ThinkOTB Agency

Are you always bang on brand? How to create consistent content

March 20, 2024

When it comes to branding, there’s one thing the team here are all obsessed about – and that’s being consistent. Whether you’re creating a brand from scratch, re-branding or looking after an established brand, a coherent look and feel across all touchpoints builds trust – in turn, this translates into loyalty. While brand uniformity is vital across logos, brand colours, messaging and customer service, it’s just as important when it comes to content.

Brands spread their word far and wide, thanks to the vast range of marketing channels – on- and offline. And it’s down to this ever-expanding world of channels that often means branding becomes inconsistent. But if you have brand guidelines in place, surely there’s no excuse for stakeholders to get it wrong? According to research by Shutterstock, while 95% of brands have some form of content guidelines in place, only 25% of businesses are actually enforcing them.

At Leeds creative marketing agency, ThinkOTB, we love working with brands to create guidelines. Better still, our guidelines make it easy to follow the rules whatever type of content you’re producing. We’ve pulled together a few of our team’s top tips to help you create and implement consistency in your brand content.

1. Get to know your audience 

Content only really works if you really understand your target market. So it pays to be clear on their pain points and needs before worrying about anything else brand related. By gaining deep insight into your customers and prospects – and incorporating this into your guidelines – you’ll not only drive a consistent message, but also create content that resonates with the people you’re talking to.

2. What’s your message?

What are you trying to get across to your audience? Not sure? If you’re not clear what your brand message is, it’s pretty likely that your customers won’t have a clue, either. Distilling your brand message may take time, but it’s time well spent. Trying asking yourself these questions:

  • What’s the one overarching message I want my brand to convey?
  • How do I want customer to feel when they interact with my brand?
  • What are my customers looking for in my brand?

ThinkOTB Managing Director,  Jo Waddington, explains: “So often we meet with businesses who can’t tell us what they want to say, or have a confused set of messages behind their brand. A clear, consistent message should be the foundation of your branding. We can help you translate this into your brand guidelines, so everyone involved in creating content is spreading the same word.”

3. Identify your interaction points

Making sure your brand message is clear and consistent at key customer touch points is key. How you interact with them – and what you say – can make the difference between a happy customer or someone who goes elsewhere. Don’t forget, as you add interaction points – things like a new social media account, video channel or a sales follow up email – review the message you communicate to make sure it’s on brand, consistent and still relevant. It’s important to review your customer research along the way, too. Don’t presume your customer now is the same as they were before. Attitudes and needs can change – so your content may need to flex to reflect this.

4. Bring it together in your brand guidelines

Once you know who your audience is and where you interact with them, you can create your brand guidelines. Whether you’re developing them from scratch, or revisiting existing brand guidelines, this is your bible and it should be comprehensive but simple. You’ll need to include everything from tone of voice and terminology to imagery, but in an easy-to-follow way.

It can be tricky to get this balance right (that’s why getting in touch with branding experts can be very valuable) – so team training sessions are a great way to make everyone aware of the ‘rules’ and the standards you expect. Don’t forget, consistency needs to span a whole range of areas – not just comms that come from your marketing team. Everything from a statement of account to operating instructions should have your hallmark brand look and feel so customers are immersed in what you stands for.

5. Make a content plan

It’s easier to produce consistent content across a multitude of channels if you have plan. This will give you a clear overview of the customer touch points and ensure they work together to tell your story. Remember, customers will use different channels as part of their journey -prospects may look you up on multiple channels to inform their buying process, for example. And your brand voice, image and messaging needs to be consistent across them all to build that all-important sense of trust. We’ve already looked at the content trends for 2024 – so if you’ve added any new channels, it’s time to make sure your content is aligned with your existing channels.

6…And make it relevant

While consistency is king when it comes to branding, you’ll also need to ensure that your content is relevant to your target customers. Research is a big part of this (see point 1) but don’t forget that customers’ needs evolve, your audience may change, and content trends move on – it’s up to you to keep up! But don’t just update your Instagram feed, for example, content across all channels needs to evolve at the same time.

7. Less can be more

Don’t worry about churning out content – think quality over quantity. This is especially important to remember if you have limited resources. But do post content regularly – this could mean a blog every fortnight on your website or a case study on LinkedIn once a month. Make sure you use your content plan to help guide you – and stick to it! Create a plan over the course of a year so you don’t use all your ideas up in the first month. And plan around seasonal events, offers, news and product launches – just keep referring back to your guidelines to make sure it’s bang on brand.

  • Align your actions with your brand – every action, every message, every post on social media should be done with your brand in mind.
  • Make adjustments – if you notice something doesn’t feel aligned with your brand, fix it.

We pulled these tip together to help make your online and offline content consistent to support your branding. It can still feel daunting, though, so our team are here to help if you need it. ThinkOTB have decades of experience creating brand guidelines that are user-friendly – and will make it easier for your team to make sure the content you’re putting out there is worthy of your brand. Got a question about consistent branding? Get in touch.