If you haven’t created a Marketing Communications Guide or Marketing Plan Template, you’re at risk of having inconsistent communication & messaging to the outside world! Creating this has been a game-changer for us & in this episode we break down exactly how we produced ours, so that you have everything you need to make your own. This is great as part of a Marketing Plan template.
00:00 - 01:08 Intro
01:09 – 05:10 What is a Marketing Communications Guide?
05:11 – 06:50 How a Marketing Communications Guide is used and what it’s used for
06:51 – 11:38 The 3 parts of the Marketing Communications Guide
11:39 – 17:30 What to include in a Content Checklist
17:31 – 23:59 What to include in a Brand Guide
24:00 – 25:50 What to include in a Brand Checklist
25:51 - 27:50 Why you should make a Marketing Communications Guide
27:51- 27:52 Outro
Hi, Pat the podcast editor here. What on earth is a marketing communications guide? Well, today Dan and Lloyd are talking brand guidelines, and what outlining your brand identity on paper can do for you and your team’s.
This whole thing is super important for new team members because how on earth are they to know how to communicate to the outside world.
It's gonna save you time from saying this over and over again to different people.
Now, when it comes to social media content, consistency is key, especially when it's the image your company is projecting to the outside world. So having these guidelines in place will ensure that every piece of content you create fits perfectly within the bigger picture.
Describe adjectives that your company's personality is not.
Well, we're certainly not rude, dismissive, boastful, or unethical. Are we?
What are we, Lloyd?
I'd say with fun, intelligent, ethical and creative.
So what can developing a marketing communications guide do for you? Stay tuned to find out. Right, let's get stuck in. This is episode 87 of the business anchors podcast.
What on earth is a marketing communications guide then? And why is it worth us listening to this episode?
Well, that's a good question. What a marketing communications guide. I think different people describe it in different ways. But for us, it's an instruction manual for everyone that works for our company to know how to communicate with the outside world, and internally, with anyone and everyone so that we're all consistently communicating in the same way and getting the same messages across to the world.
Cool, that was very good.
Does that make sense, though? It's like, yeah, it's a guide to show how we should be speaking what kind of perception we want people to think about us what things we want to communicate.?
I think the massive positive is the long term effect, that consistent messaging to the world over time, I guess puts you where you want to be over time.
Yeah. And I guess a quick backstory as to why we're doing this. So if you don't know already, every month, we have like a management meeting where we review our performance. And a couple of months ago, I had a bit of a bad month. And you were kind of kicking me up the ass to improve with our marketing, which is a good thing you do? to help improve?.
Yeah, it happens the other way around, sometimes.
And one of the things is like we're not consistently communicating, the whole marketing and everyone involved was quite disjointed. I was doing certain things, other people in the team were doing other things.
And it was purely down to me, not creating some kind of guidance to help the team to ensure we're all aligned on the way we communicate. So from that meeting, I then scheduled time to create this communications Guide, which is an instructions manual for our team, like I mentioned.
And I've got that communications guide to hand. And I thought, as always with business anchors, we want to help you the listeners to improve in marketing your business. And this has been a huge benefit to us. And I thought why not share the process we went through to develop this and give some examples of how we're doing it so that you can create your own communications guide.
I think it's so useful once you go into the detail you realise with this, there are so many different ways that you communicate with the outside world that affect what people think of your business. And especially as we've been growing and new people have been starting and stuff like Dan said, we have several people communicating with the outside world whether it's intentionally as in I'm posting something on social media, or whether it's kind of the more passive thing of like I'm on a video shoot with a client and I'm chatting to them.
Yeah, to have those consistent messages of like, This is who we are this is what we do. This is how we help people is really important. I'm just thinking it's my no it's not about how we look I wondering if my rubbish beard communicates anything negative.
Oh, that makes it sound like it does.
No, no, no, it's not that kind of like okay, we don't want to become you know, so intrusive to our team that you have to wear a certain you know, we're very much like come to work with what makes you comfortable. Yeah, it's more the way you're communicating and speaking and engaging with the outside world.
