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Brand Cohesion: Managing Pre-Funnel Perception

Books are judged by their covers, and your staffing firm will be judged by your brand. That age-old adage rings true even today: first impressions will last.

In fact, it takes only couple of posts or a few seconds of scrolling through your website for your audience to develop an opinion about your brand, so it’s imperative that you make every touchpoint across all channels count.

That’s why in this week’s Weekly Bite, our founder Jeff Pelliccio will walk you through all the essential
steps you need to build a cohesive brand that will has minimal inconsistencies and positively impacts
your audience and leave a lasting impression before they enter your funnel.

Essentially, brand cohesion simply refers to the consistent implementation of your brand in all digital channels. The idea is, by people should have the same experience whether they land on your social media profiles, job board, and website. From the design to the copywriting, and even the website
ecosystem, everything should work harmoniously to highlight your messaging and value propositions. It through this that you create opportunities for your brand to resonate with your audience and hopefully, push them into your marketing and sales funnel.

You can do this by first building a directory of all your digital properties. When we say digital properties, we mean: social profiles, job boards, websites, local directories, etc. Checking and managing all your channels is easier when you can find them all in one place. Then, once you’ve got that all sorted out, you need to review your design elements and define them.

Because every platform can have different requirements, it’s important that you check for each one. Plus, it’s worth taking a deeper dive into how each visual element of your digital property props up your unique selling points.

When your aesthetics are finally on point, next on your to do list is your content messaging. This includes your brand tone and copywriting. Remember, how you tell your story matters, so tell it well and make sure it aligns with your target audience and where they are in their journey. Most importantly, add some personality so they can establish an emotional connection with your brand, and narrate your story in a strategic manner that naturally moves them through the next stage of the funnel.

And last but definitely not the least, consistently engage your audience. Your optimization efforts to
improve your brand cohesion is just half of the job. Active and consistent audience engagement is
essential to continuously introduce your brand to candidate and clients. There are plenty of ways you can do this through social media and even your website, we’ve detailed all these in the video.

If you need help building a brand cohesion strategy tailor-fit to your staffing firm brand, schedule a free consultation at alliedinsight.com and let’s see how we can help guide you in elevating your brand
beyond the logo.

Don’t worry, it’s just a conversation. No strings attached.
We’ll see you soon.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening.

I’m Jeff Peliccio, the founder of Allied Insight and we are back again with another Weekly Bite to bring
some morsel of information to our staffing friends and community that they can take back to their
agencies and gnash on as they try to improve their positioning, delivery, and elevate their brands beyond
the logo.

In this week’s conversation, we are going to dig into brand cohesion: managing that pre-funnel
perception.

It sounds kind of fancy, right? It’s supposed to.
What we’re going to do here, though, is break this down a little bit and demystify some of this
mashed-up terminology.

Brand cohesion: all we’re really talking about is consistency in the brand. Your brand is going to be
exposed in a variety of different places and we’re just sort of talking about pulling those loose ends
together and making sure that the brand, as a whole, is in fact, consistent in how it’s viewed so that
brand identity, also the brand messaging, the brand tone, and also those value ads.

As far as that pre-funnel perception is concerned, at this point, we’re really talking about books being
judged by their cover versus their context.
So, as people are learning first about your brand and as they’re encountering you in these different
areas, they will obviously start passing judgment based on what it is that they see.

The idea in this instance is we’re trying to limit the negative responses that people may have if they see
inconsistencies in the brand, in order to allow for your message and for your value that you’re really
bringing to the market to really shine through, so that way, you have an opportunity to deal with them
within the rest of your marketing and sales funnel.
So, now that we’ve sort of decoded what our titling was, now we want to talk to you about how you can
structure this process the way that we do.

So, I’m going to share with you some of the things that we use in order to make sure that our client
brands are consistent. That way, you could take it back to your agency and you can basically
fundamentally put together the same structure in order to ensure that you too have a consistent brand
that’s being presented all over the place.

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

First, I want you to build a directory of digital properties. This is gonna start first with your website.

That’s the first digital property that you’re gonna have in your space, but then that’s gonna extend out
into your social media properties and then extend once again further to maybe job boards and local
directories and so forth and so on. You get the idea.

