A style guide is one of the first steps to building your brand - there's really no excuse to not have one! Simply, a writing style guide gives you an extensive how-to on your brand voice.
Yours may include anything from spelling, to fonts, to SEO keywords. It's up to you and how your business communicates. A writing style guide includes anything to do with the language you use and how you use it.
Here are some great benefits of a writing style guide (and some tips on what to include in one!).
1. You'll build a unified and recognisable brand
English may be just one language, but we all use it differently. Your brand's writing will show consumers the personality and attitude of your business.
If you write too formally, you might alienate your audience. If you write too casually, you might not be taken seriously. You need to know how your brand will communicate and keep it unified across all channels.
Once you know how you're going to use the English language, you'll have a strong and unified brand voice.
2. You'll reach your target audience
Your entire style guide should be based on your ideal customers and what resonates with them. Your market research will be a great indication for this.
You can't write to teenagers the same way you'd write to retirees. They wouldn't understand the language, and your words definitely won't persuade them to buy from you.
Research about how your audience communicates is an important aspect of your style guide. You have to speak their language!
3. You'll know which keywords to use
Your audience will recognise and relate to the words you use. If you're selling trees, you want to mention trees and related words often. Reinforce the idea of what your business does!
Keywords are also a great way to build SEO content and hashtags. Think about using keywords to phrase and answer questions. How might your audience search for something? If they're Googling 'How do I cut down a tree?', you need your website to answer that.
(There are many free SEO tools you can use to find keywords; I recommend trying a few!)
4. You'll know how to spell correctly
Spelling has many rules, but there are always variations.
Consider British and American English. Do you know which you'll be using? Knowing whether to use 'colour' or 'color' is so important - if you're a local Aussie brand, you don't want to confuse consumers by using American spelling!
First, you'll pick a dictionary to stick to. This is where you can check if you're ever confused about a word.
But, a good style guide will have a quick list of any keywords (or other words commonly used in your industry) that are difficult to spell. For example, a business in the medical industry may have a list of difficult, scientific words (like diarrhoea!), to make sure they are always used correctly.
Also think about typos and common mistakes you struggle with. Add the correct uses to your guide.
5. You'll have a strong message
This is the most important aspect of marketing.
If your business doesn't have a simple but powerful message to base all communication on, your writing will be lost. It's the foundation of your entire business!
What are the values of your brand, and what do you offer? Can you put it in a single sentence?
Lastly, don't forget to add a 'call to action' in every piece of communication you write.
Did you know All Write offers personalised style guide packages? Get in touch to find out more!