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Creating an Effective and Consistent Copy Style Guide

August 9, 2023
·
5
min read

Defining Tone of Voice and Copywriting

When it comes to establishing your business’s brand identity, your brand voice is one of the most vitally important elements about you.

Think about it. It’s your preferred tone of voice in communication with your customers and it’s what defines your personality and how you connect with your audience. Because of this, it’s crucial that all of your written content, whether it’s on your social media pages, your website, text messages, or print ads speak in that same distinct tone of voice. 

What is a Copywriting Style Guide?

A copywriting style guide is your brand's word rulebook.

It's the GPS of your brand's voice, guiding your customers on what to expect from you at all times, and being consistent in that voice is how you build up not just your brand identity but trust and recognition as well.

Your copywriting style guide helps you and everyone who writes for your brand to do all of this. It's a document or slide deck that spells out how your brand talks to the world, from what tone of voice you use (a formal tone? Funny? Irreverent?) to the set of grammar and punctuation rules you follow to whether or not you use an Oxford comma (you absolutely should).

How to Create an Effective Tone of Voice Brand Guide

A megaphone sounding off. Your copy style guide is how your brand speaks to the world, so it is crucial that it is effective.

 

So, your brand voice is pretty important, and now that you know just how important a copywriting style guide is, here are all of the reasons why your brand needs to have one.

Brand Consistency and Tone of Voice

There is nothing more important to establishing your brand identity than consistency. 

Whether it’s your logo, your colors, or your slogan, consistency is what breeds familiarity from your target audience and then, eventually, the brand recognition and customer loyalty that guarantees your long-term success.

Your tone of voice is a big part of that. 

No matter what type of “tone of voice” you have, the way you speak to your audience should be consistent, and reflect your brand’s personality, values, and positioning, no matter what channel your content is on. 

To figure it out, it helps to pretend your brand is a person. 

If your brand were a person, think about what kind of person it would be. How would they talk? What’s their style? How would they speak to your customers? What words and phrases would they use? Are they playful and laid back? Cool and professional? Irreverent and funny?

Once you iron this out, run all of your written material through the filter of your brand person to ensure consistency in your writing style.

Clarify Your Marketing Communications (MarCom)

To make sure your written content is consistent, it helps to first have some guidelines for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and formatting to make sure everyone who is writing for your brand is following the same set of rules.

To keep these rules the same across the board, it helps to choose a citation style like APA, Chicago Manual of Style, or MLA and the rules that go along with them to set a standard for your blogs, articles, white papers, eBooks, and more.

You also need to decide some company-specific writing preferences, like your numbers being written out rather than spelled, certain word choices, or the way you address your audience.

Does your brand use any company-specific words or jargon? How about a word or phrase you coined and copyrighted yourself and now use in your marketing collateral? Whatever it might be, setting specific guidelines is extremely helpful to specify usage, spelling, and capitalization rules for them to help out any new employee or external team members.

Setting these standards goes a long way to ensure that your written content is easy to digest, easy to write, and a pleasure to read.

Streamline & Accelerate Your Content Creation

When all the rules and instructions are clearly laid out, it eliminates any second guessing (i.e, “wait, can we say that?”), saves you tons of time, and makes it easy to hand off writing projects to freelancers, external team members, or newer employees.

Whether you need to hire an outside source to write your blog posts, create content for your website, or anything in between, a copy and content style guide will assist them in how to write in YOUR brand voice.

This, of course, streamlines your content creation, making it a breeze for writers to produce, and eliminating any lengthy editing sessions afterward (i.e., “wait, we CAN’T say that!”).

Increase the Effectiveness of Your Brand Messaging

A floating orange caption bubble. A copy style guide increases the effectiveness of your brand's messaging.

 

All of this consistency does wonders for strengthening your brand message and how your brand communicates. 

When your tone of voice is consistent and readable, you’re better equipped to reinforce your brand’s position and improve your messaging strategies.

And no matter if you’re communicating with your target audience via social media or through your customer service channels, it allows you to better connect since your messaging is resonating with your people, building trust, and encouraging loyalty and stronger relationships.

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Sold? Let’s Make it Happen Already

So, if you’re ready to nail down your brand’s tone of voice guidelines then Designity is here to help you do it.

Signing up with Designity guarantees that you have an experienced and talented Creative Director on your team, ready to learn all about your brand and help you find your personality, your values, and your voice.

And with a creative pool of the top 3% of US-based copywriters, you can soon have a style guide template that not only nails down your brand but is sleek and professional and a joy to read.

Check out our content and copywriting services page and see what we have to offer!

Does your brand have a copy style guide?

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About the author:
Sara Lopez
Sara is a Texas-based copywriter.
Interested in content collaboration? Email at press@designity.com
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