When starting to develop their brand, many companies spend a lot of time choosing colors and hiring graphic designers but overlook their written content. No matter where you’re sharing content – on your blog, social media, or other websites – you want to develop a voice that helps you maintain your relationship with current clients and generate new business.
But how do you do that? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Get guidance from your visual branding. Start by looking to other materials you’ve developed – logos, business cards, company photographs, and even your office or store décor. Write down words you would use to describe them. Are they bright, colourful, and fun? Or are they more straightforward and professional? Do you tend to share humour, or does your brand seem more sentimental and flowery? The tone of your written content should similarly share these qualities.
Establish your message. What’s the overall goal of your brand – and thus, your written copy? It can be helpful to develop a one sentence statement which you can choose to share with the public or not. For example, Google’s informal company motto is “Don’t be evil.” When developing this message, you also want to keep in mind who your target audience is. You would write different copy for soccer moms than you would for recent retirees.
Develop your web copy. Once you’ve defined the tone that you want to hit, you should start by content writing for your website to further hone in on your company’s unique voice. Since this copy is incredibly important, many businesses choose to hire a professional writer for this phase. You can work with him or her to establish a tone that you can use elsewhere, or you can go it alone. Either way, take the time to get it right now, so you can use it as a template for other areas of your web presence.
Find the face behind your blog. Blogs are all about making a personal connection with your clients, and one of the best ways to do that is to literally put a face to your company. This can be the CEO, an employee with an interesting position, or even multiple employees. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this individual has to write each blog; you can choose to hire a ghost-writer to handle that task if necessary. Either way, you want to stay consistent with the tone you’ve established in the web copy – but since it’s a blog, you can be a more informal and have a little fun with it.
Create a social networking plan. Figure out where your target audience is spending the most time, and focus your efforts there. Facebook is one of the most popular sites on the web and reaches a wide audience, but you also want to consider other smaller social networks. For instance, a LinkedIn presence might be important if you are targeting business owners, and Dogster is great for targeting dog owners. Again, you want to take into account the tone of your brand. If you have a fun, more playful brand, you may want to take advantage of apps to take polls and create quizzes. For a more serious brand, you could share links to articles relevant in your area of expertise.
Be consistent. No matter where your writing will appear, it should reflect your brand in the same way. This is true even if you’re writing for a different audience, such as in a guest post for another site. Certainly, you can make adjustments to better target those readers, but you want to maintain the same tone and stick to your branding message. Some companies find it beneficial to maintain a style guide of sorts for their written branding style in order to help everyone stay on the same page.