How to Bring Your Brand To Life with Writing Style Content Marketing Webinar V33Byron White Special GuestsChief Idea Officer Mike Roberts, President SpyfuideaLaunch.com Casey Joseph, Casey Joseph Marketing@ByronWhite Boston, MA 617-227-8800
What is Developing Your Writing StyleContent Marketing? Writing Style Wizard
What is writing style? • You can think of writing style as the personality expressed in writing. • Draws on different elements like… • Tone of voice • Use of punctuation • Word choice • Sentence length • Abstract vs concrete imagery • Develop a Writing Style Guide that becomes the framework for writing assignments • Style Guides are typically developed by creative team members, content strategists and brand specialists. • Style Guides are used by writers and employees as the gateway to communication and delivery of the brand promise.
Your writing style needs to… 1.) Align with your Brand Position 2.) Aim at a Target Audience 3.) Offer a consistent Tone of Voice 4.) Adhere to Requirements, Specifications and Restrictions 5.) Deliver on Performance Goals
In the next 20 minutes, I’m going to… -- Walk you through those 5 steps -- Show you how writing style can bring your brand to life -- Give you a link to a new Writing Style Wizard that will: -- Save you lots of time -- Get your writers and team members on the same page -- Help achieve your quality and performance goals
1.) Brand Position • Well-identified, concise, articulate summary of the key factors that define your brand. • Who are we? Company background. • How are we different? Competitive distinction. • What are our goals? Short- and long-term plans. • How do we define ourselves? Our Mantra. • How do we execute our Brand Position. Channel distribution.
Sample Brand Positions • Recognition Aviva • Celebrate Something Kayem Franks • Expect Great Things Kohl • Save Babies March of Dimes • Think IBM • Gourmet Fast Food Panera Bread
Sample Brand PositionWe bring prosperity and piece of mind to customers. And recognize customersas individuals, listening to their needs and circumstances The following words and phrases define who we are…. • Empathy • Recognition • Caring • Customer Focused • Listening • Pro-Active
Cross Channel Distribution of Brand PositionContent Asset Portfolio Employee Communication• Articles • Phone Greeting• Blog Posts • Email Correspondence• Brochures • Internal Memos• Infographics • Training Collateral• Newsletters • Sales Strategy• Podcasts • Employee Surveys• Press Releases• Slide Decks• Social Media• Surveys• Webinars• Workbooks• Video
Brand Position Execution • Answering the Phone How can I help you today? VS How may I direct your call? • Email Correspondence Hi Byron VS To Whom it May Concern I will contact you soon VS Let me know if you need additional support • Selling Strategy Our products are simply the best VS What is most important to you?
2.) Target Audience • Define your target audience in 500 words or less • What are their circumstances? • What are their wants and needs?
They’re Readers, not Customers • What do you know about your customers and readers? • Source of Traffic • Online Navigation pattern • Most Popular Web Pages, Downloads or Content • Number of readers or subscribers • What motivates your customers? • Incentives • Offers • Results
Reader Proficiency Level Helps to avoid talking up or down to readers, prospects and customers.
Reader Mindset Help get under the skin of the target audience so you can engage them.
3.) Writing Style Elements of Writing Style Roots of Writing Style • Brand Values • Language • Diction • Psychology • Use of Punctuation • Culture • Syntax • Metrics • Word Choice • Paragraph Length • Abstract vs Concrete Imagery • Industry Jargon
Sample Writing Style SummaryThe tone of voice for all our copy should be:• Clear and easy to follow: Keep things brief, and to-the-point. Use crisp language. Introduce the point, strip out the complication and lengthy clause.• Engaging and surprising: Write with warm language as if you are talking to a friend. Bring a smile with clever use of ideas, analogies, aphorisms, quotations, current events, celebrity references or other ideas that might engage readers.• Upbeat and encouraging. Speak to readers interest, goals and challenges. Use active voice and forward-looking statements. Present solutions to problems in a positive, informative manner.
Blog Writing Styles Insight Ambition Challenger Piggyback Life Brand Promotional Wingflap Announcement Link Video Photo Evangelist List Survey Thematic Guest Interview Event Live Response
Writing Style Barometer Straightforward Style Like Less Like More As quickly as possible Pronto In an emergency situation In a pinch Learn expert techniques Get the scoop Inspiring Like Less Like More Apply decoration Jazz up Proper Organization Ducks lined up Have a party Gather friends and family
Tone of Voice • The most “fun” and the most “difficult” to master • Personality expressed in writing • Changes with different content assets • Changes with stages of the sales funnel • Must embody your brand position • Your Story • Your Mission • Your Goals
Weighting Tone of Voice Authority Informative Academic Friendly Static Dramatic Straight Forward Compelling To the Point Animated Feed the Brain Touch the Hart Active Passive Personal Objective
Personal Tone of Voice Simon Cowell No-nonsense approach, blunt statements, keen insight with opinions Randy Jackson Everyone’s friend, soft-sell approach, supportive insight, nice guy. Paula Abdul Warm, bubbly, never predictable, caring, motherly, heartfelt insight
4.) Requirements • Brand Values • Target Audience • Voice and Tone • Punctuation and Syntax • Industry Jargon • Style Selection • Legal Requirements
Writing Style Guide • Defines the fixed parameters of assignments • Provides a strategy that can be agreed upon by all • Contains all the relevant information in a single place • Establishes the drivers for performance goals • Gets writers, creative team members and employees on the same page
What form can a Writing Style Guide take? • Simple 2 or 3 Page Form • Branding Guide Addendum • Whiteboard • Task ListWho should be involved in creating it? • Marketing Team • Writer • Designer • Content Strategist: Someone that understand the real context that the work will exist • Customer Service: Someone inside the mind of the reader or customer engaging with the workWho should use it? • Writers, Editors, Designer and Employees
A Writing Style Guide is not…. • Appropriate or necessary for simple content projects or assignments. • A long summary of how great your company, products and/or services are and why they are better than the competition. • An all-for-one document that applies to all your creative projects
Some rules for Writing Style Guides • Every angle is different: Creative, Marketing, Customer • Briefs can be organic, collaborative and inspirational, not overly directional, limiting or persuasive • Try and write the brief for a creative writer, not your marketing manager • Don’t express the hype, or believe the hype. Find deeper roots that speak to the needs of the reader or consumer, not marketing gibbon • Have a consistent theme to the entire brief • Let the personality of the consumer or reader shine through • Use evocative, unexpected language that inspires creativity
The Writing Style Wizard WriterAccess.com/style-guide-wizard
Byron White, ideaLaunchChief Idea OfficerTwitter: @ByronWhiteByron[at]ideaLaunch.com “The only marketingPhone: 617-227-8800 x 201 left is content marketing.” Seth Godin Free 101 Content Marketing Tips Book PDF Version Visit ideaLaunch.com/101