· 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content marketing strategy
· 72% of marketers say content marketing has increased lead generation
· It takes 5-7 impressions for people to remember a brand
Let’s go back in time for a second. Back to middle school English class. Sorry we couldn’t time travel somewhere cooler, but there’s an important marketing lesson you learned here!
Back when we had creative writing assignments, we were learning all about writing styles and how they’re used to evoke emotion and build connections between the author and the reader. All of that is still relevant today! Especially when it comes to establishing an online presence.
In this blog, we’re going to cover how to create a writing style and why it’s important in marketing!
When it comes to establishing an online presence, consistency is key. You want potential customers to recognize your brand, whether they’re viewing a blog, social media post, or video! Consistency makes it easier for people to get familiar with your brand and start to trust you. And we all know trust is key in generating quality leads.
Voice is who a reader hears when they’re reading your content. It’s how a person or company speaks that is unique to them. A voice is multi-faceted, but at its core it’s always consistent.
Voice and tone are closely associated. However, the key difference between the two is that voice is what is being said and tone is how it’s being said. In writing, tone is most easily conveyed through punctuation.
Let use, “It’s so nice to meet you,” as an example.
Version 1: “It’s so nice to meet you.”
Version 2: “It’s so nice to meet you!”
The first one is to-the-point and could be taken as professional and calm while the second is more playful. Here, the voice is the same but the tone is different.
Just like a buyer persona that we preach about when it comes to digital advertising, your company has a persona too. A persona is a fictional character that represents a brand. You take the qualitative traits of a group of people and use it to mold an identity.
A persona can help you conceptualize the appropriate voice for your business’s brand!
Below are just a few pieces of data you can use to start building a persona:
What’s their age and gender?
Where do they live?
What’s their relationship status?
Do they work? If so, what’s their income?
What’s their educational background?
What are their hobbies?
Who do they follow on social media?
What are their goals?
What are their biggest struggles?
What motivates them?
Now that we’ve gone over the foundation of a writing style, let me give you a real life example: Digital Resource.
Digital Resource’s Persona
Before I was even an employee at Digital Resource, there was a persona in the making. But, it wasn’t something that had been paid much attention. When I came into the company, it was still in its very early stages.We’re still young but have covered a lot ground since then which has played a vital role in forming our current persona.
Nowadays, Digital Resource’s persona is a combination of people – three to be exact – who have the unique privilege of representing our company in varying degrees.
First, we have the company’s founder and president, Shay. He’s the business owner and marketing expert that is the foundation. So, how he communicates sets the stage for how I approach Digital Resource content, whether it’s the use of “assist” instead of “help”,“great” rather than “good” – or even his most used phrases – “Is now a bad time?” and “Does that sound fair?”
From there, I admittedly include a lot of myself in our persona. This is really easy to do since I work in the company and with the rest of the team. Energy and willingness to learn is what I pull from myself.
The third element is our wildcard. Jen, the office manager who started as our very first receptionist. We always joke that she’s the first face you see and the first voice you hear, but it’s true. So, to keep things genuine, familiar, and personable, we toss some Jen in there.
Long story short, for nearly three years now, I’ve paid attention to the exchanges that happen within our office and filter it work indifferent scenarios.
Note: This pertains to voice. This is who your company is.
Now, as important as it was to create a unique voice that represented Digital Resource well, it also needed to resonate with our target audience.
We’re speaking to other business owners from all verticals and people wanting to gain digital marketing knowledge. These are ambitious people who want to better their businesses and/or themselves. Lucky for us, our company is made up of people just like our audience! We know how to talk to them.
That’s why our content is pretty straight-forward when it comes down to the meat and potatoes of marketing. Yes, we have our fluffy, filler content to showcase culture. But, we try to be educational. We’re a marketing expert. And, in an attempt to mentor our followers and help them make educated decisions, we angle this to come off as approachable and understanding.
Then, in the middle of all of that, we like to have fun!We’re very candid when relaying information so that it doesn’t get stiff and makes people actually want to invest the time in consuming our content.
Note: This pertains to tone. How you are relaying the message to evoke a response.
What is my purpose of writing this piece? That’s the first question I ask myself when starting any assignment.
I’ve written a lot of content for Digital Resource. Social media posts, blogs, video scripts, press releases, emails, event flyers, landing pages – the list goes on. So, I’ve formulated how I approach what exactly I’m writing depending on what I’m trying to accomplish.
A social media post is used to casually connect. We are talking mostly to people who are familiar with our brand. They know what we’re about. In this situation, there’s more of myself and Jen in the writing to keep things genuine and make readers feel like they’re a part of our team.
On the flip side, I could be writing something formal, like a company description for a magazine to use or a press release. This will be used to spread the word about Digital Resource among people who have most likely never heard of us. I’ll highlight that Shay facet to keep things professional.
Note: This also pertains to tone. You must adjust how you relay the message depending on “The Where.”
At this point, I need to get more technical. “The What” and“The Where” are closely related because they both revolve around the medium.But, the key difference is the actual format of the content.
For example, every social media platform follows a different format. Facebook is a free-for-all. Instagram is similar, but shows less text,so I need the most important information first. Twitter is 280 characters or less, meaning I need to keep things short and sweet. And, so forth.
Then, for our website, I automatically jump to an SEO state of mind. Everything down to the meta description that shows up in a search result is taken into consideration.
Content writing for online platforms is very detail-oriented. So, you have to take it piece-by-piece, and over time, you’ll know how to address each situation in an organized manner.
We’ve only just scratched the surface here – but we’re ready to dig in with you! Whether you’re just getting into content marketing yourself or looking for an agency to help your company, the team at Digital Resource is here for you! Feel free to contact us with any questions!