You may bear in mind writing fashion guides from faculty. Chicago Handbook of Model, Related Press, Fashionable Language Affiliation?
As a substitute of utilizing a generic fashion information for content material, at the moment’s main healthcare manufacturers are creating their very own, often known as content material fashion guides.
A content material fashion information is a companion to your model fashion information and helps writers and entrepreneurs write on-brand copy for what you are promoting.
Right here, I share what’s inside such a information and supply examples of the way it helps produce clear and constant content material throughout groups and channels.
A writing fashion information outlines important dos and don’ts, giving writers and different key stakeholders a toolkit for creating on-brand content material that meets your wants and expectations—whereas eliminating repetitive or arbitrary edits.
Similar to your model fashion information helps individuals use your logos and model colours correctly, a writing fashion information dives even deeper into the way to write content material in your model.
This deeper dive contains fashion decisions for every little thing from the Oxford comma (sure, or no?) to the way to spell what you are promoting title throughout varied areas.
I say “dwelling doc” as a result of your content material fashion information ought to by no means be set in stone. It ought to be up to date, refined, or added to as new preferences are recognized.
A model fashion information normally contains the fundamentals of name messaging (tagline, worth proposition, messaging pillars) and essence (voice, tone, and persona).
So, for those who haven’t already, making a foundational model fashion information is crucial to cultivating model recognition.
Let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of a healthcare content material fashion information tailor-made for what you are promoting.
The Desk of Content material for a typical fashion information may embrace the next sections:
- Writing Targets and Ideas
- Voice and Tone
- Writing About Your Enterprise
- Grammar Guidelines and Mechanics
- Pointers for Varied Sorts of Content material
Right here’s what you may embrace in every of those sections:
Determine what you need each bit of printed content material to realize in your model—and the way you intention to realize these targets.
For instance, when writing content material for the Healthcare Success weblog, we intention to teach, information, and encourage our readers in a pleasant and useful method. To realize these targets, we work laborious to make sure our content material is well-researched, related, helpful, simple to know, and relatable.
If not included within the model fashion information, it’s essential to stipulate your model’s accredited voice and acceptable tone variations. Listed here are some insights for every:
Model voice is the distinct and distinctive persona your model makes use of throughout all its communications to attraction to its target market.
Constructing a constant model voice throughout platforms provides peace of thoughts and builds belief along with your target market. One of the simplest ways to stipulate your model voice in your content material advertising and marketing fashion information is to supply language and messaging examples that showcase your traits, terminology, and model values.
Listed here are 4 simple steps to create a model voice:
- Know your target market and construct affected person personas
- Set up your persona traits (e.g., genuine, compassionate, reliable, useful, playful, and so on.)
- Describe what these traits imply to your model
- Determine clear do’s and don’ts
A model voice by no means modifications. However the tone varies relying on the goal persona, the subject, the place they’re within the purchaser’s journey, and which channel they’re on.
For instance, when writing copy in your firm web site, chances are you’ll go for a proper tone that conveys heat, compassion, and understanding. Nevertheless, when speaking with followers on social media, chances are you’ll pivot to a extra relaxed, casual tone that conveys the identical factor.
In each instances, your persona and values stay the identical (model voice), however the way you talk shifts (model tone).
Each healthcare writing fashion information ought to embrace a listing of dos and don’ts for writing about what you are promoting.
This checklist ought to embrace the right method to confer with your model (e.g., “Healthcare Success” vs. “Well being Care Success, LLC”) and merchandise, the way to confer with your target market (e.g., shoppers, purchasers, or sufferers), and the way to confer with your medical doctors and specialists.
If what you are promoting has a number of areas, you might also embrace most popular emails and cellphone numbers for every location.
The College of Utah lays it out succinctly for its main model and 5 hospitals:
I’d additionally like to spotlight the significance of getting clear tips for extra delicate companies, similar to habit facilities for alcohol and substance use.
