A company style guide for content strategy is important because it can help us be clear and add consistency in our corporate marketing and storytelling.
Content expert Carmen Hill joined me on this episode of the podcast to discuss the importance in detail.
Some style discussions can get heated, Take the Oxford comma. But at the end of the day, It’s not about whether you love the comma or not. It’s about what makes the story clear to the reader! That also should be the goal of any style guide.
In the digital world, here’s where style guides could come in especially essential:
- make content consumption easy to the reader! That means it’s skimmable.
- give readers the structure to find the information quickly.
[Tweet “Whether we like it or not, readers skim our content. – @ctrappe”]
Digital style guides keep readers on track
In digital marketing, style guides can sometimes make the storytelling more formulaic and that’s not bad necessarily:
- Here’s where the headline goes. Is it title case, sentence case or what?
- Copy that is always the same (on my blog, that’s the email sign up. Other sites have disclaimers – which I have at the bottom on articles) is in certain spots.
- Then comes the new information or story.
- Some calls to action maybe.
- The photo is always on the top right.
- There’s a subhead every 300 words
- Images break up copy as well.
[Tweet “Create the most relevant content and you can win, says @ctrappe”]
You don’t even have to create your own style guide. Carmen and I talked about AP Style at length, which I mostly use. Using the AP Stylebook is an easy way to implement a style and then build on that for more nuanced uses of content pieces as necessary.
Implementing a style guide in Grammarly
I’ve been using Grammarly to check my content and the software now offers an integrated company style guide. This of course comes in handy because it would check your style while you’re working on the content. So it’s becoming way less manual of a process.