You have seven seconds to make a first impression and even less time on the web. Digitally published content is most potential clients’ first interaction with your business, and how they perceive your brand is going to affect whether they choose to spend money with you. Understanding which Voice and Tones are appropriate for your niche will go a long way in fostering trust and encouraging sales. Additionally, formalizing your brand’s voice and tone will give you the freedom to delegate content creation to a lower-level or offsite employee.
Matching Your Business Voice with Your Brand
Think of your brand’s digital content as communication with your consumer via a virtual human voice. CoSchedule notes that brand Voice is the combination of word choice, personality, and phrasing your brand uses to communicate with consumers; it is “consistent and unchanging.” It is crucial to create the impression that your business is participating in a dialogue with the consumer rather than merely talking at them. To figure out what your target customer wants to talk about, you will need to have studied your analytics and clarified your brand’s unique value in the market (AI can help you generate this statement if you get stuck!). Armed with this information, you can choose a Voice that is appropriate and engaging. Within that Voice, you can choose Tones that suit your brand’s personality and may address the full spectrum of business-related communication concerns.
Defining your Business Voice
Your brand can – and, often, should – choose a blended voice. Your brand’s “personality” should ideally be driven by data, but many marketing sites offer brand personality quizzes that can get you started with keywords. This unique blend of identifiers is what will help you stand out and maintain your position as a thought leader in your industry. Once you’ve narrowed this list down to a few adjectives, you can use the Content Marketing Institute’s Voice Chart to flesh out your brand’s voice:
Choosing Appropriate Tones
Tone is the inflection of your brand’s Voice in context. CoSchedule notes that tone “adjusts to what’s suitable for a particular piece or message.” Your subtext is going to communicate your brand’s identity whether your consumer is messaging with a customer service chatbot or reading an article from your company website, but exactly how it does so should differ. From vocabulary to phrasing to punctuation, there are no limits to the subtle nuances of your brand’s tone. So, how do you know how to adjust the tone of your voice for each message you need to craft? Like so many things, it comes down to knowing your audience.
Start with the basics: is it more in-line with your brand’s Voice to use formal or informal Tones when speaking to its audience? Is your brand approaching conversations with its consumers from a place of superiority or sameness? How does your brand address a concern without igniting further tensions? Even a quirky, casual brand will want to respond to allegations of racial insensitivity from a place of respect and seriousness, for example. AI content production company Acrolinx offers a definitive guide to the tonal choices your brand should navigate, including education level of your audience, intended emotional response, and immediate impact on the consumer.
How to Formalize Your Voice and Tone
Because Voice and Tone differ for every person, and sometimes for every kind of business, they should be established and formalized early in the development of your website and content strategy. By following the Voice and Tone establishment techniques in this article, you will eventually be able to compile a data-driven resource like Mailchimp’s Content Style Guide. Realistically, compiling a few writing samples covering various content concerns will be enough to get your brand’s content speaking from an impactful and unified perspective—even if you outsource the content creation itself.
Making sure your brand’s voice is consistent across all marketing channels is a crucial element in successful marketing. As an owner, you need to be the expert on the way your digitally published content is communicating with consumers. With a professional approach to content writing, you can harness the power of your brand and drive significant business growth.