probably close to that ;)

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Ralph July 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Hey Craig.
So you are suggesting we be uncommon, huh? I always just wanted to fit in and now I can finally just be myself; uncommon. Oh wait. That’s unpopular. Crap. Oh well, I hear that’s good too.

All kidding aside I do see your point of view here. It’s tough enough to stand out anywhere in the world; on-line or off-line. You just need to be really good at what you do and you need to understand what people want. Delivering that is how I understand that spice rub you mentioned.

Like selling spray tan at a Snooki convention……

There doesn’t seem to be a magic formula but I bet you knew that already. :-)
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Hi Ralph,

You’ve got that covered, T-Dot! When I think of fitting in, you don’t come to mind (me neither), but that’s a good thing :) “Unpopular” has been taken, so I can’t run with that, but I just might review a book of the same title from my favorite redhead on the interwebs.

The clients I work with have to focus on this all now more than ever. Old marketing channels, static websites, brochures, trade magazine ads, etc. This stuff doesn’t work anymore. I’ll gladly do it for a fee, but I’m fighting to steer people in a different direction. One that will clearly impact their bottom line.

Imagine how many tubes, bottles, whatever The Snook would walk out with? Boggles the mind.

Yep, no magic, that’s fo sho!

Thanks!

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Jens P. Berget July 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Hey Craig,

I’m trying to keep myself busy by creating content when I don’t have any clients to create content for. So, I make up the clients and create the content, and sometimes I think that I have a real client and I create content for that (made up) client.

I am not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but I keep creating content instead of trying to get new clients :)
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Craig McBreen July 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hi Jens,

I used to create made-up projects for a bit of creative exploration and just to have something in the old portfolio. I would assign job numbers and take it on like any other. Seriously.

Too bad fooling ourselves doesn’t translate into paying work though … :)

So, I guess you are repeating the mantra I mentioned? ;)

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Tim Bonner July 31, 2012 at 7:35 am

Hi Craig

I’m liking the uncommon thing a lot. I got to strike out, stop conforming and be my own brand.

Scarey huh?

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Tim
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Craig McBreen July 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Hi Tim,

Hey, it was way too scary for me just a few short years ago, honest.

Thank you!

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Eli@coachdaddyblog July 31, 2012 at 8:52 am

Your network, your peeps, your potential customers.

That says it all right there.

I’ve always thought that the most important thing I could do is hit home with those who subscribe in such a way that their sharing me with those in their networks they most value feels like an excellent idea to them.
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Craig McBreen July 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Hi Eli,

Thanks!

You find the people who love your message and stick with them.

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Ryan Hanley July 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Craig,

I seriously couldn’t agree more… It’s the entire basis for my Just Be Awesome series of Traffic Generation posts…

Be awesome and traffic follows…

Great article dude.

Hanley
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Craig McBreen July 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Hi Ryan,

Yes, “just be awesome” sums it up :)

Thank you, Sir!

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