Why Content Marketers Need A Style Guide
Is it ‘healthcare’ or ‘health care’? Should you use a $ sign or spell out ‘dollar’?
If you work in marketing, you know how important it is to keep your content looking consistent across all channels.
But unlike most newsrooms, where you have a large team of copy editors keeping content looking crisp, marketing departments don’t invest nearly as much in the editorial process, even though consistency in your language is key for developing a trusted brand.
It’s why every content marketing team needs to have a style guide. Some organizations build up their own content guides in house—something that caters to the needs of their respective audiences—and others use style guides in the market.
When I worked in Canadian newsrooms, we had access to the Canadian Press Stylebook and the Canadian Press Caps and Spelling guide. It made sense since we were writing for a Canadian audience.
At my current organization, however, since most of the content we create is for an American audience, I stick with The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook.
Yet even at my current organization, there are some words we spell differently than those in The AP Stylebook—healthcare being one of them (AP Style recommends spelling 'healthcare' as two words).
It matters less what style you use, but that you remain consistent in your use. And if you’re like me, you’ll depend on an already respected style guide, but you’ll create your own in-house style guide to address the idiosyncrasies specific to your organization.
And while style guides are great, nothing beats having an in-house copy editor.
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