As you’ve been in business and as you’ve had the opportunity to present your organization in a variety of
different forums, you likely have corporate profiles sitting out there that are not being maintained.

Putting all these into a spreadsheet or another tool – we just use spreadsheets because it’s easier it’s a
quicker hit – and organizing them allows you to get a quick reference sheet of all the locations that you
need to manage on a regular basis and also provide a cell that has a link in there that gets you right to
that space.

So, again, organizing where it is that you exist into a spreadsheet just makes things a lot simpler. And
then we’re going to get into some additional columns that you’re going to have in there as well.
Now that you have your list of all the different properties where your brand exists, next, we’re going to
want to outline the brand components that apply to each one of these areas.

Your website obviously has a variety and arguably probably the most variables out of anything else, but
your social media – each social media platform – will likely have their nuance as to what components
you can include: your logo icon, a value proposition, other connected resources, cover photos, hours of
operation, teams, etc.

So, making sure that you understand which components are being required in each of these areas, again,
helps you to organize your current brand directory, your digital directory, and also helps you leverage the
conversation when you’re talking about strategy down the road. Having that piece in this document will
be massively helpful in being able to extend that conversation to other members of your team and
leadership.

Next, we’re going to want to define the design elements.

Again, a little bit of a tongue twister there, sorry, but defining the design elements. The reason for this is each one of these locations: website, social, job boards, local directories, etc.

They all have different formatting requirements. It could be the dimensions of the actual image that you’re using. Maybe there’s videos and if there are, there likely are video requirements in terms of length or even size of the file itself or even file types. Again, ironing these things out and understanding what they are in this space will allow you to do your updates more efficiently.

So, if let’s say you change your value proposition or you’ve amended your value proposition, and you
want to push forward a new narrative for the year, then this allows your designer or whoever is in your design team or handling your design to go in and render that orientation over and over again to match whatever it is that they need to be able to submit or publish within each of these forums, instead of building one then going to the page looking to find the reference coming back out and so forth.

So, it just keeps things very efficient and will make it a lot easier for your design team to render different variations of that same message when you have updates happening.

Next, you’re going to want to define the target personas. You know, most staffing websites, the vast majority of the traffic that comes in is going to be candidates and a very small portion will be clients, unless you’ve really done some due diligence to really build out that other audience side you’re gonna end up with more candidates coming to your space than clients.

The same thing is to be said though as you start looking at your social media and your job boards and your other local directories. They will likely be positioned with a more predominant focus in one or the other. It’ll be very rare that you see sort of like that combination. I mean it can happen sometimes, in some of the platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook, but usually you can start to see a bit of a pattern where one will take dominance over another.

Understanding what those target personas are and how, you, as a staffing agency will strategically use
that positioning will be important to making sure that you maintain positive messaging and are
delivering the things that that audience is looking for.

So, now that we have all of that laid out, next we’re looking at the strategic execution. So apparently, that’s hard to say, too.

Strategic execution: how does that look and how will you actually then facilitate what it is that you are going to be producing from a marketing perspective to present the brand in the best light possible?

First, do not forget brand tone. I know, a lot of times when we talk about the brand we tend to think of the brand identity: the logo, the colors, the font.

Those are all the things that identify you, but brand tone is also really important. That personality, that
life that gets breathed into a brand is the thing that we’re really talking about here.

Next, punch up the personality. I feel like a lot of companies are weary to sort of give a brand a
personality, but what we have to remember is that as long as we’re standing from a position of equality and we’re standing from a position of inclusivity and collaboration, then there really is nothing wrong with giving your brand a personality.

In the areas outside of your website especially, there may be an even greater opportunity to bend the brand a bit in order to accommodate the audience and personality.

Maybe that’s the thing that really separates you from the rest and gives a resonating tone with the
audience that’s interacting with your brand.
Next, you’re going to want to align your narrative to their journey.

So, each of these instances, whether it be on your website which, you know, we can go really really deep, obviously, because you have a lot more control over that space. But when you consider what people are doing when they interact with your brand on social media or at a job board or at some of these local directories, you’ll want to make sure that you’re providing the appropriate narrative that matches where they are in their journey.

