5 Ideal Examples of Social Media Optimization You Need to See

5 Ideal Examples of Social Media Optimization You Need to See

You’re awesome at social media marketing. You’ve focused on creating timely and engaging posts with great content, so you stand out whenever you post.

In this scenario, you’re doing everything right – except for one thing.

What did you forget?

confused

Still scratching your head?

Set aside the content aspect for a second – yes, we know this is difficult, especially if you prioritize quality content like we do – and go back to basics.

….Are your social media profiles optimized?

If you don’t know what this means, you need to.

To put it bluntly, your content can’t be “king” if your profiles — your social home bases — are a hot mess. These two things – content and presentation – need to support each other.

Don’t worry, though – we’re going to dig deeper into why you need to get your profiles on social media optimized. Then we’ll look at five great examples of social media profiles from businesses who are doing it the right way.

examples of social media

Why Do You Need to Optimize Your Profiles on Social Media?

Profile optimization is how you make your social profiles appear to best advantage to curious and interested users, a.k.a. potential leads. Without optimization on all your accounts, your web presence will look disjointed and choppy, not to mention people won’t be able to find your profiles through search engines.

You already know how important it is to be discoverable online, especially if you’re a local business. Applying this to your social media accounts will ensure all of your channels are ripe for the picking for whoever needs to find them. PLUS, you’ll scoop up leads who may be digging deeper into your online presence to find out about your brand and what you stand for.

The cherry on top? 🍒 You’ll cultivate a unified look across your web presence that’s professional, recognizable, and consistent.

The Easy Guide to Overhauling your Social Media Profiles for Great Optimization

Now that you know how important optimization is, we can get down to business.

We’ll start at the shallow end of the pool with something very simple: your profile pictures.

Overhaul your social media profile in three easy steps? Yep, that's it. Learn how at @ExpWriters ✨ Click To Tweet

1. Unify All of Your Profile Pictures

Your profile picture is your online face. People will come to associate your presence with your picture, so make sure it’s relevant to your business as well as eye-catching.

A good rule of thumb is to use your brand logo, but you can always buck tradition for your social presence if you have an equally good photo that sums up your brand. (This could be a great headshot of you [or whoever stands in as your brand’s “face”] a variation of your logo, etc.)

Whatever you do, employ the same profile picture across all the major platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Remember this picture will appear beside all of your social activity, like comments. As such, don’t choose a picture that’s hard to see when it’s scaled down to a tiny icon (like a detailed landscape picture, for instance).

2. Create an Informative Profile Bio

According to Forbes, lots of companies make the mistake of not explaining what they do clearly in their bio.

When users visit your social media pages, they’re probably trying to figure out who you are and/or if they should follow you. They can’t make that decision if you don’t provide them with the necessary information.

The key is to be specific. If you make birthday cakes for dogs, don’t say your company “specializes in dog treats.” If you’re a tech company peddling coding software, don’t be vague and say you offer “solutions for web developers.” State what you do in terms your readers will glom onto. E.g., “Making Fido’s dreams come true on all of his special days with elaborate, canine-friendly cakes.”

Don’t forget to include your location and hours if you’re local. Plenty of people use their smartphones to find out this information about a business on the fly, and it’s frustrating when it’s M.I.A. You may even lose business if someone is checking you out and considering stopping by – but they can’t find your address or hours, so they choose to go elsewhere.

Sprout Social summarizes all of the above keys to visual optimization with this helpful infographic:

Optimized-Social-Media-Profile

Don’t neglect the next point, however.

3. Sneak in Keywords

You can also use keywords in your profile name and description to show up in searches. Choose the most relevant ones and use them wisely to get discovered this way.

Other places to sneak in keywords: your headline, photo descriptions, hashtags, the “about” section, and even in your status updates. Try using a variety of keywords in these various areas and see what happens.

5 Examples of Social Media Pages with Optimal Optimization

With perfectly optimized pages that are consistent, audience-specific, informative, and engaging, these five different companies and organizations are examples of social media presences that hit the nail on the head.

1. NASA

NASA facebook profile

NASA does a lot of things right with their social media profiles. Their Facebook page, for instance, has an eye-catching profile picture and all of the right information to help visitors who want to learn more.

Take a look at their Intro section:

NASA facebook account

Not only have they provided a succinct bio that states their mission and purpose, they have also included useful information, keywords, and important contact details.

Plus, their Twitter page mirrors their Facebook:

NASA twitter account

They use a similar profile picture and the same header image. This equals perfect continuity and optimization across their brand outlets, creating a seamless experience.

how to write social media posts

2. Out of Print

out of print brand twitter

There’s no question about what Out of Print sells when you land on their Twitter page: “Shop bookish t-shirts, totes, socks, mugs, pins, and more!” This is a straightforward bio that gets the job done while inserting a few keywords and a great hashtag. It also nods to the charitable side of their brand without sounding braggy.

