Say you were to select a new friend simply based on their voice alone. More than the words they said, you’d be looking for someone who sounded approachable and relatable, right? The same is true of business’ brand voice. It’s less about specific words and turns of phrase you use than the tone with which you use to communicate and connect with your audience.
Looking to create more purposeful prose for your content marketing?
Listen up. These five steps will help you create a brand voice your clients can truly hear.
- Describe it well
Before you put pen to paper, start asking some questions. Do you aim to inspire or are you tapping into their adventurous side? What is your stance on the use of expletives? Punctuation? Will you punctuate your copy with emojis? How will your words connect with them on an emotional level?
When you have these mapped out, start by writing three adjectives about how you want to come across. Beside those, write out three more adjectives describing how you want the customer to feel.
For instance, if you’re an IT company you might want to come across intelligent and leave your audience feeling informed. Run a greenhouse? Try for fresh fodder that moves your customers to connect with your crops.
- Distinguish it authentically
The most unique thing about your voice is you. Project a bit of your personality into your copy and you’ll have a better shot at maintaining one of the brand voice fundamentals: authenticity. Often times it’s best to let your business’ core values inform the verbiage. This way, even if you look to other brands or competitors for inspiration, you’ll still be expressing your brand’s distinct personality. More importantly, you’ll be less likely to sound like you’re trying too hard. This is a big one. The overwhelming majority of consumers respond to genuineness above all else.
- Keep it consistent
From the character limits that restrain you to the landing pages that contain your mission statement, consistency is key. No matter which channel you’re chattering over, it’s important to communicate it with the same emotional expression. Flip-flopping back and forth between clever witticisms and an authoritative brand voice is sure to give readers whiplash. The inconsistency can also decrease your credibility.
Be sure to communicate your new brand voice to the team. It’ll help you prevent any rouge writers from running away with your words. You may even want to formalize an official style guide to keep everyone on the same page.
- Make it personal
If you find the idea of creating a disembodied voice difficult – or slightly creepy – try thinking about your brand voice as a flesh and blood person. Time to break out those buyer personas and get connected with your target audiences. Select one from each of your core consumers – working moms, rural millennials, small business owners, etc.
Re-familiarize yourself with each, then look at them through the following lenses:
- How do they look?
- What are their goals?
- How do they express themselves?
- Who do they ask when they have a problem?
- What do they do for entertainment?
- And, most importantly, how can your brand help solve their needs?
Exercise a little empathy to fully understand who it is you’ll be chatting at. It’s the best way to turn your marketing communication into a full-blown conversation.
- Revisit it often
No good brand is stagnant for long. In fact, one of the main reasons you’re honing in on your brand voice is to grow your business. As it expands, you’ll need to continue carving it up from time to time. Once you do, you’ll start to see ways you can help it naturally ebb and flow based on the data you’re collecting about your evolving audiences. This might mean reworking your blog strategy to accommodate new groups. Or, it could involve adopting a competitor’s successful campaign to help you get seen on a new marketing channel. Point is, creating a truly memorable brand voice isn’t a one-and-done activity. It’s a voyage in rediscovery.
Need help creating a strong brand voice? We hear you loud and clear. Contact us and soon your customers will, too.