You know, if you’re too high up in the funnel and don’t provide any insight into what their next step is, then you might not ever gain their confidence in sort of transitioning to that next step. And if you try to strike too low in the funnel in order to get them to convert on something a lot lower, if you strike too low then you might also jar them in that perspective in which case they feel like you’re out of touch with where they are.

The idea here is to try to really meet them at that stage where they’re at in order to encourage them and educate them, to then kind of like move into that next natural step for where they are in their journey.

Next, do not overcommit, right?

Consistency is critical when it comes to how it is that you’re maintaining and also interacting with these other spaces. So, if some of these other sources allow you to do updates or postings or whatever, make sure that you’re maintaining a consistency that you can commit to.

They might allow you to do unlimited posts or unlimited jobs or unlimited this or that or unlimited updates regarding your team and your culture, but in doing that you may also be creating a situation for yourself that you have to maintain.

So you know, looking at what it is that they have available to you and then sort of setting the bar as to what your level of engagement will be, so that way you can maintain consistency, that’ll be really
important to sort of define out and make sure that you’re striking.

The one area that’s a non-negotiable in creating consistency is engagement.

When people are engaging with you either on social media or job boards or even if they’re giving you
reviews, it is really vitally important that you engage back with these individuals who have taken the time to interact with your brand. Especially when it comes to a review, good, better, and different, we’ve had them all.

But when someone gives you a review celebrate those successes and also provide remedies to any of the issues. Others are viewing your interactions in those spaces and they’re judging whether or not you’re a brand that they want to commit to.

With that said, you know all of these things are steps in creating a really nice narrative as to who you are as a brand and what it is that you think about the people who interact with it.

Lastly, schedule some regular checkups, yeah?
You know this is sort of the last step in the process. You’ve gone through; defined all of your digital
spaces, you’ve now also executed with really good clarity and delivery.

The last thing you’re gonna wanna do is make sure that you schedule your checkups.
You know schedule them quarterly, at least semi-annually. There are updates that occur and honestly, the smaller the staffing agency, the more inconsistent these changes can happen.

As a smaller or a new staffing agency, you’re likely learning what your verbiage is. You’re likely honing in that elevator pitch and you’re making adjustments in real-time in order to accommodate what you believe will be the best practice for enticing that next person or that next candidate or client to work with you.

When those changes happen that quickly, it’s really important to make sure that you are making these
adjustments; full scope of your entire brand and not just in one location.

So, scheduling regular checkups is going to be really important to make sure that you’re maintaining consistency and that you’ve also maintained that commitment to engagement.
Look, brand cohesion isn’t complicated. The idea is that we just need to give it a little bit of thought and put some structure around it to make it easier for people to participate.

That said, we’ve given you a lot of detail here in this very quick call and it should land for the most part.

Like this, hopefully, isn’t really sending people off the rails, but if you collect all of your addresses, all
your properties, and you organize what it is that each one of those properties provides to you and you understand sort of what the positioning is and how it is that you’re delivering your messaging to meet all those people in that group, then you’re ahead of a lot of the competition at that point.

So, it’s not complicated. Keep it simple and commit to the things that you can actually maintain
consistency on.

Those would be my key elements here.
if you’re working on any sort of brand cohesion elements and you’re struggling to try to put the building blocks together and you want to talk about it, feel free to go to our website at alliedinsight.com and connect with us.

You have access to my schedule, I’ll be more than happy to jump on a call and do whatever I can to give you a hand in leveraging that next step.

And last, don’t forget we have another weekly bite happening next week on April 20th where we’re
going to be talking about persona prioritization and rethinking your staffing website.

So, we already talked a little bit about narratives and journeys in this particular session. Next week we’re going to dig into how you actually rethink that for the website and how you can make your website work better for you and optimize it for conversion.

I hope this has been helpful for everybody and I hope you’ve enjoyed the time here, and you’ve got
some bits that you could bring back to your teams and progress your plans and hit your corporate
objectives.

If you need any help please reach out, otherwise have a great day and a great rest of your week.

We’ll catch you next week.

Have a good one.

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