The more consistent your messaging, the more consistent your branding—whether via words, design, offerings, or perspective. Your brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers.
Networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram attract hundreds of millions of users every day, which gives your brand access to global audiences instantly. More than ever, users rely on these platforms to follow and interact with their favorite brands. With thousands of businesses creating social media pages, how can your brand possibly stand out to consumers? A key factor to maximizing your online presence is creating consistency across all social media channels.
No business—large or small—should leave branding open to a variety of interpretations and customizations. A brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers. Would your customer recognize your post no matter if they saw it on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter? If you’re constantly changing brand personality, you’re losing customers. That’s why it’s so important to develop standards for brand consistency, on and offline. Each and every interaction with your brand should embody your company values and products.
Create a Set of Fundamental Elements
Successful branding is nothing more than a set of rules and elements you should follow to keep your brand recognized across all media platforms. Studies show the average user needs five to seven impressions before he or she remembers your brand.
Having a great brand with a well-structured communication plan can help you:
Give your business a unique personality and an identity to which customers can relate;
Differentiate your business amid countless other brands;
Make your image stand out in customers’ minds;
Boost your authority in the marketplace;
See an increase in customer engagement and loyalty; and
Position your brand to command a higher pricing-niche for products.
Choosing the Right Marketing Partner
It’s crucial to work with marketing agency that is able to translate your materials to all media and make it work with all formats. The right partner can provide a local paper an online ad that will look similar to a printed poster or has the same elements arranged to work in the different proportion of a point of purchase display. Or, they can ensure that when a customer clicks on a website link they are taken to a landing page or download a brochure that will also feature a similar color scheme, visual elements, headline treatment, and message seen on your website.
Brad Pettengill, with Change Conversations Blog, graciously walks us through the techniques for achieving consistency in a multi-channel marketing campaign.
Whether you are working with an agency or you have a team in-house, you’ll want to make sure all materials have a basic consistency in look and feel. To achieve this, all marketing materials should share common elements. Design of a campaign involves research to establish a look and feel that inspires your audience to act, is harmonious with their ideals, is compatible with their lifestyle, and emotionally appealing. This is then implemented with color palette choice, image creation or selection, writing style or tone, typeface choice(s), messaging, and choice of which media and vehicles to use to reach your customer.
A color palette not only for the brand, but for individual campaigns and/or segments of the customers to whom you’re speaking. Color choices are incredibly important when appealing to specific demographics and setting the tone for your brand or campaign.
When choosing images for your campaign, it’s important for the content, style, and color scheme to support your brand story. Accordingly, those powerful brand-specific images should appear in all materials to create a consistent customer experience. This holds true no matter how the image is cropped or what in what proportion it is displayed. In short, when your powerful, emotionally-evocative image appears on all materials, your customer is much more convincingly guided through your desired action: Buy, join, volunteer, etc.
Layout and Design
Layout may change when translating campaign materials from one medium to another, but a few basic formatting styles will display consistency: Use of a grid; centered or other alignment of text and images; eye path and hierarchy; and relative emphasis on text and image all have a part to play in making one piece look consistent with another—no matter the size or proportion.
Public Relations (PR) are an essential piece of the marketing picture as a whole. The tone of your writing style and the message need to match your brand story. PR today also often includes visuals, audio, and video so working with an agency that has a PR team, as well as marketing strategists, designers, writers, and other creatives, is a must.
Even though it can be seen as a less formalized marketing presence, your social media posts, images, page headers, avatars, and messaging should reflect the look and feel of your main marketing materials. When a customer clicks on your Facebook page after leaving your website it should not be a jarring disconnect as though created by someone completely different. This applies to the tone of individual posts as well. If your main identity items (header image, logo, and avatar) have been implemented properly, but the tone of posts is off, it can create a disconnect. The team responsible for social media needs to be immersed in your culture and brand story to ensure appropriate content and visuals reinforce your message/campaign.
As an essential part of today’s inbound marketing efforts, blog posts need to reinforce your brand at all levels while also establishing your company as a thought leader in your industry. The images used should be carefully chosen considering how they reflect on your company and work in harmony with your other marketing efforts. Using stock images or images with a generic feel will not be as effective as those created by your marketing team with your company’s mission, tone, look, and feel in mind.
For any company, it’s tempting to try and save money or time by using multiple independent resources to create various marketing elements. You may find yourself wanting to ask your media outlet to design your online ad or your printer to design a promotional folder. Don’t be tempted: This may seem cost effective and efficient, but if you want to avoid a disjointed or fractured look, feel, and tone in the creative elements, products, and marketing vehicles customers will see, you must be vigilant to ensure your message and visuals have consistency across all media.
Trade Ideas, LLC specializes in consulting and design services with a focus on graphic design, website design, and development, advertising, corporate branding, online marketing, and trade show event planning. A highly-skilled and seasoned team of professionals provide the strategic planning and creative ideas needed to stand out among the competition. By getting to know your company—and offering a unique team approach—the Trade Ideas brings fresh ideas that will maximize revenue potential. We will not only meet, but exceed, your expectations. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, call (252) 288-5419 or visit www.tradeideasdesign.com.
(Sources: Inc. Magazine; Brad Pettengill of Change Conversations Blog; Business Insider; Medium Corporation; Mashable; Huffington Post; and Hire Rabbit.)