While developing a voice for your content marketing strategy takes significant time and effort, it is a crucial step in the process of your company becoming an established brand. At a time when content marketing is on the rise, brands are churning out everything from blog posts, to social media statuses to videos to keep their audience engaged and entertained. A strategic brand voice is more important now than ever.
6 Tips to Keep in Mind When Establishing your Brand’s Voice
Decide who you are.
Identifying your tone of voice is just as important as identifying any other brand attribute. You can be friendly. You can be direct. You can be witty. You can be sarcastic. No matter what you are, it should feel natural to your organization. If your business focuses on selling medical software to neurosurgeons, you probably shouldn’t be using the tone of a witty marketing geek. The object of your content’s tone of voice is to attract clients who mesh with the personality and culture of your company.
Use your voice to differentiate.
In a world of crowded markets and similar product offerings (especially in technology), it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Take the time to craft content that helps you stand out. Using the standard professional business language of your industry in your blog posts will not differentiate your company. You should be using tone of voice to break out from your standard category and connect to your audience on another level. Take Lenovo’s “Users Happen” video series for example. Instead of just explaining what they do, they used their voice and personality in their videos to allow potential customers to relate to their product.
Describe your brand voice in three words or less.
Educated, genuine, quirky. Passionate, witty, authentic. Whatever three words describe the voice your brand is aiming for, stick to them. Then use this style everywhere you can. Your blog isn’t the only place for great content and brand voice. Use your brand voice on your job page to describe your company culture and attract new hires that will fit in. Sprinkle your brand voice across your entire site, in your emails, on social media posts, etc. Also, make sure your sales and marketing voices aren’t contradicting each other. No matter the sender, your voice should represent the entire company and every role within it.
Although in the scheme of things, it’s important to adapt the way you speak according to who you talk to, you should be considering how you want your brand persona conveyed. Inject your company’s personality traits accordingly into your content. Take risks. For example, if your industry uses a popular slang term (common enough for the majority to understand) then don’t be afraid to use it without defining over and over again what it is. Try telling a joke or a personal story in your content. Readers remember that and want to come back for more. Injecting personality consistently attracts customers with a personality that will mesh well with your brand and your company.
Don’t forget grammar.
With the push for more content at an all time high, it’s not surprising that the grammar police are also out in full force. It makes sense that companies are keen on tightening up their use of grammar. However, before executing every grammatical rule in the books … take a step back and look at the voice you’re portraying in your content. If a certain grammatical rule just doesn’t work for you, don’t force it. This doesn’t mean forget about punctuation and proper noun capitalization. What it does mean is look at where you’re posting your content or statuses, alter grammar accordingly and be consistent.
Craft your microcopy.
When was the last time you clicked on a broken link and got redirected to a 404 error page? Let’s face it, as much as we try to make sure all the links on our site, in our emails, being posted to social media … all work, sometimes it just breaks and visitors are redirected. It’s becoming more common for creative minds to bring the brand’s voice all the way to the microcopy. This means that even on a 404 error page, your brand’s voice still shines. Adding personality to even the smallest bits of microcopy gives your brand the consistency necessary to stay ahead of the game.
Don’t Lose your Voice … Or your Content
Without developing its own distinct tone of voice, organizations run the risk of their content being lost among the vast sea of copy. Tone of voice in your content expresses your personality, turning a “faceless” company into a trustworthy brand. Only when tone of voice is embraced across multiple channels can consistency be achieved. And consistency is the baseline to breeding familiarity and trust with your audience.