Many writers, one voice – it IS possible
Your in-house marketing team may consist of several copywriters … or at least numerous team members who contribute content.
Your website may include:
- Product pages written by your creative team
- How-to pages written by your tech team
- About pages written by upper management
- Blog posts written by members of various departments
So how can you ensure your content marketing has a consistent voice?
Share who you are writing for
Your customers want you to tell them, “What’s in it for me?”
But how do you highlight what they need if you don’t know who they are?
You can’t … at least not very well.
Your writers – whoever they may be – need to know who they are speaking to. In order to do this, you need to create a customer persona. Once this persona is produced, clearly share it with your team.
The more detailed you can get, the better your writers can find a way to relate. Be sure to provide your team with a clear picture of whom they are writing for.
Set a guiding voice
Once your writers know who they are writing for, they still need more guidance. You need to create a content marketing guide.
Your guide should include:
- Integral components of the company’s voice and branding
- A clear explanation of your USP (unique selling proposition)
- Style guide with preferred use of grammar rules and sentence structure
Don’t let them have the final word
You should have an editor or editorial team that reviews each web page, blog post, and online campaign before it posts. The editing process should not only include grammar and spelling, but also review of voice, tone and message.
What tips can you add for writing with multiple writers?
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The big problem with this is that only larger companies can afford all the writers and editors needed. If there is no budget for an editor, a senior writer needs to have that power and responsibility. But it is vital that the company make sure the senior writer knows best practices and has the backing of the other writers.
I used to work in a documentation department of 5 tech writers and the issue of style and content strategy would come up a lot, but because there was no editor, the senior writer had the final say. Big problem, because the senior had no formal training and was the one doing things the wrong way. It caused endless (and needless) rounds of rewrites and reviews and ultimately resulted in the disbanding of the team.
Good point Craig. It seems as though the senior writer would need to have the power to make any needed changes. Of course, he or she would need to have the time to edit on top of regular writing duties.
I think no matter the size of the team, there needs to be some sort of documentation to serve as a guide.
Thanks for your input.