In advertising, brand is everything.
Your company may not be Coca-Cola, McDonalds, GE or any other world-famous brand, but the visuals and words your company uses to promote its message are important.
Consistency is important. Not just in print, on your letterhead, and in your public relations. Have you thought about brand consistency in digital advertising? Social media? Your website?
If you’re looking to attract new clients on the web, you need to be concerned about brand consistency. Here are five simple things you can do to make your brand recognizable (and consistent) everywhere you advertise online.
1. Create Focal Points
Visual appeal is a big part of branding. Set yourself up for success by choosing brand colors, logos and other identifying marks to be used across websites and social media profiles. Using the same visual elements everywhere you place your communications will help consumers quickly identify your brand.
If you need inspiration, use an online resource to create a brand color scheme (if you don’t already have one). Be sure to record the color code for each color you choose so designers across all mediums can get your colors right.
2. Embrace Content Templates
Posting meaningful content and blogs is a great way to build an online following for your company. Did you know that you could come up with content/communication templates to help you communicate clearly each time you publish information? Templates make the creative process easier while building visual and structural consistency across the web. Work with a freelancer to create templates if you don’t know how to make them on your own.
Some examples of content templates include:
- “Checklist” style post for your blog
- Infographic template
- Video intro and outro for company communications
- Boilerplate press release template
3. Create a Style Guide & Brand File
Keeping branding consistent means ensuring that everyone in your organization uses the appropriate materials when communicating with consumers.
First, create a style guide that outlines the visual standards for your organization. Your guide should outline the style, voice and tone of your brand. Include information about your target audiences, and include examples of successful social media posts and campaigns.
Next, make using brand materials easy by creating a “brand resources file” on your company network. Include logos, photos for social media and a brand colors cheat sheet with hex codes.
Don’t underestimate photography. Large companies pay tens of thousands of dollars to corporate photographers for original, one-of-a-kind photos to use in annual reports, social media, publications, the company website and more. While you may not have tens of thousands of dollars, hiring a reasonably-priced photographer to develop your own repository of company images will help you communicate your brand better than a stock image.
4. Stick to a Social Media and Content Marketing Schedule
The reason that most small companies create content, email newsletters and social media posts regularly is to stay top of mind with prospective customers.
Leverage the web to build your brand. That doesn’t mean that you need to be on every social media site or post updates, photos or links of social media all the time.
Instead, plan, write and schedule your blog and social media posts so that your followers get used to seeing regular updates from your small business. Unless you have breaking news to share, stick to the schedule. It’s a subtle, powerful way to build your follower base while increasing consistency.
There’s no doubt that having one person oversee company brand is a huge asset when it comes to building brand consistency. Your company may not have a creative director to oversee brand messaging, so it can be helpful to have an outside firm do that for you.
Small companies don’t often pay close attention to how things are posted to the company website or on social media. You need a brand ambassador that understands design and communication. That person should manage the content calendar and social media.
At the end of the day, building brand consistency online is about creating an image that consumers can trust. No matter the size or history of your company, that’s something worth creating.
If your company needs help building your brand online, you might be interested to know that we have the expertise to manage the visuals and message. Your brand isn’t just a logo. Do you need someone to manage your online presence?