Plus, their header image features some of the products, and their stamp logo (mimicking the stamps you’d see in library books long ago) is perfect for the circular Twitter account photo.

Bonus points: using the stack of books emoji strategically!

Note how all of the above carries over seamlessly to their Instagram account:

out of print instagram account

3. Lifehacker

lifehacker twitter account

Lifehacker is a good example of a company that bucks logic in a way that works.

Instead of providing an informative bio, they have a witty one-liner: “Do everything better.” They can get away with this because they’re a well-known brand – they don’t have to explain themselves too deeply.

If you’re a small business just starting out, you can’t logically borrow this technique. However, if you have a wide local following, you could potentially score with this move.

4. Starbucks

starbucks twitter

Starbucks’ social media profiles take advantage of their world-renowned logo, but here you can see they’re doing something a little differently.

They’re using social media to market themselves as more of a neighborhood coffee shop than a global coffee chain. Just look at their tagline: “Inspiring and nurturing the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.”

It’s obviously meant to sound warm, friendly, and inviting. They’re positioning themselves as involved with the neighborhoods they serve.

It doesn’t hurt that they re-post customer photos of favorite drinks, and their header image riffs off this concept.

5. Amy Porterfield

amy porterfield twitter

Our final example, marketing coach and educator Amy Porterfield, shows how going clear and simple can work incredibly well for optimizing your social media.

Note how, on her Twitter profile, Porterfield includes a short bio on her header image as well as one in the “official” bio field. She uses multiple keywords relevant to her industry and describes her brand in terms of what her followers/clients get out of following her. The emphasis is on THEM, not her. That’s key!

Also key: prominent links to her website. Don’t forget those CTAs to scoop up leads from social!

On Porterfield’s Facebook profile, we see the same optimization techniques, including the consistent branded imagery and similar-but-different profile photo:

amy porterfield facebook

Consistency, keywords, client/audience focus, CTAs. Those four things add up to optimized, successful social media profiles!

Check out these five brands that are killing it with their social media optimization, including @starbucks, @amyporterfield, and @lifehacker 🏆 Learn why they work on the Write Blog 🎯 Click To Tweet

Examples of Social Media Prowess Lead the Way: Follow Suit!

If you’re wanting to improve your marketing game and web presence, look at examples of social media to live up to. Names like Starbucks, NASA, and Lifehacker all have distinctive styles and on-point profiles that you can plumb for inspiration.

Optimizing your profiles is a fantastic way to help you get in front of potential customers online and make you stand out among the hordes.

Pay attention to consistent branding, specific and relevant information, and the power of keywords in all the right spots. Follow these tips, and your presence on social media will shine just like the above powerhouse brands.

If you’re struggling to create the perfect social media profiles, Express Writers can help. Check out our social media products and services and let us help you boost your social clout.

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10 Fundamental Strengths Every Good Blogger Should Have

Top 10 Fundamental Strengths Every Great Blogger Should Have

Out of more than 1.8 billion websites, there are over 500 million blogs. Every day, more than 2 million new blog posts are published.

However, quality is more important than quantity. How many of those blogs do you think are good blogs, ones that people enjoy reading?

Now that you mention it, how do you define a “good” blog? 🧐

Most people can generally agree that a good blog is one that provides regular, relevant content. It can be informative, newsworthy, and/or entertaining, as long as it somehow enriches readers’ lives. Facts are cited and linked back to credible sources, content is unique, and the writer’s perspective is knowledgeable and authoritative.

Great blogs inspire conversations. People love sharing content, and when they read a blog that really connects with them, they’re happy to tell their friends and share the content on social media.

Good blogs don’t go unnoticed. In fact, they’re often shared among other bloggers in the form of citations and backlinks.

But, behind every good blog is an equally good — or great — blogger.

Need some help with your blog? Our specialty content service partners you with an expert writer to create in-depth authority content, starting at $140/500w.

whats a good blog

Understanding Bloggers: The Real, Regular People Behind the Blogs

Who is responsible for creating these posts on the worldwide web?

Believe it or not, bloggers are regular people, just like you and me.

Sure, some of them may be successful CEOs and serial entrepreneurs, but there are equally skilled bloggers who are stay-at-home dads, mommy bloggers, taxi drivers, late-night bartenders, etc.

You don’t have to be rich and famous to be a great blogger.

What you do need, though, is a particular skill set, work ethic, and unique insights into a topic or industry.

The best bloggers have a talent for turning the mundane into the extraordinary through the magic of words. But blogging has evolved into something much more complex than the online diary entries you used to see in the early days.

Business blogging has proven to be a lucrative form of content marketing that earns high engagement and conversions while costing 62% less than traditional forms of marketing and generating 3x as many leads.

