How to Outsource Content & Maintain Your Brand's Voice
Content is key to improving sales, visibility and authority online.
It takes a great deal of content to establish leadership and improve brand loyalty. If you're like most business owners, you probably lack the time it takes to sit and write page after page of content which is why outsourcing is always a great option. According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 61 percent of large companies and 44 percent of small companies outsource their content creation each day. A concern for some though is that the outsourced writers won't be be able to communicate the brand's voice and tone. This is an understandable worry, but really all it takes is clear communication to make sure that doesn't happen.
Here are a few strategies to ensure brand-consistent, well-written content time after time again.
Communicate Your Voice and Tone Clearly
Brand consistency increases a company's value and results in more opportunities for growth. This means that your content should always reflect your brand clearly.
If you've outsourced a large volume of content, there may be several writers working on the order. This naturally could result in wild differences in voice and tone. To prevent these issues though, explain what your brand is all about, who your audience is and what tone you want the writing to reflect. If you aren't sure what voice or tone your content should be written in, here is a quick guide to help you decide:
First person: Often used to establish authority and leadership or to reflect personal opinion.
Second person: Used to communicate information directly to the person reading. This inclusive voice makes the content more personal.
Third person: Often used to create educational journals, website content, white papers, press releases and product descriptions.
Objective: An objective tone is often used when reviewing products or reporting news. For example, an objective report might state that "Three men have been identified as leaders of a drug smuggling ring" rather than "Police say Jim Smith, Frank Jones and Paul Brady are responsible for smuggling drugs into the city."
Formal: A formal or professional tone is used in academic or scholarly papers. You would expect to see this type of writing in scientific or other professional journals.
Journalistic: A journalistic tone informs readers of who was involved in an incident and what happened without providing any opinion of the matter.
Conversational: This type of writing uses contradictions and slang or colloquialisms. Some non-standard spelling and grammar may be used. It's less formal and more like a conversation.
Commentary: A commentary tone is used when giving an opinion of an idea, product or event. Emotional words may be used, but the writer tries not to use overly loaded words, such as "horrible" or "amazing," in order to give the reader space to evaluate the commentary. Reviews and editorials sometimes use a commentary tone rather than a persuasive tone.
Enthusiastic: Conveys high energy, confidence and interest without sacrificing professionalism. To convey confidence, the writer uses words that express excitement or appreciation while still using conventions, such as refraining from slang.
Whimsical: A whimsical tone relies on the use of metaphors and hyperbole to convey a sense of fantasy.
The voice and tone should remain consistent to retain the uniformity of your content.
Provide Examples or Links
Give the writers examples of how best to reflect your brand in the content. This provides them with a clear idea of what you'd like to see. Also, be sure to highlight the elements you want them to pay close attention to. Is it the tone of the example? The structure? The style or voice? Whatever element you feel reflects your brand the best, communicate it clearly alongside the link.
These writers create web content for companies similar to yours and will have a deep understanding of how best to approach your work. However, you should still provide clear instructions on how to best convey your brand to the reader to ensure consistency. This person will be familiar with your industry, content and your brand's voice.
Having a library of content on the web is one sure way to improve your brand's visibility. However, off-brand content that doesn't reflect your business can do more harm than good.
By following the advice above, you can be sure that your content will remain consistent, and that your brand will shine in the best possible light.
How do you make sure your brand's voice is conveyed through outsourced content? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.