Brand consistency is not just a cool buzzword. Instead, it is the safeguard to potential loss of a customers trust. When that happens, you brand starts becoming associated with poor quality overall in product or service. Consistency is so important to your overall appearance. Your branding is your business’s colors, logo, and tone. It increases in importance when you begin to share and publish across the web. Truthfully, it matters. It’s alright to have multiple variations of your logo, just not so variant that your logo is unrecognizable.
So how to you protect yourself? Here are a few questions to work through and see if you are consistent:
Which social channels are being used most frequently?
People subscribe and follow topics, businesses and people they like. If in your business social publishing you are bouncing around from one channel to another, because that’s the thing, you’ve missed the point to having your business be “social.” Social at its core is carrying on a conversation. In the social realm, Facebook is still dominant. However, the reach you might potentially have with your business page is unfortunately tied to your budget. Social has become a pay-to-play area for advertising and messaging. Still, that doesn’t mean don’t try, or avoid it. Instead, you just need to get creative. For example, you can partner with another page that has more popularity and ask them to share your content to gain followers. Remember good etiquette is you do the same. Take note, consistency in where you share is as important as what and how often.
What percentage of customers and potential customers are using mobile devices to access your content?
Not everyone accesses the internet in the same way. While mobile is key, and usage is on the rise, don’t forget the audience you’re targeting. They might not be mobile. They possibly are at their desk at work. Make sure that your content is mobile friendly and is able to be shared when people are both mobile with their phones, at lunch or distracted, or on a laptop researching something at their desk later in the afternoon.
What type of content would your audience enjoy?
Studies are showing that videos and images are dominating the social channels now. If you don’t believe me, take your phone out of your pocket and look at your Facebook feed. See all the videos and images?
Regardless of audience being on mobile or desktop, the preferred formats are coming down to these two. As for type of content, that answer requires A/B testing, or perhaps simple trial and error if you don’t already know. The best thing you can do is look at the culture in your office, or shop and see what you find interesting. Then, share that stuff. When you follow this, just watch the numbers around your engagement. Unfortunately, its a harsh reality that articles are not viewed as much anymore. That’s sadly because folks have to stop and read the article. With your audience on the go, they can get the message quicker with a short video, or strategic message with an image.
Does your audience prefer to receive emails, phone calls, texts, attend webinars, etc.?
It would be surprising to me to see a particular audience that prefers texts or phone calls, especially without opting in. Nobody likes that type of intrusion. Webinars are easy, but don’t do it if you are not fully prepared. You will get asked questions. Be prepared to answer. Also, if you plan a webinar, make sure it’s easily accessible and well advertised.
How do your customers speak to each other?
This is probably the easiest thing to determine, as long as you’re really paying attention. You cannot just be waiting to say something. To read what I mean about that, check out Bill’s post on how to listen here.
To measure how your audience interacts, invite as much discussion online as possible. Think social channels, like Facebook. When conversation happens, read the comments and you’ll get a fast understanding of opinions and attitudes towards each other.
What conferences or events are they going to?
Everything in marketing today is event based in the realm of entertainment. Conferences can be an all day event and can last anywhere from 3 days or longer. That said, what happens at the conference can be as important as what happens after. With mobile advertising, like geofencing and IP Targeting, you can catch your audience both in and outside of the event to reach them. Contact us about these techniques.
At the end of the day, all of this comes down to making sure you are aware of how your brand is engaged online and offline. A simple exercise to see if you are consistent is to pick a time and place (with a large table) and collect all your printed pieces (business cards, brochures, etc.). Then, lay all your materials on the table. It will become clear immediately what pieces are not consistent with message, color, or even your logo. You can do the digital version of this too. Start with screen captures and print them out. What pieces need improvement?
Here’s the big takeaway. Opinions are fine about how things look. But with your business, it cannot be all about you and your tastes. Without knowing your customer, that could lead to failure.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.