Your brand is the face, voice, and personality of your business. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling to. A strong brand is essential to a successful business in today’s technological and sociological climate. We have more consumers, more companies, more competition, more noise and more opportunities. The dichotomy of increased potential-versus-competition dictates that not only does the brand need to exist and figurehead the business; it must be given prominence through marketing with a considerate, lateral, proactive and consistent approach. It is the primary touchpoint between your business and your prospects and it’s integrity must be maintained whilst pushing for new business. This article will focus upon doing your brand justice during your digital content marketing campaign.
Knowing and understanding your brand is easier said than done. Whilst it may sound marginally patronising and super obvious, this is principle and paramount to progressive and proficient, results-based marketing. We carry out ‘Discovery Sessions’, in which we ask ourselves a set of methodically posed and ordered questions designed to delve into the nitty-gritty of who the brand we’re working on is. These are strikingly effective in the endeavour of building a brand, but can also be used retrospectively to extract the identity of an existing brand, and result in a set of considerations, or even loose criteria to call upon should questions arise whilst Digital Content Marketing. Following are three of the six main structural pillars of a Discovery Session.
What are your business’s goals? What do you want to achieve in the next 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months? Where do you want your turnover to be and how many people will you need looking at your forward-facing marketing assets? £10 million annual turnover and 10k Twitter followers? More? Less? Know the answers to these questions is insanely useful in keeping you, your team and your marketing campaign on the productive straight-and-narrow. The answers you produce here are also hugely useful in progress tracking and motivation; they provide concrete milestones to work toward with concrete dates. Writing down your intentions also helps in solidifying and confirming commitment to a project.
Often, this is interpreted as such an obvious piece of information that it is assumed to be common knowledge, or it is just a straight up assumption in the first place. once again, a methodical approach is key here, requiring an approach so intuitive it’s almost lateral. Ask yourself not only how old your audience is, or whatever job title they may hold, but also how they’re feeling whilst (sometimes inadvertently) requiring your solution, where their physical and digital domains are, what kind of content they consume, when and where they consume it. Where are they in their business journey, life journey and even journey to work when you hit touch-points with them? You will always be selling to people, whether in B2B or B2C. To do this you need to understand those people, and how best to communicate with them to help them arrive at the conclusion that yours is the solution to their problem. How do they think, and what do they do? For both work and leisure. Try to get under their skin, really understand them and their problems. Put yourselves in their shoes and think of how you could be engaged in their situation, and with what content. It can be helpful to get this started by listing aspirational or otherwise ideal customers.
You could start by listing adjectives which describe the personality of your brand. Brainstorming in this way will open your mind to more lateral and less obvious ideas. Very similar, but slight progressed from personality is ‘how you want to be perceived as a brand’. This is essentially in reference to how all the previously mentioned qualities are received and perceived by prospective clients/customers. How will they feel about you based on your personality? All those positive aspects of your business, and helpful selling points, how will they impact and aid your audience? Once again building upon the previous question, ask yourself ‘What obstacles are between your business and prospective clients or customers?’ What barriers may exist preventing your prospects from becoming conversions? Which ones can you address and alleviate? The added benefit of asking and answering this question is that it will force you to become used to directly addressing barriers and systematically tearing them down. this can often be one of the most effective sales techniques utilised to help a customer or client over the line with a purchase they’re otherwise undecided on.
“As far as building a brand goes, there needs to be a good balance of consistency for recognition and integrity, coupled with progression, development and change that keep it fresh, current and exciting to ensure maximum engagement (mainly done with campaigns and content).” – Sarah Kirkbride
Digital Content Marketing campaign must have goals, and they must be addressed in order to make the campaign a success. If the goals of a campaign, and methods of achieving contradict any of your brand’s facets or could compromise your brand, that kind of defeats the object. It’s all about weighing up the pros and cons, being discerning, pragmatic and committed to your decision.
You may have included these goals whilst thinking about your business goals. If so and you’re satisfied with the answers obtained, job done. If not, this will be super easy. It’s highly advisable to quantify and specify your intentions for a marketing campaign for the purpose of progress review, analytics. issue diagnosis and the plethora of reasons listed above. The further ahead you plan your goals, the more scope you’ll have to plan for the future and inject some real intention and consideration into your campaign. You should base projections on your current progress, but be specific! If you don’t have any current or past analytics quite yet, you won’t be able to plan too far ahead without there being an element of guess-work, but consistency and commitment to your goals allow for the restructuring of certain parts of a campaign within reason without compromising the whole.
Now you’ve gathered all this information, you will find that your understanding of the tasks before you, and a methodical approach to them is becoming clearer in your head. This will all take some practise and time before your campaign execution becomes like second nature, but you’ve made a start! Well done! And to utilise the horrendously-saturated phrase: ‘Digital Content Marketing is like riding a bike, it’s impossible without arms when you’ve got it, you’ve got it.’
“Tone of voice is an expression of the people behind the screen. There’s so much bland, corporate content out there and having a bit of wit or charm shows a brand’s humanity. However, since there’s more pressure on a brand to stand out, there’s a greater risk of humour coming across as desperate. Like when you’re on a bad date and they keep cracking terrible jokes to fill the awkward silence. Tone of voice should be natural, once you try to achieve it – it all goes wrong. It should represent who you are, who your staff is and who your target market is. It would be inappropriate to have a solicitor who’s only content was memes, just because they read that it was a good way to get engagement online – you wouldn’t trust them to take a case for you. So, how do you go about finding your tone of voice? Sit down and think about who you are as a brand. Do you want to come across as a friend, or as a teacher? As serious, or silly? Once you’ve decided how you want to be perceived, it’s important to ensure all future copy sticks to this voice.” – Ally King
Following this, it is pertinent to marry up and make cohesive any Discovery Session notes and digital content marketing campaign goals. Address any contradictions and iron out any inconsistencies. It’s important to keep in mind not to allow your marketing campaign to compromise your brand, and if the opposite happens, it defeats the object of the campaign.
“All facets of the brand always need to be considered and preserved during marketing. A strong brand promotes a full customer experience and is made up with equal amounts of visual design, tone of voice and content, product or service design/offering and campaign pieces, spanning all medias.” – Sarah Kirkbride