You’ve got your brand foundation. You know who you are and you want to show it off, so where and when do you get out there? In the biz we often call this the content strategy and this is what you’ll need to create one:
I’ve got a double ‘who’ and the ‘how’ is weak but we all learned this in writing class right? It’s the basics of journalism. Ideally, you’re planning this out at least once a quarter because things get busy, other initiatives get in the way, or you just plain forget. A good content calendar has all the information listed above and is tied to some sort of reminder system to keep things accountable. There is nothing worse than going to look at a blog that was updated last summer and just abandoned like a lost puppy. Sad Face.
We’ve provided a super simplistic foundation for your calendar but if you’ve got that handled then you can do this. The ‘where’ is probably the hardest part; digital banners, flyers, PR, mailers, out of home (OOH) advertising (that’s billboards, taxi/bus sides, bus shelters/benches, etc) and so forth, and so forth, and so forth. You’re going to need to know your budget and audience to effectively get placements. See the Stern Grove Festival’s outdoor and social media campaign.
Once you have a content strategy and calendar, there are a couple of additional notes. Remember your brand guidelines? Let’s make sure to pull that tone and voice into everything. When expressing our brand, we need to think of the entire customer experience (also known as CX for short), not just single touch points, in order to really be comprehensive and fully engaged. For example, if your sales material is amazing and your e-commerce platform a joy to use but then you use a shipper that is 2 weeks late to deliver and you’ve missed your deadline…you’ve got some CX work to do.
Let’s not forget to use your SEO whenever we can to spread some keyphrase joy for the google search engine to crawl, aka find on your website, so that people can read the content you’re creating. Oh, did I forget to mention SEO / search engine optimization? Read more about what SEO is and how it helps build your brand. It’s largely about controlling (as much as you can) your reputation. Depending on your business, you can’t control things like Yelp or other reviews, but you can respond to them. Just make sure that reputation management (see our case study on how to get back your reputation) is part of your strategic planning, or you could end up shooting yourself in the foot.
After you’ve done all that, you can get fancy with your messaging. Creating a campaign that builds on itself and sparks curiosity is everyone’s gold standard.
That wraps up the 4th part in our series on branding. Hopefully now you’ve got a bit more of a handle on what it is, how you can use it, and where you can ask for help. The highlights in review are
The most important thing to remember is to be honest, don’t bite off more than you can chew, and just take baby steps if you’re feeling overwhelmed. And if you really fall off your horse, just give us a call to chat about how to get back on.