Last year, we introduced #FloodTheFeeds as a method for increasing brand exposure, while boosting brand compliance. What we didn’t know at the time, was that 2020 was going to be a pivotal year for all things digital. So this year, we wanted to revisit the topic and explain how content syndication and brand compliance have become more important than ever.
What is Brand Compliance?
Wherever your marketing reaches consumers, your messaging should be cohesive and encompass your mission, vision, values, and everything else that is important to your brand. The goal of brand compliance is to preserve your messaging across your corporate marketing campaigns, and also any channels where your affiliates or resellers are engaging consumers on behalf of your brand or products.
Cohesive messaging is very important to your brand’s reputation. It builds consumer trust and loyalty, thereby adding value to your brand. Non-compliant materials run the risk of tarnishing your reputation. Controlling brand content to avoid jumbled or poor quality content has become a major facet of brand marketing.
Establishing protocols to enforce internal brand compliance is usually a manageable feat within the corporate environment; however, more planning is required to uphold brand integrity once outside parties, like your retailers, get involved. Participation from retail or affiliate marketers is great for exposure, but you don’t want to lose sleep thinking about the ways your brand assets are going to be misrepresented; this is the catch 22 for all brand marketers. Without question, developing methods for distributing unified messaging is necessary, and oftentimes, challenging.
Brand Compliance Tools
To prevent the widespread misuse of marketing assets, brand managers have a toolbox of applications to aid with brand compliance. One of the first, simplest, and still most-popular is the simple web portal. These dropbox applications house photos, logos, and other digital assets and are maintained for use by downstream marketing partners. While these help to curb misuse, they function more-or-less as a parking lot for generic content, offering little or no options for controlled customization. Additionally, most portals offer little assistance to support implementation, and their utilization rates can suffer since participation relies on involvement of retail or affiliate marketers. Participation rates are usually low, often less than 5% of your affiliate or retail marketing partners will ever access a portal.
More recent brand management applications have boosted compliance by offering clever options to allow for customizations, like co-branding, while ensuring that brand standards are maintained. This improved the experience for downstream marketers who could spend less time tweaking brand assets, but still they had to do the heavy lifting to incorporate assets into their campaigns.
Content Syndication Ensures Brand Compliance
Today’s brand managers realize that the most productive brand compliance tools are going to offer control, customization, and for maximum adoption, offer solutions for automated content syndication.
Like brand management tools, content syndication tools have also been busy evolving with technology and consumer trends. The idea of content syndication has been around for decades. For brand marketers, syndication allows a developed piece of marketing content to flow to various outlets without compromising the integrity of the message. Syndication in digital marketing is necessary to keep in front of consumers who may be using any number of digital and social outlets. Effective brand managers have found that content syndication solutions are usually a win-win for them and their retail marketing partners. There is even evidence that the consistent messaging, like that provided by syndication, adds as much as 25% to revenue. A valuable mechanism, syndication enforces brand standards, and also helps ensure that brand content is claiming its fair share of digital real estate.
Social Media is Key in 2020
2020 has a pivotal year for all things digital. This year’s COVID pandemic has groomed an unprecedented number of socially-distant consumers. In the U.S., nearly 42% of the workforce is currently working from home while a large number of students are remotely attending school. It’s no surprise that shopping activities have also shifted online. Most likely, the majority of your brand’s products are researched and purchased almost entirely online. Chances are this has called for some major adjustments to your 2020 marketing plans.
Social Media is going to be more important to your brand as consumers look to local retailers for information and authority. As a brand manager, you are going to want your brand and your retailers to make social media a top priority. Ensuring that your products appear regularly and compliantly on social media is essential to influencing consumer behavior.
Inconsistent messaging in 2020, may run a bigger risk than years prior. Consumers are using internet search terms like “near me,” often returning your local retailers’ Facebook pages in the top results. If a consumer experiences inconsistent messaging about your brand from one Facebook page to the next, you risk losing that individual to a competing product with a more consistent branding.
Brand Manager™ Provides Compliance and Syndication
It’s likely that your brand is investing heavily in content for social audiences in 2020 and beyond. To get the most out of that investment, integration with your retailers’ social accounts can be extremely useful. ThumbStopper’s has been working miracles for brand managers who find value elevating their brand’s presence while enforcing compliance standards. The Brand Manager platform links your brand with your retailers, so that when you post about a new product, your retailers are instantly queued up to syndicate the same content to their social followers.
As one of the most trusted tools for syndicating social content, ThumbStopper’s platform easily and reliably links a brand’s social media with their participating dealers. Artificial Intelligence captures social content and stages that content for affiliated retailers to release as a native posts their channels. This intelligent solution also ensures that retailers are only fed content relevant to a retailer’s inventory, and is appropriate according to other brand-defined factors like regionality.
Dealers enjoy the integration, too. Brand Manager is largely automatic for retail partners. After minimal setup, there is little on-going effort needed for their social media to be updated with a continuous stream of high quality content. The quality and consistency of posts helps retailers establish brand authority with consumers.
Using a content syndication platform like Brand Manager, brand marketers can rest easier knowing that the integrity of their marketing efforts won’t be jumbled downstream. And with almost effortless integration, retailer participation is easy to achieve, earning your brand additional exposure regularly to your social campaigns. Built in intelligence and automation means that brand marketers can relax knowing that their social content is reaching more intimate audiences through their retailers. And in the process brands end up building stronger connections with their retailers.
If you haven’t already brought up this conversation in 2020, it might be time to #FloodTheFeeds for brand compliance.