Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Winning Brand Content Strategy Like The Iconic Brands (Coke, Dove, Red Bull And More) Fusion Digital and Melissa Day (Peer Reviewer) April 23, 2023

Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Winning Brand Content Strategy Like The Iconic Brands (Coke, Dove, Red Bull And More)

coke brand content strategy title card and featured image

Want to make some waves with your brand? You need a winning brand content strategy. 

This is NOT the same as publishing ‘great content’.

You might have a strong content production machine, but if it’s not connected to your brand purpose, vision, values, positioning and messaging pillars, it will fall short of making the impact it could have and hold back the long term growth potential of your business, brand and audience.

Publishing great content can help you build a strong business… but executing a winning brand content strategy is what will enable you to remain true to your core, consistent with your message, attract your tribe and make your brand ICONIC.

The winning formula Fuses brand strategy, content strategy, customer journey and SEO.

Your brand strategy informs your content strategy and your content strategy should be Fused with SEO and the customer journey.

Through the Fusion of these 4 elements, this in-depth guide is designed to give you everything you need to craft a winning brand content strategy.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

Let’s dive in! 


Chapter 1:

Understanding brand content strategy: The basics and beyond

What does ‘tell a brand story’ even mean?

A brand content strategy is a master plan for creating content (telling your brand story) that embodies and communicates your brand’s purpose, vision, values, voice or personality and messaging pillars or promises.

It’s designed to build long-lasting connections with your audience, not just promote products or services.

Every post you find on this topic tells you to just “tell your brand story”.

As if it’s that simple. It’s not enough. We need to go deep to really grasp what this means so you can join the dots – Fuse – the elements together in order to execute effectively.

It’s important to note that ‘story’ doesn’t mean one story, pure fiction or pure facts. It means lots of short stories that are part of a narrative (long term – even never ending – story).

These can include:

  • Stories you tell about yourself as a company/brand
  • Stories about your audience, customers and partnerships
  • Stories about how you make and deliver your products and services
  • Stories about your audience’s needs and how to solve for them
  • Stories about why people should care (or not) about your brand, products, services or the things your brand cares about

These individual stories (that are part of the long term narrative) are just content.

They can be about anything from an article in Forbes about how Dove helps women feel better about themselves through body positivity campaigns (which were created using research from Dove labs – the set up of Dove labs is another story that supports the purpose and is part of the long term narrative), all the way down through tweets from the social media team sharing quotes from famous women talking about topics that align with the brand core and message pillars.

Storytelling is something different.

This is a technique to make content (stories) more engaging, to create tension, connection, emotion and to help the audience see themselves and/or their aspirational identity in the story for increased resonance and relevance.

Not every story (content) you create, needs to have a storytelling framework applied to it… but if it fits then it probably should.

We’ll cover storytelling a little later.

Before getting into brand content strategy, we should align on what a brand actually is.

It’s the collection of ideas, feelings, beliefs and associations that people have about your company, your products and services.

They may also have beliefs and feelings about the category you are in and/or themselves that you want to take into account.

Your job as a marketer is to connect and empathise with your audience and create, nurture/develop or influence a change in these feelings, beliefs and associations in line with the purpose, positioning and messaging pillars of your brand.

You control the story your brand tells about itself and through this, you are trying to influence the story your audience tells about your brand.

If done well, you you build a deeper connection and trust with your target audience, create awareness and secure share of mind, so that when the time comes, you also secure share of wallet and they will choose you over competitors.

You control the story your brand tells about itself and through this, you are trying to influence the story your audience tells about your brand.

It’s the collection of ideas, feelings, beliefs and associations that people have about your company, your products and services.

They may also have beliefs and feelings about the category you are in and/or themselves that you want to take into account.

Your job as a marketer is to connect and empathise with your audience and create, nurture/develop or influence a change in these feelings, beliefs and associations in line with the purpose, positioning and messaging pillars of your brand.

You control the story your brand tells about itself and through this, you are trying to influence the story your audience tells about your brand.

If done well, you you build a deeper connection and trust with your target audience, create awareness and secure share of mind, so that when the time comes, you also secure share of wallet and they will choose you over competitors.

Quick note: You’ll see various uses of the words vision, mission, purpose when learning about brand related stuff. For the purposes of this guide, we will apply them as:

  • Purpose = Your ‘Why’
  • Vision = The ‘What’ you want to accomplish as a result of the purpose.
    • Your long term, big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG) – the quantifiable difference you want to make in the world
  • Mission = The ‘How’ you plan on achieving the vision
  • Messaging Pillars = Sometimes referred to as brand promises or brand themes.
    • We might use these terms interchangeably throughout 

You want your brand to serve as a way for customers to better understand themselves and express their identity through it.

People gravitate to buying from brands that resonate with the ideal version of themselves.

This idea, known as self-congruity, helps create strong emotional connections between customers and brands that represent who they want to be.

To foster these connections, you should aim to Fuse your target audience and their needs, your brand strategy and your content strategy. 

The brand story never ends and will evolve as the world changes.

A good way of thinking about it is that the narrative is a long term story arc or the framework, and the stories your brand tells (content) are like shining a spotlight on one area of the narrative and zooming in to tell that micro story at that point in time.

Over time, you will come up with continuous ways to position the brand (and it’s products and services) against new change in the world, different things at stake, new villains, different versions of the dream outcome, aspirational identities of your audience and new stories that communicate the same messages.

You’ll also keep an eye on the customer buying journey to incorporate top, middle and bottom of funnel content while ensuring consistency with the brand core.

The challenge is to ensure your brand remains relevant and ‘novel’ and keeps pace with the changing world and society of today.

Kate Santore, Director at Coca-Cola gave a good interview a few years back and one thing she mentioned was:

“I’m challenged every day to think about how we drive relevance and reconsideration for our brands today, tomorrow, and for the next 100 years. We must balance managing today while inventing tomorrow, constantly weighing what our brands stand for against the current conversation to see how/if we can add value to the narrative.”

When required, switch up the change, stakes and/or the villain you’re brand is currently positioned against to keep succeeding and stay relevant.

Note: Changing the positioning is one reason why you see companies go through a ‘rebrand’.

Let’s rewind a bit and clarify the regurgitated ‘tell your brand story’ that you see dished out as advice everywhere.

Your brand story is the narrative of your brand – the long term, never ending story of what it stands for, what it cares about, believes and the difference it is trying to make, or the villain it is trying to slay or the big problem it is trying to solve.

You want your customers to believe certain things about you, remember how you made them feel or behave a certain way.

They may already believe certain things about you, associate certain feelings with your brand or behave a certain way that you want to change.

Here’s some example beliefs you might want to instil through your brand content marketing strategy:
  • That you make products with precision which are of the highest quality and made with sustainable materials
  • That you care about the environment
    • Example: Let’s say you run a sustainable clothing brand. Your audience is environmentally-conscious and appreciates eco-friendly practices and this aligns with your brand core. Part of your brand content strategy might focus on sharing stories of your ethical sourcing, how you support local artisans, and the long-lasting quality of your products. 
  • That you believe customer service matters
  • That you have a mission/purpose and that this mission/purpose is important in making a positive change in the world or in the lives of your target audience.
    • Also that you – the audience – can help too by joining the cause and being part of the change
  • That you are working to solve a common problem among the audience, why this matters, how you are doing it and how they can help 
    • NOTE: the ‘problem’ can be physical / external or emotional / internal or even philosophical which means trying to ‘make right’ something that is just plain and morally wrong or unjust (the villain ‘shouldn’t’ win in a movie – good should prevail over evil)
      • Pro Tip: One problem can have all 3 of these layers to it
    • Be empathetic to their struggle/problem/journey – they should see themselves in your stories and resonate – “you get me”
      • Ideal world you’d create content for all the different personas but that’s not realistic for most. Just start with your ideal customer profile or a value profile of all the things common to all your personas to get moving 
Key Takeaways:

Don’t just choose random things you want to communicate or that you want your audience to believe and associate with your brand. The above list are just examples to help get your brain ticking over when it comes to content ideas.

The things you choose need to be aligned with the core of YOUR brand. This is the difference between a brand building content strategy and just ‘great content’.

Your brand’s purpose or mission (FYI: these words are often used interchangeably and other times mean two different things such as the why you do it – purpose – and how you do it – mission), positioning and messaging pillars or promises (again, these are often used interchangeably).

Also note that we’re focusing right now on the higher level brand storytelling side of things (as it’s this area that we feel needs a lot more clarification).

You will still be creating the more common educational style content as part of your wider content strategy (but aligned to your brand core). 

This is because you will need to position the brand as an expert authority in the space that can help the audience achieve their dream outcome… but we’ll get to that and tie everything together a bit later.

Here’s a couple examples of brand authority content as part of the wider brand content strategy (assuming it aligns with your brand core):

  • Maybe you have a food brand that specialises in healthy eating. Part of the brand content strategy might focus on sharing nutritious recipes, tips for healthy meal planning, and educational content about the benefits of healthy eating. This approach can help establish the brand as an authority in the healthy eating space and create a strong connection with the audience who values healthy living.
  • Maybe you have a tech company that specialises in cloud-based solutions for small businesses. The brand’s audience is likely small business owners who are tech-savvy but don’t have a lot of resources. The brand content strategy might focus on creating educational content that simplifies complex technology concepts and offers tips and tricks for streamlining business operations.

Key components of a brand content strategy include brand stories, core messaging, educational content to position the brand as an authority and a mix of campaigns, evergreen / always on content, and timely / trend / pop-culture / event stories.

We’ll explain all of those in more detail in this guide.

The role of your products and services in your brand content strategy (the superpowers that your audience can use to defeat the villain, overcome obstacles and achieve their dream outcome)

We’ve talked a lot about the brand itself, but your products and services – your brand’s superpowers that help it and your audience to adapt to change, slay the villain, avoid what’s at stake and achieve the dream outcome – also have a role in your brand story and content communications.

You see people talk all the time about brand archetypes to help define the personality and voice of your brand, but less talked about is the archetypes of your products and services as characters in your brand content strategy.  

Kate Santore, Director at Coca-Cola, described storytelling:

“At Coca-Cola, we want to create Coca-Cola stories and not stories by Coca-Cola. That holds true when our product is a character in the story with a credible role to play.

There are four typical archetypes that we look to: object of desire, embodiment of an attitude, social connector, and functional offering or benefit.”

“Archetype” just means the role that Coke products take in the story / content piece.

She drops some other decent insights, you can see the full interview here.

Steps to take in the process of creating a rockin’ brand content strategy

Here’s the steps we’ll be working through to design a brand content strategy.

If you’re familiar with steps 1-3, and you already have these things in place, then skip ahead. For everyone else, make sure you have the brand core in place before proceeding.

✅ You carry out audience, market and competitor research to understand their physical and emotional pains and needs, desires and dream outcome, jobs to be done, existing beliefs, what they currently use to solve the problem (even if nothing), how competitors are positioned in market and how they solve the problem and more. 

✅ You create the brand core, which is the purpose, vision, mission, tagline and values (The purpose and values rarely change, if ever)

✅ You create the brand positioning which is the brand story / strategic narrative and your position in the market (This can change over time as the world changes)

✅ You create the brand messaging pillars which are the main themes you want people to associate with your brand and the promises a person can expect if they engage your brand. (This can change over time as your brand, positioning and the world evolves)

✅ You create a brand content strategy that communicates the brand narrative, brand core and messaging pillars over time, across different stages of the customer journey, through different channels, advertising campaigns, PR, emails, social media posts, blog content, videos – anything! (don’t worry we’ll get into this shortly)

✅ Measure and optimise the performance of your content strategy using the customer buying journey and the appropriate KPIs at each stage.

✅ Remember to apply your brand strategy internally as well as externally. How each employee should behave when interacting with customers and colleagues, how you reward and review performance, how you hire and onboard, how they go about their work, the regular rituals within the company – everything.

Chapter 2:

Building Your Brand’s Core:
Purpose, Tagline, Positioning and Messaging Pillars

Your brand’s core is like the secret sauce of your content strategy. It’s made up of your purpose (your why), mission, vision, values, tagline, positioning and messaging pillars.