Compassion and therapeutic are paramount when writing content material for habit and restoration facilities. Subsequently, a medical writing fashion information should embrace a listing of phrases and phrases to keep away from (e.g., addict, drug addict, alcoholic, substance abuse, and so on.) and establish most popular alternate options (e.g., an individual with habit, addicted individual, substance use dysfunction, and so on.).
The Nationwide Institutes of Well being Model Information has a complete set of tips for this trade:
To maintain your writing clear and constant, it’s important to obviously define your “home guidelines” for issues like:
- Energetic vs. passive voice
Stress the significance and supply examples of lively voice. Share examples of when passive voice could also be acceptable.
Do you know that almost all punctuation guidelines are fashion decisions? Reply the age-old query of whether or not or to not use the Oxford comma and embrace guidelines for semicolons, ellipses, colons, apostrophes, and so on.
Define your preferences for specialties, diseases, circumstances, positions, or something that isn’t a correct noun. That is additionally a wonderful place to make clear your intention for phrases like e-mail, web, web site, and so on.
Share whether or not you need to use an en sprint (-) or an em sprint (—) in your sentences.
Additionally, establish a listing of phrases that ought to or shouldn’t be hyphenated (e.g., long-term, well-being, follow-up, C-section, and so on.)
- Abbreviations and Acronyms
Maintain your expectations clear and constant in your writers. It’s finest observe to spell out acronyms the primary time you point out a time period in a bit of content material, then use the abbreviation for all different references. For instance, as an alternative of writing ADHD, spell out consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction the primary time you utilize it.
- Bulleted lists
Present tips for the way to format your bulleted lists. Do you need to embrace a colon after each introductory sentence? Do you need to add a interval on the finish of each bulleted checklist merchandise? Do you need to start sentence fragments with a capital letter? Define these preferences to make sure they’re constant all through your content material.
Clearly state the way you need your dates to be introduced to make sure they’re constant throughout all content material sorts and platforms.
Determine whether or not you’ll use a % image or write the phrase proportion. Additionally, clearly state whether or not you need to use intervals, hyphens, or parentheses when writing phone numbers (e.g., 555.555.5555 vs. (555) 555-5555)
A complete writing fashion information ought to embrace ideas for writing several types of content material and normal tips for writing (e.g., maintain sentences and paragraphs quick, use plain language, and so on.).
This part lays the groundwork for content material advertising and marketing that educates. It ought to embrace the popular kinds of academic content material what you are promoting builds and shares (e.g., eBooks, YouTube movies, webinars, employees coaching supplies, tutorials, and ceaselessly requested questions) and any parts that have to be constant all through.
When crafting e-mail communications, it’s essential to concentrate to element. On this part, figuring out the next parts will assist maintain your e-mail communications constant, which helps construct belief along with your viewers:
- From title: Select a reputation that or title that will probably be recognizable to your viewers and maintain it constant throughout all enterprise communications.
Topic line: Define whether or not all caps or emojis are acceptable and establish the goal character size.
- Preheader textual content: As with the topic line, it’s essential to stipulate whether or not all caps or emojis are acceptable and establish the goal character size.
- Physique copy: Share your expectations on function, size, imagery, and structure.
- Name to motion: Determine particular calls to motion and the way they’re capitalized (e.g., Schedule an Appointment, Ebook On-line, schedule a go to, and so on.).
This information can even define accredited e-mail signatures for inner and exterior communications. UCLA Well being does an amazing job of explaining the way to create an e-mail signature and what it ought to seem like:
Social media can really feel just like the Wild West at occasions. Because of this, it’s important to put out guiding ideas that may maintain your messages clear, constant, and out of scorching water.
First, define which social media platforms what you are promoting will use, their official character limits, and your finest practices for every. Subsequent, establish a listing of dos and don’ts to maintain your content material skilled (e.g., keep away from extreme exclamation factors, by no means ask customers to share your content material, and so on.).
