As for all the marketing materials, brand storytelling has to follow certain guidelines that are usually detailed in the corporate content marketing style guide.
In the case of destinations, where many amateur writers are to participate, this style guide plays an especially important role. First, it has to be explained in the storytelling training workshops for the new storytellers, but it has to be easily available to all of them on the corporate site. The style guide is like a basic road map that orientates writers on how to create high-quality content. There are some key recommendations to take into consideration when crafting the destination’s content marketing style guide:
Clearly define your goals and audience targets. Think about writers with different skill levels, providing not only guidelines for advanced writers but also for average and inexperienced ones. Focus on the most common flaws and main style guidelines.
Create a logical framework that makes it user friendly. Facilitate the understanding about how to use the guide to make it easy for the new writers who are not familiar with that kind of document. Using simple language and visual aids is likely to help them out.
Use reputable sources of guidance. So long as the Style Guide cannot include guidelines for all the possible mistakes, it is convenient to use a few selected sources of style guidance that users can access in case of doubt.
Promote its usage. Apart from the digital version uploaded in the corporate website, it would be convenient to all contributors to have a paper copy of the Guide in the storytelling training workshop. Then it is the moment to explain the importance of using it.
Update it regularly. The content marketing style is likely to evolve in the same way as all the marketing strategies evolve. The Guide is therefore to be updated incorporating the new social language and other communication trends.
Some of the key components of a Content Marketing Style Guide would be:
- List of stylistic guidelines on what to do and what not to do
- Punctuation guidelines on when to use colons and semicolons
- Corporate guidelines regarding some words and phrases that are part of its culture
- Guidelines on confusing words to let the writers know the differences
- Writer’s checklist to evaluate drafts and correct mistakes
How would you foster the adoption of the Style Guide by the non-professional contributors?