Purpose: Your brand’s ‘Why’ – the reason it exists.

Competition is intensifying and today’s customers are seeking authenticity and connection in the brands they do business with. It’s getting harder to stand out and a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy just won’t cut it anymore.

A strong, purpose driven and relevant brand is how you stand out from the crowd and cut through the noise.

Just look at this data from Accenture:

The importance of having a strong brand purpose
Source: Accenture: From Me to We, the Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand

A lot of businesses still focus on what they do and how they do it instead of why they do what they do.

Remember: You are in the business of living your purpose. Your purpose will inform everything else and guide the content strategy.

Here’s the famous Simon Sinek Ted Talk explaining the Golden Circle and finding your why to help you understand the concept in case you are not familiar with it:

Here’s a Miro template canvas to help you come up with your brand purpose:

A quick exercise to fire up your creativity and help find your brand purpose.

Author note: I came across this exercise years ago and can’t for the life of me remember where from. It’s just part of my knowledge stack now.

Pro Tip: If you are struggling or want to dig deeper on any question, just ask yourself ‘why?” 5 times for every answer you give.


Q. Why did you start the business?

A. Because I wanted freedom

Q – Why 2: Why did you want freedom?

(stop if you get to the level of ‘save the world’ and go a level or two up)

Read more about the 5 why technique here.

1. To help identify your brand purpose, first answer these questions:
  • Why did you start the business?
  • What were your first thoughts and feelings when you thought of the idea for the business? What were you excited about doing?
  • How did you want to make a difference for people? In the world?
  • What emotions do you want someone to feel when they use your products and services?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What currently inspires you?
  • What are you most happy doing?
  • Why do you continue spending your life in this business?
  • What legacy do you want to leave and how do you want people to remember you?
2. Now go back over your answers and circle the words that mean something to you and jump out.

Need more inspo?

  • Ask your team what attracted them to your brand and industry and where they find inspiration at work
  • Ask your clients or customers why they chose your brand and what about your brand resonates with them
3. Next choose some power words and then refine your list to about 2-5.

Choose one power word at a time and use it at the start of the purpose statement. ‘Try it on’ with a combination of your other circled words from your answers.

Do NOT use anything relating to your products and services, ‘best’ etc, pricing or service.

This is the same process we used to come up with our purpose of Helping People Win.

The exercise notes from ideating the Fusion Digital brand purpose

Note: We are coming up with your core purpose here. Not necessarily your purpose statement, which is the articulation of your core purpose. For now, here’s some brand purpose inspo and further reading about brand purpose here.

Tagline: the catchy phrase that sums up your brand and it’s ‘big idea’ in just a few words

Nike – Just Do It, McDonalds – I’m Loving It… you get what it is.

When you have your purpose, try come up with a catchy phrase to sum it up.

Here’s some further reading from HubSpot to help come up with a catchy brand tagline.

For ourselves, here’s the breakdown:

  • The Fusion purpose is:
    • Helping People Win
  • Our purpose statement is:
    • Everything we do is about helping people win, develop the belief that they can win, increase their knowledge and skills to enable them to win and to provide them with the support they need to win.
  • Our tagline is:
    • Winners Work Together. Winners Work With Fusion.

Vision & Mission: The ‘what’ you want to accomplish as a result of the purpose and ‘how’ you plan to do it

The vision (what) is the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) – taken from the famous Scaling Up business operating system.

Example – Fusion’s BHAG / Vision is help people achieve 10,000 wins.

The mission is how you are going to live the purpose and achieve the vision.

For Fusion, our mission (how) is:

  • We hire people who want to win and value winning
  • We tell stories about how people are achieving wins and stories that help you to win
  • We invest in people and training to help them win
  • We work, collaborate and align with brands and people who want to win and understand the value of playing to win
  • We offer services that help brands and people win

Positioning: The way you stand out in the market and a reason to choose you over competitors.

Brand positioning is a big topic but we need to cover it off, at least to some degree, as it’s important and relates to the brand content strategy.

Due to the level of competition today, trying to compete on features and benefits or a race to the bottom price comparison is a losing battle.

This has given rise to brand positioning as a means to making your brand stand out and to give people a reason to choose you over competitors.

You are competing [positioning] against the status quo (the way things currently are) rather than the competition (because people are doing something now, even if that something is nothing at all).

Your positioning is aimed at moving them to change vs convincing them you are the best with the best products and services (you just happen to have products and services to facilitate this change and help them achieve their dream outcome).

So… brainstorm what you are positioning against and use the below points to help you ideate:

  • The current status quo (show them there’s a better way)
  • A change that has happened in the world / their world which is going to render what they are currently doing as ineffective or less effective… and that your brand can help them solve
  • A villain – Something that causes them pain or prevents them from achieving the dream outcome
    • Red Bull positioned against not having the energy to do what you want, when you want
    • Harley Davidson positioned against living a mundane, stressful life governed by rules that you want to break free from to be who you are

What is something your target market all currently struggle with (can be internal, external, or philosophical), that you can position against and show them a better way?

The Positioning Statement

Positioning statements are the articulation of your position in the market to communicate what you do, who you do it for and how you do it differently. 

They’re all about encapsulating what makes you unique and why customers should choose you vs your competitors. 

Which problem are we solving and for whom?

Positioning statements are usually used internally whereas the value proposition, purpose statement (sometimes referred to as mission statement) and tagline are usually what’s communicated to the world.

Some example positioning statement templates are:

  • For [target audience – Who], [brand/product name] is the [unique approach – How] that provides [dream outcome – What] because [reason to believe]
  • We provide this service, value or outcome (What) … for this type of market (Who) … using this kind of approach (How)
  • [Our offering] is the only [category] that provides [dream outcome]

  • [Our brand] is a [description] that offers [what] to [target audience] looking for [need/desire]. We do this by [how / unique methodology] and because we believe [why]

A relevant, differentiated positioning lies at the crossroads of three questions: “What do we do?” “Who do we do it for?” and “How do we do it?”

Value Proposition: The clear communication of value and benefits that you offer to customers

Your value proposition is related to your positioning statement but it’s not the same thing.

The positioning statement is about your objective as a brand, whereas the value proposition is what you offer the customer and why they should choose you.

It’s a CLEAR articulation of the main benefit and value that your brand delivers.

It’s all about a promise of transformation (of where they are to where they’ll be after engaging your brand, products and services).

Transformation is the essence of all marketing and what the customer is really buying.

Your value proposition is your promise or pledge to deliver this transformation using a headline hook, perhaps with some supporting bullet points and clear creative where required.

It doesn’t even need to be true, as long as it feels or is aspirationally true – Example: Slack might say something like: “Email is dead. We’re replacing it.” 

Email isn’t dead and everyone knows it isn’t and they won’t stop using it. But aspirationally it works even though it isn’t technically true.

It’s the promise of value that will be delivered – emotionally, physically or both – and the main reason the person should buy.

Further reading to help you craft this:

Messaging Pillars: The main themes that represent the core ideas you want people to associate with your brand

Messaging is the communication of what you promise to deliver to the customer if they engage your brand, how you deliver on the promise and why it matters.

Messaging pillars are the main themes that represent the core ideas you want people to associate with your brand.

They’re the building blocks for all your communications.

Messaging pillars must be connected to your brand core and goals as well as the goals and pain points of your audience.

Messaging pillars themselves are NOT stories or topic pillars.

They are your brand’s point of view that gets APPLIED to any story or topic pillar and any piece of content you create.

They define the angle for the stories you tell about who you are, what you believe in / care about, why you’re different, what you do, how you do it and what your customers can expect when they engage and buy from you.

Whenever you create content, think of a messaging pillar as your unique point of view on an otherwise familiar subject. Talk about the topic in the context of the messaging pillar(s).

This way, whenever someone consumes your content, there’s a consistent point of view from your brand, aligned to one or more of your messaging pillars.

Strong and clear messaging pillars keep communications consistent across channels, content and any and all touchpoints with your brand, while remaining connected to the overarching narrative.

Messaging is NOT copy. Copywriters and content creators will use the messaging pillars as a reference for creating the stories and copy that bring them to life and communicate the messaging to the audience.

A good way to explain messaging pillars is the analogy of cooking a delicious meal.

  1. Gather your ingredients (USPs): Before you start cooking, you need to choose the dining location, make sure it’s all set up ready and gather all your ingredients. In the case of messaging pillars, these ingredients are your brand’s unique selling points (USPs). Think about what sets your brand apart, like the quality of your products, the way they are sourced, made or delivered, your excellent customer service, what you believe in and care about such as your commitment to sustainability. List all these out.

  2. Know your diners (target audience): To make a meal that your diners will enjoy, you need to know what their dream meals consist of, their preferred dining experience, the expected dining experience based on that of other places – the status quo, their preferences, existing beliefs, dietary restrictions, what flavours they love and what they care most about. Thinking in terms of “I don’t…” | “I need…” | “I want…” is a good idea prompt and then thinking about their dream outcome. Describe in detail their dream dining experience. Everything from the food, to the setting, the service, the decor, the other diners, the wine… everything. Similarly, understanding your target audience helps you tailor your messaging to align with their pain points, beliefs, jobs to be done, desires, aspirations and preferences. List all these out.

  3. Create your recipes (key messages): Once you have your ingredients and know your diners wants, needs, pain points, limiting beliefs and dream outcome, you can create a dining space and recipes that combine these elements in a way that appeals to them. How would you describe each recipe to make it sound appealing to the diners, addressing their pains and desires and communicating the value, knowing what you know about the things they care about? Each description should communicate the most important aspects of the dish or experience and address the needs, desires, beliefs and pain points of your diners. In the same way, develop key messages that communicate your brand’s USPs in a way that appeals to your target audience.

  4. Group all your recipes into courses (messaging pillars): When planning a dining experience, you usually group your recipes into courses, like appetisers, main courses, and desserts, plus the things relating to the restaurant setting and experience itself. For messaging pillars, go over the lists you created in the previous steps and group everything – audience needs list, ingredient list and descriptions of dishes and experiences that address these things – into the main themes. Then condense it down into only the most important 3 themes that are an expression, representation or expansion of the overarching purpose/vision/positioning and that will be the core ideas you want people to associate with your brand (often 1 of these is the most important). These themes will guide the brand communications within them, just like the courses guide the type of dishes within each course. 

  5. Taste and adjust (refine messages): As you cook, you taste and adjust the seasoning to ensure each dish is delicious and well-balanced and more aligned to the tastes of your guests. Similarly, refine your messaging pillars to ensure the messages are clear, focused, and aligned with your brand core.

  6. Serve consistently (apply messaging pillars): When serving your meal, you want each dish to be presented consistently, with the same level of quality and flavour. Apply your messaging pillars consistently across all your brand communications to create a cohesive and memorable brand identity.

  7. Gather feedback (monitor and adjust): After the meal, you might ask your guests for feedback to improve your recipes for next time. In the same way, gather feedback regularly from your audience and stakeholders to refine your messaging pillars as needed.

Hopefully by thinking of messaging pillars in this way, you can better understand the process of gathering your brand’s USPs, understanding your target audience, and creating key messages that form the foundation of your brand content strategy.

