Whether you’re new to copywriting or a seasoned veteran of the practice, you know when writing for a brand—be it a nonprofit organization, your company, or a business you represent—credibility is crucial. No matter your character count, your content needs to be compelling, convincing, and well researched. In other words, your content should be credible.
Define What Credibility Means for the Brand
Writing credibly on behalf of a brand requires you to focus on what makes the brand unique. Readers need to feel as though they are reading trustworthy, accurate information that consistently fits with the voice, tone, and style of the brand. This is especially true for dedicated readers of established brands who know what to expect from the content they’re regularly engaging with. What is the brand known for? Hone in on that.
Stick to an Established Voice and Tone
Credible copywriting may sound like ghostwriting, but it’s different. Our team views credible content creation as a strategic partnership between writer and brand. We focus on building interest in the brand’s offerings through relevant sharing of valuable ideas and information. While selling a product or service is the ultimate goal for many companies, building trust and community through branded content makes for an excellent secondary goal – a means to the desired end.
Often, the assumed author of this content is the brand itself. For example, take Denny’s Twitter account. (We really, really hope you know about Denny’s Twitter account.) Can we identify the man behind the tweets? No, not necessarily. The Twitter feed could be authored by one writer, or two, or an entire team! The key takeaway is that we can’t tell, and it really doesn’t matter when we’re enjoying the content they publish.
Become a Brand Ambassador
As one of the writers of a brand’s content, ensuring credibility means you’re responsible for delivering consistency. Doing so starts with establishing a strong partnership with your client’s brand to make sure every word written on their behalf is exactly as it should be. You will become, in a sense, a brand ambassador. If you aren’t sure what that entails, start here:
- Research their existing brand. Whether officially or on your own, complete a thorough audit of the brand’s existing content, both online and, if relevant, in print. Keep your eyes peeled for useful details and nuances in the language and style. If there’s a lot to wade through, ask yourself which pieces speak to you the most as an audience member? Which aren’t as effective?
- Research their industry. How are similar brands putting out content? Do you notice any trends, styles, or hot topics? And should their styles inform your brand’s style, or help set it apart? Create a list of trusted and authoritative industries to reference, and confirm it with your client contact.
- Go beyond the content. Ask your client questions about their brand’s style, voice, grammatical standards, and content pet peeves. (At Cosmitto, we call this the “Discovery Interview.”) You can request a list of key terms to familiarize yourself with or materials (brochures, advertisements, blog posts, billboards) you may have missed from your own research.
- Know your audience. You can lose credibility quickly if a reader doesn’t feel what they are looking at is intended for them. Know your brand’s intended audience or audiences. Has your brand identified buyer personas you can reference?
- Know your goals. Content shouldn’t exist on a brand’s website or social account unless it has a purpose—every piece of content needs a goal. Before you begin writing, align yourself with the brand’s goals, and make sure you are in agreement.
Talk to Cosmitto Today
At Cosmitto, we write blog posts, social calendars, gated pieces, newsletters, and more on behalf of our clients every day, so we know what the road to credible brand writing includes—in-depth research, clear goals, and a keen eye for detail. But even more important, you need strong writing and a communicative relationship between writer and brand. Without consistent communication between both parties, branded content will never live up to its full potential.