It’s the eternal struggle for small businesses, start-ups, and nonprofits- brand consistency on a budget. Most small organizations are limited in resources, meaning less paid staff and more volunteers and interns. Every organization I’ve worked with has had interns involved in their communications, and particularly in their social media. While using volunteers for this field of work is completely understandable and a smart way to stay in-budget, it can also lead to an apparent shift in tone, frequency, and quality of content from one volunteer to the next.
So, how can this evident inconsistency be addressed without having to completely transform your organization’s communications structure? Here are a few simple branding tricks:
Have a signature font.
If you want to spice up your infographics, adding in a different font that compliments your brand’s typical font can be a good option. However, try to stick to two fonts total- your signature font and your accent font.
Utilize two colors, maximum.
Similarly to your fonts, have a signature color and an accent color.
Know your tone.
Is your organization’s mission heavy or lighthearted? Is the work your company does aimed at a professional demographic or a casual one? Do you primarily market to Baby Boomers or Millenials? All of these variations in personas and markets will determine how upbeat your messaging can be, whether exclamation points are a good idea, and if emojis are acceptable.
Set your brand to autopilot.
Before handing over the passwords to your interns or volunteers, give yourself peace of mind and automate as much of the digital content process as possible. Create a standard hashtag cloud, show them the templates that you generally use for specific platforms, and give them examples of content that you have created following your branding guidelines so that they know what the standard is.
Once you’ve solidified your branding standards, you can create a brand book that maps out the guidelines for the volunteers (or even just new employees) that will be creating content for your organization, ensuring that your digital content will be consistent regardless of how many hands are on it.
I hope these tips help your organization; they’ve definitely helped me!