Think about a brand that you truly enjoy. They likely have an idea or story that carries across all channels. One that I truly admire is World Wildlife Fund. Their content and style creates a theme that really makes me think about how we are treating animals and the environment. They are thought-provoking. Imagine how disappointed you would be if you loved your favourite brand’s message on social media, but visited their website only to find that it doesn’t support the message you resonated with.
Keeping a consistent narrative is more than keeping the same message across all channels, it also has to do with your design. You don’t want your marketing efforts to go to waste because of a poorly executed website or subpar social media efforts. On the outside looking in, it may seem like a simple task. However, maintaining a consistent narrative involves more planning than most people think.
Here, I’ve laid out best practices for maintaining a consistent narrative and outlined the importance of staying on-brand.
The first thing that will help you keep a consistent narrative is a content strategy. What is a content strategy? Simply put, it outlines how you will manage all the content you produce. It’s a key part of your marketing plan and acts as a great guideline to stay on-brand. This includes website pages, email marketing content and social post content, among any other content your business produces.
Your content strategy will allow you to understand your overall narrative. If you don’t understand your narrative fully, your audience likely won’t either. Your content strategy should outline your goals and the steps you will take to achieve them. When you’re developing it, you should consider who you’re trying to reach, the problem they are trying to solve and the formats and channels that are best for you and your audience. A content strategy is great to ensure that content, such as your social ads, reflect your branding and are consistent with your website.
When we develop content strategies for our clients we like to go into detail. We try to fully understand their business and their audience. Our in-depth approach allows us to come up with brand messaging and maintain a consistent narrative that our clients’ audience will love.
Style Guide and Well-Executed Design
Having a style guide in place is imperative to maintaining a cohesive brand. A style guide outlines the standards about how your content will be produced. Often a style guide outlines how your logo should be used, which colours you can use and where as well as which fonts your text can be. This ensures that, visually, your content maintains consistent.
When your brand is easily recognizable and delightful, you are more likely to leave an impact. A graphic designer can help you create a style guide and produce stunning, consistent content to reflect your brand and get your message across effectively.
Most businesses don’t have a graphic designer on their team. Having a graphic designer on retainer can be very useful to support your marketing efforts. A professional graphic designer is seasoned in applying your content strategy to your design elements. Having a good content strategy is fantastic, but it’s easy for your messaging to fall flat without a graphic designer who can expertly support your marketing efforts. They can help you stand out, leave an impact on your audience and ensure that your content strategy doesn’t get overlooked.
Stay on Brand
How do you stay on brand? Consistent brand-messaging means having a good relationship between content and design. Maintaining a consistent narrative is important to building your reputation, building relationships and building trust. A content strategy paired with a style guide are great things to have in place to ensure your brand-messaging is consistent.