A content style guide makes content creation a whole lot easier. Your style guide will inform you of everything from formatting your content to the colors you should use. When you have a style guide to refer to, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to create a piece of content.
A content style guide doesn’t have to take long to create. In a few quick steps, you can create a guide that both people within your company and any outsourcing partners that you work with can use when creating content. Your style guide will help you be consistent across all of your content for the best results.
What Is a Style Guide?
A style guide sets out what your content should look like to align with your brand. You know what does and doesn’t suit your brand, so you probably know when something doesn’t look or sound right. Creating an official style guide helps you make sure you do the same thing every time so that it’s undeniable that your content comes from your brand. Although you might not have an official style guide yet, you’re probably already following certain rules to ensure your content looks good.
Your style guide should contain guidelines that define your brand and how you should convey your brand.
Brand Style Guide vs. Visual Style Guide
When you create a style guide, you can distinguish between a general brand style guide and a visual style guide. A brand style guide sets out everything that relates to the look and feel of your brand, from the font you use to the logos and imagery you want to employ. It covers the visual aspects of your brand and the content and elements such as tone of voice. A visual style guide focuses more on the visual side of your brand, defining brand colors and other visual elements to create a consistent look for your brand.
Creating a Content Style Guide
You will want to consider several elements when creating a style guide for your brand. Here are a few things that you will need to include in your guidelines.
Start with a Brand Story
It’s essential to know your brand well when creating a style guide. Starting with a brand story helps you define your brand and make sure everyone can get to know who you are at a glance. Your brand story might include a bit of background about your brand, your mission statement, your vision, and your brand’s core values. It should summarize what your brand is about and define your brand personality.
Know Your Audience
It’s essential to know your audience, and it’s a good thing to include in your style guide. Describing your audience is helpful because it can allow you to expand on your goals and how you should approach content creation. You might provide a quick overview of your target demographic and include some buyer personas to define the different types of customers you serve.
Create Logo Guidelines
For the visual part of your content, your use of logos is one of the most important parts. You want to make your logo recognizable, so featuring it on your content will help you make your mark. You might have a few options for logos and some guidelines on when to use them. For example, you might have one primary logo and some smaller or simpler logos. One version of your logo might have your brand name, while another could have a symbol or graphic that you use to define your brand.
Make clear rules for using logos and how they should be placed with content. For example, you might include how much space should be left around the logo, a minimum size, and which colors are acceptable to use.
Define Brand Colors
Your brand’s color palette is another essential element to define if you want your content to look great and align with your brand every time. It helps to create consistency across your content. When setting out your brand colors, you can give the hex codes and RGB values for the colors so that they are easy for any content creator to find and use accurately.
You might be very specific about your brand colors and how you want them used. Or you might not have strict rules about color combinations and instead could suggest some general guidelines around which colors to use and how to use them.
Developing a content style guide is an important part of your content marketing strategy for 2022. It helps you stay true to your brand and be consistent so your audience will be able to quickly recognize it. Want to develop a content style guide for your brand? The marketing experts at Fisher Green Creative can lend a hand. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses. Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn or email.