Danielle N. Coley
Journalists have the Associated Press Stylebook. English professors have the Modern Language Association (MLA) Format. Even Buzzfeed staff members have millennial jargon. When it comes to content — digital or print — how you say things is arguably just as important as what you say.
Unfortunately, marketers and advertisers face a unique challenge: there’s no standardized manual for marketing content. Firms and agencies all over the world are forced to either approach content on a case-by-case basis or develop her own internal voice.
So exactly what techniques should marketers employ in their storytelling? In short, it depends. The demands of each industry will ultimately affect what agencies deem appropriate for their clients. However, using the T.H.I.N.K method can certainly help advertisers streamline their thoughts for a more seamless development process.
Think about the nature of your company. Do you represent clients who are young and fun? Serious and stoic? Innovative and techy? Understanding who you’re appealing to can shape the “voice” you use in to engage with your audience.
In today’s go-go-go society, very few people have patience to sort through fluff to reach the meat of your narrative. Knowing where to place important content (and how much to leave out) should drive what you put out to your prospects.
Marketers are expected to present analyses backed by data and metrics. If the logic in your content misguides the reader or misrepresents your or your clients’ brand, you run the risk of losing credibility as a content developer.
It can be tempting to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to content development and allow your writers to go amuck with content they deem necessary. Ultimately, though, does your audience want or need to hear about what you’re talking about? If your marketers cannot offer a valid reason why you should put out the content, chances are you don’t need it.
As obvious as it seems, agencies must encourage and support marketers who are fully equipped with the knowledge to developed well-written content. The influx of bloggers penning themselves as experts can make it difficult for the actual experts trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors — and for the lay reader to sort through the weeds.
Every marketer’s approach will differ, depending on the nature of the content and the voice of the brand. By employing the aforementioned techniques, marketers can produce high quality content on a regular and consistent schedule.