We love creating editorial style guides and brand guidelines because they can help a company to produce more effective content for years. These references can be especially helpful for people in your organization who produce content but don’t count writing as a core skill.
But not all companies want or need a comprehensive new guide. For them, a short “words to watch” list can provide a lot of bang for the buck. Instead of providing guidance on a wide range of preferences and principles, such a list highlights five or so terms and phrases that warrant closer attention—and why, and what to consider replacing them with.
Every organization’s list is different. A tech company’s might cover how dull “edges” have become (leading, cutting, bleeding, and otherwise). Another list might address habitual phrasing that keeps readers at a distance, like “have the ability to” instead of “can.” Yet another might provide alternatives for words that, while spot-on for your brand, have lost some of their meaning to overuse.
Creating a “words to watch” list—with or without our help—is a quick way to sharpen and share your message inside your organization and beyond.
At the Content Bureau, we produce a lot of marketing assets. A few are crucial but short-lived one-offs, for events or other special occasions. Most—like web copy, case studies, and infographics—are designed to serve your business for much longer, in a variety of situations. And then there are copy blocks. As the name implies, they’re […]
Part two of a three-part series. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently invited to join the judges of the Verbal Identity panel of the 2016 LIA Awards. Now that the LIA winners for Verbal Identity have been announced, we can examine why those Gold and Silver winners took the honors. I […]
I’ve never liked pure “ghostwriting”—that is, writing all of the words under someone else’s name without any input from the person who’s actually taking the credit. I’m not annoyed that I don’t share the spotlight. I just think that writing falls flat when there’s no authentic input from the “author.” This is especially true when […]
Recently, I was honored to be included as a judge on the Verbal Identity Panel of the LIA Awards, held in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. Although the LIA has been rewarding excellence in advertising for 20 years, 2016 was the first year that Verbal Identity was added to the judging categories. I learned a lot over the course […]
Yes! This is possible! It’s all about bundling. Our clients—ambitious marketers at large B2B technology and financial services companies—tend to use us for the “hard stuff.” These days, the “hard stuff” isn’t just the long stuff, it’s a bundle of marketing program assets that work together to nurture our clients’ customers along the buyer’s journey. […]
It starts innocently enough: Thanks so much for sending. I’d love to set up a call for later this week! Wow—that would be great! But then we find ourselves writing lines like this: I’m really […]
Depending on where you live, it’s now either the end of summer, the prelude to the end of summer, or the buildup to the prelude to the end of summer. We hear the pitter-pat of little feet returning to school. We’ll soon see the changing of the leaves. We have a vague sense that it’s […]
Amazon. Apple. Facebook. The brands with the most loyal customers are, more often than not, the most successful in their market. And it’s no wonder: loyal customers are repeat customers. They’re easier to upsell and cross-sell, and they’re less price-sensitive. They drive down the cost of selling and have higher customer lifetime values. Often, they’re […]
Co-branded data sheets are exceptionally popular marketing assets, and it’s easy to see why. These one-pagers not only make it super easy for partners to sell your products, they also make for a great leave-behind with prospective customers. But it can be tricky to co-brand a piece that conveys your core messages—summarizing your product’s features […]