Part 16: Create a Content Marketing Style Guide
Style guides can play an big role by helping your content market project a consistent, professional image.
Style guides save time by eliminating the need to make editing and formatting decisions while preparing your content marketing.
What is a style guide?
A style guide can be as simple as a 1 or 2-page word-processed document that you keep in your content marketing notebook or post on the wall next to your computer.
What should you include in a style guide?
Style guides should specify the editing and formatting conventions that should be consistently followed in your content marketing articles and blog posts, for example:
- Capitalization in titles. How are you going to use capitals in your headlines and titles? One option is sentence style (where upper case letters are restricted to the first letter in the first word in the title plus the first letters of proper nouns). Or, you can use up style, where you capitalize the first letter of all major word (i.e., except for a, an, and prepositions.)
- Abbreviations and symbols. Should you spell out "and" in headlines or text, or when should you use an ampersand (i.e., (&)?
- Verbs in headlines and titles. Should blog post titles include verbs and full sentences, or can you use simple descriptive phrases?
- b>Links. When providing links to websites, should you repeat www and .com, or simply describe the link?
- Comma series. When using commas to separate three, or more, nouns in a sentence, should you add a comma after the final one? Whether or not you include the final comma isn't as important as being consistent.
- Formatting graphics. Strive for consistency when placing and resizing graphics. This includes adding borders and captions to graphics.
Putting a style guide to work
After creating a style guide, share it with everyone involved in your content marketing, including partners, employees, and freelancers.