You need to establish your brand voice if your content is going to stand out from the crowd. Without a recognisable tone and style your audience will disengage, your brand message will be lost, and you’ll have a tough time reaching your content marketing goals.
However, it’s not that difficult to establish your brand voice if you have the right know-how, so we’re going to help you with this. Let’s get started!
What is a ‘brand voice’?
A brand voice is the purposeful and consistent expression of a brand through words. It communicates your value and informs your audience about exactly who you are.
In time, it will become how your audience recognises you, so it’s important to get it right.
As a brand you are in control of two core aspects when it comes to written content:
- What you say
- How you say it
Both contribute to your brand voice and subsequently your relationship with your audience. You must think long and hard about the personality you want your brand voice to convey before committing to one. If you get this wrong, your message will fall on deaf ears.
To give you a few ideas, here are some adjectives that could describe your brand voice:
Whatever combo of these characteristics you choose, it’s important that your brand voice is unique and engaging for the audience. It should connect with them on a deep level, so they choose to listen to you over your competitors. This is hard to master, but well worth it in the long run.
Why do you need one?
Your brand voice is what differentiates you from your competitors. It makes you stand out by giving your brand some personality and pizazz. It also makes your brand seem more human, so goes a long way to building strong relationships with potential customers.
Audiences quickly disengage from content that doesn’t seem relevant to them. If you’re writing in a tone or style they don’t connect with, they’ll soon look elsewhere.
Use a brand voice your users can relate to in order to put them at ease, and speak to them directly. That way you’ll cement your brand as their go-to option for information and (eventually) your products or service.
5 ways to establish your brand voice
1. Know your audience
So, we’ve already said your brand voice must speak to your audience on a personal level. You can’t do that if you don’t know who your audience is!
Study your current client base and develop in-depth customer personas to ensure you understand your customers’ needs, wants and desires. Then, you can start creating a truly relevant brand voice for all of your marketing communications.
2. Define what your brand voice is
So, now you know what your audience is looking for, you can start to establish your brand voice properly.
Start off by picking three words that capture the personality of the voice you want. Then, expand on these words by adding three more to them. For example:
- Funny, but not silly
- Professional, but not cold
- Witty, but not foolish
Then, start carrying out some research into celebrities and companies that employ a brand voice that matches your criteria. However, take care if you’re using companies within your industry – if you copy them your voice won’t be unique!
Once you have your examples, list the key qualities and attributes you want your content to convey. This should also include stylistic information, which you can take from your company’s editorial style guide.
3. Be consistent across all channels
It can be difficult to establish your brand voice if you have multiple channels and several writers. However, consistency is key, so try to stick to the guidelines set out in the previous stage.
If your content is inconsistent, your brand voice will not be recognisable, and your audience may slip away. So, at this stage, make sure your brand voice works with all your other types of content (visual, social media, events, brochures etc).
If it doesn’t work, go back a step and tweak it until it’s a good fit.
4. Don’t bang on about your products
Your brand voice should NOT include messaging about your products. That’s not why people follow you on social media and (for the most part) it’s not why they’re visiting your site.
Your users are looking for inspirational, educational and entertaining content that can help them achieve their goals. Mentioning your product constantly will just get in the way of that.
5. Let your brand voice grow naturally
When you establish your brand voice, you may think it’s set in stone, but you’d be wrong!
As your business grows, both your goals and your audience will change. So, your brand voice should too.
Take the lead from your interactions with customers. How do they convey what they want to say? How do they sound? Learn from them and let your brand voice evolve alongside your customer relationships.
Are you ready to establish your brand voice and engage with your audience on a whole new level? Try it today!