Here at Acrolinx we know how important it is for companies to create consistent content for their customers no matter where in the organization it’s coming from. That’s because when your content is consistent in terms of style, tone of voice, use of terminology, and other company-specific preferences, it creates a more unified customer experience. That, in turn, can lead to greater customer satisfaction and ultimately an increase in both sales and advocacy.
What’s interesting is that any time that we sit down with individual content teams —something we do quite a bit — they generally think that they’re doing a good job of working together to ensure the consistency of their company’s content. In fact, when we recently surveyed individual content marketers to ask them how they’d rate the consistency of their company’s content, 63 percent said that they thought that most if not all of it was consistent.
Be that as it may, our view is that those numbers probably don’t reflect the reality of the situation. The fact is that most content teams tend to only think about the content they’re responsible for creating, and never take into account all of the other customer-facing content their companies produce. As soon as we bring multiple content teams from the same company into a room together, that reality usually becomes quite obvious. The problem is that most organizations simply don’t have a way of managing and optimizing all of their content across teams, departments, and geographies.
Why does that matter? Let us illustrate the point with an example.
Take a look at the logos above that are featured in the image of this blog post. You no doubt recognize them and have probably also noticed that there’s something strange about them. The fact is that there a bit squished and, as a consumer, you immediately notice that something’s wrong.
We love making this point with the companies we work with by showing them compressed versions of their own logos that are squished just enough to get them to say “Oh, that looks wrong” or “That’s a horrible use of our logo.” People react to seeing their logo misused because it represents their company’s brand. When it’s not used properly because — as in our example it’s been squished — not only do people notice, it also degrades the brand.
It’s really the same thing with your company’s content. Every time your customers read a piece of support content that tells them how to use your product or service that’s written with language that doesn’t reflect the personality that you as an organization are trying to promote, it’s exactly like squishing your logo.
It’s a jarring experience that can damage and weaken your brand. It can make you look cheap. That, in our view, is a visual way of thinking about what your language is doing if you don’t keep it consistent, on message, and aligned with the personality that you’re trying to project.
Just as you would never compromise the quality and consistency of how you represent your brand through your logo, you should never compromise on how you’re representing your brand through your content.