read that post here. And we were inspired by that post to hold a #ContentWritingChat on the same topic.
#ContentWritingChat Recap: Building a Brand That Thrives Through the Ups & Downs
This month, we opted to host a community chat to discuss a topic on the minds of many business owners during this worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. How can you build a brand that thrives despite what may be going on in the world? Well, if you’re wondering the same thing, this chat recap has some great advice for you!
Welcome to #ContentWritingChat! This month, we’re having a community chat and discussing how to build a brand that thrives through the ups and downs of life, such as the recent pandemic. We hope you find today’s chat valuable! 😊 pic.twitter.com/NxJvAbtwjg— Express Writers | Your Content Writing Team (@ExpWriters) June 2, 2020
Q1: What do you think are some of the biggest struggles brands have faced during this pandemic?Being that we were all in this together, many brands dealt with the exact same struggles. Here are just some of the issues that came up during this time:
As Lexie pointed out, the unknown was definitely one of the biggest struggles because that’s just something you can’t prepare for. When you don’t know what’s next, that can be stressful and scary. Brands have essentially had to take it one step at a time during the entire pandemic.
A1: The biggest struggle for brands was the unknown. It was uncharted territory so it made it hard to determine what was appropriate to say to your audience. #ContentWritingChat— Netvantage Marketing (@netvantage) June 2, 2020
John knows that brands were often left questioning if their messages were appropriate before posting. The risk of saying the wrong thing is often high during times of crisis. Not only that, but brands wondered how they would make enough money to pay their bills that continued to come in month after month. Many even considered changing their content plans that were already carefully crafted!
A1: Brands were struggling with SO MANY THINGS… – What messages are appropriate? – Can I generate enough cash flow to survive? – What about my content plan? …those are just the beginning. #ContentWritingChat— John Cloonan (@johncloonan) June 2, 2020
And when it comes to that content plan, should you make adjustments to discuss real-time issues such as the pandemic? If so, how much is too much? You certainly don’t want to flood your audience with it, as Danielle mentioned.
A1: When to focus content on COVID. We’ve heard feedback from some segments that are flooded with COVID content. We want to share the info they need but don’t want to create content fatigue.#ContentWritingChathttps://t.co/9ww3AyrF1A— Danielle Bullen Love (@daniellewriter) June 2, 2020
Consistency in messaging is always key. During times like this, it’s important to ask yourself if the content you’re putting out there is truly serving your audience or not.
A1: Consistency in messaging. I think there has been a lot of push and pull between what is considered appropriate and what’s not, and the disconnect between what brands are pushing out and what consumers actually need is wide. #ContentWritingChat— Rachel Wendte (@rkwendte) June 2, 2020
And because so many people have been living in fear throughout this time, ensuring your customers that they would be safe when doing business with you was another crucial message to spread. But besides just reassuring them, you also needed to keep them safe, especially for in-person businesses.
A1: Reassuring their customers they are still relevant, safe, and open. Many people hear “We’re open” but aren’t sure that means “safe.”#ContentWritingChat— Shawn Paul Wood (@ShawnPaulWood) June 2, 2020
Q2: When it comes to the brands that will withstand the test of time, what are some of the characteristics about them that stand out?The harsh reality is that not all brands survive. But if you want to be around for a long time, there are some important characteristics to embrace.
As Michelle said, brands cannot make it all about them. Your focus needs to be on your audience and how you can best be of service and provide a great experience.
A2: The brands that understand not to make it ALL about them ALL the time are going to be more successful. It was never really ALL about them – maybe now, brands who didn’t get that will understand. #ContentWritingChat— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) June 2, 2020
Rachel’s last point about knowing when to stop posting and start listening is something everyone needs to be reminded of.
A2: – The assurance of past downturns to know that they don’t always need to be pushing product to be successful. – The awareness of the underlying conversation happening in media and the world and pressing pause. – The knowledge to listen rather than post.#ContentWritingChat— Rachel Wendte (@rkwendte) June 2, 2020
Q3: Creating authoritative, valuable content is a huge part of building a great brand. How can you be sure your content makes an impact?Before you create that next piece of content, you’ll want to read through these tips!
First, you need to figure out what your audience actually needs from you. It’s important that you’re delivering the content that they need the most in this very moment.
A3: Creating authoritative content starts with figuring out what your audience needs from you. How can you best be of service to them through the content you’re publishing? #ContentWritingChat— Rachel (@redheadrachel) June 2, 2020
But how do you figure out what they want? Survey them! Danielle knows that’s a powerful way to figure out exactly what your audience wants. Ask them what topics are important to them and what they’re struggling with right now.
A3: Survey your audience for the topics that matter to them. Make sure your distribution channels are optimized. Content needs to be seen to have an impact. Are you reaching your audience on the right channels?#ContentWritingChathttps://t.co/XW5dbG0koL— Danielle Bullen Love (@daniellewriter) June 2, 2020
As Zala said, authoritative content is aligned with your topic, industry, and audience. It’s also well-researched and clearly shares your own point of view. That’s what makes a piece of content unique after all… Your own thoughts and opinions!
