Branding is about more than killer collateral.

Sure, pithy tag lines and eye-catching color schemes won’t hurt your sales sheets, but consumers expect more.

They want a story, and a promise. They’re paying attention not just to what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it.

Is your content marketing keeping up?

Building a bond

The goal of brand development is to create a connection with consumers. Through branding, you can increase awareness of your products and services, and, hopefully, craft a bond that turns one-time buyers into long-term patrons.

Consumers may not be able to invite your business over for coffee, but data shows they form connections to brands just like they do people. In fact, 60 percent of global consumers with internet access reported they would rather buy new products from a familiar brand than from a new one. What’s more, successful branding turns buyers into walking billboards, as brands that inspire emotional intensity in consumers receive three times as much word-of-mouth promotion as others.

Brand loyalty translates to revenue. The question is how to turn purchase decisions into devotion.

The answer, dear reader, is consistent content marketing.

Content is king for brand development

A majority of consumers (78 percent) associate custom content with trustworthiness. However, consistency is key. It’s reported that businesses featuring consistent branding are worth up to 20 percent more than those without. Furthermore, the idea of consistency is important across mediums, not just messaging. Ninety percent of consumers said they expect their brand experience to be consistent across all platforms and devices.

“Branding is an investment that gives returns over a long period of time,” said Ken Boostrom, Design Director at Brafton. “If you want a short-term revenue boost, it’s called gambling, not branding. A consistent message over a consistent time period creates the brand in the consumer’s mind.”

This means utilizing a recognizable brand voice for every piece of content you produce. From blog posts and white papers to emails and social media updates, consumers should be able to pick your content out of the crowd. No matter where someone is in the sales funnel, they should feel familiarity with your brand.

A consistent message over a consistent time period creates the brand in the consumer’s mind.

Of course, accomplishing this is easier said than done if your brand is an unknown quantity. Fortunately, content marketing offers the chance to build your brand one well-crafted piece of content at a time.

Twenty percent of internet users’ time is spent perusing content, with 68 percent of people reading about brands they’re interested in. By adopting strategic search engine optimization as part of your content marketing strategy, you can attract users online and differentiate your brand from competitors.

Measuring success

So much of brand development can feel abstract – the pursuit of feelings instead of facts and figures. However, content marketing provides the opportunity to measure branding success through hard data.

Branding is an investment that gives returns over a long period of time.

Metrics such as search volume, website traffic, external links, social shares and more help you indicate who is engaging with your brand and how. Understanding these metrics opens the door to refinement and, ultimately, maximized return on investment.

Check out our most recent eBook to learn how brand development boosts bottom lines, as well as the best ways to measure branding effectiveness.

The modern business world is full of choppy waters and rogue waves. It’s time to decide if your brand will sink or swim.

Eric Wendt is a writer and editor at Brafton. He discovered his love of words after realizing he was terrible at math. If he's not updating his Tumblr with poetry he's too embarrassed to share, there's a good chance he's out in search of the perfect pale ale.