In an era of increased online scrutiny, some brands have learned the hard way that any and every move they make falls under the category of brand message. As such, savvy PR agencies understand the value of working with clients to ensure they are putting their best foot forward at all times.
Online media presents brands the opportunity to showcase their products and services more than ever before. Whether it’s a podcast interview, sponsored event or even a Reddit AMA, brands need to make sure they’re leveraging a range of channels to create meaningful connections with their target audience.
That being said, as new media opportunities present themselves, it can be easy to let some of the basics slip through the cracks. Whether you’re an established company or a nascent startup, it’s always a smart move to appraise your brand message in the areas you can control. We’ve pulled together a few guidelines to follow when conducting your first brand audit.
What to Look For
When assessing public facing messaging, a brand’s main priority should be consistency. While this does concern consistency in content across all communication channels, brands first need to examine their messaging on a more granular level.
The strongest brand messaging is developed after careful internal evaluation. Just as you would consider a product/market fit, you should also consider a messaging/audience fit. Smart brands will take this a step further by evaluating whether or not their messaging is consistent with their brand’s values.
When communicating brand messaging, companies know it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. The tone of voice can be just as, if not more, important than the words on the page. Where a B2B healthtech company might speak in terms of peer reviewed research, sports and entertainment clients can utilize colloquialism and even GIFs to share the news of the day. Ultimately, it comes down to demonstrating your expertise by proving that you understand your audience enough to meet them where they are.
Where to Look
Though just about everything can be considered brand messaging, it’s important to first focus on the things in your immediate control–like your website, social media and even job postings.
Your website, especially the about page, is often the first place your audience encounters your brand and probably the oldest archive of public facing messaging your brand has to offer. As such, these pages should not only be accessible and easy to navigate, but also should be maintained regularly. That means no dead pages or links and up to date visuals, language and content to enforce your brand’s message.
Social media allows you to communicate directly with your audience and provides unique opportunities to highlight your brand’s voice. As such, brands should work with social media managers and spokespersons to ensure that their voice and values are consistent across platforms. Every client can benefit from a social media audit, so be sure to investigate your brand’s accounts as well as those of company executives.
Job postings are one of the most underutilized channels to showcase your brand. You are only as good as your team; so use this as your first chance to sell yourself to potential team members. If someone clicked through your posting, they likely already have a decent understanding of what your company does and what the specific role entails. Make the most of your posting by highlighting how your company works, what your workplace values and why your team is unparalleled.
At the end of the day, the focus of your brand message strategy should be to ensure you are connecting directly with your audience, wherever you reach them – website, social, job postings, and media clips. Engage them in a way they understand and would expect based on their relationship with you as a customer, partner, or other key stakeholder. And if you’re interested in learning how to tune up your own brand messaging, reach out to FischTank– we’re always happy to help.