How to Bolster Your Brand
Thursday, January 23, 2020
For a moment, take a step outside your professional world of association strategy, and think about the personal interests that are most important to you. Whether your passion is cooking, volunteering, rescuing animals, or watching college sports, there’s likely at least one publication (print or online, or both) you follow dedicated to it—and chances are you can name that publication’s brand without giving it a second thought.
That should be the goal of your organization: to establish a content brand so powerful, relevant, and familiar that the people in the industry your association represents think of it when they think about the content relevant to their profession.
The elements of a good content brand
The brand you establish for your organization’s content should be clear, catchy, and memorable—and it should be applied consistently to everything your association publishes, across all content channels. If you have a journal with one name, a blog with another and a newsletter called something else, your audiences will be confused. If you are publishing articles, creating and distributing infographics, producing podcasts and videos, and sending out a weekly newsletter but you haven’t branded them all similarly, you’re not fully leveraging the power of your association’s content brand.
A content brand is critical because it gives a name and identity to what you are doing. And its purpose should be explained—internally and externally—as frequently as necessary to drive the point home. Internally (meaning for your staff and partners), explicitly define your content or publication brand’s mission and purpose. Externally (meaning for your members and your intended industry audience), create house ads or marketing campaigns that clearly state what your content brand is and does. Adding a tagline can also help—for example, “The Official Publication of the XYZ Association.”
Why a content brand is valuable
The primary benefit of creating a consistent content brand is a more engaged and educated audience. If your target audience learns that your content brand delivers the most timely, relevant, and comprehensive content about their profession—that it is the go-to, must-consume content to keep them on top of their industry—they will keep coming back. They will read the articles you post, listen to the podcasts and videos you produce, and subscribe to the newsletters you distribute. That will expand your audience, which in turn makes your content properties more appealing to sponsors (if monetization of your content is a goal of your organization).
The decision to build a relevant and consistent content brand requires buy-in—from your staff, your board, and especially your audience. Be mindful of the content you produce and the brand you put on it, and your audience will reward you with its loyalty.
Jason Meyers is senior director of content strategy at SmithBucklin
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