In fact, companies with an active blog have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links on average.

However, the same best practices and rules apply. Being a business owner doesn’t automatically guarantee you can produce good content or mean your blog is any better than the hobbyist posting in his or her spare time.

If you want to have a good blog, you need to be engaging your readers in the right way.

If you’re struggling with your content strategy, we can help!

You don’t have to be rich and famous to be a great blogger. 🤩 What you do need, though, is a particular skill set, work ethic, and unique insights into a topic or industry. Learn the 10 top strengths every blogger needs: Click To Tweet

What’s a Good Blog? The 10 Most Important Strengths of the Best Bloggers

No matter who you are, no matter what you blog about, you should strive for these 10 fundamental strengths that the best bloggers share.

1. Consistency

The most popular blogs on the internet maintain their position by posting regularly.

What does this mean in terms of a personality trait for the blogger?

Although you might assume that a blogger doesn’t have to worry about deadlines, the fact of the matter is every single day is a blogger’s deadline.

Bloggers need to be self-motivated to get things done. A consistent blogger is one that draws the admiration of his or her followers. An inconsistent blogger frustrates readers, and failing to update content often is an invitation for your audience to leave.

2. Uniqueness

Serial entrepreneur, web designer, and podcast co-host Matt Wolfe said, “There’s a lot of information out there for free, so you’ve got to figure out what makes your information different.”

True uniqueness isn’t something you can simulate or copy. It’s something that resides in all of us and just needs the right opportunity to come out.

Ask yourself, “Why should people read my blog? What can I offer my readers that my competitors can’t?”

This is known as your content differentiation factor (CDF). The best bloggers are those who tap into their innate uniqueness and carry it over to their blog. People love a spectacle, and if you provide one to them, they’re happy to keep coming back for more.

3. Eloquence

Sadly, the art of eloquence seems to be lost on many modern bloggers.

The successful ones are the light that shines out of the fog. They illuminate how important it is to present your ideas clearly.

As writers, our very art – the thing we live for – boils down to how well we represent ideas through our medium of words, how well we connect with strangers, and how we share our insights and imaginations.

As a blogger, this is a rare and important trait to have. Those who communicate well reap the spoils.

4. Niche-Based Mindset

Niche bloggers develop content within a community that’s based around common interests.

Bloggers who tackle the pertinent issues and topics within their niche are usually respected by their peers for what they do.

Finding a niche gives you fuel to drive your blog because, in any niche, there are hundreds of thousands of possible topics. The great bloggers know how to use this to their advantage.

For example, our blog (the one you’re reading right now), is clear about its specific niche. We are your authority source for practical content marketing advice, and we’re not shy about stating that:

the write blog

(See? It’s right there under the page title.)

We know who our readers are. We know what we do best. And we know what kind of niche our expertise thrives in. You should, too.

5. Passion

“You should do what you love for a living.”

This advice is the truest piece of wisdom any kid can get in their formative years when they’re deciding on a future career.

Bloggers are usually the people who make a job out of something they feel strongly about. People who are passionate about a topic tend to be the ones most capable of presenting it in the best light. They’re knowledgeable and in-the-know, which puts them in a uniquely qualified position.

Consistency. Eloquence. 💬 Passion. Uniqueness. 🦄 These are just some of the strengths every good blogger should have. Get the full list @ExpWriters ✅ Click To Tweet

6. Thought-Provoking Ideas

If someone finishes reading a blog post, sits still for a minute, and thinks long and hard about what they just read, that is what sets a good blogger apart from a run-of-the-mill one.

The upside is people who identify with a particular post are more likely to share it, so that usually equates to a wider reach for the blog as a whole.

Writers like Seth Godin are good at explaining ideas through illustration, and this technique helps to put ideas into perspective.

That’s how you stimulate people to think – you give them something they can relate to. It’s an art the best bloggers have mastered.

7. Detail-Oriented Content

While a lot of blogs out there tend to give you the same reports of news slightly changed from one post to another, the odd one out gives you the report and then adds unique commentary.

This is what we would consider good content because it provides new insights to the reader.

The devil may be in the details, but in the end, so is salvation. Getting detail-oriented blogging right can be painstaking, but in the end, the kind of attention you draw is more than worth the effort you put into it.

Detailed analysis requires an informed opinion. Bloggers that go this route usually research both sides of the story before forming an opinion of their own and then discussing their insights. It sets them apart from bloggers who are simply glorified muckrakers.

content shop changes

8. Thick Skin for Criticism

If you’ve ever found yourself article-hopping through Huffington Post or any other online publishing medium, you will no doubt find yourself reading the comments. Some of those comments can be quite vitriolic.

Internet anonymity makes it easy for hateful individuals to hide behind the thin veneer of a hastily made-up screen name and be outright nasty without having to face consequences. It’s one of the downsides of our online society.

