Consistency in Branding: Aligning Content to Your Identity
Content is the key to successful branding. Therefore, your content and distribution should be your number one priority for your branding efforts.
Learning how to represent your brand through words and visuals effectively is crucial because it builds your brand recognition and makes it possible for people to make a genuine connection with your brand.
With that being said, aligning your content to your branding is most impactful when done with a multifaceted approach.
This multidimensional approach includes killer visuals, unique written content, persistent distribution, and engagement.
Let’s look at how you can effectively communicate your brand’s core values through content and consistency in branding.
What’s Your Brand’s Story?
Before you create anything, your brand’s story must be solid. A defined brand story gives you a foundation for all the content you produce.
To develop your brand’s story, answer questions like:
- What’s your brand’s mission?
- Why did you build your business?
- Who and what is at the core of your business?
- What challenge or challenges are you helping your customers overcome?
- How do you help them overcome them?
- What feelings do you want to bring forth in your customers?
- What stories define your business’s purpose?
In addition to answering these questions, you also want to identify your brand’s core values.
Identify Your Core Values
A considerable part of your brand’s story is its core values.
Identifying your company’s core values and communicating them consistently to your audience is essential to creating content aligned with your branding.
Each piece of content you create should communicate your brand’s core values in some way to ensure consistency in branding across all touchpoints.
Examples of company core values include:
Choose your core values wisely and ensure you’re able and ready to put them at the forefront of your branding strategies.
When you’ve got your brand’s story and core values solidified, you can move forward with determining your brand recognition and awareness goals.
Determine Brand Recognition and Brand Awareness Goals
You won’t align your content with your branding without establishing clear goals for your efforts.
Use the SMART goal setting system to create goals for your target audience to become aware of your brand and recognise it each time they encounter it. SMART stands for:
In other words, your goals should be detailed, measured, realistic, relevant to your overarching business goals, and attached to a deadline.
Also, set goals for your content. Does that mean that piece of content is doing well? Likes, shares, or comments on social media?
CTA clicks on your blog post? Achieving a specific open rate for your emails?
When your branding goals are in place, spend time getting to know your audience and continue those efforts throughout the life of your business.
Continuously Get to Know Your Audience
A considerable part of successfully uniting your content with your branding is your commitment to knowing your audience inside out.
Without a thorough knowledge of your audience, you won’t build a brand that supports them or provides them with content that addresses their needs and wants.
To get to know your audience in a way that supports your efforts to align your content to your branding, explore the following questions:
- What is the basic demographic information for your ideal customers?
- How does your target audience absorb content?
- How are they coming across your brand?
- Which brand elements does your target audience love? Which do they dislike?
- What makes your brand familiar to them?
- What challenges do they face?
- What digital platforms do they visit the most?
- Are they engaging with your content?
With a grasp on your brand and knowledge of the inner workings of your audience, move forward, establishing a content strategy that supports both your brand and your audience.
Establish a Content Strategy
To ensure you’re aligning your content to your branding strategy, you must establish a plan for your content.
This will help you ensure your content communicates your core values and creates content for the buyer’s journey stages.
Your content strategy details how you plan, create, distribute, and manage all of the content for your business.
You’ll want to create an overarching content strategy.
Still, it’s best to break down your strategy according to the distribution channels you’re using, such as creating individual content strategies for your social media, email, and your website.
At the same time, ensure each of these strategies works together and implements the same branding elements, so your audience recognises your brand no matter the channel.
When you’ve laid out your content strategy, the next step is to design a content calendar and publishing schedule to keep you consistent and organised in your approach.
Design a Content Calendar and Publishing Schedule
Creating a content calendar and publishing schedule will allow you to churn out content consistently and ensure constant outreach and engagement.
Your content calendar should include:
- The title
- The topic
- The type of content
- The visuals that will accompany it
- The CTA
- How you will measure its performance
- Date and time it will be published
- Where it will be published
- Who is in charge of creating the content
- A section for additional notes
Furthermore, it’s best to implement publishing tools that automate your content’s distribution.
This means scheduling blog posts through your blogging platform or using automation tools to automatically post to your social media accounts or send off emails.
Also, all of your written content should have a consistent voice, tone, and style no matter where it’s published.
Ensure the Voice, Tone, and Style are Consistent in Your Written Content
If you write one way on your website, one way on your emails, and another way on your social media, you’re going against your consistency efforts and making it extremely hard to align your content with your branding.
The way you write your content should be just as familiar to your audience as your visual branding elements.
Your audience should recognise your business through your unique brand voice, tone, and writing style. Ensure all three are consistent in every piece of written content so that your audience knows it’s you.
Also, when you write your content, leverage the art of storytelling.
Leverage the Art of Storytelling
People probably won’t remember many stats and figures, but they will remember a well-written story that they emotionally connect with.
