A brand identity is what sets you apart from every other business on the planet. It is where you convey core values, style, and unique selling proposition.
The first impression of your brand identity is largely dependent on the design work of your digital assets. However, just like in many other aspects of life, looks only get you so far.
Much of your ability to create and nurture lasting customer relationships comes down to your written content.
- Does your messaging make people feel comfortable?
- Is the tone relatable?
- Does it present an aura that is strictly your own?
Nowadays, there are all kinds of digital platforms in which dynamic writing serves distinct functions. Whether it be website copy, emails, blogs, social media, or any other form of branded content, there must be a clear identity in everything you produce.
Without further ado, here are four strategic writing tips to keep in mind throughout your brand’s development.
1. Define Your Unique Persona
First and foremost, if you want to create a memorable impression, you need to humanize your messaging. No one particularly likes reading content that sounds like it was written by a robot. There needs to be a personal touch that people can’t get anywhere else. Differentiation is one of the cornerstones of building brand equity.
Start by creating archetypes. In other words, give your brand human characteristics.
- What do you feel most strongly about?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- Do you project a friendly, inviting vibe?
- Or a no-nonsense, powerful demeanor?
- What is your life like outside of work?
Once you have detailed answers for these types of questions, there should be a clear picture in your mind of what your brand identity represents. Even more, it should have values that are in line with the target audience. A Wunderman study found that nearly 90% of American consumers are loyal to brands that share similar values.
Perhaps the greatest example of a memorable brand identity is Nike’s.
Throughout all their written work, they present a tone that aims to motivate people to give 110% in everything they do. Even though there are all kinds of sporting brands out there, Nike is one that continuously stands above the pack. Much of this can be credited to their unique brand persona.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to approach your writing like you are actually speaking to your target audience.
Ultimately, people don’t want to buy from companies, they want to buy from other people.
2. Write About What People Want to Read
While it may sound obvious, writing about subjects that people gravitate to is no simple task. The internet, social media, and modern technology have drastically increased the speed in which information flows. The topics that were popular one day can very well be obsolete the next.
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle in developing a brand identity is to be relevant and in sync with the world around you. After all, what good is your content if no one is interested in reading it?
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make in this regard is writing for themselves, as opposed to the reader. Although a certain topic can seem ultra-relevant to you and your business goals, it might not matter to your consumers.
- What types of questions do your readers want answers to?
- What will the reader walk away with after consuming your content?
- How will it improve their life?
In everything you write, you need to have answers to these kinds of queries.
Take Buffer for example. Throughout their blog section, the content they publish is aimed to answer pressing questions and provide meaningful, relevant insight about their industry.
In turn, their brand identity is that of a credible expert that demonstrates demonstrates superior thought leadership.
We are fortunate to live in a time with resources that streamline the process of finding compelling topics to write about. EpicBeat is a fantastic tool for content inspiration.
Upon searching a keyword related to your niche, the engine will show you the content with the most engagement across the web. From here, you will get a much better idea of what to write about and how to give it your own branded touch.
3. Be Concise
It’s a safe assumption that the bulk of today’s consumers have little to no patience for excessive wordiness. In every sentence you write, you should always be looking for ways to simplify and eliminate redundancies.
“Workzone is an extremely effective resource for improving your project management workflows in way that will promote a streamlined strategy throughout your departments and many users have experienced an increase in productivity levels across the board after implementation.”
While the idea is good, the delivery is unnecessarily long with way too much going on. Chances are, the reader will need to do a double take just to absorb all the information.
Now, let’s word the idea like this:
“Workzone is a fantastic resource that can significantly improve your project management strategy. Upon implementation, many users have experienced a strong boost in productivity levels throughout their organization.”
Both ideas are essentially saying the same thing, but the second sentence is MUCH easier to process.
If your content is jumbled and difficult to read, after a while, people will grow frustrated and tune out.
When you are working to develop a brand identity, your content should not beat around the bush in any way. Everything you write needs to be quick and to the point.
Keep it simple.
4. Proofread, Proofread Again, and Again.
You can have the most interesting persona and topic ideas the world has ever seen. But, if your written work is chock-full of errors, your brand identity will have one nasty adjective tied to it: Lazy.
If you write every single day, it can be tough to spot the tiny, trivial mistakes. However, readers WILL find them. Each error forms an impression. That impression is that the content wasn’t thoroughly proofread, and therefore, comes off as lazy.
With this in mind, every piece of brand messaging you publish needs to be impeccable. There are many strategies to consider for editing.
For starters, read your work aloud. You’ll be surprised by how much this helps to improve the final product. Listen for sentences that sound awkward or unclear. Try to put yourself in the mindset of the common reader when you do this. If an idea sounds complicated, simplify it.
Be sure to go over the content multiple times. You won’t likely find ALL your mistakes on the first go. Additionally, you’ll want to give yourself some separation time between proofreads. If you’ve been staring at the same wall of text for hours, it’s much easier to miss the little oversights.
Just when you think you’re done, read it aloud one more time. As a writer, one of the worst feelings is looking at the published work and finding a blunder.
Readers expect unblemished content. While every brand identity has its own set of defining traits, flawlessness should be a commonality.
Over to You
Creating and developing a brand identity through written words is hardly an overnight job. It can take years of content creation and storytelling to cement your values within the marketplace.
Keep in mind, a brand identity doesn’t have to remain exactly the same throughout its lifetime. Consumer mindsets and digital platforms are changing by the day. While there should certainly be core principles in place from day one, the brand itself can always be open to evolution in order to remain in tune the target audience.