Do you know what annoyed me about, sorry, just a quick tangent? Yesterday, we played squash together. Walking out and someone we know because what is it beard vember annoyed me because I thought if anything it's barch. Funny when this goes out it's bapril. I mean, if your late this episode, potentially bune or buly, not beardvember.
I could tell though, because of Movember, you know, the thing you grow a tash for charity, I think, yeah.
Bapril mate. Anyway, sorry, continue.
So, um, what I want to do is break down the different kinds of sections to this guide and give some insight into I'm reread some of it to give you insight into what our drive looks like. So a few different parts, the first part I developed was the guide purpose, because whoever is reading this guide needs to understand how it's used and what is used for..
Could be a new employee.
I was gonna say, I think this whole thing is super important for new team members. Because how on earth are they to know how to communicate to the outside world if they've never shown been shown how to.
It's gonna save you time from saying this over and over again to different people.
Yeah. So just to give you an insight into what ours says, The purpose of this document is to function as a guide for every way Knowlton communicates to the outside world. This could be content, videos, copy for posts, images, podcasts, so anything we produce that is seen by the public, it could be polite communication, basically, the way we speak to clients, you know, in person, or over zoom, etc.
Or it could be any other communication to the outside world, for example, speaking to people you meet at an event, or speaking to actors, or speaking to people who own locations, we're trying to hire like anything. And again, we were talking from a marketing video production company site. But if you're an accountant, or if you're a cleaner.
Speaking to customers speaking to your suppliers, posting on social media, it could be anyone you deal with as a business, which usually there are loads of people.
Yeah. So that's a bit of the kind of guide purpose, then the actual meat of the guide is broken down into three parts. So we've got.
Weird you said meat?
The meat of this Knowlton content checklist and I'll explain what those in a second, Knowlton brand guide and Knowlton brands checklist.
So our content checklist is basically, and I'll go through the points in a second is a checklist for every piece of content we produce, needs to be hitting these points to ensure it's at the standard that we want it to be. And I'm gonna I'll go through those.
And this is great. Like we said, for the team, because running a business, you want your team to have all the tools that they need to do the best job they can. And most of the time they want that too. It's quite hard if you just go do this and make it good, but they don't have guidance or the tools they need.
I'm the kind of person that works better when I've got more guidance to ensure that I'm doing the thing. So yeah.
So and then the second part is the Knowlton brand guide. You see when we get into this, but really, it's a case of like, what is our personality? What are the what's our vision, what are we focusing on that we want to get across so that people get a real feel for the type of company we are, you know, how corporate? Are we super corporate? or are we laid back and chilled, like, what vibe are we going for?.
And this has implications on the language we use when we're speaking? Or the language we use when we're creating content?.
And we worked backwards with this? Didn't we? So started at basically what do we want the world to think about? Knowlton? Yeah, if you think ideally, like our clients, potential customers, followers online, when we say like, oh, who are Knowlton? How do you want to be described? How do you want your business to be described and work backwards from that?.
On that note, a really important point is that with this is it has to be true to you. Like you can't just say you want to be perceived as this thing that completely isn't what you are. So it needs to be super aligned. We started by having this session where we were like, what are we and what do we want to be?
I think that's important! What do we want to be, there may be things that you aspire to you like in if you have a meeting about this, you might be saying we want people think were fun. If you're not fun at the moment, I think first take the actions to try and be fun. I think just saying it and then communicating it to the world.
You might get some short-term benefits, but people will see through it. So it's fine to say that's what we want to be. But take the actions before you shout about it too much.
I think I believe we are fun. So we unintentionally do that through the content we create and the behind the scenes videos we make of our shoots and our Tiktok's to show the kind of culture here.
Oh, we laugh, don't we?
So I think yeah, I guess if you're not fun, then try and do something.
It's quite harsh to think of yourself as not fun. More thinking like a business in general. There are loads of businesses there. You wouldn't describe it as fun you know. Some businesses have to not be fun. And there are other focuses. So it's okay if you're thinking my business isn't fun.
I mean, I said, okay, though, I'd like to work for the fun company?
Well, we would. Yeah, we're probably a small part of the business landscape.
So yeah, so then the third part is the Knowlton brands checklist. Now, this is something that you had input with to make sure we're doing this. And this is the key things Knowlton, we want to be known for the key, you know, when people are watching our videos, reading a copy of our posts, what messages do we want to get across to the outside world.
And that comes from our business goals. So I know Dan you'll go into detail and things. But we've got goals of becoming the most creative agency in the UK. So we've got things in place of how we can maximise creativity coming out of our business, and therefore that's something we want to communicate.
So I think, try and relate it to what you're trying to achieve, rather than just going oh, do you know what I want my business to seem fun. It's like is that related to your business goals? For us? It is we're trying to maximise how much Dan and I and our team enjoy coming to work. And that is a massive part of it.
. So the fun has to be part of that to make it worthwhile. But if that's not one of your goals, don't feel like you have to say that's one of the things I think related to what's important to you and your business.
Yeah, definitely. So to go into the real nitty-gritty from each of these three sections now, the first one, the Knowlton content checklist, we did an episode, a deep dive into this recently, I can't remember the episode. But it was, I usually remember the episode, it was one of the recent ones before this, about creating good content. So there's the checklist, there are 1234567 things that we want our content to be hitting every time so first..
We remember this with the acronym, don't we?
So we did try to come up with an acronym, but it didn't work. Reonvtv. There weren't any vowels in there. So yeah. Relatable? Is this piece of content relatable to the target market? Will they be nodding along when they're consuming this piece of content? Super, super important
. The next one, emotion triggering does it trigger some kind of emotion? Does it make the viewer feel something? Does it make them? You took the piss out of me last time I said this? Because I said does it make them feel entertained?.
That is not an emotion.?.
Does it? Make them laugh, cry?
I think you don't need to be thinking like, hang on to this picture I'm posting on Instagram. Instagram isn't going to make people cry. So I'm not going to post though it can be. It doesn't have every piece. It doesn't have to be a really strong emotion of like crying or laughing? With absolute joy.
I like to think like, what noise? Will this make someone? Will this piece of content make someone mad? So the next one on brand? Is it in line with what is outlined in your notes in your story brand? Communications guide? Is it on-brand for you? Is it getting the right kind of vibe across? If you're super corporate, you don't be using acronyms and like cool words like lol.
I was gonna say I'm looking forward to a cool word lol.
I mean, you like we like to come across as very non-corporate. And yes, we are talking the way that you speak. Whereas lawyers might want to be very formal and talk correctly. The next one is native, is it built for the platform that is being distributed on? Understanding each of the different platforms is super important when you're creating a piece of content, like, for example, you wouldn't put a highly produced TV ad on Tik Tok because it's not going to work.
Because much lower produced low production value content that taps into trends worked better on Tik Tok, and some of those things could harm what people think of you. Yeah. So if the content you're putting out looks like you haven't put the effort in or you don't know what you're doing that could probably more from a marketing perspective, like ours.
For most businesses, like you could genuinely put a million pound TV ad on tiktok, and it would perform worse than a video that one your team is shot with your phone that's tapping into a trend that the sounds going viral at the time.
The next one value-adding is it adding. Any kind of value-adding, this is a crucial one, looking at the piece of content of the copywriting and asking yourself, what is someone getting from this? I think, again, us as an agency, we've improved this a lot recently. Because before we would say, you know, even with copy, we'd sort of say, Oh, here's the thing, we did look at it. Oh, yeah.
Whereas now we're like, here's the thing we did, here's an insight into how we did that thing that you can learn from, we learn this thing, step one, step two, step three.
Thinking about the other side of the content, the people looking at it, watching it, listening to it, rather than because we want to because we're excited by the work we do. And our team, we want to just go look at this thing we're doing. Because to us, it's exciting. And it might be to some people, but like, you're saying, You need to think of the person on the other end of that. Does that excite them? Or entertain them? Or do we need a different angle to make sure it's value-adding?
That's why empathy is so important with marketing. Putting yourself in someone else's shoes.
In our team, we're just going, Oh, this is so exciting work on this project. If someone outside of it doesn't feel that, then probably not that excited, probably not know.?
The next one is thumb-stopping. So obviously, people on social are constantly scrolling. What about that piece of content is making them stop scrolling to look at it, like a video, the first three seconds are key, we focus on creating hooks in a video. So something visually engaging, or something that's communicating something key that they're going to learn from consuming that piece of intriguing, intriguing.