It’s additionally essential to obviously state your hashtag technique. Embody a listing of most popular hashtags (and hashtags to keep away from), the utmost and minimal variety of hashtags every submit ought to embrace, and whether or not together with trending hashtags is appropriate.
Your enterprise wants a complete content material fashion information to maintain content material constant and on-brand throughout all platforms. This information is important for manufacturers trying to scale their enterprise.
This doc eliminates guesswork when creating content material—from the preliminary draft to posting on-line.
Giving executives, account managers, writers, and different content material creators a information that clearly outlines how issues ought to be written or introduced helps maintain everybody on model. It additionally eliminates bottlenecks throughout every part of the overview and approval course of.
Model consistency additionally supplies a optimistic consumer expertise in your target market.
Create a Content material Model Information for Healthcare Manufacturers
- Peruse different official fashion guides
Earlier than you start writing, overview the AP Stylebook, Chicago Handbook of Model, NIH Model Information, or different healthcare-specific fashion guides. They may also help you perceive what is often included and establish parts you may need to have.
- Develop or construct upon your Model Model Information
A model fashion information is a complete set of requirements for what you are promoting (e.g., model voice and tone, emblem utilization, colours, visuals, viewpoint, and so on.).
- Develop your model messaging (what your model communicates)
- Develop your model voice and tone (how your model communicates throughout platforms)
- Develop purchaser personas (who your model communicates with)
- Perceive your content material
Earlier than attending to the writing part, you’ll want to audit the kinds of content material your group creates, the formatting ideas it follows, and the place they’re publishing. From there, you may develop tips for blogs, printed supplies, social media posts, movies, and the like.
- Collaborate with decision-makers
Whereas the advertising and marketing division is the possible proprietor of this dwelling doc, the “homeowners” should get enter from different groups and people which will must confer with it commonly. Some groups and people to contemplate embrace
- Writers and editors,
- Social Media
- Buyer Assist
- Talk about and make sure
As soon as your content material and whom you’ll want to collaborate with, it’s time to start. Sit down with all involved events and make a laundry checklist of things that want clarification and route.
It may be something relating to content material.
After getting a complete checklist of issues, you may work collectively to find out and agree on the “normal” for what you are promoting and guarantee nothing is ignored.
- Create the content material fashion information
When you perceive your content material, and content material sorts, and have recognized preferences out of your key collaborators and decision-makers, it’s time to start writing.
- Create a shareable Phrase or Google doc
- Begin with an introduction that explains
- The aim of the content material fashion information
- Whether or not you favor AP or Chicago fashion for something not listed
- This file ought to be added to as wanted to incorporate new or up to date preferences
- Make it scannable with a desk of contents
- Tackle all the foundations mentioned and finalized in Step 5, guaranteeing every little thing is obvious, concise, and free from ambiguity.
- Embody important sections similar to:
- Naming conventions for what you are promoting (spelling of the enterprise and site names and addresses)
- write about your merchandise, companies, or remedies
- Your most popular method of spelling physician names
- Your most popular method of referring to your medical doctors, scientific and administrative employees
- Your most popular method of itemizing and spelling service traces (e.g., orthopedics or orthopaedics)
- Generally misspelled medical phrases related to what you are promoting
- Pointers for writing several types of content material (e.g., academic, e-mail, social, and so on.)
- Create a vocabulary listInclude right or most popular spellings in your trade, enterprise, merchandise, and target market.
- Evaluate and distribute
As soon as a draft of the information is full, get buy-in from all involved groups. Earlier than publishing and sharing the writing fashion information along with your groups, overview every little thing once more to make sure it’s error-free and that every little thing was seen.
Now that what a content material fashion information is, why you want one, and the way to do it—it’s time to get to work.
When performed nicely, a content material fashion information is instrumental in producing impactful content material that engages high-value sufferers, builds belief, and persuades them to transform.