A3 When your content is aligned with the topic, industry, and audience you’re speaking to. When content is well researched and you’ve taken time to craft your POV to all the existing content there is out there. When content is practical, insightful and useful #ContentWritingChat https://t.co/6t5C7UPSq1— Zala Bricelj – 🇸🇮 😊 #edutech is my jam (@ZalkaB) June 2, 2020
When building a brand, you want to make sure the content you publish adds value, has a consistent voice, is creative and unique, and tells a story.
A3: Make sure your content… …adds value to your target customer’s experience. …is consistent in content and voice with your brand …is creative and unique …tells a story that elicits emotional response …is never used just once. #ContentWritingChat— John Cloonan (@johncloonan) June 2, 2020
You’ll also want to pay attention to how people respond to your content. As Carrie said, what happens after they consume that blog post of yours? Do they leave a comment or send an email? Do they actually make a purchase? It’s important to watch your data because it says a lot about which content is working for you.
A3 By seeing what happens when they consume it, do they comment? Do they email you? Do they buy from you? Do they get in touch? #ContentWritingChat— Carrie Eddins (@blondepreneur) June 2, 2020
And remember to use your platform to say what needs to be said in the moment.
A3: Remember the Uber ad, “Thank you for not using Uber.” That goes back to Q1: If you using your platform to say what needs to be said instead of you want to be said, that’s impact. We all need to come back, but now is a time for principle. #ContentWritingChat— Shawn Paul Wood (@ShawnPaulWood) June 2, 2020
Q4: Consistency is definitely key when building your brand, but what exactly does it look like to be consistent online?Being consistent isn’t just about having a regular posting schedule, you know!
When building a brand, Michelle knows it’s not a good look if you neglect posting on your social media platforms. That’s why it’s important to prioritize content creation and it also helps to schedule posts in advance.
A4: I think one of the worst things brands can do is not post on a regular basis. Often, I’ll read about a startup, then go to follow them on social – only to find they haven’t posted anything in ages. Not a good look. #ContentWritingChat— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) June 2, 2020
Shawn agrees. Far too often brands just abandon social media accounts and they’re really missing out on potential connections with their community.
A4: So many times brands have an idea to make a channel and then it’s left to collect dust. Nothing shows lack of commitment to your own brand promise than a ghost town of social media connected to you. #contentwritingchat pic.twitter.com/pRAEf8vEht— Shawn Paul Wood (@ShawnPaulWood) June 2, 2020
Posting and engaging regularly is a huge part of being consistent when building a brand.
A4. Consistency online means showing up on social and blog regularly with valuable content, listening and engaging with your audience and regularly helping solve their problem with content. P.S. Sorry, I’m late but hello everyone! #contentwritingchat— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 2, 2020
But as Lexie said, never sacrifice quality for quantity. Figure out how much quality content you can actually commit to in a single week and make that your goal.
A4: Consistency online is weird! You have to first determine what type of content your audience wants, then determine how often you can create it without sacrificing quality. Then you can determine your consistency. #ContentWritingChat— Netvantage Marketing (@netvantage) June 2, 2020
It’s also important to be consistent with your research, coming up with new ideas, etc.
A4 — Yes, consistency is very important. Constant Research Competiting with other brands Creating content optimized for other platforms Coming up with innovative ideas#contentwritingchat— SEO Charge 🦄 (@seocharge_) June 2, 2020
Besides sticking to your posting schedule, consistency is also important for your voice and the visual representation of your brand. Using the same colors and fonts can help your imagery become more recognizable. And you want to use the same voice and keep things high-quality across all platforms.
A4: Same colors, same fonts, same voice, same tone, same quality online as in other media. #ContentWritingChat— John Cloonan (@johncloonan) June 2, 2020
Q5: Authenticity and integrity are crucial for any brand. What does integrity mean to you and how can your brand portray this characteristic?Building a brand that has integrity is something that we all strive for. Here’s what you need to know if you want your own brand to embody this:
Be open and honest with your audience at all times.
A5. To me, that’s staying honest and open with my audience. #ContentWritingChat— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 2, 2020
Set standards for your brand and actually stick to them.
#contentwritingchat A5. For me, integrity means having standards and sticking to them at all times. It’s much tougher than it sounds.— Dana Lemaster (@DanaLemaster) June 2, 2020
Believe in your mission and let that be the guiding force behind everything you do.
A5: I see a brand as one with integrity when I see that the mission they started with is the one that still grounds all of their decision making, even if their offerings have evolved over time (which they should). Guiding principles matter to me. #ContentWritingChat— Rachel Wendte (@rkwendte) June 2, 2020
Establish trust and integrity will follow.
A5 — For us integrity means sticking to our core principles. Be honest and always preach what you beleive. Stand strong on what you say to your customers. Never bluff. A true indentity for a brand is ‘Trust’ and it builds with ‘Integrity’#contentwritingchat— SEO Charge 🦄 (@seocharge_) June 2, 2020
Be true to yourself.
A5: People can tell when a brand isn’t authentic. Those who do the best are true to themselves. #ContentWritingChat— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) June 2, 2020
Q6: How can you be sure you’re providing an amazing experience for any customers who engage with your brand?Nothing turns people aways quite like a bad customer experience. Make sure you aren’t doing that by taking advice straight from the chat!
