Brands along with effective content marketing have a consistent voice, tone, and personality. The quality and style of your brand’s content can be as strong of a marker of your brand as your logo for dedicated readers.
However , it can be difficult to preserve these qualities if you have a growing business with many writers or a content material marketing agency who does not have a full image of your business and its culture, or if you use freelancers to create who don’t have enough assistance.
The way to get around this is to create a set of brand content advertising guidelines. These may also be called writer’s guidelines or style guidelines.
What Are Content Advertising Guidelines?
Content Marketing Guidelines are a set of instructions indicating tone, voice, length, style and topics on how your own brand should communicate for your target audience.
Let’s go into why you ought to make this document, even if you are a smaller business, and how to start doing it.
Precisely why Create Content Marketing Suggestions?
Every article writer that you hire to make articles for your company is an extension of your company’s voice. In a business, one or two writers might be able to churn out enough content with the unified tone to make a reader feel like it all came from exactly the same source.
Yet this breaks down if you boost the number of channels or the quantity of content production than your own writing team or company can handle.
The greater writers or channels that you add to your content marketing, the more diluted or confused your own voice will be to your visitors. This will weaken your content marketing and could even damage your brand.
Content marketing guidelines give your writers a set of expectations of how the business wants to present itself on every channel. You can think of them almost like metrics for each piece. If a piece doesn’t conform to the guidelines, you can throw it in return to the writer for edits or get a different author if they can’t conform.
A set of guidelines also makes it easy to communicate modifications in strategy to your writers. If new research shows that you need to change your marketing personas or you want to reach your audience through a different station, a simple update of the recommendations will give writers what they require.
Also, need to a writer have questions or even suggestions to make your content stronger, they can use the guidelines as being a reference point for speaking with their superiors in the firm. Not every marketer is a strong writer, so there may be something that’s been missed!
Points to Include in Your Content Advertising Guidelines
You should imagine that the reader of your content marketing guidelines is a refreshing face who doesn’t understand much about your company. The aim of your guidelines is to get them up to speed so they can start producing content. So , what do they require?
First, they have to know about your brand’s USP and unique attributes, the purpose of your content marketing in particular channels, and the audience personas that the content is targeting.
This is the bare minimum that a writer will need to start nailing your voice. You probably have this in your content strategy documentation. It tells the article writer who they are writing toward and why.
However , if you can flesh it out more then your writers can make far more consistent content. Here are some things to consider:
Formal Style Guides
Do you have a particular well-known design guide that you want your authors to follow? If you’re a news organization, for instance, you may be required to use AP style so your writing feels like a news article. Most companies don’t need to be this strict, but reading through an official style guide can give you some pointers on things to look for.
Even if you do not use a formal guide, you might have specific styling, spelling, utilization, or grammar requirements that are part of your voice. For instance, you may require the use of United states English over British The english language.
You might want to make use of simpler words (use versus utilize) or certain types of jargon (business terminology) depending on your audience. If you really like or hate the Oxford comma, let your writers know!
Length minimums and maximums for every type of content are ideal for more than just pricing. It maintains writers from making items that are too skimpy or even too wordy for your target audience. Figure out what content lengths your audience prefer for every of your content types.
Tone and Tone of voice Examples
When there is a piece of writing that fingernails how you want to sound, place an example of it into your recommendations. A good example speaks volumes more than vague guidelines about sounding “professional”. You might even want to put in examples of what not to sound like, especially if your content is targeted at a traditional niche .
Preferred and Prohibited Subjects
If you provide your writers the freedom to pitch topics, it’s good to have a list of the types of things you want and do not want. This can be as simple as a list of competitors you never want to mention in your writing and the general themes of your content channels.
This could also extend to research resources. If there’s a source a person don’t want to quote or link back to in your work, let the writer know right here to avoid an awkward discussion later.
It is also likely that your authors may learn about trade secrets or other confidential bits of information.
Freelance contracts often have a section about protecting confidential information.
But if there is something you definitely don’t want slipping out as part of your content that could come up, such as a new product you’re about to launch, let your own writers know!
Finally, controversial topics may arise in your industry or even there may be some topics you need to shy away from. These may need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. That political zinger might be on point, however it could make the company look poor. If you use social media, providing a list of topics never to discuss will keep a writer from saying some thing you’ll regret later.
Every business provides ways they want their products, services, and business-specific jargon to be used in pieces. Every brand name has a personality it desires to project and one that it eventually ends up projecting.
If you’re writing to get SEO, your writers will require keywords and keyword positioning guidelines. Thankfully we’re method beyond the times of keyword stuffing, but if your SEO group needs your writers to focus on a strategy then they need to know what to do.
Curation plus Syndication
Social networking writers often need to curate content to create enough normal posts to hold attention. To conserve your brand’s voice, you’ll need to put down some rules on how writers should work on social media and what kinds of content are good to like or share.
Community Interaction and Response
If your writers are also responsible for responding to blog comments or social media feedback, you’ll want guidelines on these. How should they deal with trolls and negative remarks, or glowing commentary that deserves recognition and thanks a lot?
Finally, your writers need to know if you require particular tools for checking their particular work, submitting and tracking, if they need to use a particular file format, and similar subjects. If you’re working with freelancers, this is critical. The first time your Windows-only editors receives a Web pages file, you’ll know precisely why this is important.
There may be times when editors and administration need to break the rules according to a changing situation or content strategy. If a writer receives instruction to make something that breaks the rules, they need to understand who is authorized to make these requests so they can write with confidence or ask questions about the change.
Including so much information may make you feel like you’re spelling out how the writer should do their job in too much detail. Absolutely nothing could be further from the reality. Writing is a subjective artwork and writers are not mind readers. The more information you can give them about how you want the final product, the easier it becomes for the writer to create the kind of content you want.
However , it’s also good to not burden them with too many small rules. This will slow down content material production and make it more challenging for new writers to get up to speed. It will also give your editors more work. If you already have an editing team and don’t have these guidelines written out, it would be a good thing to include them in the discussion. Your editors are on the front ranges of inspecting raw articles from your writers, so they will have insights.
Good content marketing guidelines won’t assure great parts every time, of course , but they’ll help you catch a lot of issues before the piece is released into the wild.
The write-up Content Marketing Guidelines: Why and How to Develop Them made an appearance first on Marketing Insider Group .