To pull all this together using the example of the seafood restaurant:
  • Mission / Vision: Creating memorable experiences for all through delicious, sustainably sourced seafood
  • Positioning: We serve up mouth watering, sustainably sourced yet affordable seafood dishes in every major city in Australia, helping people build stronger connections through a unique and memorable dining experience.
A breakdown of the messaging pillars and their talking points
Pillar 1: Sustainable Delights:

This theme emphasises your commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing. Showcase your efforts to serve eco-friendly seafood, why this matters / you should care, any other efforts towards supporting sustainability, working with trusted suppliers and adhering to environmentally conscious practices. This pillar will resonate with customers who value sustainable choices. Talking points could be:

      • Eco-friendly practices: Discuss the various eco-friendly practices implemented at your restaurant, such as reducing plastic waste, using energy-efficient appliances, and minimising food waste, demonstrating your commitment to sustainability beyond seafood sourcing. Share how each one of us can easily adopt eco-friendly practices in our lives and why it matters
      • Marine conservation: Share information about any partnerships or collaborations with marine conservation organisations, demonstrating your restaurant’s active role in protecting the marine environment and promoting sustainable seafood. Also why it matters and what we can all do to help. 
      • Supporting local communities: Share how your restaurant works with local fishermen and aquaculture farms, promoting sustainable practices and contributing to the economic well-being of the communities involved. Also your efforts to educate and inform the local communities about sustainabilit
Pillar 2: Culinary Excellence:

This theme showcases your expertise in crafting mouth-watering seafood dishes, celebrating the diverse flavours of dishes made from sustainable Australian ingredients. Share stories about your talented chefs, their passion for seafood, the creative, innovative dishes they prepare using locally sourced ingredients and recipes to try at home. Talking points could be:

      • Fusion of flavours: Discuss how your chefs blend traditional and modern culinary techniques to create innovative dishes, celebrating the diverse flavors of Australian seafood and taking diners on a gastronomic journey.
      • Seafood preparation secrets: Share tips and tricks from your chefs on how to prepare and cook seafood, offering valuable insights that can elevate your customers’ own culinary skills and appreciation of seafood.
      • Quality ingredients: Discuss the unique, ethically sourced ingredients featured in your dishes, sharing the stories behind them and highlighting how they contribute to the exceptional flavours and quality of your menu.

Pillar 3: Experiential Dining:

This theme emphasises the memorable and immersive dining experiences your seafood restaurant offers, fostering social connections and creating lasting memories for your guests. Highlight unique aspects of your restaurant, such as themed nights, live music, or interactive cooking demonstrations, and showcase the inviting atmosphere, communal dining options, and special events that bring people together and make dining at your establishment much more than just a meal. Talking points could be:

      • Connection-focused design: Discuss the architectural and interior design elements of your restaurants that facilitate social interactions and foster a sense of community, encouraging guests to connect with one another and create lasting memories.
      • Shared Moments: Emphasise the role of your restaurants as a hub for friends, family, colleagues, people new and old to come together, underlining the idea that dining at your establishment offers a chance to forge deeper connections and create memorable moments.
      • Immersive experiences: Highlights the captivating and sensory-rich environment of your seafood restaurant, which transports guests on an oceanic journey as they savor your delectable dishes. Share insights about your nautical-themed, immersive design, captivating art installations, subtle soundscapes, use of technology, interactive elements such as digital menus and events like chef’s table or seafood tastings, creating a truly immersive dining experience that leaves lasting memories for your guests.

The messaging pillars are what you want people to associate with your brand.

They also act as your promises to your audience that they will get these things when they become a customer of your brand.

For each one, it’s good to also think about:

    1. The specific value and benefits to the customer it provides
    2. How you deliver on the promise/pillar
    3. KPIs to measure the effectiveness of how well you deliver on each promise
    4. Proof that you deliver on the promise
    5. [optional] A guarantee that you pledge if you break your promise

Competitors might share 1, maybe 2 of your pillars/promises, but the combination of all 3 as well as the uniqueness in how you deliver them, and in conjunction with your brand core is what helps to really make your brand, it’s content and communications strategy stand out in the marketplace.

Do this well and you elevate from the bloodbath of comparing and competing on features, benefits and price to an entirely different measure of value and choice for the customer… the obvious choice!

Here’s some more top level examples for a bit more inspo

  • Imagine your brand is all about empowering women to chase their dreams and break down barriers. Your messaging pillars could be about strength, determination, and resilience. You can create content like stories of amazing women overcoming challenges or advice for reaching your goals despite obstacles.
  • Or if your brand is all about eco-friendly living and sustainable practices, your messaging pillars could focus on environmental responsibility and social consciousness. You can create content like tips for shrinking your carbon footprint or spotlighting businesses that prioritise sustainability.
  • What if your brand is focused on high-quality, top-notch, handmade goods that are built to last? Your messaging pillars might centre around craftsmanship, durability, and attention to detail. You can create content like behind-the-scenes peeks at your production process or customer testimonials praising the quality and longevity of your products.
  • Let’s say your brand is all about adventure and exploration, and you offer outdoor gear and equipment for those seeking a thrill. Your messaging pillars could focus on adrenaline, excitement, and taking risks. You can create content like showcasing epic photos and videos of extreme sports or providing tips for planning your next adventure.
  • Alternatively, your brand might be all about luxury and indulgence, offering premium products and services to a discerning clientele. Your messaging pillars could centre around exclusivity, sophistication, and opulence. You can create content around living a luxurious lifestyle or highlighting the high-end features and benefits of your products.

In each of these examples, a strong brand core shapes the messaging pillars and guides the creation of content that resonates with the target audience and communicates the brand’s values and personality.

Summary of steps to rock your brand’s tagline, positioning, and messaging pillars:

✅ Start with your brand’s purpose, mission, vision, and values: Let these be your muse for your tagline and positoning, which will cascade down to your messaging pillars. For instance, if your company is all about sustainability, your tagline could be something catchy like “Eco-Friendly Living, Made Simple.”

✅ Do your homework on your audience and competitors: Figure out what makes you unique and how to stand out. Check out your competitors’ branding and content strategies, spot gaps or opportunities to set yourself apart. Also, think about your target audience’s needs and preferences, and tailor your messaging to strike a chord with them.

✅ Let the ideas flow: Whip up a bunch of ideas for your tagline, positioning, and messaging pillars, then polish them up until they feel spot-on. Don’t be scared to get creative and try different angles. Start with a long list of potential taglines and narrow it down to the one that truly captures your brand’s essence.

✅ Test your ideas on real people: Share your brand positioning and messaging concepts with trusted friends, a focus group, or even your existing audience, and get their thoughts to make sure everything clicks. Conduct surveys, run A/B tests, hold focus groups, or use social media polls to collect feedback. This step is super important because it ensures your brand core vibes with the people you want to reach.

✅ Make your brand core shine in all content: After you’ve nailed down your brand core, tagline, positioning, and messaging pillars, it’s time to weave them into every piece of content you create. Consistently use your purpose and core messaging in your blog posts, social media updates, and marketing materials to reinforce your brand identity and make it unforgettable for your audience.

✅ Keep an eye on things and adapt: As your business grows and evolves, it’s crucial to check in on your brand core from time to time. Watch for changes in your audience and the market, and tweak your tagline, positioning, and messaging pillars as needed to stay fresh and connect with your audience.

By taking the time to develop a killer brand core, you lay the groundwork for a powerful and effective content strategy that helps your brand stand out, resonate with your audience, and ultimately drive results.

Chapter 3:

Mastering Brand Storytelling:
Crafting and Sharing Your Ongoing Narrative

Why is storytelling so important?

Stories have this amazing ability to grab our attention and make us emotionally invested. If you can blend storytelling into your brand content, you’ll hook your audience and stay in their mind longer.

People remember how you made them FEEL. Brand storytelling is a tool to achieve this.

When you connect on that deeper level, you create loyal, raving fans that can’t wait to tell others about you — boosting your reach and impact.

There are a set of frameworks to help you tell better stories, known as story arcs. We’ll list some at the end of this chapter using our seafood restaurant example from earlier.

Important: Storytelling is a technique that can be applied to content (stories), but not every piece of content you produce might lend itself to a storytelling framework (if one can be applied though, you defo should). Not every piece of content needs to be in the style of ‘story’ and your overarching narrative story can change over time as the world changes. It’s not set in stone or a set and forget job.

Storytelling doesn’t need to be complex either. It can be as simple as:

  • Before / After (transformation)
  • Problem, agitation, solution
  • Overcoming adversity
Start with your brand narrative.

The brand narrative is the overarching, long term, never ending story.

It’s not necessarily a story you will just tell as a single piece of content.

It’s purpose is more as the thing that weaves and connects everything else together – purpose, vision, values,  tagline, messaging pillars, superpowers (products and services).

It also helps keep everyone, and everything aligned.

All other brand stories (that you will create and tell on an ongoing basis through your content strategy) are just like shining a microscope or spotlight on one tiny area of a moment in time of your brand’s life.

You can construct a convincing brand narrative using any framework, but one of the most well known frameworks is Storybrand by Donald Miller.

Storybrand uses a framework for helping to craft your brand narrative based on the Hero’s Journey story framework. You can access it for free online here.

Here’s some more examples of frameworks to use to help you craft your brand narrative.

Other stories your brand can tell as part of the content strategy:
  • Your company’s origin story: The story of how the brand came to be, such as the founding story of Apple or the story of how the founders of Ben & Jerry’s started making ice cream in a renovated gas station.
    • Have the master story, then splinter it into tons of pieces for lots of micro story ideas – like zooming in on one particular part of the story
    • Also come up with new ways of telling the same story
  • Your customer’s stories: Stories from real customers who have had a positive experience with the brand, such as the stories of people who have lost weight and improved their health with Weight Watchers.
    • Always be collecting customer stories on an ongoing basis (that align with your brand core and messaging pillars)
  • Your company’s impact story: Stories about how the brand is making a positive impact on the world, such as the story of how Patagonia is working to protect the environment and promote sustainability.
    • This doesn’t have to be on a grand scale like Patagonia. Is your small brand doing things to support the local community in line with its core and messaging pillars?
  • Your employee’s stories: Stories about the people who work for the brand and their personal experiences, such as the stories of the chefs who create the recipes for Blue Apron’s meal kits.
    • Always be collecting employee stories, how they are helping customers, how your brand is helping them and examples of employees living the brand core and messaging pillars

Brand storytelling can take many forms, and each type of storytelling has its unique benefits.

  • Authentic storytelling is all about sharing stories that are honest, transparent, and true to your mission. Brands like Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which celebrates women’s natural beauty and challenges traditional beauty standards, is a great example of authentic storytelling. 
  • Interactive storytelling is all about creating stories that invite the audience to participate and engage with your brand. For example, Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign where customers were invited to personalise Coke bottles and share photos on social media.
  • Cultural storytelling taps into the cultural values and beliefs of your audience to create a deeper connection. For example The “Nike – Equality” campaign in 2017. The ad campaign titled “Equality,” featured a diverse group of athletes and called for equal opportunity and respect in sports, regardless of race, religion, or gender. By highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusivity, Nike tapped into the cultural values and beliefs of their audience by aligning with their values and demonstrating a commitment to social justice.
  • Personalised storytelling is all about creating a unique experience for each individual audience member. Spotify is a great example. Every year, Spotify creates personalised summaries of users’ listening habits through its “Wrapped” campaign. This feature provides users with a customised overview of their most-streamed songs, artists, and genres from the past year. The campaign also includes shareable graphics for social media, enabling users to showcase their unique musical tastes to friends and followers. By offering a tailored experience that celebrates each user’s individual preferences, Spotify successfully creates a stronger emotional connection between the brand and its audience.
  • Emotional storytelling is all about telling stories that make the audience feel something deep down inside. Brands have done this successfully with ads for years. The John Lewis annual Christmas ad in the UK is a good example. Brands often make their emotional storytelling relevant to what’s going on in the world currently and what their audience might be feeling or going through
  • Humorous storytelling makes the audience laugh and showcases the brand’s personality. A perfect example of this is the quirky ads for Old Spice. These fun and engaging stories help you build a sense of personality and make your brand even more memorable. Use humour with caution though and only if it fits your brand archetype and voice.
  • Inspirational storytelling motivates and inspires your audience through stories of your brand’s journey, the inspiration behind your products, or the impact your brand has had on the lives of your customers, others who need support, the community or the world at large. Stories of transformation.
  • Educational storytelling teaches the audience something new or helps them fulfil a need or job to be done — like the funny and informative videos from Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” series. Blendtec created a unique and entertaining educational storytelling campaign called “Will It Blend?” where they demonstrate the power and durability of Blendtec blenders by attempting to blend unusual items, such as iPhones, golf balls, and even a rake handle. These videos not only educate potential customers about the performance and capabilities of Blendtec blenders but also entertain viewers with the unexpected blending challenges.
    • A more professional example is IBM showcased the capabilities of its AI-driven technology, Watson, through an educational storytelling campaign called “Watson Ads.” The campaign aimed to teach consumers about the power of artificial intelligence and its potential applications in various industries. In these ads, Watson provided personalised product recommendations, answered questions, and offered relevant information based on users’ queries.
    • In our seafood restaurant example from earlier, we could share stories educating the audience about marine conservation, eco-practices and secrets of cooking mouth watering seafood dishes. This would position the brand as an expert authority while remaining true to the messaging pillars, positioning and brand core.
  • User-generated storytelling uses stories that are created by the audience themselves — like GoPro’s “Photo of the Day” campaign, which showcases stunning user-generated photos and videos captured with the brand’s cameras. These stories can create a sense of community and engagement around the brand and increase brand loyalty.

