From blog posts and ebooks to product pages and email, customers interact with your brand’s content in a ton of different ways. How consistent is their experience with your brand? Is your voice being heard in each piece of content?
The marketer’s job is to infuse brand strategy into every customer touchpoint; it is then up to the salesperson to be sure the most up-to-date branded material is delivered. The content should not only answer the customers’ questions, but connect with them on an emotional level as well.
Creating consistency and injecting your brand into content across your entire organization is challenging, but absolutely necessary. Here’s a few ways you can start updating your content to reflect who you truly are.
To begin inserting your brand’s voice into all of your organization’s content, you need to have a set of documented brand guidelines. Now, this doesn’t simply refer to a list of approved fonts and colors—it goes further than that and includes critical brand elements like your noble purpose and tone of voice.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your guidelines shouldn’t be rigid, but adaptive instead. They’re tools designed to give your brand consistency and flexibility, not just a color palette and different versions of fonts. Once you’ve successfully documented your brand, share it with the entire organization. From sales to customer service, your organization’s brand belongs to everyone, not just marketing.
Make Resources Easily Accessible
People get lazy. If it takes them more than five minutes to find an asset for an email, odds are they’re not going to include it.
If you want people to use brand essentials for everything from powerpoints to proposals, you’d better make sure they know where to find everything they need. While it can be as simple as storing your assets and materials within Google Drive, there are also many more sophisticated tech solutions that can help build a searchable brand repository.
The Intermediate-Level Branding
Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your True Colors
Up to this point, we’ve covered the basics, which is pretty much just making sure everyone is using the correct brand assets. But to truly evoke some sort of emotional connection from your customers to your brand, you’re going to have to go a bit further. A simple way to start is by communicating who you are as an organization.
Showcasing your culture plays a big role in communicating your brand essence. As your team grows, it’s important to introduce your audience to the work behind the work. If you’re like us, your customers have choices. One way to ensure they choose you is to allow them to get to know what your people care about, how they get involved, and how they have fun.
You can show your true colors in a variety of ways. First, through your website. Care about your careers page. Show them who you are by presenting real live humans on your “About Us” page. Share company wins and culture through social media channels.
You should also look for creative ways to show your people behind the scenes. Ecommerce companies are great at this. One example of this is a glasses company who includes a cartoon stamp of the person who fulfilled the order on the itemized receipt. Simple, yet effective. And whether you’re B2C or B2B, people are more likely to connect with your product or service if they like the people pulling the strings. You’d better make an effort.
It’s All in the Details
No matter how boring the piece of content is that you need to create, think about how your brand can make it a little less of a snooze-fest, especially when it comes to tone. Take something as simple as a thank you email. How would your brand say it? Would they shorten it to “thanks” or even something like “you rock”? How would your competitors convey the same message?
The way Nike says hello is completely different from how Warby Parker does. So whether you’re dealing with an auto-reply email, a blog post, a product description or speaking directly to a prospect or customer, look for ways to insert your unique tone into that copy. It may seem nitpicky, but it will go a long way toward creating a consistent experience for your customers.
Commit to Your Blog and Resources
Quality, customer-focused content with a clear goal in mind has the power to do big things for your brand. Not only can resources like white papers, ebooks and interactive content drive leads, they can start meaningful conversations and show your audience how your brand thinks. Again, it’s not enough to write about a topic you think they’ll enjoy—you have to communicate it in a way that feels true to your brand.
How You Truly Win
Empower Everyone to Own the Brand
Just because you have a few great pieces of branded content doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. Seamless brand experiences are only possible when every department in an organization buys in—not just marketing. Which means the marketing and sales teams need to encourage the entire organization to own the brand.
Not only does this make sense logistically (marketing might not have time to review every single document or site update that occurs within your organization), but it also gets people to actually build, evaluate and adapt the brand.
The truth is, marketing sets the vision but they’re rarely the people interacting with customers or clients on a day-to-day basis. So when teams like sales or customer service can provide feedback about how your audience feels about the brand, it can help guide future brand strategy. And because they are so close to the customer, they’re arguably one of the most important places to look when adjusting future brand strategy or figuring out why the brand isn’t resonating the way it should.
Fonts and Logos Are the Bare Minimum
Just because everyone in your organization is using the correct fonts and logos doesn’t mean you’ve successfully communicated your brand to consumers. In the end, you need to think of your brand as an ever-evolving entity with its own voice, tone and mindset. Whether it be a simple email or larger campaign, make sure your brand rings true throughout every piece of content.