How to Create a Brand-driven Content Strategy
While the content strategy will give us a system to manage the content through its lifecycle, a brand-driven content strategy will put a soul into this system.
Why would we need a brand-driven content strategy?
“Brand-driven content strategy helps us understand and apply the key differentiators of organizations so that their content can reflect their differences.” — Margot Bloomstein
If you want to stand out, you need to be able to communicate what makes you unique. Whether your business is new or already an established one, if you are having trouble in any way to get your message across and don’t really have a structured way of managing the content, follow these 5 steps to create your brand-driven content strategy.
1- Create your message architecture
This first step is very important as it will play a role as a foundation to build upon with the next steps.
Who are you, who do you want to be, what do you want to communicate? You should define the message you want to communicate so that you can have the big picture in your hands to refer to when creating content.
If you don’t know where to start, one of the methods you could easily use to create your message architecture is doing a “card-sorting” activity.
2- Do a content audit
Doing a content audit will reveal which content you currently have is appropriate, relevant and communicating the message architecture. For the ones that do not contain these aspects, you can clear them out or see if they can be edited in a way that would serve the brand’s values.
You will get a nice overview of which content is working out for you and which ones you should consider changing or get rid of completely.
3- Identify content types
Which content type fits your message architecture and also fulfills the needs of the target audience? By looking at the content audit outcome, you can investigate which content types are currently working or not.
Maybe you will adopt a new content type that is completely different from what you have now. As long as you think it would serve the message you are trying to get across, go for it!
4- Create a content model
After choosing content types, the question is: How are you going to present the content types you choose? There are many ways to present the content and by creating a model, you will have a structured way that would serve the brand’s image.
5- Establish an editorial style guideline
Last but not least, establish a guideline that indicates the tone of voice, how the subject will be communicated, what kind of language style you want to have. You would not want to have a conflict between the brand’s identity and the tone of voice in your content.
If the content is not communicated in a suitable tone of voice that represents your brand and is not accurate in every piece of it, it will create confusion for your target audience.
The established guideline will make the whole content consistent and help keep it in high quality at all times — no matter who is working on it.
These steps are useful for any business that wants to have a proper guideline that would help them, in the long run, to embrace, present and stand out with their uniqueness.
I would also highly recommend reading the love story of brand and content by Doris Eichmeier to get more insight into how content has an influence directly on forming and shaping the brand.