Use storytelling arcs to tell better stories

Storytelling or narrative arcs are the path the story takes. It’s like a framework such as the well known hero’s journey.

Character arcs are the path the character(s) in the story take.

Here’s some further reading links before we show a couple examples for our seafood restaurant from earlier:

Example application of story arcs:
  • The Hero’s Journey: This classic storytelling arc follows a protagonist as they embark on an adventure, face challenges, and ultimately triumph. In your content, you could feature your restaurant’s journey to achieve sustainability, the story of a chef’s personal growth, or a customer’s experience discovering your restaurant.
  • Rags to Riches: Tell the story of how your restaurant, a team member, or a supplier started from humble beginnings and rose to prominence. This could showcase the dedication and hard work that went into building your restaurant, developing a signature dish, growing a local seafood business or becoming a top chef.
  • Quest for Excellence: Explore the continuous pursuit of culinary perfection at your restaurant, showcasing the passion and determination of your team. Share stories about the search for the finest ingredients, the development of innovative dishes, or the efforts to create an unforgettable dining experience for your guests.
  • Overcoming Adversity: Share stories of challenges faced by your restaurant, your team members, or your suppliers, and how they overcame them to achieve success. This could include sourcing sustainable seafood, overcoming culinary limitations, or adapting to changing market conditions.
  • The Mentor and Protégé: Share the stories of experienced team members mentoring and guiding younger talent within your restaurant, fostering a culture of learning and growth. Highlight the valuable knowledge transfer, skill development, and the positive impact of these relationships on both individuals and the restaurant as a whole.

Sell feelings not facts

Your aim should be for your audience to experience a feeling with your content, rather than to think too much about it or analyse it logically.

Content that resonates the strongest, usually creates an impactful feeling (which is a main part of the value the person receives).

You should have identified the feelings you want to create during your audience research and brand core work as they will be aligned to the aspirational identity of the audience.

Each time you create a piece of content, ask yourself:

  • What effect will this will have on the audience?
  • What do I want the effect to be?

Then, do some research to see if other content creators have already achieved the same thing in your vertical and where the gaps might be or how you can join the conversation from a new perspective or angle.

This feeling or effect should be infused into all your storytelling, creative, content, touchpoints and more.

Take Rolex, for example – they’re masters at making people feel a certain way about their luxurious timepieces.

Their marketing campaigns give you the impression that wearing a Rolex means status, success, and sophistication.

When you step into one of their stores or see their ads, you instantly feel that exclusivity and luxury, which is why they can sell a high-priced watch that is a symbol of achievement and prestige.

Remember, knowing the emotional effect you want to create is crucial. Once you’ve got that down, everything else – messaging, visuals, pacing, and so on – will naturally fall into place.

Summary of steps to weave in more brand storytelling as part of your content mix

✅ Create your brand’s strategic narrative: Use a framework such as Story Brand to help craft this long term story arc.

✅ Uncover your brand’s unique stories: Dive deep into your brand’s history, purpose, vision, mission, and values to discover the story that only you can tell like the tale of your founder’s journey, the inspiration for your products, or the impact your brand has had on people’s lives.

✅ Make it personal and relatable: The best stories are those that strike a chord with the experiences and emotions of your audience. These are easy for your audience to relate to, whether it’s through the challenges your characters face, the internal or real world transformation they experience or the values they embody.

✅ Keep it authentic: Don’t force a story that doesn’t feel true to your brand. Instead, stay genuine and let your brand’s personality shine through. This authenticity will make your stories more believable and engaging.

✅ Show, don’t tell: Use vivid imagery, strong language, and compelling visuals to bring your stories to life. Help the audience visualise your story and become more emotionally invested in it. (it doesn’t have to be video though – you can tell stories through a traditional text based blog post)

✅ Weave stories into your content plan: Blend brand storytelling content into your wider content mix as another type of content that you produce. Content format or channels you choose could include blog posts, social media updates, videos, and more. This helps your audience connect with your brand on a deeper level and keeps them coming back for more.

✅ Encourage user-generated stories: Empower your customers (and your employees) to share their own experiences with your brand. This not only provides valuable social proof but also creates a sense of community around your brand.

Mastering the art of brand storytelling can help you create powerful connections with your audience through your brand content strategy.

By weaving storytelling into your brand content mix, you can make your brand more memorable, build trust and credibility, and foster a sense of loyalty.

So, keep honing your storytelling skills, and get ready to see your brand thrive!

Chapter 4:

Brand Content Variety:
Campaigns, Evergreen and Events

There are three main types of brand content that you can create to engage and capture your audience — campaign based content, evergreen / always on content, and event based content.

1. Campaigns

Brand content campaigns consist of time-bound content that focuses on promoting specific products, messages, or services. All content created as part of a brand content campaign will be aligned with and in support of the overarching message / theme and goal of the campaign.

Why create campaign-based content? There’s several key benefits, which include:
  1. Clear objectives and messaging: Campaign-based content allows brands to get really focused on specific audience segments, objectives, messages, or themes that are strategically aligned with their goals. This can help improve the overall effectiveness of their marketing efforts and keep things fresh, relevant and novel.

  2. Increased brand awareness: Well-executed content campaigns often generate buzz with the targeted audience segment, capturing the attention of both existing and potential customers. This can lead to increased brand recognition, enhanced brand perception, and improved visibility in the market.

  3. Audience engagement: Campaign-based content provides an opportunity for brands to connect with a specific audience segment on an emotional or more relatable level for greater impact, forging deeper connections and fostering loyalty. Communicating a specific message through engaging storytelling tactics and compelling narratives can resonate with the audience, making the content more memorable and shareable.

  4. Lead generation and sales: By designing content campaigns that target specific customer segments or address particular pain points, brands can attract potential customers who are interested in their products or services. This can result in increased lead generation, conversions, and ultimately, sales.

  5. Competitive advantage: A well-executed content campaign can help brands stand out from the competition by showcasing their unique selling points, demonstrating their expertise, or addressing specific market needs. This can help to differentiate the brand and position it as a leader in its industry.

The structure of a brand content campaign
How to create a brand content campaign
1. Start with the one big idea/offer/message/hook

Always start with the hook. The main thing you want to communicate, the offer or the big idea that solves for an audience need or addresses a belief or paradigm shift (change in assumptions).

It should be based on a specific objective and an audience insight.

It doesn’t have to be some huge, big budget concept either. 

In our seafood restaurant example, we might want to run a brand content campaign such as:

“Taste the Ocean”

This campaign highlights the diverse flavours and dishes of Australian seafood, showcasing regional specialties and unique ingredients to encourage more people in the target locations to explore these food options – ideally in one of your restaurants – and to share their dishes and experiences using the hashtag. Also to raise awareness of sustainable and eco-friendly practices, communicating the brand values/messaging pillars and developing association with these themes among the target audience.

Each piece of content could explore a different type of seafood or region, offering recipes, cooking tips, and stories about the local culture and history while promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices in addition to sharing user generated content from the hashtag as the campaign progresses.

This content campaign captures the essence of the brand’s positioning and messaging while focusing on the specific objectives of the content campaign.

Further Reading:

2. Decide on the main messages to communicate the big idea 

In our example, we might choose:

  • Ocean-To-Plate: This messaging pillar highlights the importance of traceability and quality in sourcing sustainable seafood. Content could showcase the journey each type of seafood takes from the ocean to your restaurant’s dishes, emphasising sustainability, freshness and care in handling. This pillar could include features on local fishermen, the catch of the day feature, and the importance of selecting high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
  • Cultural Connections: This messaging pillar emphasises the connection between regional seafood dishes and the uniqueness of different areas in Australia. Content could explore the history behind certain dishes, how the local environment and ingredients have shaped their development, and the stories of the people who continue these culinary traditions.
  • Home Dining Experience: This messaging pillar aims to inspire customers to experiment with Australian seafood in their own kitchens. Content could provide tips for selecting, preparing, and cooking different types of seafood, as well as offering easy-to-follow recipes that highlight regional flavours. This pillar could include cooking demonstrations, ingredient spotlights, and expert advice from the chefs.

These messaging pillars are aligned with the overarching brand but are tailored specifically to the Taste The Ocean content campaign and objectives.

This will help create a compelling narrative for all communications and content associated with this campaign and resonate with the target audience.

3. Plan content pillar pieces

Content campaigns usually have a main pillar piece of content per messaging pillar.

This is the hero piece of content that will be the main destination and content you want the audience to consume in order to receive the full message.

Here are example content pillar pieces for each messaging pillar in the “Taste the Ocean: A Culinary Tour of Australian Seafood” campaign:

  1. Ocean-to-Plate Journey:

    • Option A: Video feature: “A Day with the Fishermen: Tracing Our Seafood’s Ocean-to-Plate Journey”

    • Option B: Article: “The Art of Seafood Selection: How Our Chefs Choose the Freshest Catch for Your Plate”

  2. Cultural Connections:

    • Option A: Video documentary: “Culinary Traditions: How Regional Cultures Shape Australian Seafood Dishes”

    • Option B: Article: “The History of Australian Seafood: A Deep Dive into Our Coastal Heritage”

  3. Home Cook’s Guide to Australian Seafood:

    • Option A: Video series: “Seafood Masterclass: Expert Tips and Recipes for Cooking Australian Seafood at Home”

    • Option B: Article: “The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking Australian Seafood in Your Own Kitchen”

These content pillar pieces will help bring the messaging pillars of the “Taste the Ocean” campaign to life, engaging your audience and showcasing the unique aspects of Australian seafood.

4. Splintering the pillar pieces into lots of micro and supporting content

This is where 1 becomes many and you get a lot more mileage from your efforts in creating the pillar content.

Think photos, quotes, outtakes, behind the scenes, video clips, supporting blog posts, PR campaigns and more.

The splinter content will depend on the channels where you can reach your audience.

What distribution channels are going to be best to use to reach your audience? 

Depending on your channel mix, will depend on the type of splinter content to create – Reels, text based posts, photos, carousels, PR etc.

Continuing with our example, we might splinter things like below:

1. Ocean-to-Plate Journey

  • Content Pillar: Video feature: “A Day with the Fishermen: Tracing Our Seafood’s Ocean-to-Plate Journey”
  • Splinter Content: 
    • Blog post: “5 Key Steps in the Journey of Our Seafood from Ocean to Plate”
    • Social media: Short video clips or images featuring highlights from the fishermen’s daily routine
    • PR: Story announcing a partnership with a local fishing community that supports sustainable practices
  • Content Pillar: Article: “The Art of Seafood Selection: How Our Chefs Choose the Freshest Catch for Your Plate”
  • Splinter Content
    • Blog post: “Chef’s Tips: How to Choose the Best Seafood at the Markets”
    • Social media: Infographic or photo series on the characteristics of fresh seafood, sustainability and what to look for
    • PR: Story featuring a chef’s demonstration event at a local market or community event

2. Cultural Connections 

  • Content Pillar: Video documentary: “Culinary Traditions: How Regional Cultures Shape Australian Seafood Dishes”
  • Splinter Content:
    • Blog post: “Exploring the History of Australian Seafood Cuisine in X Location”
    • Social media: Short video snippets or images showcasing regional seafood dishes and their cultural significance
    • PR: Story about the evolution of seafood dishes in X location
  • Content Pillar: Article: “The History of Australian Seafood: A Deep Dive into Our Coastal Heritage”
  • Splinter Content:
    • Guest Blog post: “Chef’s story of discovery diving deep into specific cultural dishes”
    • Social media: Share interesting facts or photos related to Australian seafood over time
    • PR: Press release announcing a special menu that pays tribute to Australia’s seafood heritage

3. Home Cook’s Guide to Australian Seafood

  • Content Pillar: Video series: “Seafood Masterclass: Expert Tips and Recipes for Recreating The Restaurant Experience At Home”
  • Splinter Content:
    • Blog post: “Top 5 Seafood Recipes from Our Seafood Masterclass Series”
    • Social media: Short video clips or images featuring cooking tips or recipe highlights
    • PR: Story featuring the chef volunteering to surprise and run a local cooking class
  • Content Pillar: Article: “The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking Australian Seafood in Your Own Kitchen”
  • Splinter Content:
    • Blog post: “Seafood 101: Essential Tips for Cooking with Australian Seafood”
    • Social media: Share step-by-step graphics or images for selecting, preparing, and cooking seafood
    • PR: Press release featuring a live, virtual cooking workshop for the public

These examples show how you can repurpose and adapt the pillar content pieces into smaller, engaging formats that can be used across multiple channels to reach a wider audience and reinforce your campaign messages.