The most successful bloggers are able to spot trolls early on and head them off at the pass. They’re able to take criticism well, even if that criticism is simply an outpouring of hate.

Although some bloggers use their loyal followers to combat trolls, that can be as effective as throwing gasoline on an open fire. Quite often, the best way to deal with these kinds of individuals is to simply ignore them.

Don’t feed the trolls – they thrive on knowing that they successfully nettled their way under your skin. What they have to say is usually irrelevant to the discussion anyway.

The most successful bloggers are able to spot trolls early on and head them off at the pass. 👹 They’re able to take criticism well, even if that criticism is simply an outpouring of hate. Click To Tweet

9. Networking Skills

In the earlier, more innocent days of the internet, there used to be a thing called a blogring. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s where blogs of a particular type would come together to share links, resources, and sometimes an audience within the group.

Although communities like these no longer exist in the same fashion (thanks to the revamping of the code under Google’s hood) you’ll still find a lot of blogs mutually sharing links to each other within a niche.

Good bloggers use networking as a way to spread their presence and build their own personal brand. This is why we love bringing our audience and industry experts into our blogging sphere on a frequent basis. You never know who is going to spark an engaging discussion with valuable insights!

blogging community

Remember – you get what you give, so be generous.

One of the most successful content marketing techniques that exists today is guest blogging. By using your professional network to leverage likes, shares, and new visitors, you boost both the popularity of your blog and the attentive traffic that goes with it.

10. Helpfulness

The most important strength of a great blogger is their ability to be helpful.

At its most basic core, good content is all about helping your readers.

Bloggers, especially those in the field of self-improvement, are usually the kinds of people who spend their time helping others simply because it’s the right thing to do. Since niches are usually close knit, you tend to find users within a particular niche who are happy to assist in any way.

Blogging formed around the idea of community, and this idea still exists to this day.

Great Blogging Starts with the Basics and Your Attitude

With more than 2 million blog posts published every single day, there’s a lot of competition.

The most important part of blogging is to consider what your audience wants to read. You can be detail-oriented, passionate, and any number of the traits on this list, but if you aren’t writing with your readers in mind, you won’t go far.

The simple truth is, writers can’t be successful without readers.

Remember that networking goes both ways, so don’t forget to give back to the online community. If you want to be a good blogger, your primary goal should be to help and/or entertain people, not to get rich quick or trick your readers into opening clickbait.

Be genuine, and your readers will appreciate what you have to say.

Ready to give your blog a major boost with authoritative writing? Browse our Content Shop to see what kind of expert blog posts we can create for you, starting as low as $10.

whats a good blog

How To Create Captivating News Content For Your Blog

How to Create Captivating News Content for Your Blog

Creating content isn’t what it used to be 10 years ago.

Heck, it isn’t even the same as it was last year.

Consider this: Before COVID, Google search traffic was approximately 3.6 billion searches per day. That’s a lot, yes… but since March 2020, that number has been hovering around 6 billion searches per day.

The consumption of online content and the number of people relying on Google to find it has never been greater than it is right now.

This high demand is changing the content game, which was already competitive to begin with. 🎯 Many content creators are wondering, “How do I write compelling content that’s both indexed by Google and read by my target audience?”

If you’ve found yourself asking this very question, you should seriously consider adding news blog posts into your general content marketing plan.

Psst… If your content strategy is lacking or simply not performing the way you want it to, we can help! Our content strategy services start at $400 for a full content strategy plan and audit, or a la carte at per-topic pricing.

how to write news blog

Why Should You Post News Content on Your Blog?

Hear me out – content is the most critical piece of the puzzle. It has been for a long time.

Google has openly said that content could “likely matter more than any other factor” when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).

While you should be dedicated to creating evergreen content that remains relevant long after it’s been published, you also shouldn’t be afraid to supplement those posts with trending news happening in your industry.

News content shows your audience you’re relevant and up-to-date with what’s going on. It also provides a great source of value to your audience by demonstrating how industry and market changes are impacting them.

Why create news content? 📰 It shows your audience you're relevant and up-to-date with what’s going on. It also provides value by demonstrating how industry and market changes are impacting them. 💡 Click To Tweet

Interspersing trending news updates among your informative evergreen content, such as whitepapers, will give your blog a well-rounded feeling of authority and relevancy.

Need a high-quality whitepaper written for your business? Our done-for-you content services from expert-level writers include whitepapers, starting around $105/page. 

How to Write a News Blog: 8 Tips to Make Your Content Stand Out

Breaking news is often a high-competition playing field, which means you need to bring your A-game if you want to rank in the search engines. These tips will help you create compelling, newsworthy content.

1. Create a Captivating Headline

The first, most important part of any news article is creating a captivating headline for the post.

