Strong branding: the core of meaningful digital content
I see it happen ALL the time. Anxious to see money in the bank, an enthusiastic entrepreneur skips the process of creating strong branding. Expecting their product to sell itself, their digital content features transactional sales monologues that shove their new product into their audience’s view straightaway.
And then… crickets.
In my experience as a digital marketing consultant, I’ve come across my fair share of ad campaigns. My biggest takeaway has been that the brands that start out strong and continuously drive sales are the ones that cultivate and maintain a relationship with their audience. Their secret sauce? They spark engagement through valuable content that resonates with their target audience while communicating the value they offer and the principles that define the brand.
Today’s guide will map out how to craft the cornerstone of loyal customer relationships: a value-infused brand identity. Now, this certainly isn’t an exhaustive manual for the complex process of branding. Nonetheless, this little crash course should give you a good idea of the essential components of brand identity. These core elements should be present in the DNA of every part of your digital content strategy.
Let’s jump in!
Anchoring your digital content to a strong brand identity
Many of the marketing bloopers I’ve seen arise from the same problem: people not realizing that in marketing, just like in all business, the client comes FIRST. Strong branding is unquestionably the result of a holistic business development process that’s customer-centric.
In order to build the loyal customer relationships that drive sales, you’ll need to gather a few key insights. These insights mainly pertain to your target audience, how your offering will serve them, and how your brand will fit in their world.
When your content aligns with your customers’ values, that customer is more likely to pay attention to what you have to say. It is for this reason that creating a strong brand identity is a fundamental part of your business strategy. Therefore, it just can’t wait until you’re ready to produce marketing videos or any other digital content.
Keep the following branding guidelines visible and clear for everyone involved in the process of creating any company media. They will serve as a roadmap for developing effective and consistent digital content that drives sales over time.
1. Outline the OFFERING
What do you have in store? In essence, this is the most basic and concise definition of what you’re selling. It explains the thing you actually manufacture or the service you provide. To clarify, it’s how you will satisfy a client’s need or desire with a solution to their problem.
For example, a startup is developing a project management app that features intelligent push notifications. So, the startup’s offering could be, “innovative workflow technology.”
2. Get to know your AUDIENCE
Understanding whose life you are improving allows you to position the offering in a meaningful way. Therefore, determine aspects of your audience such as their interests, demographics, and pain points. These insights will reveal how to create an appealing brand identity that communicates how your solution helps them.
After careful research, our app developer startup defined their primary target audience as ‘driven, professional team players who work remotely.‘ These hustlers value keeping up with busy schedules, staying connected, and completing task assignments on time.
Thanks to this valuable information, our startup was able to identify the pain points they’re targeting. These include anxieties over a lack of team coordination and the inability to quickly manage team tasks and schedules.
3. Articulate your brand’s MISSION
A good brand mission defines what the offering helps customers achieve, in other words, the essence of the solution. This part of your brand identity defines what the company aims to contribute to the world.
Let’s go back to our app developers. Their breakthrough technology encourages teams to work in unison and track their progress regardless of where team members are. Their mission is “helping remote teams maximize productivity through collaboration.”
4. Outline a digital content strategy rooted in PRINCIPLES
What does the brand stand for? What kind of mark does it aim to make on the world? Social communities are formed through shared ideals. Therefore, it’s crucial that the brand has a strong belief system to rule its digital marketing strategy. These principles will drive all the brand’s community-building content.
By clearly expressing principles your audience can identify with or reject, you allow people to form opinions of your brand. Keeping your principles present in the DNA of your content ensures people can recognize and connect with your brand’s spirit.
Our make-believe app developer doesn’t just help teams better manage their time and tasks, the company is also eco-friendly. Therefore, some of the company’s brand principles could include: ‘getting things done using sustainable technology,’ and, ‘supporting efficiency through connection.’
Tip: Each of your ideals opens up a vast array of topics for conversation starters! From inspiring quotes to productivity tips; there are many ways you can infuse your social media channels with content that resonates with your audience. Through emotional storytelling, you can achieve an open dialogue with your customer base.
5. Choose the RIGHT TONE for your brand identity
A successful digital content strategy uses a tone that resonates with the customer base. As I’ve said before, people are interested in interacting with other people, not with faceless companies. So how can your brand mimic the most endearing aspects of interacting with a person? You must have a distinctive personality people can relate to.
If your brand were a person, what would their personality be like? Would it be friendly and helpful like GEICO? Inspirational and motivating like Nike? Snarky and humorous like Taco Bell? This really depends on what your target demographic would like and respond to. Take a cue from the viral quality of memes and remember that relatability is key for strong branding.
Following their audience persona research, the tone our app developer startup chose to use for their digital content campaign is confident, approachable, and organized, but also street smart.
Mapping out your brand tone ensures consistency in how your message sounds and how your audience perceives your company. When you’re creating your brand’s personality, be mindful of being too similar to other brands in your market. If your approach matches theirs too closely, then you may be diluting your value proposition. This can make it difficult for your brand to stand out!
Bringing your campaign to life
In addition to ‘making the unaware aware,’ the principle behind a successful launch strategy is to continue to cultivate a relationship with your brand’s audience. This is the key to creating and publishing content that consistently resonates with your customer base.
However, creating a robust brand identity is just part of the effort. Getting eyes on your message and getting your content out there has its own set of rules.
Now that you know about the core elements of brand identity, head over to my article on plotting a launch strategy for your social media content. In that article, I’ll talk about achieving measurable engagement. You’ll learn about how to be present on the right social platforms, how to create valuable content for your brand, and how to interact with your audience. Profits will certainly follow!
The concept of building a brand identity to support your entire branding and content strategy can sound a little abstract. If you have questions about how you can apply these methods to your own company, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!