There’s brand strategy, and then there’s content marketing strategy. We sometimes assume they’re one and the same, but that’s far from being the case.
What is true is that both strategies enhance each other. Your brand strategy feeds your content strategy. Then, your content strategy can drive your brand strategy.
A solid brand and content marketing alignment will drive your business to success. But where to start?
First off, we should understand their differences, and how they can relate to each other.
Content Marketing Strategy vs Brand Strategy
In essence, a brand strategy is the foundation of any business. It’s the design to create and nurture your brand.
Brand strategy channels your name, identity and purpose into a clear message for customers. To do so, you must take the time to work on the following:
- Set your brand core in stone. Brand core refers to your mission, vision, values and purpose. These are the principles that define your business.
- Define who you are not. Figure out what makes you different from your competitors. Knowing your difference will help you highlight your qualities.
- Design customer personas. This is your ideal customer. Figure out who they are, and how your brand can improve their lives.
- Craft your brand essence. Think of your brand’s most human qualities. That will define the voice to share your brand core with honesty.
- Create your brand messaging. It’s how you look and sound. Think of your value proposal, tagline, and visuals.
When you work on all these factors, you’ll understand better who you are. Then, it’ll be easier to figure out how to talk to the market. Plus, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Once your brand strategy is clear, you can devise your content marketing strategies.
Related content: Create A Successful Amazon Marketing Strategy In 3 Steps
Content Marketing Strategy
Your content marketing strategy is a vessel to put the brand strategy into effect. But that’s not to say that it is not a strategy unto itself.
Content marketing uses blogs, social media, newsletters, videos and other media. It uses such channels to share your brand with customers.
A successful content marketing strategy also requires many elements to make it work. For example:
- Goal Setting. What do you want to achieve with your strategy? Setting goals will mark a clear path for your strategy.
- Key performance indicators. It’s crucial to measure the success of your content. It will also mark the areas where you need to improve your messaging.
- Define your channels. What’s the best way to reach the audiences? Choose your social media channels, create a blog, or set up a mailing campaign. Remember, your channels should also reflect your brand’s core and essence.
- Keyword strategy. The right search terms will attract the right audience. Search and select keywords that tell who you are, and how you can help customers.
Don’t forget to make a map of the content journey. There are three stages to consider:
- Awareness. Focus on the customer’s concerns. Create blogs, videos or ebooks to share how you can help them solve their needs.
- Consideration. Tell the audience about your product or service. Here is where how-to content and case studies can help. You’ll make them wonder if yours is the solution they seek.
- Closing. This is the selling stage. Engage with clients. Offer you knowledge using product videos, testimonials or tutorials to close the sale.
How to Align Your Brand & Content Marketing Strategies
Your brand strategy is the blueprint you set up to share who you are, and what you do. And your content marketing strategy is the tool that will turn that plan into reality.
The trick is to ensure one informs the other’s actions. To do this, here are some tricks to drive up your brand content marketing strategy.
Create Brand Stories
Brand stories are a second blueprint, after the brand strategy, that will guide your content strategy.
Use your brand strategy to create brand stories. Think of social media bios, product descriptions, and business collaborators.
Take your value proposal, tagline and visuals to create engaging stories. This is the first approach customers will have with your brand.
You can set up more than one story for each content channel you use. It’s a great tactic to reach different customer personas.
If you deliver the right stories, you’ll entice customers to learn more about you.
Think of your customer personas when creating new content. Ask yourself what issues they want to solve, whether an idea is helpful to them, and if they’ll be interested in it.
Simply put, consider your end clients. That will inform the best way to express the brand strategy through content.
Also, don’t forget to vet ideas across departments. Make sure all the relevant parties know what you say to customers. This way, your brand’s voice will remain consistent.
Follow the Guidelines
Don’t just create a lot of content. To ensure quality, make sure you always follow the brand guidelines.
You’ve built a solid brand strategy, after all. Now, don’t let that work fall behind.
Your content should always follow your brand core and essence. Make sure the language and visuals are consistent with who you are.
Document and share your brand tenets with the content marketing team. This will ensure that their work is always consistent.
Assign a Brand Steward
It’s not realistic to get the sign-off on every piece of content, especially when you’re on a schedule. The next best thing is to assign a brand steward.
This person will ensure the brand guidelines are available for everyone in the company. The brand steward is also responsible for keeping current guidelines.
Brand stewards also post-mortem checkups to review content quality. Thus, they can offer insights to marketers, in hope to improve the content strategy.
Confusion leads to ineffectiveness. When brand and content marketing strategies get jumbled, a company will suffer for it.
Marketers should align their brand and content marketing strategies. That’s what will secure an emotional connection with customers.
Remember: first, know your brand. Then, tell your story.
Strengthen your brand strategy. Work on your vision, story and values. Then, let branding inform your content marketing strategy, and lead you to success.
Esteban Muñoz is an SEO copywriter at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.