We can’t control what people say about us, but we can control the messaging and communication we put out into the world which may influence what people say about us, or how they perceive our business.
So what are the actionable items we can consider when trying to maintaining consistency between our brand voice and online messaging? Let’s find out!
Develop your key messages.
Key messages are essentially main paints which accurately reflect the brand of your business and what you want your target audience to know about you. They contain the values of your operation, and outline what is most important to seeing your business succeed. I suggest having about 3-5 key messages noted which represent your business’ integrity and heart.
Key messages belong in your Business Strategy, in your introductory package to new employees, and anywhere else your brand is communicated to internal team members or outside contractors who may then communicate your brand externally.
Here are my key messages for The Clever Quill to give you an idea of what that can look like:
Ensure all communication you send out aligns with your key messages.
Always keep in mind that any and all marketing or copywriting you do in your business should align with your key messaging. That goes for any emails, social media posts, advertisements, sales calls, everything.
It’s good practice to keep your key messages in mind each time you are reviewing marketing materials. Ask yourself, and the members of your team, whether or not an idea aligns directly with your key messaging and brand.
If you are on the fence about an idea or a piece of marketing, when it doubt refer to your key messages. If even after referring to them you’re still unsure, odds are the answer is that you should drop this idea because it is not in line with your brand. Better safe than sorry—you must always be vigilant in protecting your brand.
Share content that is relevant to your brand.
Once you have your brand voice established, it is time to start marketing. Let’s use social media as an example for this portion. When crafting engaging and relevant social media content consider what your audience is looking for and what you have to offer to address their pain points/problems. It is unwise to share or post about content which is not relevant to your business.
For example, I run a social media marketing company. It would confuse my readers and be off-brand for me to start posting my favourite dinner recipes on my social media channels. That is simply not the content they have signed up for. If they’re receiving content which they consider irrelevant, they’ll likely unfollow me.
However, this doesn’t mean you should never share any messages outside of your direct product or service. I’ll use The Clever Quill as an example again. While the services I offer are for social media marketing and copywriting, I am also fairly open in sharing my experiences of running my company and the struggles I face as an entrepreneur.
If you’re a solopreneur like me, you’re the face of your business’ brand—your brand and the brand of your business are pretty synonymous. That’s why it is possible for me to share my experiences as a female entrepreneur and still have those messages align with my brand and benefit it. I value authenticity, and so do my followers. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to maintaining a successful company. In case that wasn’t clear enough, you can always pop over to one of my more candid blog posts, Truths about Owning an Online Business That No One Tells You.
Avoid speaking out about controversial issues.
This is my PR background coming through, and certainly when you have an online presence it’s important to be analyzing your content with good public relations practices in mind.
Be intentional in what you post, and make sure you stay on target with your goals. If a piece of content or marketing doesn’t directly contribute to achieving your goals, then why are you posting it? While controversial issues can at times really strike a chord or get us fired up, it is rarely wise to engage on social media when you’re fueled by emotions. Controversial issues have a tendency to make the priority of protecting our brand and making sure it aligns with our online presence seem a little less important.
Take it from me, the public relations professional, in these cases it is even more important to stay vigilant, take a moment and analyze what you’re planning to post. Keep your content professional, and avoid doing or saying anything which may directly or indirectly make anyone in your target audience feel excluded or undervalued.
Understand that every word you say will impact how consumers see your professionalism, abilities and general customer service. There is a reason it is preached far and wide that protecting your brand needs to be one of your #1 jobs as a business owner. That’s why PR professionals are always needed. Brands will never cease to exist, nor will the extreme importance of protecting their integrity.
I hope this blog post has been informative for you, and if you ever have any questions about how you can make your brand voice and online presence more cohesive, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
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