Whether you’re talking about visuals or content, there’s one golden rule when it comes to brand style. Internally, you’ll also be able to promote best practices with your team around how your brand should be portrayed and perceived, which means your brand presentation through content will be consistent, no matter who’s doing the typing. Through these two exercises, participants will choose positive and negative attributes for their brand’s voice and tone, based on the needs and preferences of their buyer personas. You’ll get the best results when you curate a group with a mix of roles, responsibilities, and experience. Once complete, you will have a dynamic content style guide that will empower all of your marketers and content contributors to put your brand's best foot forward. Then, you will recite the following instructions, which are (again) identical for both the voice and tone exercises: “On the following slide there will be a word cloud -- put yourself in the shoes of your ideal buyers and choose the five words you like the least and the five words you like the most, in relation to your brand.”, Bring up the word cloud on the next slide of the presentation deck…. ), Make reviewing the style guide an official onboarding step for new staff members; especially freelance writers. What Does a Content Style Guide Look Like? In fact, going back the example from our friends in North Carolina, their, On the other side of the spectrum, there’s. This guide is all about how you package up those elements and deliver them so they have maximum impact with your audience. What’s unique about our team that made us the ones who finally fixed the problem? Next, you’ll remind them of the definition for voice and tone ahead of each exercise: Voice: These are all of the attributes of your brand’s personality; it’s what people should always think about your brand as a reflex, without you having to spell it out for them. (“Don't use big words!”), Basic editorial rules -- grammar, spelling, etc. Okay, So What About the Editorial Style Part? Place an X on the line for each where you think it best represents how your brand should be received to the public. Yes, they may see a few of these words appear in some form in the end product, but the magic happens through the other words and phrases not given to them that they choose to describe why they feel the way they feel about their selected answers. Finally, at a high-level, your content will be better across the board and more effective at attracting the right people. Announce updates. Again, your goal is not to walk away with words you’ll plug into a Mad Libs-esque content style guide template. An annual, one-user online subscription is $35, usually with a 20% discount offered for automatic renewal options. You’ll find that you’ll need to spend your time with your notes to prioritize the right ideas with the correct wording. After you get to a point where you know they should be accountable, just send the work back and circle what’s not up to style and have them correct it. It’s cost-effective. Also, if you’ve already created your brand messaging strategy, you’ll want to tailor your questions to the selected brand messaging style. About. , we’ll discuss how you pull that part of your style guide together, but there’s no need to dedicate a part of the workshop to grammar rules and formatting conventions. Dos, don'ts, and critical best practices for rolling it out to your team. You might prefer to rely on your notes exclusively or you may be someone who will want to listen to the audio recording again, before you start pulling your style guide together. While your contributors may often be responsible for choosing images for their own work -- we do that at IMPACT for our blog -- notes about visual preferences (like natural photography with bright colors or no text on featured images for blogs) should live in a visual style guide. Just type in your email address below, so we can send it to you. The spreadsheet in your content strategy template has formulas built into it, so you don’t have to figure it out yourself. They shouldn’t be ambivalent when they do or do not like something. Someone wants to know where these words came from. Your tone will be situational and should be adapted to accommodate different scenarios. What Else Shouldn't Go in Your Style Guide? Getting a reaction in these exercises is by design -- that’s how you get to the good stuff; the real insights that will inform the style guide. As much as that sounds like a bummer, it makes sense -- the tools in your content toolbox may not seem terribly exciting or fun at first. Easily drag and drop your brand's assets into this template for downloadable and shareable brand guidelines. We’re not here today to talk about what your message is or to flesh out your talking points. How “scattered” your results were. Fonts, colors, and branding rules are, again, visual, so they should have their own home. Again, your goal is not to walk away with words you’ll plug into a Mad Libs-esque content style guide template. to walk-through it with your writers and marketers, so you can ensure they understand it, and you can address any questions or concerns that may come out of that discussion. You may be wrong about your assumption, and it’s still a great calibration exercise. Two is a nice minimum, because it allows you to create a balance between two tonal qualities that can be scaled or differently weighted, as needed, depending on context. With those two caveats in mind -- whether you’re working with our workshop toolkit and content style guide template or building your own from scratch -- let’s dive in. We believe in doing the same, but we’ve added a little more structure to it by creating what are called tone pillars. It helps us write clear and consistent content across teams and channels. That’s a great question, but you want to keep them focused on the task at-hand, and you don’t want to accidentally influence their choices by pivoting the discussion to the methodology behind the workshop. “Why?” and “What do you mean by that?” are two of our favorites. We adapted this from a brand personality quiz originally developed by Big Brand System. Basic editorial rules -- grammar, spelling, etc. Think of this section on voice as table-setting. 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