So I'm gonna talk about something that saved me a million pounds and made me grow a foot in
I want to watch that video.
Yeah, believe me. So do i.
The final call to action in juicing, you need to tell people what to do at the end of that piece of content because people need reminding. So if it's two, let us know what you think in the comments below. Or if it's subscribing, or if it's gone and listen to the business anchors podcast or leave us a review.
Yeah, which you should. Oh, dan we need to think of 'Reonvtv' before we go to the call to action.
Yes. Okay. We'll think of 'Reonvtv'. So yeah, just remember, say it together.
I mean, our team will just never forget it, because it's so memorable.
So that's the Knowlton content checklist. The next one is the Knowlton brand guide. Now, this is a lot more lengthy. So I'm not going to bore you all by going through this whole thing.
Oh, thank God, we had tax last week.
Excuse me. You were talking about tax and it was incredibly boring.
We can't do it two weeks in a row, can we?
But just to give you an idea, so the kinds of headlines we're going for in this in the brand guide. Our core values, notice core values, our core focus for the business, our 10-year target our brand voice. So just to give you an idea of I think it'd be good to share our values. What did Knowlton care about? Lloyd? Why don't you share some of our core values?
Okay, I've worked hard on these. Number one, do what you say. Number two, strive to be the best. Number three, do the right thing. Number four, find improvements in everything. And number five, have fun and stay weird.
I like you're reading voice.
Um, but some other interesting things in the kind of brand voice side of things, that there are questions that you can answer, I'll just read out these questions so you can create your version of this. So if your company was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
Probably exactly mine. That's was everyone aims for right.
How does your company make you feel? And how do you want it to make other people feel? Hmm, if your company was a person? What's their relationship to the consumer? What are the brand voices you admire? Describe adjectives of what your company's personality is? These are all questions you can answer to get a vibe.
If you're thinking as well like I'm just imagining, right, a new employee starting their first week within your business. And they're looking at this and I think it gives them such a good guide to doing the best that they can do.
The question is what are the brand voices denoted admire? Or do your business admire and some options there? A new employee can look at that company's communications and think okay, so this is the sort of thing we're aspiring to be such a good, good way of doing things and showing them what they need to do.
So you're saving 20% On what you'd normally pay for childcare.
So this is how we describe our personality. Knowlton would be the funny guy or gal who uses their intellect to be witty in exactly the right way in all situations. Knowlton doesn't tell childish jokes or not and subtly communicates credibility through relevant witty humour.
Oh, I like it. I think I might need to cut down the childish jokes. That's one thing. Yeah. I mean, this isn't just for new employees. I'm learning. So, yeah, yeah, I like that. I've read this before, but it's nice to be reminded.
Cool just to flip the page final page. The final few questions in this guide that you need to answer describe adjectives what your company's personality is describing adjectives what your company's personality is not.
Well were certainly not rude. dismissive. boastful is unethical..
I mean, what are we, Lloyd?
I'd say with fun, intelligent, ethical and creative.
Good reading, honestly.
I think that that's, that's good as well, having like three or four of that, rather than do this massive list. That gives you a good idea of who we are and who we're not. Like the whole, like just saying we're not boastful.
I think if you had to put a social media post out about something that we'd achieved to be like, Okay, actually, we were not boastful. So we don't want to be like, Look at what we're doing. We're so good. But we do want to be fun and creatively do this. Yeah, good, good work.
And then this, this finishes off. This part of the brand guide finishes off with just some do's and don'ts. And I think this is keeping it simple for especially new team members. So let me just share some of these with you.
So Knowlton do's, show fun and witty personality in the copyright whilst also demonstrating we're not just funny. We're also highly clued up when it comes to marketing. I think this is something when it comes to our personality is fun, and that kind of thing. We don't just want to come across as stupid like just cheap jokes.
Yeah, we genuinely understand that by being more fun and entertaining you guys are gonna listen and watch for longer so that we can get the key messages that we want to get across. Yeah, like Nelson's the best marketing company you could ever work with us that kind of thing.
I don't think they noticed.