This is true for regular and news blogs alike because you want and need people to click on your link. Thus, when you write a headline, make sure it’s informative and lets your audience know what the blog will be about.

You should also make sure it has intrigue or even a bit of a cliffhanger so it piques interest and makes your audience want to read the story behind your crafty headline.

Two of the best ways to accomplish this:

  • Write your headline as a question (and be sure to answer said question in the article itself).
  • Use second person point of view (you/your) in the headline to directly engage with the reader.

When writing your headline, make sure it matches what your content will be about – don’t mislead readers with false promises!

2. Begin with the Facts

When you write a news piece for your blog, make sure you start with the facts first. Give readers the information they want at the beginning of your post and summarize the story in twenty to thirty words.

People will appreciate this upfront content organization because many simply want the facts before they get to the opinions or editorial version of the story. This isn’t a creative fiction piece, after all.

Once you’ve given the facts, you can break them down and discuss them while adding your opinion or explaining how this information will impact your readers.

3. Use Present (Active) Tense

News pieces are more powerful and compelling when told in present tense with an active voice.

This makes the story feel like it’s happening in real-time, which will have a bigger impact on your readers. It also takes a lot less time for a person to read the present tense version of a sentence than it does the past tense, not to mention it saves on word count when you can cut a majority of past participles such as “had.”

Remember: Active voice is always stronger than passive voice.

4. Keep Your Blog Jargon-Free

It’s easy to fall into the jargon trap when you’re writing about industry-specific topics. However, it’s a good idea to avoid using jargon in your posts.

This will make it easier for your audience to read and comprehend the content. Sure, some of them might know the jargon, but it’s always wise to ensure your content is readable for anyone who happens upon your website.

Keeping your posts jargon-free is not only a great idea for news pieces — it’s also a smart practice for all other blog posts you create in the future.

Need more inspiration for creating an amazing blog that brings in traffic and leads? Check out our FREE email course, 10 Days to a Better Blog.

5. Always Write Out Acronyms in the Beginning

It’s okay to use acronyms in your blog, but make sure you’re always clear and upfront about what they mean.

Even if you expect your target audience to be experts in a particular field and know industry-specific acronyms, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to eliminate any potential for confusion. Novices who find your article and want to learn more shouldn’t feel confused, frustrated, or left out when they read your post and don’t know what acronyms stand for or why they’re important.

For example, on the Write Blog, when we start a post about search engine optimization (SEO) or the search engine results page (SERP), we always make sure to write them all out first or provide a direct definition, as we did in these examples:

clear writing

clarifying acronyms in copy

As you may have noticed in the second example, we put SERP in parenthesis. This is so readers will know that when I use that acronym later in the post, it means search engine results page. Be sure to follow this structure with any acronyms you plan to use for your news articles.

6. Do Thorough Research

When you’re writing a news article, you always want to make sure you cite the facts of the story.

However, you also need to go a step further with diligent research and fact-checking. This will help ensure you know everything about the topic, preventing you from making a rookie mistake and looking like you’re fabricating facts for your post.

Keeping your facts straight is important no matter what type of blog you are writing, but it’s especially important for news pieces. Consumer trust is already at an all-time low, according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer. People are wary about misinformation.

trust at record low across media

In this age of uncertainty, if you don’t fact check, you’ll likely be greeted with troll comments pointing out errors in your post.

Even worse than the trolls – one bad article making false claims and/or linking back to questionable sources can destroy your brand’s credibility in the eyes of your consumers.

It can take months, even years to build up your brand trust. And all of that hard work can be undone in an instant if you publish a news article that wasn’t thoroughly researched and fact-checked with links back to credible sources.

When writing news articles for your blog, always: 1️⃣ Cite the facts of the story. 2️⃣ Do diligent research and fact-checking. Otherwise, you risk losing pivotal trust with readers. Click To Tweet

7. Follow the Four “C’s” of Captivating Content

When you write your news piece, don’t forget to follow the four “C’s”:

  • Clarity
  • Conciseness
  • Compelling Content
  • Credibility

These will not only help you craft an engaging news piece, but they’ll also ensure that you’re writing a topic that will demonstrate your trustworthiness.

It’s important to be a trusted source when someone is reading your news piece. Clients are more likely to listen to your ideas, and they may even be encouraged to choose you and use your business for their needs.

8. ALWAYS Have Someone Proofread Your Work

Copy editors are great no matter what you’re writing because they can catch all of those pesky typos and mistakes that sneak through after you’ve proofread your work.

It’s not your fault – even the best writers rely on editors. Our brains know what we meant to say and are prone to skipping right over wrong or missing words as they automatically fill in the blanks.

When it comes to a news story, a copy editor can help you reword clumsy sentences or find issues that might compromise the integrity of your article and, more importantly, your credibility.

