Humans subconsciously love cohesion. Customers fall in love with brands once they sense brand cohesion. When it comes to gaining a following, it’s less about the benjamins for marketing and advertising, and more about brand cohesion — aka consistent messaging. One way to gain this consistent messaging is through a content strategy.
Take for example Fernet-Branca’s audience. The bartenders who serve Fernet in their bars, also wear the T-shirts and swag, drink it after shift, and at home. People love thoughtful brands with engaging content, and Fernet-Branca provides it to their followers with consistency. You knew it was coming: your brand needs a content strategy.
What exactly is a content strategy? It’s the strategy or plan for written and visual content that tells your story. The important question to answer is what can a content strategy do for your brand? A content strategy can provide follower and business growth, frequency in posting, evergreen content, and a platform for storytelling. All of these things help create brand cohesion.
Follower and Business Growth
Beyond the psychology of consistency and cohesion, the more you post and share content, the more exposure your brand receives. Instagram’s data says that 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services, even if they can’t purchase online. That means they’re making purchase decisions based on content showing up in their feed on Instagram. Is your brand’s content showing up in their feed? Additionally, if your distillery isn’t showing up in their feed they’re less likely to find and follow your account. Creating a content strategy will allow you to post thoughtful content on a consistent basis. For a real-life example: A High-Proof Creative client recently increased its content to post 5 times per week for the month of May, and the company’s online sales exceeded their 2019 holiday sales.
Frequency in Posting
With strategy, consistency follows. Not only do followers crave structure, but a strategy of consistency also makes your job easier because there’s less scrambling to find content for social last minute. To stay front-of-mind, try planning content by the weekday. For example, you might post cocktail recipes on Tuesday, salesy posts on Wednesday, and behind-the-scenes content on Fridays.
Evergreen content doesn’t go out of date. It revolves around a topic that’s always relevant to readers, regardless of the current news cycle or season, and it’s excellent to have on hand. Build a content strategy with evergreen content to ease the stress of finding and creating content to share across your platforms. It’s the plight of many small businesses that don’t have the capacity to be constantly creating. And within the craft distilling industry, product photos are easy to come by. But what about supplemental stories and visuals can you use to tell your brand story?
A blog is a great tool for creating evergreen content that you can adapt and share across multiple platforms. For example, you can create a blog post about your favorite bars in town, which also happen to sell your product or your favorite recipes that compliment your beverage. You can then turn each blog post into an interactive Instagram Story, post in your feed, and share in your next email blast. It’s one simple piece of content that can engage your audience across multiple channels. For more information on how your brand can get the most out of blogging, find tips here.
Turning that blog post that highlights top bars into an ongoing series will help create the structure and cohesion people crave.
Once you start digging deeper into content strategy storytelling opportunities will arise. Once you’ve created all of the evergreen content, you’ll start seeing the holes in your brand story. Are you just sharing product photos and cocktail recipes (great evergreen content) but haven’t posted about your background in distilling, ever? It’s time to start telling your story.
The first step is to extract the narrative. This part isn’t always easy.
Dig deeper than the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why). Find the heart of the story. Why will people care about this? Why will your audience care about this story? Will someone learn from it? Will someone be touched by the story? Will your story start a conversation? Is your story honest and true to your brand? Not every story has to be over the top. Tell it how it is and consumers will trust you but just make sure it’s consistent with your brand messaging.
To my earlier point about brand cohesion and your marketing budget: consistent messaging will cost you some benjamins, especially if you don’t have the time to create the content yourself. Focus on content strategy and messaging though, and it will cost less and give you greater audience reach. People don’t fall in love with brands because of eye-catching ads.