Getting your Website Content Voice and Philosophy Right

December 9, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

On this website we spend a lot of time assessing the content produced by other people. We see a lot of different content voices and a lot of different philosophies to content development. We previously produced a post talking about the emotional side of writing, and how your content must stir passion in the reader in order for them to take action, or be transformed internally. In this piece will talk about how you should go about content marketing campaign. Take a look at the goals you should set, understanding your audience When embarking on a new content marketing campaign you should go in with a solid plan and end goal. By going into this new campaign with an idea of what you want to achieve and how you’ll get there you are more likely to avoid a failed marketing operation. Creating content for a new website is only part of the content creation battle. You and your marketing team (yes, you should have one!) should work together to figure out what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how to get it done properly; before you begin your website.

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Set a Goal for Your Site and Content

To start a successful content marketing initiative you should start by pinpointing a goal and overall philosophy for your website and for the new website content. This basically means that you should figure out what you want your marketing campaign to do for your business. This can be customer retention, an increase in traffic, or brand recognition (or a combination of all of those). Once you know what you want the content to do you can make sure that the overall campaign is tailored to that end goal.

Once you understand what the purposes of your website and new website content are then you can move on and focus on what kind of content you need to produce for your readers. You may want to provide readers with information regarding the general industry your business is a part of, or you may want to write about your own services or the happenings in your company (new employees or managers, new products, upgraded facilities, etc.). When these details are sorted out you and your team are ready to begin writing websites.

Steve, at print print.co.uk, explains that “your content should be a part of your overall brand strategy. You should ensure that your voice is consistent across all of your marketing channels, and that the essence of your brand flows through your logos, your graphics and everything that you say and do. It is only then that you can truly tell a compelling story to your target audience.”

Write for a Target Audience

When you and your marketing team begin the process of writing websites you should start by deciding on a few factors before putting actual pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, in this case). First, decide on who your target audience should be. Are you a company that is geared more to retirees looking for investment options or are you a business that relies on trendy young adults and their edgy attitudes? Either way your overall writing style (the tone, the choice of language, the structure of your articles) should be tailored to your specific target audience. This will help your readers relate to the content and therefore relate to your company. If you don’t take your audience into consideration you risk alienating your readers and losing potential customers.

Your target audience will dictate your brand’s voice. This is the consistent tone that will be a representation of your company. If your audience consists of young adults you may opt for a casual and friendly brand voice that shows your potential customers that you’re approachable and laid back, just like them, but if you’re looking to pass on important information regarding retirement strategies to older adults you may want your brand voice to be more professional and authoritative so your readers know that you and your company are knowledgeable on the subject and can be trusted to provide reliable information. Whatever tone you decide on, you should make sure that it is used consistently throughout all of your content for your new website.

This is also the perfect time to decide on a style guide. This will be the guidebook for your writers to follow as they create new website content for your company. With multiple writers on hand a style guide become increasingly important because it will ensure that your content is consistent across the board in terms of tone, word choice, punctuation choices, and article structure. You can create an in-house style guide specifically for your company or you can choose to use an existing style guide like the Oxford Style Manual.

Create and Maintain a Content Creation Process and Team

As with any successful marketing campaign, having a process to follow and a core team will make everything run a lot smoother. When writing websites or new website content in general, you have to have a constant flow of ideas. This is usually done best by consensus since it can be difficult for one person to constantly come up with fresh ideas. On the other hand, it can be difficult to collaborate with multiple team members, especially in a big company. By using a virtual space like Dropbox, Google Docs, or Basecamp, your entire team can discuss new ideas in one location and receive everything in real time through their email. This organisation can really help in the content creation process. Companies are collaborating more and more through the cloud these days, and in 2013 an estimated 75% of companies did so, and for good reason.

When deciding on your marketing team you may want to use in-house writers or you may want to hire professional freelance writers or a writing agency to handle actual content creation. There are pros and cons to both choices. In-house writers will know your business better than third-party writers but if they have other responsibilities in the company they may have to step away from content creation to handle more pressing company business. If you hire in-house writers you’ll also be increasing your payroll. A freelance writer or writing agency’s only priority is writing websites so you’ll be guaranteed to have fresh content even if things in-house are a bit hectic. Try out different methods and see which fits your company and strategy the best.