Give Your News Blog a Performance Boost

Creating a knowledgeable, trustworthy, easy-to-understand news blog takes both trial and error as well as skill

You’ll have to walk a fine line between being an expert authority within your industry while still writing on a simple enough level for anyone, not just a market-specific audience, to understand and appreciate the information you’re presenting.

When done correctly, you’ll find that writing and managing a news blog comes with phenomenal benefits. This type of blog provides immense value for your audience and clients while cementing your position as an industry leader and establishing credibility for your brand.

Pro tip: Be sure to post regularly. Once or twice a month is a healthy starting point as you learn what topics appeal to your audience and which tasks you can delegate to improve your efficiency.

Looking for expert writers to create content for your news blog? Visit our Content Shop for services and pricing.

how to write news blog

How to Create Brand Voice Guidelines for Your Brand

How to Create Brand Voice Guidelines for Your Brand

Does your brand have a unique voice, one that demands attention, that tells a story?

Does it appeal to your target audience and draw them in? Does it help build relationships with them?

Does your brand voice make your audience want to read more of your content? Does it make them more likely to follow you on social media? Does it build trust with consistency and personality?

If it doesn’t, you need to rethink your strategy (or create one A.S.A.P.). Because building and maintaining a solid brand voice should do ALL of those things.

Despite the advantages of having a specific brand voice, it’s surprising how many companies don’t take time to fully develop their own. 77% of brands have issues with off-brand content and struggle to maintain consistency in branding. They’re either skipping creating guidelines, or creating ineffective ones.

Maybe the brand itself needs some work, or, marketers simply don’t know how to develop their brand’s voice.

That’s why I’m here with today’s guide on how to create brand voice guidelines. I’ll expand on the benefits and share how some leading companies in unique industries have crafted individual brand voices customers recognize.

This set of knowledge is a must for any marketer. Ready? Let’s get into it.

How to Create Brand Voice Guidelines

7 Steps to Creating Brand Voice Guidelines

1.    Understand WHY Brand Voice Guidelines are So Valuable for Your Organization

2.    Analyze Your Content & Audience for Inspiration

3.    Start with a Concise Description (Then Flesh It Out)

4.    Build Examples, Outlines, & Templates

5.    Ensure Your Brand Voice Guidelines Translate Well to Content

6.    Refine & Refocus in Small Increments

7.    Add the Supplementary Touches

77% of brands have issues with off-brand content and struggle to maintain consistency in branding. Are you on the right track? Read this 7-step guide on building brand voice guidelines ✅ Click To Tweet

How to Create Brand Voice Guidelines in 7 Steps

Creating brand voice guidelines helps guide and align your company voice with your goals, so it all meshes seamlessly. That way, every time your brand voice is used in content, on social media, on your website, and in emails and communications with your customers, it provides a great experience AND nudges you in the right direction, growth-wise. Let’s break down the seven steps to get going.

1. Understand Why Creating Brand Voice Guidelines Is So Beneficial

You’re busy. You’ve got products to sell, subscribers to gain, and numerous other goals to meet. Why should you invest time in creating a brand voice? Because it can help you meet those goals.

The bottom line is you want growth. Growth in subscribers, growth in exposure, growth in sales. According to a report from Lucidpress, brand consistency can improve revenue growth by 23% on average.

Marketers were also asked about the percentage of growth attributable to brand consistency, with the results heavily skewed upwards.

Source: Lucidpress

Many of the qualities people want in their company can only come from a well-developed brand voice. If you want to really stand out, maintain a connection with your audience, and achieve reach across multiple channels, consistent brand voice guidelines are the answer. They can offer:

  • Differentiation: Your content differentiation factor is what sets you apart from the competition. This is what will make your brand memorable. Remember, your brand voice is about how you say things, not just what you say. I’ll cover more about how to develop this in sections two and three.
  • Recognizability: Being different isn’t the same as being recognizable, but the two go together. If customers find your brand memorable, they can recognize it quickly. They’ll know your catchphrase, your symbol, or even a single sentence that epitomizes your brand. However you get it across, your brand voice determines how you’re perceived and your memorability. Staying consistent with this presentation helps you stay fresh in the mind of your audience.
  • Reach: Once you’ve got a consistent brand voice, creating content actually becomes easier. Whether you’re doing it in-house or hiring specialists, your brand voice gives you a head start. You’ll automatically have an idea of what format, style, and outline to use whether you’re creating content for a blog, mailing list, app, social profile, or eBook. Your brand will be able to reach viewers no matter where they are or how they prefer to digest information.

Your brand voice guidelines help you build a better connection with your audience and serve as a way to streamline content creation.

When your ideal audience member falls in love with your brand voice. “YES!”

Instantly, your company becomes more efficient and your communication more impactful.

