In September, we hosted a three-part webinar series around messaging and how it can attract new business. One of these webinars looked at branding, the importance of brand consistency, establishing your brand on social media and creating video content. In this blog, we look at the questions following the webinar. If you want to download and watch the full episode that goes into much more detail, you can do so here.
Are brand guidelines something you would suggest changing annually, bi-annually or never?
Guidelines should be reviewed every quarter because you should be auditing how effective and consistent your brand has been every three months. If your brand is young, you should do it more often. Doing it on a monthly basis is perhaps right if you’re a new brand. Although if you’ve been established for a while, every quarter is ideal.
From there you can identify the areas that your employees are perhaps struggling with or ‘key challenge’ areas that you need to define further and it’s then you can review those guidelines. Make sure they’re clear enough; see what else can be added into them and determine where you might have evolved, looking at where we are in 2020 with technology.
It’s possible that you need to do a better job of embedding your guidelines into the organisation. A lot of times people leave their guidelines and they never touch them again, meaning you’re not maximizing your investment. You’ve spent money on your branding, so look at your guidelines quarterly and determine where you want to go from there.
It’s also important to test and measure any marketing you’re doing. Whether it’s social media, PR, or pay-per-click, test the results that you’re getting on these and look if there are elements within your brand guidelines that need to change as a result of that.
How do you police your guidelines?
The key thing is that you need to distribute accountability for the brand across people outside of just the managers. With every brand, you need to implement brand champions. Those should be people scattered throughout the business, across departments and across levels. Their responsibility is to make sure that people are living, breathing and using the brand effectively. Once you’ve got those people in, distribute that responsibility.
You also need to have a regular audit to look at different areas and explain to people it’s not going to be a bad thing if they get it wrong a few times, it’s about saying how could we make this more clear for you? How can we protect this because we are creating the next Virgin and we’re excited to have you on this journey and we want you to be a part of that.
Get people throughout the business to help you spread that accountability and do a regular audit and refresh of your branding.
It can help to have visible guidelines and champions. Whether you have a brand, book or a PDF, at the end of that you need to add a section for who your brand guardians are so it’s clear who people go to when they have a question because often, people deviate from the brand identity or the tone of voice because they don’t understand and they think ‘I don’t know who to bother about this so i’m just going to do my own thing.’ You want to mitigate that as much as possible so tell people where to go, sign post them to the people that help to police that and can shepherd them in.
Would you choose which messaging would be different in terms of typography and colors?
Likely, the answer to this comes down to ‘how do we make the design look as exciting as possible?’ But where it should come from is an understanding of your core narrative and the story you’re trying to drive home.
With copy, keep it tight and exciting; know from the very beginning what’s your objective is? Choose those specific words or phrases that draw people’s attention to them. That’s what you highlight when you potentially use a different typeface to bring out to your users. If somebody has a four second attention span then there’s probably two key words in that entire sentence that people really need to look at, and that’s where you go about doing that.
How does a brand join the conversation without seeming like they’re jumping on a bandwagon?
A lot of businesses think they have to be on every platform because everyone else is and they need to be seen there too. In fact, not everybody is. If it’s not right for your business then you shouldn’t be on it and defining what’s right for your business comes back to the golden circle of why, and also your story. Essentially, if you really know who you are as a brand, you’ve identified that you’ll understand who your customers are and where they’re engaging.
If you’re a business whose audience is under 30, TikTok’s audience is a lot younger than that. If your audience isn’t on TikTok then you don’t need to be on TikTok, that’s how you need to identify where you should be. You don’t need to jump on bandwagons if it’s not going to get a return on your investment and on your time.
When you’re choosing platforms, knowing your brand values, what you stand for and your personality as an organisation should drive your decisions. One of the big things happening in the US is the boycotting of TikTok because there’s concern that users’ details are being leaked to the Chinese government. Whether or not that’s the right information, if you’re an organisation and a brand that stands for protecting people’s information and doing the right thing ethically, you also need to watch what platform you’re choosing from that perspective as well.
We’ve been told blogs are really good for SEO, is it the same for videos?
In short, yes and you can find out more about this in a webinar presented by from Tony at Digital Glue. Tony is an expert in this field and he presented a webinar about SEO where you can find out more about this topic.
There’s also things you can do on your videos to make sure that you’re appearing higher in those search results, such as your meta titles and meta descriptions. Make sure you’ve got the right keywords in there also.
Got a question that wasn’t answered or want to know more about our branding service offerings? Get in touch with us here and check out our branding services page to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.
You can watch the full webinar here.