Have you ever looked at your content and thought ‘Am I repeating myself? Will this captivate or bore my audience?’. If so, do not worry, you are not alone. All writers who are passionate about their content sometimes feel as though they are beating the same drum over and over again. That is why it is important to step outside of your own thoughts for a moment.
Remember the basic principles – we write for our audience, we write to tell a story, we write to demonstrate the kind of company we are, and we write to ensure we are always top of mind. Remember consumer reading habits and how social media feeds are inundated with millions of messages – when you think about it, they will rarely see each and every one of your messages in one go and so your content is diluted in the mix of other content.
My point? Repetition, can in fact, be key to building your brand.
How the big brands do it
Want to kill those doubts? Look to the big brands for guidance. Think of the likes of Coca Cola, Apple, Dyson, Kellogg’s etc. The last thing you think of when you see their brand EVERYWHERE is not ‘oh, the same old message again’, right? But the secret is, they’ve each been cleverly parading the same consistent messaging in front of consumers for years.
Really?! I hear you say! Yes, though their marketing outputs and content forms are not repetitive, one thing does remain consistent – the underpinning messaging. Why? So that consumers get used to their message. The message becomes synonymous with the brand and whilst you may not recall the exact ad you have seen; you will instantly recall their style. You remember the brand and its products and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.
Let us look deeper at Coca Cola for example. Through decades of marketing campaigns, they have effectively communicated one strong message: pleasure. They have used enduring and simple slogans such as ‘Enjoy’ and ‘Happiness’ which have proven successful in projecting that message in a timeless and easily translatable fashion worldwide.
Similarly, with Apple, though a newer brand, they have also had one word at the heart of their messaging throughout their entire lifetime: simplicity. They consistently convey the message that their focused range of products are the best in the market and continually look to evolve them to go above and beyond any competitors. But have you ever seen them use the same campaign, year on year? No.
Mastering the art of repetition as a small business
So, the question is, as a smaller company, how can you reach this level of dominance? Well, in order to build a brand, you need to build recognition amongst both your existing customer base, as well as potential customers. And that will be a nigh on impossible task if you are always changing your messaging and looking for something new to say about your company.
First step? Pin down your core messages. These messages MUST appeal to your target audience and be messages that not only fit with your products or services, but also reflect your business’ values. If you are struggling to pin these down, think of the words you want your brand to be associated with and create a word board. Spot any similarities and use the most prominent words as a base for your overall message.
Next, think of how you can build your marketing strategy entirely around your core messaging. This does not mean that every marketing output needs to be the same, it just means that you need to find creative ways to reiterate the messages, akin to how those successful big brands do it.
As a small firm, you may have a smaller budget to implement your strategy, but that does not have to be a block. One of the easiest ways to ‘spread the word’ is to reuse your content rather than continuously creating new content. For example, if you have written a blog post, what is to stop you from turning that into a podcast? Then, over the course of the next few months, why not convert it to a video or slideshow? Perhaps a series of tweets, Instagram posts or LinkedIn posts. You could even take it a step further and develop the content with results from your very own questionnaire.
If you are lucky enough to have a bigger budget, you can go even further with email campaigns, TV ads, magazine articles and webinars. Yes, all from one piece of content!
While this tactic may not seem overly exciting to you, it is a cost-effective way to ensure, over time, that your customers will recognise your brand.
Brand loyalty and success
If you really want your company to be successful, you need to develop it into a brand that is trustworthy. You may feel you do not have the time for this, but remember the big brands you admire, and how they started out. As a little exercise, why not try to find original posts from your favourite brand when they were a start-up and try and identify how they gained the trust of their audience. You will notice that aside from having a quality product which has evolved over time, the brand’s core marketing message has remained the same. Through strategy and creative campaigns, they have kept hammering home the same message about their brand and it is safe to say, we are still interested!
So, to summarise, if you want to build a recognisable brand that your customers will love, create a strong message, then remain consistent and repurpose that content.
About the Author
Richard Michie is Founder and CEO of The Marketing Optimist. The Marketing Optimist is the marketing department you don’t have. Businesses are great at doing what they do best, running their business. They know they need marketing but don’t have the time and expertise, that’s where The Marketing Optimist steps in. With over 40 years collective experience in marketing, they’ve helped their clients grow and expand their businesses with measurable results.
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Suzie is the founder of Suki Marketing, a content marketing and web design agency etc etc etc.