When you’re creating a marketing campaign, what’s your number one priority? If you’re like most marketers, conversions are top of mind, but there’s much more to marketing than just short-term conversions.
Brand loyalty is a long-term play, and it’s one that conversion-first marketers can often miss out on. By building your brand into your marketing, you build awareness, affinity, and eventually loyalty—saving you marketing dollars in the future. So, when you’re creating a marketing campaign, you need to keep your brand top of mind. And with the right brand-infused marketing materials, your brand will also stay top of mind for your customers.
What is Your Brand?
Before we can talk about building your brand into your marketing, we need to first define what exactly your brand is. While companies like to think of brand as something they can control, brand is actually in your customer’s hands. Brand consists of the perceptions, memories, associations, and feelings customers hold towards your company. It’s everything that comes to mind when they hear your name.
While you can’t control how your brand is perceived, you can control the way you portray your brand—using your brand identity. That is to say, you can control the set of tangible elements you’ve created with the goal of portraying a certain image to your desired audience. Brand identity breaks down into two main sets of components: visual and non-visual components.
Visual components include things like your brand colors, logo, fonts, and imagery. Conversely, your non-visual brand identity components include things like your brand’s messaging and tone. If you want to build your brand into your marketing, you need to incorporate these brand identity elements into every element of your marketing.
But aside from the basics of making sure your marketing campaign materials are built with these brand elements, there are a few less obvious ways to incorporate your brand across marketing channels.
To start with a Crowdfire favorite, let’s look at a few ways you can incorporate your brand into your social media marketing.
Most of your brand identity elements can be incorporated across social channels, in both image and text posts. But building your brand into your social presence means more than making sure your Instagram posts leverage your brand’s image style or your LinkedIn posts are written in your brand’s voice. In fact, creating an on-brand social presence begins before you create your first post.
One of the most important brand aspects that people forget before they jump into creating a company TikTok or SnapChat account is brand context.
Finding the right social media channels for your brand means first stepping back to think about your customers: where are they and where do they want to see you? If you’re a makeup brand aimed at millennial women, you might be able to find a lot of your users on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean they want to engage with you there. Choosing to focus your efforts on channels where your customers are and where it’s appropriate to engage with them will differ brand by brand.
Once you’ve chosen the right channels, you’ll be faced with the interesting challenge of translating your brand for different social media platforms. This doesn’t mean abandoning your brand elements, but adapting them. If some of your brand imagery performs better on Instagram than Facebook, using it primarily on Instagram will be to your benefit. This might mean using more aesthetically appealing content on Pinterest and more stats on Instagram, depending on performance. While brand consistency is important, so is brand context.
Another way to incorporate your brand into your social media presence comes with how you get social on social media. Choosing the hashtags you participate in or the groups you join should always be filtered through brand. If your brand supports entrepreneurship, jumping on Twitter’s #startup might be a great move, but if you’re a giant multinational company, you might be less welcome there.
All in all, consistently leveraging your brand identity on social media is just one way to build your brand into your social media presence. The channels, changes, and communities you choose also have the power to make or break your brand on social media.
Blogs and eBooks
When it comes to ebook and blog content, you’ll have a lot of control over how you incorporate your brand. Since you’ll be posting and publishing these marketing materials on your own website, you won’t be limited by the constraints that non-owned channels—like social media—can have.
For blogs and ebooks, building your brand into your content can mean simple surface-level changes like using your brand fonts in your H1s, H2s, incorporating on-brand imagery, using brand colors on your cover pages, or putting your logo in the header. But your brand should also guide your content strategy, not just its execution.
The topics you choose to write about in blogs and ebooks will need to tie back to your brand’s product, positioning, and messaging. Ultimately, your content marketing should be driving readers down the funnel. You can only do this by building your content around those three brand elements. Otherwise, you won’t be attracting, nurturing, or converting the right audience.