So, ensure you’re leveraging the art of storytelling, whether through the written word or visual content.
Storytelling incites personal connection. It also helps you create personalised, detailed content that resonates with your audience and ultimately improves your brand reputation, awareness, and recognition.
You can study the art of storytelling online at your own pace or take courses on storytelling for business and branding strategies.
Another component to aligning your content to your branding is SEO or search engine optimisation.
Invest in SEO
SEO makes your brand and business visible online.
You can ensure your content aligns with your branding by finding out what your audience is typing into the search bar to find your business or products/services and using those keywords and phrases in all of the content you create and distribute online.
However, with SEO, you mustn’t mistake stuffing keywords and phrases into your content.
Doing so could result in you getting penalised by Google or another search engine and significantly decreasing your ranking on these platforms.
Instead, implement your keywords and phrases naturally into your pieces, ensure relevant content, and use high-quality graphics and high-authority links.
You can also create original visuals to align your content with your branding further.
Create Original Images, Illustrations, and Other Visual Content
Aligning your content to your branding doesn’t stop at written content. Your efforts should extend to your visuals as well.
Original images and illustrations can set your brand apart from your competition.
While many brands use stock photos, you can create original images and illustrations that will always be linked to your brand and your brand alone.
In addition, these original visual creations are another way for your audience to familiarise themselves with your brand.
You can hire a photographer to take photos of your products/services and other images, watermark them, and that, in turn, hopefully, prompts those who come across these photos to visit your site to learn more.
Work with a videographer to create iconic brand videos that attract new customers and keep the ones you have.
Working with an artist to create infographics is another great idea, as infographics usually get a lot of traffic and engagement when made well.
You can also work with a graphic designer to create unique illustrations that accompany your written content.
Furthermore, if you can’t hire professionals, don’t be afraid to experiment with graphic design, photography, painting, or drawing yourself to create the original images and illustrations you need.
Ultimately, your brand’s visual identity is just as important as the one you’ve formed through written work and critical messaging.
Keeping visual branding elements consistent on all content is another essential part of aligning content to your branding.
Keep Visual Consistency in Branding Elements
It will be hard for someone to get to know your brand if you’re constantly switching things up, whether your logo design, brand colours or another brand component.
Your audience should understand what visual elements to expect every time they interact with your brand’s content.
Consistent visual branding elements not only help in building brand recognition but can also lead to brand loyalty.
Consistency in branding builds trust, and trust is the foundation of any relationship, including loyal customer relationships.
Therefore, your colours, fonts, and imagery should remain the same on all content.
Take things a step further with consistency in the types of tools you use to conduct business.
For instance, using live chat on your website and other digital platforms ensures that your customers receive the transparency, communication, customer-centred interactions you’ve promised in your core values.
In addition, don’t be afraid to build a team to execute your branding and content vision.
Build a Team to Execute Your Branding and Content Vision
If you can’t create the quality content you need, don’t know how to align it with your branding, or are struggling with another branding or content task, hiring top talent can help.
For instance, a marketing manager can help keep your business’s branding on point and your content in line with your brand’s core values. They can also lead:
- Crafting specific content marketing campaigns
- Various content creation projects
- Creating a connection between your brand and its target audience
- Promotional events
- Market and target audience research
So, take a thorough look at how a specialist can help you better align your content with your branding.
Then, start searching for possible team members through job boards, social media, and so forth.
Be sure to interview them in detail to gauge their experience, abilities, and cohesiveness with yourself and the rest of your team.
Also, consider adding someone to your team specialising in data analytics to track your content’s performance.
Track Your Content’s Performance
You won’t know if your branding and content align if you don’t track your content’s performance.
It’s imperative to implement data analytics to track how well your content is doing, pull helpful insights from the data you collect, and leverage them to improve your branding and content.
Additionally, you can study whether your content aligns with your brand’s story and core values.
You can start with Google Analytics, but it’s wise to explore other data analytics tools.
This ensures you’re using the ones that get you the answers you’re looking for regarding your content, brand, and audience.
Lastly, aligning your content to your branding may require a complete rebrand.
Determine if a Rebrand is Necessary
Achieving brand consistency through content may require you to rebuild your brand entirely.
But don’t jump into a rebrand without a clear direction and understanding of why it’s necessary for your business.
If the following things are present, it may be time to consider a rebrand:
- You’re using multiple logos
- You’re tone, voice, and style in your written content isn’t consistent
- You aren’t sure what the story is behind your brand
- You’re core values have changed
- Your customer base and their needs have evolved
Ultimately, great brands ensure their core values are at the forefront of everything they do.
Aligning the content they create and publish with their core values is the most productive branding strategy.
But aligning your brand core values with content is easier said than done.
Implement the tips above to ensure any content you produce is consistent and aligns with your branding.