Brand consistency in your B2B content marketing
Brand consistency is the pattern of communication that reflects the core values and identity of your brand. The more consistent your marketing, the higher will be customer recall and trust in your brand. To a large extent, B2C content marketing has perfected the concept of brand consistency. B2B marketeers, however, often falter when it comes to building a consistent tone of voice, design, frequency, and messaging for their audience. So, why is brand consistency crucial for B2B content marketing?
Trust and recognition
B2B offerings are often complex, expensive, and somewhat risky for a consumer to invest in. The buying journey is created to build trust and recognition and to minimize the risk that decision-makers sense when approaching a product or service for the first time. Consistency is a decisive force in building brand recognition.
When marketers expose consumers to inconsistent brand elements, the target segment may not recognize them even after repeated messages across communication channels. These could be simple elements such as your brand’s palette colors, the fonts used in your emails or blog posts, and even the tone of voice you employ while communicating. Inconsistent branding runs the risk of confusing customers, sending mixed signals, and unwittingly lead to an inability to build brand recall.
Awareness at scale
Brand recall has a high impact on conversions and growth. A LinkedIn study in association with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, Les Binet and Peter Field on brand and demand marketing listed Consistency as one of the top 5 principles of marketing growth in a report titled ‘How to master the 5 principles of marketing growth.’ LinkedIn surveyed nearly 4000 B2B markets across 22 markets to understand the interplay of brands and demand marketing.
How can your brand maintain consistency across channels and touchpoints? Here are some actionable ways:
1. Brand identity kit
Design a brand charter as an extension of your design style guide to include all the strategic inspirations behind your organization. This goes beyond logos, colors, fonts, etc. It can include your mission and vision, your core values, your personas, and other brand elements.
For example, California-based Splunk, a B2B software company, undertook an exercise to define, articulate, and share its brand values internally for new hires to embrace the culture right.
2. Language style guide
A language style guide or writing style sheet is a document that comes in handy when making critical writing decisions such as:
- Naming conventions
- Tone of voice
- Editorial process
- SEO process
A language style guide is also useful when you are working with external resources such as freelancers or a content marketing agency.
3. Single source of truth
A company should strive to make its branding guidelines, design elements, and language style guides easily accessible to key team members. To this end, build a centralized repository like a brand or digital asset portal that employees can readily access. Ensure that employees follow these guidelines when building new collateral and have checks in place to ensure consistency. Buying is a deeply emotional decision, whether it is B2C or B2B content marketing.
According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious. Consistency gives your audience a dependable experience across channels, enabling recognition and comfort in your brand, and helping to build a long-term relationship.
Contributors: Arundhati Dey, Preeti Mishra, and Swapnil Adsul