Blog Guidelines: Keep Your Content Marketing Team on the Same Page
One of the most critical components of your content strategy is consistency of style and brand voice across everything you publish. With blog guidelines, your content team – including guest posters and freelancers – can make your content speak with one voice — your brand’s.
When you have written guidelines for content producers, it can act as a quality assurance measure, saving time and money in the process. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should create a set of guidelines for writers and other creatives to follow.
Maximize Your Content Marketing ROI
Even though content marketing incurs more than 60 percent fewer costs than other marketing methods, that figure only holds if you make the best use of your resources. Even before you hire your team, you need a roadmap for where you want your content to take its readers and listeners.
Take the time to create a set of content guidelines that gives writers, video producers, and other content creators an idea of where you want them to go. When you give them a content roadmap, they will likely need fewer revisions and communicate your message more clearly.
The clearer and consistent the message, the more likely potential customers will see your company as an authority in its field. Building that trust is the number one ingredient in turning potential customers into paying ones.
Furthermore, having fewer revisions will free up your content producers’ time to create new content, as opposed to revision after revision. From your capitalization and punctuation preferences to your brand voice (serious and scholarly vs. capricious and cheeky), having a guide that creatives can look at as they create blog content will help them create content that better meets your specifications. You’ll save on editing time, have a happier content creation team, and end up with more quality content in the long run.
Create Even When the Well Runs Dry
Whether you have an entire team or produce your own content, a set of guidelines can help you refocus when you run out of ideas. Provided you’ve structured your guidelines to include your content goals and audience personas, you can use those elements as a springboard to think of thoughtful content that will achieve those goals and serve those audiences.
Those guidelines, therefore, need to state the “why” you create content in the first place. Before all the serial commas, all the clever words about your brand voice, you need to define for whom you are creating your blog content – and why.
When your guidelines focus first on your mission, it’s easier to plan the kinds of content that will accomplish that mission. That kind of mission-focused content planning is especially important when you outsource content to agencies and freelancers.
As you create these guidelines, focus on what you want this content to do for your customers. State some of the problems they face – what keeps them up at night.
When you start with the end in sight, it’s easier to come up with titles that get readers’ attention. Those titles, in turn, can serve as a springboard for the rest of the blog post.
Create customer personas so that your content team, as well as any outsourced personnel, can get to know who exactly they are writing content for. Consider your blog guidelines a blueprint for customer satisfaction – and you’ll never go wrong. After all, that is your ultimate goal.
Having a blueprint for the overall goals you want your content to achieve can help a blank screen turn into informative, customer-winning content.
Keep Consistency Despite Personnel Changes
No one likes to lose employees. We at DivvyHQ encourage our clients to do all they can to create a welcoming, empowering culture for not only their content team – but all across the enterprise.
Yet, even with the best-case scenario, some of your best content producers will need to move on for various reasons. Even the most satisfied employees, too, retire. Additionally, many companies need to outsource at least some content production to freelance specialists or agencies.
Effective content management takes all of those contingencies into consideration.
Having well-documented blog guidelines can help you handle all these situations. With clearly defined guidelines, you’ll have a seamless connection among all the content you put out.
Empower Employees Outside the Content Team to Post
If your company has a new widget coming out, it would be great to have a member of your R&D team post an article about its benefits. You might even want your chief engineer to write an article describing how it works and how potential customers can put it to use.
Only trouble – they’re not professional copywriters. Chances are, though, that they’ve had a class or two on writing either in high school or college.
With a set of guidelines that spell out your grammatical and style guidelines in detail, it will make it a lot easier for them to pull out their writing chops out of the cobwebs to write those articles. As our own Danka Jankovic points out, guidelines can prevent the kinds of mistakes that can stymie your efforts to reap all the benefits employee-produced content can bring to the table.
Consider these benefits of internal SMEs putting on their content producer hats:
- Eight times more engagement than content you share through your branded assets
- 24 times the reshares that branded posts receive
- 561 percent more reach than messages that your official brand social channel shares
Instead of a “free-for-all,” as Jankovic puts it, this employee-shared content can become a revenue-building machine.
Having blog guidelines ensures that employee-shared content will adhere to the same grammatical quality, style, and brand voice as your content team’s work. A content management platform can help you ensure that your content creators – official and unofficial – will understand the objectives you want to achieve, be aware of their deadline, and can get help with editing and other issues through effective content collaboration on a single platform.
Define Your Blog Workflow
Not only should your blog guidelines cover content focus, style, tone, and grammatical preferences, but they should also cover the steps that every blog post needs to go through to get into consumers’ hands. When you take the time to document that process in a simple, step-by-step manner, it will save time in the long run through effective content marketing management.
From conceptualizing to creation to archiving and updating content to maintain its relevance, these guidelines can make everyone’s life easier. Not only does this comprehensive approach work better for large teams, but it’s a time-saver for solo entrepreneurs who need to spend the bulk of their time building their business.
If you want more time to build your business while attracting more customers through content marketing, you need an easy, time-saving way to streamline your content creation process. To enjoy a free 14-day trial of content management made simple, get started today!