Why you need to join up your brand and content strategies
Updated: Apr 9, 2021
Whilst your content strategy and your brand strategy are by no means the same thing, its important for brands to have a joined up approach on both.
Both strategies will certainly strengthen and grow your brand, but how do you align them? And importantly, what are the differences between the two that you need to be aware of? Whilst brand strategy addresses what the company stands for, what type of personality the company or organisation has, and is concerned with "who" the company or organisation is, content strategy is a powerful tool that brings that branding to life. A misaligned content and brand strategy not only dilutes but can actually damage your brand.
Content strategy is sadly still being overlooked by many Marketing departments, with only 37% of marketers having a written down strategy. (According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Benchmarks report.)
A good place to start is with your brand values. What does your business stand for? For example here at Join The Dots we believe in the importance of service. This mean we are passionate about serving both our customers and our wider community. We are rooted in integrity and authority as we have over 20 years of FTSE 100 experience paired up with innovative young digital marketing talent. Having this strong set of brand values enables us to better curate our own distinctive tone of voice. We like our content to speak to our audience in a warm, knowledgeable and humorous tone because these values are important to us. If our content strategy wasn't aligned with these brand values then it could potentially actually do more harm than good. For example if our content marketing was overly brash or salesy or conversely if it was too stuffy and formal, whilst that would be great for many marketing and PR businesses, it would confuse our clients and our target audience.
Next look at your Mission and Vision statements. Your mission and vision statements provide strategic guidance for all elements of the business and this should include content. People want to support brands who have vision they believe in, that is well defined and well communicated, so always refer to your strategic objectives when creating your content strategy.
You should then look at your value proposition as this will also influence your brand stories and in turn your content marketing. A value proposition is a statement that explains 'why' someone should do business with you. It should convince a potential customer why to choose your service or product rather than a similar offer from your competition. You would be amazed how many businesses, charities and other organisations forget to reference their value proposition when creating their content marketing strategy.
Next you should review your brand stories. Brand stories are narratives brought to life through interesting facts about your company. They should conjure up certain relatable feelings from your chosen audience. Think of the positive things you would like a customer or member of the public to say about your brand and you'll be off to a good start.
If you have a written down set of brand guidelines, make sure that you include tone of voice guidelines within this document. As mentioned above, the type of tone of voice you decide depends on the type of brand personality you want to convey. Is your brand formal and authoritative or a rebellious rule breaker? Brand guideline documents aren't just for agreeing which font and colour palette to use, but are there also to ensure the same phraseology is used throughout your marketing activity and all customer interactions.
If you follow the steps above then you will be going a good way to setting up your content marketing to perfectly compliment your brand strategy. However you will need to ensure that your content strategy is agile enough to change quickly based on continuous analysis of what your audience is engaging with the most.
However you choose to tackle your brand and content strategy it helps to get an expert either to review your strategy, or create one for you from scratch. At Join The Dots were experts in brand and content strategy and so feel free to book in a free consultation with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.