A strong brand voice is an essential aspect of every content marketing campaign –it’s what makes your blogs, tweets, articles and web copy unique, and helps your copy to stand apart from the bland, boring efforts of your rivals. It’s therefore no surprise that one of the biggest fears for brands considering outsourcing their content marketing for the first time is that their chosen writer won’t be able to create content that matches up with their desired tone and style.
Whilst this concern can mostly be avoided by choosing an experienced writer with a strong portfolio, any writer, regardless of skill level, will need a clear brief before they can adapt to your company’s persona. Here are three simple ways to help your copywriter understand the brand voice that you want to develop, and help them to get the tone of your copy right from the start.
- Highlight your competitorsOK, we know what you’re thinking, but this is not (we repeat, not!) plagiarism. We’re not saying highlight your competitors so that your writer can copy their style – we’re saying look at what the current market is doing, and try to pinpoint the things that you think your business can do better. It’s just as important to tell your writer what you don’t want, so give them some examples of websites that you’ve seen that you don’t want your brand to replicate, and some examples of those that you think do a nice job. You can even use examples that are outside your own industry if you feel the example in question has similar brand values to you.
- Create a style guideIf you don’t already have a house style guide, it’s time to put one together. A style guide covers everything from your target demographic to basic spelling and grammar to specific dos and don’ts for your company, and whilst it may seem like a time consuming and pedantic exercise initially, over time it will become a vital piece of reference material that you (and your copywriter) will refer to again. If possible, collaborate with your copywriter to create your guide – their previous experience should equip them with lots of ideas for the detail that should be included.
- Communicate your purpose
Not only do you need to help your copywriter get to grips with the type of content you’d like them to write, you also need to explain what you’d like your end goal to be. Give them a description of your target market, and detail the kind of interaction you’d like to generate as a result of the text that they create. Whether it’s increasing enquiries, promoting engagement or encouraging web purchases, your writer needs a clear understanding of everything that you expect their copy to accomplish, so they can tailor the content accordingly.