While it doesn’t need to be fancy, you still need to have a proactive and defined rollout strategy for your style guide that includes trainings and follow-up, as well as a start date of when you will begin using it. No problem, save time by asking subsequent participants (usually starting with the third participant) only to explain their answers for the words that were either unique to them or if they chose the same word as someone else, but for which they had an opposite reaction.For example, one person might say “controversial” is good, and then later, someone else says it’s bad. And we’re now going to teach you how to facilitate it on your own! Choose fonts that reflect your unique identity. This is where the magic happens -- the words on the page prompt participants to share their real feelings. Meaning, if you’ve done a good job of defining who you are and aren’t as a brand, you now have to serve that up in the form of a well-defined tone. Brand Style Guide. If so, why? Make it available in an online format. Why You Need a Brand Voice and Content Style Guide. No one is going to want to read War and Peace every time they need to write a 900-word blog post, especially if it could have been shortened to the length of a press release and been just as effective in explaining what they needed to know about content style. In this context, style refers to what your content looks like. Dos, don'ts, and critical best practices for rolling it out to your team. Use it to create clear and consistent content that meets the needs of users. What is it that, to this point, our competitors have failed to do? -- can be. We welcome ideas and suggestions for other TechWhirl Templates Library materials. The 3 Essential Parts of a Content Style Guide. What's Included in a Content Style Guide? That said, it’s our experience that developing your messaging strategy in advance makes developing your content style so much easier, since they build on each other. The style guide process and template we’ve built here at IMPACT -- the very same that gets us the best results for our clients -- has three distinct parts: Voice, tone, and style each serve a particular purpose for your brand, but they are all very much dependent on each other to create the full effect of … Where the first example is something your writers should already know -- or, if they don’t, should be addressed through education at an editor-to-writer level -- the second two examples are hyper-specific brand preferences that no one would know intuitively. An overview of content style guide basics; and. Yes, perfect is and always will be the enemy of good, but if you don’t have a handle on your brand’s content style, you can run into a lot of trouble: ...many of them will get stuck on the one thing you did wrong. Instead, you need to be clear, concise, and direct in your content style definition and direction. No matter what it looks like, your content style guide should be presented in such a way where the important stuff -- voice and tone attributes, style notes, etc. Ours is a little simpler, and its purpose for the workshop is slightly different -- we’ll explain how in a moment. Perhaps you wanted your peers to think of you as smart, passionate, and knowledgeable. every time they need to write a 900-word blog post, especially if it could have been shortened to the length of a press release and been just as effective in explaining what they needed to know about content style. Place an X on the line for each where you think it best represents how your brand should be received to the public. If someone is being shy, invite them to participate by asking them after someone else gives an opinion, “What do you think about that?”. Your audience will fall in love with your brand, but only if what you want to say and what you’re communicating are aligned. But while content style guides don't seem particularly sexy or complex, it will be one of the most important documents you’ll ever create for your business. An annual, one-user online subscription is $35, usually with a 20% discount offered for automatic renewal options. But since pulling together a comprehensive content style guide isn't easy, we're sharing our time-tested, 12-page content style guide template. Plus, you’ll run the risk of people tossing your style guide to the side in frustration, because you’re giving them way too much to consider. If you plan to have it available in print, that’s fine, too. We typically see this with new startups, where they’re having these conversations for the first time -- which totally makes sense. Style: Finally, there’s your style. They either want to change the tense of a word or use a different (but similar) one they like better in its place. It’s kind of like when people look at the HubSpot marketing automation platform and expect it to be their inbound strategy, in addition to being the mechanism by which their strategy is executed. “Why?” and “What do you mean by that?” are two of our favorites. Here’s an example of voice attributes to illustrate what we mean: These examples have been heavily adapted. This article addresses why your organization needs a style guide, details what to include in your style guide, and gives examples of top-notch style guides to ensure streamlined external communications. So, who should be involved in your content style guide workshop? Next, you’ll want to approach your voice and tone. Hard copy-only style guides get put in drawers and ignored, thrown away, or used as coasters. (“We're an Oxford Comma family!”). By taking the time to define and document our brand’s voice, tone, and style parameters, our style guide will empower us to create better content that resonates with the right people we’re trying to attract in three ways by ensuring we are always: Putting our audience first with our content. Again, your goal is not to walk away with words you’ll plug into a Mad Libs-esque content style guide template. Whether it’s via email, Slack, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, training, or company meeting, let people know when things change and why. Because, while there are a lot of. Yes, the UNC Creative team developed exhaustive brand guidelines about everything -- logo, visuals, typography, stationary, color guidelines, content, etc. They can’t do that either. Just let whomever will be reviewing a draft of your style guide know they will have a chance to review a base editorial style section and make change requests. Ideas delivered with clarity move people to take action. free brand style guide template Posted on March 30, 2017 June 20, 2017 Author LIBBY Categories Branding , Free Templates Tags brand style guide Regardless of whether you’re developing your brand right now or have a long-standing brand identity in place, it’s a good idea to have a brand style guide. We have made this task easy for you through our free template gallery designed specifically for marketers. The first few times, send content back, and kindly let the writer know what needs to be changed and why. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)Beloved by book publishers, and fiction and nonfiction authors. We adapted this from a brand personality quiz originally developed by, This manifests itself when one or more people have their. The easy path here is to assemble a group of all marketers or all executives -- or perhaps some combination of the two. If you’re just starting out and not ready to take on something super complex, a one-page document with some basics might be the best approach until you get more comfortable. Depending on the unique needs of a client, we may also include other optional sections -- for instance, exceptions for social media, core values, how to handle competitor references, or examples of “best in class” blog examples or other types of content. We did a video conference call walkthrough with a copywriter for a website project, and they said afterward, “Wow, I wish all of my clients did this.”. You’ll find that you’ll need to spend your time with your notes to prioritize the right ideas with the correct wording. It should be used by anyone on your team -- or freelancers who work with you -- who will be creating content for your brand. To your participants, it’s obvious -- you’re getting their ideas about what their brand’s voice and tone should be. 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