In an age of digital personalisation, tailored user flows, conversational search targeting and experiential search, it becomes increasingly easy (and commonplace) to focus so much on the individual that organisations forget about the brand.
Lack of company purpose pages online is eroding brand differentiation, distinction, and clearly communicated purpose for being.
There are many effectual and interesting ways to enhance your brand power through company pages, and the opportunity is much greater than having a mission statement, Ts&Cs, and an About Us page in place (although they are still important).
#1 – Lifestyle Choices Drive Decision Making
It has always been the case that peoples actual and aspirational lifestyle choices dramatically influence their buying behavior.
A perfect real-world example of this in action is the growth of environmentally-friendly search interest and direct association to product purchasing.
The Blue Planet ‘baby whale plastic pollution’ TV program demonstrated the strength between lifestyle (in this case emotionally driven entertainment choices) and search/buying impact.
Google Trends reinforces this with the arrow below indicating the airing of the program on UK television:
As website owners, marketing teams, and digital experts, the challenge, therefore, becomes related to associating your brand, through its company pages, to the key lifestyle choices of the core personas you are targeting.
In an ideal situation, there will be a natural association already in place because people ‘know’ what the brand stands for, how it is unique, what important role the company plays, and this motivates people to seek out your company over the competition, increases CTRs, and drives huge volumes of brand-related traffic to the site.
In the real world, however, this is rarely the case for the majority of people.
There are many creative and effective content approaches that you can deploy for your website, and some of the most impactful which can positively impact lifestyle association for the brand include:
- Imagery – this should be unique, professionally taken, and reflective of the people behind the brand
- Co-created evergreen content – that is credible, comprehensive, non-salesy, and working with micro-influencers who have active social media audiences that can relate your company as a brand
- Webinars & Podcasts – with audience enhancing experts and in a repeatable and reliable way, so that you are building the audience through education and expertise sharing
- Community hubs – enabling the segmentation of people into value-rich education and company culture sharing hubs of content
- Explainer videos – demystifying complex topics, reinforcing values, purpose and culture items important to the brand and setting the story straight on industry misconceptions
Other content approaches such as ‘day in the life of…’ style content and expert interviews (example of this in action below with the company I work with) are useful to enable more personal associations direct with users too.
#2 – Trust, Followership and Transparency Motivate Action Taking
We operate in a social world, where people are bombarded with alternatives, and seek a faster and easier buying experience.
‘Would be’ customers need to satisfy many needs prior to committing to buy, with most of these wants and needs sitting in the realms of trust, followership, and transparency.
As a business, your website can fulfill all of these items directly through the application of better company content.
It’s important to state at this stage too that, the company content requirement is equally necessary offsite as it is onsite. Social media, content placement, industry forums, events, paid promotion, and PR, cover a few of the common areas you would expect to extend this approach outside of your own website, but this is just the tip of the wider opportunity.
There is a myriad of company content items that can improve trust, followership, and transparency directly such as:
- Case studies and testimonials – deeper content destination pages, plus snippet use and seeding throughout the site and social media
- Social media feeds and user-generated content
- Clearly defined and promoted company values, core beliefs, and differentiators (values, benefits, culture, commitments, and more)
- Customer stories, successes, and engaging ‘herd-mentality’ associative pieces
- Customer evangelism articles (often written by the customer and promoted or engaged with by the brand)
- Local and industry; events, competitions, exhibitions
- GMB, Bing Places, and 3rd party review sites
- Data-driven content building and ongoing enhancement
- Crowdsourcing opinion/feedback and increased reflection of this within the content
#3 – Brand Power Impacts Almost Everything
The online arena is not a level playing field.
Larger brands dominate search; they naturally acquire links and reviews plus other authority signals, and each time established and trusted sites add content and themes to their search footprints.
Added to this, larger entities frequently rank higher and faster, as well as for broader search term sets than comparatively smaller brands.
Having said this, company content can help redress and improve this imbalance.
There are two fundamental elements to the company and website brand building, and they fall into the following categories:
Personal brand building content focuses on aligning key staff profiles, practical expertise areas, and general education and knowledge sharing with your community.
As you would expect this caters for onsite content needs as well as content promotion, social media syndication, and other related interactions between marketing channels.
Company content for this tactic would factor in; opinion and commentary updates, question and answer (pain point and conversion barrier) content creation, industry commentary, blogs, news articles and related updates showcasing the expertise of employees.
By contrast, corporate and commercial (business) content for brand building would include deeper data-led interactive content types (ideally sharing new insight and industry thought leadership content items).
Traditional content creation such as white papers, guides, research papers, and industry insight reports work well, and can form topical content clusters, or cornerstone content pillars. These act as landing destinations for visitors spanning your main commercial intent and brand-related topics on your website, as well as for top of funnel awareness building.
It is also useful to create overarching company content pages which:
- Keep your audience up to date on company growth, change, and expansion
- Entice your audience to progress into customers, repeat customers and ultimately advocates and evangelists
- Define and clarify the broader business culture, mission, purpose, and differentiation
- Detail how your business is supporting wider lifestyle choices that your user base care about
- Promote and showcase your staff
There is no single best approach to maximising or introducing company content into your website and marketing approaches, but there are many clear benefits for justifying increased company aware content into your marketing plans.
From reflecting peoples lifestyle choices and providing brand differentiation, through to showcasing your staff and removing conversion barriers – company content can support many of your business and website goals.