In content marketing, content style is the process of presenting and sharing information with your audience, with a unique approach.
As the content marketing world starts to get crowded and noisy, it’s your voice and style that can help your brand stand out and entice an audience.
The style is not just an abstract component or some industry jargon; rather, it’s a real thing.
According to research by Pardot, 80% of consumers said the “authenticity of content” was the most influential factor and drove their decision to engage with a brand.
Surprisingly though, many businesses tend to undermine this key aspect while working on their content marketing campaign. As a brand, you need to foster authenticity in order to achieve consistent communication. Building a style guide for the entire team to follow is a good first step.
What a Style Guide Actually Consists of
A style guide essentially consists of rules pertaining to the creation of branded content assets. From grammar to tone to word usage, your team should set rules for each and every aspect of your content. Similarly, you should create a style guide for logo usage, colors and images as well.
The prime objective of your style guide is to deliver a consistent message every time, boosting authenticity in your presentation.
When your content complies with your style guide, it tends to be more consistent, polished, recognizable and more importantly, it resonates with your target audience.
Brands such as Uber, Spotify, and MailChimp have exemplary content marketing style guides. Their campaigns reflect a unique voice that helps them get noticed almost instantly.
How to Develop Your Own Style Guide
Creating a style guide for your brand involves the process of declaring Baseline Guide (e.g AP Style), formatting of content, and tone for your brand.
Likewise, you need to establish a style guide for your visual content such as images, fonts, color to name a few. Consistency in following these rules can help your content cut through the noise and carve a niche for your brand.
With regards to crafting a unique style for your brand, here are some rules your content marketing team can benefit from:
Be More Diligent in Your Approach
While creating a style guide for your content, strive for diligence in your approach. Set an objective behind creating each and every piece of content for your brand. To set yourself apart, you need to treat each content piece as a cogent argument on a relevant topic that interests your readers.
Use concrete information and statistics from authoritative sources to bolster your argument and make your content persuasive enough. When combined with a consistent tone and compelling visuals, your content can work wonders.
Share Your Own Perspective
One of the most challenging aspects of developing content in any industry is creating unique content. Unique content doesn’t necessarily mean saying things that have never been said before. Rather, it means sharing your unique perspective and position on the most popular topics within your industry.
For example, rather than creating a piece of content around the “benefits of AI in content marketing”, take a unique position, and come up with a post that states “how AI can help cut operational costs in future”.
It’s also important to note that you can rehash what popular brands are talking about on their blog. However, make it a point to add your “own perspective” to it so it stands out and drives some value for your readers.
Remember: When you write like everybody else, you’re essentially saying, “our products are like everybody else’s”.
Evaluate Your Choices of Words
In modern marketing, the very choice of your words can make or mar your campaign.
You don’t want your content to read like an academic dissertation unless your target audience consists of academicians. However, you don’t want to come off cold, boring and bland either.
Choosing the most appropriate words can not only improve your readability but boost your CTR (Click Through Rate) as well.
On average, people spend nearly 19 minutes to read content online. That includes reading news, blog posts, emails, books and so on. With the dwindling attention span, your style guide is the most effective tool you need to get people notice your content and want more of it.
Do you follow a style guide for your content marketing campaigns? Which aspects of content do you lay a lot of emphasis on?
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: @ugosus.