Your online content is like a series of roadmaps for audiences. You’re giving them directions and information to help them solve issues they face, step-by-step. Imagine however if your roadmaps aren’t consistent.
Being inconsistent is going to restrict the success of your campaigns and confuse potential customers. For example, if you write in your blog about how your customers can solve a problem one way and in an email state another way – it will be confusing.
Instead, you need to align your content across all the platforms you utilise, so they are all giving the same information.
This isn’t very challenging with the right tools, mindset and patience, but so many businesses fail to do this. Most small businesses will make mistakes that will confuse their audiences. You don’t have to make those mistakes.
Here are some tips to ensure you don’t make errors and your business continues to provide one message to your audiences.
Create A Content Schedule/Calendar
There are numerous reasons why you might want to create a content schedule. For starters, it helps you concentrate on what content you’re publishing and ensuring you aren’t covering topics too much or too little.
This can be vital, as focusing on a narrow subject and not offering a too diverse a range of topics limits your attraction to audiences. It can also limit your reach on search engines, and with too great a frequency on a topic, audiences can quickly get bored and leave your brand.
Another benefit of a content schedule is that you can monitor results by looking at the number of sales related to what content was most recent.
You can also co-ordinate activities across the platforms and time them properly. For instance, you can start a campaign for a promotion on social media one week before the launch. Then two days before the launch, write and publish a blog post about the upcoming promotion. On the day of the promotion, you’ll need to create a landing page for the promotion and send out an email.
A content schedule is your guide to creating the roadmap for your audience. By using one you aren’t just ensuring the content is always consistent, you are ensuring you know timescales to when content needs to be written, published and promoted.
If you don’t have a content schedule yet, get one. Even a simple spreadsheet can be a useful tool for this.
Create a Style Guide
There are several reasons why you might want more than one writer for a business blog. Research demonstrates that blogs with more than one blog writer generate more leads and sales online. More writers also allows for more content which also increases lead generation.
The quality of the writing can also be improved with more than one writer. This is because the authors can spend more time on their content which always helps.
However, the issues with multiple writers can be challenging. The main issue is with maintaining a consistent style. One writer might have a conversational, informal tone while another has a formal tone that refers to readers in the third person.
A mixture of styles doesn’t just look odd, it can infuriate readers and lose you vital traffic. It just looks as if your brand isn’t unified.
Therefore, your business needs a style guide. This guide should cover all content that you are producing from your business’ social media output, through to landing pages, blog posts and even email.
Nothing should be produced that goes against your business’ style guide. That doesn’t mean there’s no flexibility in writing. Every one has a unique way of producing content and presenting information. But at least a consistent style can be useful in developing a unified brand presence.
Include in your style guide:
- How long paragraphs should be.
- How long sentences should be.
- What images should be used in blogs, emails, landing pages and social media.
- What tone your content should have.
- How you refer to customers/clients in the content.
Another benefit of a style guide, as well as a content schedule, is that should anything happen to you or your content writing team, someone can be brought in and immediately know what’s expected of them.
Keep A Consistent Team Going
Writing is a talent and should not be understated. While there are lots of people offering their writing services online; not all are of the same quality. There are also some sites that can offer you cheap writing options. These are often referred to as Content Mills.
Content Mills are a cheap way to generate content quickly, but they can also be a disruption to your business’ style. You can’t always guarantee that the same writer will create your content on content mills. This can mean that different styles are applied to your content.
This is mostly because a writer on a content mill is paid very little. Therefore, they churn out your content as quick as they can. There is little time put into developing your content to its full potential.
Instead you should be looking to hire a professional writer. This can be done directly or via an agency/freelancer basis. This is the better route as professional writers are always going to offer you better services.
A good agency/freelancer will work with you to create a brand voice and style that remains consistent. This is something that will take time up at the beginning of your working relationship, but in the long-term will help you save time and money.
Just be sure to give new writers time to settle in. They need to become familiar with your voice and style. It’s just like training a new member of your sales team or customer assistant. Without training, a new staff member will make mistakes. Its the same with any agency or freelancer.
For that reason, it’s also best if you can use the same people to help you with emails, landing pages and social media. One team working on your digital content is going to be aligned than lots of different people who don’t communicate.
Ensure Your Business Is Giving A Consistent Brand Voice
Whatever platforms you’re planning on using for your business, you need to be sure content published has a unifying voice and message. This isn’t just about the promotions you’re doing, it’s about the tone, style and way it is published.
There are numerous ways to overcome the challenges that lead to misaligned content. However, with good tools like those we’ve highlighted above you can avoid mistakes and have a singular brand voice.
Just remember that being consistent is an act of persistence. There will be challenges ahead, but with the right mindset you can succeed.