5. Create your asset list

Campaigns are usually time-bound. That means content will HAVE to be ready to go live on the due dates with little to no flexibility.

Once you have your campaign planned out, then list all the assets that need to be created with key dates for each. Draft created, editing and revisions, signed off, published, promoted.

The above table is a very crude way of showing this, but it’s intentionally simple to get the point across.

When you come round to planning your brand content campaign, you’d break it out into a lot more detail and include:

  • Accountability for who’s responsible for delivering, approving and contributing to every task and who needs to stay informed and across things
  • Deadlines for each task
  • Channels and the specific content that will be going out on each and when
  • A project management system to keep track, whether Kanban Board, platform such as Asana or a simple Google or Excel sheet.

Here’s a more detailed Miro template to help plan your brand content campaign:

Brand content campaign examples:

1. Apple’s “Shot on iPhone”: Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign showcases the high-quality photography capabilities of their iPhone devices. User-generated content, submitted by iPhone users worldwide, is used to highlight the impressive camera features. This time-bound campaign not only demonstrates the product’s value but also encourages user engagement, allowing Apple to connect with its audience on a personal level. The campaign has been updated over the years to align with new iPhone releases and their improved camera features.

2. Always’ “#LikeAGirl”: Always, a feminine hygiene brand, launched the “#LikeAGirl” campaign to challenge gender stereotypes and redefine the phrase “like a girl.” This powerful campaign featured a video showing individuals of various ages interpreting the phrase “like a girl” through different actions. Initially, the phrase was associated with negative connotations, but the video aimed to transform it into a symbol of empowerment. The campaign successfully sparked conversations around gender bias and inspired a positive change in perceptions about what it means to be a girl.

3. Airbnb’s “We Accept”: Airbnb’s “We Accept” campaign was created to promote the brand’s commitment to inclusivity and acceptance, responding to concerns about discrimination on the platform. The campaign featured a short video with images of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, highlighting Airbnb’s belief in fostering a sense of belonging for everyone. Accompanying the video, Airbnb pledged to provide short-term housing for 100,000 people in need, including refugees and disaster survivors. The “We Accept” campaign effectively communicated Airbnb’s core values, establishing the brand as an advocate for social change and fostering a positive image.

4. Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty”: Dove, a personal care brand, launched the “Campaign for Real Beauty” in 2004 with the goal of challenging and redefining traditional beauty standards set by the media and advertising industries. Featuring real, diverse women of different body types, ages, and ethnic backgrounds, this campaign celebrated natural beauty and unique features, as opposed to the airbrushed, thin models usually seen in beauty ads. The campaign aimed to promote self-esteem, body positivity, and self-acceptance among women, using various channels such as print and outdoor advertisements, viral videos (like “Evolution” and “Real Beauty Sketches”), and social media initiatives that encouraged open discussions about beauty standards and women’s self-image. Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” garnered praise for its empowering and inclusive message, successfully challenging conventional beauty norms and resonating with audiences worldwide.

Brand content campaigns are not just for the big brands

Here’s a couple examples of SMEs running brand content campaigns.

  • Death Wish Coffee’s “Fiercely Caffeinated” campaign: Death Wish Coffee, a small coffee roaster from upstate New York, launched a brand content campaign called “Fiercely Caffeinated” to promote their coffee as the world’s strongest. The campaign used a mix of social media marketing, blogs, videos, and podcasts to spread the word about their coffee’s high caffeine content and bold flavor. The company’s efforts paid off when they won Intuit’s Small Business Big Game competition, earning a free 30-second commercial spot during the Super Bowl in 2016. The exposure from the Super Bowl ad significantly boosted their brand awareness and sales, highlighting the impact of a well-executed brand content campaign by an SME.

Brand content campaigns aren’t just for B2C brands either! Here’s a few B2B examples:
  • Slack’s “So Yeah, We Tried Slack” campaign: Slack, a team collaboration tool and messaging platform, began as a small start-up targeting businesses of all sizes. They launched a brand content campaign called “So Yeah, We Tried Slack,” which included a series of case studies and testimonials from various companies that had adopted Slack to improve communication and collaboration within their teams. The campaign showcased the experiences of businesses from different industries and sizes, demonstrating the versatility and benefits of Slack. These stories were shared on Slack’s website, blog, and social media channels, highlighting the platform’s impact on the day-to-day operations and overall efficiency of the featured companies. By focusing on relatable experiences and concrete examples of success, Slack’s “So Yeah, We Tried Slack” campaign effectively communicated the value of their product to potential customers. The campaign helped increase brand awareness, generate leads, and grow their user base, contributing to Slack’s rapid expansion and success in the B2B market.
  • Mailchimp’s “Unlikely Business Lessons” campaign: Mailchimp, an email marketing service and marketing automation platform, created a brand content campaign called “Unlikely Business Lessons” to engage with their B2B audience. The campaign featured a series of videos that showcased unique, unusual, and inspiring stories from real small business owners. The entrepreneurs shared their valuable insights, challenges, and lessons learned in a way that resonated with Mailchimp’s target audience. The videos were shared on Mailchimp’s website, social media channels, and YouTube, driving engagement and showcasing the brand’s commitment to helping small businesses succeed. By highlighting relatable and inspiring stories, Mailchimp’s “Unlikely Business Lessons” campaign demonstrated empathy and support for its customers, while also increasing brand awareness and attracting new users to the platform.

2. Evergreen Content

Brand evergreen content is ‘always on’, long lasting and relevant with the aim of communicating and solidifying the purpose, vision, values and messaging pillars.

Often it’s used to position the brand as an authority in the space such as with educational content and it usually lends itself well to search and SEO.

Creating evergreen content offers several key benefits for a brand, which include:

1. Long-term value: Evergreen content remains relevant and valuable over time, unlike time-sensitive or trending content. This means that it can continue to attract traffic, generate leads, and engage the audience long after its initial publication, providing a lasting return on investment.

2. Consistent website traffic / Improved SEO: High-quality evergreen content can help improve a brand’s search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. By providing valuable information that remains relevant, evergreen content can help drive consistent organic traffic to a brand’s website. As it continues to rank well in search engine results for targeted keywords, it can contribute to a steady stream of visitors and potential customers.

3. Authority and thought leadership: By producing evergreen content that showcases expertise and provides valuable insights, a brand can establish itself as an authority and thought leader in its industry. This can help build trust and credibility with the audience, leading to increased customer loyalty and stronger brand reputation.

4. Cost-effectiveness: Since evergreen content remains relevant over time, it can be a cost-effective marketing strategy compared to time-sensitive content that quickly loses its relevance. Brands can invest in creating high-quality evergreen content that continues to deliver results, rather than constantly producing new content to keep up with trends or news cycles.

Brand evergreen content examples:
  • Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series:

Moz, an SEO software company, launched an ongoing brand content series called “Whiteboard Friday,” targeting digital marketers and businesses seeking to improve their online visibility. In this weekly series, Moz’s experts present informative and actionable SEO tips and strategies, using a whiteboard to visually explain complex concepts.

The Whiteboard Friday videos are shared on Moz’s blog and social media channels, providing valuable educational content to the audience and positioning Moz as an industry thought leader. The series has become a popular resource for digital marketing professionals and businesses looking to optimize their websites for search engines. The campaign has successfully driven increased brand awareness, website traffic, and customer engagement, contributing to Moz’s growth and reputation as an authority in the SEO industry.

  • Brand: Frank Body Content Series: #LetsBeFrank

Frank Body is an Australian skincare brand that specialises in coffee-based products. They produce a lot of evergreen content which is hosted on their website and social media channels.

This content series #LetsBeFrank is based around 4 evergreen content pillars: Skin, Life, Health and Love. They provide evergreen content such as skincare routines and tips, how to use their products effectively, dating, wellness and life advice. Additionally, they also feature interviews with beauty influencers, personal stories, and lifestyle content that remains relevant and valuable to their audience over time.

Their evergreen content helps them build trust, establish authority in their niche, and engage with their audience in a way that supports their overall branding efforts.

We’ll come back to Frank Body shortly and talk about the sweet spot between what you want to say and what your audience care about.

3. Event Content

Brand event based content campaigns are a type of time-sensitive content campaign so inherently share many similarities to traditional campaigns like we covered earlier.

The main difference is that unlike traditional campaigns, that might be time bound, with event campaigns, there is a build up to a very specific event that starts on a specific date.

The event can be one the brand has created or the brand joining the conversation and associating itself with an existing event.

The approach needed for an event based brand content campaign is therefore slightly different. 

Important: Depending on the size, value and required commitment of the audience, will depend on how much you ramp it up.

Associating your brand with a day of the year? Not much.

An annual event that your brand hosts, attracting thousands of people from countries all over the world, with big name guest speakers and costly tickets to attend?

Big push and build up required from your event campaign.

Creating event-based content offers several key benefits for a brand, which include:


  1. Timeliness and relevance: Event-based content allows brands to capitalise on the buzz and interest surrounding a specific event, making their content more timely and relevant to their audience. This increases the chances of the content being noticed, shared, and engaged with.

  2. Brand positioning: By aligning their content with specific events or occasions, brands can demonstrate their expertise, values, and commitment to certain topics, industries, or social causes. This can help strengthen their brand positioning and showcase their unique selling proposition.

  3. Audience engagement: Event-based content often sparks conversation and engagement among the audience, as it is related to a shared interest or experience. This can lead to increased social media interactions, website traffic, overall brand visibility and positioning the brand as an authority in the space.

  4. Networking and partnerships: Participating in industry-specific events or partnering with other organisations for a shared cause can lead to valuable networking opportunities and potential collaborations, helping brands expand their reach and influence with authority by association and leveraging the audiences of collaborating partners.

  5. Competitive advantage: By creating high-quality, engaging event-based content, brands can differentiate themselves from competitors and position themselves as thought leaders or go-to sources for information and insights related to the event.

Brand content campaign examples:

In our seafood restaurant example, we might run an event based campaign to promote an upcoming Valentines Day dinner evening:

Love at First Bite: A Valentine’s Seafood Escape for Couples

This hook captures the essence of the brand’s positioning and messaging while focusing on the upcoming Valentine’s Day celebration and the associated offer.

Couples and dates are invited to share an unforgettable, intimate and immersive dining experience to connect through the enchanting world of seafood.

You could encourage user generated content from the event by using a #LoveAtFirstBite hashtag.