The next one, use relevant pop culture references and slang where possible, without trying to sound like a dad trying to be cool.
Oh, that's tough for me.
That's why you probably stay away from this kind of area Lloyd because you are the dad that is trying to be cool.
Yeah. Okay. But then I don't know, some of the other team, my BFFs in the office probably do well with it.
Another do be kind and complimentary. Always.
And that's a really good point, Dan. Well done..
Thank you, Lloyd. You're brilliant. And the final one, writing away that oozes intelligence and adds value. Ask yourself, what is someone gaining from reading or watching this? Who's his intelligence?
Someone's remembering their creative writing classes in primary school..
Just to end with the big don'ts. Don't be rude. Don't say anything that would show a lack of knowledge of marketing. And don't argue.
That's so simple. Don't argue, with someone online saying you don't know what you're doing in marketing. And us going we do because of this. Yeah, that makes sound stupid. Also, someone on a shoot going, do you know what we should do? We should probably just bury these plastic bottles, rather than argue with them.
Yeah, and say that you that is a rubbish thing. So that's not we can just say, Oh, actually, we'd rather recycle. We prefer to recycle or not even use them. But thank you for your input.
That's exactly how you'd react. And the final part of this the not the kind of brand checklist. So this is the key. The key message, we want to get to the outside world. So with everything we do, we want to be communicating at least one of these things. So shall I give you an example of some of them? Okay. Let's take a look at a couple.
This is a really, this is the really big one. Knowlton is focused on having a positive impact on everyone, our clients, their customers, our employees, the world, our local community. So with everything we do, we want to be thinking, are we communicating that we were having a positive impact because it currently you're developing a positive impact plan, which is a real, tangible action plan to implement that.
So that's one thing. Another one, Knowlton is trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world. But the biggest and most well-known brands in the world. We've worked with the likes of wolfy for Nestle, etc.
I think we spoke about milking them top 10% previously, but this is a big part of how we attract the biggest brands in the world to work with. By showing our best work with other household name brands.
And when you look at this, it's so obvious like why you would be why you'd have a list like this to make sure we're communicating the right things like, of course, if we're communicating that we work with some of the biggest and well-known brands in the world. That's, of course, we want to be doing that all the time.
If we're communicating, we're, we have about our positive impact plan and how we want to have a positive impact on everyone in the world. Why wouldn't you want to communicate that? I think without a guide like this, there are so many options of what you could write what you could say, what you could communicate this, this is a real focus on making sure the business gets a real benefit from how we're communicating with the outside world.
Yeah. And that's it. That's the end of the guide. Hopefully, you found this more interesting, than Lloyd's episode on tax last week
Hopefully, because there are probably only about three people listening to that one.
But yeah, no, I highly recommend everyone who works with anyone or has team members to create some kind of communications guide so that you will learn how you can even if it's a simpler version of that if it's simplified, or you just start with one of these sections, I think, such a good thing.
And from my point of view, wanting to grow a business. If you put in the time, now, it's going to save you time, when you have 10 times the amount of people you do now or even you just have one extra employee. One final thing, and because of listening, I know there are a lot of you, but hardly any of you are subscribed to the business anchors YouTube channel.
Oh, that's where we share the best clips from these episodes. So you can get a flavour of an episode before you listen to decide if it's something that you want to listen to. So please type in business anchors podcast to YouTube, and subscribe, and then you'll never miss out.
And if you do it on, you'll be able to see a clip with me with my beard now. And then you can let me know if you want to join me in April. Okay, yeah. What an incentive.
They're all gonna be running.
To see me trying to grow a beard.
I don't think you get the whole, like marketing and convincing people to do something big enough.
I've done some of the don'ts in the communication.
I'll tell you what, Lloyd, after this episode, if you give us a good reading through, yeah. And then try and stick to it. We might be able to get subscribers to our YouTube channel.
Thank you. You're always really kind and you never argue and you communicate intelligently. Thank you. Okay, thanks for listening guys. And please let me know if you're planning to join by Barch or Bapril..
See you next week.
Hopefully this has been useful and helped you create a Marketing Communications Guide/ Marketing Plan Template. If you have any more questions or want to know how Knowlton can support you Start A Conversation.