Brands across categories are increasingly investing in content marketing. From email newsletters to social media posts to video marketing, the focus is on delivering content to engage and excite audiences. But not too many marketers pause to ask whether their brand and content are in alignment.
Any piece of communication that originates from a brand should be in sync with its identity, values, tone, manner, and importantly, purpose. Without an alignment between brand and content, there will be visible dissonance and all the communication efforts would go in vain. To understand it, first, we need to define the concepts.
What is brand alignment?
With brand alignment, you ensure that all actions from your organisation are consistent and under a well-defined set of principles. This goes beyond communication and extends to all functions, approaches, values, and interactions of the company.
Brand alignment can be carried out on an existing set of legacy ideas or refreshed to reflect the plans of a company. When diligently implemented, all stakeholders in the company, from employees to external associates, would seamlessly know the organisation’s values.
What is content alignment?
Content alignment ensures that all pieces of communication from your organisation will have the same tone, style, voice, and character. This leads to consistency, which will aid in message recall.
Marketing teams and their external partners will have to make sure that all content created for the brand follows the same set of guidelines. These marketing assets include website and social media copy, HR documentation, sales collateral, advertising, and PR messages, thought leadership articles, and internal communication documents.
With content alignment, it will be easier for consumers to recognise your brand. It will also ensure that you don’t have to unnecessarily spend on exposure.
How to get brand and content alignment
Define your brand: The first step is to know what your brand stands for and then to keep that at the centre of all internal and external communication. Craft a set of guidelines defining your brand and make sure that everyone understands it.
Understand the consumer: You should know your consumer, their buyer persona, and the stage they are in their user journey. This will help create not just compelling but relevant content that’s in alignment with your brand.
Know your goals: Are you looking to create a favourable impression among potential hires? Is your primary objective to raise brand awareness? Do you want to change your organisation’s brand equity in the media? Your goals will make it easy to create and align content.
Audit the existing content: Do you sound friendly somewhere and distant elsewhere? Examine all content that’s created in your brand’s name. This includes everything from onboarding kits to website copy to press releases to social media posts. Search for dissonance in tone, voice, and character.
Discuss internally: Once you develop your guidelines according to the buyer persona and business objective, share them with all stakeholders. Remember that marketing isn’t the only domain that creates content. Human resources and sales personnel also engage with internal and external audiences.
Measure and optimise: You should periodically check all the communication emanating from the organisation to see if there is any misalignment between brand and content principles. This will reveal areas where you will have to correct the course. It will also throw up opportunities to optimise your content strategy as the business grows.
When there is brand and content alignment, both internal and external audiences would find it easy to understand the brand values and identity. This will make it easier to acquire and retain customers and build favourable brand identity among current and future employees.