Why invest in creating your brand's tone of voice? According to a report from Lucidpress, brand consistency can improve revenue growth by 23% on average. Click To Tweet

Now that you know why you should build a brand voice, the next step is understanding how. Before you can set out a detailed set of guidelines, you need a good starting point.

2. Gather Content Samples & Audience Insights for Inspiration

To begin, gather samples of your content and see where you stand at the start. Does any of your content make you cringe? Or, do any of your pieces (or even individual parts of them) make you sit up straight and think “This is what I want the brand to be about”?

Also known as a content audit or content inventory, going over your existing content can help you understand where you’re going astray with brand voice, where you’re hitting the mark, and what you can do to ensure it stays consistent in all content going forward.

Audit your existing content with a checklist tailored to brand voice goals. Focus on the overarching message, headline, and supplementary media in each piece, especially. What picture are these facets painting about your brand? Is it the right picture?

Source: Content Marketing Institute

This checklist can be altered based on what data you have available. As you can see, a big part of getting insights about your brand and content also involves having insights on your audience.

You can obtain this in a number of ways. If you’re using platforms like Facebook or Google to post ads, you can use their built-in insights feature for analytics. You could also take the manual approach and send out surveys to see exactly what your audience is looking for and how they feel about your brand.

Don’t have access to any analytics platforms? Don’t have a mailing list to send out a survey to? If all else fails, you can always gain insights by analyzing your competitors. One tool I like using is Mangools.

Source: Mangools

By searching your main area of focus along with location and platform, you can see how your competitors are doing. You can also find out what keywords they’re ranking for, and get a better idea of how their brand voice is helping their goals.

By this point, you should be getting an idea built up about your brand and the voice you want it to have. An idea is all you need to get started building your full voice guidelines.

3. Start with a Concise Description (Then Flesh It Out)

If you look at a lot of brands, they’ll have pages upon pages about their brand voice. Like all great things of considerable size or volume, these were grown out of a simple starting point. Let’s use my own agency for reference.

As far as our tone of voice, it could be summed up in a few words – simple, direct, informative, and authoritative.  If you look at this excerpt from our brand book, you’ll see how each section is fleshed out a little more.

Source: Express Writers

Is your brand focused on being trendy, with your finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest in your industry? Then you could be called the modern, brave, trendy brand.

Are you a formal, intellectual thought leader who spearheads your chosen space with your approach to professionalism? You could be going for the professional, insightful, educator brand.

The two samples above could conceivably cover the same topic in some cases. The way they would do it would differ. Let’s say, for example, a breakthrough medical technology for cosmetics is developed, giving people the ability to look years younger for a fraction of the cost of modern procedures. How would each brand write this blog’s headline? It could look something like:

Brand #1: Turn Back the Clock & Look Years Younger with This Crazy Cool Breakthrough

Brand #2: New Cosmetic Technology Offers Low-Cost Options for Anti-Aging Treatment 

See the difference? I’ll cover more about how to develop your voice for content purposes later in this piece.

Once you learn how to articulate your brand guidelines in a couple of sentences, or even a few words, you’re on track.

What kind of a brand are you? Modern, brave, trendy? Or professional, insightful, educative? Know how you can stand out with your own voice by building your brand voice guidelines. Click To Tweet

4. Build Examples, Outlines, & Templates

When you’ve got an idea in mind for your brand voice, expanding on it gives you a great opportunity. That opportunity is to build guides and templates you can refer to for future content.

If you’re like a lot of brands, you’ll be creating lots of content. 22% of bloggers say they create at least one piece per week. 23% create a few pieces monthly, and 13% create 2-6 posts per week. Imagine having a ready-made template. That would speed things up immensely and help provide consistency.

How exactly can you expand your ideas to build these detailed guides? Let’s look at another successful brand – MailChimp. Like Express Writers, they have voice and tone guidelines for their content.

If I told you their brand voice was plainspoken, what would you think that meant? It could mean talking about a simple topic – or talking about a variety of topics with simple language.

What about humor? That could mean everything from making knock-knock jokes to adding a touch of sly sarcasm to catch your reader off-guard. Here’s a glimpse at how they define their tone goals.

Source: MailChimp

They go on to offer some specific writing tips. These include using active voice over passive, avoiding slang or jargon, and keeping a positive tone throughout.

They also have detailed instructions depending on the type of content they’re creating or having created. Whether it’s a blog, a technical article, or an email, their voice will be consistent. However, their style may be tailored slightly for the piece in question.

A brand like this one may be publishing handfuls of blogs per week or sending out hundreds of thousands of emails per day. Since they have the style guide set up ahead of time, they can ensure their content is streamlined while remaining consistent throughout.

