Everybody in marketing is talking about content. But few brands are making it. And when they are, even fewer are doing it well.
Probably because a lot of brands don’t know what to make content about. Or at the very least how to sustain a consistent programme of content marketing. And that’s because they have no guiding principle on which to build a content strategy – they have no editorial positioning.
Now, any brand worth its salt has a positioning, often painstakingly created after months of distilling and finessing to produce some beautiful temples, pyramids, keys, onions or essences. But these guiding documents and all of the effort and thinking they encapsulate seem to be left firmly in the bottom drawer when it comes to content planning. And that’s madness, because having a core message, value or opinion that informs all output is as important for content as it is for any other marketing activity.
That’s something recognised by the real kings of content, the content experts that brands now need to ape and compete with: media brands.
So it’s important that an editorial positioning and subsequent calendar of content are driven by the distinctive quality of your brand and a category or a specific genre.
Whatever terminology they use to describe it, every successful broadcaster, newspaper or magazine (on any platform) has an overarching positioning that rigorously defines and drives its editorial agenda. It helps to identify the content that’s right for the brand, and importantly the content that isn’t.
Positioning defines content and helps audiences
An editorial positioning shapes the name, visual identity, tone of voice and choice of content. Or, more accurately, the lens or frame through which that content is presented. This lens gives the brand a distinctive angle from which to tackle a subject. Over time that editorial perspective becomes recognisable to the audience, who come to anticipate content with a certain attitude or approach, making trial of new content an easier proposition.
Stand out from the crowd
As more brands in highly competitive sectors start to produce content, it becomes increasingly important to make sure your content stands out and stays in your audience’s head. That’s a pretty challenging task if your competitors are creating content that sits in your natural subject area or genre.
So it’s important that an editorial positioning and subsequent calendar of content are driven by the distinctive quality of your brand and a category or a specific genre. Allowing your brand’s product category and its associations to define your editorial positioning runs the risk that your content calendar will be undifferentiated and difficult to own.
Editorial positioning versus brand essence
A brand’s editorial positioning doesn’t have to diverge from its established brand essence, but many brands may find it better to translate their essence into a more active and directional relative that can more confidently dictate the nature of their content. Doing so will give any brand an advantage over its immediate competitors, and a better chance of stealing attention from established media brands.