Content is how you build and enforce your brand identity.
When your content appears in people’s news feeds, that’s the first touch point of their interaction with your brand. The feelings triggered within people who see your content inform how they perceive your brand. Those perceptions will dictate whether they choose to travel any further along the buyer’s journey towards becoming one of your paying customers.
Here’s the thing
Mobile behavior allows people to connect with your brand at their own convenience. Data compiled by Facebook Insights reveals that 73% of people say they always have their mobile devices within reach. People who fall into the millennial demographic say, as a result of close proximity to their phones, that they’ll check their devices as many as 150 times per day.
When people use their phones, they’re actively fed content from social news feed algorithms. They want to browse through content that appears in their mobile news feeds, which they access through a handful of social apps. Every time a person enters one of their preferred social apps is an opportunity for you as a brand marketer to forge a connection with that prospective customer.
If people are checking their phones up to 150 times per day, that’s hundreds of chances to connect every single week.
However, while this all translates into great opportunities, there are some caveats. The biggest obstacle for your brand is that thousands of other brands are attempting to connect with those same people on the very same channels. There’s also plenty of content shared by friends or followers that will appear in social feeds every time a person enters their app of choice.
Think about how much content that amounts towards. Those news feeds become very cluttered very fast, and it makes it increasingly challenging to stand out from the competition.
Your job as a brand marketer is to inspire people who view your content to stop and absorb the information you convey within your unique assets. Inspiration leaves people longing to see or learn more, and establish an integrated relationship with your brand.
If you have no brand identity, you have no consistent content
This is the critical point and one that many marketers struggle to accept as reality.
Fundamentally, your brand identity is how you communicate your vision, mission, values, and solutions to your audience. Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, has one of the best quotes about branding that all marketers should take to heart when building their own identities.
Your brand identity is a representation of all these traits as perceived by people who see your brand in the marketplace. The content you create and promote is the gateway separating your potential customers from your brand.
But without a solid brand identity, your content will run askew. There won’t be any consistency between the values you articulate as a brand and the content you communicate outwards to the public. This disconnect is confusing for people and dramatically reduces the likelihood that they’ll interact with your content or engage any further with your brand.
On-brand visual content reinforces your brand identity
A solid brand identity establishes a consistent narrative and structure for all the content produced by your creative team. Consistency ensures everyone involved in the creation and promotion of your brand’s visual content understands how to articulate the nuances of your unique brand values.
This alignment is, by extension, communicated outwards to your prospective audience. If all of the stakeholders involved in the content creation process understand how visual content represents your brand, your audience will slowly begin to recognize these consistent styles. Over time, people will automatically align your brand name to your customized content without the need for any further prompting.
Maintaining this approach to on-brand visual content creation wins out over the long term. You can gain a competitive advantage over similar brands in the marketplace.
When people definitively identify you against all other competitors that appear in their social news feeds, you’ve succeeded in attracting their interest. Well done!
Translate brand guidelines into technical visual requirements
To get to the point where people can easily distinguish your brand from their cluttered social news feeds, you first need the right content. Visual content is the most effective format in mobile and social news feeds.
We’ve already identified that you must frequently create consistently on-brand content to strengthen your brand identity. But how do you ensure all of your creative talent definitively understands what you mean by on-brand content that reinforces your brand guidelines?
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you’re a brand with satellite offices in various geographic locations. In each of those offices are people who are part of your creative team, and create content on behalf of your brand.
Can you decisively say with absolute certainty that every person on your creative team understands how to shoot visual content for your brand?
Briefing your creative talent on custom visual guidelines unique to your brand identity is no easy hill to climb. Every creative person interprets how to produce visual content in a way that aligns with their own personalities. Without brand guidelines and documented details that translate those guidelines into requirements for content, you’ll lose the consistency you need.
Structured briefs and technology are your solution
Thankfully the world has come a long way. Technology allows you to connect with your creative talent regardless of where they’re located in the world. You can share your brand guidelines and your technical requirements for content with anyone who has access to your platform of choice.
Documenting all of your creative criteria into a structured brief allows for continuous sharing of information to align everyone involved in the creative process. The briefs detail what technical guidelines are required to create on-brand visual content. As long as your entire creative team has access to the technology that hosts those briefs, everyone remains on the same page.
This ensures all visual content remains consistently on-brand with the overarching objective of connecting with your target audience. Technology bridges the gap between the brand strategists and the creative talent. Once you incorporate your briefs into your optimal technological solution, you can increase the frequency of content created for your brand with global scale.
Ready to learn more about building a brand identity that can scale? Register for our webinar on “How to Create Visual Brand Guidelines for Your Social and Digital Content” for best practices on translating your marketing terminology into technical requirements for visual content creation.