Messaging Pillars for this event content campaign could be:
  • Romantic Atmosphere: Emphasise the enchanting, intimate setting the seafood restaurant has created for this special Valentine’s Day offer, with elements like soft lighting, cozy seating arrangements, and elegant table settings that foster connection and romance between couples.
  • Love-inspired Culinary Creations: Highlight the exclusive, carefully crafted Valentine’s Day menu featuring exquisite seafood dishes inspired by love and passion. Share stories about the culinary team’s inspiration, the use of aphrodisiac ingredients, and the artful presentation of dishes, showcasing the thoughtfulness and creativity behind the menu.
  • Memorable Moments for Two: Communicate the unique, immersive experience they will enjoy, such as special live music, personalised keepsakes, or interactive elements like cooking demonstrations or tasting sessions. These shared activities and memorable moments will make the evening unforgettable for the couples who choose to celebrate their love or impress and connect with a first date at the restaurant.

These messaging pillars are aligned with the overarching brand but are tailored specifically to the Valentine’s Day campaign.

NOTE: There doesn’t have to be 3 messaging pillars for this. You might only choose 1 message to align communications with. We’ve just used 3 for the purposes of this example.

This will help create a compelling narrative for all communications and content associated with this campaign and resonate with couples looking for a truly special and unforgettable dining experience.


For content pillars, we might use the below:

1. Romantic Atmosphere

  • Pillar Piece of Content: A behind-the-scenes video showcasing the transformation of your seafood restaurant into a romantic haven for Valentine’s Day. This could include interview clips with the team or interior designer, close-ups of the special decorations and table settings, and testimonials from couples who previously enjoyed the enchanting atmosphere during past Valentine’s Day events.

2. Love-inspired Culinary Creations

  • Pillar Piece of Content: An exclusive interview with your head chef, discussing the inspiration behind the unique Valentine’s Day menu, the use of aphrodisiac ingredients, and the artful presentation of dishes. This video or blog post could also include a cooking demonstration of one of the signature dishes or a recipe that couples can try at home as a romantic culinary adventure.

3. Memorable Moments for Two

Pillar Piece of Content: A series of couple testimonial videos, featuring patrons sharing their unforgettable experiences during the Valentine’s Day event at your restaurant last year. Couples can discuss the highlights of their evening, such as the shared immersive experiences, personalised keepsakes, and the things that made their celebration special. 


To splinter the pillar content, we might do something like this:

1. Romantic Atmosphere

  • Pillar Piece of Content: A behind-the-scenes video showcasing the transformation of your seafood restaurant into a romantic haven for Valentine’s Day.
    • Splintered Micro Content:
      • A series of Instagram posts featuring close-up images of the special decorations, lighting, and table settings that create the romantic atmosphere.
      • A set of short teaser video Reels on TikTok and Instagram highlighting key moments from the behind-the-scenes transformation
      • A series of quotes, memes, interesting/cute/entertaining stats relating to the messaging pillar of spending time together in a romantic atmosphere

2. Love-inspired Culinary Creations

  • Pillar Piece of Content: An exclusive interview with your head chef
    • Splintered Micro Content:
      • Carousel and image posts on Instagram showcasing the beautifully plated dishes from the Valentine’s Day menu, along with brief descriptions or an interesting fact about each dish
        b. Recipe of one of the special dishes and the ingredients and cooking methods, encouraging users to try it at home.
        c. Short video Reels highlighting a key moments from the chef’s interview or cooking demonstration.

3. Memorable Moments for Two

  • Pillar Piece of Content: A story featuring a couple experiencing the event
    • Splintered Micro Content:
      • A photo series on Instagram showcasing the various unique elements of the event, such as the interactive cooking demonstrations or the personalised keepsakes, along with captions that highlight the aspirational memories these moments could create for the couples who attend, perhaps compared to the typical dinner date
      • Short video Reels featuring clips from the main story
      • A series of testimonials from couples who attended last year
Brand event content examples:
  • Red Bull’s “Stratos” campaign: Red Bull, the energy drink company, created a high-profile event called “Stratos” in which Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space, breaking several world records in the process. Red Bull generated massive amounts of content before, during, and after the event, including videos, live streaming, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and social media updates. The campaign not only captured global attention but also reinforced Red Bull’s association with extreme sports and adventure.

  • Oreo’s “Daily Twist” campaign: To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Oreo created a “Daily Twist” campaign, in which the brand released a new, creative image of an Oreo cookie each day for 100 days. These images were designed to coincide with significant events, holidays, or trending topics, allowing Oreo to join the conversation around these occasions and maintain relevance. The campaign generated significant social media engagement, as users eagerly awaited and shared each day’s new image. By tying their content to current events and cultural moments, Oreo successfully captured the attention of their audience and strengthened their brand identity.

  • Airbnb’s “Live There” campaign during National Travel and Tourism Week: Airbnb, a global online marketplace for lodging and tourism experiences, leveraged National Travel and Tourism Week in the United States to promote their “Live There” campaign. The campaign encouraged travellers to experience destinations like a local by staying in Airbnb accommodations and participating in unique local experiences offered by hosts. To create event-based content around National Travel and Tourism Week, Airbnb shared a series of blog posts, social media updates, and videos featuring stories of travellers who have enjoyed authentic, immersive experiences in various destinations through Airbnb. They also highlighted local hosts and their insider tips for exploring off-the-beaten-path attractions, dining, and activities. By aligning their campaign with National Travel and Tourism Week, Airbnb effectively engaged with their audience, promoted their brand values of authentic travel experiences, and reinforced their position as an alternative to traditional hotels and tourist activities. This event-based content campaign illustrates how a brand can effectively connect with its audience by associating itself with a national celebration or awareness event.
Here’s examples of B2B event-based content campaigns:
  • Salesforce’s Dreamforce Conference: Salesforce, a global leader in customer relationship management (CRM) software, hosts an annual event called Dreamforce in San Francisco. The conference attracts tens of thousands of attendees, including business leaders, developers, and Salesforce users, and features a wide range of keynotes, sessions, workshops, and networking events. Salesforce creates an extensive array of content around Dreamforce, such as blog posts, social media updates, videos, and live streaming of keynotes and select sessions. By hosting and promoting the event, Salesforce not only showcases its latest product innovations and features but also reinforces its position as an industry leader in CRM software and services. The event-based content campaign drives significant brand awareness, lead generation, and customer engagement, contributing to Salesforce’s continued success in the B2B market.
  • HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference: HubSpot, a leading marketing, sales, and customer service software company, hosts an annual event called INBOUND, which brings together thousands of marketing and sales professionals for a multi-day conference. The event features keynote speakers, educational sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities designed to inspire and empower attendees. HubSpot creates a wealth of content leading up to, during, and after the event, including blog posts, social media updates, videos, podcasts, and live streaming of select sessions. By hosting and promoting the INBOUND conference, HubSpot not only positions itself as a thought leader in the marketing and sales industry but also generates significant brand awareness and lead generation opportunities. The event-based content campaign effectively engages both existing customers and potential clients, strengthening HubSpot’s position in the B2B market.
  • Xero’s “Small Business Month” campaign: Xero, a cloud-based accounting software platform for small and medium-sized businesses, leveraged Small Business Month, an annual event that celebrates the achievements and contributions of small businesses, to create event-based content and engage with their B2B audience. During Small Business Month, Xero shared a series of blog posts, social media updates, webinars, and podcasts focusing on small business success stories, financial management tips, and the benefits of using cloud-based accounting solutions. They also collaborated with industry experts and influencers to provide valuable insights and advice for small business owners. By aligning their campaign with Small Business Month, Xero effectively connected with their target audience of small business owners, reinforced their position as a trusted solution for financial management, and promoted their platform’s features and benefits. This event-based content campaign demonstrates how a B2B brand can capitalize on a national celebration or awareness event to engage its audience and drive growth.

Finding the content pillar sweet spot

We have our brand core, positioning, messaging pillars, narrative, a good understanding of brand storytelling and the different types of content that we can include in our brand content strategy.


We can’t just start talking about what we want to communicate to our audience.

If we want to capture their attention, their hearts, minds and eventually wallet, we have to talk about topics they want to hear.

We also want them to believe and trust what we say. 

To achieve this, we need to be credible to talk about these topics – meaning there has to be a connection between the brand, products and services and the content topics.

When you are putting together your content pillars, you need to do so in a way that is the sweet spot between what your brand wants to say, what your audience wants to hear and what conversations your brand has the credibility to join.

Speak to the interests of your target audience, but in a way that relates to your brand core, messaging, products, services and credibility (what makes sense for you to be talking about).

Think about topics you discuss with friends. Certain friends will share different topic interests that you discuss with them and they will have an opinion and point of view on the shared interest topic.

Perhaps you have a golfing buddy with a shared interest topic of golf.

It’s not the only interest for both of you – perhaps they enjoy cycling but it’s not your thing.

You will likely discuss a lot of golf related topics and share golf related stories but they will likely speak little about cycling because it’s not a shared interest.

Your buddy will have their own opinions and points of view (linked to their values and purpose for playing golf) about golf topics.

For example, one of their ‘themes’ (messaging pillar) might be “It’s all in the swing”.

They will then talk about the below topics from their point of view that it’s the swing that’s the most important factor.

  • How to hit straighter
  • How to lower your score
  • Clubs and equipment
  • Bunker shots
  • Chipping
  • … and a ton of other related topics

The same is true for your brand.

Your content topic pillars are the shared interests and your brand has a point of view / opinion (messaging pillars, linked to your values and purpose) on any stories and content relating to this topic.

Frank Body is a great example to use again to illustrate this.

They even refer to ‘Frank’ as if it’s a real person!

Their purpose is: Make Babes Feel Good

“At frank, we believe everybody is a babe. We’re here to make babes feel good, and we’re here to do good too.”

Their values are:

  • DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: Be inclusive of every body and every identity
  • COMMUNITY & EMPOWERMENT: Build an engaged community of empowered people (behind the scenes at babe HQ and out in the world)
  • BODY POSITIVITY: Promote body positivity for all shapes, sizes & abilities
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Be environmentally accountable and take concrete steps to work towards a more sustainable world

Their product offering provides:

“High performance body and skincare that delivers immediate results. Enough introductions, time to get naked.”

What their audience cares about and wants to hear:

Their audience are millennial and Gen Z and they don’t really care about coffee scrub and won’t pay attention if that’s all the brand talks about.

Their audience do care about their skin, beauty, looking and feeling their best self, relationships, pop culture, lifestyle, the environment and so on.

Their brand content strategy:

They talk about 4 main content pillars:

  • SKIN: I’ll stand by you through thick, thin and troublesome skin
  • LIFE: Just like your bod, no topic is off limits
  • HEALTH: I’ll make you feel as good as you look in those Lululemon tights
  • LOVE: #letsbefrank it’s my middle name if I had one

Thinking of the intersection of our 3 circle Venn diagram:

  • At face value, it’s clear these are topics the audience are interested in and want to hear about
  • The brand is credible to talk about these topics because there is a connection
    • Skin – the products help the audience achieve the dream outcome. Good skin and the outcome that this brings is aligned with the brand core
    • Health and Life – it’s in line with the brand core purpose and values, and the products help them look and feel better so there’s multiple levels of connection
    • Love – Is connected to body and skin (let’s get naked) and looking and feeling good. The way they talk about this pillar maintains a strong connection to the purpose, values and value proposition.
  • What the brand wants to say
    • This is in the WAY they talk about the topics
    • You take the topics and talk about them in the context of your purpose, values and messaging pillars
    • For some topics such as in the skin category, the products will have a more direct role and can be naturally mentioned in the content. For other topics, it’s less connected to the actual product (product value prop / external benefits – skin) and more about the internal and philosophical outcome (brand purpose and values)

If you really look at things, you’ll see they remain true to the brand core in all touchpoints – content, packaging, creative, copy, language, channels etc.

They aren’t selling products.

They are selling the dream outcome, the aspirational identity and lifestyle of the target audience and the feelings associated with these things.

They also hit on a ton of moments in their audience’s life that the products / outcome of the products can enhance.

Here’s the steps to use and deploy these content types

Here are some practical tips for adding campaigns, evergreen content, and events to your brand content game plan:

Campaigns: Plan, Execute, and Analyse


✅ Set clear goals: Before you dive into a campaign, determine what you want to achieve, whether it’s increased sales, raising awareness, communicating a message, developing association or something else. Don’t forget to clearly define what success looks like and how it will be measured.

