No matter what type of business you own or work for, content is never just content. It’s not just about beating the Google algorithms, growing sales, or putting stuff out there for the hell of it. Content also plays a significant role in reflecting your brand and company culture.
Ashley here, and I’ve experienced my fair share of different company cultures as a writer – the good, the meh, and the fucking terrible. Because of this, I’ve had a unique perspective on what it’s like to write content for each. And yes, it actually, truly matters.
So, what does your content say about your brand and company culture? And how can you make sure they’re always aligned? Let’s get into it.
Good company culture vs. negative company culture
First, what constitutes good company culture from negative company culture? I could spend hours diving into this, but I pay my therapist enough as it is already. In general, company culture is built from the ground up and starts with a strong foundation. Here’s what that looks like:
Good company culture:
- Employees are treated and paid well
- Clients receive high-quality work
- Leaders set a good example and practice what they preach
- Everyone knows what’s expected of them
- Everyone believes in and supports the company’s values
Bad company culture:
- Employees are overworked and underpaid
- Employees and teams are burnt out
- Clients are prioritized over employees
- Leaders only care about the bottom line
- No one knows or cares about the company’s values
If you’re asking yourself, ‘What does any of this have to do with the content I produce? the answer is a lot more than you think.
Showcasing your brand values
Whether you’re running your business on your own or overseeing 500+ employees, your content should always reflect your brand values and personality – and vice versa. Why? If your content aligns with your company culture, you’ll reach your ideal customers and future employees who have similar values.
Think about it: You wouldn’t want to work with someone who is staunchly opposed to something you care deeply about. You’d be helping their bottom line! And yes, while that may mean more money for you, too, is it really all that worth it? All this does is create tumultuous relationships from day one, which helps no one in the end.
Storytime: What happens when your brand and culture don’t match your content?
At one of my former companies, I was tasked with creating brand values and guidelines for a rebrand that was underway. The only problem? I didn’t believe a word of it.
I spent hours and hours trying to finish it. Some of that probably came from procrastinating (whoops). But most of it came from knowing that what I was writing didn’t come close to matching what was actually happening within the company culture.
The company’s leaders said they valued a work/life balance for employees. Yet, employees were working 50+ hour weeks while being grossly underpaid. The company also said it valued career growth for employees, but wouldn’t approve a two-hour seminar for a team that only cost $10 a ticket.
As a prospective employee or client, would you want to work for people who don’t follow through on the words and values they share with the world?
So, to recap:
Good company culture:
- Caring about your brand values + showcasing that in your content = strong relationships with employees and clients
Bad company culture:
- Not caring about your brand values + lying about it in your content = bad relationships internally and externally
See how that works?
Being authentic and opinionated
To reflect your brand and culture well in your content, you need to be genuine with everything you put out there. Everything from social media posts to email newsletters to job postings – your brand’s values and authenticity should come through.
What does that mean, exactly? It means having opinions. It means being vocal about what you believe in. It’s being unafraid to say, ‘This is who I am, and this is what I believe in – take it or leave it.’
Is it risky? Maybe. But is it worth it? Hell yes.
Because, at the end of the day, you can actually stand firm in your values and know that you’re building your foundation the right way. And you’ll end up working with others who feel the same way you do.
Latasha note: That’s not to say that you can’t work with others who have different opinions than you – that’s unrealistic and unavoidable. But if those differences in opinions are drastic and go against your own values, don’t even go there.
I, for one, know that I’ve found a safe place in Uncanny Content because Latasha is unapologetically herself – and wants the same for her employees and clients. She tells me not to censor myself on the blog, because ‘We don’t fucking censor ourselves.’ She has the most comprehensive onboarding process about diversity, equity, and zero tolerance of assholes because that’s the only path for her business she’s interested in taking.
As a result, it only makes sense that I feel confident in every piece of content I write for Uncanny Content. I know that what I’m putting out there for her and our clients is rooted in the values Latasha stands for – no questions asked.
Preaching what you practice
If you’re still not sure where to go from here, remember this one sentiment: Practice what you preach, and preach what you practice. Let’s break that down a bit.
Practice what you preach:
If your content says that your company culture is [insert adjectives here], then make damn sure that it’s actually true internally.
If you say you’re diverse, hire diverse people and work with diverse clients. If you say you believe in equality, treat and pay your employees equally. If what you preach doesn’t match what you practice, others will see right through it pretty quickly. (And, if you’re anything like one of my former employers, you just suck.)
Preach what you practice:
If your company culture is [insert adjectives here], then make damn sure you express that externally.
If you only want to work with female business owners (like us), say it in your content. If you put in the work to make your culture equitable for everyone, say it in your content. And if anyone tries to slap you on the wrist for it, you don’t want to work with them anyway. (Because, like one of my former employers, they suck.)
And as you continue to align your content with your band and company culture, make sure that you:
- Get the rest of your team involved
- Ask for thoughts and opinions
- Follow your brand guidelines and policies
If it’s still not working out, it may be time to dig deeper and re-evaluate your brand values, mission and vision statements, and everything else that makes up the foundation of your brand. Because if everything that comes after needs to be rooted on solid ground – not a flashy house of cards.
And if you need some pointing in the right direction, we’re here to help.