The 21 Best Social Media Research Reports Every Marketer Should Read

As a young journalism major learning about the publishing industry, I was in awe of the well-oiled machines that were large magazines, where I wanted to write one day. How in the world could they combine hundreds, or even thousands, of different writers and voices—some veteran, some new to the team, some freelancers or temporary interns—into this one voice that was cohesive and just…fit? Was it that everyone they hired just thought and talked the same way? That seemed unrealistic. No, as I got further into my writing career, I realized that the well-oiled processes of the publishing industry ran deeper than I’d thought, and they usually had a documented system for representing the publication’s voice. I’m talking about the holy editorial guidelines.

Editorial Guidelines: A Writer’s Holy Grail

These publications would have a guide or manual to writing as part of the organization, and they’d be so clear and details that professional writers could hop into and out of the team knowing exactly how to adapt their writing voice. Well, aside from a few internships in college, I never actually made it into that industry. Instead, I found the world of content marketing and fell in love. But one thing I’ve noticed? Brand editorial guidelines are often sorely lacking compared to publishers’, when they exist at all. Sure, we have rules and guidelines for our content to tell guest bloggers or our CEO to follow when contributing content. We know our “brand personality” and can explain it easily. But does your brand have that comprehensive guide that can essentially onboard any new content creators for you? Something documented that ensures cohesiveness whether you’re content’s being created by the marketing team, the product team, the C-suite, freelancers, or guests? If not, don’t feel guilty. You’re definitely not alone in this!
So today’s post will lay out how you can define and document voice guidelines that are as clear as the rest of your branding and can be used for any kind of brand content.
Want to use Click to Tweet on your blog?

Why Bother Documenting Brand Voice Guidelines?

Let’s clear the air first: why isn’t it enough to just explain the overall voice and brand personality to any new content creators?
  • Documenting processes in general is important to managing any team and lays out what’s required for effective project management
  • Putting the rules in writing ensures consistency from writer to writer, as opposed to explaining it separately and/or differently to each contributor.
  • Going through this process can identify areas of your branding you might not have thought about in relation to your content.
  • Having a formal document helps streamline training and onboarding new team members or contributors.
  • It offers a quick reference for any existing writers who want to double check something, which will make editing easier.
Five Reasons to Document Your Brand Voice Guidelines Now let’s get to it.

Download Your Free Brand and Editorial Voice Guidelines Template

If you’re going to document style standards for your brand’s voice, you’ll need a template to do it right. Right? Grab this freebie from CoSchedule and follow along as you read this post. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a complete set of documented standards ready to go.
About the Author