Maris Ross - Start with a Story
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Setting the Stage: Maria Ross, Founder, Red Slice. Start with the Story: Why a Clear Brand Strategy is Vital to Effective Content Marketing.

Setting the Stage: Maria Ross, Founder, Red Slice. Start with the Story: Why a Clear Brand Strategy is Vital to Effective Content Marketing.

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  • 1. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 1Start With the Story:Why a Brand Strategy isVital to Effective Content MarketingMaria Ross, Red Slice LLC@redslice May 8, 2013
  • 2. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 2WHAT WE’LL COVERDEFINE what brand is and why it matters to your successIDENTIFY the 5 signs of a power brandDISCOVER the 3 ways to communicate your brandDISCUSS 3 of the 10 key Brand Strategy questions – anddiscover the 2 biggest mistakes businesses makeEXPLORE ways to tell your story more efficiently
  • 3. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 3THE POWER OF BRANDPick one: Which words/phrases immediately come to mind?
  • 4. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 4WHAT IS BRAND?Brand is not just a logo; it’s your core, your essence, whatyou stand for; your promise to the worldBrand is the impression, mindshare you create for people;the promise that you makeBrand guides all marketing & content decisions to tell theright story to the right people at the right time.
  • 5. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 5WHAT IS BRAND?
  • 6. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 6THE SIMPLE TRUTHEffective branding is not about how much money youspend, but about how clearly and consistentlyyou communicate the right message to theright audience through everything you do.
  • 7. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 7WHY DOES BRAND MATTER?CLARITYGuide & focusinvestmentsCUSTOMERS:Attract the rightcustomersCOIN:Stand out &increase revenue
  • 8. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 8SIGNS OF A POWER BRANDPeople are proud to work, partner or shop with youPress talk about your impact on industry, worldYou can elegantly recover from mistakesCustomers spread your storySome people don’t like you
  • 9. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 9BrandVerbalExperientialVisualBE CLEAR & CONSISTENTACROSS ALL TOUCHPOINTS
  • 10. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 10HOW TO TELL A BRAND STORYWhy this works?• Visually and emotionallyconveys company values,operations and mission• Attracts a precise targetcustomer (others may think,“Huh?” Not for them!)• Clear, concise. Onemessage appealing to onebuying driver/benefit
  • 11. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 11HOW NOT TO TELL A BRAND STORY
  • 12. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 12AVOID A BRAND IDENTITY CRISISActualExperienceBrandPromiseEffective branding ─ inside & out ─is the antidote
  • 13. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 13WHY IS BRAND STRATEGYIMPORTANT?Brand Building BlocksWho are we? Who is my ideal customer?Where are they? How are we different?What is our personality? What is our promise?Brand StrategyKeyMessagesBrand Building BlocksCompanyNameVisualIdentityMarketing Programs and TacticsCreate needed materials. contentDecide where to advertise, promote, influence.
  • 14. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 14AN EFFECTIVE BRAND MUST BE…UniqueDoes it stand outfrom others?CompellingDoes youraudience care?AuthenticCan you walkyour talk?
  • 15. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 15CRAFTING THE BRAND STRATEGYBoils down to 10 key questions to get tothe brand “sweet spot”…but we’ll focuson only a few today
  • 16. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 16WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?“Everyone” is not a market!This is the single most important aspect to a strong Brand Strategy.Who is your ideal buyer? If you don’t know them intimately and make themreal, you’ll be shooting at a moving target.Think IDEAL, not average. Defining this well guides your content, newofferings, ads, and ensures that what you offer appeals to the right people.
  • 17. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 17HOW DO YOU SOUND AND LOOK?What do you want people to associate with you or your blog? What isauthentic? Think of pictures, images, adjectives, people, locations, traits
  • 18. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 18BE PRECISE! WORDS MATTERPlayfulButtoned-upSavvySnarkyBubblyRomanticNaturalSoberComicalCasualCutting-edgeFastFreshManicFlirtyProtectiveEfficientHandcraftedGeekyCalmThe more descriptive the word, the more your designers andwriters can create just the right contentWarm
  • 19. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 19WHY SHOULD THEY CARE?“What’s in it for me?”Talk in terms of benefits, notjust featuresDevelop a messagingplatform by audience toinform all communications &content
  • 20. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 20BUILD THE STORY FOUNDATIONYour messaging platform is an internal “outline” toensure content and communications are consistent:You always want to control your message!Copy is the external face of your messagingplatform, expressed publicly through channels(blog, social media, video/podcast scripts, reports)
  • 21. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 21CREATE A MESSAGING PLATFORMBENEFIT CAPABILITY/KEY MESSAGE PROOF POINTS/FEATURESCORE POSITIONING STATEMENT______ offers __(products/services)_____ for ____(target audience)_______so they can_______________(benefits)________________________.You get... We offer this benefit by…(HOW)•Features•Awards•Press•Customer/Client List•Testimonials•Differentiators•Stats/StudiesMain Benefit #2Main Benefit #3Key Message #2Key Message #3Core positioning statement rolls up by combining thethree main benefits you provide.Determine the benefits first!
  • 22. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 22SHARE THE STORY: CREATE ANEDITORIAL CALENDAREfficient Memorable Reusable
  • 23. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 23SUMMARY: THE STORY MATTERS!Creating a brand foundation, will help you:Define who you are and who you serve, crisply and cleanlyStay consistent in all your content marketing effortsSpread the word about what you can do more easilyFocus on the most effective channels & contentMore efficiently create content that is unique, relevant andauthentic to your target audience
  • 24. © 2012 Red Slice, LLC Confidential – Do Not Distribute 24THANK YOU!Questions, Clarity, Feedback? maria@red-slice.comExplore Resources, Corporate Workshops: www.red-slice.comBranding Basics for Small Business:How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget(Norlights Press) Available here today or online