Who am I?
Content marketing is booming. More and more businesses are realising that traditional one-way advertising no longer works in a mobile, digitalised world with a well-informed public. So what does work? Connecting with your audience. How? By telling them stories that help them identify with your brand and building a relationship based on the trust inspired. All very logical, but how do you get people to identify with your brand if it’s not a strong one?
‘We have a brand because we have a logo, we use the same typeface and colours in our presentations and we’ve also got a website. So can we get started with content marketing now?’ Er, no. Stop and rewind. You don’t have a brand, so we have to go back and first work on branding. And we’re not just talking about visual branding, but about drilling down to the core: your identity. Who are you really? What needs do you fulfil? Who do you create added value for – and who’s missing out? Why are you unique, different, better? Not always easy questions to answer, but we ask them anyway.
Now that The Nutshell has been in business for more than a year, we’re seeing a pattern emerge: companies come to us with high expectations. They want to jump on board with the whole content marketing thing, but sometimes they’re just not ready yet. In cases like those, instead of hunting around for stories that are relevant to their audience, we have to dig a little deeper first: to find their own identity. How do we do that? By talking to everyone in the company who can provide relevant input – and no, that doesn’t just mean managers or partners. Depending on the situation, we do it either informally, as with Matthijs & Co, or in the form of a series of workshops, as with bluecrux.
Only when you know who you are yourself and what makes you stand out from your competitors can you tell relevant stories to your audience. -Sabine Rosseel
Don’t panic! You certainly don’t need a massive budget or a big fancy branding agency to get to the core of your identity. But you do need to devote time and effort to the task, because we don’t shrink from asking tough questions that will give you at least one sleepless night. But here’s what you’ll get in return: a robust, unique identity, both visually and in terms of content. And you’ll also have a solid foundation on which to build success over the next few years, thanks to carefully crafted content marketing, just as Matthijs & Co and bluecrux have done.