So when you’re creating guidelines for your own brand voice, consider:

  • Tone: Make sure your style of speaking is understood by the writer ahead of time, so your content always sounds familiar in your readers’ heads.
  • Content Type: Remember there are different content types for a reason. A blog may not have the same audience or intent as a video or whitepaper, so create separate guidelines depending on the type of content you’re creating or having created.
  • Examples/Templates: If you want to ensure your tone is really understood, make examples. You can also create templates for things like text layout, visual goals, and more.

Why should you go through all this effort, especially if you don’t have the means to create a high volume of content yourself? Because you may have someone else do it for you, and you can help them help you.

5. Ensure Your Brand Voice Guidelines Translate Well to Content

When Express Writers interacts with new clients, it’s an exciting opportunity. It’s not just about helping them create great content – it’s also about helping them build trust with their audience and getting results.

When we ask a client about their brand tone of voice, some are less sure than others. It’s admittedly a big question if you haven’t taken a lot of time to develop yours.

When you outsource the creation of blogs, web pages, or even content strategy, you’ll get better results IF the creators know what voice you’re looking for.

When you have these guidelines in place before writing or ordering content, you’ll be able to get a better result. If you’re outsourcing content, you’ll make sure the writers can translate your brand properly in whatever piece you’re ordering.

Source: Salesforce

Your checklist for defining your brand doesn’t have to be verbatim to the graphic above, but these are some good things to consider when sending over your brand voice summary.

Good brand voice guidelines will ensure you are connecting with your audience in a way that resonates with them. It will also ensure you stick to the same voice when ordering multiple pieces of content, providing uniformity and consistency to your readers.

Don’t forget, there’s nothing that says your brand voice can’t change a little over time. Once you create a guide, the next step is tweaking your approaches where necessary for better results.

Good brand voice guidelines ensure you connect with your audience in a way that resonates with them. 💗 It ensures you stick to the same voice when ordering multiple pieces of content, providing uniformity and consistency to readers. Click To Tweet

6. Make Small Changes to Refine Your Brand Voice

Once you’ve got brand guidelines written out, you want all of your content to stick to them. However, you can always make changes where necessary.

Forbes has an excellent piece on how seven executives made one simple change to great results. Here are some of the more brand-focused inclusions:

  • Personalization over automation: Ann Handley of Marketing Profs began using her email newsletter as a way to connect personally to her audience. As you would imagine, this necessitated a specific tone of voice to make the desired connection.
  • Conversation-worthy content: Ed Breault of Aprimo talked about how his brand had shifted their content to conversational over product-centric. The goal was to give readers something to talk about, so a conversational tone took priority over promotional language.
  • Creating engaging environments: Shacher Orren of Playbuzz talked about how their brand put a greater focus on meaningful, two-way dialogues. It helped users feel more engaged and made the brand more user-focused.

Your changes could be even more minor than that, but just as impactful. Maybe you want your writing to sound a little less formal? Could your content benefit from a touch of humor here or there?

If sales are the priority, promotional language could take priority. If you want readers to opt into your mailing list, try being a bit more conversational and casual when speaking to them.

Your brand may evolve over time, and that’s a good thing – it means you’re being responsive to your industry, your goals, and most importantly, your audience.

Personalization, conversation-worthy content, and creating engaging environments are some of the tweaks you can add to your brand voice. Learn how to apply these in this 7-step guide to creating brand voice guidelines 📋 Click To Tweet

7. Incorporate Your Brand Tone of Voice into Other Areas

Your brand voice is how your content sounds to your reader. However, brand guidelines can also encompass other areas. Take a look at how thorough Skype is just with their logo.

Source: Skype

You’ll find their brand, along with many others, have guidelines for everything. The colors they use, their font choices – the list could go on and on.

While this isn’t necessarily connected to the tone of voice in the immediate sense, your choices about your tone could provide inspiration for these other areas as well.

For example, a formal tone would necessitate the use of similar font styles. If your brand is going for a flashy, trendy feel, you may experiment with creative color schemes to complement it.

Building your brand is a concentrated effort that requires collaboration from all sides. Your copywriting, logo design, web layouts, and social presence will all play a role.

Building your brand is a concentrated effort that requires collaboration from all sides. Your copywriting, logo design, web layouts, and social presence will all play a role. Click To Tweet

Give Your Company a Consistent Brand Voice That Gets Results

We know companies aren’t individuals, but a brand tone of voice could be thought of as the business equivalent of an individual’s personality.

Your brand voice guidelines provide you with a go-to guide for how your company should sound. When people read your copy, view your ads, and consider your pitches, how do you really sound in their head?

Do you appeal to them in a way they can relate to? Are you memorable? Do you connect with them in a way that other brands in the same industry don’t?

Your brand voice is represented in your language choices. It’s your writing style. It’s your way of saying the same thing someone else may say, but in a way that is unique to you.

It’s also your key to consistent content, better reach, and a more distinct connection with your audience. With a consistent brand voice, you improve more than your content – you improve your connection with your customers.