“What do I do with this now?” is the question I most often get at the completion of a branding project. As the Mojo-maker who conducts each of our clients’ branding and messaging work, I create things like brand pillars and unique selling propositions for businesses. But, once the brand message is complete, clients are often clueless about what to do with it or how to work it in to their content strategy.
The businesses who’ve signed on with Mojenta’s inbound marketing program for telecom marketing don’t have to worry about making sure their brand message pervades their content strategy – we do it for them. (Shameless plug, I know!) For everyone else, there are several ways to ensure your messaging doesn’t just gather dust. (And if you’re new to the idea of messaging altogether, check out this piece on message architecture.)
1. Make sure everyone who is internal knows what your brand message is.
This seems like a no-brainer, but too often, important pieces of branding don’t see the light of day after the final draft is approved. If you have created elements like a message architecture, brand pillars, a USP, and tone and voice, everyone at your company needs to know about it. Even people who will never create content. That’s because B2B companies with brands that are perceived as strong generate a higher EBIT margin than others, according to Forbes. And the only way to take a step to creating a strong brand is to make sure the people who make up that brand are on the same page.
So, for starters, have a meeting where you present the branding. Put it in slide format and order lunch. Heck, make it fun. Force the C-level execs to each dress up like a brand pillar. Just make sure everyone has access to the messaging all the time and has, at least, been briefed on what it is.
2. Look at your content strategy.
If you have an editorial calendar or some kind of plan for content production, now’s the time to take a look at that and see if your topics are in line with your brand message. For example, if your brand aims to be the expert on cloud computing, but you’ve got blogs scheduled for broadband or networking research, take note of where topics need to shift or incorporate your message.
Performing an audit of existing content doesn’t hurt, either!
3. Examine your design.
Even though design may not seem to directly correlate with your brand message specifically, the two are connected. If you’ve aimed your brand message to speak to Fortune 500 companies, but your website has a young, cartoon-y look, that’s an example of a brand inconsistency.
Design is just as important as the words that make up your content – if not almost more important since it’s the first way the reader/viewer absorbs your content. But, be careful: don’t overhaul your brand look and feel too suddenly if you find inconsistencies. Marketo points out that “dramatically switching up brand design and color scheme without any sort of prior notice can be a significant deterrent to creating the sort of brand-centric content that readers will recognize across the internet.” So, take your time!
Pro tip: Creating a company style guide – both for design and copy – will help all departments refer to the rules when creating customer-facing content.
4. Establish a gatekeeper.
This person is key for the post-production process. Once your content has been created, the gatekeeper looks at it with the branding eye, meaning he/she keeps the elements of your brand in mind while proofing and signing off on it. If your established brand tone is professional and authoritative, but one of your blogs is conversational and humorous, the gatekeeper will flag it.
The gatekeeper is also the crucial person who makes sure that your content speaks to your buyer personas. If your main target audience is MSPs, but your content seems to speak to the pain points of subagents, the gatekeeper should be well-versed enough in your branding to notice that. Remember, you’re going to all this trouble because brands that are consistently presented are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility.
5. Review your brand message annually.
Just because you established all your messaging in 2018 doesn’t mean it can’t do with a little revamp in 2020. Businesses evolve all the time, and their brand message should evolve with them. If your customer has changed, this is especially important.
Your content strategy is an ever-growing beast, right? You’re constantly brainstorming things to write, produce, and push out on social media. That means you’re generating fresh ideas all the time. Your branding can align in the same way. For example, every year, Mojo has a meeting where the staff gets together and revisits our brand pillars and mission statement. We discuss if we think everything still applies and how we’re doing at embodying it all. This is yet another way to make sure employees are aware of your brand message so it has a better chance of working its way into your content strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about branding, message architecture, and getting your brand message into every part of your telecom marketing content strategy, talk to Mojenta today.