VisibleThread – Language Analysis Platform

Content Consistency is king: steer clear of your own “fake news”

2 min read

Fergal McGovern

CEO & Founder

Being consistent and having a good readability score will strengthen your brand promise in the eyes of your customers.

The term ‘fake news’ has dominated media headlines around the world over the past year. As the term suggests, the public has lost trust in many institutions and the way they communicate. These include the media, politicians, science, and more besides. It has also affected the business world.

Customers are challenging companies on what they produce, say and do. Content consistency and readability is a large part of that. Customers want plain language from your company, and they have more channels to communicate across than ever before. These include traditional face-to-face conversations, phone calls, print materials, your website and of course social media.

Remember, consistency in communication encompasses everything your company does. Consistency is about how you talk to your staff, and how you talk to your customers. It’s about your brand, and the way you interact with clients. It’s about sales and your company culture. So, it’s no surprise that CEOs are wary about how their companies communicate. They don’t want to be part of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon.

Content Consistency Builds Trust

The key is not to view communications as different, unrelated things your company says on a bunch of channels. Communication should be consistent. If your communications plan is consistent, then customers will trust you. This starts with your brand. Branding covers a variety of corporate activities. Companies with a clear, consistent and reliable message across their different platforms will stand out.

William Arruda is the co-founder of CareerBlast. In this article for Forbes, he says that “consistency is the key to successful branding. And consistency goes beyond the product itself.” So how can we ensure our branding is as consistent and clear as possible? For the purposes of this article we will focus primarily on language. However, you should remember that your company’s design should act as a counterpoint to its language.

A Readability Score Software Makes it Easy

For our analysis, we used VT Writer for Doc, Web and Text analysis. The nice thing is that it flags issues at paragraph level and it’s free. There is also a paid version which generates some nice reports. But we were fine with just the free version.

A brand that does it right

Nike’s succinct and memorable slogan, Just Do It, is a household name. However, the company has backed that up with similar forceful, short messages across its platforms. Its social media channels use the same style of language. They use short, snappy sentences and the active voice. There is no ambiguity.

Look at how they promote themselves on Twitter, for example. Here are two sample tweets from July 2017: