The most forward-thinking organizations create powerful content marketing by extracting and expressing their most original thinking in a way that makes their brand more human and relatable to their audience.
So, how should you approach your brand’s content?
Welcome to Spaceship Earth
It’s 18 stories and made of 11,324 silvered isosceles triangles.
Spaceship Earth is the symbol of Epcot Center at Walt Disney World—one of the most iconic structures in the world.
Image via Wikipedia
Spaceship Earth is a polyhedron. The construction and bond of each triangular facet creates the unique shape and structure of the whole.
Your brand is a polyhedron, too
Like Spaceship Earth, your brand is multisided. If you nurture it, your brand becomes a colorful, evolving creation—built by individual personalities combining their ideas and talents. These individual expressions collectively shape the outside perception of your organization.
Now notice that Spaceship Earth is anchored to the ground so it won’t roll around, crushing tourists wearing socks with sandals. Similarly, your core foundational thinking anchors your brand, keeping it upright when your team is working with their heads down.
Your brand and culture relationship
While your brand is Spaceship Earth—the sum total of touchpoints and interactions—your culture plays both mission control and captain. Your culture is the lens through which your organization sees the world.
That shared lens can be challenged and influenced by technology disruption, new ideas and beliefs, and changes to your work environment due to co-worker dynamics, competitors, customers, legal, investors, partners, potential hires, and media. (Great googly moogly, this is hard.)
This lens is illuminated by the foundational thinking of your organization’s:
- Vision: Why are we building a spaceship, and where is it going?
- Mission: How are we getting there?
- Values: Who do we need in the crew, and who do we need to become as people to succeed in what we’re up to?
In your organization, a well-intended mission control and a resilient captain can define and express a unified and strong foundational core. Once defined, give your team room to move and build unique expressions and manifestations of goodness to build out your Spaceship Earth.
Create content based on your organizational culture
By tapping into the perspectives of the people who make up your whole brand, your content will represent your brand’s deeper insights to your external audiences. Sharing your multisided facets is a great way to create more engaging content, because it’s real.
Your audience doesn’t have an attention problem; they have a dilemma of choice. They gravitate toward something that is real or so ridiculously weird that it can’t possibly be real. You can keep it real (or do both).
When you extract your employees’ unique insights to create interesting and engaging content, you foster a stronger community in your orbit because they know your brand stands for something and wants to be a part of what you are building.
When your organization’s actions and beliefs are authentic, your content becomes increasingly powerful to establish trust and loyalty.
How to get started
Some people will want to be a visible triangle in your Spaceship Earth, and some won’t That’s OK, as everyone doesn’t need to be a content creator. Here’s how to get cracking:
1) Establish who is responsible for driving and owning your culture content marketing initiative.
Ideally, it should be employees who care about the company’s purpose and the reason the company exists. They can identify the different facets of your organization and put together a strong narrative arc.
2) Identify employees who are willing to share their perspective.
Uncover the most interesting and original stories from unlikely places in your organization. For example, put together some dynamic duos, such as a data scientist working with a designer to craft a visual, data-based piece, or your content marketing manager collaborating with the research team to publish a benchmark index from your most interesting data.
3) Develop a reliable content-creation system.
Let’s say you want your director of engineering to share her perspective. Writing for hours may not be the best use of her time. Make it easy for her to create content by collaborating to structure her ideas in an outline, then interview her.
The shape of your brand is a representation of what is beneath the surface. Think about your brand’s story: What can you create as an authentic representation? When your content marketing expresses your brand’s core, your audience will appreciate the authenticity, be more engaged with your content, and strengthen their trust in your brand. Only then can your Spaceship Earth truly fly.
This article was originally published by the Content Marketing Institute.
For more on creating great content, check out these 16 ways to think of easy infographic ideas, ask these 5 questions to vet your content ideas, and learn how to write an effective creative brief. And, as always, if you need a little content help, we’d love to chat.