One of the often overlooked but essential pieces of any brand’s online presence is its voice. But what exactly does “voice” mean? Put simply, this is the style that you use to speak to—and share your brand’s personality with—your customers. Depending on your product or service, the tone in which you speak can be fun, informative, snarky, or anything in between―but no matter where you fall on the spectrum, it’s important to be authentic. Here are four steps to finding the perfect voice and tone:
1. Listen to your audience.
The first (and arguably the most important) step in this process is to sit back and observe how your audience communicates. Are they young millennials who use the latest slang and are looking for laughs or are they more formal, information-seeking adults? It’s essential to make sure you’re communicating in a way that your audience not only understands but responds to as well.
2. Define concisely.
You’ll want to gather roughly three words that capture the essence of your desired voice. If you’re struggling here, it may help to ask outsiders. Find a few people who are within your brand’s target market and ask them what words, phrases, or qualities they associate with your brand. Once you have the three words that describe what your brand is, add limiting words that describe what your brand is NOT in order to further clarify what exactly it should sound like. You should end up with something like this, for example:
- Helpful, but not authoritative.
- Funny, but not inappropriate.
- Loud, but not obnoxious.
3. Differentiate from competitors.
It’s safe to assume you’ve already researched the competitors in your space and the ways in which they communicate, but what makes your brand different? Figure out these distinguishing factors and how they’ll manifest through words—whether that’s in a short tweet, a lengthy blog post, or a speech at an in-person event.
4. Engage authentically.
Studies have shown that consumers purchase from companies they connect to on an emotional level—and stay away from ones that they don’t. So, engage with your fanbase, but don’t try too hard. Keep it short, use simple words, and be precise. When people read copy they understand, the impact is stronger and they’re more likely to take the action you want. So, don’t dress things up if you don’t need to.
Once you’ve got your brand voice down, keep it consistent. Your audience will come to recognize and trust it when your messaging sounds the same across all channels. In time, viewers will become readers, readers will become customers, and customers will become advocates.
Want to find and perfect your brand’s unique voice? We can help.