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My philosophy of marketing is that every part of your marketing toolkit that you’ve spent money developing should be working hard to generate sales for your business.
Creating a strong visual identity is a given. But what about extending it into other marketing areas?
We have been experimenting using content marketing to reinforce visual identity branding and the USPs (unique selling points) and key points of difference of the brand. Here’s how.
Your business philosophy
When applying content marketing tactics we find that the effectiveness is enhanced when the content is aligned with either buyer personas, pipeline stage, business philosophy or point of difference. These all help to bring a prospect closer to purchase.
A strategic marketer will help you define a positioning can demonstrate continual advantage and which you can defend against competitors.
Helping your prospective clients to recognise this positioning and then to relate their experience or their expected buying experience to it is the job of the tactical marketer.
Once you’ve established the philosophy positioning, identifying each part with an unique visual identity or icon is a neat way of enabling the customer to recognise elements in your content marketing and their relation to each other. From this, they can navigate to find other related content pieces on the same theme or topic.
Case Study – the sports coach website
This client identified five buyer personas and now has a unique landing page for each one. Their website has over 20,000 pages because they have been blogging since 2007. This means new visitors find navigating the site challenging. We identified a deep resource of ‘evergreen’ content which was not getting traffic and so not getting read by visitors. From this we evolved a segmentation strategy built around a landing page and a visual icon for each visitor type.
The landing page includes links to the most popular evergreen articles and also gives guidance for the visitor on where to look for similar content.
Case Study – the marketing agency
At Creative Agency Secrets, we have 8 icons which are all steps in the new business development process. On the blog sidebar are our list of categories – the first eight are numbered and each relates to one step in the process.
Working on our own blog, we needed to reduce the bounce rate and encourage deeper browsing. And so we leveraged our 8 Step New business Development Process. This identifies a clear set of stages for a tactical marketer and a framework for their marketing year planning. Each stage has a small icon and links to all the blog posts written about that topic.
It’s easy to read, easy to cross-link articles and also to reference more than one icon in each blog post.
Case Study – the financial advisor
Selling services is often harder than products – defining a clear point of difference is even more challenging for the marketer. Collaborative Consulting was set up in response to the same-ification of the financial advisory marketplace. The founder, John Milner, uses his long experience to advise clients differently from others – he calls these the Six Max Factors. And using a simple graphic, each one is named and ordered.
The goal is to enable readers to become familiar with each icon so they quickly recognise them and can relate to the marketing content more easily.
This tactic will serve to reinforce the firm’s investment philosophy, remind readers why they chose Collaborative Consulting as their advisor and set the firm apart from competitors who are less explicit about the foundations of their advice and investing activities.
How to spot an opportunity to use icons
The key insight a marketer needs to bring to using logos as a sales device is to discover
- Is the company able to articulate its USP?
- Can you split that USP into several subsidiary elements?
- Does your content marketing strategy allow the use of visual and written elements?
- Can you measure changed customer and prospect behaviour as you make these changes?
That’s a great starting point – off you go!