Corporate style guides don’t get the recognition they deserve.
And no, we’re not talking about brand style guides — the document that outlines your brand guidelines for your logo, font, and color palette, among other design elements. We’re talking about a corporate content style guide — your best tool to make sure all your company’s content maintains a consistent voice and brand personality, regardless of department or location.
What’s a Corporate Content Style Guide?
A corporate content style guide is the backbone of your enterprise content strategy. In a perfect world, it unites all your content contributors — no matter where they work — and helps them to standardize their writing style and tone. It also keeps them on message and speaking in your brand voice.
A corporate content style guide contains a set of company-specific writing guidelines that shape your content and keep everyone on-brand. It’s similar to how your brand style guide or brand book is adopted to maintain consistency across elements of your visual identity.
And successful corporate content style guides achieve several things simultaneously:
- Define your tone of voice and harmonize all your enterprise content.
- Integrate seamlessly into your content creation environments.
- Evolve as your brand identity evolves.
So, What’s the Big Deal?
Perhaps you’re wondering what the fuss is all about with corporate content style guides. How do they lead to awesome business outcomes?
Well, they play a vital role in creating engaging and effective customer experiences.
Don’t believe us? Here are some statistics to consider:
|Marketing messaging volume will increase by 40 percent in 2021 |
|Typical Fortune 2000 companies average 30+ million web visits per year – totaling 700 million minutes!|
|Internet traffic in some countries increased 60 percent following the pandemic outbreak|
Now, more than ever, customers and prospects are meeting and primarily engaging with your company digitally. As customer experiences increasingly take place online, regardless of industry or sector, you need to realize the value of your content asset.
Though you might not have thought of content as an asset before, it’s actually one of your business’s biggest assets. It speaks on behalf of your brand when people can’t, and it guides people through every stage of the customer journey. Although it might not end up on your balance sheet, content is the fuel that keeps your organization moving.
So that’s why it’s critical to have a well-defined content style guide that’s used at scale across your enterprise. Through a unique and consistent voice, your content creates parallel positive experiences for your target audience, and builds relationships with them as they get to know your brand.
Most companies focus on visual brand consistency. And although that’s important for recognition, it’s just as important that your content uses a consistent brand voice. Plus, consistency in your communications makes your brand voice recognizable. Meaning it’s also a vital part of your brand strategy.
The top 5 reasons your company needs a corporate content style guide
- Keeps everyone up to date with the latest content guidelines.
- Results in more consistent, better quality content.
- Helps your company establish and maintain uniform messaging and communications.
- Keeps your company branding consistent when it comes to your name, abbreviations for your name, and your tagline or slogan — so you don’t confuse your customers.
- Guides all content creators, no matter what department they work in.
And when you think about it (almost) everyone creates content for your organization. From support articles, and white papers, to blog posts and website microcopy, content is produced in all departments and needs to be governed by a content style guide. Which means your style guide should be adopted by your entire organization — not just your content marketing team. So we recommend storing it in a central location where it has the best chance of getting used. And keep it current and reflective of any changes in your naming conventions or other rules.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to outline your content guidelines. You should include guidance on different elements of language and writing style, such as:
- Tone of voice
- Product and service-related words or phrases
- Grammar guidelines
- Accessibility standards
- Inclusive language
Developing your company-specific guidelines can be challenging. It’s difficult to know where to start and what’s important. Our guide, Content Style Guides: The Path to Creating Consistent and Engaging Customer Experiences, walks you through the process and includes helpful tips. Download your copy today and start creating compelling customer experiences, fueled by effective, on-brand content.
Bringing Your Content Style Guide to Life
Realizing the potential of your content style guide is critical to providing engaging and unified customer experiences. And Acrolinx wants to help you achieve that. Our platform can help you outline, enforce, and maintain your content guidelines by capturing and digitizing your corporate style guide and aligning all content creators (regardless of department or location) to meet your standards. From day one, Acrolinx maximizes the value of your content, by boosting its overall quality and effectiveness, and giving you time and money back to reinvest in other higher value activities.
Want to learn more about how Acrolinx can bring your content style guide to life? Let’s talk.