Why following brand guidelines could hinder the creative link building process:
Why following brand guidelines could hinder the creative link building process: A company's brand is integral to everything it says and does, be it online or offline. A consistent identity and brand should always be adhered to when doing anything relating to your product or service. Except when it comes to creative link building. This is when that 30-odd page document you paid hundreds of pounds for could actually do more damage than good when it comes to building creative links online. Creative link building is as it says on the tin, creative. It's all about coming up with that great idea and executing it in a way that people find interesting and remarkable enough to link to and share. In order to be creative you need to have the ability to think outside the box and not within the constraints of a 30 page document. This is when brand guidelines are there to guide the creative process - not rule it. That guidance should be in the form of ensuring content doesn't contradict your brand values or completely isolate your target market. Creative content pieces should always relate in some way to your brand, even if it isn't a glaringly obvious connection. Heavily branded content can sometimes come across badly when seeding out creative pieces. This is because people may have already bought into or bought out of that brand and have pre-conceptions of what that brand should and shouldn't be doing. It also adds a commercial aspect to the piece - which is often not welcomed as people expect money in return for linking to your piece, it's seen as advertising which should be paid for. It is also not as likely to collect links or social shares naturally. Creativity flows best in the Epiphany studio when we are not prescribed a colour palette, assets, selected fonts or any other prerequisites to creative work. A blank canvas can often help trigger new or exciting ideas which would have never come to light. So... why not rip up the rule book every now and then. Backed up with a suitably remarkable and interesting idea, you never know what opportunities (or more importantly links) it could generate.