This year Genoa Black’s Tom Barton graduated from the Sales & Marketing Academy Scotland. Reflecting on the programme Tom shares his top tips for your business…

How should you approach writing content?

Gordon White, from FatBuzz, discussed how content marketing is best executed when it is thought of as conversation marketing. A boring conversation disengages. Talking about yourself too much is a turn off. Repetitive conversation is annoying. Repetitive conversation is annoying. Repetitive conversation is annoying. Saying nothing at all doesn’t engage anyone.

If you think of your content as a conversation with your audience you will realise it must provide something useful to them, for them to stay engaged.

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.” Content Marketing Institute 2018.

Is your current content going to hold a conversation with your audience, or is it going to cause them to switch off? Make sure your content is valuable and relevant to people, if you want it to engage with them.

Remember people perceive value differently.

Iain Swanston, from Klozers, gave a talk on creating value. The top tip that I took away from the session was that your business has to remember that different people perceive value differently.

The example used to demonstrate that value is in the eye of the customer was paracetamol. Iain proposed that supermarket own brand paracetamol and branded paracetamol were exactly the same product only differentiated by price, messaging and packaging. Looking at these two products one customer might perceive the own brand product to be of more value because it is cheapest. However, another customer might perceive the more expensive, branded product to be of more value because the messaging, packaging and price suggest it is of better quality.

The tip following this insight from Iain was that you should identify what your intended value is and make sure you are in front of the right person. Secondly, when in front of the right person, because value is 100% perception, you need to then make sure your branding communicates your value to your audience.

Define your brand

Our very own Fiona Simpson, asked students to think about whether their company had defined its brand. To help answer this question she provided a checklist.

Vision – What does your company stand for?

Tone of voice – What is your personality?

Values – Do you have values that guide your behaviour as a business?

Corporate identity – What is your businesses visual identity? Does it reflect your brand?

If your business hasn’t thought of these things, your brand is likely to be inconsistent across all your touchpoints. Define each one in order to portray a consistent brand to you customer.

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn.

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