✅ Choose a big idea theme: Develop a concept that ties your campaign together, aligns with your brand core, and connects with your audience. Assign messaging to the theme.

✅ Create a timeline: Map out a schedule for your campaign, from planning and asset creation to publishing schedule, accountability, workflow, promotion and analysis.

✅ Promote across channels: Choose and use the most appropriate channels, like social media, email, and your website, to reach your audience and amplify your campaign’s impact.

✅ Analyse results: After your campaign, take the time to review its performance and use those insights to improve future campaigns.


Evergreen Content: Research, Create, and Update

✅ Identify your audience’s needs and interests: Use keyword research, surveys, and social listening to discover what your audience wants to learn about or the problems they need help solving.

✅ Create valuable content: Write informative articles, produce helpful videos, or develop engaging infographics that address your audience’s needs and showcase your expertise.

✅ Optimise for search: Use SEO best practices to increase your content’s visibility in search engine results and attract organic traffic.

✅ Keep it fresh: Regularly review and update your evergreen content to ensure it stays relevant, accurate, and valuable to your audience.


Events: Plan, Promote, and Engage

✅ What’s the point? Decide on the goals for event content campaigns and the events you want to associate with your brand – whether self hosted, sponsored, attendance or association.

✅ Create your campaign: Follow the approaches from the campaign and event campaign types and tailor things to the event in question.

✅ Get into the nitty-gritty: Plan out the details such as venue (which could be online), date, agenda, and make sure everything is aligned with your brand core and goals.

✅ Spread the word: Promote your event through different channels like social media, email, and your website to create buzz and generate interest.

✅ Connect with your audience: During and post event, make offers, create opportunities for interaction and user generated content, answer questions, and make the experience memorable so that attendees remember your brand.

Don’t forget to keep track of your performance metrics, gather feedback, and continuously improve your approach to make your brand content strategy even better over time.

Chapter 5:

Content Alignment: SEO & The Customer Journey

Think of brand content, SEO, and the customer journey as the ultimate power trio.

Creating awesome, on brand, valuable content is key, but you also need make sure it drives organic traffic, reaches your audience with the right message at the right time to help guide them through the customer buying journey.

1-1 vs 1-Many

Your content strategy and outward communications are a 1-many. 

You are communicating your brand messages and value to your target audience en masse.

Important to note though, is that your 1-1 communications need to also align with your brand content strategy.

This is all your sales collateral such as creds and pitch decks, calls, workshops, onboarding and customer service.


SEO is a big topic and we have covered SEO content marketing strategy in depth with our ultimate guide.

You should definitely check that out to learn how to create an SEO content strategy, as it will help you merge SEO with your brand content strategy to 10X your performance.

SEO optimised content will usually apply to engage stage onwards – so top-middle, middle, middle-bottom and bottom of funnel.

For brand stories at the top of the funnel / awareness stage, it might be harder to map content to keywords and vice versa, but still try as it will apply in many cases.

Likewise, try to apply storytelling to educational and middle/bottom of funnel content as storytelling isn’t just for top of funnel, it’s anywhere it is appropriate.

Try to incorporate the cluster and content hub strategy that is detailed in our SEO content strategy post as you’ll get far greater performance than just posting content optimised for keywords.

Finally, don’t just deploy your SEO optimised brand content strategy on your website.

Publish content at other sites too, tell your stories on podcasts, videos, social and other mediums. It all supports SEO when done right and with a trail of links pointing back to the website.

At the very least or TLDR:

  • Ignoring search when creating your brand content strategy will result in far less traffic
  • Do keyword research for every piece of content you create and try adjust the angle so it better aligns with search (without affecting the content)
  • You can also use keyword research to inform the ideation of content topics – start with keywords or look for keywords to optimise your existing content / idea around for more traffic and visibility
  • Most content should align somewhat to search
  • Just talk about the search aligned topic in the context of your brand purpose or messaging pillars

The Customer Buying Journey

You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and ask them to marry you.

You need the person to first get to know who you are, if you make them feel good and if they think you can meet their needs.

You then need to build the relationship over a period of time, meeting their basic human needs as well as other relevant needs that evolve over time, all while giving them a great experience along the way.

With your brand content strategy – and all marketing for that matter – this is achieved through mapping your communications to the customer buying journey.

Your audience won’t pay attention to your communications unless the content is super relevant to their situation right now at the stage they are at. 

We as marketers, need to:

  • Help them realise they have a need (that we can help with)
  • That the need is worth solving
  • Make them aware of our purpose, positioning and value (unaware to aware)
  • Continue to educate them about the problem, solutions and our value (engage)
  • Nurturing them to purchase and beyond (subscribe, convert, ascend, advocate, promote)

Their ‘need’, is actually made up of lots of micro needs or layers that change and evolve as they move through the customer buying journey.

Our brand content strategy needs to communicate our messaging pillars in the context of the different micro needs throughout their journey, but remaining true to the overarching brand narrative. 

The customer journey and your messaging are super important to combine because this is how customers get to know who you are, what your brand’s about, and what value you bring to the table.

If your messaging is all over the place or doesn’t really hit the mark, it can mess up the customer experience pretty bad.

They’ll be getting mixed signals from different channels at different points in their journey, and that’s confusing or forgettable.

Plus, you’re missing a chance to help them move through the customer buying journey, solidifying in their mind that you are the right choice.

For each stage, think about:

  • What they might be feeling or believe
  • What you want them to feel and believe
  • What action you want them to take (the next logical step in the journey) and what informational and emotional needs need to be satisfied before they’ll take the action

Customer Buying Journey Walkthrough

Here’s a quick run down of Digital Marketer’s Customer Journey and the 8 stages within it:

1. Unaware -> Aware -> Engaged

Customer mindset and needs:

Customers realise that they have a need – or sometimes not, even though they do.

They are becoming more aware of the need and at this stage you need to make them aware or more aware, not just of the need, but of who you are and why they should care.

  • Their intent, trust and commitment is very low because they may not be aware of the need or the need to solve for it.
    • They also have no idea who you are, whether you are credible and can be trusted or what value you might be able to offer them
  • Your content at this stage needs to grab attention and break through the noise to start to bring them into your world


At this stage, your goal is to grab the attention of potential customers and introduce them to your brand, your purpose, positioning and how you can help them. 

  • Increase impressions / reach / traffic
  • Increase brand and value awareness
    • Educate, entertain, impact (make them feel something)
  • Increase positive signals (likes, shares, comments etc)
  • Increase time spent engaging with your brand

Example channels and content types:

  • SEO / paid search
  • Blog
  • Social media posts / ads
  • Podcast
  • Video – YouTube / social / website
  • Display / programmatic
  • Guest blogging / collaborations
  • PR / events
  • Native ads

2. Engage / Subscribe

Customer mindset and needs:

When they come into your world they will start to consider you as a potential solution

  • I wonder if this product or service would be good for me?
  • Do I really need this product or service to solve my need?
  • Does this brand seem like a trusted authority in the space who can help me?
  • Do I like this brand and align with their purpose, beliefs, values and what they stand for?
  • Their intent, trust and commitment is growing
  • They are starting to consider if you, your products / services are right for them and/or their business


Once you have captured the attention of potential customers, the next step is to keep them engaged, communicating your messages, positioning your brand as an authority, empathising with and helping them to solve their problems, and building trust.

Lead magnets / gated content offers will entice people to sign up to your email list. When a potential customer subscribes to your email list or follows your social media accounts, it’s important to keep them engaged with regular content.

This builds on the engage stage but might include email newsletters, campaigns and retargeting.

  • Increase impressions / reach / traffic
  • Increase brand, value  and offer awareness
    • Often lean more into educate but still entertain and impact wherever possible
  • Increase positive signals (likes, shares, comments etc)
  • Increase time spent engaging with your brand
  • Increase subscribers (email list and social following)

Example channels and content types:

  • SEO / paid search
  • Blog
  • Social media posts / ads
  • Podcast
  • Video – YouTube / social / website
  • Display / programmatic
  • Guest blogging / collaborations
  • PR / events
  • Native ads
  • Lead magnets
  • Referrals
  • Direct traffic from brand and dark social

3. Convert

Customer mindset and needs:

If your messaging has been consistent and resonates with them through your content, then at this point they are thinking they do need what you offer and you are the right brand for them

  • They then move into the convert, excite and ascend stages
  • Intent, trust and commitment is high
  • They might have taken a trial, spoken to sales, spent time researching or bought a lower priced product as a test
  • You need to prove that you deliver your promises / messaging pillars and link things back to the initial need or triggering event that started their journey to secure their business


At this stage, your goal is to convert your visitors and subscribers into either paying customers or sales qualified leads (depending on your specific model and journey).

  • Acquire new customers or sales qualified leads

Example channels and content types:

  • Email
  • Message
  • Retargeting ads
  • SEO / Paid Search
  • Paid ads
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Comparisons
  • Demos
  • Event

4. Excite / Ascend

Customer mindset and needs:

You secure the business but you can easily lose them now, especially if expectations are misaligned to reality

  • You need to overdeliver value (excite) before they churn


After a customer has made a purchase, it’s important to keep them excited about your brand and their decision to buy from you.

To ascend them, you can offer additional products or services to existing customers, tie them in to a longer term subscription or annual payment in exchange for a discount or additional bonus, or try to upgrade them to a higher value offer or package. 

  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Usage
  • Loyalty
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Referrals
  • Repeat purchase / subscription
  • Upsell / Cross-sell
  • Increase customer value

Example channels and content types:

  • Onboarding
  • Indoctrination
  • Unboxing
  • Surprise and delight bonuses
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Comparisons
  • Event
  • Demo / usage support
  • Email
  • Paid Ads
  • Virtual / In-Person
  • Message
  • Website / Resource Hub / Community / Customer Support / Account Manager

5. Ascend / Promote

Customer mindset and needs:

They have become a customer and have been delighted with the post sale experience and product/service. They may have bought more, ascended or stayed with your subscription for a while and are on a great path with you as their brand of choice. Their commitment is ongoing and continuous

  • Can you maintain their delight and commitment?
  • Can you expand the value they receive and get them to upgrade to higher value solutions in addition to what they have already purchased?
  • Can you get them to advocate for you and promote your brand in support of your purpose, products and services?


Once a customer becomes a loyal fan of your brand, you can encourage them to share their positive experiences with others through testimonials, reviews, case studies and user generated content.

At this stage, you can offer promotions and incentives to retain customers or encourage existing customers to refer new customers to your brand.

  • Retention
  • Usage
  • Loyalty
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Referrals
  • Repeat purchase / subscription
  • Upsell / Cross-sell
  • Increase customer value

Example channels and content types:

  • Onboarding
  • Indoctrination
  • Surprise and delight bonuses
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Comparisons
  • Event
  • Email
  • Paid Ads
  • Virtual / In-Person
  • Message
  • Website / Resource Hub / Community / Customer Support / Account Manager

Here’s how to map your brand content strategy to the customer journey:

When it comes to creating your brand content strategy, review the customer buying journey through the lens of their needs.

  • What do they currently feel and what do we want them to feel at each stage?
  • What do they want and need to know at this stage?
  • What questions, scepticism and objections might they have, that need to be satisfied before they move to the next stage in the journey?
  • Your content and messaging should aim to meet their current emotional and informational needs at the stage they are currently at

Map your customers’ needs and emotional state at different points in the journey.

Think about how you can talk to and fulfil their informational and emotional needs at each stage with your content and creative, but in the context of your messaging pillars, purpose and values. 

Your content should be able to be grouped under one or more of your messaging pillars and/or brand purpose.

If it can’t be, then it might be a bit off brand and not connected enough to ensure consistency.

Same messaging pillars, positioning and brand core at each stage, infused with your content. Just a different context to match their needs with the right message at the right time.

