In business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your daily tasks. To be consumed with a ‘to-do’ list which never seems to end and miss the bigger picture. With branding, it’s the same. Maybe you perform regular branding tasks but rarely stop and assess the efficacy of them.
What you want is to create a plan and strategy for the short term that leads to long-term benefits. All too often, brands focus on the short-term. But business-building is a long game. What you do in the short term compounds to have a massive effect in the long run.
You want your regular branding efforts to translate into long-term, positive benefits.
- Content audit
One of the most effective brand-building steps you can take is to conduct a content audit. And not just once but regularly. A content audit will help reveal what you’re doing regularly that’s getting results and what isn’t. What you want to assess is if your usual content creation is in line with your long-term goals and also if your content strategy is working to build engagement, trust, and loyalty.
Your content audit goals:
*To check for consistency of voice. As minor as this sounds, it’s vital. If you’re taking the time to write content regularly, you want to make sure that it is getting the best long-term results. By creating content that is consistent and in alignment with your overall brand archetype, you’ll reinforce your core branding message and build trust.
*Assess for functioning links. This is probably one of the most overlooked tasks online. There are millions of links out there on the world wide web that get placed and then never checked for functionality in the future. Things change, and what a page you linked to a year ago, may not be in existence today.
One of the main ways to build trust with your audience is to build brand reliability. When people feel they can rely on you, it creates a connection they can depend on time and again. As small as links sound, they are a test of reliability. Take the time to check your web links for functionality. There are several options for this such including the following: create a long-term, repeating task on your calendar or assign this task to a team member or use a software/plugin that does it automatically.
- Copy audit
Just as there’s high value with a content audit, so there’s high value in a copy audit as well. A copy audit involves looking at the text on your most important website pages (About page, sales pages, email opt-in pages).
Similar to a content audit, a copy audit is focused on assessing the strengths and weaknesses to find areas that need improvement or that can possibly be removed or changed.
- Social media strategy analysis
Beyond the content you create for social media, it’s important you analyze the effectiveness of your social media. If you’ve been active on a particular platform for more than six months, you should be able to take stock of what’s working and what’s not.
- Visual brand audit
Notice that most of these are an audit or some type of analysis? That’s intentional. Your best results will always come from first understanding what’s working and what’s not. And you don’t have to wait and plan big audits, you can plan and schedule mini audits throughout the year. This is a good way to ensure you maintain a plan and system for getting the most long-term benefit from short-term branding efforts.
As you continue to spread your marketing message and communicate consistently as a leveled-up brand, you’ll reap rewards year after year. The key is to remember that every action you take today and in the next weeks will build on top of each other and eventually have a lasting impact on your brand. Be intentional with your actions and watch your business grow.