It’s going to be really hard and frustrating to create a content strategy and a social media strategy if you don’t have a good handle on your brand. And by a good handle, I mean a document that describes your brand in a great detail.
Here’s another way to look at it. How are you going to decide what to say in your content if you don’t know who you are?
If you’re like the clients I’ve worked with, you want what all the big brands have: clear, consistent content and messaging that seems like it just effortlessly flows from their website to their social media platforms to their merchandise.
So how do those companies accomplish this? They’ve taken the time to think through and document the way they position their brand, the way they talk about it, what specific words, colors, and visuals they’ll use to communicate what their brand stands for and is all about.
If you want your employees, your customers, your contractors, and your competitors to know who you are and what you have to say, then you need to take the time to work on your brand.
Here’s where you start when creating your first brand document. Write down the first things that come to your mind in the following areas, share with your leadership team, and then hire a copywriter to polish.
Vision—Why did you start your business in the first place?
Mission—What are you trying to accomplish and how are you trying to accomplish it?
Brand Pillars or Core Values—What are the values that hold your brand up?
Once you have a version that you and your leadership team feel great about, share it with your employees and post it on your website. (And be open to feedback!)
Once you have this statement in place, continue to add to your branding documentation. These documents should be the primary source for defining how your company presents itself in the world. Here are some other topics to tackle:
- What font is the logo? Are there alternate versions of the logo that are to be used in specific ways?
- Does the brand have a motto, slogan, or catchphrase? If so, how is it styled and formatted?
- What words do you want to make sure you avoid because they don’t represent who you are?
- Does the imagery on your site need to look a certain way or highlight particular colors?
- Who do you talk to when someone has a question not answered by the document?
Whatever the answers, make sure they're in the branding documentation.
Branding can be hard and tedious work, but you'll thank yourself for years to come as your strategy marketing efforts have the solid foundation of a strong brand identity.
Now, finally, you can start to think strategy!