At the top of the funnel
  • You raise awareness of the need, your purpose (why / brand narrative) and of your solution. You’re aiming to appeal to their aspirational needs of transformation and providing them with inspiration (and urgency if possible) to start the process.
    • Tell stories (AKA create content) that supports your overarching brand narrative and purpose
    • Tell stories that show them a better way / transformation and why what they are currently doing is inadequate (inspire them to change)
    • Tell stories that reinforce or attempt to change existing beliefs
    • Tell stories that connect through shared values or triggering events

Middle of funnel
  • As commitment increases, they start asking if your solutions will work for them specifically and/or their specific business
    • Here is where your content needs to speak directly to the customer persona(s), ideal customer profile or customer value profile (the common values and things all your personas care most about)
    • If B2B, then content that speaks to their industry or jobs to be done that you help them solve or solve better, easier, faster, cheaper
    • You are creating belief that what you offer works for people like them and that you are an authority on the topic that can be trusted to deliver

Bottom of funnel
  • The convert phase is where they want to know if your product or service delivers on the promises, is better than alternative options and will meet their expectations
    • Think solution, product, service content
    • Only here do we get more functional with our content
        • A lot of brands start and end here and only try to get their offer in front of in-market, bottom of funnel potential buyers. You’re missing out on +90% of your audience and potential future business opportunities
        • Don’t do that. It’s a very short-sighted approach
        • Only a fraction of your audience are in-market at any given time. You need to reach them, capture their attention and develop mindshare through your brand content strategy, so when they do come in market, they think of you and you make the consideration set

Note: It is only here where sales enters the conversation. A couple points on this:

  • If you ask your sales team what the customer cares about, expect them to provide you with information more centred around this stage of the customer journey
  • If your brand content strategy is full funnel across the entire customer journey, then by the time the prospect reaches this stage, they are already bought into your brand core, purpose and messaging and have a lot more belief and trust… meaning higher close rates and happier sales teams!
  • Finally it’s the table stakes. The minimum barrier to entry that they just expect your product or service to have or deliver (but that you still need to mention to check that box) – it’s easy to use isn’t it? 
A final note on the customer journey:

In reality, ALL users won’t enter the customer journey through your specific awareness stage content.

Even campaigns that are designed to engineer this journey a bit more, still can’t control it.

They WILL find you for the first time through content at all different stages of your content mapping.

For example, one person might see your brand for the first time via your social media ad that is top of funnel brand story content. 

Another user might see your brand for the first time via a bottom of funnel case study or product feature comparison.

Even though they might be at this later stage, they might be encountering your content from your brand for the first time.

It doesn’t matter. As long as you have a well structured brand content strategy across the customer journey:

  • You have all bases covered for audience needs
  • Your strong messaging pillar alignment will ensure they are brought into your brand narrative regardless of the stage they encounter you for the first time
  • Your customer journey mapped content will ensure the context of the messaging is tailored to match their current needs.

The customer journey content map is the best way to get a big picture overview of your strategy to ensure you have all bases covered effectively when it comes to the needs of your audience, and to identify if there are any gaps.

You’ll be able to better identify if your content is working or not working at each stage (and assign the right KPIs to the right content), or if you are producing too much or too little or the wrong kind of content in any area.

Ready to map your brand content strategy to the customer journey? Here’s a handy Miro canvas:

The content mix: Brand stories, educational, product and performance

You might have gathered thus far that a truly effective brand content marketing plan, aligned with the customer journey, will inevitably contain a mix of brand story, educational, product, and performance (CTA) content.

Here’s a quick recap: 

  • Brand Content: This content tells your brand’s story… which is actually lots of stories – aligned with the long term, never ending narrative – about what your brand cares about, your purpose, messaging pillars, what you want people to associate with your brand, beliefs, emotional connection, relevance and appealing to the aspirational character of your audience to inspire transformation and change.
  • Educational Content: This content is all about positioning your brand as an authority, building trust and credibility as an expert and helping them to solve their problems. 
  • Product Content: Here’s where you show off your awesome products and services, the key features and benefits and showing they deliver on the promises for people like your audience.
  • Performance Content: This content gets your audience to take action, like signing up for a newsletter, grabbing a freebie, or buying something. Don’t ask, don’t get. Your content needs to make offers throughout the buying journey.

With these four content types, your content marketing plan will keep your audience engaged, show off your brand, and drive actions that help them move through the journey from unaware to becoming a customer and advocate for your brand.  

Remember to aim for the bullseye with content pillars – the overlap between what your audience wants to hear and what your brand wants to say and has the credibility (it makes sense) for it to say.

Example: If you run a fitness brand:

  • You might share brand stories about your purpose, values (where the moral of the story is the core value) and your journey.
  • You might share educational blog posts and videos on nutrition and workout routines.
  • You might produce product content like the gym equipment, facilities, membership comparisons and testimonials or member and staff profiles and case studies.
  • For performance content you might have sign-up forms for fitness challenges, free gym passes to try for yourself before you sign up or a downloadable lead magnet nutrition calculator.

Summary of steps to map brand content to the customer journey

Here’s where we are:

✅ You know your target audience and have a thorough understanding of them, their needs and what they want to hear

✅ You have your brand core (purpose, vision, mission, values) and tagline

✅ You have your brand narrative

✅ You have your brand positioning, positioning statement and value proposition

✅ You have your messaging pillars

✅ You understand storytelling techniques you can weave into your content

✅ You know about the 3 types of content you can deploy – campaign, event and evergreen

After this chapter, you now understand:

✅ SEO: You will align a large percentage of your content with the way people search (keywords), whether retrospectively or using keyword research to inform content topic ideation. You will optimise the content around the keywords to attract organic search traffic.

✅ The customer journey: You will chart the customer journey and the needs of your audience at each stage. You will then map your brand content strategy across the customer journey, taking into account the audience evolution as they move through the stages, evergreen, campaign and event content and brand stories, educational, product/service and performance CTA content.

The % split of content across upper, middle and lower funnel will depend on your business and audience, but much of the content you produce will likely be in the aware and engage stages when it comes to your brand content strategy

  • If you are struggling, then maybe start by aiming for about 70% upper funnel content, 20% middle and 10% lower funnel and adapt from there

By blending your brand content strategy with SEO and the customer journey, you’ll create a more unified and effective approach to reaching your audience and driving results. 

Remember, stay agile and open to learning from both your successes and challenges, and you’ll continue to refine your strategy and grow your brand’s presence. 

Seems like there’s a lot to learn and consider, but just get going and adapt as you move.

Chapter 6:

Putting It All Together:
Developing and Executing Your Brand Building Content Strategy

Wooo the final chapter in this ultimate guide to crafting a winning brand content strategy!

Here’s where we recap by putting the pieces together in a logical order and a format you can follow when creating your brand content strategy.

Just before we do that, here’s a super useful Miro workshop template that encompasses a large percentage of things covered in this guide.

Use it as a guide to help you navigate through the steps.

#1. Create your brand core, positioning with strategic narrative and messaging pillars

Brand Core - Who you are
Your 'Why' - the reason for being
What you are working towards
How you plan to achieve the vision
Your morals that guide your actions
Catchy phrase that sums up your brand and it's 'big idea'
Archetype & Voice
The brand personality & tone of communications
Strategic narrative and position in the market
The themes or promises you want your audience to know, think and feel
Golden Circle, 5 Why's, Q&A exercise, Brand Content Strategy Framework Miro

#2. Define your target audience

Target Audience - Who you're talking to
Dream outcome
What they want to achieve
Jobs to be done
The tasks they need to complete
Problems & pain points
External, internal & philosophical
Limiting beliefs
Stories they tell themselves that hold them back (can't, won't, don't)
Challenges & objections
What stands in their way of the dream outcome
Aspirational identity
Who they aspire to be and how they are perceived by others
Feelings / Emotions
How is the current situation making them feel?
What or who currently influences them and their behaviour?
What topics do they care and want to hear about?
Personas, Empathy Map, JTBD Canvas, Surveys, Customer Data

#3. Define your goals and KPIs

Goals & KPIs - What you're aiming to achieve and how you measure success
Business Goals
What the business wants to achieve
Marketing Goals
What marketing needs to deliver to support the business goals
Channel Goals
What each channel needs to deliver to support the marketing goals
Campaign Goals
What campaigns need to deliver to support of the marketing goals
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The metrics used to measure the success of what we do
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound

#4. Chart your customer buying journey

Customer Journey - The stages they move through to become a customer
Triggering Event
What might have happened in their life to make them realise the need?
Customer Journey Stage
Ask yourself ALL the below for EVERY stage
Aware -> Engage
What jobs do they need to complete / problems need to solve?
Engage -> Subscribe
What questions / information needs might they have?
How is the current situation making them feel?
Excite -> Ascend
What are their desired gains and current pains / limiting beliefs?
Advocate -> Promote
What are the touchpoints and how can we better serve them at each?

#5. Decide on your content pillars

Content Pillars - What you will talk about
People don't buy into what you do, they buy into why you do it
Messaging Pillars
The themes you want to communicate. The angles/POV applied to all content.
Audience Interests
What your audience wants to hear and cares about
Identify The Intersection
Shared interest categories that also align with your expertise, core & positioning
Story Ideation
Stories you will create from the POV of your messaging pillars
Do content pillars align:
With the brand, audience interest & can be spoken about from messaging POV?

#5. Map your content strategy to the customer journey

Content Strategy Plan - What to talk about at each stage of the conversation
Triggering Event
Meet them where they are, empathise & join the conversation
Top Of Funnel
Get attention: Their needs & aspirational identity, your purpose, narrative, big idea
Middle Of Funnel
Educate, help them solve needs, create belief you're a trusted authority who can help
Bottom Of Funnel
Product/Service/Functional: Does it deliver, is best/will work for me & meet expectation?
Content Types
Where/When you plan to use campaigns, evergreen content & event based content?
Ratio Of Content
Percentage split for content production at each stage of the customer journey
Calls To Action
What CTA & offer can you make at each stage to help move them to the next stage?

#6. Story ideation

Story Ideation - Align story content topics with brand and audience
Brand Stories
Strategic narrative, origin stories, customer stories, impact stories, employee stories.
Content Pillar
Does the story idea fit within a content pillar?
Audience Needs
What are the audience needs and beliefs relating to this story topic? How can we help?
Messaging Pillar
What do we believe / what is our point of view about this story topic? (just choose 1)
How are the audience currently feeling and what effect do we want to have on them?
Story aligns with brand & goals, fits in a content pillar, a messaging pillar is applicable
Editorial Calendar
Create a bank of story ideas for each journey stage and an editorial calendar
SEO strategy & keywords are factored in to content topics for max traffic & visibility
Storytelling frameworks are applied to content where applicable for max engagement
What promotion/distribution will be used to help stories reach the right target audience?

#7. Measure, optimise and adjust

Measure & Optimise - Use data to inform direction
Tracking & Reporting
Assign KPIs for each stage & a report format for ongoing analysis
Identify any drop offs, low performance, underserved or areas for improvement
Identify what works & lean into it
Test, Learn & Iterate
Always pursue excellence by continuous testing & learning
Quarterly Sprints
Review goals/data & choose the highest impact activities for the quarter plan

Phew! That’s a wrap for this ultimate guide to creating a winning brand content strategy.

We struggled to find an in-depth guide that covers this topic in full which was the inspiration to put this beast together.

You hopefully noticed that the theme or our point of view on this topic is around everything working together (messaging pillar) – brand, messaging, storytelling, SEO, customer journey – and ensuring you have the complete information to help you win (purpose).

We also hope that you now feel better equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to create a killer brand building content strategy.

Everyone can rarely do these things alone though. If you need the help of a content marketing agency, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need any support with the strategy and execution of your own brand content strategy.

To your success!

The Fusion Digital Team

The agency breaking silos to help marketers and founders to scale through the Fusion of SEO, Content Marketing & Digital PR, of strategy & execution, of data & creativity and of agency & client.

Melissa Day peer reviewer profile photo
Melissa Day (Peer Reviewer)

Melissa Day is a brand strategist with over ten years of experience working with companies such as T-Mobile, Nielsen, and Kimberly-Clark. She has three undergraduate business degrees and an MBA from Xavier University. Melissa has a robust amount of experience building a brand's strategy, implementing segmentation to reach the target audience, and crafting marketing campaigns to communicate the value proposition effectively.