Originally published July 10, 2021 , updated on February 27, 2023
Your brand voice can make or break your digital presence. At Goodman Lantern, we go above and beyond to communicate in your brand voice and convey your story, and it all starts with creating a content style guide.
No matter how many algorithm updates Google makes in a year, there’s one aspect of search engine optimisation (SEO) that doesn’t change: good content is king. It’s only a cliché because it’s true. Quality content is the crux of any marketing campaign, whether you’re publishing conversion-focused landing pages, email copy, social media content, or informative blog posts.
As a business owner or marketer, finding and defining your brand voice and style is crucial in creating content your audience will respond to positively. And achieving consistent brand communication starts with establishing a content style guide – a set of content-focused rules and requirements unique to your brand.
What Is a Content Style Guide?
A content style guide is a set of standards and guidelines that dictate how content should be created and presented for a specific brand or organisation.
It defines the tone, voice, grammar, and writing conventions that should be used in all forms of written content, including website copy, blog posts, email marketing, social media updates, and other forms of digital and print content.
Every staff member and marketing or PR agency that interacts with your business, should have access to this document and ensure all external communication follows these clear instructions.
What Is Included in a Style Guide?
A content style guide includes basic information such as:
- An overview of your brand and objectives
- Your target audience
- Your brand tone of voice
- Editorial rules and preferences
- Brand-specific copywriting rules
The Goodman Lantern team will work closely with you to create a style guide that speaks to your brand and sets you apart from your competitors.
Using these guidelines, we can guarantee that each piece of content we create is written in your brand voice.
How Goodman Lantern Approaches the Content Style Guide
As a data-driven content marketing agency, Goodman Lantern understands the importance of a consistent online presence. So we take the time to develop a content style guide that will enable your audience to spot your content from a mile away.
In addition, when you partner with us, you can be assured of a personalised style guide representative of your business that thoroughly outlines how you want your prospects to view your brand personality.
Your Goodman Lantern content style guide includes:
An Overview of Your Brand and Objectives
Who is your business, what do you stand for, and what are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? We answer these questions in a detailed overview that serves as your brand introduction.
In this introduction, we closely connect your brand and offerings to the type of content you want to produce and the story you want to tell. It’s part of the “why” behind the work Goodman Lantern and other agencies do for you and helps us better understand the overarching goal behind your content marketing efforts.
With this information, everyone who creates content for your brand can clearly understand the intent behind each piece of content produced, regardless of the platform where it’s published.
Your Target Audience
A content style guide helps to ensure consistency in the way your brand communicates with your target audience, both in terms of messaging and presentation. This consistency can reinforce your brand’s messaging and build a stronger customer connection.
Your content style guide should include information on your target audience and, preferably, the various personas you’re targeting.
Including this information is essential because it allows your marketing team and content creators to tailor your marketing messages to your potential customers’ specific needs, wants, and preferences. By deeply understanding your target audience, your content team can create more relevant and effective marketing campaigns that are more likely to engage and convert leads into customers.
Your Brand Tone of Voice
Your brand tone of voice is the personality and character that your brand conveys through written and spoken communications.
It encompasses the way the brand speaks, writes, and interacts with its audience, and reflects the values, personality, and unique characteristics of the brand.
The tone of voice sets a brand apart from others, helps to establish an emotional connection with its target audience, and contributes to building a strong brand identity.
This section of your style guide will contain guidelines on the tone and voice of your content, such as the level of:
Where relevant, we also conduct a competitor analysis and include examples of well-performing competitor content for reference.
Editorial Rules and Preferences
This section of the content style guide details the following:
- Grammar and Punctuation: Rules on grammar, punctuation, and spelling, such as whether to use Oxford commas or not, when to use contractions, and when to use British or American English.
- Capitalisation: Rules on capitalisation, including the use of title case, sentence case, and upper case.
- Abbreviations and Acronyms: Guidelines on the use of abbreviations and acronyms, including when to use them and when to spell them out.
- Numbers and Measurements: Recommendations on how to format numbers, measurements, and dates, such as the use of digits versus words, the use of decimals, and the use of time zones.
- Headings and Subheadings: Rules on the format and style of headings and subheadings, such as the use of H1, H2, and H3 tags, and the use of bold or italic text.
- Lists: Recommendations on the format and style of lists, including the use of bullet points, numbered lists, and definition lists.
- Images and Video: Guidelines on the use of images and video in content, such as the use of alt tags, captions, and image sizes.
- Links: Recommendations on the use of links in content, including the format and style of hyperlinks, and the use of nofollow links.
Brand-Specific Copywriting Rules
The last section of your content style guide will include more information on word choice and terminology, including the use of inclusive language, technical terms, and industry-specific jargon.
Work With Goodman Lantern
As content marketing experts, we do whatever it takes to ensure each client’s voice, tone, and messaging are consistent across platforms. This is how the best brands with the most loyal audiences are born. At Goodman Lantern, we go above and beyond to communicate in your brand voice and convey your story, and it all starts with our thorough approach to the style guide.
Ready to get started on your content style guide? Contact us, and let’s make your brand voice heard.