Question: How can you make sure that outsourced public- or customer-facing content has a consistent tone of voice?
Provide Examples and Links
"At Aligned Signs we do things in house, but making sure tone is conveyed properly still requires effort. So, we have a list of examples and links to content we curated already for the writers. Then, we ensure that our main editors do a good look through and critic, working with the writer, to improve tone and voice for future pieces."
Create Brand Guidelines
"If you're going to hire someone to do your marketing for you - even if you're just outsourcing a small portion of your business - you need to work with them. Create a brand guideline document that gives them an idea of your target demographic, general industry details, and some language/statements you'd prefer they use or avoid. Also, make sure you proofread everything before it goes live."
Create a Personality Guide
"I'm not a fan of outsourcing content, but this tip works just as well for internal content producers as external team members. Style guides have been used for centuries, but that doesn't dictate tone or personality. Business writing can take on so many different tones today. Intentionally craft your company's personality and codify it with examples so content producers know how to stay on brand."
Use a Project Management System
"Even when outsourcing writing or other content development, we organize the project in Trello or Basecamp so we can oversee each step of the process and ensure it's meeting brand standards along the way. There's nothing worse than finding out too late that a project was missing the mark."
Create a Reference Persona
"Ask yourself (or your client): If this brand were a character from a movie, television show, book or a celebrity, who would it be? If you want to take it further, create your own brand character/profile that content creators can reference."