The importance of defining your brand values for content marketing
The term ‘brand values’ probably isn’t new to you if you’re a seasoned business owner, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t have a clear set of values written down and readily available. Businesses that invest thousands every year in building their brand and marketing it to the world, but yet if you ask them for what they stand for, they can’t provide a clear, defined definition of their values.
Your brand values are exactly that – your values. They underpin your business and explain why you do what you do. They tell both internal and external parties what you stand for and what is important to you as a business. If established correctly, they can be used to help you make difficult decisions to guide your business in the direction that you want it to go in.
Every member of your team should know your brand values inside out. If your brand values currently reside inside your head, then you need to get them out. Write them down and put them in a place that everyone has access to. They shouldn’t be hidden, and they shouldn’t be a resource that “only management” has access to. Everyone in your organisation should be across your brand values. You should be able to walk up to any team member and quiz them on the spot, and they should be able to recite your brand values to you. That’s how important they are.
And when it comes to content marketing, brand values are really, really, REALLY important.
Brand Values, Content Streams and Content Marketing:
If you’re an avid reader of the BeKonstructive Blog, then you’ll know that when we look at content marketing strategy and messaging, we like to talk about ‘content streams’. These are the themes or categories that your content is organised into – every single piece of content, whether it is a blog, a video or a single Instagram post, should fall into at least one of your ‘content streams’. This ensures that you’re posting with purpose – that every single piece of communication that you’re putting out into the world fulfils a strategic purpose.
So why is this relevant to brand values? Because at least one or two of your content streams are going to tie in directly with your brand values.
BeKonstructive’s Brand Values:
The best example we can give you is our own content marketing strategy, messaging and brand values. You might think that it is a bit weird that we’re sharing out brand values, especially when they tie into our content strategy so much. But we believe in community over competition. Brand values shouldn’t be hidden, they shouldn’t be a secret, you should be shouting them from the tops of your lungs. You should be loud, proud and excited about your brand values. You should absolute confidence that your target audience will connect with and relate to your brand values, that knowing your brand values will make them fall in love with your brand even more. Your brand values are what glue your customers to you.
At BeKonstructive, our brand values are as follows:
- Everything we do is constructive – if you’ve read our About Us page, you’ll know why BeKonstructive Marketing was established. This is our most important brand value, and it is literally in our business name! Every-single-thing-we-do-is-constructive! We don’t waste marketing and advertising budgets and we track and report everything we do.
- No job is too small – we understand that the best way to build trust with business owners is to let them ‘dip a toe in’. Some of our strongest and longest lasting business relationships with clients started with tiny little tasks, and we have built the relationship brick by brick into what it is today. We look at the long term relationship, not the short term monetary gains when we decide which clients to work with.
- We empower small businesses – we provide tools, education and training as an option for our clients. We understand that not all small businesses can afford to outsource 100% of their content marketing services. They need to keep some stuff in house, especially while they’re just starting out. So we give them the tools to grow, knowing that when they have grown to a size that they are able to outsource some work, they will come to us because we helped them get to where they are now.
- Team work is dream work – this is about our internal culture. A big part of our brand is about being creative, having fresh ideas, sharing those ideas, building off each other’s creativity and working together. We are inclusive, we are animal lovers, we empower each other to chase our goals and we have a whole lot of fun. It is our belief that a fun, creative and SAFE work environment will result in the best possible ideas and output. It also helps attract the best talent to our team.
These four values underpin everything we do, from the services we offer through to the way we deliver our services, who we hire to join our team, the clients we decide to work with, the causes we support, the way we market ourselves and the internal policies that we put in place.
Content Streams and Content Marketing:
Now, if you look at our content marketing – let’s choose our Instagram account as one example as it is the channel we are most active on. You’ll see these brand values shining through in many of our posts. You’ll see the way we communicate, as well as the topics we talk about and our messaging, often touch on one of our four brand values.
Not every single post does – as we do have some additional content streams in our content marketing strategy that are separate to our brand values. But of our 8 content streams, 4 of them are related to our brand values.
Why do we use our brand values in our content marketing?
We have written about this before, but the ultimate goal of content marketing is to build a strong, loyal customer base. It is to turn cold audiences who don’t know much (or anything at all) about your brand into piping hot audiences who not only buy from you, but who advocate for you.
They love your brand so much that they leave reviews, they tag their friends into your posts saying “@bek404 this is the brand I was telling you about!! You should get on this, you’ll love it!”
Word of mouth is still the absolute best way to market your business, but how do you grow word of mouth in the digital age? With content marketing! Give your existing audience conversation starters to go out into the world and spread brand awareness for you.
Social media channels are one of the most common content marketing channels, and they are often the first place that people go when they want to research and learn more about your brand or business. A lot of business owners make the mistake of using their social media accounts solely to promote their products and business, but they are missing out on a huge opportunity. They are probably generating a few leads or sales here and there – we’re not saying don’t have a ‘promotional’ stream in your content marketing strategy.
We’re just saying that a lot of people are following you on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter because they want to get to know your brand. They are on the fence about engaging your services or buying from your brand, and they want you to convince them. They want you to show them that you align with their values – that you stand for the same things that they stand for.
For BeKonstructive, that is about providing a clear, transparent service; empowering other small businesses to grow; building strong foundations for long-lasting relationships; and providing a supportive and creative work environment for our team to thrive in.
For your brand, that might be sustainability, craftmanship, innovation, ethically sourced materials, curiosity, clever solutions, a sense of adventure, being premium or best-in-class, organic ingredients, being cutting-edge – the list goes on.
If your content marketing isn’t communicating these brand values to your audience, how will they know all of these great things about you?
What are my brand values?
Developing your brand values should be a fun exercise, because it is the part of your business that excites you! They are the reason you got started in business, and they are the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning!
We understand that you might need a bit of help getting the values out of your head and onto paper. Defining your brand values in a constructive way that your staff and customers will be able to understand; communicating them in a short, sharp and succinct manner; and developing them into a strategic guide to help you navigate your business – all of that can be a bit daunting if you’re not sure where to start.
If you need a bit of help defining your brand values and developing them into content streams for your content marketing, then get in touch. Our branding services and workshops can help you discover your brand values and flesh them out into a really valuable resource for your business.