In choosing blog topics, you might also be doing SEO research on which keywords perform well for your industry. While it’s tempting to aim for the highest search volume keywords, building your brand into your blog means sometimes turning down keywords that don’t support your brand’s positioning. For instance, if you owned an upscale clothing boutique, targeting key phrases with the term “cheap” or “free” in them wouldn’t be the best option, since they don’t align with your brand’s positioning.
Beyond what you write about, your blog strategy is also about the way you write. It’s here that your brand has a real chance to shine. Ensuring your content is written according to your brand’s voice is a good start. Digging a little deeper, you can build your brand into the structure of your content as well.
If your brand is defined by a scientific approach, try incorporating more statistics and case studies. If your brand is more emotional and personal, try seeking out quotes and anecdotes. If your brand is more expressive and artistic, try crafting detailed design elements for every page. By making sure your brand is built into your blogs and ebooks on every level—from ideation, to structure, to tone, to appearance—you’ll be able to create a more cohesive for readers, and more effectively drive them down the funnel.
Bon Appetit’s YouTube Channel makes use of creative editing. Source: Gfycat
Video marketing has blown up in the past few years and many companies are struggling to keep up with the ever-growing demand for video content. With the growth of this marketing medium, brands have had to learn a new language to communicate in—and a new way to build their brand into their marketing.
Some brand elements can be copied over from more traditional mediums directly into videos. The fonts used in title sequences, color schemes for sets, the messaging sprinkled in scripts, and imagery used throughout can and should be consistent with your overall brand. But there are other elements of building your brand into video marketing that are entirely unique to the medium.
If you haven’t done traditional TV or radio ads, video might be the first time you’ve had to figure out how your brand sounds…literally. The way narrators speak and the background music used can either add to or clash with the rest of your brand identity leveraged in the video. But the video element with the biggest opportunity for expressing your brand is editing. From transition effects, to cutting techniques, to integrating clips, to color grading, to background music, to graphics, editing can change the entire look and feel of a video. What might look generic before editing can look undeniably on-brand and familiar in the hands of the right editor.
Whether you’re incorporating familiar brand elements or discovering a new way to express your brand, video offers a lot of opportunities to get creative with your brand.
While not digital, Buckley’s subway ads show a keen awareness of customer context. Source: Strategy OnlineChristine Glossop
When it comes to building your brand into your digital advertising efforts, most marketers know the basics about using brand imagery, colors, fonts, logos, and messages. Where most marketers miss the mark in creating on-brand digital ads isn’t on the content end, but on the context end.
For digital ads, you need to begin your branding efforts by understanding who your brand’s audience actually is. Who are they? What sites are they on? Which of those sites would it make sense for your brand to appear on? Choosing your locations carefully, rather than just blindly following demographic data will help your stay on-brand online. Like social media, context is everything for digital ads. Even if your customers are on a certain site, the message your company sends by being there might not align with your brand.
Once you’ve sorted out the brand context of your digital advertising, there’s one further tweak you’ll need to make. To keep your ads on-brand, you need to balance what gets the click with what accurately represents your brand. Like choosing the right keywords to target on your blog, choosing the right ad copy is a matter of setting and meeting expectations. While ad copy touting your company as the fastest option might get your audience’s attention, if that promise isn’t something your brand delivers on, you’ll need to nix it from your ads.
By keeping content, context, and promise consistent in your digital ads, you’ll have a better chance of turning those ad dollars into actual customers.
Brand, Meet Marketing
All in all, these only cover a few of the mediums and methods you can use to build brand into your marketing. As new marketing channels emerge, your brand will face new opportunities and challenges to the way it presents itself. Whether you’re leveraging your pre-existing brand identity, or learning a whole new way to represent your brand, using brand as a filter for marketing decisions will help your marketing do more. By remembering the basics of brand content and context, you can make the most of your marketing—going beyond conversions to generate long-term brand loyalty.
This is a guest post by Christine Glossop. She’s a writer at, Looka.
Christine Glossop works as a writer for Looka—an AI-powered logo maker that provides business owners with a quick and affordable way to create a beautiful brand—where she focuses on branding-related content.
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