Gaby feels a great customer experience comes from brands that are consistent, personal, accessible, transparent, responsive, trustworthy, flexible, communicative, proactive, and attentive.
A6. For an A M A Z I N G brand experience… . Brands must be: 💪🏽 Consistent 💪🏽 Personal 💪🏽 Accesible 💪🏽 Transparent 💪🏽 Responsive 💪🏽 Trustworthy 💪🏽 Flexible 💪🏽 Communicative 💪🏽 Proactive 💪🏽 Attentive .#branding#ContentWritingChat pic.twitter.com/zxaVXUkr2I— Gabriela Cardoza (@CardozaGab) June 2, 2020
It’s always smart to ask for feedback to learn what’s working and where you can make improvements. Don’t be shy about reaching out to past customers about their experience with you.
A6: Ask them! I use polling and feedback forms often for my personal work and for my clients because the people who truly care about your direction and want to provide input will answer. #ContentWritingChat— Rachel Wendte (@rkwendte) June 2, 2020
Make sure you’re actually listening and implementing the feedback they provide.
A6: I think actively engaging with customers, listening to them, factoring in their feedback – these are all things consumers are looking for in a brand. #ContentWritingChat— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) June 2, 2020
Keep an eye on reviews and any constructive criticism you can improve upon.
A6. Through the reviews, ratings and mentions the consumer’s share #ContentWritingChat— lynette muthoni (@lyn_muthoni) June 2, 2020
And make sure you’re addressing both positive and negative reviews because the negative ones can be a great learning opportunity.
A6: Your customers’ responses can really help you determine if you are providing an amazing experience. People usually respond due to a really positive or really negative experiences. #ContentWritingChat— Netvantage Marketing (@netvantage) June 2, 2020
Another great idea is to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Do you feel you provide a great experience for them? Test it out and see!
A6 — Best ways to know that is: #1 Analyzing it on your own from a customer’s perspective #2 Asking the customer directly Being straightforward is a good thing 🙂#contentwritingchat— SEO Charge 🦄 (@seocharge_) June 2, 2020
Q7: Which brands have seemingly done a great job withstanding the ups and downs throughout the pandemic? How can we be inspired by them?Check out these brands and see how you can implement some of their strategies for yourself.
Grammarly and SEMrush are always awesome!
A7 — Here are two best performing brands and what we can learn from them: 🥇 Grammarly (@Grammarly) — Excellent customer communication & Sales tactics 🥈 SEMrush (@semrush) — Consistent Conteny production #contentwritingchat— SEO Charge 🦄 (@seocharge_) June 2, 2020
MeetEdgar has been great as well!
A7. Off the top of my head: @MeetEdgar has been doing really well. They’ve tweaked their content to meet the current requirements, example, more live videos. And they also took a helpful step for freelancers among other things. Lesson: Be proactive + helpful#ContentWritingChat— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 2, 2020
During what was surely a challenging time for USPS with extra packages being shipped, they put in the work to handle everything for their customers.
A7: USPS! The frequent updates, assurance of safety, calls to action, and current information goes a long way in knowing who to go to for what, and how to support most effectively. #ContentWritingChat— Rachel Wendte (@rkwendte) June 2, 2020
Gaby said Chef Jose Andres has done a stand-out job during this time to serve his community better.
A7. @chefjoseandres! He has managed to adapt his efforts to serve his community at this time. He’s been truly empathetic and aware of the changing needs of those he serves and has stepped up to meet them! #contentwritingchat— Gabriela Cardoza (@CardozaGab) June 2, 2020
Q8: Will you be making any pivots within your brand moving forward as a result of this time?A few people shared some changes they’ll be making as a result of the pandemic, so here are some responses:
Michelle has seen more of a focus on digital during this time with her clients.
A8: What I’ve seen with clients is a focus on digital. For many, that means beefing up social, PR and content. If business owners didn’t understand why digital is vital for EVERY biz – they will now. #ContentWritingChat— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) June 2, 2020
Lynette wants to prioritize doing more collaborations with bloggers and those in her industry. That’s a great way to gain exposure!
A8. Yes for sure. More collaborations with other bloggers & people in the Digital Marketing space #ContentWritingChat— lynette muthoni (@lyn_muthoni) June 2, 2020
Masooma wants to dive deeper into the content she creates moving forward.
A8. I’ve always been an ardent believer in creating content that meets my audience’s needs. I’m going to stick to that, but planning to dive deeper into it moving forward. #ContentWritingChat— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 2, 2020
And of course, this reminder from Gaby to always remain flexible is something we all need to hear from time to time. You have to be able to adapt to what’s going on, whether that’s with your content, your priorities, etc. Join us for #ContentWritingChat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.]]>
A8. I think adjusting as needed is key at this time. I haven’t had to change my brand, but of course, I’ve had to remain flexible in terms of: -content -scheduling -priorities -etc I’ve been working on a lot of crisis mgmt plans vs. brand designs, for ex.#ContentWritingChat— Gabriela Cardoza (@CardozaGab) June 2, 2020