15 ways to maintain a consistent tone in outsourced content

by Ana Lopez

When your company doesn’t have the internal resources to create content, outsourcing can be a great way to fill the gap. However, it is important that outsourced public and consumer-facing content is consistent, otherwise your brand’s message will remain unclear.

Outsourcing is a smart solution for companies, as long as they have a method to ensure that all content is in line with the voice of the company. To that end 15 businessupdates.org Business Council members share strategies for maintaining a consistent tone regardless of the writer. They explain why these methods are effective and how they can be used in different industries.

1. Get a brand guide and follow it

Whether you have an in-house marketing/creative team or use contractors, make sure a brand guide exists and is followed. This includes fonts, brand colors, print and digital ad samples, voice and tone, elevator pitches, copy samples, and links to an asset directory. If everyone follows the same rules, the content tends to be more cohesive. – Pursue Flashman, ShipSigma

2. Ensure constant communication

I am in contact with the marketing company that we use almost daily. It allows us to ensure that the tone of voice is consistent. The moment you don’t have that constant communication, the tone of voice will deviate. – Todd Price, Perimeter roofing

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3. View the content internally

It’s helpful to give the outsourced team some guidelines and the different words your company uses to create content. Samples are also a plus. Always have an internal person or team review the content to make sure it matches your tone of voice. – Greg Welborn, First financial advice

4. Use a style guide

One way to ensure that outsourced public or consumer-facing content has a consistent tone is to use a style guide. This is an effective method as it ensures that all content created by the outsourced team follows a set of specific guidelines, helping to maintain the brand’s voice and tone. – Ashley Saye, Daily Rays Inc.

5. Have a dedicated employee manage the outsourced provider

There are two key items that can ensure you have a consistent tone when outsourcing content. The first is to establish guidelines and identify your voice and the voice of your customer. The second is to have an owner internally who works with your outsourced provider and is in constant dialogue with them about tone and messaging. – Waqaas Al-siddiq, Biotricity, Inc.

6. Provide accuracy, descriptiveness and optimism in the content

We tell our professional content writers that there are three requirements for skillful writing that not only convert, but entice people to share and like. These requirements are: be precise and do not provide information that has not been properly researched, describe your title and topic thoroughly, and always make your content stand out with noted optimism. – Tammy sons, Tn Nursery

7. Create a visual and verbal brand guide

Most people only have a visual brand guide, but constructing a verbal brand early on sets tone and voice. This ensures that all collateral created can be easily identified as ‘on-brand’ or not. – Hani Anis, kahani digital marketing

8. Describe for whom and what the content is

Have a style guide that clearly outlines the purpose of the document, who it’s for, and what kind of language will be used. The style guide should also include examples of what not to do. This is effective because it helps employees understand their role in creating content that meets the needs of their audience. It can also help them avoid mistakes that could damage your brand’s image. – Udi Dorner, Set Schedule

9. Hire an in-house editor

All content, including outsourced content, must go through a rigorous editing process that ensures uniformity and consistency in voice, message, and even format. It is crucial to a successful content strategy to have an in-house editor who reads and edits all content, no matter how it was created, to align it with the tone and goals of the company. – Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures

10. Let leadership set the brand voice and guidelines

Marketing and creative leadership must work together to define the brand voice and brand guidelines and then align all of their output to that single source of truth. Consistency is key here, so all messages need to run through these two parts of the business to make sure everything is on-brand. If inconsistencies are not controlled, messaging can become diluted and confusing for prospects. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb

11. Know your company’s persona

Your business is more than just a business. It is an identity, and this identity takes on a humanized form that has a personality, tone, identity, and persona. With this in mind, you and your team should be so familiar with this persona that you feel like it’s a good friend of yours. You need to know how the persona walks, talks, acts and feels. From there, it’s up to you to make sure your consumers do too. – Christian Brown, Glewee

12. Create topics in advance

Create a branded content guide to clarify your expectations and communicate your brand’s unique style and voice. Unlike a branded book of colors and fonts, this includes elements such as tone, style, and vocabulary so nothing is overlooked. Creating your topics in advance also helps you maintain control over your content and what your business shares. Consistency is key. – Adam Povlitz, Anago cleaning systems

13. Focus on your goal

As a brand you want to achieve something specific with your audience. Your content tries to convey that message. Sometimes you have a change of circumstances, but the reason why you communicate with your audience remains the same. Ultimately, you should be able to look at it and answer this question, “Will this help me help my readers with X purpose?” – Jean Paul De Silva Clauwaert, Web content development

14. Think about the end viewer

Always keep your audience in mind, be it teenagers or housewives. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself if they would pay attention to the content you create. Staying focused on the end viewer will ensure that the content you produce hits the mark and remains consistent. – Alex Michael, Scalers

15. Work with a strategic communications advisor

Hire a strategic communications consultant to let one person oversee everything. You get the consistent voice you want and tell the powerful stories with the most impact. – Bet Jannery, Titan & the advisor

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