Content consistency is an important consideration in any content marketing strategy. Here are six channels you should audit today for evaluating content consistency.
The reasons why marketers often overlook content consistency are varied and cover everything from a lack of resourcing, to the pressure to create differentiated content, to multiple channels to manage content for. But marketers who take time to include consistent branding in visuals and deploy a content strategy that emphasizes consistent output see significant business benefits.
Consistency is a key part of for helping audiences remember a brand. Through repetition of branding elements in visuals, and an always-on content content distribution strategy, brands can build up the familiarity needed to have their messaging and stories heard by their audiences.
But in today’s crowded digital landscape, marketers are now responsible for producing and managing content for more channels than ever before. So where should you start? Keep reading to hear our best practices and tips for what channels you should be auditing for visual consistency and what to look for on each.
If you don’t know what your most important pages are on your website, have a look at your navigation bar or analyze your site traffic. These pages likely represent a substantial amount of your traffic. So, give them the most attention when you check that your visuals have consistent branding throughout.
Above the Fold
The average bounce rate for websites at about fifteen seconds. So, marketers don’t have a lot of time to make an impression on visitors. And knowing that the majority of your viewers will come and go quickly on your site, can you afford to not have effective branding on the above-the-fold portion (first two scrolls) of any page?
Although we all like to hope our brands are strong enough to drive constant organic traffic to the site pages where we do our selling, it’s more likely that tactics like SEO, SEM, blogging, display, and paid media are making the most contributions to traffic. Also, the internet prefers to be taught or entertained by something vs. going right into a hard sell. So, it’s likely that the best content you have for driving traffic is sitting on a resources page, on a blog, or something similar. It stands to reason that, as a major contributor to traffic, the content on these pages needs a consistent use of visuals to help visitors remember the provider of the content for when it’s time to make a buying decision.
First Nine Photos
It’s important to keep your entire Instagram content aligned visually with your brand. One of the first things a potential follower will see is the nine square composition on your profile. It’s best to have a visual plan to keep everything consistent here, as it’s an often overlooked part of your visual presence.
Name and Link
Be mindful of the profile name you choose as well as the strategy you settle on for your profile link. You want your name to match your brand and represent exactly who you are, or as close to it as is possible with what’s available. Be sure that your link is clear to where it will lead your followers. Also be wary of supporting a strategy where you frequently plan to change your profile link based on the day’s content you post. This can be useful, but also hard to manage depending on your resources.
When looking to add more consistency to your bio description make sure you keep it simple, short, impactful, and to the point. You want to use this space to inform your audience what your brand and content is all about. Remember that messaging consistency can be just as important as visual elements. Less is more here, as you want to grab potential followers’ attention quickly.
Similarly to what we discussed with your profile photo on Instagram, the same goes for your Facebook profile photo. It’s best to keep this consistent with the other social channels you have, as you don’t necessarily need a new one for every platform. Although, it’s important to be aware of the different dimensional and design needs that each profile or header photo can have.
The next thing to keep in mind on Facebook is tagged photos. Make sure you’re encouraging your audience to tag you in their relevant content when they use your products or mention your company. Get them involved and remember to ask them to tag you. But, be sure you monitor what you are tagged in so there are no surprises when potentially a bad brand experience gets tagged.
Use your pinned posts as a way to draw attention to your most valuable content. This is a great way to develop an impactful first impression. Choose these wisely and make sure they are key players in your Facebook content strategy. You can pin important announcements, events, or any other content you want to stand out.
One of the first things a potential subscriber will see is your video thumbnails and descriptions. It’s essential to put in the time and effort to brand these consistently so your channel looks cohesive. Not only that, but your video can also appear outside of living on your channel itself, so you want to give your viewers a branded experience regardless of where a video is shared. Lastly, make sure your descriptions grab your viewers attention quickly and encourage them to click and view.
Intro and Outro Bumpers
Think about your video bumpers and how they are applied across your youtube content. These are short, branded intros or outros that you can add to your videos. Often these take the form of an animated logo. You can use these as another way to give your viewers a memorable, branded experience at both the outset and ending of your video content so they are consistently reminded of who the creator and publisher/owner of the content is.
Content Order and Variety
Take a look at the content order on your profile page. This should be a map to draw your audience in to your content. It’s important to put your most valuable content first. Lastly, consider the actual content of your YouTube videos and series. Be sure to provide your viewers with a mix of educational, promotional, and entertaining video content. And be strategic with the mix you put on your profile.
Owned Ecommerce Channel
Product Shots and Descriptions
An important element of visual consistency on your ecommerce site are your product shots and descriptions. Although these are both technical parts of the shopping experience, they must be consistent with both your visual brand and voice. When thinking about how consistent your product shots are, also look at your labeling information. This should also align with your brand voice as well. Labelling and descriptions should be a balance between informative and creative copy. Use this as another opportunity to share your brand’s personality.
Instructional or How-to-Videos
Another element of your eCommerce site that should be consistent with your branding are any instructional how-to videos. If you don’t have any yet, they are a great opportunity to educate your audience as well as express who your brand is.
Moving on to the smaller and often overlooked content experiences in ecommerce are things like order confirmations, customer service chat tools, and delivery status updates. Although all these may feel somewhat mundane or mechanical, they are actually small opportunities to add a unique, branded touch to your customer’s buying experience. In the end it is well worth the effort.
Third Party Ecommerce Channel
In-Use and Lifestyle Shots
Since you don’t have a huge opportunity to express your branding here (unless you’ve made investments into premium pages or other forms of paid media on these sites), you want to be sure to have a mix of both informative product shots and lifestyle shots to show more of your brand’s personality. From here, keep in mind to add extra info that your potential customers will need to educate them on your product. Audit this to be sure it aligns with your brand’s values and voice.
Another opportunity to consistently add more of your brand’s touch into these platforms is through product videos. Such videos are an effective way to educate your audience about your products and brand, and offer more flexibility for adding consistent visual elements to a retailer’s site.
As mentioned, you may want to look into premium pages and other paid media products through retailers’ sites. These options often give brands significantly more opportunity to get their branding and content front and center where buyers are making purchases.
Top image via svetlichniy_igor
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